Wireless home security systems do offer a number of really worthwhile benefits and advantages to homeowners, especially when it comes to the installation aspect, and the convenience of operation. However, there are also some drawbacks to a wireless system, which can end up making homeowners feeling more than a little frustrated, and can even render the home vulnerable to break-ins by criminal-minded individuals.
Potential for interference
The hallmark of a wireless security system features individual components and sensors which use radio waves to communicate with a central control panel, and this reliance on radio waves can sometimes be a weakness in the overall system. Any other devices nearby which make use of frequencies similar to your security system components, can cause significant interference between the individual parts of your security system, and could even temporarily disable its functionality. At other times, a false alarm can be triggered by the same kind of interference, and additional interference can be generated if metal objects happen to be placed in proximity to your control panel.
You can find all the same features and functions in a wireless system that are made available in a conventional hard-wired home security system, and pretty much all the same components will be used between both types of systems. However, one additional component necessary for wireless systems is a radio transmitter which must be installed in each component to facilitate communication, and when you add up the extra costs of those components, it can amount to a significant increase over the traditional hard-wired system. Granted, when your family’s security is at stake, cost should not be the decisive factor, but if you’re on a budget, you can expect the cost of a wireless system to strain that budget a little more.
It may seem odd to identify installation as a disadvantage of a wireless system, because it’s actually much easier to install a wireless system. However, because of that ease of installation, a great many do-it-yourselfers attempt to do the work themselves, and anything which gets overlooked or is improperly installed, can result in vulnerability to hijacking, tampering, or unanticipated damage to some of the components. An inexperienced installer might also place the control panel in an area which is easily accessed by a criminal, so that it can be quickly disabled.
Despite the fact that the control panel is almost always plugged into a power outlet, many of the components of the system still have to run on battery power. As the system goes through an extended period of usage, these batteries can weaken or be completely drained, and that will effectively disable the system. It’s true that low-battery situations are generally identified on the control panel, but if a sensor fails to detect that condition, your home would be rendered vulnerable to attack. It’s also true that as batteries begin to weaken, they can have an impact on the performance of your security system, sometimes degrading it to the point where it may be only partially effective.