Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras: Which Is Best for You?
If you are looking for new home security cameras, you might be confused about choosing the right kind of camera. The decision might not be as easy as it seems. On the one hand, wired security cameras might provide you with better overall coverage. On the other hand, wireless cameras are easy to move and install. There are a lot of other things that you might have to consider while choosing between the two. But first, let’s distinguish between wired vs. wireless security cameras, along with “wire-free” cameras.
Security Camera Power Sources
There are three main types of home security cameras:
- Wired Security Cameras: These are connected by wire to a power source and through an ethernet cable, to the internet.
- Wireless Security Cameras: These security cameras are connected to a power source. However, they connect to your Wi-Fi wirelessly for the internet.
- Wire-free Security Cameras: These are truly wireless, they are not connected to a power source and are instead powered by batteries. They also rely on Wi-Fi for the internet.
Now let’s do a comparison of these wired vs. wireless home security cameras to help you decide which of these options best matches your needs.
Wire-Free Home Security Systems
Wire-free home security cameras are very popular for the convenience they provide. With super-easy installation and setup, these DIY home security systems have a lot of perks. With cloud storage of data, you can access data from anywhere in the world. They can record video in full high definition and some also come equipped with night vision, for proper coverage during the dark. The best wireless home security systems also have an advanced machine learning algorithm that can detect suspicious activity. However, all of this relies on a stable internet connection which can greatly affect its performance. Furthermore, wireless security cameras connect to the internet and power wirelessly, which means you can have peace of mind during power outages.
- Easy Installation: The foremost reason most people opt for wire-free home security systems is the ease of installation. Essentially, all you need to do is put in the batteries and connect the system to Wi-Fi using the smartphone app. What this also means is it is easier to move if you want to change its location. You will save on professional setup costs as well. This is also a great option if you are a renter and you do not want to do permanent damage to the walls. Also when and if you move houses, the removal and then re-installation will be a piece of cake.
- Smart Features: Wire-free home security cameras come with many great features. With person detection, they can save a lot of energy by only powering on when a person is detected. With two-way communication, you can safely communicate with the person on the other side of the door. Some advanced wireless home security systems have a machine learning and artificial intelligence system that can detect suspicious activity, for example, it can detect if a person is constantly moving back and forth around your house. This can help you detect and prevent crime as it happens. In the case of crimes, some great home security systems can alert the authorities so you don’t have to, providing supreme protection.
- Smart Home Integration: Wire-free home security systems also seamlessly integrate with your smart home setup. Many now come equipped with voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Alexa, which add to the convenience. Apps are now very user-friendly and capable, thus providing you with peace of mind when you’re out and on the go.
- Cloud Video Storage: The cloud storage of recordings comes with its costs, but also adds to the accessibility. You can use the apps to view past recordings from any place that has an internet connection around the world. Furthermore, you can store the recordings for a longer period of time and decide what recordings you want to keep or not.
- Superior Video Quality: Unlike wired security systems, wire-free ones can record videos at much higher resolutions. You can record full HD and even 4K video in some cases, however, this again relies on the quality of your internet connection.
- Reliance on Wi-Fi: The biggest problem with wire-free home security camera systems is the reliance on Wi-Fi. Since all the video is being recorded and uploaded on the internet, you need an incredibly fast and stable internet connection to ensure safety. The problem with this is that sometimes even with a strong internet connection, other factors that are not in your control might affect the quality of the internet. Say perhaps that your neighborhood is particularly active, which will affect the bandwidth of your connection. Furthermore, there could be problems with your internet service provider. What the signal dropping will do is in some cases the video will drop its resolution so your 4K security camera might record at 720p. So you need to consider the strength and quality of your internet before making this decision. However, in most cases, this rarely becomes an issue.
- Privacy Concerns: Another major concern is when it comes to people’s privacy. Since security systems are often placed inside homes, these might record intimate conversations between you and your family. All of this is being uploaded on the internet to a cloud database. Even though it is nearly impossible, people are still skeptical about the reliance on the internet since this might get hacked. However, with cameras on the outside of the house, you will not need to worry about this stuff.
- Signal Interference: Another potential issue that you might face with wire-free home security setups is with the placement of your cameras and your Wi-Fi routers. If there is a lot of distance or a lot of walls between the routers and the cameras, the signals might often get distorted. Wireless signals might also interfere with other radio signals being used, however, that is extremely rare.
- Limited Coverage: Unlike wired systems, you can not have huge camera setups using a wireless internet connection. This is probably the first thing to consider because you can not expect to have a huge 16-camera monitoring system that covers your entire estate. However, for apartments and most houses, the coverage these will provide will be more than enough.
Wired Home Security Cameras
Wired PoE security cameras are usually good if you want to cover a large area. You can have up to 15 cameras that provide you with good and reliable coverage of all the corners of your house. Wired security cameras typically have two types; traditionally, these were DVR systems (Digital Video Recorder), and these were powered using a power cable and used ethernet for the internet. Nowadays there are NVR (Networked Video Recorder)systems. These have many features like a higher quality video when compared to DVR and these also have other features like person detection. NVR systems use PoE, or power over ethernet, meaning that these get both their power and internet access using the sole ethernet cable.
- Reliability: The biggest advantage of having wired PoE security systems is that they are very reliable. Unlike the other systems, wired cameras do not depend on the strength of your internet connection to keep recording. Even if there is a power outage, in most cases these will power themselves using batteries.
- Privacy: Furthermore, if you are skeptical about cloud storage of data, these are perfect for you since they do not store the video on the cloud. For many people, hacking is a genuine concern. Especially with home security systems, where a lot of your conversations are being recorded, you can feel safe knowing that none of it is being uploaded on the internet, and hence, can be hacked.
- No Cloud Storage Costs: Unlike wireless security systems, these do not store your data on a cloud-based server. This saves you all the additional costs that wireless security camera users have to pay for storage.
- No Signal Drops: The video quality of these will also remain constant, and high. Compared to wireless systems that may lower the video recording quality based on bandwidth, you can rest assured that with wired home security systems, everything will be recorded with good quality. Sometimes there is also signal interference and noise, which is not a concern while using wired systems.
- Large Area Coverage: If you want to install many cameras, to cover a large area, wired security systems are the route to take. Having the option of installing up to 15 cameras, in most cases, will meet all your security needs. These cameras can be connected to a single network and hence allow smooth monitoring.
- Tedious Installation: Perhaps the biggest headache with wired security systems is the installation process. Unlike wired security systems, which is pretty straightforward, with wired systems you will need to seek professional help in order to cater to all the wiring requirements of all the cameras. What this also means is that every time you move, or you want to change the location of a camera, you will again need to ask for professional help. Seeking professional help will add to the setup costs as well.
- Limited Apps and Features: Another drawback of having a wired camera system is that these systems do not have very user-friendly apps that help you easily monitor your house. Furthermore, a lot of wired systems lack a lot of new technologies incorporated by wireless systems, such as two-way communication and machine learning. Note, however, that this does not hold true for all wired home security camera systems and you should contact your provider for more information about the features offered. Many wireless systems now also smoothly integrate with your voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa, providing you with even greater accessibility. These features are also unavailable with wired systems.
- Power Outages: Unless your wired security camera setup comes with external battery support, these cameras may turn off in the case of a power outage. Note that this might put you at a significant security risk since blackouts are often associated with higher crime.
- Drilling: Since setting up wired security systems may require drilling your walls for power cables, many renters can not do that. So if you live in a rented space, you might want to reconsider wired security camera systems.
Wireless Home Security Camera Systems
Wireless home security camera systems are very similar to wire-free security systems, with one major exception; these require a power connection. These provide the same great features provided by the wire-free systems, with even easy installation, great apps and features, smart home integration, superior video quality, and cloud storage accessibility.
However, there are some downsides as well. Since wireless systems connect to a socket for power, these will cause problems during power outages. Furthermore, these might require some drilling to get a power connection and hence might not be suitable for some renters. Some other cons also remain, such as signal dropping issues, privacy concerns since data is being uploaded on the internet, and cloud storage costs.
Choosing Between Wired vs. Wireless Home Security Systems
To aid you in your decision-making process, here is a quick guideline that will help you in making the right decision. The following are a few of the things you need to consider when choosing between wireless and wired systems:
- Area Coverage: Do you want to cover a huge area for an estate or a small apartment/ house with 3 or 4 cameras? For larger areas, wired systems are appropriate. But for smaller setups, wireless is probably the best way to go.
- Wi-Fi Connection: Do you have a strong, fast, and stable Wi-Fi connection? If so you can opt for wireless systems because they come with a lot of cool features that will aid security. If your internet connection is weak, however, wireless systems will expose you to some risks.
- Moving: Are you a renter? Or do you move houses often? If so, you best not go with wired systems since they require you to drill cameras into the walls and have a significant setup cost.
Deep Sentinel is the answer to all your home security needs. With easy to install DIY wire-free home security systems, the set up is easy and hassle-free. Here at Deep Sentinel, we have got you covered for all types of your home security needs, be it wired, wireless, or wire-free. Deep Sentinel uses an advanced machine learning algorithm and combines it with live security camera monitoring (by real-life guards) so that any suspicious activity detected can be reported to the authorities within seconds. Your home has never been safer!