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Wired and Wireless Security Technology Behind Your Smart Home

October 29th, 2019

The best smart home system is the system that achieves your goals in the most secure and reliable way. Knowing how to choose the right system starts with deciding what underlying wired or wireless security technology you want to power your system. Four common security technologies are Ethernet, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Z-Wave. Learn the differences between these technologies and decide what tech you want to power your new smart home security system.

Ethernet

Ethernet is a wired technology that connects computers and other electronic devices within a small geographic area, like a room, office or home. You probably remember connecting your computer to the internet with an Ethernet cable before the days of wireless internet.

 

So where do you see wired Ethernet in smart homes today? In reality, not too many places. Historically, video transmission needed the higher bandwidth and reliability of an Ethernet cable. Today, many cameras can operate over either WiFi or via a wired connection, but for many homeowners, the placement of wireless cameras is simpler and more convenient. You don’t have to balance the placement of a camera with the logistics of wiring it. There are certain types of cameras, or certain camera locations, where a wired Ethernet connection is still needed in order to deal with tricky environment issues that may make WiFi ineffective.

Pros:

  • Extremely reliable connection while plugged in

Cons:

  • Unless you run cables in your walls, it will be difficult to connect devices throughout the entire home on one network

  • Thief could physically unplug your Ethernet cable connection

Bluetooth Disarming Graphic Depicting Wireless Security TechnologyBluetooth

Bluetooth is a radio-wave technology that transports data between devices within a 30-foot range. You might connect your phone to your car speaker to play a podcast or download photos from your computer to your phone.

 

Bluetooth is used in certain systems to allow a cell phone to connect to and enable hands-free system disarming. The wireless security technology links your phone to the central system control unit. Many smart speakers, light switches, smart locks and even air quality monitors use this technology.

Pros:

  • Requires virtually no power

  • Hackers would have to be within the short-range transmissions to exploit the network

Cons:

  • Only 8 devices can communicate at any given time

  • Limited to a small area

  • Devices set to “discoverable” can be hijacked and then receive and pass viruses. This can be avoided with good digital security hygiene and is not common, at least in part due to the very short range over which Bluetooth transmits.

WiFi Network

WiFi allows devices to connect to the internet through a wireless router. While Bluetooth acts as a wireless connector between devices.

 

Cameras are among the most common devices that use a WiFi network in a smart home. A WiFi network allows for the higher bandwidth transmission that streaming videos requires. WiFi is also the technology used to support items like smart televisions and gaming consoles.

Pros:

  • Largest service area of all wireless options

  • Most widely used wireless network

  • Often needed in addition to other wireless connections

Cons:

  • Susceptible to interference

  • Every device needs to connect to a central hub

  • Bandwidth can fill up fast with too many devices

Z-Wave

This technology is also a wireless security technology. When a device has Z-Wave capability, it can build a mesh network with other Z-Wave devices using a low radio frequency.

 

Many of the best wireless security systems like the IQ Panel powered by Alarm.com is built on Z-Wave technology. Z-Wave smart technology is the best tech to connect your smart home devices onto one, controllable system. That system is secure and can offer you all of the benefits of a wireless connection without any of the downfalls.

Pros:

  • Larger coverage area than Bluetooth

  • Less interference with the devices

  • All Z-Wave devices can work with each other

  • Uses less power than WiFi

Cons:

  • Less power means it can’t play HD video on its own

  • Make sure you only purchase Z-Wave capable devices

The Bottom Line

When you are choosing what type of smart home system you want to invest it, what’s important to you? If you care about security and the number of possible devices you could add to your system in the future a Z-Wave ecosystem is a scalable solution that can grow with your home and family.

 

It is important to realize that in addition to these commercial technologies, most security devices like door/window sensors, motion sensors, glass break, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors use proprietary communications technologies to ensure security. These proprietary systems are designed to work in a complete system environment, and often employ additional encryption to ensure these vital life-safety and security capabilities.

 


Find out if your home is smart home ready by contacting our security experts and finding the perfect wireless security technology for you. Contact Select SmartHome today at 844-735-3285!

 

 

 

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Wired and Wireless Security Technology Behind Your Smart Home
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Wired and Wireless Security Technology Behind Your Smart Home
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The best smart home system is the system that achieves your goals in the most secure and reliable way. Four common security technologies are Ethernet, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Z-Wave. Learn the differences between these technologies and decide what tech you want to power your new smart home security system.
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