How do I Choose the Best Wireless Residential Alarm?

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  • Written By: Bobby R. Goldsmith
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2019
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Choosing the best wireless residential alarm system is a straightforward process. A homeowner simply needs to consider the layout of the home, decide upon the level of protection desired, and identify the most likely points in the home that an intruder might take advantage of. Once this assessment is complete, the homeowner will know how large of a system is needed — how many window sensors and door sensors are needed and whether surveillance equipment is necessary. While there are a number of wireless alarm service providers, do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners can purchase comprehensive kits and install the system without professional assistance.

Breach sensors for doors and windows are the most common feature of any alarm system. Though there are subtle differences between brands, the performance of these sensors is generally equal across the board. One of the most important choices when selecting an alarm system is whether the inclusion of surveillance cameras are necessary.

Surveillance systems are more varied than breach sensors. A homeowner must choose between time-lapse cameras, live-feed video or motion-activated video, decide whether digital recording of the surveillance feed is desired and whether the surveillance cameras will be static or rotating. The least expensive option that remains highly effective is a live-feed static camera. This will provide a real-time picture of the perimeter of the home during any incursion.


The major strength of a wireless residential alarm system is that the wireless connectivity makes installation simple. A homeowner should look for a complete system, rather than trying to cobble a system together with pieces from different manufacturers. DIY wireless residential alarm system packages offer the basics that an installer needs in one box, but these systems may be too elementary for some applications.

The best wireless residential alarms will feature remote access through the Internet, allowing a homeowner full access to the system from any Internet-enabled computer in the world. For homeowners who travel, this feature should be at the top of the list of wireless residential alarm attributes. When combined with even a basic surveillance system, Internet monitoring can be an effective tool to keep a home safe.

A homeowner needs to ensure that the system is compatible with the monitoring service that they intend to contract with. Most package systems meet the requirements necessary for the major wireless, residential alarm monitoring services, but a homeowner should double-check prior to purchase of a specific system. Also, a homeowner may want to consider contracting with their local police department as a cost-effective monitoring service, but should also check to see what technical requirements are necessary for compatibility.



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