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Author Topic: x10 home security reliability  (Read 22105 times)

dave w

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2009, 01:04:40 PM »



Most systems... all that needs done is to kick the plastic cover off the phone fuse box... then kick out the fuses... takes 5 seconds.

Ah... but again, you would need physical access.  X10 is easy to defeat without even having physical access.

Alan V You might be overly critical of X10 security. The system is not as easy as you might think to jam. With the exception of spread spectrum systems, I think X10 is nearly as secure as any other wireless system.

On the surface X10 may seem to be weak, but I consider this: the thief has to know the security system is X10 to know what frequency to jam, and the thief can not be sure the jamming works until he breaks in and does not hear a wail. From a casual thief's point of view I imagine most would not take the risk unless they knew the gains were high. And IF the thief knew the gains were high AND the security was X10....that's an inside job.

If you are a middle income Joe Six Pack family and do not have $20 K of gold and jewelry in the cabinet that the gardener knows about, then I think X10 would make you more secure than no protection at all. Agreeing with you in the sense that IF you invest a whole $100 in your security system...you best not have Fort Knox stashed in your basement.
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HA Dave

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2009, 01:07:12 PM »

..... It seems like a decent little unit for the money but if I charged people $300.00 installed they may expect the world.

And there is the rub. People don't want to pay ANYTHING up front. Consumers want the unit on a signature and a $29.99 a month bill. That is the way cell phones and professional alarms systems (except for the very high-end systems) are sold now-a-days.

At least with alarm systems you can still find your own [monitoring] service and spend considerably less on the monthly fee (as steven r points out). If you buy or build a great reliable alarm system you can benefit from a better alarm... and a cheaper monthly fee. But what I like to point out is before anyone spends a dime for an alarm or monitoring... they should review what they really are buying. Some alarms systems are now marketed as "insurance savings reimbursed" (you save more money off the cost of home insurance than the cost of the system). And if you live in a pricier home that can be true.

If you live in a nice area with really good police responce time... a monitored alarm might even get the police there before a burglar leaves with your stuff. Really... that COULD happen! But it doesn't happen often. The best case example is:  an intruder takes a small crowbar or large screwdriver to your back door.. hears the alarm and runs off.. just like on TV. Unfortunately... life seldom mimics art. Although I must be honest and admit I have read many times of an [X10] alarm frightening off an intruder.

Every real crook knows how long it takes for cops to show up in your neighborhood when residents "hear shots fired". The "shots fired" call is the one police respond to quickest. And your intruder might have fired his stolen handgun near your home just last weekend... and timed the police as he waited for them to show up. You don't have to spend a even weekend in jail to learn how to do that... being a punk kid is enough. Professionally trained burglars learn their trade in prison... and are very hard to catch.

But if you don't live.... where the police actually can get to your home in three minutes or less... your local bad guys know that. That will be one of the reasons they selected your home. The other reasons will be it was handy and easily to get into. If you get a call on your cell phone(s) (weather from X10's alarm or a monitoring company.)... maybe you can then call..  your neighbor-friend to spot the drunk and or drugged neighborhood kid... as he carries away your stuff. Or better yet... maybe you can prevent yourself, or family from walking in on the thief.

That's the "how sausage is made" version of home alarms. Not pretty but true... alarms are a great LAST defense to intrusion. But they are needed and are an irreplaceable part of any home system. So... If you have a bunch of valueables to protect... the insurance company will likely disccount you enough to make a professional system... actually free. Being cheap here will actually cost you money. If you've decided a life in a simpler environment with less possessions... is more like you.. a DIY system may fit your style. Which system best benefits you can't be determined by a forum or forum member. The real ability of any alarm system to be effective is dependent on how long it takes the police to show up to YOUR home.

I often read where someone is hung-up with the X10 system because the console could be found by the intruder, or the alarms aren't loud enough, or it isn't professionally monitored. Whereas those concerns are real and I don't mean to dismiss or diminish them... I think those should be the last concerns... of a last defense system. Why not check out my thread:  Keep them outside - better than a yard sign.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 02:39:57 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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steven r

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2009, 02:37:34 PM »

...People don't want to pay ANYTHING up front. Consumers want the unit on a signature and a $29.99 a month bill. That is the way... ...professional alarms systems are sold now-a-days....
Yes it makes me sad when I see people jumping for the $99 installed alarm system with the "free" extra control pad. They haven't taken the time to realize the $39-$49 a month they pay for monitoring is really paying for the alarm.

Typical fine print of the "big name" companies.
    "...Does not include one-time $25 Communication Connection fee. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is... ...Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring agreement required from $42.99 per month, including QSP. In Las Vegas, NV, from $47.99 per month, including QSP. In California, 24-month monitoring agreement required from $42.99 per month, including QSP (24-month total from $1,031.76)...."
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 03:17:57 PM by steven r »
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HA Dave

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2009, 02:46:45 PM »

Yes it makes me sad....

We both care! Nether one of us want to see our fellow forum members ripped off... or harmed. So we type this stuff out every way we can think of... over and over again.

Until the next time.
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Alan V

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2009, 01:04:40 AM »


Alan V You might be overly critical of X10 security. The system is not as easy as you might think to jam. With the exception of spread spectrum systems,

No.  The system is very easy to jam.  I will not detail the method here because who knows if the "wrong" people are listening.

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I think X10 is nearly as secure as any other wireless system.

Yes, I agree.  I don't particularly like wireless security systems.  But the original poster was specifically asking about X10 wireless security systems, so I kept my comments constrained to X10.

Quote
On the surface X10 may seem to be weak, but I consider this: the thief has to know the security system is X10 to know what frequency to jam.

If a thief were to look into a window and see a DS10A, MS10A, or a security console he could easily determine that an X10 system was being used.  All X10 security systems work at 310MHz.  So that would be the frequency to use.
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HA Dave

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2009, 01:44:05 PM »


If a thief were to look into a window and see a DS10A, MS10A, or a security console he could easily determine that an X10 system was being used.  All X10 security systems work at 310MHz.  So that would be the frequency to use.


You mean.. if the burglar in question went to "Burglary University".. along with Cary Grant and Robert Wagner . I think the high-tech criminals your refering to... actually have stores on Ebay.
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Alan V

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2009, 03:41:03 PM »


You mean.. if the burglar in question went to "Burglary University".. along with Cary Grant and Robert Wagner . I think the high-tech criminals your refering to... actually have stores on Ebay.

That's the problem.  The system is so easy to defeat that one does not need to be "high-tech" at all.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2009, 07:43:35 PM »


You mean.. if the burglar in question went to "Burglary University".. along with Cary Grant and Robert Wagner . I think the high-tech criminals your refering to... actually have stores on Ebay.

That's the problem.  The system is so easy to defeat that one does not need to be "high-tech" at all.

Then, the obvious statement is not to use X10 security products at all.   ::)
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Alan V

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2009, 03:25:06 PM »

Then, the obvious statement is not to use X10 security products at all.   ::)

Yes.  That was the original point that I was trying to make.  But I am not just singling out X10 wireless security systems.  Most other wireless security systems suffer from the same weakness.
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HA Dave

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2009, 04:19:48 PM »

Then, the obvious statement is not to use X10 security products at all.   ::)


Yes.  That was the original point that I was trying to make.  But I am not just singling out X10 wireless security systems.  Most other wireless security systems suffer from the same weakness.

Your original point was a clear and simple bash against X10 security products (see YOUR original post below).

If a thief knows, or suspects, that you have an X10 security system then he can easily jam it so that it will not respond to any sensor.  I don't want to say how in this forum, but I think the methods are well known.  For this reason alone, I would stay away from X10 security products.

Your premise even infers that there are (or may be) actual "specialized burglar's" that some how target Americas largest selling DIY security alarm.

There are other users here at the forum that are also believers in hardwire. Although I think it is only fair [for me] to point out that professional hardwire alarm installations are very much high-end items (and not the free units as advertised on TV). It is unfair to portray X10 as inferior to (or unreliable compared to) the rest of the DIY security alarm market. IT IS NOT.

Alan V   Please try to avoid berating X10 Products in these public posts – This technology has been around and evolved for the past 30 years, withstanding the test of time and finding its way to millions of households worldwide.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 04:40:42 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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Alan V

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2009, 04:45:26 PM »

Then, the obvious statement is not to use X10 security products at all.   ::)


Yes.  That was the original point that I was trying to make.  But I am not just singling out X10 wireless security systems.  Most other wireless security systems suffer from the same weakness.

Your original point was a clear and simple bash against X10 security products (see YOUR original post below).

If a thief knows, or suspects, that you have an X10 security system then he can easily jam it so that it will not respond to any sensor.  I don't want to say how in this forum, but I think the methods are well known.  For this reason alone, I would stay away from X10 security products.

Your premise even infers that there is (or may be) actual "specialized burglar's" that some how target Americas largest selling DIY security alarm. There are other users here at the forum that are also believers in hardwire. Although I think it is only fair [for me] to point out that professional hardwire alarm installations are very much high-end items (and not what is seen advertised on TV). It is unfair to portray X10 as inferior to (or unreliable compared to) the rest of the DIY security alarm market. IT IS NOT.

Alan V   Please try to avoid berating X10 Products in these public posts – This technology has been around and evolved for the past 30 years, withstanding the test of time and finding its way to millions of households worldwide. Your comments are being read by an experienced array of Members from which any one would be more than happy to help you get YOUR system running with the reliability.

Did you really read any of my posts?  The original poster asked a question specifically about X10 security products, which are all wireless.  If they made a wired security system, my response would have been different.  You are reading many things into my posts that are simply not there.  I don't know why you are being eerily oversensitive and dogmatic about this subject.  Do you have some tie-in to the X10 company? 

By the way, it's okay to criticize any company.  We are all striving for better performing products.  If a product has a deficit, then it's okay to say so.  Some companies even like to hear it, so that they can improve.

And why wouldn't a thief target America's largest selling DIY security alarm?  It seems to me that that would be the system to target.
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steven r

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2009, 04:59:00 PM »

...Most other wireless security systems suffer from the same weakness.
I'm very happy with my wireless system. While I'll acknowledge that a wired system might  be more reliable, it is possible to have an excellent wireless system. Also installing a wired system in an existing home is a very expensive option. I've had the system for years now and have only had one battery display a low voltage. My monitoring company called me and let me know. (My system monitors for battery condition in the sensors.) The only false alarm I've ever had due to hardware  was due to a sensor that needed remounting. (Could of happened just as easily with a wired system also.)

I challenge any wired or wireless system to be more reliable than that over 5 years!

Note: For a professional thief that is targeting a home with an alarm, attempting to jamb the transmit signal of the wireless sensors would be the least effective approach that they cold take. i.e. There are much easier ways to defeat an alarm, wireless or wired.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 05:00:41 PM by steven r »
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Alan V

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2009, 06:00:48 PM »

I'm very happy with my wireless system. While I'll acknowledge that a wired system might  be more reliable, it is possible to have an excellent wireless system. Also installing a wired system in an existing home is a very expensive option. I've had the system for years now and have only had one battery display a low voltage. My monitoring company called me and let me know. (My system monitors for battery condition in the sensors.) The only false alarm I've ever had due to hardware  was due to a sensor that needed remounting. (Could of happened just as easily with a wired system also.)

I challenge any wired or wireless system to be more reliable than that over 5 years!

I never challenged failure rate.  But  failure rate, and susceptibility to being disabled are two different issues.

Quote
Note: For a professional thief that is targeting a home with an alarm, attempting to jamb the transmit signal of the wireless sensors would be the least effective approach that they cold take. i.e. There are much easier ways to defeat an alarm, wireless or wired.

I'm not so sure.  One could always cut wires to disable any system, but this requires physical access.  The X10 wireless system (and probably most other wireless security systems) can be disabled remotely very easily.  And sometimes, no modificaton of off-the-shelf equipment is even necessary.
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steven r

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2009, 06:37:20 PM »

...One could always cut wires to disable any system, but this requires physical access....
Wired systems can not be disabled by cutting wires at the sensors. It is also possible to design wired systems that would even detect an attempt to short the wires at the sensor. (I do not know if this is common for home systems or just used in high security commercial applications.)

...The X10 wireless system (and probably most other wireless security systems) can be disabled remotely very easily....
Perhaps I should clarify that by wireless I was referring to an alarm with wireless sensors not  one with wireless arming and disarming. I prefer the security of an alarm pad. I do not like the idea of a remote to activate and deactivate an alarm. Most alarm pads can be programed with a distress code that will send a silent alarm code to a monitoring station.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 06:46:20 PM by steven r »
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Brian H

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Re: x10 home security reliability
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2009, 07:49:19 PM »

Most of the wired Security Systems I have seen mentioned in Automation Forums. Use a EOL [End Of Line Resistor]. If you open or short the wire to the sensor it sounds a tamper problem or if armed I believe triggers an alarm.
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