Should I choose a wired or wireless intercom?

As with so many things in life, when it comes to your electric gates, communication is key. An intercom is obviously a hugely popular choice for electric gate kits in private and commercial properties alike, as it provides that extra element of fine control over exactly who comes and goes. So if you’re in the midst of a decision about whether a wired or wireless intercom would be better for your gates, here are a couple of crucial factors to consider in your decision!

Intercom on gate

Installation process and requirements

Let’s start with the installation process – a particularly important factor when deciding between a wired and wireless intercom system. Though wired intercoms have an extensive range of benefits associated with them, it’s worth noting that they can typically require more extensive installation work for you to make the most of these advantages. This kind of installation work includes running cables through walls, trenches, or conduits, which can become more complex in larger properties. Thankfully it’s not something you’ll have to worry about too much personally – it’s generally a professional job, so you can rely on experts to do it on your behalf.

On the other hand, wireless intercoms are generally easier and quicker to install. They don’t require extensive cabling, which makes them a more convenient option, particularly for retrofitting existing gates. Wireless systems often come with straightforward setup instructions, sometimes allowing for a DIY installation. They do rely on a strong and stable wireless signal, which means you’ll need to start by ensuring that this can be guaranteed. (In some cases, this may require the use of additional equipment, such as signal boosters.)

Cost considerations

Cost is another significant consideration. Between wired intercoms and wireless ones, wired intercom systems tend to have a higher initial cost initially, if only due to the materials and labour involved in installation. What’s more, it’s a good idea to factor additional funds into your budget if you think you might add to your wired system or modify it in future. Again though, it’s worth pointing out that those initial costs pay off in the long run, with the number of features and flexibility you get.

Wireless intercoms are generally less expensive to install, but can vary in price depending on the features and technology used. Although the initial purchase might be higher for a high-end wireless system, the absence of extensive installation costs often makes it a more budget-friendly option in the long run. Once again, it’s important to weigh the upfront costs against potential future expenses, such as battery replacements or the need for signal boosters.

User experience and convenience

Beyond the immediate practical considerations like budget and installation requirements, the very next top priority will obviously be the overall user experience.

Wired intercoms are known for their reliability and consistent performance. Once installed, they rarely tend to have issues related to signal interference or connectivity, ensuring a smooth and dependable operation. The fact that they’re hardwired also makes them resilient against environmental factors, such as certain weather conditions or physical obstructions.

Wireless intercoms are slightly more susceptible to interference from weather conditions, but the flipside is that they offer even greater flexibility and mobility. Many wireless systems are compatible with smartphones and other devices, allowing you to communicate with visitors remotely. This can be especially convenient if you’re not always at home or need to grant access to your property while you’re away. Plus, wireless systems can be easily relocated or expanded, making them a versatile choice for evolving needs.

Security and reliability

Now we come to security – not likely something that you’re likely to have forgotten about anyway! Wired intercoms generally offer a higher level of security because they are less vulnerable to hacking or interference. The physical connection makes it difficult for anyone else to intercept or disrupt the signal. This can provide peace of mind, especially for properties that have particularly stringent security measures – such as private apartment complexes, commercial facilities, or sensitive institutional premises (such as government offices).

Over the last few years in particular, wireless intercoms are also notable for having improved significantly in terms of security, and many modern systems incorporate advanced encryption and security protocols. Initially, we find lots of people are hesitant about the potential for hacking attacks, but these are vanishingly rare, and can be countered by ensuring that your wireless system is up-to-date with the latest security features.

Maintenance and durability

One thing to clarify right off the bat is that neither wired systems nor wireless intercoms require a great deal in terms of their maintenance. Wired intercom systems especially are generally low-maintenance once installed. The robust nature of the cabling and hardware means they can last for many years with minimal upkeep. Any damage to the cables or hardware will naturally need to be repaired, but it’s quite difficult to inflict this damage without making a concerted effort to do so, which means it’s generally not something you’ll need to worry too much about.

Wireless intercom systems require more regular maintenance, but again, nothing too complex – it’s primarily related to their power sources. Batteries need to be checked and replaced periodically, and the system may need software updates to ensure optimal performance and security. One way to make the job easier is simply to include it as part of your overall gate inspections a few times a year, and perform preventative maintenance wherever possible – for example, making sure to have spare batteries on hand so that you can replace them promptly when they finally run out, rather than ordering new ones only after that time.

These are just the most universal factors to consider – if you need any more help or advice, don’t hesitate to contact our team on 01282 677 300. Or, if you’ve already made your decision, we have an extensive range of intercoms to choose from right here on our site – and all at the very best prices. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?