Updated: Jan 6, 2022
We explain the technology options behind the wireless intercom systems on the market.
Before looking for the best wireless intercom solution for your home you should make a list/answer a couple of questions such as:
Does your intercom need to control more than one entrance?
Does the intercom need to be controlled from anywhere outside of the home? (for example, controlled via mobile/cell device?)
Do you want video capability for your intercom?
In this article we will go through the technologies briefly and how they work for the end-user, the benefits, and pitfalls of each type of intercom so you can understand what you need.
DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) Wireless
Wireless DECT intercom systems use radio frequencies to communicate effectively. The intercom unit is installed at the entrance/gate and a phone or wall mounted unit(s) are installed inside the property.
Once the intercom call button is pressed the phone or wall mounted unit inside then rings, allowing audio communication with the visitor and homeowner who can choose whether to allow the visitor entry.
This type of intercom is limited to installed phones/wall mounted units inside the property and have a range of 200 metres (depending on terrain/obstacles.)
GSM Wireless Intercoms
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) intercoms work just like your cell/mobile phone. The intercom unit works via a sim card, the call button is pressed at the entrance and the call goes directly through to your cell/mobile or landline.
The property owner can then activate the relay and open the entrance from their phone. GSM Intercoms are very popular as they work reliably and from anywhere in the world (cell coverage depending!) for example, you could be on holiday thousands of miles away and still have control over the entrance to your home!
IP intercoms work via a Wi-Fi network and are unsurprisingly sometimes referred to as Wi-Fi intercoms. The installed intercom must be within range of the Wi-Fi network to work reliably (Wi-Fi repeaters and extenders can be used to extend/support signal).
IP Intercoms use IP technology to support live video feed as IP technology can reliably transfer and handle the video data sent from the intercom unit.
In situations where an IP intercom may not work due to poor signal strength or other factors then a 4G intercom is an alternative and works on the same framework as GSM intercoms (Sim card/cell phone technology) but can also handle video capabilities though 4G do come with a small monthly charge for the 4G sim card.
Both IP/4G types of intercoms generally come with a dedicated App for cell/mobile phone usage.
AES Global have just released their flagship IP/4G product in 2021, named the Praetorian Guard.
Hard-Wired intercoms are exactly as the name suggests, these intercoms are reliable and have been around for decades. Hardwired intercoms can support video and are a great option for many scenarios.
Traditionally the downsides of hard-wired intercoms are that they can require extensive remodelling/groundworks to install the intercom, though if you are upgrading an existing intercom unit, this will not be affected too much as wiring etc. should already be in place.
They are also not as versatile as a wireless option as the intercom will only communicate with units in the building as opposed to having the freedom of operating your gates/entrance from your cell/mobile phone. However Hard-Wired intercoms are still ideal for many different scenarios and still used worldwide to great effect.
So there you are, four of the main intercom technologies explained simply for you the home owner, at AES Global we manufacture industry leading intercoms throughout all the technologies discussed above to give you the best solution for your situation.
We always advise a site visit from a qualified installer or specialist before purchasing access control products like our intercoms so that you get the best product for your needs!
You can have a look through our products here.