Wired vs. wireless security cameras: Which is better for home surveillance?

We researched the best wired and wireless security camera system options on the market, and here are the top products we’ve found to help you monitor your home.

Wired vs. wireless security cameras: What’s the difference?

Whether you like it or not, you can’t always be at home. However, when you invest in a security camera, you can have eyes on the things that matter most to you at all times. That’s where a security camera comes in handy. You can choose between wired or wireless security cameras.

There are some distinct differences between wired and wireless security cameras, making them better for certain consumers. Wired security cameras are powered by a cable connection and require cable connections for internet and recording. These cameras are primarily used to monitor large properties. Wireless security cameras do not require a cable connection for internet and recording, but may still require a cable connection for power.

As the conventional option for monitoring large properties, wired cameras are reliable and not vulnerable to interference from wireless signals. The footage captured by wired cameras must be stored in either a DVR or NVR. They take longer to install than their wireless counterparts, whose installation is typically quick and easy. 

Both wired and wireless security cameras are susceptible to extreme weather and power outages. While wired cameras are great for long-term surveillance solutions, wireless cameras are better suited for those who move around frequently.

The pros & cons of wired security cameras

Pros

  • More cameras can be added to extend the system
  • No interference from nearby objects
  • Better solution for permanent locations

Cons

  • Difficult to install
  • Less portable
  • Affected by power outages

The pros & cons of wireless security cameras

Pros

  • Quicker installation
  • Easier to transport to new locations
  • Extended life during power outages with battery backup

Cons

  • Can encounter signal interference from other devices
  • Can be vulnerable to power outages if a wired power connection is needed
  • Can be hacked if signal is jammed

Factors you should consider before buying a security camera

The time of day it will be operating

When you begin your search for a wired or wireless security camera, it’s important to look for the features that best suit the time of day your camera will be in operation. For example, if you plan on doing night time surveillance, look for options that include night vision or infrared capabilities.

The size of the area you will be monitoring

If your home, office or property is very large, and you require multiple cameras and feeds, consider a wired security camera. A wired security camera system in this instance will be able to provide the reliability and scalability you need. For smaller homes or offices, wireless security cameras are more viable options as you can monitor select areas easily. 

Installation difficulty

If you plan to set up your own security camera system, be aware that wired cameras are more challenging to install than wireless cameras. You may need to drill holes in your walls for running cables and connecting to your video receiver. Wireless security cameras can typically be set up in a minimal amount of time by connecting them to a power outlet (if battery power is not used) and setting up the device with your home internet connection and mobile app. Setup instructions will vary based on the manufacturer.

Long-term goals

Wired security cameras are ideal for long-term situations, for instance when you’re not planning to move or make drastic changes to your home in the near future. On the other hand, renters can benefit more from wireless security camera setups that are more flexible and portable.

Upfront cost as well as any required subscription fees

While high cost doesn’t always necessarily equal high quality, it’s not advisable to go for the cheapest option either. Keeping your home safe and secure is important, and you should invest in a camera system that is reliable.  You should also consider whether the camera you’re interested in requires a monthly or annual subscription to access features like video playback and live streaming.


Top wired security cameras

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eufy Security Video Doorbell

Key features:

  • Clear 2K footage
  • Intelligent AI technology to recognize human facial features
  • Facial image notifications to know who’s at your door

Product description:

The eufy Security Video Doorbell gives you the ability to see who’s at your door and keep your footage private with video encryption. Facial snapshots of visitors are sent to your phone so you can see who’s visiting without leaving your place, and clear 2K HDR video provides great footage during the day and night.

Foscam FN3108XE

Key features:

  • 720p HD video
  • Easy setup with a Power over Ethernet connection
  • View a live video feed and access videos from a smartphone

Product description:

This eight-channel surveillance system features four wired cameras that can be accessed remotely around-the-clock. Video footage is stored on an NVR recorder. When motion is detected, it instantly sends an email alert.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Key features:

  • 4K Supersight with 12 times the zoom
  • Smart alerts can differentiate between humans and objects
  • 130° view

Product description:

This smart outdoor security camera is designed with 12 times the digital zoom, allowing for close-up views in your footage. It’s also designed with person alerts, differentiating between individuals and objects. The three-hour snapshot feature allows you to review what you’ve missed in the last couple of hours.

Swann Wired PIR Bullet Security Camera

Key features:

  • Thermal, heat and motion-activated
  • 4K Ultra HD video
  • View a live feed and get push notifications on your smartphone

Product description:

This heat-sensing security camera is weatherproof and includes a built-in microphone. Used indoors, you can check on your pets or loved ones who may need assistance. Capable of color footage even at night, you’ll be able to see up to 150 feet, even in complete darkness.

Ring Floodlight Camera with Motion-Activated HD

Key features:

  • 1080p HD video with infrared
  • See, hear and talk to visitors from your phone, tablet or computer
  • Compatible with Alexa devices to launch real-time video

Product description:

This floodlight security camera produces high-quality audio and video and can detect motion up to 30-feet away. It requires a hardwired setup and comes with lifetime theft protection coverage, meaning that if your camera is stolen Ring will replace it at no charge to you

YI Outdoor Security Camera

Key features:

  • Low-cost optional emergency response service
  • 12 infrared LED lights for up to 50 feet of clear vision
  • Built-in alarm to warn unwanted visitors

Product description:

The YI Outdoor Security Camera features clear, 1080p video and a built-in alarm to let unwanted visitors know they’ve been spotted. You’ll get motion alerts and can view a live video feed from your phone. Opt in for Noonlight’s 24/7 emergency response service to enhance your protection.


Top wireless security cameras

Allconnect® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. However, Allconnect is responsible for all content on this page.

Arlo Ultra 4K UHD

Key features:

  • Fully wireless
  • 4K video capable
  • Smart notification system that differentiates between people, animals and cars

Product description:

The Arlo Ultra 4K UHD is equipped with a 4K sensor, making it possible to achieve the most detailed video recordings straight from your security camera. Though it’s one of the pricier options on the market, Arlo Ultra 4K makes up for it with its ease of installation and versatile capabilities. Use it for indoor/outdoor/day/night surveillance.

Kasa Cam Outdoor

Key features:

  • Customizable activity zones
  • Built-in siren
  • 1080p video with zoom

Product description:

Kasa Cam Outdoor captures crisp video and audio outdoors, no matter the time, day or night. This motion and sound-activated security camera is easy to install and sends alerts straight to your smartphone when activated. It also features a siren that can be used to ward off unwanted visitors.

Ring Stick Up Security Camera

Key features:

  • 1080p HD video
  • Includes rechargeable battery pack
  • Voice control capable with Alexa devices

Product description:

The Ring Stick Up Security Camera is a versatile wireless security camera that can be mounted practically anywhere. Use this camera to speak, hear and see what’s going on directly from your smartphone. This camera comes with the tools you need to set it up in mere minutes.

Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Security Camera

Key features:

  • Equipped with a solar-powered rechargeable battery
  • 1080p HD video and improved night vision
  • Instant playback through micro SD cards

Product description:

The Reolink Argus 2 is a wireless security camera that can be fully powered by battery or solar panel. You can watch recorded footage through the Reolink app at no additional cost. Created for versatility, you can use this camera both indoors and outdoors.

FAQs about wired and wireless security cameras

Are wireless security cameras good options for home surveillance?

Yes, wireless security cameras are a great option for monitoring your home, especially if you’re only wanting to monitor a few locations. If, however, you need lots of cameras and a more robust system, wired security cameras a better option.

What are the differences between a wired and wireless security camera system?

Wired security camera systems require a cable connection to a power source and/or internet source, while some wireless security camera systems operate over a Wi-Fi connection and a wired or battery-operated power source.

Are wireless security cameras truly wireless?

This will depend on the camera. Some wireless security cameras are powered by cord, while some are powered by battery. The battery-operated security cameras are truly “wire-free” since no cables are required to sustain power or maintain an internet connection.

Are wireless security cameras good for home renters?

Wireless security cameras are recommended for renters because they are portable and can be easily removed and reinstalled at a new location. Wired security camera systems typically require more work and are meant to be situated in a fixed location for a longer period of time.

Is professional monitoring available for wired and wireless security cameras?

This will depend on the provider or company. You’ll find that some providers offer professional monitoring as an optional purchase for an additional monthly fee. Usually, the monthly fee is inexpensive when no contracts are required with the price ranging anywhere from $5/mo. to $20/mo. depending on the provider. We recommend getting professional monitoring for your camera or security system whenever it’s available for added protection around-the-clock.