What Are the Different Types of Home Security Systems?

Did you know that upwards of 2.6 million home invasions take place every single year in the United States?

If that isn’t reason enough to protect your home with a security system, we don’t know what is, especially when you consider that home security systems are more affordable and accessible than ever before.

However, the number of different types of home security systems has also increased, making researching and choosing the best home security system for your specific home a little more complicated. That’s why we put together this guide to help you understand all of the different types of home security systems available and their respective pros and cons.

Armed with this information, you can more confidently choose the best system to protect your home and everyone inside it.

Wireless Home Alarm System

Arguably the most popular type of home alarm system on the market today is the wireless system.

This type of system consists of a bunch of devices placed around your home (sensors, cameras, etc.) that communicate wirelessly via Bluetooth with a central hub–usually a tablet-looking device with a touch screen located somewhere central in your home.

Whenever a device senses something (a camera picking up movement when you’re not home, for example), it sends a signal to the central hub, which then automatically alerts you and/or your system provider, depending on whether or not your home security system is monitored or unmonitored.

For your wireless system to be able to send out alerts, it typically has to be connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network, with cellular coverage costing more than Wi-Fi. People may opt for cellular coverage over Wi-Fi because it allows their systems to continue working even in the event of a power outage.

Wired Home Alarm System

A more traditional wired home security system offers the same coverage as a wireless network, but instead of your devices being connected wirelessly, they are connected through hard wiring to your telephone line.

Depending on what kind of coverage you need, your wired alarm system can be as simple as installing a low-voltage electrical current across your windows and doors. Whenever a door or window opens when your system is active and breaks the current, your home’s alarm is set off.

While harder and more expensive to install than wireless systems, people opt for wired home security systems because they can be more reliable in the case of a power or network outage. This is because your telephone landline can continue to work during a power or network outage, and therefore your security system can continue to work.

Unmonitored Home Alarm System

Other than wired and wireless systems, there are monitored and unmonitored systems. Unmonitored systems put you completely in charge of monitoring your home and responding to alerts.

For example, in the case that your unmonitored system sends an alert, only you will receive the notification. Most modern-day security providers send these notifications to your phone via a downloadable app.

While unmonitored systems are cheaper, they can be risky if you’re outside of a Wi-Fi zone due to not being able to receive alerts or if you don’t have any neighbors that will hear your alarm and contact authorities for you.

Monitored Home Alarm System

With monitored systems, not only are you alerted when your system detects something, but your security provider is also alerted.

Depending on your specific provider, you can rely on your provider’s 24/7 monitoring centers to detect and respond to alerts in a matter of seconds. Whenever they receive an alert, they’ll contact you and ask how you want to proceed. If they’re not able to get in touch with you, depending on the situation, they can automatically dispatch authorities to your home to be safe.

You can certainly expect to pay more for a monitored home alarm system, especially if you want to add cellular coverage in addition to Wi-Fi, but you can also expect far more comprehensive coverage.

The Takeaway

If you’re looking for the most comprehensive and reliable type of home security system, you’re best off choosing a monitored, wired home security system. This ensures that in the case of an alert, you and trained responders are notified, regardless of power or network outages.

If you want comprehensive protection without expensive or lengthy installation, then monitored, wireless home security systems might be a better choice. This is because wireless systems can often be self-installed in a matter of minutes.

Finally, if you’re looking for a cheaper system that still has an effective amount of protection, unmonitored, wireless systems will get the job done.