Installing a home burglar alarm keeps you and your family safer. It’s good to start with a checklist of home security needs and bone up on what makes a good system. As with any industry, home security offers good, bad and dangerous choices. To remain safer, consumers need a monitored service with a quick response time. System choice matters, too.


System Safety

As a recent Wired article reported, some manufacturer’s systems can easily get hacked by a burglar. The thief needs nothing but a jamming device to disable the alarm from ten feet away from the home – the start of the walkway essentially. Two separate research studies, one conducted in the US, one in Australia, returned the same results. Both showed that wireless systems by the following manufacturers could be rendered inoperable remotely:

  • ADT
  • Swann
  • Vivint

While the Internet of Things (IoT) provides many helpful services like allowing a consumer to turn on their porch light while driving home from work via a cell phone app or reset their thermostat while on vacation, it also has security holes. Users that install a wireless system need to research the manufacturer before purchase. A wired system can make a much better choice since it provides a different method of information transmission. Burglars casing a home can also render it seemingly useless by causing it to repeatedly issue false alarms from 250 yards away using the same remote jamming device.

“Jamming the intra-home communications suppresses alarms to both the occupants and the monitoring company,” Lamb told Wired.

Oak Ridge National Lab security researcher Logan Lamb conducted the US study which analyzed and tested systems made by ADT, Vivint and a third unidentified company. The Vivint systems used parts made by 2Gig, a supplier to 4,000 plus distributors. Qualys’ Silvio Cesare conducted the Australian study which examined more than six systems, some manufactured by the Australian firm Swann that sells with the US. Regardless of brand, wireless alarms rely on radio frequency signals sent between entry points and the control system. These signals occur whether the consumer enables the alarm or not. That means the burglar casing the home can track radio signals used by a wireless burglar alarm even when it’s off. That lets the burglar track habits remotely. The system signals when each window opens or closes, when each door opens and closes.

Both studies also documented that wireless systems don’t authenticate or encrypt signals. That allows the thief to intercept the data and turn it around to use it against the system from which it came.

Safer Alternatives

Anti-jamming methods do exist. Systems can be installed with an audible alarm that sounds when the system detects a jamming device. Intrepid thieves can thwart this, too, though. In fact, in Cesare’s study, he hacked the system’s password’s rendering complete control over to him. The equipment both used to hack the systems is commonly available and costs $1,700. The monitoring devices costs only $10.

Commercial-grade systems offer better security, as do wired systems. While people may drop their landlines to save money, keeping them and procuring a wired system proves more secure. Hardwired alarms also provide more reliable function. A wired system hides its wires inside the walls and floors of the home, then communicates the signals using a landline. This avoids the easily intercepted radio signals.


How Protect America Helps

Protect America, a monitored home security company, offers zero installation fees, locked-in rates and a price-match guarantee. Consumers can get started for only $30 per month with a 36-month contract. That provides 24-hour, 7 days a week, professionally monitored home security. Consumers Digest named Protect America a “Best Buy” nine times for its equipment and service.

Established in 1992, Protect America offers nationwide service. It’s the 14th largest residential home security company in the US. Protect America makes a continuing firm commitment to protecting homes and families through monitored home security. It provides a direct-to-consumer service, sending individuals, businesses and families their home security systems and guiding them through the do-it-yourself installation procedure. The consumer receives up to $1,400 in free equipment. The company offers a Price Match Guarantee. If the consumer can find a better deal, Protect America matches it.

Interested in monitored home security? Get a free quote from Protect America by phone or online. Protect America can help monitor standalone devices already installed, too. Monitoring provides an important aspect since it ensures someone always looks at the feed. If someone does approach the home, even with a jamming device, they’re seen and reported. That keeps you and your family safer.