Wireless vs. Wired home security systems: What’s the difference?

Wireless vs. Wired Home Security Systems: What’s the Difference?

September 7, 2023 by

When it comes to protecting your home, there are so many options for you to choose from that it can seem overwhelming. As a result, you may either over or under-protect your residence. Panic buying leads to systems that can be too complicated for what you need or not the right system at all for your property.

Before you dive into the world of home security, let’s walk through the two biggest approaches to a home or business security package—wired and wireless systems—to help you understand the difference and make smarter decisions.

Wired Security Systems

When security systems really took off and became the first line of defence to protect what’s important, everything was wired.

This means, in the beginning, thick wires ran throughout the property to power everything from the security sensors and cameras to the control panel. These tended to be cumbersome and bulky and required professional installation to drill holes in the walls for the cables to go through.

Wired systems still have a place in security today. Wireless alarm systems are what most people prefer today but for security cameras wired ones still tend to be the go-to option for people who own their property (either a home or business). Wired security systems and cameras, however, are difficult to move, so once installed, they are permanent.

Wireless Security Systems

Wireless technology is forever evolving, and it now has a strong place in the world of home security (as well as in other areas) to make our lives easier and faster. Wireless tech gives us the freedom to move, multi-task, and gain more control over our lives.

As it is so freeing in many ways, most customers will often choose this option because it tends to have newer technology and allows you to relocate the security system if you move.

Wi-Fi based security cameras also eliminates the need for onsite storage for your cameras and utilizes the cloud to store all data, allowing you to view and check your property remotely. However, this doesn’t mean it’s the superior option.

Hybrid Security Systems

Hybrid technology allows you to own a car that can switch easily from gas fuel to electric power, thus saving money and engine wear in the process.

This technology can also apply to home security. By adding wireless components to an existing wired system, you can boost your protection and keep your costs down.

With this flexibility, you can increase your basic coverage and add features that are unique to your needs. Many older hardwired alarm systems are hybrid system that can allow you to add wireless sensors to your existing setup to avoid having to run new wires to add additional sensors.

There are also options that allow you to upgrade your alarm system to a newer wireless system but still allow you to reuse most of your existing hardwired sensors using a hardwired to wireless translator.

Which security system is better for you?

Each option has unique features that are beneficial for different requirements. Thus, one security system is not superior, but either may be more advantageous in certain situations and offer more features compared to the other.

Wired alarm systems and cameras need to be professionally installed and are then a permanent fixture on the property. Wired security cameras do give better high-definition images and recorded data. With fewer disruptions to the data (even during a power outage), you can view the footage on-site at the press of a button.

This benefits commercial properties and people who have found their forever homes and are at no risk of moving soon. As a wired system is permanent, this is not an ideal solution for those who rent.

Wireless systems, on the other hand, give a feeling of freedom and ultimate control, especially with smart home alarm systems.

Wireless alarm systems are installed in the majority of homes today as most people don’t want to have wires run throughout their home they are already living in. Wiring a home for an alarm system is not an easy task if the home is already built and all the walls are up. The technology on wireless alarm systems has improved a lot over the last decade and they are by far the number one choice for most installations. It is also important to note that professional wireless alarm systems still have one wire that is run to give power to the main panel.

With Wi-Fi security cameras the ability to install as many cameras and other features as you need and data being stored off-site and backed up in the cloud, everything is integrated into one app and is manageable on your smartphone or computer.

Most Wi-Fi security cameras still require one wire run for power. Fully wireless cameras are not usually recommended as constantly changing batteries can become inconvenient.

If you’re unsure about which home alarm system would benefit you, our expert team at Canadian Security Professionals would be more than happy to help.

Security Systems: The Good, the Bad

Both wired and wireless security systems have great features, and there is an upside to both, but there are also downsides.

When looking at wired security camera solutions, consider how many cameras you will need. There is only a certain number of ports in the NVR, so you are limited as to how many cameras you can have.

Wired alarm systems do have a battery backup in place in case of a power outage but the backup battery normally doesn’t last as long as a wireless security systems backup battery.

Some wired systems can also be vulnerable to the wires being cut in the event of a break-in and the power source removed. Although this is difficult to do, and systems have evolved to tackle this issue, you should still be aware of this problem.

Wireless systems have many fantastic features, from smart locks to wireless sensors and the ability to talk directly with people on the doorstep or inside the house. However, they have their problems, too.

Wireless alarm systems use wireless security sensors like door sensors and motion sensors and these sensors do require their batteries to be changed from time to time. In the past you would constantly have to change batteries on your security sensors although with advances in technology over the years most top alarm system brands now have a 5 to 10 year battery life on their sensors.

Wi-Fi based security cameras can be a great solution for many situations although the majority of these cameras will not work or record if your internet is down or the camera is getting a weak internet signal.

To avoid most problems with Wi-Fi cameras you will need to ensure you have fast enough internet speeds where the camera is installed to ensure it works well.

In some homes your standard internet modem/router will suffice although in many homes you will need to install a mesh network or Wi-Fi boosters to ensure your cameras are getting adequate internet signal strength.

Concluding Thoughts

Wired and wireless systems both have their place in securing your home or business. The type of system you need will depend on many factors.

In the majority of cases today we would recommend a wireless alarm system over a wired alarm system unless there is already an existing working wired alarm system in the home.

For security cameras both wired and wireless cameras have many advantages over the other so it really depends on what is best for your home or business. In some cases we recommend one over the other and there are even situations where we recommend installing both wired and Wi-Fi based cameras.

With wired systems being a permanent fixture requiring professional installation and wireless systems giving more freedom (easier to install, newer technology, ability to control and activate features from your smartphone and yet flexible enough to move with you), your needs play a bigger part in which approach you choose.

Canadian Security Professionals will not only walk you through these differences but also talk to you about your needs and how best to achieve them. For a free quote, call us today at 1-877-494-9911, or contact us here.

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