Wireless home alarm systems have grown to be just as — if not more — popular than their hard-wired counterparts over recent years. Most of them are compatible with Smart Home systems like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings. It’s no surprise they have become a convenient alternative for many homeowners.
However, there are also some striking disadvantages to having one of these devices equipped in your home.
Wireless home alarm systems function using a central control panel and sensors located throughout the home which communicate wirelessly with each other. The control panel communicates externally using a “cellular uplink” — like having its own cell phone. Additionally, wireless systems rely on a WiFi connection to function properly.
Now that you know how they work, we’re going to explain how wireless alarm systems can cause buyer hesitation, false alarms, and even security breaches in your home.
Expensive to Buy
Wireless home alarm systems are typically equipped with the same standard features as wired alarm systems, but also come equipped with a suite of other features. These include control panels, sensors, sirens, remote key panels, and more.
The most notable feature included with a wireless home alarm system is the radio transmitter which is required to operate it. Although the ease of installation for these alarm systems can potentially save homeowners money on service fees, the overall cost of the equipment may burn a deep hole in their pockets compared to a cheaper wired option.
In addition to the cost of equipment and installation, wireless alarm systems incur monthly costs, as do wired systems. However, surveillance fees for wireless home alarm systems tend to be higher than their wired counterparts as the system is capable of sensing more activity on the property. The homeowner must also consider the added cost of bandwidth as the system relies on WiFi to function.
Have you ever used walkie-talkies? Do you remember using radio channels to communicate with your friends, and ever being interrupted by radio interference, or maybe a voice you didn’t recognize?
The same thing can happen with wireless home alarm systems, because they use sensors throughout the home to communicate with a central control panel using radio waves. If there are devices nearby the home creating similar radio frequencies, it can interrupt communication between the sensors and the control panel, and even cause the system to become temporarily dysfunctional.
Unlike a hard-wired home alarm system, which connects through your home’s telephone line, a wireless home alarm system relies on your router for a stable connection. That means if your internet loses its connection, so does your security system.
There’s no question that owning a security system is a smart idea. It’s peace of mind for you and your family, constant protection for your household, a deterrent for burglars, and not to mention, it can earn you a discount on your home insurance.
But the type of security system you choose can have consequences — not just for you, but for whoever decides to purchase your home.
We mentioned radio frequencies interrupting communications with wireless home alarm systems before, but did you know they can also create a false alarm?
As systems age, they may begin to give increasingly frequent false alarms due to deteriorating component quality.
Some real estate experts have shared their opinion about the event of a false alarm happening during a showing with buyers present. They say it could increase the likelihood of buyer hesitation, as the buyer will know they are inheriting a faulty system.
Another aspect of wireless systems that these experts point out is that they are often more conspicuously placed throughout the home for the homeowners’ ease of access. This can make a potential buyer feel uneasy because they are being watched and judged by their every move — they can’t cough, sneeze, or pick their nose without it being considered a factor in their offer.
Consider disarming your alarm system during a showing with any potential buyers, and reminding them that the alarm system is equipped but turned off.
Issues With Installation
One of the primary reasons many homeowners opt for wireless home alarm systems is the relative ease of installation. Some wireless systems can even be installed by the homeowners themselves.
However, if not installed correctly, a wireless home alarm system can be susceptible to tampering by an accomplished burglar. If the control panel is installed near a door or window, it can be easily disabled by anyone with a long enough arm.
Incorrectly installed systems can even be thwarted by unintentional damage caused by the homeowner or their kids, or even an unwary family pet.
Make sure whoever installs your home alarm system knows what they are doing. In any case, it’s best to call a professional.
There are discernable pros and cons to owning both wired home alarm system and a wireless home alarm system. Although we didn’t quite outline all the advantages of wireless systems, their popularity with consumers makes it clear why they are a stand-out choice. However, it’s important to be informed as a homeowner, and to make the best decision for yourself and your family. Consider the best choice for you, your home, and your circumstances. Until next week, take care.