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Make communication in your home simple and convenient with an intercom system. You can also boost your home’s security by placing an intercom at your door or entry gate, allowing you to know who’s at your entrance. Get familiar with the standard components that come with most intercom systems and consider whether you should choose a wired or wireless version for your home.

Components of Intercom Systems

Home intercoms consist of two main components: a master station and substations.

Master Station: The master station controls the whole intercom system. This unit allows you to broadcast messages to your substations all at once or individually. You also have the ability to mute any substation.

Substations: A substation is a speaker that receives audio from the master station. Some substations are just one-way speakers, while others – especially for doorbell intercoms – come with a talk button and microphone, so you can engage in two-way communication. If you’re looking for wireless front door intercoms, check the range for substations to ensure a signal from your door or entry gate can reach the master station.

Wired vs. Wireless Intercoms

You can choose between wired or wireless intercoms for your home.

Wired: The master station of these intercom systems is hardwired into your home’s electrical system. Each substation has low-wattage wires that run behind the walls to connect to your master station. Wired intercoms are usually installed when a home is being built. You can install a wired system in your existing home, but the process is much more difficult. Wired systems are extremely reliable and operate with little interference from other sources. They also provide excellent sound throughout your home.

Wireless: With wireless intercoms, the master station and substations use radio waves to communicate with each other. Wireless intercoms are much easier to install compared to their wired counterparts. They’re usually ready to go after plugging the master station and substations into standard electrical outlets. Wireless intercoms can be easily moved from room to room, but keep in mind that they are susceptible to interference.

Intercoms make a great addition to any home. They can help you communicate with family members from room to room and enhance your home security system, especially when placed near a front door or entry gate. Check out our How to Choose a Home Intercom System guide for additional information.

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