Wired vs. Wireless Alarm Systems

Security systems have improved a lot in recent years. But many people still ask what the practical differences between a wired and wireless system are. Why cable system still persists? Which one is more reliable? The answers to these questions always depends on the needs and situation, but let's explain both to clarify that choice.

For a system be considered wired or wireless, we must consider how it communicates with themself and how it communicates with the outside world. 

Basically, how the individual sensors throughout the home communicate to the control panel and how the control panel communicates to a security company or yourself. 

A hardwired alarm system does the first part of communications, between the sensors and the control panel, with a network of wires installed within the walls and floor of your home. The second part, with the outside world, uses your home's telephone line. Wireless technology uses radio frequency technology and a mobile uplink instead.

This also means that a system can be hybrid, having the first part of one type and the second of another. Or it may have redundancy, combining the two, with a hardwired telephone line as the main connection and the cellular backup in case the phone lines go down or are cut for some trespasser, dog or improper repair. This method is actually the most common and safer. 


What are the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of alarms?


Installation is the biggest advantage of a wireless alarm system because it is very easy.

Especially if the house is already built, you do not need to break walls and create holes to hide the wiring, as the wired system. The sensors can be placed easily in places of difficult access such as under furniture or appliances. It is also very practical for house changes, taking off all the devices and reinstalling in the new address, with a plug and play system, being good for both the tenant and the property owner.

Wireless system can be used in homes, apartments and offices of any size, since it will depend only on the range of the signal used between the devices, giving flexibility to the project. The same ease of installation you have afterwards to give maintenance.



Using both systems the property can have unlimited range for control, ie, everything depends on the size of the cable installed or the radius and power of the wireless signal. 

The wired automation system does not have its performance affected when inserting new devices, whereas the wireless systems can register a certain latency only at the beginning of the connection. 

In terms of reliability, both systems have pros and cons.

Once stable both systems are subject to external interferences. 

Cable systems may have problems with electrical discharges. Wireless systems, which involve more hardware and software, with physical or electromagnetic interference from other devices or physical obstacles, such as microwave, remote control, baby monitor or walls and metal structures. This can result in connection problems and communication failures, even though it's very rare. 

To prevent these situations, each Ajax wireless module has its own independent battery that uses its own power.

There is also high-tech "Jeweler" technology that operates at frequencies 868.0-868.6, therefore, there will be no interruptions from other devices in your home.


Worse than stopping is the system not letting you know it has stopped, leaving your family and loved ones uncovered and unprotected. 

Or even send false alarms that may scare you rather than reassure you, which would be the function of a security alarm.

To avoid these mishaps modern systems possess more of a kind of communication with the world, be it you or the security company. They could be: wifi, GSM and Ethernet. If one stops, the other replaces it. The more communication channels a system has, the less chances of failures and more reliable the system is. Examples of what may occur is the cut of the Ehternet cables, jamming of gsm frequencies or a SIM card without credit or with a provider's failure.

It is useless having only one type of communication in redundancy, because the failure will reach all of them. For protection to be effective the forms of communication need to be varied and the exchange between them needs to be very quick not to let the system to be discovered.

Ajax has models with up to 4 types of communication: Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and two 2G / 3G SIM-card slots, and the exchange between them is almost instantaneous, except the exchange between sim cards that requires up to 4 minutes. 

Ajax central unit sends a notification in case of electrical power loss and operates up to 16 hours from battery backup when Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections are disabled.

Also as a guarantee of operation, the cloud server notifies the central company regularly about the status of the connection and sends alarms if there is any problem.

In the internal communication, cable systems are subject to hacking by thieves or natural problems. In the wireless system, the most common are signal interference. 

This problem can be minimized using a broadband rather than a single radio frequency. With any interference the system adapts automatically changing the frequency of operation and notifying the user. Exactly why the wifi is not used. Their band and reach are very small and would easily suffer some interference.

Modern wireless systems have an additional sensor which filters possible interference from appliances, curtain movements or pets, avoiding unwanted false alarms.

Another form of protection against failures is a two-way communication, bilateral, between sensors and central. If for any reason the connection is interrupted the control panel will continue searching for a response and if it does not occur, it will inform the security company or the user. The ajax system sends status reports every 12 seconds which significantly increases system reliability. 

Last but not least, after obtaining the occurrence information it is necessary to act quickly. For this the most intelligent way is to connect your system with a specialized company that has all the resources and 24-hour service to serve you promptly. Through the Ajax system you can choose in the application itself a certified and reliable company, that being a local fire department or a security company which, in the event of an occurrence, will receive the alarm signal in just 0,15 seconds, an impressive delivery time.

The future of security systems remains uncertain which type will prevail, but the market is being advanced in wireless solutions faster and with more technology.

Some advantages are already better in the wireless system than in the wired system, as described above, such as flexibility, security and reliability. In the next few years the gap should increase further.

Count on us to evaluate your situation and implement the best market systems.


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