Wireless Burglar Alarms Vs Hard Wired Systems: Which Is Best?

By Bernhard Mehl
July 22, 2020

As technology continues to evolve, so do digital security systems. If you are serious about keeping your business or facility safe, it is essential to find an alarm system that gives you complete peace of mind.

When it comes to finding the right alarm system for your business, there are two main options available to you: wireless alarm systems and hard wired alarm systems. Most people get confused when it comes to which option suits their needs better. To determine which system is better for your budget and facility, you need to be aware of your exact requirements.

There are a variety of benefits that come with using both hard wired and wireless business security systems. These range from protecting your facility against theft or property damage, to guarding against intruders or calling for help in emergencies. 

In this article, we’ll take you through how wireless burglar alarms and hard wired systems work to help you make the best choice for your business.

Hard Wired Systems

These systems involve physically installing system wires that lead to the central processing unit (CPU). This is also known as the alarm control panel or ‘brain’. They use copper wires that run between the various detectors (motion, door, glass, etc.) and the control panel. Due to the physical nature of the installation process, many industries find that hard-wired systems are more reliable but also a bit more costly to install and to maintain.

Some industry professionals believe that the use of metallic wires offers a more positive connection - reducing the likelihood of any bugs or errors. This is true to an extent. With a small component installed at the end of each circuit, it allows the control panel to observe the various connections present with each of the sensors as well as the detector. 

This small component is also known as the End-Of-Line (EOL) resistor. If there is a short circuit, or someone cuts one of the wires whilst the system is armed, the system will detect this and automatically trigger the alarm. Thereafter, the alarm control panel will notify any emergency contacts or law enforcement if necessary.

The hardwired nature of this system ensures increased reliability but can also be a bit more expensive. This is due to the lengthy wires and labor costs being significantly higher than a wireless option. 

Wireless Burglar Alarms 

Whilst hard wired burglar systems can seem like the best, most reliable option, this is not always the case. Without the need for physical wires, wireless business security systems use radio waves to communicate with the central processing unit.

The CPU supervises all the connections it has with the wireless sensor as well as the detector. Every transmitter within the system sends radio signals to a radio receiver that is built into the CPU. These radio signals are designed to eliminate any risks of short-circuiting as well as wires being cut - making the system almost impossible to tamper with.

This results in a significant decrease in deliberate outages, which is one of the key benefits of wireless burglar alarms. Another benefit is that you can usually arm these systems on the go and control them with your smartphone.

Wireless business security systems offer a wide variety of comprehensive protection measures as well as lower installation costs and relatively easy upgrades compared with hard wired systems. For us at Kisi, this is synonymous with access control.

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Wireless Vs. Hardwired Business Security Systems

The key difference between wireless burglar systems and hardwired systems is how they transmit signals to the CPU. Selecting the ideal security system, however, is dependent on the individual needs of your business or facility.

Due to wired security systems using existing telephone and electric lines to connect all of its parts, moving equipment or adding on additional parts can be a complex and pricey process. 

Wireless systems tend to cost less and require less labor since there are no physical wires required. This hardware itself, however, does carry a higher cost and, in certain cases, may not have the range necessary to cover your entire facility. 

If you have a more industrial facility with thick walls made with concrete and metal, then a hard-wired burglar alarm is probably your best option. This is because thick concrete walls can block the signals of a wireless burglar alarm - making it less effective. 

The central control panels in both systems are designed to look for faults that could occur and report them so that you or the local law enforcement can be notified of any suspicious activity. Thus, the system you choose mainly depends on your needs and the suitability of your facility. 

The Bottom Line

There are pros and cons to each option. Whether you get a hard wired system or a wireless burglar alarm, this type of security measure is essential for keeping your business safe so take your time and make the best decision for your business. 

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.