Wireless Alarm

A basic wireless alarm system for your home can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 or more depending on the level of protection you need. Wireless alarms differ in terms of a variety of features including X10 compatibility, built-in voice dialer, ethernet compatibility and the number of maximum monitoring zones a system will support among other things. Several different manufacturers offer wireless alarm systems including GE, Visonic, Skylink, Honeywell Ademco and DSC just to name some. The main advantage of a wireless alarm over a hardwired system is that it requires a much less complicated installation with no cables to run throughout a home.

Basic Wireless Alarm Setup

The primary component of every wireless alarm system is the controller unit which is the brain of the operation. Installed in a central location, the control panel often includes the keypad and siren for the system. With some brands, the control panel serves other uses as well, including a two-way dialer, speakerphone and a dialer.

Other components include the various sensors that are installed at entry points and other zones throughout a house. These may include window and door triggers that sense when the seal is broken, motion detectors for outside use and even smoke detectors. A transmitter is required to send the signal from a sensor to the control unit where it is interpreted. A receiver to catch the signal is often built-in to the panel.

Wireless Alarm Features

Depending on the system, a wireless alarm will be equipped to support a number of zones or monitoring points throughout a home. Honeywell Ademco's LYNXR wireless systems, for instance, are built to monitor up to 40 zones. Other features may include X10 compatibility which allows the system to control lights, door openers and even appliances. Many systems feature full keypads for easy programming and one-touch operation. Also common are multiple user code capacity, event log viewing, internal speaker and microphone for leaving voice messages and remote control support.