Home Security System - wireless upgrade or keep the old wiring
I have a 25-year old hard-wired home security system through First Alarm (previously Sentry Alert.) The wiring was originally installed in the 1960s by the previous homeowner. It is monitored and requires a landline, which costs $45/month (the cheapest plan). I am exploring upgrading to an alarm system that uses my cell phone and Wi-Fi so I can cancel my landline. I have gotten bids from my current provider and from Global Security Systems. The pricing for the new control panel and for monthly monitoring is very similar. I really like the guy at Global (Sadi), plus they are a local company based in Moraga, but Global does not want to work with my existing wiring due to its age. He recommends that I upgrade to a wireless system with wireless contacts on the doors and windows, which will add about $1400 to the cost. First Alarm/Sentry Alert will allow us to keep the old wiring. I could stay with them, but their wireless door and window contacts are slightly more expensive than Global's if I decide to upgrade later. Both companies require a three-year contract, so I want to choose correctly.
At what point does old wiring need to be upgraded? First Alarm/Sentry Alert's service has been acceptable, but I think they were better before Sentry Alert was acquired.
Any thoughts on keeping an old wired system vs changing to wireless, and/or your experiences with FirstAlarm/Sentry Alert and Global Security Systems? Those are the only two companies I am considering. I want to maintain a monitored system, and no DIY products. Thanks.
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We have a legacy Sentry Alert system too--it was wired decades ago by another company, then taken over by Sentry Alert about 20 years ago. We didn't love FirstAlarm when they acquired Sentry so moved to Bay Alarm a few years ago when we got rid of our landline. They were able to use all of the existing wiring and added a few elements, including the cell. Minimal costs to switch over--mostly just related to the new components we added. At some point we will upgrade more to wireless but didn't feel it was that critical to do at the time. It still gets the job done and the monitoring cost is reasonable.
A3 Smart Home (part of AAA auto club) installed a modern system with a central processing station that was able to wire in all the legacy wired sensors in my house (door heel sensors, motion sensors). It also has wireless so can be augmented with wireless sensors. Plus it has a mobile app, modern niceties and is a monitored system. Cost was much lower than what you mentioned.
Your old wiring will probably die eventually, and we switched from Sentry Alert to Bay Alarm precisely because Sentry was ineffective at dealing with the repeated false alarms from our old sensors & wiring. I'd bite the bullet now and go with fresh wiring whichever company you choose.