Picking The Right Intercom System
“Wireless” Doesn’t Always Mean “Better”
People tend to equate “wireless” with a low-maintenance, high-performance version of a hardwired classic. Wireless printers are infinitely more convenient. Wireless phones obviously outstrip landlines in virtually every category. But it’s easy to get carried away; a wireless 2-way intercom system is little more than a glorified baby monitor.
A wireless intercom system is basically a distributed series of nodes that all communicate like networked walkie-talkies. If one of those nodes is tampered with or removed, there’s often no clear way for it to alert the other nodes, so you might not find out about the tampering until it’s too late.
Remember how we said a wireless intercom system is pretty much just a network of walkie-talkies? And remember how when you were a kid, all you had to do was tune yours to the same frequency as the “enemy” kids to listen in on their plans? Well, this is pretty much like that. Since they’re broadcasting over standard radio frequencies, anyone even close to your property won’t have much trouble listening in.
It even happens by accident. There are more than a few accounts of people happening upon sensitive information through a baby monitor, a car radio, a vintage cell phone, or even the metal fillings in their teeth. Wireless communications, almost by definition, are fundamentally unsecured.
Depending on your setup, a wireless intercom system will depend on each node having its own power supply – usually just a battery. If you wire them into your electrical system, it completely defeats the purpose of having a “wireless” intercom system (the ability to move nodes around on the fly is often a selling point), so they need to be essentially self-contained. And batteries fail.
That may sound like a small problem, but imagine, from the perspective of a business owner, finding out at day’s end that the battery in the front-door intercom had failed, unannounced, and a potential client had been unable to buzz for entry. A wireless intercom system is a recipe for embarrassment, and it’s bad for your bottom line.
A wireless intercom system is limited to a relatively short range. Unless the power is boosted (thereby diminishing battery life) and the nodes have a relatively unobstructed line of sight (transmissions will have a hard time passing through metal, for instance), you’ll find that you’re limited to a very constricted sphere. You could try to solve the problem with repeaters on the network to boost signals, but at minimum you double the traffic on your router, reducing the speed and bandwidth available.
What You Get with a Hardwired Intercom System
Hardwired intercoms are the obvious choice for a dependable security system because they don’t have any of these vulnerabilities and come with a number of additional security features.
They’re harder to tamper with because they can be rigged to accept or reject regular pings from the system to confirm that they’re still in operation. You don’t have to worry about them running out of power. The range significantly exceeds that of a wireless intercom system. They can’t be eavesdropped on without micing a receiver or patching directly into the wiring. Nothing is ever completely tamper-proof, but it’s a lot harder to tap a hardline than to simply tune a receiver to the appropriate frequency.
Get Safe and Sound Today
Whether you’ve decided you want a wired intercom system or just want a little more information before you decide, we’re the customer-focused experts to call. We’re ready, willing, and able to install a comprehensive intercom network at your residence or business, either on its own or as part of a larger security system. Our installation techs are completely trained, our equipment is industry certified, and we take pride in our guarantee for unparalleled customer service.