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Why Go Wireless with Security?

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Why would you want a wireless security system? Is it safer? Or is it in reality more susceptible to dismantling by burglars? We show you the ins and outs of wireless home security systems, who makes the best ones, and why you may (or may not) want to upgrade to one if you are currently on a hardwired system. We conduct annual reviews of security companies, and have listed our top 3 wireless security systems at right for your convenience.

First, what exactly does wireless mean? Does it mean the components of your home alarm system (i.e. sensors) are wireless (as opposed to hardwired)? Or does it mean that the signal your alarm system sends to the monitoring station is sent via wireless transmission? That depends entirely on the type of home alarm system you opt for.

Wireless Home Alarm Systems

The options you have when choosing a wireless home alarm system basically break down to the following, increasing in price as you go down the list:

  • A system using wireless components (sensors), and your broadband Internet connection to transmit a signal to your monitoring station.
  • A wireless system that uses a cellular (wireless) signal to transmit data to your monitoring station.
  • A wireless system with a cellular connection and web based alerts (interactive monitoring) that lets you monitor and manage your system from the Internet.

The last option is as wireless as it gets. Not only are your alarm system components (sensors) wireless, which lets you move them around the house as you please (compared to a hard-wired installation, where the sensors are fixed into place); but the signal is also sent via cellular, wireless transmission to your central monitoring station. Note that this cellular signal does not transmit on the same network as your cell phone calls. After all, you wouldn’t want a “dropped call” scenario resulting in a break-in. The last option, while the most expensive, is also the most secure. Finally, you have the option for signing up for interactive monitoring – this basically gives you the ability to sign in to your alarm system from the Internet and manage your contacts, sensors, and alert settings.

Interactive Monitoring of Your Wireless System

Home Security Monitoring AppsMost home alarm system companies that use GE equipment will be able to offer you an interactive monitoring service that allows you to manage and administrate your wireless system while away from home. Most of the monitoring is done by alarm.com, a company that used to sell its own monitoring service, but now contracts everything out through authorized dealers. The alarm.com monitoring service is easy to use. You’ll receive website login information to a site that will allow you to access your alarm system from anywhere. You can disarm it online, set authorized users, volume and display settings, alerts (want to know what the babysitter is up to?) and more. The best part about this is that there are now apps that you can use to access your interactive monitoring site. Just search for “alarm.com” in your app store.

Check On Your Home While You’re Away

We found this particularly useful (and comforting) as we could check on any type of activity that was happening while we were gone. And if you have monitored video cameras installed, you can take things a step further and keep an actual eye on happenings inside, outside, and around your home.

Wireless = Do It Yourself

Do it yourself wireless alarm systemOne of the biggest advantages of a wireless home alarm system is the fact that you can install it yourself. So a wireless system is in essence a DIY (Do It Yourself) security system. The installation for most systems won’t take long – and simply involves sticking sensors in various locations in your home. You’ll usually want sensors behind all your doors, including your garage doors. Window sensors, while a good idea in the back of your home, can be replaced by motion sensors that cover the same area. In fact, you can usually cover several windows with one motion sensor. There’s also a price advantage in using motion sensors over window sensors – and that is, you can get one sensor instead of several. Not only will you not have to buy several window sensors, you also won’t need a glass break sensor, which is important in addition to a window sensor (if a burglar breaks the glass on a windows, the standard window sensor, which senses movement of the window frame, won’t be triggered).

Save on Installation and Moving Costs

The other advantage to a wireless system that you install yourself is that you can save not only on installation costs, but on moving costs. If you ever need to move, you a) won’t have to uninstall all your hard wired sensors, control panel, etc. and try and move them (which can be a pain; ie. wireless sensors and components are much easier to move around), and b) you may well save on re-installation costs. Most home alarm companies that offer wireless DIY security systems should allow you to move the system to your new home at no additional charge. Furthermore, it will be much easier to actually move your system. When we moved ours, all we did was pack up all the sensors, components, and control panel, box them up, move them, and re-install them. Didn’t take more than a couple hours in total.

So What is The Best Wireless Home Alarm System?

We conduct annual independent, unbiased reviews of alarm companies and thoroughly investigate their security system offerings. Read our reviews on home security systems for the lo-down on which security system is right for you and your budget.

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About Alex Schenker

Alex has in-depth experience with security systems, security software, identity protection and privacy legislation. He loves tennis, hiking, and surfing.
  • Anonymous

    I think this article down plays the fact that a wired alarm system, if installed correctly, can be just as effective as a wireless security system. The advantage to a wired system is that you don’t have to worry about replacing the batteries. In addition, you can securely mount sensors and motion detectors, etc. by drilling them into high corners of rooms, and you won’t have to worry about the self-adhesive tape or whatever you use to install the wireless sensors, to come undone.

    Am I the only one that doesn’t see a problem taking a little bit of time to correctly install a wired system? I’m all about installing a product and being able to have it stand on its own two legs for a while, and running wires is not too difficult once you wrap your head around it.

    • Anonymous

      True, a wired system is not hard to install if you have a professional doing it for you. But I think what the article is pointing out are some of the other advantages of a wireless system. Namely that you can easily move the entire system if you relocate. If all your equipment is hard-wired into your home, that becomes more difficult, and is also why most companies will charge you a relocation fee. Another benefit to wireless is that it’s easy to install on your own – you don’t need to have some guy drilling holes in all your walls. As for the batteries – my security company sends me new batteries long before they run dry. All I do is pop the cover on a few sensors, insert the new batteries, and they’re back up and running.

  • Anonymous

    Do you know of a home alarm system company that provides wireless video monitoring? I’m looking for a way to not only monitor my video cameras, but engage events (messages, reminders, alarms, etc.) based on sensor triggers. For example – if my dog shows up in a video feed, I might want a speaker to say “No Rudolph.” (I’m trying to get him to stay out of my planters while I’m gone).

    I know this sounds pretty advanced, but is anything like this possible yet?

    • a secure life

      Front Point has started offering just that. As part of their new “home automation” offerings, you can get wireless video surveillance. You can watch a live feed of the video online or on your mobile phone (there’s apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android). You can even capture video clips of motion and have them sent to you by e-mail or MMS. To find out exactly how this works, visit their website or give them a call at (888) 268-6273.

  • Anonymous

    I think you need more than just a wireless home alarm system to protect yourself. By the time the cops get there, the thieves will have taken a leak in your bathroom, emptied half your liquor cabinet, and be on their merry way with your latest high-def entertainment system while they sip on gin and juice.

    People, let’s get real here. Technology isn’t going to make your home any more fool proof. Buy a serious dead lock for your front door, and a double gauge shotgun for behind your front door. Jerry rig the thing so it fires if you’re not at home and the front door opens.

    That’s home security.

  • Anonymous

    Unbelievable – I always thought it was enough to simply have a security sign in your back yard to prevent your home from getting burglarized. But one of our neighbors just had their house broken into, and the thieves took the security system with them!!

    The scary part is that our neighbor and her daughter were in the house when the thieves came in the back. She got her daughter out of bed and they exited a side door while calling the police.

    Bottom line – we are getting a wireless system. The old systems running on phone lines are too easy for the thieves to disable!

  • Anonymous

    For those that don’t want to worry with the monitoring, consider simply obtaining the equipment at your local hardware store to build your own security system. This is how I have it setup. I’ve got everything from motion sensors to video cameras – at a single upfront fixed cost (no monthly fee). I have the system setup to txt and email myself, family members, and friends, in the event of a break-in – all who are instructed to call 911 immediately.

    This approach not only is often faster than a central monitoring station – it gets the authorities on the road instantly. With monitored alarm systems, you have to wait for the central monitoring station to call you and confirm that the event was not a false alarm, after which they release the authorities. And if they can’t get a hold of you, they usually try calling your spouse as well. By this time, your new LCD and video game system are half way out the door.

    Granted, this approach takes a little “do it yourself” spirit and know how, but trust me, it’s not that difficult.

  • Anonymous

    I love the interactive monitoring for security systems. I think this is about as close as I can get to having my eyes and ear everywhere on my property at the same time. I rarely go anywhere that does not allow me access to the Internet, so even if I can't actually be home to look after things, I at least can have the satisfaction of being able to observe my home from anywhere I am. I also like that some systems allow you to interact with your home rather than just view it. I think it is ADT that lets you turn your lights off and on from the Internet?

    I'm sure there are other security systems that allow you to do the same thing.

    Also, I like the fact that I don't have wires all over my house. But one of the very coolest parts about this is that I can monitor my children while I am away. I like to be able to look in on them and know when they come and go from the house. Call me overprotective, but I think just the idea of having a camera on them that I can monitor when I am not home helps to keep them from doing things they might do if I was not there.

  • Anonymous

    The main thing people should be taking away from the whole wired vs. wireless argument, as far as alarm systems are concerned, is that in older homes, a wired system can be vulnerable to wire cutting – thereby disabling your system. Do yourself a favor, pay the extra few $$ each month and get yourself a wireless system with cellular connection to your monitoring station. You’ll be able to sleep more soundly at night, and you, your family, and your neighbors (well, unless they don’t have a system themselves) will thank you for it.

  • kathy

    Thanks for the info.

  • Anonymous

    For those of you that have never tried a wireless home alarm system, you won’t want to go back. And by wireless, I mean wireless sensors with cellular signal. We had to move our old alarm system that was hardwired into our house, and the process was a huge pain in the butt. Once we finally had it moved, it turned out that our local security provider couldn’t use the sensors.

    Completely frustrated, we went out and bought wireless GE sensors and asked them to monitor those. Folks: the self-install is easy, and having wireless sensors, combined with monitoring on the web, will let you actually make use of your alarm system. You’ll find out if there’s a break-in the second it happens, and won’t have to wait to find out from the cops that your new plasma screen has left the building.

  • Anonymous

    I love the idea that I can monitor my home while I am out and about, but I do have some concerns about the security of that particular feature.

    If you have a system that isn't wireless, a potential theif can cut the lines to your system, but one would assume that the company who provides your security system would be aware of potential attacks like these and have a safeguard in place, even if it's in the form of alerting the police that your home is under attack in some way. Even an elecrical outage might trigger something like this.

    The problem that I see with a wireless system is that any hacker can have access to your home in a matter of minutes, without any kind of security alert being triggered. Of course, I don't know enough about how wireless systems work to be able to even consider how this might be avoided other than the usual methods of keeping a secure password, but I do know enough to imagine that if you can access your home security system from the Internet or from your phone, so can an intelligent hacker.

    In fact, I would even go o far as to say that the wireless systems might be the easiest systems for a thief to get through. They don't have to sneak on your lawn or anything like that. They can circumvent your system while they sit in their kitchen with their buddies and make plans to rob your home. And if you have cameras n your wireless system, they can actually see where they are going before they ever get inside the home.

  • Anonymous

    Great post! I wish I had found this little guide to getting an alarm system last month when my wife and I were trying to find the right company. For us the I think the most important part of the process that really stuck and seemed to help us was getting multiple quotes from all the companies that operated in our area. We got multiple free quotes from best alarm systems. I found this site to be a great resource.

  • Anonymous

    Doberman Security Products, Inc. provides a unique line of high quality security products for everyday use. With Doberman, you can afford to protect your home, your children, your valuables, and yourself, all at the same time. The Doberman Security product lines give comprehensive protection wherever and whenever you need extra security. Doberman Security: your personal watchdog.

  • Anonymous

    This article provides a very clear and fairly detailed treatment of the topic of wireless home alarm systems. The author starts by pointing out that wireless systems have been around already fro quite some time; it has only been in the last few years that they have started to gain a tremendous amount of popularity due to some unique advantages.

    The idea behind a wireless system is that a would be burglar is not able to easily disable the system by simply cutting a wire or two. This should serve to make your home more secure and safe. Of course, the author also points out (correctly) that there are still different types of wireless systems. The most basic setup is where a wireless signal is sent using an internet broadband connection to transmit between your home and the monitoring station.

    The most secure type of system is one which communicates over a cellular network. It should be pointed out that this is different from the typical cellular phone network that you may be familiar with. This is much more stable and secure, without the concerns of any downtime. 

  • Anonymous

    I do not think I would have any other kind of security system than a wireless one. Judging by the time it takes the police around here to do anything at all, relying on them to respond as fast as I would is like asking me grandma to set up a website for me. I can wait until I am blue in the face and it still is not going to happen. Mind you, the town I live in is only one square mile, but it takes the police twenty minutes to show up to a knife fight, much less a theft.

    I like the wirelss system because it means I can actually leave my house and still monitor it. And really, since everyone in this town knows everyone, all they need to do is see me pull in the driveway and they would leave.

    As far as the setup goes, there is no way I would waste my money paying someone to install a security system that is so easy to set up all by myself. If you can set up a router, you can set up a wireless alarm system. I know that it sounds like a really big deal to do, but it used to sound like a big deal to talk to someone overseas while watching them on video…and people now do that every day. Go wireless and set it up yourself. You'll feel much safer.

  • Anonymous

    This article also really made me think about what is truly important in terms of having a good workable security system. Obviously, I agree with the main point that is a wireless system is far superior to a wired or old-school traditional security system. I do not think that there can be anyone to question that today. Why even take the chance of suffering a power outage or having a potential burglar cut wires and knock out your system?

    I also think that possibly the most critical component of your wireless security system is the monitoring. You want to find a company that is as committed to the safety and security of your property and family as you are. The author mentions how most of the alarm and monitoring companies today use alarm.com for their entire back end monitoring services. This sent me off to do some research on alarm.com. What is discovered is that they are an incredibly solid and focused company. I would certainly feel confident in recommending them to a homeowner interested in finding a good solution to keep them secured.

    Many of these services offered by alarm.com (generally through a number of independent agents) are quite high tech, not to mention just downright cool! I especially like the idea of being able to control and manage all the functions of my security system right from the palm of my hand, using a smart phone. You can disarm and arm the system just with the push of a button. You can also decide how to receive system alerts and updates. These can be sent via text messages to your cell phone and/or email alerts. It is actually quite similar to using an app on the phone to check the news or weather or do your banking.

    I also discovered that not only is this technology convenient, it is also VERY reliable. The connection is a bit different than your ordinary cell phone. They work over a slightly higher bandwidth network, using GSM cell phone telephones. This allows them to maintain a continuous, dedicated, encrypted link. It will continue to function even if cell phone or internet service is down. It also can run off of the security systems back up battery power, allowing it to function for up to 24 hours even in the event of a power outage.

    It almost does not even matter which type of smart phone you have, either, as long as it is web enabled. There are apps for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry. You can also use the internet to check on and control everything. Check the current system and sensor status, arm and disarm the entire system, view recent system and sensor activity and even watch live video and saved video clips. One of the things I really like is logging into the system and then watching video where I can myself on the computer! Using alarm.com as your monitoring source is certainly an excellent choice.

  • Anonymous

    Home security systems are absolutely wonders of modern technology. The author of this piece points out the fact that these systems have been wireless for some time now. But many people may not have a clear understanding of exactly what a wireless system includes or how they work.

    There are actually several categories of wireless systems which increase in complexity, power and cost. The most basic type of system has wireless sensors and uses an internet broadband signal to transmit to a monitoring station. The next level uses a cellular signal to transmit to the monitoring station. The last option uses wireless sensors and a cellular signal to transmit plus web (or even web and/or text) alerts.

    The author also wants to make it very clear that these are all high tech options. The cellular network used is more advanced and secure than your normal cell phone. In other words, there will not be a dropped call scenario that results in a burglary. Plus, with most of these wireless sensors, they can be moved to any area of the home you like. You can also quite easily add additional sensors.

  • Anonymous

    The author correctly points out that wireless home security systems are not a new invention, nor do they take advantage of new technology. In fact, security systems have had this capability for quite some time now. Having a wireless security system (or even thinking about what it is) can be somewhat confusing for people. That is probably because there are several variations that can be meant when talking about a wireless security system.

    For example, does wireless mean simply having a few wireless components in your system? This could include wireless sensors, cameras and a number of other items or components. Just having these would probably not qualify as a true wireless system unless a broadband (and it must be broadband) internet signal or connection was used to transmit to your monitor company or station. This would be one of the least expensive types of wireless systems. It would also be fairly easy to put something like this together on your own.

    Going up a bit in price might involve a system with a slightly different configuration. This would be a full system that uses a cellular signal to transmit data to your monitoring company or station. This could be a system that came right out of a box, or something that was custom designed based on your specific home and unique requirements and desires.

    The next system is essentially a version of the last one. In this case, you would also a wireless system that uses a cellular signal to transmit to the monitoring station. However, you will also have interactive monitoring, using web based alerts. So, you would be able to log in to a private web server and actually see the photos from the various cameras around your home. Imagine being able to log into an internet site and then see yourself on the computer! It should also be mentioned that the cellular connection used in both of the last two systems is NOT the same type of cellular network that your phone uses. This one is actually much more secure and less prone to network outages and problems.

    Personally, I really think that last option is cool. It is fairly high tech and you will have a lot of flexibility in terms of setting this up and then adjusting as you go along. For example, since everything is wireless, if you want to move some of the sensors, no problem. In fact, move almost anything you like. Change the positioning of the cameras, adjust the outdoor perimeter sensors and settings, and even add additional components to the system.

    The author also points out that you can easily install any of these types of systems. Really the only work is in deciding where to place the sensors and just making sure that you will have full coverage of everything in the home you want to monitor. Although the author does not mention cameras, I gather that they would work pretty much the same way.

     

  • Anonymous

    I recently purchased and installed a wireless home alarm system and I will be the first to tell you, I am not the most technically savvy person on the block.  That being said, it was still very easy and I feel very confident that it will work properly for years to come. 

    The system I purchased came with the standard control panel, several window and door sensors, and also a few cameras that I could place either inside or outside of my home.  Along with that equipment came detailed instructions on how to properly place and install each piece of equipment, as well as advice on how to leave room for other pieces that I may add down the road.  Combined with the technical support team that I could call for any additional help, I found there was very little that I didn’t feel I could handle on my own and I would tell just about anybody that they could do the same with a little help. 

    If you are considering entering the home security market, I strongly suggest you look at a wireless system.

    • Tim

      Thanks for the great feedback. I am debating installing my own system myself and I have a few questions. With the motion sensors and cameras that you insalled, how did they attach to the walls? I'm a renter and I'm concerned about unessary screw/nail holes. I'm hoping they might be self-adheasive? If they are self-adheasive, do they come off the walls without any damage? It is great to hear that technical support was there for you, even though you didn't need them. What security company did you end up installing?

      • New Wireless Customer

        I recently installed a FrontPoint system and I am a renter myself. All of the sensors attach to the walls via an adhesive, I have not taken them off to see if they cause any damage, but I have been told my customer service that no damage should occur.

  • Anonymous

    I remember years ago I had a friend who had an alarm system put in. This was before they had wireless systems. He was all excited about it and talking about how safe his home was. I couldn't help it. I had to point out the fact that it was attached to his phone line, which then led to the box on the outside of his house. I had to ask about that. I didn't mean to crush him or anything, but seriously, are there thieves that don't cut phone lines? I thought that was kind of par for the course. And just because of that one flaw, I never bought one of those systems.

    Wireless security is not just safer because of the phone line either. You can communicate with your house from anywhere you can get a wireless signal, whether it is on your phone, laptop, or whatever device you choose to use. I just can't see how it could possibly get any better than that. I mean, you would kind of have to hire and armed guard to beat that kind of security, woudln't you? Assuming that mot of us can't afford to get that extreme about our security, wireless home security is the next best thing in my humble opinion.

    • Bud

      The flaws in a wired security system that depends on electricity and a phone line just seems so antiquated in today's world. I'm starting to wonder how major alarm providers are able to still sell those type of systems. It would be one thing if wireless security was exponentially more expensive than a wired system, but that is no longer the case, they are virtually the same price. Do yourself a favor and don't put your families saftey at risk by depending on old technolgoy that is known to fail.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a huge fan of wireless systems, and not solely for their security features – but finally I have a home alarm system that I’m more or less in control of. I can monitor what’s going on in my home while I’m gone (check on the house keeper), and we can watch our pups while we’re on vacation instead of paying some pup retreat a bunch of money for their wireless video camera service (which are cool, don’t get me wrong). Wireless systems are da bomb!

  • Anonymous

    I have to say, it is just a pleasure to read your articles sometimes.  There are so many junk sites online, and they recommend the same thing unconditionally over and over again, or you can tell that they did not do any research.  But, with you guys, in one article, you recommend a different company because of their customer service, and in wireless security, you recommend FrontPoint. 

    This shows that you are actually taking the time to research your facts and you are actually considering what is helpful for the consumer that is reading your blog. 

    Even though you are discussing commercial products, you are doing what I feel a blog should be doing in any genre that is discussing commercial products.  You are saving me time and research. 

    I can basically make a few choices, based on the facts that you present, do a little research on my own and make a choice.  When you don't have information like this, you just wind up picking the cheapest option, or the one with the best reviews, and then if it doesn't work out, you just keep picking options until you find a good fit which is a huge waste of time and money.

  • Anonymous

    I always had this idea in my head that a home alarm system was really complex. I imagined that there were these wires all over the place and that if someone tried climbing in the window, some security company located miles away would call the police and send them out to your house. That is really all the thought I gave to them. Then I had a son.

    I trust my son completely. But there are times when I have to leave him home alone and no matter how old he gets, I am always going to be worrying about him being at the house by himself. It really is not him I am worried about. It is everyone else around us. With the economy the way it is, people are getting desperate.

    Never the less, I never liked the idea of wires all over and someone else monitoring my home. But the development of the wireless cellular system just changed all that. If I can monitor my home from anywhere that has an Internet connection, I am all over that! All I want to do is keep my family safe. And even if I am not looking at the security system all the time, it would make my son feel safer to know that I could do that. Also, if something happens, I can see exactly what it was.

  • Anonymous

    Wireless systems are not only way easier to install and configure (and move around if you ever move), they’re also inherently more secure. Note that I’m referencing a cellular wireless alarm system. Why? Because a cellular two-way signal is on a dedicated network for that purpose. The same can’t be said of your phone line (which can be cut), or your broadband Internet connection (you know how that goes if you’ve ever had your connection go down or get interrupted).

    ‘Nuff said.

  • Anonymous

    I really love the idea of being able to check on my home when I am away.  I have been looking at several wireless systems, but am not sure which one is the best for me.  I mean good apps for your smartphone are essential, but security should come before that on the list. 

    A lot of times, I come across articles online that tell you what to look for, then they don't suggest anything.  I really appreciate that you took the time to tell us about FrontPoint.  I actually have never heard of FrontPoint before reading your blog.  

    On TV, all you hear about is ADT.  I was surprised that there were so many security options that were just as viable as ADT. I guess just because a company spends a lot of money on advertising doesn't mean that they are the best out there. 

    It makes me wonder what we did before the Internet.  I guess it was all just word of mouth and we got lucky to be informed just because we knew cool, smart people. Now with blogs and social media, at least we have access to cool, smart people whether we know them or not.

  • Anonymous

    We recently switched to a wireless home security system, and we couldn’t be happier! The old system was not only outdated (half the sensors didn’t work anymore), but moving it to our new house would have involved a ridiculous amount of drilling, re-plastering, and all kinds of home improvement headaches.

    If only the wireless systems had been around when we went through the trouble of installing our first system a couple decades ago. The wireless systems are robust too – not these chincy things that fall of the falls when you look at them.

  • Anonymous

    After having had a wireless home security system, there is no way I could go back to not having one. The wireless system has come in so handy. I use it for far more than just making sure my houe has not gotten broken into. As a parent, I can't even express how valuable the wireless seurity system has been. It is more especialy convenient when we go on holiday away from the house for more than a day or two.

    It was not as expensive as I thought it was going to be either. I was really prepared to spend quite a bit more on less than what I got. Because of that and the fact that I installed the system myself and did not have to pay any contractors, I ended up being able to get far more than I ever planned to. Also, since I did install my own system, I can modify it or add to it at any time.

    I like having remote access to my home. It gives me a secure feeling that is far better than I felt when I just locked the doors and hoped for the best. Now I do not even worry when I leave the house because the system allows me to check up on my home anytime I want to.

  • Anonymous

    One of the things I dislike about electronics is the fact that unless they are wireless, there are cords laying all over my house. I went out of my way to make sure that the new television I bought had wireless capabilities and I will spend the extra money for my son's video game console to be as wireless as possible. Not only does the lack of wiring laying all over look better, but it also presents less of a safety hazard. So, of course I woild prefer a wireless alarm system, and I do mean as wireless as I can get it. If that happens to mean I can monitor my house from somewhere else, that's just one more reason that it's the way to go for me.

    I do have a question though because I do have multiple wireless devices in my house. I know at one point I had a cordless phone that would sometimes interfere with my wireless signals or would be interfered with itself. Is this something that I would have to worry about with a wireless alarm system? Forgive my ignorance. I just don't totally understand how the frequencies operate when there is more than one device.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate that you guys point out the difference between wireless and cellular. I know several local security companies that are peddling wireless offerings as the most secure DIY setup, that are not in fact communicating with their monitoring station via a cellular signal, which is the most secure option available.

    • Guest

      When shopping around for a security system, make sure if you are getting a wireless alarm system that it is in fact a cellular monitoring solution. For instance, I know LifeShield offers a wireless monitoring package that actually communicates with the monitoring system via broadband and not celluar. So with this system, if your internet goes down, so does your security monitoring.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with a totally wireless system (not just components) is that the control panel is easily accessible to an intruder. If your system is set on Stay or Away with a 45 second delay, all the intruder has to do is rip the all-in-one keypad/control panel off the wall and the system becomes inoperable. The best security system is a hybrid. Utilizing a hard wired system with a gsmx (cell unit) inserted into the wired control panel placed in a closet or other part of the home, disabling the system takes a lot more time.

    • Anonymous

      This is an excellent point. I had assumed that the signal was sent to either the alarm provider or monitoring station the instant the door or window is opened (not waiting until the alarm itself is triggered), so if the thief rips apart the control panel, preventing it from sending a “disarmed” signal, the authorities would be notified. Is this correct?

      • Anonymous

        Great question – this is a key differentiator for FrontPoint!

        With FrontPoint, the moment the door is opened (assuming the system is armed), a signal is sent immediately to FrontPoint. FrontPoint waits for the customer to enter the correct security code into the control panel. If the correct code is entered, no action is taken. If that code is not entered within the delay period, the system sends an intrusion signal and FrontPoint immediately calls the customer to verify. If the phone is not answered or the correct security code not provided, the authorities will be dispatched. If there is no disarm OR intrusion signal, FrontPoint assumes the system has been compromised, and handles the situation as an intrusion. This is a patented technology called Crash and Smash. Few other alarm companies can offer this type of protection. Typically, if an intruder smashes or destroys the alarm control panel within the delay period, no signal is sent, and the home is left unprotected.

  • Anonymous

    This article correctly points out that most home alarm and security systems have been wireless for quite some time now. While I suppose you could still find a wired system, the newer systems are much more efficient, reliable and safe.

    A wireless system is composed of several basic elements. The control panel is essentially the brain behind the system. This is what controls and routes all of the communications between the various elements within the home and the monitoring company or service which is used. The communications occur over a very secure cellular connection. This is much better than the network used for the typical cell phone; it will not have connection issues or dropped communications.

    Then there are the sensors. These are placed pretty much anywhere you wish around your home. They can include motion detectors, glass break or door contact sensors, even smoke or water detectors. You can also include cameras both within and without the home. A true wireless system can even be connected to and viewed over the internet or on a smart phone app. This gives you the ultimate control as the homeowner.

  • Anonymous

    I know that some people are really paranoid about the Internet and wireless communication in general. I can't imagine that they would be more comfortable with having their home security information accessible through the air waves. In fact, a friend of mine just had a garge door system put in that caused me to be concerned. The first thing I thought of when he was punching in his code is that there is a chance that someone could access his garage door code with the right equipment and not even being on the same street. In fact, he is so close to other roads that someone could literally sit 2 roads over and still hve a cler line of sight to his garage door and code pad.

    I can't imagine that I would ever go with a wireless home security system just because of that reason. I'ts bad enough that someone could come up to your houe and cut a line, but to be able to do it without even really putting any effort into it is just really going a few steps too far. But then, maybe they have some kind of system to alert them of unusual activity. I suppose it would be worth checking out since that's the only aspect that really freaks me out.

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion, a wireless home alarm system is the only way to go. We're talking about home safety here. When it comes to that, I want the best technology I can afford. I had a wireless home system, and then I moved to a place that did not have a wireless house alarm system. I probably could have switched things over, but I really did not think about what a big difference being wireless made until I had to learn about it the hard way (of course).

    Maybe if you have never had it, you don't understand what it is like to not have it. Compare it to dial up and broad band. You want easy, fast access without a lot of headaches. Your home security system works the same way. You can't go back to dial up after you have had broadband and if you are just getting the Internet, don't even bother with dial up. It's the same with your home security system. If you can just look at your phone or something and check on the security of your home, you are never going to want to not be able to do that, especially if you have kids.