Are Wireless Alarm Systems Reliable?

Written by | Updated May 20, 2019

Wireless alarm systems are reliable because they don’t have wires that can be cut, they are unlikely to have their frequencies interrupted, and they can be monitored 24/7. However, communication can sometimes be unpredictable and they are also more vulnerable to hacking than wired security systems.

man on couch with control panel

Why Wireless Alarm Systems Are Reliable

  • They Have No Wire Risk
    Burglars can quickly get into an armed home by simply cutting the phone line of a hardwired security system. Wireless security systems don’t have this major security risk of being cut by an intrepid thief, gnawed to pieces by a critter, or damaged during tumultuous weather.
  • They Use Serialized Communication
    Older models of wireless security systems operated on the same frequency as other common household items—like garage door openers, motion detectors, and wireless routers. If these devices were near your alarm system and on the same frequency, they could cause radio frequency interference and set the system off.
    Thankfully, wireless home security components now use serialized technology, which means they link to only the system control panel. Each wireless sensor and wireless key fob remote is programmed into the control panel so no other devices can interfere.
  • They Monitor 24/7
    Wireless systems sync to mobile devices so you can monitor your alarm at any time—no matter where you are. Wireless systems send text alerts with updates on the security system’s status. This way, you know what’s going on with your home all the time. Many wireless alarm systems also operate through battery power—or use battery power as a backup—so the alarm system is still operational even in a power outage.
    Why Wireless Alarm Systems Can Be Unreliable
  • They Can Have Unpredictable Connections
    Wireless systems can provide spotty service. Just like your Wi-Fi loses connection and your cellphone drops service from time to time, your wireless alarm system may randomly disconnect. If it experiences interference from power lines or walls, its wireless sensors may fail. Though chances are slim that sensors will fail, it is a risk to consider.
    This is one reason why wired home security systems are the standard for businesses with highly confidential operations: hardwired alarm system equipment is generally more reliable because it communicates with the control panel through the wiring, which is dependable unless damaged.
  • They Can Be Vulnerable to Hacking
    Just like any home electronic device that uses a wireless signal, wireless home security systems are susceptible to hacking. People can use software that sends false alarms, disarms a system, or observes what time of day the system is armed and what doors are left open. It’s likely most burglars will still look for easier ways to access your belongings—like entering through a door or window—but it’s still a vulnerability to be aware of.

Overall, wireless home security systems are reliable, though there are a couple less reliable aspects. The best home security systems all have wireless equipment and monitoring, and the technology is continually improving.

SafeWise’s Best Home Security Systems

The SafeWise team has researched and reviewed security companies from around the nation. Each year we release our annual rankings. Check out our picks below! To read more, including reviews and packages, you can visit our Top Home Security Systems.

Lowest Price
Best Overall
Best Monitoring
Best Service
Best Budget Option
Best No Contract
logo of vivint home security ADT logo logo of frontpoint home security ProtectAmerica logo logo of simplisafe home security
$29.99 $27.99 $34.99 $19.99 $14.99
DIY Professional DIY DIY/Professional DIY
High-end smart home tech
Customizable plans
Month-to-month contracts
Fast response times
Outstanding guarantees
140+ years of experience
Risk-free trial
DIY installation
Great customer service
Lifetime warranty
Locked-in rates
Many package options
Cheap monthly monitoring
Money-back guarantee
No fancy extras
855-374-4999 855-374-4999 855-374-4999 855-374-4999 N/A
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