Today it’s a little hard to imagine life without wireless technology. How would we get online – or make a phone call? Would we be chained to a wall by a telephone wire or internet cable? Unthinkable!
Surprisingly, until recently, home security systems were indeed chained to walls. Every security component required wiring – and those wires were unreliable, especially if the burglar carried wire-cutters, as many learned to do. Wiring took the “secure” right out of home security.
Want to hear something even more shocking? Some alarm companies still use wires! That’s right – and we’re not just talking about the little local mom-and-pop operations. Today some of the very biggest names in home security still use hard-wired components in their systems. Oh yes, they advertise “wireless” and many sell some wireless sensors (recently). But the heart of their system is still hard-wired, which brings you inherent disadvantages that you may want to avoid.
What Does Wireless Mean?
Duh. No wires, of course. But in the home security industry, wireless actually has two different meanings. Wireless in this case is not synonymous with cellular. If a home security system is 100% wireless then all the physical components –sensors, controls, cameras, etc. – connect wirelessly. If the system is also cellular, the control unit talks to the monitoring center over a cellular connection, rather than a hard-wired connection through your phone or internet line.
The safest kind of home security system is both wireless and cellular. And safety is not the only advantage.
Wireless Home Security Equipment
Alarm system equipment includes security sensors, video cameras, motion detectors, etc., which connect wirelessly to a control unit. You position the sensors and cameras strategically throughout your home, to detect security-related issues. Alarm systems were initially conceived to prevent intrusion and burglary, but today’s wireless home security is designed to protect you from many kinds of threats, including fire, flood or carbon monoxide. The best home security systems also monitor for medical emergencies, and can send an ambulance if needed.
Each wireless security sensor is designed to look out for one specific kind of problem – perhaps a window opening, smoke in the air, or water on the floor. When that specific problem occurs, the sensor triggers an alert to the control unit, over a wireless frequency. The control unit has smart programming, and knows which sensor triggered, and thus, what type of problem occurred. If you get a customizable security system, your control unit will also tell you specifically where in your home the problem occurred (i.e. which window opened).
GE Security is one of the most popular manufacturers of wireless home security. Their sensors are robust, portable and extremely reliable.
Cellular Home Security Monitoring
If you see an ad for wireless home security, it doesn’t mean you automatically get cellular monitoring. Cellular monitoring is critical for safety and reliability, and should play an important role in your home security choice.
Cellular monitoring means the control unit has a built-in device that communicates with the monitoring center over a secure cellular network. It is not connected to your phone or internet, and in fact, you don’t need a phone at all. The cellular frequency required for sending alarms is very low, so even if you don’t have great cell reception at home, the home security connection is likely to work quite well. Your alarm company will test it before you buy the system.
Don’t trust the security of your home and family to a vulnerable alarm system that burglars can defeat in a single snip. Power outages and storms also take out phone lines. And who would ever say their internet connection is reliable?
Why Wireless Home Security?
The advantages of cellular monitoring are pretty obvious now that you understand how alarm systems communicate. A reliable connection to the monitoring center is crucial in an emergency. But there’s another benefit: you don’t need a landline! Many people have switched over to 100% cellular phone communication, so a 100% cellular alarm system makes perfect sense.
Wireless home security also has many benefits. Wireless sensors are small, battery-powered and extremely easy to set up. You just place them on a wall, door or window, using an easy peel-back adhesive. Or, simply set them on a shelf.
The easy DIY setup means no technician appointment and no installation fees! No need to take off work and sit around waiting for the installer. Set the system up whenever convenient – it will take less than an hour. Since nothing is chained to the wall, you can move the components around, to best suit your home. The system is very flexible, so you can add new equipment any time. You can even take the entire system to a new home. And you won’t have holes in your walls!
Wireless Home Security Gets Great Reviews
If you check out customer reviews for wireless home security systems, you’ll see that customers are happy with the wireless advantage. It’s mind-boggling that most companies took so long to leverage a simple technology that has been available for years. When companies like FrontPoint Security rolled out the first nationwide 100% wireless, 100% cellular home security system, it was a quick hit. Now all the top-rated providers offer a wireless option.
Just make sure that “wireless” also means “cellular.” And be SURE there’s no extra charge! Many companies act like they’re happy to give you the latest and greatest, but their basic advertised packages do NOT include the safety and convenience features you need.