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Author Topic: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house  (Read 4980 times)

mbrancaccio

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Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« on: January 25, 2014, 11:22:55 AM »
Hi, we recently moved to a 2200 sq' house with an existing older wired system.  We are considering upgrading to either a Frontpoint wireless system or replacing the panel on the wired system. 

Both panels would be GE and extendable to other wireless modules like cameras, water detection, home automation etc. 

The wired system will cost more upfront to upgrade but less for monitoring.  The wireless system will be easier to install but requires battery changes.  The company that did the wired installation is a small local company that specializes in wired installations.

Knowing that the wired system is in place would you keep it and upgrade the panel or go with a new wireless system?

Thanks for your replies


Jonathan

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 02:24:45 PM »
Keep the wired system and upgrade the panel. You would be foolish to install an AIO system after all the wires are already in place. A good hardwired system can also support wireless sensors on top of the wired ones.

I'm curious as to why the wired system would cost more upfront to upgrade?

I'm not sure about the GE systems, but DSC and Ademco both make hardwired panels that will support Graphic touch screens and will integrate with z-wave (home automation). Also, the EnvisaLink 3 will work with both the DSC powerseries and Ademco Vista panels and allow remote control, text messages etc without a monthly fee. 

When it comes to cameras, I would recommend keeping the camera system separate from the security system.  You will be able to find better quality cameras for a cheaper price that way. Not to mention you won't have to pay extra to view them remotely if you keep them separate from the alarm system.   

If you're looking for IP cameras, look into Dahua, Hikvision etc. They both seem to make good megapixel cameras for a decent price. I have two Dahua 3MP cameras that I got off of amazon for $189.00 each. The quality is pretty good for the price and I'm also able to read license plates of vehicle that pull into my driveway during the day. I can also see the licese plates at night, as long as the motion light is on and the night vision on the camera is off.

Also, what is the make and model of the older alarm system that is currently installed in your house?

mbrancaccio

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 02:58:31 PM »
Thank you very much for the feedback.  The Frontpoint system is cheaper because they're offering $300 off the hardware for a 3 year commitment.  We're in our forever home so that felt OK.  The current panel is very dated, it's a Moose Z800R2.  Here's the quote from FP.  Monitoring is $42/month.

Simon XT Control Panel   1   $238.99   $238.99   
Motion Sensor                   2   $64.99   $129.98
Door or Window Sensor   3   $32.99   $98.97
Radio                           1   $0.00   $0.00
Sub-Total   $467.94
Shipping   $0.00
(-) Discount   ($300.00)
Grand Total   $167.94

The current company was something in the neighborhood of $3-500 for the panels (there are 2) and $60/hour installation.  Probably 3 hours for labor.  The monitoring is $25 and includes the alarm.com platform.

The piece I liked about Frontpoint was the monitoring company sounded effective and the ability to ditch the outdated wiring and equipment.  There are plugs and wires in random places through the house with some odd choices probably as the result of changes over the years (house is circa 1937). 

Also, the current company is very old school and doesn't have a website or many employees.  I felt like if I went with a new vendor for hard wired they would insist on ripping everything out and redoing all the hard wired stuff. 

So the question becomes a) go with a new wireless system that seems to offer what we need now and can expand in the future or b) stick with a small local vendor that may lack in customer support for things like payment issues or service calls.  For example, the person I'm speaking with for a quote is the owner.  His installer has worked there for over 20 years. 

Any feedback you have would be most appreciated.  I've never used an alarm system in prior homes.

Jonathan

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 05:35:39 PM »
A simon Xt isn't that great of a  system. I'm not even sure if it has smash and crash technology. That means someone can walk into your house and knock it off the wall and that's the end of it.
In my opinion the deal front point is giving you really isn't that great. You're gonna get 3 doors and two motions. Plus you're stuck with them for 3 years at a high rate. If your house already has sensors on the doors, why waste them? If I where you, I would either figure out how to install the system myself or find another local company that offers better support. As long as the wiring isn't damaged it should be fine (you might have to replace a few door/window contacts but those are about $3.00-$4.00 each).

As long as the wiring is still good I'm going to stick with my recommendation of a hard wired control panel with the ability to add wireless sensors. You will have a lot more room to expand with a hard wired system than you will with a simon xt.

Plus if you install the system yourself, you can go with any monitoring company you want.

Static

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 07:09:14 PM »
Quote
ability to ditch the outdated wiring
How does alarm wiring get outdated?
I have all the answers . . . some of them are correct.

Guyfromhe

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 07:31:41 PM »
Go with a Vista or a power series...keep your wired stuff you can easily add wireless for anything that's changed since the wiring was done.


mbrancaccio

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 01:19:31 AM »
Thank you all for the feedback.  It's very helpful.  The smash & crash is available thru FP but also on any system I would consider. 

The wiring being outdated is just an observation knowing nothing about the process.  I just noticed some seemingly random things like power supplies coming out of walls and not sure where they terminate.  Just a general sense of old appearance and ignorance of how the system is set up.

Knowing I'll likely end up with a vendor to upgrade the current system and knock out any issues.  should I be looking for a particular monitoring vendor?  That's where it gets confusing for me because the companies that provide that service don't appear to be reviewed in the same way as the security companies themselves. 

I was absolutely sold on the idea of an independent cellular connection. It seemed to make the most common sense.  Am I missing anything here?  Clearly this can be a somewhat complex arrangement and for a family with zero time to spend on research and due diligence this insight is particularly helpful

Thank you

mbrancaccio

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 01:33:04 PM »
Hi, this is the quote I received from the current vendor.  If anyone has feedback on the equipment or price I would greatly appreciate it. 

PProposal: Security System Cut Over Moose Alarm to GE

1 NX8E GE Control Panel w/ Battery $220.00

1 NX148E LCD Keypad $175.00

1 16 Zone Expander (if needed) $110.00

1 Cell Dialer $190.00

1 Alarm.com $195.00

Labor $60.00 per hour per worker

Monitoring

$20.00 per month with own phone line

$25.00 per month with cell dialer

$40.00 per month with Alarm.com

Quarterwave

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 01:51:40 PM »
Since I am partial to GE (Interlogix) and Concord 4, in this situation, I would do a C4, which has the wireless integrated for same (or less $) as a NX series that does not (which is an older design - no offense NX guys...it is still a good panel) and use an alarm.com Cell module as they are made for C4...not an add on cell dialer. That way you can do the interactive package if you want...or just basic monitoring.

That NX is almost $400 for the just the panel and keypad...plus labor to install? I do retrofits for C4's for $350 to $400 all the time, labor included....they only take a couple hours. You can put a superbus zone expander on the C4 too. One thing I like about the Alarm.com module for the C4 is that it runs off the bus and power from the panel...but is self contained (not just a board) that way you can mount the module on an upper floor if needed...like if the cell service is not as good in the basement, etc. I have my own on the opposite side of the wall as my keypad, in a closet. You never see it, but it's on the first floor, and I ran the cabling right with the keypad cable. (Power separate, I jumpered the Bus right to the keypad). Alarm.com modules are available using the AT&T GSM network or the Verizon CDMA network...so there is some flexibility. I am not sure the add on "dialers" are. 

bramfrank

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2014, 04:01:18 AM »
For the record, the Concord isn't 'newer', it just came from a different corporate acquisition (ITI) back when GE actually owned the group - it even uses the same keypad moulds, taken from Caddx for some of it's offerings . . . I find the Caddx NX series is more friendly and offers more options and granularity in terms of deployment - they both use the same wireless sensors, if you were planning to go wireless, which is a poor second choice, especially if you have wires installed.

The 8E is way overkill for you unless you need 192 zones, 8 partitions and 255 users.  We're just now working on a 80 zone install in a somewhat large home interfaced with and controlled by a home automation system with smartphone controls - 3 partitions, and so on.  THAT needed the 8E.

Depending on how many zones you need, the NX8V2 (48 zones max) or NX6 may well be adequate for your needs.

I won't comment on the prices you were quoted.
Able1 is a twit.  Correction, Twit is too mild a term.

Quarterwave

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Re: Wired vs wireless for a currently wired house
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2014, 12:49:29 PM »
For the record, the Concord isn't 'newer', it just came from a different corporate acquisition (ITI) back when GE actually owned the group -

You are entitled to your opinion. C4 is actually much newer in software design than Networx. Both panels have their place.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 12:51:06 PM by Quarterwave »

 

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