Choosing a good home security system used to be daunting from the get-go, when there weren’t too many options available. Now it’s even more difficult, with manufacturers offering a variety of different systems, catering to different use case scenarios. Therefore, choosing what works best for you can be a tricky task.
Even if we are to take all other differences aside, here’s one major decision that impacts quite a lot of the system – whether you go for a wired or a wireless variant. You have high-quality home security systems in both camps, and both types have their own pros and cons.
With that in mind, how do you pick which is best? Let’s take a look at what advantages you have with both types, so you can decide which one to go for.
Wired security systems
This is the more traditional method and is often used on large properties. These systems will require cables for power, video transmission, and in the case of more advanced systems, an internet connection. They’ll run one cable to your outlets, another one to the recorder, and the third one to your router, which is plenty. You could reduce that by using PoE, or power over ethernet cables, but you still need to run cables.
The main advantage of such systems is reliability. They have no interference from wireless signals because they’re physically connected to the recorder and router. They also have no batteries that could run out and leave you stranded, so you have peace of mind.
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Another advantage here is that they have support for larger systems, which might be crucial for larger properties, such as a business. Wired systems can have as many as 16 cameras, or even more in some instances, and you will be able to reliably use all of them.
On the flip side, the installation time is pretty long. This is especially true if you don’t want to have cables all over your home and would rather guide them through the walls. You’ll also find that due to the cables, you have much less flexibility in where you place them. The other thing is that they’re susceptible to a power outage. Unless everything is connected to a UPS, your cameras won’t record and your DVR won’t save anything without electricity.
Wireless security systems
Wireless security systems aim to improve on one crucial thing – convenience. Installation is faster, you don’t have to worry about placement, and there are no unsightly cables running all-around your home. The signal is wirelessly transmitted to either a recorder, or the cloud, and they only require power, which may be supplied via batteries.
The main advantage, as we mentioned, is installation. It’s faster, and it’s easier because you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to placement. The only thing to worry about is a power source if they aren’t battery-powered, as well as the range of your Wi-Fi network. You could solve this with a single cable, though. These can be ideal for renters because they are easy to take down and move if you no longer need them.
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The downside is interference and the fact that they depend on a wireless signal. A lot of factors can impact this signal, which makes them somewhat unreliable, especially if you have a lot of wireless devices in your home. Most of them will be using the same bandwidth, which might not leave enough for your home network.
Wrapping things up
Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut answer here. If you appreciate the convenience and don’t want cables all-around your home, a wireless solution might be the better pick. Note that you’ll either need to provide power, or charge and replace batteries pretty often. Oh, and then there are reliability issues if you start adding more devices to your home.
However, if you can manage the cables, and would rather go with a “set and forget” home surveillance system, it’s much better to opt for a wired solution. They’re more reliable, you can add a lot more cameras, and they’re oftentimes cheaper, too.