The Difference Between Hard-Wired and Soft-Wired Alarm Systems

Protecting a home from burglars and intruders is important for homeowners. Consider the features and benefits of hard-wired, soft-wired and monitored alarm systems before deciding which to purchase.

Monitored alarm systems alert law enforcement after being triggered.

Definition

Hard wiring an alarm system means all the sensors and alarms physically are connected to a central panel by way of electrical wire. Soft-wired alarm systems are wireless and demountable. Monitored alarm systems notify local authorities after being triggered.

Features

Reliability is a major benefit of hard-wired systems. Mounting and installation flexibility is a major benefit of soft-wired alarm systems. Unmonitored alarms systems work well in areas of high traffic because the siren alerts anyone within earshot. For those in rural or unpopulated areas, a monitored system ensures law enforcement is notified. Monitored systems may be hard-wired or soft-wired. Soft-wired systems use infrared and remote sensors to communicate with the central panel, and they operate independently of electrical systems.

Pricing

Hard-wired alarms cost the least, but if the space has not been wired previously for such a system, the cost increases. Monitored systems may require a monthly monitoring fee if the fee is not included in the package price. Soft-wired systems cost more than hard-wired systems, but additional wiring isn't required.

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