When considering a new alarm system for your home or commercial premises you will no doubt want to weigh up the pros and cons of a wired system against those for wireless burglar alarms. You are not alone...
So, using the traditional "system-off" style, we've laid out the facts in a wired vs wireless comparison to help you make the right choice. Let's start at the beginning with a brief explanation of each type of alarm system.
Wired alarm systems are the older solution of the two but are still relevant, widely used systems. Wired burglar alarms have cabling connecting the control panel to the sensors, and the sensors to the power source.
Once upon a time, these were considered the most reliable option out of the two systems. However, recent wireless technology is a lot more reliable and evens out the playing field.
It is worth noting that, although the name suggests a wireless burglar alarm system is completely without wires, the control panel is wired to a power source - otherwise it wouldn't work. The wireless part comes into play with the sensors, which communicate information to the control panel.
These days, wireless alarm systems are very popular because, compared to a wired system the perception is that:
And now for the wired vs wireless comparison. We keep score as we go, to help decide your winner!
While the parts involved in a wireless burglar alarm system are usually more expensive, the labour time required to install a system without wires is considerably lower than a wired one. This means a wireless system is quicker to install and causes less disruption to home life or business operations.
Although wireless alarm systems have the cheapest installation fees, this saving can be curtailed in larger properties. The number of sensors needed for proper coverage depends on the size of your house or business premises and the number of rooms and/or levels that require protection.
It's simple maths, the more equipment needed, the more expensive the system outlay becomes.
Nevertheless, in most cases wireless is the cheaper, quicker option for both homes and business properties. Wireless wins this round.
Wireless 1 - 0 Wired
DID YOU KNOW: Installing an alarm system in your commercial property or at home could reduce your insurance premiums? This is because insurers recognise that an alarm system acts as a deterrent and the risk of a break-in is often halved.
It is much easier to add an extension to a wireless alarm system compared to its wired counterpart. All we have to do is install the new sensor, program it into the system and the job is done. Wired systems are far more complex as wiring restrictions and complications are inevitable.
In your home, it's not usually desirable to run a cable from the control panel to the furthest corner of the room. It's a similar story in business premises, the far flung corner of a factory may just not warrant extensive wiring. There's a trade-off between the amount of cabling and optimal positioning of sensors.
In contrast, a wireless system allows the home or business owner to have detectors in even difficult to reach locations because wiring is not an issue. Obstructions like tall shelves or machinery no longer make placement tricky.
Also, wireless equipment can be easily disconnected and removed for maintenance work to your property. And, of course, upgrading equipment is a simple process of swapping the old sensor with a new one.
So on flexibility, we have to go with wireless, 2-0!
Wireless 2 - 0 Wired
Wireless burglar alarms require the ongoing cost of replacement sensor batteries. This adds up in the long run.
Despite the more disruptive installation process for a wired alarm system, once the wires are in, they're in for good. Even if you decide to upgrade your system, the existing cabling can be reused. This is important to remember...
Note that regular maintenance is encouraged to keep your system in good working order. Whichever system you choose, maintenance will delay the need to replace equipment while keeping ongoing costs down. Just like your car, your alarm system needs to be serviced to help identify and prevent issues that could end up costing you an arm and a leg.
So wired is able to pull one back - this comparison is no whitewash!
Wireless 2 - 1 Wired
Most definitely! Whether you need a pet friendly alarm that won't be triggered by your fluffy friend, or a zonal alarm system that safeguards the nursery so you can get on with the housework worry-free, there is a wired or wireless home alarm system for you!
Zonal alarm systems aren't only for domestic properties;
medium to large sized businesses may want the facility to set the alarm and lock up the stock room, while letting late workers or cleaners roam the rest of the building worry-free.
Can't separate them on variety, so it's a point each.
Wireless 3 - 2 Wired
A few years ago, we would have told you that a wired intruder alarm system was the more reliable option. But now, both systems are sufficiently reliable - with one caveat. A wireless systems requires equipment to be within a certain distance of the control panel and other devices to maintain connectivity.
Wireless systems, similar to Wifi routers, are still subject to interference which can cause sensors to respond unpredictably, but it is rare. Electromagnetic interference comes from baby monitors, remote controls, power lines and fluorescent lighting. While structural interference is caused by walls, floors and ceilings.
Concerns about signal interference have generally been eliminated by the leading manufacturers as wireless technology has advanced.
As part of our NSI Gold status, we are required to supply only quality products. We only use the industry's leading manufacturers, so that your security system never fails you in your time of need.
Obviously, with a wired system none of these concerns is a problem. While if something does go wrong, parts for wired alarms are easier to source.
It's close, but wired edges it and draws level.
Wireless 3 - 3 Wired
No, Police response can be attained with either system.
However, your alarm will need to meet specific requirements before the Police will agree to respond to your alarm activations - learn more about getting a Police monitored systems here.
So it's a draw as we enter our final round!
Wireless 4 - 4 Wired
Everyone at Blake Fire & Security Systems takes great pride in our neat and tidy installations - whether they are wired or wireless burglar alarm systems. With a professional installation, your home or business decoration will not be ruined. However, a wireless system usually provides the nicer finish as there are, obviously, fewer wires to conceal.
So it's a late winner for wireless 4-3!
Wireless 5 - 4 Wired
DID YOU KNOW: Although you can have a wireless burglar alarm system for the home, wireless CCTV systems aren't viable for most domestic properties. This is because wire-free cameras use more power to transmit the data wirelessly and the batteries cannot handle the strain - they need replacing far too often. Wired is the only option with CCTV.
If you were looking for a quick answer, we're sorry to disappoint you. Although wireless wins on points, it really is down to the layout of your property, the needs of your family or business and, of course, your budget. Sadly, this comparison is not definitive!
There are two options available for a reason - they both have their advantages and disadvantages but the right choice for you may not be right for your neighbour. It all depends on your situation.
Wired systems tend to suit smaller properties or new builds, where cabling is less of an issue. Conversely, wireless systems are favourable in premises and buildings where appearance is critical - listed buildings for example. Again, this is not definitive!
If you are in any doubt, speak to the experts. Our friendly staff can talk you through the options suitable for your property, whether that's commercial or domestic. Just call us on 01702 447800.
Blake Fire & Security Systems have approval from both of the leading professional accreditation bodies in the industry, NSI Gold and SSAIB. This proves that we care passionately about the standard of work and service we provide.
As a business or domestic customer your installation will be a security system that suits the peculiarities of your home or commercial premises. Your property and its occupants will be protected for years to come. Whether it's wired or wireless, we ensure there's no 'one size fits all' burglar alarm option. We believe you deserve better.