Home security. There are perhaps few things more important. After all, your home is your castle, and you’d do pretty much anything to protect it and the people in it.
Fortunately, today’s home security technology makes that easier than ever. Still, one quick glimpse at all the security system options featured at your local big box stores can soon have you feeling overwhelmed, even paralyzed.
But before you give up on the tech and start searching for German police dogs and armed Pinkerton guards instead, there are some simple tips you should know. These strategies will help you choose the technology that’s right for you. We’ll show you how.
The Big Question: Wired or Wireless
Smart home technology is all the rage these days. And little wonder. With it, your home can seemingly perform pretty much every function you might need to get through the day conveniently and comfortably, from automatically adjusting the thermostat to controlling the lights and window shades based on your time or temperature settings.
In general, smart home technologies are controlled wirelessly, often through a home WiFi hub or portal, but also occasionally through the cloud.
When it comes to your home’s security technology, however, it’s important not just to assume that wireless “smart” systems are the best for you. Though these can offer tremendous convenience and are typically easy to self-install, there are some drawbacks.
For example, one of the main differences between wired and wireless systems is the range of the latter can be limited, and if there are obstacles, such as heavy furniture, obstructing the signal, you may not get the reliability you want. If the hub goes down and the signal is lost, then your security system may well go dark. Though such service disruptions may be rare and brief, they can and do happen.
Wired systems, on the other hand, can offer better coverage, especially if you have a larger home with multiple points of entry to secure. It can also offer more consistent functionality because you are not relying on the strength of an obstructed WiFi signal to keep your system operating well.
Wired systems, however, have their tradeoffs as well. For instance, because they involve some pretty top-shelf electrical work, chances are you’ll need to hire a licensed contractor with experience in home wiring to do the installation for you.
And once your system is wired in, it’s pretty much fixed. There’s not much that can be added or changed, unlike with smart wireless technologies, where new devices can be added to or taken from the hub easily, often in a matter of minutes and without the help of a professional. Likewise, depending on the wired system you choose, if your home’s power goes down, you will likely need battery or generator backup to keep the system working.
Monitored vs. Unmonitored
Once you’ve decided between a wireless or wired system for your home, you’ll also need to decide if you want a monitored or unmonitored package. You can purchase WiFi security cameras that can be programmed to send real-time alerts to your computer or smartphone when motion is detected or a point of entry is breached. With these smart systems, you can even monitor your home yourself, often simply by logging into a secure, dedicated website linked to your camera feed.
If you want to take your security to the next level, however, you can purchase 24/7 security monitoring from a reputable service such as ADT or SimpliSafe. Depending on the package you choose, you can get both your devices and their installation included in your service contract. That can take away a lot of the stress of trying to keep watch over your home yourself. Plus, you’ll likely qualify for reduced rates in your homeowner’s insurance!
The world of home security technology is vast and growing, but that doesn’t mean you have to drown in a sea of mysterious tech. You can transform your home into a fortress of safety, and you don’t need a Masters in Engineering from MIT or a Bezos-sized bank account to do it. You simply have to know what you need and want from your system, whether wired or wireless, monitored or unmonitored.