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Pros and cons of hardwired and wireless home security systems

(Public Domain Photo)

If you’re interested in installing a home security system, you’ve probably found out that there are two main types: hardwired and wireless. Each system has special advantages.

Here are some of the basics including pros and cons about your possible choices. Costs can vary widely for both types of systems, depending on the size of the house and the types of components used.

Generally, there is a monthly fee that must be paid to maintain the system.

Hardwired systems

These are the security systems that have been used for many years. They operate using wires that are installed and hidden in your walls, ceilings and floors.

When sensors are tripped by intruders, a hardwired system uses the wires to send signals to a control panel to sound a general alarm and can then use a cellular network or a hardwired phone line to alert a professional monitoring center.

A wired system takes longer to install if you don’t already have the wiring in place and may require a landline if you don’t already have one.

The wiring process generally needs to be done by a security professional.

If you move into a home that has already been wired for security in the past, it’s easy to equip the house with a new system. You can even change companies easily because most firms use the same setup of wiring.

Wired systems are also definitely better if you have a very large home.

These systems are generally considered more reliable because there is less that can go wrong with the components. You don’t have to worry about bad signals or interruptions in Wi-Fi/internet service. Actually, only the cheapest, lower quality systems use Wi-Fi/internet, though it might be used in situations where zero cell service is available.

Smart locks in high-quality hardwired systems are not connected to Wi-Fi and instead use a cellular-based security platform that relays commands to smart devices using a radio frequency signal.

Wireless systems

These are the newest type of security alarms and can communicate via radio signals to a control panel in your house to sound the alarm when sensors are tripped. These systems can also use a cellular network and/or Wi-Fi to contact a monitoring center that will call police or the fire department.

They may use Wi-Fi or cellular to send a message to your phone.

Some of these security systems are easy to install by yourself if you’ve got the tools — drills and screwdrivers — that are needed. Some systems even allow you to tape sensors into place.

No security system on the market will operate on battery power only. All systems — hardwired or wireless — operate on the home’s electricity and then have a backup battery supply for power outages.

Batteries are long-lasting but should be monitored. Regular changing is generally not required.

Wireless systems are portable and can be taken to another home, but because the components and technology keep changing, they may need to be updated frequently.

The chief drawback of wireless systems is reliability. They can be subject to electromagnetic interference by other devices.

Some of the newest high-tech systems may also be subject to problems with hackers. Independent testing done by university researchers indicates that malicious apps can sometimes be used on wireless systems and smart locks to gain access to homes. These problems are only possible on lower cost systems operating through the Wi-Fi/internet.

Store-bought smart locks operate through the Wi-Fi/internet and can be susceptible to hacking, loss of an internet connection or someone cutting your internet line.

For more homeowner advice, DIY tips and videos, and information about all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at RosieontheHouse.com.

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at RosieontheHouse.com – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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