Should You Choose a Wired or Wireless Security Camera?
- Looking for a camera for home security?
- Features and benefits of home security cameras that are wireless
- Wired vs wireless security cameras for the home
Home security cameras come in a variety of styles and designs. Some are completely wireless, giving you the freedom of where you can place them, while others have to be hardwired in. The main difference between a wired and wireless camera for home security is that wireless ones require batteries, whether replaceable or rechargeable.
This article will discuss the pros and cons of each type and will go over how to choose the right one for you. You might not be aware of some of the disadvantages with these home security cameras, but there are often ways of getting around them. There are also plenty of benefits to installing a camera in the first place.
Wired vs Wireless Home Security Cameras
A camera for home security can be hardwired into your home, meaning it doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi. It is usually connected by wires to a base station, but the cables themselves tend to be hidden behind walls rather than hanging loose. Some versions solely rely on mains power to operate, which presents a problem in a power cut. Other wired home security cameras come with a back-up battery, keeping them operating for a few hours with no mains connection.
Home security cameras that are wireless are the most popular choice for homeowners and tenants. They can be easily installed because they don’t require drilling or hiding of any cables. Some feature a cabled option, but the majority of them only need a Wi-Fi connection to operate. As they aren’t wired in, they need batteries to work. Some cameras for home security can be charged to last a whole year, but this varies by model.
Advantages of Home Security Cameras
Both wired and wireless security cameras for a home come with their own strengths, which we’ve outlined below.
Wired Camera Strengths
The best advantage to a wired camera for home security is that it is consistent. It offers a stable connection that won’t be reliant on your Wi-Fi speed or connectivity. If your router isn’t up to scratch, it can often fail to prove reliable for your camera. A lack of bandwidth or speed can also make for a low quality recording or viewing, which isn’t as useful. Wired security cameras don’t have this issue.
While wireless cameras rely on an internet connection, wireless ones don’t, which makes them more secure. In terms of hacking, wired home security cameras are protected, but not impervious to this issue. Some still have internet connecting capabilities, but are more secure by default because of their password settings. Changing hardware access codes and setting up two-factor authentication is a way to increase the strength of their security.
Wireless Camera Strengths
Easy to Install
Designed to be a DIY option, a camera for home security that’s wireless can be installed with relative ease. Some feature sticky pads that secure them to surfaces, while others might need to be screwed to walls. There are also versions that simply sit on a flat surface. Because they’re so easy to set up, you can place additional cameras on the network without nearly as much effort as a wired system.
The greatest strength of a wireless system is that it can be controlled through your smartphone wherever you are. You can check on the status of your home and cameras through a wireless connection, making use of any features that your system has. For example, you may be able to speak to anyone in your home (with an indoor camera) or turn on a light (built into an external camera).
Wireless cameras also have the option of remote connections without Wi-Fi. Having 3G, 4G or 5G in a wireless home security camera can be a more expensive option, but it isn’t then reliant on an internet connection. Best for incredibly remote areas, they work where wires, electricity or an internet connection is not feasible. The only downside is the constant subscription to a service plan.
Long Battery Life
Despite requiring batteries to operate, wireless versions don’t normally require much power. Usually working via sensor, they will only activate and record when they need to, saving power. Some manufacturers have developed batteries with a long lifespan as well, only needing to be charged once every couple of years. Other wireless cameras that run on replaceable batteries can last up to six months, but this can diminish more quickly in high traffic areas.
Disadvantages of Home Security Cameras
A camera for home security is never foolproof, but it’s important to be aware of the cons, which are seen below.
Wired Camera Weaknesses
As hardwired cameras require a constant power source, they are more susceptible to power cuts. Having your recordings disappear when there’s no electricity is a big security risk. To get around this, it’s important to choose a model that has a back-up battery, which will then keep recording. Wireless cameras can also be affected in a power cut, but some feature their own wireless networks in this scenario, such as their own 3G network.
As a wired camera for home security always needs to be plugged in, along with the base system, it can represent a bigger consumption of power. The more cameras you have in your system running on a 24/7 basis, the more electricity you will be using. To get around this, you can choose a model that only records when motion is detected, entering a reduced power mode when not in use.
Wireless Camera Weaknesses
This is only really an issue if you buy relatively cheap products that aren’t made with quality in mind. On the lower end of the scale, a camera for home security can have an easily guessable username and password. If not changed from the default, this can make it very easy for anyone to access your camera. Get around this by keeping your software up to date and changing any pre-existing passwords.
Some wireless home security cameras have the option of storing recordings on the cloud, while others have this as the only option. In most cases, you have to pay for this privilege. This means that if an issue happens with the Wi-Fi, you won’t have a back-up of any recordings. Without the local storage that a hardwired home security camera has, this data will be dependent on a sound internet connection.
Which Camera for Home Security Is Best for Me?
If you’re thinking about choosing a home security camera for your home, it’s best to think about this in several different ways. Firstly, are you thinking of installing them inside or outside? While there are options available for both wireless and wired types, sometimes having the camera that is easier to install could work out better for you, saving on installation costs.
Ease and Flexibility
If you are looking for an easy option that doesn’t take a professional to install and you can add to at any time, a wireless home security camera would be best. Anywhere that has a good Wi-Fi signal is a prime spot for a camera you can set up yourself. Secluded areas also work well because wireless cameras work on batteries. Also, if you find that you could do with another camera at a later date, buying and installing one is just as simple as fitting the first.
In terms of a constant stream of recording, a wired home security camera offers an uninterrupted option. With a direct connection, there is no worry about the Wi-Fi going down, as this won’t affect the recordings at all. Additionally, cables are less likely to be interfered with over a wireless connection, especially when they’re hidden behind walls.
You might be put off by fitting a camera in case you have to permanently fix it to a surface. Screws or sticky pads might put off any renters, and hardwired cameras are incredibly invasive to install. If this is a worry, wireless cameras are the best option for you. Most wireless cameras are standalone systems that only need to be placed on a level surface.
For homes that are relatively large, installing home security cameras will be an expensive job regardless of which option you choose. For best results, you wouldn’t rely solely on cameras, but integrated systems consisting of contact sensors, motion detectors and a burglar alarm as well. If you have a large property and are looking to install a camera for home security, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d prefer the wired or wireless option.
You may be able to install wireless home security cameras yourself and add to them as you need to for a cheaper option, but you might prefer the security and stability of a wired system. It’s useful to weigh up the pros and cons to decide which would work best for you. On another note, if your Wi-Fi struggles to cover the entire property, this would pose a problem for wireless cameras.