What is a Hybrid Security System?

A hybrid security system is a hardwired security system that is capable of using wireless sensors and devices. This type of system is referred to as a "hybrid" because it is essentially a combination of a wired system and a wireless system. Many wired systems can be converted to hybrids.

Alarm systems are often categorized as wireless systems and hardwired systems. A hybrid system is essentially a mixture of the two. When a system is hybrid, it will be readily capable of supporting both wireless and hardwired sensors. But unlike a wireless all-in-one panel, a hybrid system will not be a single self-contained unit. A hybrid system will still require a keypad for basic operation and control. Users should keep in mind that both wireless and hardwired sensors will count towards the maximum number of zones for the panel.

A good way to think of a hybrid system is that it is a hardwired system that has a wireless receiver and is supporting both wired and wireless sensors. The wireless receiver will allow the system to support wireless sensors and various wireless devices. Meanwhile, the hardwired zone inputs on the system will allow the system to support hardwired sensors. Many hardwired systems can support a wireless receiver that has been added separately. This includes those from the Honeywell VISTA Series. But some hybrid systems, such as the DSC PowerSeries NEO Panels, already come with an integrated wireless receiver for this purpose.

Most hybrid systems can also be set up to communicate with an interactive service platform wirelessly. This is usually through a cellular or WIFI connection, and it may require a communicator to be added. This will allow the panel to send alerts directly to the end user and/or to a central monitoring station. A user can also typically access this interactive service platform to perform various functions for their system remotely. This can include arming and disarming, controlling Z-Wave smart home devices and checking the current status of sensors. Popular interactive services for this purpose include Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com.

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