What Is the Difference Between a Wired and Wireless Security System?

The difference between a wired and wireless security system is that a wireless system comes with a built-in display screen and wireless receiver. But for a wired system, such hardware will have to be added separately. In general, wireless systems require fewer add-ons than wired systems.

Many of the newer wireless security systems are all-inclusive, and they come with everything needed for an alarm panel to get up and running. This can include a touchscreen display, a wireless receiver, an IP communicator, a cellular communicator, a Z-Wave controller and more. Depending on the system, user will may only need to add alarm sensors to their setup. For wireless systems, we recommend using wireless security sensors, since they will be easier to install and program with the system. If the user chooses to use hardwired sensors with a wireless system, they will most likely need a wired to wireless converter, such as the Honeywell 5800C2W.

However, most wired security systems are pretty bare-bones out of the box, and they will typically require a few add-ons before they are able to function properly. At the very least, a wired system will need a wireless receiver, a keypad and a communicator before the system is able to be used. One benefit though is that wired systems are readily able to interface with hardwired sensors right out of the box, without a separate converter being needed. But the system will still need a hardwire zone expander if they plan on using a large number of wired sensors with the system.

In general, we usually recommend wireless security systems for our new customers. They are easier to setup and program, and their intuitive touchscreen displays are simple to understand. But if you already have a wired system, you may be able to get it to perform all of the same functions as a wireless system with some simple add-ons. For example, most wired systems can sync with an interactive service like Total Connect or Alarm.com after an appropriate communicator has been added.

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