Myth Busting: Newer Systems Are Better Systems

Technological advances are awesome, but not everything new and shiny is necessarily better for home and esp commercial security. Example: wireless security.

You want to get a security system, but wired or wireless, security systems have exploded onto the market in recent years.  There’s a dizzying variety of products, installation methods, price points – where does a homeowner even start looking for knowledgeable and reliable information on how to choose a system?

Let Select Security give you our two cents.

The first question that people struggle with is wired or wireless?  You know, with the technological boom in the last 15 years or so (yes…it even touched Edmonton) consumers have become somewhat jaded on whether the newest technology is also the best.  As the famous Greek storyteller Aesop said, and Shakespeare later popularized, “all that glitters is not gold”. A textbook example of this is the wired/wireless debate.  While wireless systems are definitely up and coming, Look at 5 factors to help you determine which is the right solution for your home.

Ease of installation:

Wired: Considerable laying of low-voltage wiring in order to complete the circuit and connect the sensors, panel, cameras and peripheral components.  This usually presents its challenges for a homeowner, but no sweat for a certified installer.

Wireless: Positioning the sensors, panel, cameras, and peripheral components without the added logistical puzzle of planning, positioning, and affixing wiring was strangely freeing the first few times our team at Select did a wireless install. (Hey – we can be honest here, right?)

Total Cost:

Wired: Cost is basically comprised of components + labour + monitoring (if any).  While the components are stable and usually reasonably priced as happens with technology that is no longer ‘front of the curve’, labour costs can be significant depending on how well-integrated you want the system to be in your home, how fast you want installation completed, and other factors.

Wireless: Labour is minimal, however component costs vary wildly.  Additionally, many wireless systems are scalable – shop and negotiate carefully for packages that include everything you need because just like restaurants, a la carte items often have higher price tags.  Additionally, batteries are a cost to consider for wireless systems.

Reliability:

Wired: Just like the cost factor above, wiring and components are extremely reliable,  because manufacturers have been continually improving the associated technology over the last several decades.

Wireless: The technology is not more than 10 years old and therefore still lacks the ‘tried and true’ factor.  While overall quality is excellent (and improving every year!) customers may find that there are unique inconsistencies in certain environments that designers and programmers are still working to refine so that their systems are as robust as possible.  Additionally, if batteries die and are not replaced, reliability and performance are affected.

Performance:

Strongly tied to reliability is performance.  A quick internet search for “wireless alarm system false alarm” returns a myriad of results that boil down to the following factors: faulty equipment, human error, low batteries or inconsistent power source, unsecured entry points, ineffective DIY install, and pets.  Carefully note the timeframe of these articles; most of these problems have resolved as the technology has advanced.

Wired: No performance issues to speak of, though scaling or adding to an existing system can be somewhat tedious.  This technology is a stable performer.

Wireless:  Installed correctly, performance is not an issue in current technology as we noted above.  People with unique circumstances, requirements, or sites are advised especially to consider having a qualified, certified installer to their premises.

Security:

The issue of security can be broken down into one key question: how vulnerable is this system to tampering?  We mean malicious tampering of course, but pets, kids, excavators, renovators, and the like have all come across buried or hidden wire.  Unfortunately, the realization usually hits too late.

Wired: Depending on whether the low-voltage wiring and peripheral devices like sensors, cameras and the like were installed to a new building or retrofitted can make all the difference in vulnerability to a wired system.

Wireless: Wireless systems have a different concern altogether – while manufacturers and designers try their best, quite often people with a DIY mentality can activate a system without properly safeguarding it against unlawful tampering.  What happens if the system is hooked to your wifi network?  What happens if you have a user interface (app) on your smartphone and your phone goes missing?  While there are no wires to cut a la James Bond, there are still security concerns that could be exploited.  Call Select Security with questions regarding a DIY system vs having an expert installer make a visit to your home or business.

In the end, it’s a tie.  Your personal premises and needs are too unique to recommend a blanket solution for your security needs.  Best bet?  Meet with a company like us in order to have a site assessment completed and your questions answered.

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