The latest buzz in home security is all about wireless. If you’re shopping for an alarm system, you may be wondering if wireless is really better, and if so, why? This blogs explains the basics of a wireless home security system, and the advantages wireless security can offer the homeowner, renter or small business owner.
Wireless vs. Traditional Alarm Systems
“Wireless” can be a confusing term when applied to home security. For many people, wireless is synonymous with cellular. In the home security industry, however, the terms wireless and cellular actually have distinct meanings, with distinct importance. The best home security system will be both wireless and cellular. The equipment should be wireless, and the monitoring should be cellular.
- Wireless security equipment – security sensors, video cameras, etc., which communicate wirelessly with your alarm system’s control unit
- Cellular monitoring – a cellular radio device built into the system’s control unit for communication with the outside world. The control unit signals a central monitoring station over a secure cellular network, rather than using your landline phone or internet connection.
Since both wireless equipment and cellular monitoring are important factors in an alarm system, we’ll address them one at a time:
Wireless Equipment – for Simplicity, Flexibility and Portability
A basic security system consists of sensors placed throughout the home to detect signs of trouble – whether it’s intrusion, fire or even environmental threats such as leaky pipes or carbon monoxide. When these sensors detect an issue, they send an immediate alert to the alarm system’s control unit.
If your home security system is wireless, all these sensors function and communicate without wires. They are small and battery-powered and can be set up without tools or complex wiring. In most wireless systems, the user simply places the sensors on a wall, door or window using an easy peel-back adhesive. Motion detectors can be placed on a shelf, or attached to the wall. GE Security is one of the most widely acclaimed manufacturers of wireless security equipment.
Many homeowners prefer a wireless home security system over traditional alarm equipment that must be hard-wired into the wall. Wireless equipment has several benefits:
- Simple – do-it-yourself (DIY) setup
- Convenient – no need to schedule an installer
- Savings – no installation fee
- Flexible – change or add to the system any time
- Portable – take it with you when you move
- Clean and subtle – no holes in your walls
Most consumers cringe when they think of scheduling a service call at their home. With the demands of our busy schedules, no one wants to wait around for the technician to show up. Many of us also like to avoid inviting strangers into the house. With a wireless DIY home security system you can protect your home yourself, in less than an hour, on your own schedule. And if you decide to add more sensors or even a security camera later, that’s also an easy process. Since all the communication is wireless, the new equipment will arrive pre-programmed for your house and your system’s control unit.
Of course the best news for most consumers is that wireless equipment installation is free. With the easy availability of wireless home security systems these days, installation fees should be a thing of the past.
Cellular Monitoring – for Reliability and Safety
In answer to the rising popularity of wireless home security systems, many providers now offer wireless equipment. However, you cannot assume that means they offer cellular monitoring. While “wireless” gets the buzz, the cellular factor is actually the more important, because cellular makes your home safer.
In the most basic terms, home security monitoring works like this:
- Sensors detect trouble – whether it’s a window breaking, a door opening, smoke in the air, or any sign of a threat to your home or family
- The sensor sends an alert signal to the security system’s control unit
- The control unit sends an alert to the central monitoring station
- Personnel at the station monitor your home 24/7, and send help when needed
A traditional hard-wired system uses your phone line to send the alert to the monitoring station. Some newer systems now use your home broadband connection instead. Both of these wired systems are vulnerable. Burglars quickly learned to disable traditional security systems by snipping the phone or internet line with wire-cutters. Everyday occurrences like power outages can also affect both phone and internet lines. Imagine trying to reboot your modem during a break-in!
A wireless home security system solves this safety problem with cellular monitoring. The cellular device inside the control unit signals the alert to the monitoring station over secure, reliable cellular networks. Without wires to cut, the burglar has virtually no way to disable your security system. Homeowners love the reliability and peace of mind that comes along with cellular monitoring. And it’s perfect for those who no longer have landline phones installed at home. The wireless security system is self-sufficient, and does not depend on any other system in your home.
Wireless Home Security – for the Best Customer Reviews
It’s always a good idea to check ratings and customer reviews prior to making any buying decisions. As consumers start to understand the important benefits of a wireless security system, you’ll notice that the top-rated security providers now offer a wireless option. Make sure they also offer cellular monitoring, and that it’s included in the basic rate, rather than added on as an extra expense. Also make sure the company you select provides the highest levels of customer service and satisfaction. Based on the benefits of safety, simplicity, flexibility and convenience, we think you’ll find the highest satisfaction ratings with a wireless home security system.