Wireless security systems have to be the dumbest idea I’ve ever seen. Companies are playing off your ignorance to make maximum profit for the least amount of effort. Why do I say this? Well lets look at a few things. If you have a “wired” system installed the devices are usually cheaper, motion detector, camera, glass breakage detectors, etc… however running the wires is highly labor intensive. Even in new construction where they pre-wire your house if you ask the installer for something the pre-wired home isn’t set up for they’ll try to talk you into doing it another way, or just flat refuse.
Don’t even get me started on the monitoring services. You’re better off having the alarm system call your cell phones.
The biggest issue with a wireless system is vulnerability. Radio waves go everywhere, and radio receivers listen to anyone transmitting a signal not just the people that are supposed to be transmitting to it.
I recently heard about a vulnerability with the Nest drop cams. They leave the bluetooth receive on all the time, even after setup. This makes it possible to cause an overflow situation to occur and the drop cam to reboot. The camera takes about a minute and a half to start sending video again. Bluetooth range is about 40 feet, and longer if you use a directional antenna. You can even change the configuration of the camera so that once it’s off line it will no longer connect to your wifi router basically eliminating the threat of being recorded while breaking into your home.
Now the fine folks and Nest will probably address this issue, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more issues that either we don’t know about yet, or will be found in the future. This means my rule of thumb is WIRED not WIRELESS! Keep in mind that when a company sells you a wireless system they really don’t need installation personnel, they just need to ship you a box and be available online, or by phone to help you self install. If they do have someone install your system, it can be done quickly and with minimally trained people.
This sounds great until you consider how easy it is to defeat these systems. One thing the companies say in their ads is you don’t have to worry about your phone line being cut. This is true, but some systems can detect that and trigger an visual and audible alarm. If someone blocks your wifi signal what is your security system going to do? Frankly a thief could work with someone half way around the world to disable your home network, send them a text message that it was all clear and then they could enter your home or business.
Maybe you use “the cloud” to send all your video to. Well when your network goes down that’s not going to work very well will it?
Wired systems, DVR for under $200 located inside your home/business means you have control over your data. You could even get creative and send the video to a 2nd, hidden recorder in case the thief destroys or steals the DVR.
Of course ANY system can be defeated. Anything can be stolen, what you are doing is just putting a barrier in the way and hopefully they will go somewhere else where the pickens are easier. There is much information that you can obtain about a wireless system, where a wired system you have to physically have access to before you can come up with a plan to defeat it.
Two things that I hear, or see, that make me shutter are wireless security systems and anything with “the cloud” in it.
The cloud is your stuff on someone else’s computer, how secure does that sound?