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Wireless Security Does NOT Mean Wireless (Cellular) Monitoring!

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August 9, 2010
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Wireless Security Does NOT Mean Wireless (Cellular) Monitoring!

It’s a fact that the alarm industry evolves slowly, but over twenty-plus years I have observed some significant shifts in alarm technology and the overall approach to providing protection.

The problem is that two of these “Top 10” innovations share the same name, and have two very different meanings. That name is “wireless security” - and today we will get to the bottom of this possibly deceptive and frequently confused concept term.

Wireless Sensors

When most companies say “wireless security system,” they are referring to how the sensors talk to the control panel. Are these systems better than hard-wired systems? Yes, and for many reasons. Does FrontPoint like and use them? You bet! In fact, most of the home alarm systems being installed today use wireless sensors. Here is a short list of benefits provided by this technology:

  1. Easier to install. No drilling, no mess, quicker, and less chance of damage to your home.
  2. Each sensor creates its own reporting “zone” – no confusion about which door or window is open.
  3. Easier to troubleshoot – no tracing wires, searching for the cut or shorted wire, or opening walls to re-run wires.
  4. Easier to reposition, remove, or add more sensors later.
  5. Easier to move the entire system with you, especially if a DIY system (see more here).

Wireless Monitoring

This meaning refers to how the alarm system communicates to the monitoring center. The problem is that 90% of the systems in use today still depend on a vulnerable phone line (or Internet connection) to reach the monitoring center. It’s easy for a burglar to cut that link, and they do so regularly, rendering these “old-school” system useless. That is where cellular monitoring comes in. There is no phone line required – the alarm system has its own built-in cellular device, so that alarm communication is independent, and far more reliable. The benefits:

  1. No phone line required – many homes are cell-only, or VOIP, and most alarm systems don’t like VOIP.
  2. Peace of mind - no phone line or Internet connection to be cut with a $5 pair of wire cutters (see here for more detail).
  3. Some homes keep a "traditional" phone line just for the alarm system - cancel that phone line, and it may pay for your monthly monitoring fee!
  4. Easier installation – no need for complex “line seizure” wiring that allows the alarm system to control the phone line. Great for DIY systems.
  5. Easier to move with you – wireless sensors and cellular monitoring create a truly portable system. You own the equipment: why not take it to your next home?

You may already know that FrontPoint is the only alarm company in the US that includes cellular monitoring with every system we sell – that’s why we say we are “100% wireless.” So when an alarm company advertises a “wireless security system” – you know the right question to ask: which wireless do you mean? The best systems are both!

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Comments
Internet Monitoring: the Weakest Link – As Easy to Cut as Your Phone Line « Don't Steal This Blog
September 9, 2010 at 3:56 PM
[...] lines. The better companies offer a cellular monitoring connection – and readers of this blog know from my posts that this is the only safe solution. The other solution is to send the alarm signal to the [...]
Internet Monitoring: the Weakest Link – As Easy to Cut as Your Phone Line « Don't Steal This Blog
September 9, 2010 at 3:56 PM
[...] lines. The better companies offer a cellular monitoring connection – and readers of this blog know from my posts that this is the only safe solution. The other solution is to send the alarm signal to the [...]
Smarter Home Alarm Systems, Part #2 – Get Notified by Your Alarm System! « Don't Steal This Blog
September 16, 2010 at 5:41 PM
[...] alarm control panel – and the control panel forwards that signal to you over the cellular link (click here for a reminder on why cellular monitoring is so important). You can get alerts each time a door opens or a motion sensor is activated. And you can even put a [...]
Smarter Home Alarm Systems, Part #2 – Get Notified by Your Alarm System! « Don't Steal This Blog
September 16, 2010 at 5:41 PM
[...] alarm control panel – and the control panel forwards that signal to you over the cellular link (click here for a reminder on why cellular monitoring is so important). You can get alerts each time a door opens or a motion sensor is activated. And you can even put a [...]
Burglars DO Cut Phone Lines – True Story of a Burglary Gone Bad « Don't Steal This Blog
September 22, 2010 at 3:53 PM
[...] Wonder if the day is coming when that discount will only apply to cellular monitoring! Remember, wireless does not mean cellular. As the only 100% cellular alarm company in the US, FrontPoint specializes in safety – so you can [...]
Burglars DO Cut Phone Lines – True Story of a Burglary Gone Bad « Don't Steal This Blog
September 22, 2010 at 3:53 PM
[...] Wonder if the day is coming when that discount will only apply to cellular monitoring! Remember, wireless does not mean cellular. As the only 100% cellular alarm company in the US, FrontPoint specializes in safety – so you can [...]
Home Alarm Sales – Top 10 Lies Told by Alarm Companies | Home Security Blog
June 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM
[...] same $3 pair of wire cutters.“Sure, our system is wireless.” Don’t be fooled by this dodge. Wireless equipment is not the same as wireless monitoring. You really want both, but some companies will try to pass off their wireless equipment as a [...]
Home Alarm Sales – Top 10 Lies Told by Alarm Companies | Home Security Blog
June 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM
[...] same $3 pair of wire cutters.“Sure, our system is wireless.” Don’t be fooled by this dodge. Wireless equipment is not the same as wireless monitoring. You really want both, but some companies will try to pass off their wireless equipment as a [...]
ADT Pulse Cost and Review: How Does Pulse Really Work? | Home Security Blog
February 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM
[...] of interactive services. At least that is what the company’s grid says! I’m a huge fan of cellular monitoring as the only safe method, and when it comes to interactive services, consumers are hungry for them. [...]
ADT Pulse Cost and Review: How Does Pulse Really Work? | Home Security Blog
February 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM
[...] of interactive services. At least that is what the company’s grid says! I’m a huge fan of cellular monitoring as the only safe method, and when it comes to interactive services, consumers are hungry for them. [...]
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