Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras: Which Is Better?
Protecting your home has always been a priority, and now there are numerous options to help keep your home and, more importantly, your family secure. Sure, you can lock your doors and windows, ensure your property is well-lit, and keep bushes and trees trimmed. But there are also new technologies to better monitor your home. This includes wired vs. wireless security cameras. Both options allow you to keep an eye on your home when you’re away.
There are, of course, many questions about wired vs. wireless security cameras, such as how they differ in terms of:
- Set up (how quickly and if you need to hire someone to help)
There are pros and cons of wired versus wireless security cameras, and depending on your needs, you may find one more appealing. So, let’s dive into the differences between wired and wireless security cameras.
Defining Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras
To hook up a wired security camera, you’ll need cords that connect to both your powerline and a central hub. The benefit is that you don’t have to rely on Wi-Fi, which can be helpful if your service is sometimes spotty or unavailable. However, if the power goes out, you’ll want to ensure you have a backup power source.
Wireless security cameras, on the other hand, are either plugged into a convenient outlet or battery-powered, which means you don’t need to go to the trouble of wiring it to connect to power or a network.
There are two types of wireless cameras: wireless and wire-free. Wire-free options are just hooked up to your Wi-Fi and are powered by batteries, so you don’t need any wires whatsoever, hence, the name. Because these two versions are so similar, we’ll keep it simple and discuss them together.
Wired Security Cameras: Pros and Cons
Just as it sounds, wired security cameras send signals—video and audio—via a wire to a central area or hub. You can save the video to watch later, or it can be set up to send to you, so you can see it live.
Wired security cameras can be a bit challenging to install. Typically, you’ll need to call in the experts—such as an electrician or security specialist—to hardwire the cable and ensure everything’s correctly connected. The power may come from an electric line, or it may connect via an internet (e.g., POE, DVR, NVR, or IP) cable, depending on the chosen system.
One of the biggest upsides is that wired security cameras are the most reliable. For example, you won’t need to change or recharge the batteries, and they require less adjustment. Other benefits include:
- Clearer video and audio signals, which don’t break or degrade as long as the wire is in place.
- Greater reliability and few issues, such as dropped signals or recording problems due to a spotty or finicky internet connection.
- Enhanced security. It’s nearly impossible to tamper with, hack, or steal as the system is connected to your home or business.
- One system allows for multiple cameras through the home’s interior and exterior to be monitored through a central hub.
For the most part, wired security cameras can be set up and then left alone to be another set of eyes to keep your property more secure. This makes them a great option for homeowners as well as businesses.
However, they do have a few drawbacks, such as:
- Installation can be challenging and more time-consuming, and you’ll likely need to call in the pros to set up between 4 and 16 cameras to ensure your home is fully protected.
- Lack of portability—the system you buy will be wired to your home, even if you move. Plus, if you need a hardwired camera outside, you’ll need to drill holes into the walls of your home or business.
- Multiple wires are required to various locations, sometimes with unsightly exposed wires or conduits to each camera. Exposed wires are also more susceptible to being cut by intruders or damaged due to exposure, which could disable a camera.
- Cameras are limited to the number of jacks on your DVR system.
- And again, the system can be susceptible to power outages in your area if you don’t set up a backup energy source (e.g., generator) or battery system. In other words, if the power goes out, the feed to your security camera also goes out.
Wireless Security Cameras: Pros and Cons
A more common option for homes, especially for renters or DIYers, are wireless security cameras as they’re super easy to install and can be set up just about anywhere. After all, you don’t need wires because they can plug into any outlet or even run on batteries, depending on the version you choose. You do, however, want to ensure you have a strong, consistent Wi-Fi network with minimal disruptions.
These cameras can be placed just about anywhere in or outside the home, depending on the unit, to transmit the images and sound wirelessly as long as they’re connected to the home’s Wi-Fi.
Some of the benefits of going with a wireless security camera include:
- Fewer (or even no) cords are needed to run. Depending on the model, you may not even need a power outlet.
- There are indoor and outdoor units available, and it’s easy to scale up if you want additional cameras.
- Easy, clean installation, especially for wire-free options.
- They are highly versatile as they can be mounted in numerous ways in a variety of places, including on ceilings, walls, fences, trees, and more throughout your property. This can be great for renters, those who are planning on moving, or even those who are looking for greater flexibility.
- Once a Wi-Fi signal is received, it can be sent to a cloud server, so you can view the footage from wherever you are, either in real-time or later for review.
- No need to worry about cut or damaged wires because there aren’t any.
Of course, there are also a few drawbacks to wireless security cameras:
- Potential issues with connectivity or interference.
- Wireless cameras do still need power to operate. Those that plug in directly are suspectable to power outages, and those that use batteries can run out of juice.
- If you do need to replace the batteries or recharge the unit, depending on where the camera is mounted, this can add additional inconvenience that reoccurs every couple of months.
- You may still need to drill to run a cord if you choose a plug-in variety.
- Hackers may be able to see the images, though quality cameras support data encryption and wireless security protocols.
- There are limitations in range, depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal.
Wired vs. Wireless Home Security Cameras: What’s Best for You?
Because no person or home’s security needs are exactly the same, only you—with the help of trusted security professionals—can decide what system best works for you, your home, and your security needs. The great news is that you have options, and we’re here to help.
Regardless of where you live in Canada, an ADT (now Telus) monitored alarm system from Alarm Guard will keep you feeling secure and protect your assets. Save now on your homeowner’s insurance with an ADT (now Telus) system! Check out our packages