Much like having sturdy locks, having a home security system can do a lot for a homeowner's peace of mind. There are two main types of video security systems: wired systems and wireless systems. A video surveillance system can be hardwired to a house so that an alarm sounds when someone enters the house. These days, homeowners can even use a remote control panel to manage their security system, and to make sure that all of the settings in the camera system are on and functioning properly.
The similarities and differences between wired and wireless security systems can sometimes confuse consumers, and it is important to learn detailed information regarding each of these types of home security devices, including which type of security camera is most appropriate for a variety of different homes or applications. Wired security systems are hardwired to the home, inside and/or in outdoor areas around the house. This installation is usually more expensive and may require professional installation. However, wired security systems do not suffer from signal interference and cannot be hacked remotely.
Wireless cameras, on the other hand, are user-friendly, and simple security systems consisting of these cameras can easily be installed by homeowners. These are home automation systems that users love for the simple interface and ability to control everything from afar. This remote access control is a must-have for some users. However, wireless cameras do suffer from signal interruption and can be hacked if care is not taken. Wireless security systems also provide audio and video recording of significantly higher quality than wired models. Each type of security camera has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages, which is why many security systems companies, such as ADT, offer both and even hybrid options. This guide arms readers with the information they need to purchase the type of home security system that will best suit their needs.
Wired Security Cameras for the Home
Wired security cameras require users to run power and data cables from the recording device to the monitor where the camera's footage is displayed. In other words, wires must run through the space. This can be unsightly in a home environment, and it also poses a dangerous tripping hazard if the cables are not secured correctly. If buyers want the cables concealed, this usually involves hiring professionals to come and install both the concealed cables and the camera. In some cases, a house will be pre-wired for wired security because the previous homeowner set it up. If not, the installation process significantly increases the initial start-up cost of the hardwired option.
Wired security systems can be placed anywhere that users can get a power cable and a data cable to reach: in indoor or outdoor spaces. They can also include a motion detector, or let a user know when someone has opened a door or a window. However, because of the trailing cables, the cameras cannot be easily moved or repositioned after they have been installed, particularly if the cables have been professionally concealed. It is also more difficult to conceal a wired camera because of the trailing cables. Many homeowners like to use concealed cameras to monitor specific areas of their homes where they worry about protection in their absence.
Wired cameras tend to be considerably larger than wireless cameras. These wired security systems are often complex to set up, and they are typically not geared toward novices. They also produce inferior audio and visual footage when compared to their wireless counterparts.
Wired security systems have the distinct advantage of not being subject to interference. Wireless models are often subject to a wide and diverse range of signal interference, which causes audio or visual feed loss. Wired cameras, because they do not rely on a signal, transmitter, and receiver to record and feed images, are less likely to be subject to interference. Instead, the images are compressed and transferred as data packets via the cables, and go directly into the monitor or recording device. Consequently, users with a wired security camera system do not have to be concerned about their cellphones, radio frequencies, or bad weather conditions causing signal loss.
The use of wired surveillance equipment also significantly reduces the risk of the system being hacked, or remotely accessed by unauthorized individuals. This is very beneficial because many wireless systems can by the very nature of their design be manipulated, monitored, and controlled remotely, whereas wired systems without Internet access cannot be retrieved remotely. While this is not as convenient for homeowners, it is a more secure system.
Wireless Security Cameras for the Home
Wireless security cameras are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners. These devices are comparatively small and are easy to set up, even for people with limited technical knowledge or ability. One of the major advantages of wireless security cameras is the ability to position them anywhere within range of a wireless receiver. As long as the cameras are within range of the receiver, users can quickly and easily reposition the devices anywhere on their property. Wireless security cameras can also be easily concealed because of the lack of wires and also because they are generally smaller than their wired counterparts.
Low-end to mid-range wireless security cameras are fairly inexpensive. This, combined with their ease of use, makes them popular among homeowners. These security cameras do not require a data transfer cable, as they instead transmit the video and audio feed to a receiver that in turn transmits the data to the recording device or monitor. One of the biggest advantages with wireless security cameras is the clarity of the audio and the sharpness of the images or video footage they capture.
There are, of course, some disadvantages to wireless security cameras. One downside is that, despite not needing a data transfer cable, these cameras still require a power source. Having to use a power cable means that even though a camera only has a wireless transmitter, it is still, in essence, a wired unit. However, this limitation can be overcome by purchasing an adapter that allows users to connect a battery to the camera. Some newer models are already equipped with this feature at the time of purchase. Users should purchase a high-quality, long-lasting battery, such as a lithium ion battery; otherwise, they will be changing it frequently. To save money and help the environment, users ought to consider purchasing a lithium ion rechargeable battery pack and charger.
Another disadvantage of wireless security cameras is the increased risk of signal loss or interference. Interference can come from a plethora of sources, including cell phones, thick walls or floors, cordless phones, adverse weather, close proximity to power lines, and sunspots, among others. This interference can cause the feed to be jumpy, grainy, or lost altogether. Newer models experience interference to a lesser degree, but the increased risk compared to wired security camera systems still remains.
Wireless security cameras also require an intermediary in the form of a wireless receiver to gather the feed signals from the camera and pass them along to the recording device. This adds another element with the potential to break down into the overall security network.
Internet-enabled cameras are at risk of being hacked, or remotely compromised. Internet capabilities are very useful, particularly if homeowners wish to monitor their home in real time while they are absent. Without due care and attention, though, these cameras can be remotely viewed and controlled by people without the owner's permission to do so. One way of ensuring that this does not happen is by changing the default manufacturer's password the very first time the cameras are turned on and then continuing to change the password on a regular basis.
Alternative Types of Wireless Security Cameras for the Home
Aside from the standard wireless security cameras, which are generally mounted high on a wall either indoors or outdoors, there are several other options that may be considered. These other devices share the advantages and disadvantages of a wireless system, but each of them has a different application and some additional benefits and
Internet Protocol Cameras
Internet protocol (IP) cameras are, in effect, webcams. Their real-time feed can be monitored remotely by the homeowner. Using pre-set login credentials, they can view what is happening at their property from any Internet access point. Some high-end IP camera models can also be controlled remotely, giving the owner the ability to rotate the camera head and alter the position of the camera lens, which can be very useful when trying to manage video surveillance on large area with only a single camera.
Concealed cameras are also known as nanny cams. These devices are incredibly small wireless security cameras designed to covertly monitor the home or the activities of someone in the home without that person's knowledge. They can be concealed in almost any inconspicuous, everyday item, such as in a stuffed animal on a tissue box, or hidden among books on a shelf. Some models can be purchased already securely concealed within a child's toy.
It should be noted that in some areas, it is illegal to record someone without his or her prior knowledge. In other areas, it is illegal to covertly record both video and audio simultaneously without prior consent. Because these laws vary from one place to another, it is worthwhile to check local regulations before implementing such a device.
Choosing Between a Wired or Wireless Security Camera
Buyers should carefully weigh the pros and cons of both types of security cameras before making a purchase. The choice is ultimately based on personal priorities, as well as pricing. The following table summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of both wired and wireless security cameras, enabling users to compare the two and decide which is the most appropriate for their specific needs.
Wired Security Cameras
Not prone to signal interference
Very difficult for outsiders to hack into the feed
Able to be positioned anywhere within reach of a power source
Trailing cables can pose tripping hazards
Trailing cables make it difficult to conceal a camera
Difficult to move after they are installed
Considerably bigger than wireless options
Capture inferior audio and video
Wireless Security Cameras
Can be concealed more easily
Can be positioned anywhere in range of the receiver
Do not require data transfer cable
Provide superior audio and video output
Allow remote access by homeowner via the Internet
Can be subject to significant signal interference
Risk the possibility of hacking, or unauthorized remote access
Require a power source even though wireless
May have legal regulations associated with their use if they are concealed, depending on location
Buying Home Security Cameras on eBay
Wired and wireless security camera systems are available from both online and brick-and-mortar electronics stores. They are also sold at home security specialist stores. eBay features an extensive range of home security equipment that includes wired and wireless cameras, such as IP cameras and nanny cams.
Before confirming a purchase, you should view the feedback score of the seller and read reviews to make sure he or she has a decent positive feedback percentage. Positive reviews indicate that the seller consistently provides good products and a high level of service. You should also ensure the seller offers shipping insurance that covers the value of the items, particularly for expensive and fragile electronics like the home security cameras discussed in this guide.
ConclusionA home security system can do a lot to improve the feeling of being safe, whether you are in the home or far away. Security systems can trigger an alarm to help catch home invaders, or help parents check to make sure a teenager is not misbehaving while they are away. This guide gives prospective home security system buyers an extensive overview of wired and wireless security cameras, with an extensive list of their respective advantages and disadvantages.
This buying guide aims to provide readers with the information they need to make an informed decision regarding whether to purchase a wired or wireless security camera for their home. Wired security cameras are more expensive than wireless ones, and are also more difficult to set up correctly and effectively. One of the biggest factors for whether a homeowner will opt for a wired system will be if the home is pre-wired for such a setup, since that eliminates the need for a professional installation. Wireless security cameras, however, are much easier to use, and they provide far superior audio and video output. Still, they are subject to signal loss and can be hacked remotely, particularly if they are Internet accessible. The choice depends on what the homeowner wants and needs from a security camera. If a homeowner is looking for easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing devices with clearer outputs, then wireless cameras may be the best answer. If a homeowner wants permanent cameras that are very reliable and not susceptible to hacking, and trailing cables are not an issue, then wired cameras may be the ideal choice.