If you’re looking to protect your home, you’ve probably started researching home security systems. You realize you have a lot of options, and you’re wondering how to narrow your search down to the best home security system.
You’ve noticed something else, as well: everyone’s talking about wireless home security systems. What’s that mean, exactly? Why is wireless the new hot thing in home security?
Everyone knows what “wireless” means: no wires. Like your phone. So why is wireless important for home security? How does an alarm system work with no wires – and why do I care?
Wireless home security actually means two things:
- The equipment (security sensors, video cameras, etc) communicate wirelessly with the alarm system control unit
- The system’s control unit communicates with the outside world via a cellular network, rather than through your landline phone or internet connection.
Those two elements are quite different, and important in different ways, so let’s look at them separately:
Wireless Equipment – for the Do-It-Yourself Home Security System
The beauty of wireless security equipment is the simplicity. The security sensors that you place around your home – on doors and windows, for example – don’t need to be hard-wired into your walls. They are small and portable and usually stay in place with an easy peel-back adhesive. Motion detectors, another common component of a home security system, can simply sit on a shelf, or stick to the wall.
These wireless sensors are so easy to set up, you can do it yourself. Many homeowners consider the do-it-yourself factor to be very appealing, for multiple reasons. First, it’s convenient. You call the shots. You don’t have to schedule a professional installation technician, and then wait on him to show up. It’s also quick – you can protect your whole home in less than an hour. Some customers with wireless do-it-yourself security systems report that they actually set up in 30 minutes. The wireless setup doesn’t require any tools, or drilling any holes in your walls.
Best yet – it’s free! Wireless security system customers usually save anywhere from $50 to $300, or more, in installation fees. And because the wireless system is so simple and portable, you can change it or add to it any time. If you need to move, just pack up the wireless equipment and take it with you to the new home.
Since wireless home security systems are getting rave reviews from customers, and high ratings from industry experts, most companies now offer a wireless option. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they offer the other key wireless feature: cellular monitoring. Cellular monitoring is critically important for a home security system, because it’s safer.
To understand the improved safety benefits in cellular security monitoring, let’s start by explaining the concept of monitored homes. If an emergency occurs at your home, whether it’s a break-in, a fire or anything that endangers your home or family, you need someone to send help. These days, most home security systems include 24/7 professional monitoring. If someone breaks in, the sensor alerts the control unit, and the control unit sends the alert to the monitoring station. The monitoring team can then send the police. If the sensor detects smoke or heat, the monitoring team sends the fire department.
A typical, non-wireless system uses your phone line to send the alert to the monitoring station. Newer home security offerings may use your internet connection instead. Either way, these wired systems are vulnerable. Power outages could bring down your phone, and any number of things can interrupt your internet connectivity, as I’m sure you’ve experienced more than once. Savvy burglars have also caught on to this security flaw, and they disable the security system just by snipping the phone line before they break in.
A wireless home security system with cellular monitoring solves this problem. The control unit has a built-in cellular signaling device. It uses this device to send alerts to the monitoring station in emergency situations. The signal goes out over a variety of established, secure cellular networks.
With cellular home security monitoring, there are no wires for burglars to cut. The cellular signaling is much more dependable than a phone or internet connection. And this type of security solution is perfect for the many homes that no longer have landlines. A security system with cellular monitoring is self-sufficient and doesn’t depend on any other system in your home. In fact, you don’t need a phone at all.
The Best-Rated Wireless Home Security Systems
Wireless is now recognized as such an important feature in home security, that the top-rated systems all offer wireless options. And because wireless is such a hot trend, everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon. That takes us back to the original issue: how do you narrow down your search? We recommend that you check out the home security ratings on consumer review sites. Customers just like you will provide unbiased feedback on systems they’ve used. Angie’s List and Yelp are both popular, well-respected sites, but any of your local review sites can provide good feedback.
Good luck in your research. And remember that a wireless alarm system with built-in cellular monitoring is your best bet for safe, simple home security.