Wired vs. Wireless Systems – Which One Is Better for Your Home?
You may live in a peaceful, quiet neighborhood, and you can also know your neighbors and people living nearby well enough to conclude that they won’t represent a threat to your security and that of your family. However, the truth is that you never know what can happen, and it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your family and your home’s security.
Suppose you want to go on an extended vacation. You are not planning on leaving your house for, say, three or four weeks, with no monitoring or alarms, are you? If you do, you leave your home vulnerable to burglars.
Nowadays, there are numerous measures you can take to protect what you value. You can implement advanced, sophisticated security measures with remote access and camera functions, sensors to identify any unusual activity around all areas of your house, damage safety and control, and home automation, just to name a few.
In fact, you don’t have to be a genius to identify that your home will be safer if you implement one or a combination of several of those measures. Houses that run security systems are far less likely to be robbed or burglarized than those without them.
Wired vs Wireless: What’s the Difference?
Regarding home security systems and equipment, we have two primary types in the market: wired ones and wireless gadgets. The former are older but have still satisfying degrees of efficiency, whereas wireless technology can offer more options and portability, but can be hacked more easily. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one for you may depend entirely on external factors.
People nowadays find it a lot easier to install reliable security systems around the house than once upon a time. People have become used to wireless devices in their homes. Wireless technology allows more convenience in the way that people can control their lights, vacuums, laundry machines, fridges, door locks, lawnmowers, pet feeders, and virtually any home appliance, from an app in their smartphones or tablets.
These systems also let people monitor activity in several locations within their houses from a remote place. These smart security measures are very straightforward to use and offer high levels of configurations.
Depending on what you need or want to achieve, wired solutions can also work. They tend to be more affordable than wireless technology and some gadgets can be better for sizable spaces.
Wired Systems: Reliable Methods
The name speaks for itself: wired home security appliances are those that are connected to a landline or into the house’s electrical system. Installing these gadgets provides several benefits and opportunities, but also, some drawbacks.
These security systems have been around the longest, and thus they may not use hi-tech developments and configurations that wireless platforms and equipment can. You’ll need a landline for this type of home security system and it may require professional installation.
Wireless Systems: Hi-Tech Solutions
Unlike wired gadgets, the wireless home security systems don’t necessarily have to be connected to the house’s electrical network or landline because they can function with Wi-Fi (cellular) technology.
Using wireless equipment and monitoring is quickly gaining in popularity because it is far more convenient from a portability point of view. They are easy to install yourself and you can typically even move them to new homes with ease.
Benefits of Using Wired Home Security Systems
1. They are less vulnerable to hackers
Since hacking a wired home security camera or gadget would imply that the criminal physically connects to the system, it is highly unlikely that it will ever happen, although not impossible.
2. They offer reliable monitoring
If the wiring is in top condition, the monitoring performance of your home security system will be satisfactory because it doesn’t have to rely on radio frequency sensors.
3. The equipment is more comfortable to maintain
Sometimes, the process is as simple as a battery change. After the installation, which often requires a professional, maintenance is a piece of cake.
Unlike wireless equipment, wired ones can offer control panels in several rooms and incredible HD (high definition) surveillance, among other things.
5. Perfect for big rooms
Since these systems can handle way more sensors than wireless ones, the reach is higher, and it can cover a lot of ground.
6. Professionals recommend them
Wireless systems have their advantages, sure; but professional opinion matters and they prefer wired gadgets because they are more reliable and secure, albeit without the fancy functionalities.
Cons of Wired Security Systems
1. No remote access
Wired security systems can only be controlled from one location, eliminating the possibility of remote access. The control panel is usually attached to the unit, and you need access to it to manage and manipulate the equipment.
Thieves and criminals can just cut the phone lines outside the building to disarm a wired alarm or security system.
Since the installation process needs to be done by a professional or specialist, there will be higher costs involved in the whole deal. Installing these gadgets and articles is not a simple process of the Do it Yourself variety.
4. They aren’t portable
Once you install a security system with wiring, you can’t take it to your new house in case you move out because they are not straightforward to uninstall.
Benefits of Wireless Security Systems
1. Quick installation
To the contrary of wired systems, you don’t necessarily need a professional to install a wireless security article, since they are way easier to set up.
2. Easy to remove
As quick and straightforward as they are to install, they are equally fast and simple to remove: you don’t have to tear walls or complicated wiring, which is favorable for people that are moving in and want to “import” their alarms.
3. They are portable
As you can read here; since they have no wires, these security systems can be installed and moved around the house or even outside of it. In fact, ADT even offers a Mover’s Security Guarantee. There are no phone lines to alter or cut.
4. Can be modified
The concept of upgrades is a common thing with wireless security systems. Since it isn’t hardwired, adjusting them is a very straightforward process, and you can configure them to your liking. You can also add or take away sensors.
5. Remote access
Wireless technology allows users to gain remote access to their alarm systems and other security gadgets via monitoring. You can use your phone to activate and deactivate alarms, configure sensors and buttons, and do more things.
6. Home automation
Automating processes is the dream of the future, and we are starting to live it. You can sync wireless alarm and security systems with other home appliances and features. You can monitor everything in your house and automate smart locks and the thermostat, for example.
Cons of Wireless Security Systems
1. Higher hacking risk
Perhaps the most notable disadvantage of wireless home security technology is that, because it involves Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, a hacker does not have to connect to the line to intercept it physically. If a thief can do that, he/she will be able to disable the alarm without touching anything.
These gadgets need to find power somewhere, and since they don’t have wires, you need to make sure to have a sizable stack of batteries to replace them when necessary, which can be inconvenient.
3. Possible interference
Wireless technology involves sensors and radio frequency, and although it is not common, there can be interference, and if it happens, the system will most likely fail temporarily.
4. Not suitable for spacious houses
Wireless systems have sensor limitations, with an outdoor range of 500 feet at best. They are designed to cover small rooms and apartments.
Which Type of Home Security System is Best for You?
Wired systems have a broader reach power than wireless technology, so they work best if you have an enormous house and want to set up an alarm or security network. However, if you own a small department but want to “smart” it up, you should probably go wireless.
If you want to buy a security gadget or system and quickly deploy it without the help of a professional, then wireless technology is better for you. Additionally, you can configure and use it with ease.
If you are not going to spend the night at your house, but want to make sure everything is in order, wireless gadgets let you have remote access to alarms and other home appliances and equipment.
If what you don’t want to deal with hackers and cybercriminals attacks, consider wired home security equipment. They are much more difficult to hack or intercept than wireless technology.
Protect your wireless home security systems with a VPN
If you decide to go the wireless route, then you should know that your devices and overall system have a higher chance of being hacked, and that would mean harmful things to your security. If a cybercriminal gains access, say, to your alarm system, it may disable it and facilitate a future robbery.
To avoid such scenario, you may greatly benefit from hiring a top VPN service. Virtual Private Networks are online encryption resources that will protect the users’ data, traffic, and online identity through protocols, such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and IKEv2, among others.
Since they can be configured directly on your router and can mask your IP address, they will protect you and your equipment from hackers, viruses and malware, governmental spying and prying eyes around the web.
So, if you have a smart fridge, alarm, laundry machine, security fire and CO detector, wireless Bluetooth speaker or baby monitor, you should protect all of those gadgets with the encryption of a reliable, trustworthy VPN service.
Of course, there are numerous VPN clients in the market, but the ones that offer more diverse configurations and robust encryption are ExpressVPN, HotSpot Shield, and NordVPN.
Best home security systems for 2020
In conclusion, you need to assess what you need and want to achieve with your home security network and system before deciding on which type you are going to purchase to protect your home.
If you want portable, hi-tech equipment with home automation possibilities and remote access, then you are better off with wireless technology. On the other hand, for more permanent solutions and higher reach, consider wired gadgets.
The above shall not be considered as an expert or professional advice for any matter.
This article was originally published on April 22, 2018. It has since been updated and republished.