The home security industry is changing and changing fast. Gone are the days where companies like ADT reigned supreme, providing security-conscious homeowners with fully monitored systems that connect to the home’s phone line or through a cellular module.
Today, the abundance of plug-and-play smart home security options has signalled a shift in the industry, with more consumers opting for the DIY approach instead.
Not only do smart home security systems function without the need to pay a monthly subscription fee for 24/7 monitoring (although some offer this as an optional add-on), they also provide more flexibility, such as the ability to easily integrate them into the rest of a smart home network.
It’s not all good news, however. If smart home security devices have a weakness, it’s their ability to connect to a home’s Wi-Fi network.
Why structured wiring is critical to smart home security
With the shift in the home security industry away from traditional systems, there’s an opportunity for ISP providers and installers to further educate homeowners on the benefits of structured wiring in the home.
Since smart home security systems operate via internet (as opposed to a phone line or cellular module) it’s vital to ensure a stable and reliable connection to the home’s network.
Wi-Fi networks can become noisy places, with lots of different devices in the home competing for bandwidth, which can slow performance. Wi-Fi networks are also notoriously vulnerable to foul play.
By connecting key smart home security devices to the internet via Ethernet instead, the system is more secure and more stable.
How to integrate structured wiring into a smart home security system
Take the Ring smart home security system as an example. A standard Ring system typically includes a base station, Z-Wave range extender, keypad, sensors, and cameras.
Only the base station needs to connect to the internet, while the rest of the devices connect wirelessly to the base station via Z-Wave, a dedicated frequency that doesn’t clog up your Wi-Fi network (or expose any data, such as a camera feed, to your Wi-Fi).
By connecting the base station directly to the home’s network with a hardwired Ethernet connection, the entire system bypasses the home’s Wi-Fi and remains more stable, and more secure.
Structured wiring helps you find the perfect spot
You might be wondering why structured wiring is required to connect a base station via Ethernet. The short answer is it’s not. Even if the home’s modem isn’t in a central location, the Z-Wave range extenders help boost the signal to devices farther away from the base station.
The main reason to consider structured wiring when planning a smart home security system is because it lets you pick a more ideal place for the base station. Ideally, this would be out of sight from both visitors and intruders.
Maybe that’s upstairs in a bedroom, or even hidden away inside a cabinet. Either way, it’s likely that new cabling will need to be run to ensure the system is as secure as can be.