New technology is changing the way we protect our homes by improving on older systems to rid them of the weaknesses that made them vulnerable. One of the breakthrough technologies that is gaining popularity in the home alarm industry is the cellular system.
How Cellular Home Alarm Systems Work
Cellular home alarm systems use modern communication frequencies to communicate between equipment, such as cameras and open/close sensors, and the main control panel as well as to relay alerts to your system’s monitoring center. Cellular signals, much like what your cell phone uses to send and receive text messages, have been shown to be faster at sending and receiving data than other communication frequencies. This means that you are getting the information that matters to the appropriate authorities much faster than before. In the case of the type of emergency that a home alarm system would catch, every second counts towards protecting your valuables and family.
There is a common misconception that you have to have a cell phone in order to use cellular home alarm systems. This is not the case. Actually, the alarm system uses a lower frequency than a cellular phone. This frequency is reserved for alarm communication. You do not have to own a cell phone to transmit the signal from your system, and, if you do own one, your cellular alarm system will never interrupt your phone service.
Pros and Cons of Cellular Home Alarm Systems
Pros: Improved signalling and decreased vulnerability
Experts agree that cellular home alarm systems are safer than their hardwired counterpart. This is because they eliminate the chances of any wires getting cut that would disable the alarm completely. Wire cutting is a tactic of many intruders and is an effective way to make a home vulnerable to break-ins. Exposed wires connecting the components, control panel and monitoring center make it possible for an intruder to disrupt your system. Since a cellular alarm system does not operate off of wiring, this chance is eliminated.
Pros: Easy self-installation options and battery-powered equipment
Another pro of a cellular home alarm system is that they are easier to install and can be set up relatively quickly compared to wired systems. In many cases, you can set up the system yourself simply by following the instructions included in your alarm kit. After installing equipment, a quick call to your service provider activates your system and monitoring services and double checks that everything is working as it should be. With self-installation you get the convenience of doing the work on your timetable and to your specifications and have the same back-up that a hardwired system would offer.
The majority of cellular alarm systems run on battery power. This makes it impossible for power to be disrupted should a line be cut or a power outage occurs in your area, but it also means you have to check on batteries regularly in order to ensure the system is always working properly. Many systems that offer a mobile monitoring website or app allow you to set an alert to stay on top of this.
Cons: Cellular coverage issues and building construction challenges
There are two potential cons to a cellular alarm system. The first is that there must be a cellular signal at your home in order for the system to operate. The signal does not have to be as strong as the signal to send and receive voicemails on a cell phone, but it does need to be as strong as a signal that sends and receives text messages easily. Some home alarm companies have multiple agreements with cellular tower owners and cell phone companies so you can choose the services that are strongest in your area, but the strength of signal does need to be verified in order to be assured that your system is able to function properly.
The second potential limitation of the cellular home alarm is that the signal may be interrupted by certain building materials. For example, if your home is made of primarily concrete, there may be difficulty getting the signal to travel between components or get outside of the house to the monitoring center. A good rule of thumb in this situation is how strong a regular cell phone signal is throughout your home and from the various providers in your area. If you cannot send or receive text messages, the chances are that the signal will also not be strong enough for a cellular home alarm system.
How to Find the Best Cellular Home Alarm Systems
Cellular home alarms are available through most of the major alarm service companies and, in some cases, have replaced the traditional wired systems. Depending on the company you are using, you may have the option between wireless, cellular, hardwired or a hybrid of these three systems.
The first place to start looking for a cellular home alarm system is with a reliable company that has experience or specializes in these system. These companies will have the best information about using the system and will be able to provide you with the most up-to-date equipment when you order your system. Also, by speaking to a representative, you will be able to quickly learn which cellular networks the company works with to better determine if your property will have proper coverage to use this type of alarm system.
The second step in determining which cellular home alarm system provider fits best for you is to compare package pricing for new services. Some providers begin with a basic equipment package that includes the entryway sensors and control panel for your system and any applicable warranties plus monthly monitoring services, which can also include website or mobile application access. From there you can choose optional features to add to your system and improve your security. These optional features should be based on the vulnerabilities of your home and property and will usually add a level of protection and convenience to your life.
Once you start comparing prices and features you should be able to determine which companies fit your needs the best and contact them regarding your property.