What's the difference between wired and wireless alarm systems?
Thanks to advances in technology, alarm systems have become more sophisticated and reliable over the last 20 years.
One of the main innovations has been the introduction of systems which no longer need wiring to connect the sensors to the control panel.
So, what are the key differences between wired and wireless alarm systems? First you need to understand how they work.
How wired and wireless alarm systems work
Wired alarms systems use physical copper wires, like electrical or computer network cables, to connect the sensors and cameras around your home or business with the control panel. It then connects to any monitoring system at your security system supplier via your landline.
Wireless alarm systems also have the same sensors and cameras as well as a control panel, but use an RF frequency cellular radio network to transmit information from the sensors to the control panel. It then talks to the monitoring system via the mobile phone network.
What are the differences between wired and wireless systems?
There are a range of differences between wired and wireless alarm systems:
• Cables & installation: Wired systems need the cables connecting the sensors to the control panel installed, meaning small holes need to be drilled in walls. But your installer will minimise these and repair them to be as invisible as possible. Wireless systems, by contrast, just need sensors placed around your home or premise, so take less time to set up.
• Power: The sensors and cameras on wired systems get their power from the cabling network and control box power system. Those on wireless systems can either be powered from the mains or with batteries, where mains power isn’t available. But battery-powered sensors need periodic checks, typically lasting one to three years. We can do that for you.
• Cost: While the parts of a wireless system typically cost more than those of a wired one, the installation time and cost is less. We can quote you for both types, if suitable for your premise.
• Reliability: While it’s very rare these days for a wireless system to suffer radio interference and a false alarm because of the frequency it uses (lower than that used by domestic wifi), a wired system doesn’t run that risk at all. The sensors used are essentially the same and the external monitoring connections are reliable.
• Security: Both types these days provide excellent security, especially if you opt to have your system monitored – where it regularly communicates with our monitoring system. Any attempt to stop it alerting us of an intruder – by cutting your landline or stopping the control box communicating wirelessly - will itself trigger an alarm and a response by our 24/7 call centre. Police will also only respond to alerts from monitored alarms.
• Flexibility: Moving or adding a sensor on a wired system involves cabling and holes in walls, while doing so for a wireless system involves simpler and quicker installation without cables. But wired systems can cover a bigger physical area than a wireless one, which is limited in signal range in the same way as wifi routers are.
If you’re weighing up your options for home or business, feel free to give us a call to discuss the factors relevant for your system.
Get in touch
Fraser Fire & Security provides fire safety and security services across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Inverness. For more information get in touch.