When it comes to installing a new alarm system for your home or business, the first step is deciding which alarm system to buy. In almost every installation scenario, this decision is largely influenced by the customer’s preference for a wired or wireless alarm.
Generally, wired and wireless alarm systems offer the same features, with the only difference being that a wired system is powered by and communicates over cable, while a wireless system is powered by battery and communicates over either WiFi or its own radio frequency.
Reliability & Security
Wired systems are slightly more reliable than wireless alarm systems. This is as, unlike wireless systems, wired systems do not rely on battery and are connected to a steady power supply. However, wireless alarms are still a great option as battery life can last up to 5 years. The only drawback with choosing a wireless alarm system over a wired system when it comes to reliability is that users will have to be diligent in checking and replacing the battery.
That said, wired systems tend to be more secure, as they communicate through wiring, rather than networks or frequencies.
Wireless alarm systems that use WiFi pose a threat to security, as if the internet goes down, you will have to manually re-start your router in order to get your system back up and running. In the event that you are not home when this happens, your property will be left vulnerable. While wireless systems that use their own radio frequency are not susceptible to this issue, these systems often fall victim to radio interference.
It is also worth keeping in mind that wireless systems may be limited in their range. Generally speaking this is not an issue for domestic installation. However, if you have a large home or are wanting to install an intercom on your front gate, you may be better off installing a wired system. If unsure about which system best meets the requirements of your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our security experts.
When it comes to security, wired systems are the best choice as these systems do not use networks or frequencies, protecting you against issues such as hacking or interference. As each component is hardwired, these systems are also more difficult to physically interfere with.
Cost & Installation
It is typically cheaper to use a wired system if you are pre-wiring a house or have easy access to run cables. However, if a technician is unable to run cabling on your property, you will need to use a wireless alarm. This may be due to a number of reasons, such as inability to access wall cavities or customer circumstances such as renting.
While the hardware costs for a professional grade wireless alarm system tend to be more expensive, labour costs are lower.
In most cases, the total cost (hardware + installation) of a wired or wireless alarm will end up being similar. Despite wired systems being cheaper to purchase, extra labour and material costs involved during installation often bring the total price to that of a wireless alarm.
That said, regardless of whether you choose a wired or wireless alarm, installation costs are subject to a variety of factors based on the difficulty, time required and additional material costs (e.g. extra cabling) of installation – which will largely depend on the build of your property.
Overall, hardwired alarm systems have a slight advantage over wireless alarms in regards to security, while wireless alarms allow for easier installation and can be used in scenarios where wired systems can’t. Both systems rank similarly in regards to reliability and generally offer the same features such as integration with detection devices, ability to remotely isolate zones and activate and deactivate your alarm system. Wired and wireless alarm systems can also be integrated with other devices such as intercoms or smoke alarms.