Wireless vs. Hardwired Surveillance Cameras
Wireless seems like the easiest way to add cameras to your house, but is it the best solution?
Nothing’s more important than keeping your home safe for your family which is why security is one of the most popular electronic amenities for the smart home. Whether your system is programmed by a professional or you go it alone by using DIY home security products, a well-planned system can ensure peace of mind.
I am asked nearly every day which is better; wired or wireless surveillance cameras. Interestingly enough, the answer is; it depends on your application, needs and expectations. Today’s “safety-first” homeowner not only wants a deterrent against break-ins and property damage, they are looking to assist law authorities with video documentation of criminal wrongdoing, should it occur.
If you’ve been surfing the Internet for a surveillance camera, you’ve probably noticed that wireless IP cameras are all over the place—and for good reason. Minus the need to install low-voltage wire to make them work, they are relatively simple for a do-it-yourselfer to install. Plus, they can be moved relocated at any time, as long as you can get power to them or don’t mind replacing batteries.
These inexpensive, installation-friendly cameras from well-known manufacturers like Nest, D-Link, and Netgear have exposed a huge population of homeowners to the benefits of being able to remotely monitor their residences from anywhere. Add the fact that they are also easy to find—at popular home improvement stores and websites—and it’s no wonder that video surveillance ranks among consumers as a top home technology to add to their homes. In 2017, video surveillance is expected to increase about 50 percent over 2014 numbers. The demand has increased such that we sell a surveillance system to more than half of our clients for whom we are installing a security system. Homeowners not only want to know what is happening at their home; they want to see it.
Despite the impressive growth and adoption of IP surveillance cameras, there are still good reasons to consider hiring a pro to install a hardwired surveillance camera, especially if you’re going to be building a new house. Run that low-voltage wire while your house is being framed and hardwired cameras can be easily incorporated for not that much more money than a wireless IP surveillance camera you install yourself. You can always pepper a few wireless IP cameras throughout your house, but for critical areas like the back yard, driveway, and front door, we recommend using a hardwired surveillance camera. Here’s why:
If the Internet goes down, so will your IP camera—which means no more seeing a real-time view of your house and property and no more recorded events since these types of cameras commonly record to the cloud. When the Internet is back up, the camera may need to be rebooted. It should also be noted that switching to a different router or even changing your Wi-Fi password can disable the camera until you are able to reconfigure it—not always an easy thing to do. A hardwired camera, on the other hand, is unaffected by the anomalies of Wi-Fi traffic or a finicky Internet connection; once they are set up they are virtually fail safe.
Additionally, you may receive false alarm alerts every time a wireless IP camera goes off line, and since many of these cameras use an algorithm to detect motion based on changes in pixels, something like a cloud passing over the sun can trigger an alert (annoying) and eat up storage space on your video recording device (DVR, the cloud, or an SD card).
Hardwired surveillance cameras, on the other hand, don’t see just in pixels; the motion is detected by looking at sequential images and comparing differences between them. If there are significant differences between the two consecutive images, the camera determines that there has been motion and it then records the event.
Again, this boils down to the integrity of your home network. When a camera is connected to a digital video recorder over its own dedicated piece of wiring, no other signals can interfere with the transmission of video. When video travels via Wi-Fi, it’s subject to all sorts of interference and any amount of traffic on the network can slow down communication. Furthermore, the bandwidth of dedicated low voltage wiring means that the image comes to you uncompressed – not so with wireless IP cameras. Hardwired cameras provide a good, clear picture consistently.
Cloud-Free Recording & Hack-Free
Just about everything has gone to the cloud—including video captured by IP surveillance cameras. Depending on the manufacturer, cloud storage of video footage may come with a monthly charge. If you’d rather not shell out more money—or you might feel uncomfortable about potential privacy risks of cloud storage—look for a camera that lets you record to an SD card or a hardwired camera that is intended to transmit video to a digital video recorder you keep at home. Hardwired cameras are designed expressly for home-based DVRs.
Additionally, because signals travel over dedicated wiring in a hardwired system, there is no risk of your video being hacked, unlike a wireless-IP camera setup.
It is also easier to find features like pan, tilt, and zoom; night vision; and wide field of view on a hardwired surveillance camera. Depending on your security concerns, these capabilities could be extremely important.
Interested in learning more about modern Surveillance systems? Innovative Home-Automation and Video-Solutions, LLC has designed and built custom home security, surveillance & automation solutions all across Texas. For more information on smart security, surveillance or automation, call Innovative Home-Automation and Video-Solutions, LLC today at 214-396-5858.