Wired vs. Wireless Security Camera Systems: 4 Major Differences You Need to Know
Knowing the differences between wired and wireless security camera systems is crucial in order to make an informed decision
If you’re looking for security cameras for your business, the options can feel overwhelming. We’ve walked you through the reasons why you should invest in security cameras, how to get the most out of your security cameras, and more, but today we’re tackling a new topic: the four most important differences between wired and wireless security camera systems.
Here are some of the factors you’ll want to keep in mind:
Okay, this might seem obvious, but wired cameras have wires that connect them to a power source, while wireless cameras are fully self-contained. It gets a little more complicated than just wires or no wires, though, as there are different models available. Wired cameras might be old-school analog security cameras that have two cables: a power cable and a coaxial cable that connects the camera to a DVR. However, wired security cameras also include IP cameras that are connected to a central network or recording device via Ethernet cable. There will be wires no matter what (as indicated by the name), but some wired cameras will be a little bit clunkier and require more cables than others.
Wireless security cameras, on the other hand, have no cables attached. They still need a power source, so most wireless cameras run off of batteries or solar power. Pay close attention to the specs of wireless cameras and their power sources, as you’ll need to be proactive about ensuring they never run out of power. After all, it doesn’t do you much good to have security cameras around if they aren’t on! Wireless cameras rely on Wi-Fi to transmit the images they record to the cloud or another storage location.
The structure and physical housing for wired and wireless security cameras are one of the most basic differences to pay attention to. Think about your office or business layout; will it be challenging to run wires? Or will it be a relatively simple task to install either type of camera? If you’re unsure how complicated installation would be, check out the next point for more info.
We always recommend working with a professional installer to ensure that your new business security cameras are properly installed, but it’s still helpful to know the basics about how installation differs between wired and wireless security camera systems.
Wired cameras typically require drilling holes and—in some cases—opening up walls and ceilings to run the cabling. However, running cables is a fairly straightforward process for experienced installers. Wireless security cameras pose their own unique challenges for installation. While they might not require the same cables as wired cameras, it can be tricky to get the installation correct so that the camera will work as intended. That said, wireless cameras may be a better option for locations that don’t have power or would otherwise prevent wired security cameras from being installed.
If you are thinking about installing your new business security camera system yourself, be mindful of what you feel confident in installing. Wireless security camera systems might seem friendlier for DIY-installers on the surface, but they can actually be more difficult to get right than wired cameras. If you try to install your new business security cameras yourself and get in over your head, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional installer to ask for assistance!
This is a big one. You need to be able to depend on your new business security camera system, so reliability is vital. Both wired and wireless security camera systems are generally reliable, but there are a few factors that make wired security cameras slightly more reliable.
For starters, wireless security camera systems are more susceptible to interference from nearby devices like cell phones or other devices that access Wi-Fi. This interference can cause the cameras not to record properly, and recordings may not be successfully transmitted and stored. In a similar vein, wireless security camera systems are more prone to data connectivity issues than wired systems. You’ll need to ensure that you have a strong, stable Wi-Fi signal around the clock if you want your wireless cameras to work effectively.
The power source is also something to think about. Wired cameras are vulnerable to power outages, so be sure to plan ahead about what you’ll do if your business loses power. Wireless security cameras have unique power supply needs as well. If you opt for solar-powered wireless security cameras, you have to monitor the amount of sun the cameras are exposed to in order to verify that they’re getting enough of a charge. If they’re battery-powered, create a regular schedule to check and replace batteries before the die so that you don’t accidentally end up with dead cameras.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may have a need or maximum security within your security camera system. If that’s the case, wired cameras are more likely to meet your needs since they are almost always set up on a closed loop. That means it will be nearly impossible for your cameras to be hacked or influenced by an outside party; the only way to interfere with a closed-loop system is by cutting the cords, which will quickly alert system monitors.
Wireless cameras are more susceptible to outside interference. The Wi-Fi network can be interrupted using signal jammers, thus preventing the cameras from effectively transmitting the images they’re recording. It’s also possible to hack the Wi-Fi signal and interrupt or influence the camera feeds that way. Security for wireless security camera systems has progressed in leaps and bounds, but they’re still not quite as secure as a closed-loop wired camera system.
Buying a business security camera system is an investment in the longevity and well being of your company. Getting the right tools for the job is critical, and determining whether you want wired or wireless security cameras is a big part of that. If you think about the needs of your business, what kind of installation process you’re equipped to handle, reliability, and the level of security you need, you’ll be well on your way to identifying what type of camera will meet your needs and keep your business safe!
About the Author
As datanet IT, our experts specialize in working with clients to design tailored security solutions. If you’ve got questions about whether a surveillance camera system is best for you, feel free to reach out to us today and we’re happy to work with you! If you wish to be contacted about an install, please fill out this form.