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Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras, Which is Better?

Home Security Tips

If you’re considering installing a security system, you might be wondering whether wired or wireless security cameras will provide better protection. The answer is—it depends! Wired and wireless cameras each have unique benefits depending on your needs.

The terms “wired” and “wireless” describe how the cameras transmit data, not how they are powered. Both wired and wireless cameras are typically powered through a standard power outlet, although some wireless cameras are powered with batteries instead (these are called “wire-free” cameras). However, although they are powered similarly, wired and wireless cameras have very different approaches to security monitoring.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through several factors to consider to help you make the best decision about which type of camera is best for you:

  • Cost
  • Data security
  • Connection reliability
  • Continuous vs. passive monitoring
  • Property type

Whichever security system you choose, Ackerman Security is here to support you with our 24/7 monitoring services. When you’re ready to choose comprehensive protection for your home or business, contact us!


Cost

There are three main factors that determine security camera cost: the cost of the equipment, the installation cost, and monthly storage fees. A basic cost comparison is below:

  • Cost of the equipment: wireless cameras > wired cameras
  • Installation cost: wired cameras > wireless cameras
  • Monthly fees: wireless cameras only

The differences in cost are due to the different ways that wired and wireless cameras work.

Wired security cameras transmit security footage via wires to a central storage hub located on the property, where footage is typically saved for 7–14 days. Because all data is stored in the central hub, each camera must be connected with a wire to the central hub. This can result in a lot of wires spread throughout the property being monitored, so for security and aesthetics, most people want those wires to run through walls or ceilings.

Unfortunately, this means installation costs for wired security cameras can be much more expensive than those for wireless security cameras, which can often be installed for free by the property owner. However, because all data is physically stored on the premises, there are no ongoing fees associated with wired security cameras.

Wireless security cameras transmit security footage to the cloud using Wi-Fi. This capability gives property owners flexibility over how long to store footage—some subscription services will store footage for up to 60 days, which is much longer than the storage capabilities for wired cameras. However, this flexibility comes at a price since the property owner will be responsible for an ongoing monthly fee to maintain their cloud storage.

Data Security

You can have the most advanced security cameras in the world, but if their data is not protected, they are useless. As long as the wires remain connected, wireless cameras are secure; wireless cameras, on the other hand, can be vulnerable to hacking unless the proper precautions are taken.

Like any device that connects to the internet, without security precautions such as a strong password or two-factor authentication, wireless cameras can be hacked and their footage copied or erased (we have a whole blog on this topic—check it out here!).

However, it’s unlikely the average intruder is capable of hacking into your camera and deleting your data. Because of their wireless capabilities, it’s much easier to hide wireless cameras or install them out of reach of an intruder, protecting them from physical manipulation that could compromise your data.

Wired cameras, on the other hand, are sensitive to physical manipulation if their wires are exposed. If an intruder cuts the wires on a wired camera, then the camera will stop recording security footage.

Connection Reliability

For reliable connection and clear footage, a wired camera is the safest option. 

Wireless cameras rely on a strong Wi-Fi signal to transmit footage, so if your Wi-Fi connection is slow, your security footage may appear choppy or grainy. You may be able to identify an intruder is in your home but might not see a clear enough image to identify the individual.

To ensure your wireless camera has a strong connection to your Wi-Fi, it can be helpful to place your camera near your Wi-Fi router. However, your connection will remain susceptible to interruptions due to weather or slowdowns due to high internet usage.

Continuous vs. Passive Monitoring

Do you want your security camera to record everything or to turn on only when movement is detected? While both wired and wireless cameras can be set to perform continuous security monitoring, only wireless cameras can be set to record only when they detect sound or motion. Because it costs money to store wireless camera data, it might be a better idea to use a wired camera if you are looking for continuous monitoring coverage. 

Property Type

Wireless cameras are easy to move, while wired cameras, once installed, are permanent. Therefore, if you are renting your home or anticipate wanting to move your security cameras at some point, a wireless camera is a better option. Wired security cameras are a good option if you own a business or own your home and don’t anticipate changing your security coverage area.


Still have questions about which camera type is better for your custom needs?

Schedule a free consultation for an expert opinion on home security from an Ackerman Security technician!

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