Wireless Security Systems versus Cellular: Which is better?
In our many conversations with home owners, it is apparent that there are a lot of confusing and conflicting terms out there used to describe wireless technologies used in todays security systems. The purpose of this post is to help clarify the terminology to help people better research their security needs. There are four common wireless uses within todays security systems. I will describe each below:
- Wireless devices: When installing a home security system, we often find that it is too difficult to get a wire run between the security system and particular location within the home. In these cases, there is usually a version of the contact that is capable of wirelessly transmitting signals bach to the security system. These devices are then battery operated and can last up to 7 years between battery changes. When the battery starts to get low, many security systems will inform you.
- Cellular monitoring: Cellular monitoring is a wireless network that has been put in place to allow security systems communicate with central monitoring stations, even when a traditional phone line is not available. These are often used when no land-line service is available at a property or when the owner would like additional protection in the event that a phone line was cut during an intrusion. These systems require a cellular communicator that is attached to the security system.
- Z-wave wireless control: You may start to here of a security system being able to control light, thermostats, garage door, and door locks. One of the more new technologies used to accomplish this is call Z-Wave. Z-Wave is a wireless technology used for home automation and has been integrated into several brands of security systems. With this technology in place, you can program events such as turning on the lights and turning up the thermostat when you return home. Or to even have those lights on a timer. To implement this, you need a z-wave communicator in your security panel and you need some z-wave light switches or outlets installed within your home.
- Smart-phone apps (Cell phone control): Many people ask for cell phone control and by that they are referring to apps made for most popular smart phones that can communicate with their security systems. These apps basically give the user access to most of the functions of their home security system, even while they are far away. Most of these apps require that either cellular or internet monitoring be installed on the security panel.