Wireless Security Cameras Versus Wired Cameras


A hand holding a cell phone

Wireless security cameras are small closed-circuit camera systems that transmit a digital video and audio feed to an on-off-air receiver via a radio frequency. These cameras are most commonly used for surveillance by homes and businesses. Some wireless security cameras have a built-in DVR (digital video recorder) that allows recording to be done even when the camera is not in operation, although this feature is becoming less common as camera technology improves. Most wireless security cameras require only one wire or cable for power; however “wireless” refers generally to the transmission of sound/video. 

The most common types of wireless security cameras are transmitter/receivers, closed-circuit video cameras, and wireless closed-circuit video cameras.

The transmitter

A traffic light sitting on the side of a building

The transmitter, also called the objectifier, is the part of the system that acquires and transmits information to the receiver. There are essentially two types of transmitters: software controlled and hardware controlled.

Software-controlled units are easier to set up and use because the user does not have to configure the camera’s settings before transmission. 

Hardware-controlled units must be manually configured and most users find it difficult to operate them. Both types of units can transmit video and sound, but each type differs in the number and quality of features available.

Wire-free systems

A hand holding a camera

For a truly wire-free system, a wireless security cameras system should incorporate a motion detection unit. These simple devices will automatically detect movement and transmit the information to the receiving device or the administrator. A continuous flow of data can be valuable in security applications, particularly when multiple personnel are entering or leaving a building or room.wire-free systems

A separate recording device is necessary for  to ensure a continuous flow of footage. High-end units with hard drives and internal memory allow for easy and efficient storage of footage. Some small, portable wireless security cameras models do not have built-in recorders and instead require an external recording device. These units may have a single DVR or an optional VCR. However, the quality of the footage recorded from the external recording device is not as consistent as footage recorded from a recording device that is connected to the unit directly.

Wired systems

Most wired systems work by using a rechargeable battery. These units must be manually replaced every few years because they run down quickly. In contrast, wireless security cameras utilize rechargeable batteries that can be easily carried with you. Rechargeable batteries provide long hours of recording time and are considered more reliable than batteries that must be replaced. When purchasing rechargeable batteries, it is important to ensure that they are compatible with the camera model being purchased. For best results, it is recommended that cameras be stored in a dry area.

The benefits of wireless security cameras

The benefits of wireless security cameras include: they are easy to install without the need for manual wiring; they do not require a hot-water connection like wired systems; they are more sensitive to interference from other wireless devices; they are usually waterproof and can withstand falls, flooding, and electrical outages; and, they can be placed almost anywhere.

Another advantage to wireless security cameras over wired cameras is that wi-fi networks have the ability to transmit video footage over distances much farther than traditional wired networks. Wi-fi is widely used by many wireless device users in both homes and businesses. Video transmitted via wi-fi does not need to be broadcasted through walls or windows to be viewable by others. This feature allows homeowners to monitor footage outside the house that might not otherwise be covered by other means.

Wireless camera systems also provide much better night vision capabilities than do traditional wired cameras. Many models enable the user to view live footage even in total darkness. The most popular wireless security cameras used for this purpose are the nanny cams created by manufacturers such as Hidden Vision Systems. These hidden cameras allow the homeowner to get a full view of activities taking place in and around their home even when no one is present.

In summary, wireless security cameras offer many advantages that make them a preferred choice over wired security systems. They are easy to install and operate, require little or no wiring, offer night vision capabilities, and can be moved around in case a homeowner chooses to live in different areas of their property. It is recommended that any home security system that includes a wireless camera should also include additional monitoring options such as remote surveillance via a smartphone or computer, in case the camera is left unattended. Installing wireless security cameras may cost a bit more initially, but it will pay for itself in the time and money saved on unwanted intrusions.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter