Wireless home security is not necessarily what a lot of people think it is. In fact, there is a dirty little secret that you should probably know before you invest in any kind of security system – wired or wireless. The secret is nothing earth shattering. And no, it’s also not a deal-breaker either. But it is something that’s important to understand to consumers who want to make wise choices.
So what is this dirty little secret? It is as follows: a wireless home security system may not necessarily be 100% wireless. The reality is that there are two parts to the wireless equation that have to be taken into account when designing and installing a home security system. You may choose to go completely wireless, or you may decide to combine some wireless elements with others that are wired. A thorough explanation can be found below.
Wireless Local Network
In every home security system, the components of that system need to be able to communicate with one another in order to provide a blanket of security. That means there needs to be interconnection between the central control panel and all of the window and door sensors, motion detectors, video cameras, and so on. This can be done either wirelessly or with wires.
In a wireless home security paradigm, all of the devices in the system communicate via a local area network (LAN). This can be an exclusive network used only by the security system with the central control panel acting as a router. More commonly, the wireless home security system achieves interconnectivity by using the home’s existing wi-fi network.
The obvious advantage of the local wireless network is that a home security system can be installed without the need for any kind of construction. Devices can be placed virtually anywhere in the home as long as the network signal strength is strong enough.
Wireless Monitoring Connection
The second part of the wireless equation is one of how the home security system communicates with the outside world for monitoring and alerting purposes. Prior to wireless home security, those outside connections were made through a standard landline telephone line. The central control unit would be connected to home’s telephone line, which it used to communicate with a remote monitoring center in case of an alarm.
Most of your modern wireless home security systems still allow homeowners to maintain that outside connection via landline or internet phone. But if a homeowner truly wants to go wireless, that outbound connection can be maintained via cellular signals. The wireless home security system communicates with the monitoring center the same way you use a cell phone to call your friends.
Combining Both Systems
The understanding of both parts of a wireless home security system should make it clear that most systems combine both wireless and wired technologies for the best possible performance. Doing so just makes sense. For example, a rural homeowner who cannot necessarily rely on a strong cellular signal would want to be able to connect his system to a landline or internet phone for monitoring purposes. His only other option is to buy a signal booster to improve his cell perception.
Purchasing a wireless home security system with wired capabilities is not a bad thing. In other words, there is no point in going 100% wireless just for the sake of doing so. If a combination of wired and wireless technologies is what affords the best possible protection, that is the way to go. After all, the whole idea is maximum personal security, is it not?