The Difference between Wired vs Wireless Home Security Systems

The Difference between Wired vs Wireless Home Security Systems

The Difference between Wired vs Wireless Security Systems

Welcome back to my series of articles that will get you ready for your decision on what type of home security system you need

Let’s address the difference between Wired vs Wireless Home Security Systems

As the series continues, my Two-Step System for your security began with Step 1, followed by Step 2. We are elaborating on Step-two because there’s a little more information that you need to make the best decision:

whether you want a wired, wireless or combined system.

The Difference between Wired vs Wireless home security systems

Is that your needs will dictate the type of security system that you will choose. For example, hardwired systems have an edge on overall reliability, while wireless systems provide for a more easy streamlined installation and can be used in places where wired systems cannot be used.

All home security systems wired or wireless are made up of a network of sensors, along with a control panel, connect and communicate with the rest of the world through either cellular or landline connections.

More specifically, a wireless system uses individual sensors throughout the home that communicate wirelessly with a central control panel, which in turn communicates wirelessly to the outside world using a cellular up link.

On the other hand, a fully hardwired alarm system connects the sensors to the control panel with a network of wires (concealed within the walls and floors of your home) and then to the outside world using your home’s telephone line.

A security system can be both hardwired and wireless. That means the system can have either a wireless sensor network and control panel with a hardwired landline connection—or hardwired sensors with a control panel connected to the outside world via a cellular connection.

Most Common:

The most common setup combines the two, with a hardwired telephone line as the primary connection and a cellular backup in case the phone lines go down (or are cut). But these days, not all homes have an active landline.

Within the home, the Advantages and Disadvantages of Wired versus Wireless Security Systems Raise Two Important Questions:

1.)  Installation?

2.)  Performance?


If your home doesn’t have a security system pre-installed, wireless systems will solve several problems.

You don’t have to worry about drilling holes or making other modifications, so wireless is a great option for renters, historic homes, buildings with brick, stone, or marble construction.

Renters or homeowners or those who change residences often will also be able to take advantage of the portability of most wireless system. Simply disconnect and reconnect at your new address.

The potential drawback of wireless, although rare, is reliability. Just like Wi-Fi routers or cellphones, wireless security systems are subject to interference, that can cause your sensor to respond unpredictably triggering a possible false alarm.

Electromagnetic interference can come from many devices, (ie: remote controls, power lines). Structural interference comes may from walls, floors and dense ceilings. However, these issues are rare.

To counter potential issues, each wireless sensor contains its own battery, which works great, especially in a power outage.

Just change the batteries as recommended so they are always operating at optimum performance levels. 

Additionally, wireless security systems are very safe.


If your home has been prewired for a security system, a hardwired option may be a better choice since the home has already been made ready for a wired system install.

If you already know which provider installed the equipment, activating your system is simple—all that’s required is a phone call and maybe a tech visit to update the control panel.

If you’d rather go with a different provider, installing and updating the system ought to be as straightforward as programming a new number into the control panel.

In some cases, a converter or even a new control panel may be necessary, but as long as the wiring itself hasn’t been damaged the existing sensors should work with any provider’s equipment as most hardwired systems contain essentially the same technology.

A great idea and one that more and more people are opting for is combining both wired and wireless options.

So choosing the right provider will be more important than deciding between wireless or wired security. Monitoring can run you anywhere between $3.00 – > $50.00 a month, depending on the equipment, service and if there is a contract involved.

Is One Better than the Other?

Security systems can be both hardwired and wireless.  This means that the system can have a control panel and wireless sensor network with a hardwired landline connection, or hardwired sensors with a control panel connected to a cellular connection.

Most commonly, the two are combined with a hardwired telephone line as the primary connection and a cellular backup in case the phone lines go down for some reason (or are cut).

Battery backups last quite long and wireless becomes necessary if power is cut or goes out due to power outages, natural disasters, etc.

While both are reliable and flexible, wireless systems can be reconfigured quickly and integrated into Smart Home Systems.  And while burglars may avoid a home any security system, the smarter ones certainly steer clear of homes with equipment that is always on, connected, and transmitting, and with no wires they can cut according to a recent article by frontpointsecurity.

In Conclusion:

You have learned the difference between wired and wireless security systems in this article.

The major differences are Installation and Performance. For homes that are pre-wired, you can install a wired system without having to remodel your home. For people that do not have pre-wired systems, move around more frequently and need more mobility, wireless systems are great. Just put a reminder on your calendar of when to change the batteries.

Most systems allow you to monitor your home, yard, property from your cell phone remotely and store video data on your computer hard drive or monitoring facility.

At this point, it is time to find out the top listed security systems and pricing.

Stay tuned for the next article and please feel free to leave your questions or comments below.

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