Is It Time to Convert Your Wired Alarm System?

Updated: Nov. 02, 2023

Wireless security systems are more convenient and cost less than wired systems. So is it time you upgraded to a wireless system?

Wired security systems used to be the best home security money could buy. As time has progressed, so has technology. With the introduction of WiFi into our homes, it’s easy to install wireless security systems that not only replicate standard features but often surpass them.

These advancements allow you to keep a watchful eye on your home, even if you aren’t physically there. According to research conducted by Markets and Markets, America’s wireless security system industry is expected to be worth almost $33 billion by 2025, growing by around eight percent per year.

If you’re thinking of converting your wired alarm system to a smart wireless alternative, here are some considerations to keep in mind.

Signs Your Home Security System Is Outdated

  • Your system includes wired sensors.
  • It only includes motion-based sensors and no cameras.
  • If there are cameras, images are blurry or low-resolution.
  • There’s no two-way audio.
  • You can’t access video feeds remotely or online.
  • Recordings aren’t stored for later access.
  • Devices are running out-of-date, buggy software or firmware.
  • Your recordings aren’t automatically backed up to a cloud storage provider for emergencies.
  • There is no remote access to the security system.
  • You have to use clunky software to interact with the security system.
  • Your system doesn’t offer a companion smartphone app.

How to Make the Conversion to Wireless

If you’re looking to convert a wired alarm system to a smart one, you have a few options.

First, you’ll need to remove the existing wired installation. Many of these systems include an ongoing subscription-based service, emergency alerts or home surveillance if the alarm gets triggered. In that case, you should cancel your subscription and ask if the company can remove the existing home security system.

While it’s possible to do this yourself, some systems are connected to landlines or have emergency triggers for support after a power failure or other emergency. Decommissioning your wired security system is often best left to the provider. However, if you have contracts with well-known providers like ADT or Honeywell, you should consider whether to continue paying for the company’s service and upgrading to its wireless offering.

Staying with a provider reduces the hassle of setting up a system yourself and monitoring it while in use. Although DIY systems are reasonably straightforward to install, you may decide it’s worth paying for the service and leaving the maintenance and monitoring to the security company. However, if you want to save some money, it’s worth installing an independent wireless system.

Installation and Costs

The type of wireless security system you choose, and the way you install it, depends on whether you own your home and how much you want to spend, both upfront and in ongoing costs.

If you currently rent your property, the landlord may not grant permission to change an existing security system or install a new one. Wireless systems are less invasive than older wired varieties, but cameras may still need to be attached to walls, and any smart locks would require changes to your doors.

These factors may restrict the type of security system you install. For example, ADT has two ranges, one for homeowners and one for at renters. The Blue by ADT charges on a rolling monthly basis, and you can easily set it up without professional help. Devices also don’t need permanent mounts and can be placed wirelessly around your home. Conversely, ADT’s standard home security system cost $150 on average for professional installation, plus ongoing service charges.

Wireless systems are available from other providers, too, although installation costs may vary. If you choose to purchase wireless home security equipment, most are smart devices capable of connecting to the internet. In many cases, these units need setting up, often with a smartphone app, and can then be placed in your desired monitoring location. If you are familiar with mobile apps, this is a reasonably straightforward and low-cost way to install a wireless home security system.

Benefits of a Wireless Set-Up

  • Wireless security systems are easier to maintain and install.
  • It’s possible to add additional monitoring equipment at a later date.
  • You can initiate software and firmware updates over the internet.
  • Wireless systems are generally more affordable than wired systems.
  • Many wireless security devices integrate with smart home equipment.
  • Wireless systems are suitable for homeowners and renters.
  • Most wireless security devices are battery-powered, so they can still operate during a power outage.
  • Subscriptions are often optional, and premium features complement standard wireless monitoring.