If you've ever considered setting up a home security system, you've undoubtedly come across multiple options for security cameras and probably have some questions. Which option would best protect your family? What features of a security system are most important?

One of the biggest considerations for many people is the type of security camera to get. Security cameras may be wired or wireless, and it's important to understand how each works and what the pros and cons are before making a decision.

From indoor and outdoor security cameras to video doorbell cameras, we want to eliminate any questions you may have about which security system to choose. This guide should teach you everything you need to know about wired and wireless security camera options, so you can decide which best fits your needs.

Wired Security Cameras vs. Wireless Security Cameras
Wired Home Security Cameras Wireless Home Security Cameras
Wired home security cameras rely on a hardwired connection to receive power and transmit signals to a central hub. Wireless home security cameras use a secure network to keep your devices connected.

Wired Security Cameras

Wired security cameras rely on a hardwired connection to transmit the camera's footage to a central recording hub. From there, the information is stored or sent to a network so users can view a live stream or replay the footage later.

In addition to needing a wired connection to the hub, they also require a power supply, which might be in the form of a separate connection to a power outlet or down the same wire as the video feed.

As long as you have the right storage, you can rest assured your video footage is safe. The biggest benefit of using a wired security camera is that the information being transmitted is better protected since it doesn't need to rely on a wireless signal to transmit security footage. The video feed remains safe, no matter the distance, as long as the wires are still connected to the central recording hub.

Because of this, security systems that need to cover a lot of area without an interrupted feed benefit greatly from a wired system. There is no need to worry about whether a Wi-Fi signal can reach. The wires do the hard work.

However, it is for this reason that the process of installation can take much longer. The wires must be run from the cameras to the central hub. And in a large system, that can be a lot of wiring.

While a wired system makes these cameras perfect for uninterrupted video feeds, they can be susceptible to power outages whenever they don't have a backup energy source or battery to keep them powered. When any component of the wired security camera loses connection like during a power outage, the system can become completely crippled. For those who depend on this type of system, their wired security system benefits from having an alternate power source, like a backup generator.

There is one additional susceptibility to consider in a wired system, and that is the fact that wires can be cut if they are exposed and reachable. If a potential intruder can cut the video feed wire, the camera becomes instantly disabled.

Wireless Security Cameras

Wireless security cameras transmit their video signal without a hardwire connection. It's important to note that this doesn't make all models of cameras completely wireless. Some models may still require a hardwired power source, while others are powered by batteries. In fact, the distinction is often made by calling battery-powered cameras "wire-free."

When these security cameras are powered, they send video footage to your Wi-Fi router. From there, the footage can be sent directly to your phone as a live feed or stored in the cloud for later viewing. Using this technology, companies like ADT can send notifications whenever your wireless security camera detects movement. Then, they can instantly provide you with footage from your wireless security camera directly to your mobile phone using their mobile app.

Because wireless security cameras depend on a quality Wi-Fi signal to work properly, camera placement is very important. You want to make sure your camera is close enough to send its feed to your network without interruption. If you find yourself suffering from a low-quality video feed, you may need to move your wireless security camera closer to your network router.

Additionally, if your wireless security camera is battery-operated, they require you to pay attention to their power levels. Once the batteries die, your feed is no longer capable of being transmitted.

Luckily, most battery-powered wireless security cameras are configured to send a notification to your mobile phone whenever their battery power is low. Also, some models have rechargeable battery packs, so you don't have to worry about purchasing new batteries when the old ones die.

Wireless cameras may require more maintenance but allow more flexibility of placement. Battery-operated wireless cameras provide the most flexibility since they don't require wires at all.

ADT offers a variety of options for your outdoor or indoor security camera needs

Comparing Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras

Whether you choose a wired or wireless security system will depend entirely on your needs. We'll discuss the benefits of each below:

  • Mounting: Wired cameras are more of a fixed style of camera, so you'll need to make sure they have a constant connection. Finding a place to mount your wired camera that's out of reach will prevent tampering, but you must also ensure you can still run wires for power and video signal without interruption.

    The benefit of a wireless system is the fact that you can transport it to a new location whenever you want. However, if you prefer to mount your wireless security camera, make sure to do so at a height where it won't be tampered with. Also, make sure to mount your wireless security camera where it can still connect to your Wi-Fi network.

  • Power source: Without power, your wired security camera won't work. Make sure you place your camera where there is a trustworthy power source that is close enough to your camera to utilize. Sometimes, this can be hard to achieve, which makes a battery-powered wireless system more beneficial.

    Wireless security cameras are powered in two ways. You can either power your camera with a power cable, or you can power the camera with batteries. Powering your wireless security camera with a cord causes the issue of needing to place it close to a power source. However, battery-powered wireless security cameras need to be monitored more often to make sure the batteries still have plenty of power. Most systems allow you to check the power level of your wireless security camera via your mobile phone to prevent any disruption in the footage.

  • Length of wire: Your wires are the life source of your wired security system, making a clean and efficient setup tricky. Be aware of any extra wire needed to go around or over obstacles between your camera and its recording hub. Most times, it's easier to have a professional set your wired security system up for you.

  • Hiding exposed wires: You may want to hide your exposed wires. Wires can be buried, hidden in the siding of housing, or in wooden slabs for protection.

    While your wireless security camera transmits its signal through your Wi-Fi network, you may still need to hide exposed power cables unless you choose to use batteries instead.

  • Wi-Fi connectivity: A wired security system works through a direct connection to a recording hub. They have no Wi-Fi connectivity. While they provide a more stable feed, they are limited by their inability to connect to your network.

    Since a wireless camera works through a Wi-Fi signal, you must always ensure the security camera is within an appropriate distance from the signal. Without a quality signal, your video feed may be disrupted or distorted, so take this in mind when deciding on placement for your wireless security camera.

Weatherproofing

Weatherproof cameras are a necessity for wired or wireless cameras you plan on exposing to the elements. Luckily, ADT provides cameras that can resist extreme weather. All ADT outdoor cameras are built to withstand:

  • Weather conditions as low as -40°F thanks to built-in heaters.
  • Weather conditions up to 122°F.
  • Snow, rain, and humidity.

 

When to Choose a Wired Security Camera System

For businesses, secure facilities, and any other expansive location needing constant security monitoring, a wired security camera could settle all your protection needs. Likewise, a homeowner who doesn't plan on moving any parts of their home security system could benefit from the dependability and uninterrupted connection found in a wired security camera.

When to Choose a Wireless Security Camera System

If you want the flexibility of moving your system whenever you like, a wireless security camera is a great option. Battery-operated wireless cameras don't have cords tying you to a specific location, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

For renters who don't want a permanent security camera system, wireless security cameras make it easy to take their system with them whenever they move. For families who want to change the space they monitor, a wireless security camera can easily be taken down and put up in another room when needed. They give you the ability to put a camera wherever you want, whenever you want.

Trust the Experts

If you're considering installing a home security system in your home, it's good to know all of your options before making the commitment. For security cameras, your options are wireless or wired and depending on the specific needs of your family, one may be better for you than the other. With this guide, you should feel comfortable in deciding which setup is best for your needs.

ADT prides itself on being an industry leader. Our trained technicians and knowledgeable customer support staff are here to help you through any home security issues you may have. With an average of nine years of experience, our professional technicians will install your system the right way so you don't have to worry about it.

The ADT team of professionals provides the expertise you need to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Related Articles: