What is Wireless in Home Security?

Wireless home security? What does it mean?!

Double rainbows aside, if you see or hear a home security system described as “wireless,” it likely refers to one, if not all, of the following:

  • A home security system that uses a cellular (wireless) signal to send alerts to a monitoring center.
  • The sensors (door, window, etc.) that connect to the control panel wirelessly via radio frequencies.
  • A video camera or home automation device that uses a Wi-Fi connection (wireless) to connect to the home security system.

If we refer to a home security system as wireless, we usually mean it includes all three of the features above.

Wireless or wired home security, which is better?

There are two types of home security systems—wireless and wired—and each has its pros and cons.

However, as wireless home security technology continues to improve, wireless systems are becoming more and more popular—and, depending on your needs, may be the better choice for protecting your home and family.

Wireless home security pros

+ Self-installation

A wireless home security system doesn’t require professional installation. You install it yourself, and in our experience, it can take as a little as one to two hours to get a wireless system up and running. Not bad.

Typically, the window and door sensors, control panel, etc., use a self-adhesive, so all you need to do is peel and stick the equipment where you want it. That brings us to another benefit of a wireless home security system: you won’t have to put holes in your walls. Talk about a renter’s dream.

If you’re not a DIYer, then self-installation may feel like a con instead of a pro. But we like to think of it like this: With the money we save by skipping the professional installation, we can finally grab that special something on our Amazon wish list.

+ Improved security

A wired system means there’s a wire that can be cut by intruders. But a wireless system uses cellular technology, so there’s no way of disarming it with a pair of wire cutters.

+ Install (almost) anywhere

Because you’re not relying on a landline, you can install a wireless home security system almost anywhere.

+ Take it with you

If you’re the type to move around, you’ll probably want a wireless home security system instead of a wired system. Because it’s installed with adhesive, you can easily take a wireless system with you when your lease is up or your family grows into a larger house.

Wireless home security cons

– Limited range

You’ll have a limited range with wireless monitoring equipment, so you might have some difficulty adding sensors in the farthest spaces of a larger-than-average home.

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Pro tip
If your equipment uses a broadband signal (Wi-Fi) instead of cellular, you can try a Wi-Fi booster, extender, or repeater to get that signal to reach sensors in every nook and cranny of your house.

– Cellular interference

There’s a chance your wireless home security system could experience interference. We’ve heard of systems that have issues with electromagnetic devices (e.g. baby monitors). We haven’t experienced this ourselves, but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of it. You might also run into issues if you live in an area with a weak cellular signal.

Still have wireless home security questions?

Get our take on the good, the bad, and the (maybe not so) ugly of wireless home security in our Best Wireless Home Security Systems review.