The security and safety benefits of installing a wireless intercom system in your home. There was a time when intercom systems were utilized almost exclusively in commercial, and industrial settings as a way of allowing staff to communicate among themselves.
Now that they have become more affordable, intercom systems are being offered to a wider audience, and a few new uses have been found. The most important of these new uses being that of a very effective home security device.
Now rather than simply being a convenience that allows coworkers to communicate with each other, they can be used by homeowners as a way of screening their visitors, deterring home invasions, as well as communicating with family members.
Millions of dollars are spent on home security products and services every year in an effort to protect our valuables against theft. Unfortunately, it’s not the property in your home that needs the most protection; it’s you. Sophisticated alarm systems, and high-security door locks are pointless if an intruder can simply talk their way into your home. Installing a wireless intercom system prevents this from happening by allowing you to effectively screen your visitors, while your door stays securely locked.
Most home invasions, and push in robberies, are often the result of homeowners opening their doors without taking the time to verify the identity of the individual on the other side. Installing an intercom system, and using it religiously when answering your door, is one of the most effective ways of preventing home invasion robberies.
What features to look for – When shopping for an intercom system, the big names in the industry like Nu tone, Aiphone and Chamberlain will present you with many choices. Once you have finished wading through all the product hype, you will be left with just four real options upon which to make your final purchase decision. They are wireless vs hard wired, and video intercoms vs audio only.
If you have purchased or shopped for a home security system within the last five years, you have come across the ongoing debate regarding the superiority of wireless products versus hardwired. Even though they are in different markets, you will encounter these same issues when shopping for your new intercom system.
It is my opinion that both systems are equally effective at what they do, but for the average homeowner, a wireless intercom system will almost always be the better choice.
The negative aspects. The first weakness of the wireless intercom that often gets mentioned, is the unsecured signal that may allow others to eavesdrop on your private conversations. This is no longer an issue with the most current models on the market, so feel free to scratch it off your list of negatives.
When they were first introduced, all of these devices used the same basic unsecured frequency. This allowed those within close proximity to your property, and with a similar product utilizing the same band range, to overhear everything that was happening within your home.
Eventually manufactures started utilizing what is called digital spread spectrum technology, in order to secure the signals. This new technology basically takes your static signal and splits it into random multiple frequencies, thus creating a secure private wireless network.
The net effect is that only the devices within your home will be able to communicate on this secure signal. So even if your next-door neighbor installs the exact same intercom model as you, your conversations will be kept private, as will theirs.
Now that the privacy concerns have been laid to rest, we can address the second short coming of wireless technology, specifically signal interference caused by other devices.
Signal interference , the causes and the solutions – Whether you realize it or not, we live in a world that is saturated in wireless technology. Everything from your home Internet network, to the cordless phone, and many countless other devices are all capable of disrupting your wireless intercom system.
Avoiding these potential problems will require a little creativity, and some planning on your part. The first step to avoiding any potential signal interference problems, is by being aware of the location and frequencies being used by the other wireless devices in your home.
If you can avoid placing these devices within close proximity of your intercom system, you will most likely reduce or eliminate the vast majority of your interference issues.
Another solution for this problem may be to look for models that operate on a different frequency band than the electronic equipment you already have in your home. This eliminates the need to relocate your existing wireless equipment, just to accommodate your new intercom system.
The positive features – As with home security products, or just about any other wireless device for that matter, it is the ease and simplicity of installation that sets wireless intercoms apart from the competition.
When you make a purchase of a product that needs to be installed or setup, that initial outlay of money is only part of the cost you will be incurring. If you pay a hundred dollars for a wired intercom system, but it costs two hundred to have it installed by someone who knows what they are doing, what did that new intercom system really cost you?
Wireless intercoms are perfect for the do it yourself type, but there are two requirements that must be met if you intend to tackle one of these installation projects on your own. The first requirement is the ability to read and follow instructions written in English. The second is the ability to differentiate between a screwdriver, and a hammer.
If you can meet these minimum requirements, then installing your own wireless intercom system should be a breeze, and as a bonus, you get to pocket the money that would otherwise have been spent on installation costs.
When does changing your mind cost you money? When you decide to move a hardwired device. If one day you should decide that you would like to relocate one of your intercom stations to another location within your home, it will cost you money. How much money will depend on how far it needs to be moved, and the labor and materials involved.
Of course, this only applies to wired systems. When you go wireless, relocating a intercom station is a simple matter of removing a few mounting screws, and reinstalling it in a new location.
Video intercoms – If you only plan on using your intercom as a way of keeping in touch with members of the household, then a model with only audio capabilities is fine. If however, you plan on using your intercom as a security tool for screening your visitors, then you absolutely must consider a video intercom system.
Just being able to speak with that person at the door from the safety of your home gives you a tremendous advantage, but without video capabilities, you are not seeing the whole picture [no pun intended]. Another important feature of video intercom systems is the ability to capture and store images of your visitors. Now every time someone rings your doorbell, you can automatically take their picture without them being aware of it.
From a security standpoint this is huge, because almost everyone who comes to your door will ring your doorbell, yes even burglars. Legitimate visitors, and criminals both do it for the very same reason…to see if you are at home.
Whether it is the convenience of being able to locate, and communicate with members of your household, or the safety, and security of being able to screen visitors to your home. Intercom systems, whether they are video capable, or audio only, are an investment in the safety and security of your family that you simply cannot put a price on.