Newbie wants wireless security system

Discussion in 'Alarm & Security Systems' started by reneee, Oct 20, 2017.

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  1. reneee

    reneee n3wb

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    Newbie needs help!

    I have read a few posts on this website and I understand that the general advice is to stay away from wireless solutions. We want a system urgently for a 1970s house we bought, and not in the situation to run wires as of now.

    I am at a point where I need a wireless/wifi security system asap. With what is currently in the market, I have looked at Arlo Pro, Simplisafe and upcoming Ring Protect security system.

    Can someone please suggest a wireless solution with a budget of 300-800$ just for entry level low cost monitoring with police dispatch, giving us time to get a more complex solution as we require it.

    Please advise!

    Thanks!
     
  2. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    There is a difference between security systems and surveillance cameras. Brand name wireless security alarm systems are generally good and reliable. Something like this Honeywell Lyric Cellular 3G Wireless Security System Kit (via AT&T Network)
    Dont buy or use cameras bundled with alarm systems...they are crap...avoid arlo and ring they are crap..start running wires..you need to power cameras...battery operated cameras are essentially useless.
     
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  3. drunkpenguin

    drunkpenguin Pulling my weight

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    Well I agree with Fenderman that wired is always better and a central NVR is better also. However in addition to my BI system I do have a single cam from Simplisafe and it's actually not a bad device for a wifi cam. I got a deal on it because they asked me to be a beta tester before it came out. I actually like our SS system. The nice advantage to their cam is they use it for Visual Verification if an alarm goes off to avoid sending out authorities when it's not needed. This is actually required in some cities I guess. I kinda like have 2 separate systems, gives me redundancy. I probably would have never bought it if it weren't for the opportunity to beta test though.

    If you already have an SS system their cam might be a good fast solution if you are expecting someone to break in tomorrow. (Angry girlfriends husband maybe?) But I would not use more than 1 and I would be planning on a full real system to compliment it. If you don't even have an SS system you might as well go with Fendermans suggestion, because either or is gonna take some time.
     
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  4. reneee

    reneee n3wb

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  5. mat200

    mat200 Getting comfortable

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    Hi Renee,

    With regards to security camera system - not a security alarm system:

    I had a similar situation need to setup something ASAP - one of the camera kits I picked up was the Arlo System - and it was easy to setup, however it was very unreliable and had very poor night images along with very short ID distances. If you need something to be reliable I would not recommend the Arlo / Arlo Pro nor any of the consumer wire free products. IF you must install some sort of security camera tonight.. well perhaps you'll have to compromise and pickup one of these wire free kits and as Fenderman recommends Start wiring right away. Note Costco carries both the Arlo Pro and Ring stickups and has a very good return policy, if they have the products in store you can get them setup tonight, and then work like crazy to wire up your place for a reliable PoE system and return what you picked up from Costco.

    It's easy to get swamped with information here, so I wanted to share some notes with you

    Please check out @giomania 's notes:
    Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z)

    I have also made notes which are a summary of a lot of the reading I've been doing here,:
    Looking for some advice and direction!

    Have fun joining us here.
     
  6. mat200

    mat200 Getting comfortable

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    For ID distances, here is an example of my calcuations, compare a good Dahua starlight camera to the Arlos/Ring/Nest and other products

    Dahua IPC-HDW4231EM-AS starlight fixed lens 1080p 1920x1080
    w/2.8mm lens FOV H 110 degrees: 10 feet { area covered 95.94 sq feet covered }
    w/3.6mm lens FOV H 87 degrees: 12.65 feet { 121.43 sq feet covered }
    w/6mm lens FOV H 51 degrees: 21.58 feet { 207.16 sq feet covered }


    ID spec distance and associated area max covered calculations ( 100ppf+ ):

    This is the theoretical max based on raw pixels from the horizontal resolution and the horizontal FOV. Calculations based on data provided in ads / spec sheets. Some vendors like to play games and list diagonal FOV instead of horizontal FOV as that number is bigger and not clarify that it is diagonal FOV.
    Actual real world results will be decreased due to the quality of the camera ( glass vs plastic lens, compression quality, sw/firmware,... ), installation view, as well as environmental conditions ( low light, haze, fog, glare off snow, water rain,.. ).


    Practical meaning: Place your cameras in such a manner that any suspect / subject you wish to potentially ID is within this ID spec distance, as well as in a placement which will give you a high likelihood of obtaining a good facial image ( mount camera 8 feet or less high ).

    compare to:
    Ring Video Doorbell 720p at 160 degrees: 4.08 feet { 23.23 sq feet covered }
    Logitech Logi Circle HD Wireless Security Camera 720p at 135 degrees: 5.44 feet { 34.85 sq feet covered }
    Arlo Pro / Arlo Go 720p at 130 degress: 5.644 feet { 36.12 sq feet covered }
    Logitech Circle 2 (V-R0008) 1080p at 180 degrees: 6.11 feet { 58.6 sq feet covered }
    ezviz Mini Trooper 720p wire free cam at 116° : 6.33 feet { 40.54 sq feet covered }
    Foscam C1 720p at 115 degrees: 6.38 feet { 40 sq feet covered }
    YI Home Camera 720p at 111 degrees: 6.61 feet { 42.3 sq feet covered }
    Arlo 720p at 110 degrees: 6.67 feet { 42.68 sq feet covered }
    Blink XT - 720p ( 1080p version is planned ) at 110 degrees: 6.67 feet { 42.68 sq feet covered }
    Ring Video Doorbell 2 / Pro / Elite 1080p at 160 degrees: 6.88 feet { 66.06 sq feet covered }
    Ring Spotlight Cam wired / battery / solar 1080p at 140 degrees: 7.86 feet { 75.44 sq feet covered }
    Ring Floodlight Cam 1080p at 140 degrees: 7.86 feet { 75.44 sq feet covered }

    D-Link DCS-933L 640x480 at 45.3: 8.0988 feet { 25.92 sq feet covered }
    ezviz CV-200 Mini Plus 1080p 135° : 8.15 feet { 78.21 sq feet covered }
    Arlo Q / Arlo Q plus 1080p at 130 degrees: 8.47 feet { 81.34 sq feet covered }
    Arlo Pro 2 1080p at 130 degrees: 8.47 feet { 81.34 sq feet covered }

    Nest Cam Outdoor / Indoor 1080p at 130 degrees: 8.47 feet { 81.34 sq feet covered }
    Samsung SmartCam SNH-V6431BN / V6414BN 1080p at 130 degrees: 8.47 feet { 81.34 sq feet covered }
    Xiaomi MIJIA Smart 1080P IP Camera at 130 degrees: 8.47 feet { 81.34 sq feet covered }
    Amcrest IPM-721S 720p IP camera at 85 deg H FOV as per chat w/Amcrest: 8.63 feet { 55.2 sq feet covered }
    Zmodo "spoe is not compatible with poe" bullet cam 2.8mm 720p at 81 degrees: 9.06 feet {57.99 sq feet covered }
    Ring Stick Up 720p at 80 degrees: 9.17 feet { 58.67 sq feet covered }
    Canary Flex 1080p at 116 degrees: 9.488 feet { 91.08 sq feet covered }
    YI Dome Camera 1080p HD 112°: 9.82 feet { 94.396 sq feet covered }
    Foscam R2 1080p at 110 degrees: 10.00 feet { 95.94 sq feet covered }
    Reolink Argus 1080p at 130 110°: 8.47 10.00 feet { 81.34 95.94 sq feet covered }
    Amcrest ProHD 1080p IP2M-841 / IP2M-841B at 90 degrees: 12.23 feet { 117.41 sq feet covered }
    Annke AU-I61DR0104#US1 Cube Camera 4mm 1080p at 85°: 12.95 feet { 124.33 sq feet covered }
    Swann PRO-T852 BNC connectors 1080p 80°: 13.76 feet { 132.12 sq feet covered }
     
  7. TechDadHere

    TechDadHere n3wb

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    You might want to take a look at Canary. It's cheaper than the arlo pro but has got similar features and similar cons too, lol. Both have cloud subscription.
     
  8. spork

    spork Young grasshopper

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    Systems like simplisafe are mass market junk. afaik they are unsupervised sensors. In a pro system they have to check in every hour to make sure everything is working. With the lyric system you can use the Six series of sensors which should be even better because they are 2 way. IMO you would be better off using blue iris with profiles and the siren feature to arm your system vs simplisafe. That being said simplisafe probably does work just fine most the time but its not robust.

    I think alarmgrid sells the lyric system and has a reasonable self monitoring fee. I prefer a hardwired system like the vista that stays out of sight.
     
  9. drunkpenguin

    drunkpenguin Pulling my weight

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    The SS sensors check in periodically and notify you when one doesn't respond. The batteries last at least a year to a year and a half so this is rarely even a thing. We've had our system for about 4 years I think without a single failed sensor, and I have about 40 devices total. They use low frequencies outside the range of anything else so interference is not an issue either. Just because it's wireless doesn't make it junk. Alarm systems are as basic as can be so it doesn't take a complex system to do the same job. Wired is fine if the house was built for it, but good luck running cables through door and window headers later. Their response center is crazy fast too. The couple of times we set it off by accident the phone was ringing before we got the alarm shut down. At 25 bucks a month and no contract, I'd recommend SS all day.

    Plus as great as BI is, it won't call the cops for ya.
     
  10. spork

    spork Young grasshopper

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    I wasn't aware they check in thanks for letting me know. I've had the honeywell 5800 series of sensors for a long time. Batteries last something like 7 years. With the envisalink module I have free self monitoring or I can get full service for something like 10 bucks a month. I also like to know that someone can't defeat my system by tearing the keypad off the wall.

    I am slowly switching over to hardwired sensors. I also like that they aren't proprietary. At the very least I want all my pir and door sensors wired. I REALLY like my hw dual tec honeywell pir. I
    will even use raceways. I'm not so worried about having everything hidden so surface mount stuff is fine with me. I've heard a lot of bad stories about wired installs after the house was built with water leaks and such.

    I have wireless glass break and magnet sensors on nearly every window.
     
  11. CCTVCam

    CCTVCam Young grasshopper

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    There's no reason to fear a wireless alarm system provided it's one with rolling codes and jamming detection.

    I have had a wireless system for a long time and it's been great. If a sensor goes low battery, the panel warns you. The sensors themselves are tamper proof. The sounder is tamper proof, has it's own battery and alarms if disconnected from the panel. Mine can be set manually or via a remote control (rolling code). I've had 1 false alarm in 6 years.

    However, I wouldn't invest in a wireless CCTV system. Too many issues with bandwidth restricting quality.
     
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  12. spork

    spork Young grasshopper

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    not sure I mentioned it in my post but the newer six series, dsc neo, and elk sensors are all 2 way and encrypted. Basically they will wait for a confirmation from the panel rather than just a one shot deal. This should make them far more reliable than any other wireless system. They can even vary frequency to get through. As nayr pointed out to me they can still be jammed but I think the panels could detect someone was doing that.

    With any alarm system that you can access some sort of output, like a siren etc you can use a relay to trigger other stuff. Like a bigger siren or even the inputs on a ipcam to send a email txt to yourself.

    I wish the alarm industry cared about the diy crowd but unfortunately they don't and they have the most professional systems. So yes your choices are limited to things like simplisafe but I think any system is better than no system. I put the importance of a alarm system far above having cameras.
     
  13. drunkpenguin

    drunkpenguin Pulling my weight

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    And lets not forget, criminals are morons. Look how many videos people post here of bad guys looking right at cameras as if they don't know what they are. Do you think those guys know how to jam a wireless security system?

    It's not like seal team 6 is coming for ya.
     
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  14. CCTVCam

    CCTVCam Young grasshopper

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    Yeah plus a good system alarms if a jamming attempt is made. Mine detects jamming attempts by actively listening for attempts, and alarms.

    Number 1 way to keep people out of your home is good locks - in the EU that means removing those useless Euro locks from double glazing and patio doors and getting good snap proof locks in such as ABS Avocets or Global Ultions. Unsure of the locks used as standard in the US.

    Beyond that, alarms and CCTV should be seen as secondary systems, more to deter or catch than stop. Just my opinion though.
     
  15. smiticans

    smiticans Getting the hang of it

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    Simplisafe isn't junk because it's a wireless system. It's junk because of the way its designed.

    The system is cheaply made. The keypads are basic and can only be powered by battery. The window/door contacts don't have a tamper switch. Someone can just remove the cover and battery without causing an alarm.

    Only 1 option for a door/window sensor. That sensor is large and may not work on every door or window

    All of the sensors appear to be peel and stick without having the option to screw them into the door or wall. This could cause false alarms in the future. **EDIT** Looks like some of them come with screws.

    As you stated earlier, the battery life on the sensors only last about a year or two. Honeywell, GE, DSC 2GIG etc sensors have a battery life of anywhere from 4 to 7 years.

    The system lacks the option for Dual tech motion detectors. Dual tech motion detectors are more reliable and less prone to false alarms than standard PIRs. They also only offer pet immunity motion detectors up to 50lbs. Honeywell offers up to 100lb of pet immunity.

    The selection of intrusion sensors are very limited.

    The selection of fire sensors are limited.

    The system does not offer 135 degree heat detectors for kitchens, garages, utility rooms, etc. Also doesn't offer 194 degree heat detectors for attics etc. Smoke detectors should not be placed in those areas.

    The biggest gimmick is how Simplisafe advertises the monitoring to be contract free and you can cancel at anytime. While that may be true, the system is proprietary to Simplisafe. If you're unhappy with their service, you're out of luck. Sure you can cancel, however, all the money you spent on the simplisafe system just went to waste because it can't be monitored by a different company.

    Honeywell, DSC, GE, 2GIG systems can be monitored by any reputable UL listed central station. You're not locked into a specific company.

    If you're okay with all of that, have at it.

    Sorry @drunkpenguin the post isn't directed at you personally. I would just like forum members who are interested in purchasing an alarm system understand the disadvantages of purchasing a simplisafe system before they purchase it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  16. drunkpenguin

    drunkpenguin Pulling my weight

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    Well I do take it personally. Thats a pretty long post from a rather old post just to bash SS. You come off sounding like a damn honeywell salesmen.

    A few clarifications are needed here.

    1st, they can absolutely be screwed into the wall unless you cant handle a screw driver. Perhaps you are better off paying someone to install this system for you.

    The sensor fits any door or window unless you've some funky window that hasnt been sold in the last 75 years. My house has 24 windows and doors and I have a sensor on each one. They fit fine on small windows, medium size windows, and large windows.

    I have (had til recently) 2 cats and the motion sensors are not set off by them, but by people 100% of the time. Why would you want a sensor to NOT detect 100 lbs? People can weight that you know.

    I dont know how long the batteries actually last. I replace mine every year to be on the safe side. Unless you are on welfare a few batteries a year shouldnt be something to complain about. This is a ridiculous statement. We pay more in xbox batteries for the kids.

    IMO smoke alarms are to get you out of the phreakin house if you're sleeping. Not relevant to an alarm system at all, but SS does have them if you want them. Once the house is on fire its done, doesn't matter if the alarm called the Fire Dept or you did.

    Lets be honest, an alarm system is the most basic freakin device on the planet earth. It tells you if a door or window opens, it tells you if motion happened, it tells you if the sound of glass was heard. There is ZERO point paying high money for basic tech like this. I've had this system for years and it's been flawless. I have a $20,000 movie theater in my house and if I say SS is good enough to protect that and my family then it is. If you wanna buy another brand I could care less, but don't challenge me on something you don't seem to know shit about.

    And how many times do I have to say this to people. SMART CRIMINALS ARE NOT GONNA BREAK INTO YOUR HOUSE. If your neighborhood has crackheads that can shut down a wireless system you got more to worry about then a break in.
     
  17. smiticans

    smiticans Getting the hang of it

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    First time I've read this thread. It's only a couple of weeks old. As stated earlier I want other forum members to be aware of the disadvantages of the simplisafe system before they purchase it. That's why I replied to it.

    I don't have any affiliation with Honeywell or any alarm company.

    -Did you see my edit?

    - Do the sensors fit in between the top and bottom sash or do you need two sensors for 1 window? I know for a fact that sensor wouldn't fit on my window and cover both the top and bottom sashes (referencing double hung windows).

    Not everyone has small animals. The Honeywell and Bosch dual tech pet immune motion detectors will ignore a large dog like a German Shepard,but still pick up a human target just fine. Yes even if the person weighs 100lbs. If you knew how motion detectors worked you would know this.

    -Most people don't want to have to worry about replacing batteries in 20 or so alarm sensors every year or two.

    Actually it is very relevant. Security systems are for more than just burglary detection. SS offers smoke detectors but they're selection is very limited. They also don't offer heat detectors. The faster the alarm activates the faster you can get out of your house. Smoke detectors cannot be placed in the attic, kitchen, garage, boiler room etc. Heat detectors are designed for those locations. If a fire starts in any of those locations the heat detector will activate and allow you more time to evacuate the house.
    Not true. Lots of variables in a house fire. The house will be damaged but it can still be salvageable and valuables might be saved. I know this from experience. I'm on the local FD in my town.
    What do you consider "high money"? A basic Honeywell vista 20p panel that includes a keypad and RF receiver is about $150.00. The wireless door/window sensors are $18.00 a piece. If you want a hardwired door/window sensor they're $4.00 a piece.

    You can get central station monitoring with interactive services for $25.00 a month without a contract. The $25.00 a month includes IP primary and Cell backup.

    Yes, the Simplisafe system might be a little cheaper but you get what you pay for.
    -I didn't mention anything about them being able to jam a wireless signal or hack into your simplisafe system. I was simply referring to the cover tamper on a wireless sensor, a feature every modern alarm system includes.

    Some criminals have gotten smart enough to cut the phone lines before breaking into a house. They're few and far between but it does happen.
     
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  18. drunkpenguin

    drunkpenguin Pulling my weight

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    You get what you pay for? If that's true then why admit your system was cheaper than mine? People like you are the reason the word "Fan Boy" entered the english language. You can talk about how great your system is all you want, thats fine and its what "normal" people do. But to post for the sole reason of negatively bashing a product you yourself have never used or know nothing about is ignorant and serves only one purpose. Self validation. It's the biggest problem in society today, when older folks get set in their ways and refuse to believe that anyone elses ideas are valid.

    Now go pop a viagra and leave me the fuck alone. I got better things to do.
     
  19. smiticans

    smiticans Getting the hang of it

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    1. I'm 27 years old. I'm not old and/or "set in my ways". If the industry comes out with something better I'm open to it.
    2. I rarely referenced my system in both of my posts
    3. I'm discussing the disadvantages of a product to benefit other forum members. That's what this forum is for. I'm not trying to bash you or your decision to use simplisafe. I could care less if you use it or not. However, I don't want other forum members to be mislead. Simplisafe has a lot of cons when compared to a professional grade system that can be installed by the average end user.
    4. I don't need to own a simplisafe system to look up the specs online and point out its cons.

    As stated earlier, my post was not directed at you personally. Have a nice day.
     
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  20. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    Many alarm installers and companies like simplisafe are quick to bash wired alarms as outdated or tout how their newer wireless systems are better when they really aren't. Wireless alarms are all about minimizing labor. You know what's great about wired alarms that go in at construction, you hardly notice them. There isn't a pack of cigarettes taped to every window and door.

    SlimpliSafe isn't a bad option for the diy crowd, it's better than most products aimed at the diy market. However for about the same money you can get a system from somebody like Honeywell or DSC and end up with a better product IMHO, installing/programming it just won't be as easy.
     
  21. drunkpenguin

    drunkpenguin Pulling my weight

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    This isnt a wired vs wireless argument. Of course wired would be better if available. If the house wasnt built for it tho good luck with that. If i had a small house with 4 windows maybe id be willing to do that, but i have 5 doors and 19 windows to cover. Many of those in a 1000 sq ft detached garage. Wired didnt make sense. I did consider it cause like u guys i had it in my head that it was the only way to go, but decided to give SS a chance and im very glad i did.

    SS is one of the few good guys out there. Their staff is super helpful and friendly. During the cam beta test i talked to many of their engineers and they are some good people who really care about what they are doing. They even sent me a christmas card that year signed by the entire beta team. Customer service goes along eay to earn my money and most companies have lost that.

    My only expieince with honeywell was a wifi thermostat that was garbage. It would randomly lose its wireless card and need to be set to factory defaults to recover. I eventually replaced it with an ecobee which is a far superior product.

    So we can go back and forth on this all day but as someone who spends time on the SS forums a lot as well I can tell u most of their customers feel the same way i do.

    Im glad u like your honeywell, but when i buy a crappy product from a company i dont buy any more from them.
     
  22. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    I probably didn't articulate this well enough, but in an existing house that isn't prewired save for some extraordinary circumstances I would install mostly wireless sensors.

    That said there are some things that you can often wire after the fact pretty easily like: keypads, sirens, smoke/heat detectors, co detectors, leak sensors, motion/glassbreak, a door or two if you get lucky, garage doors.

    Companies like honeywell, dsc, and ge have put a lot more into the r&d of their products. simplisafe's advantage here is that they aren't encumbered by trying to maintain compatibility with products they made 20 years ago. I'm not convinced simplisafe really belongs in the commercial market (business alarms) even on small properties. I don't think they're UL listed.

    I am glad that the diy alarm market has moved on from the radio shack x-10 systems of the 90's
    [​IMG]
     
  23. drunkpenguin

    drunkpenguin Pulling my weight

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    Radio shack serves as a good point to my earlier comment. People that refuse to change with the times get left behind and eventually shut their doors. I know this forum likes bashing wireless, but there is a place for it and it's not going away any time soon. With my background I could easily make a wireless camera system work just fine. For the average person this would be a bad idea to promote because of limited RF spectrum, interference, and lack of know how. These issues are generally non existent with a wireless alarm as the freqs licensed to them are not heavily used by anyone else, if at all.

    The only real difference between a wired alarm and a wireless is how it sends a signal to the base station. One uses a wire as an antenna and one uses radio waves which exist in nature. And in case anyone wasn't aware, wireless travels at the speed of light and you are talking about tiny packets of data here.

    IMO SS can't be beat and this forum won't change my mind on that. The couple times we accidentally set the alarm off (because we did something stupid) the dispatch center was calling before we got the system shut off. What more do you need from a system like this?