Home Security Cameras: Wireless vs Wired

CCTV surveillance camera

A great way to improve your family’s security is to invest in a surveillance camera system. Depending on your security needs, the two main types you’ll have to decide between are wired and wireless. 

With either type of camera, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your property when you’re away. While you’re inside your house, they’ll increase your safety by acting as a second set of eyes.

Since interested buyers may feel indecisive when it comes to choosing between the two, we’ll help you understand the primary differences in features between the systems. 

In a few short minutes, you should be able to work out which one will best enhance your home security system.   

Wired Security Camera

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4G 1080p IP Security Camera With 5x Optical Zoom

A wired security camera sends video and audio data from the camera to a central hub over a cable. Such recording devices are also called DVRs (digital video recorder). 

The number of cameras connected to the system can be anywhere between 4 and 16. Every camera keeps on recording at all times and the data is stored securely on the hub or can be sent to a network

In a DVR system, a wired secucamera gets power through a coaxial cable. However, newer models called NVR (networked video recorder) systems, receive power through the wire connected to the central hub: the PoE (Power Over Ethernet) cable. 

You can view the feed live using a smartphone or connect a computer monitor to the recording device to watch both old and live footage.

Pros and Cons of Wired Security Camera


  • More reliable, with minimal interference 
  • More secure, as wireless hacking is less probable 
  • Have consistent and clear audio and video signals
  • Larger field of view due to higher resolution cameras
  • Lower lag time, even in Live view


  • Requires professional installation, as several lengthy wires need to be run
  • High set-up costs 
  • Wires need to go through walls and ceilings if you want them hidden
  • Applications and software for remote viewing generally aren’t user-friendly or advanced
  • Not portable, and therefore cannot be relocated when you move 
  • The number of cameras in the system is limited by the ports on the DVR

Advantages of Wired Security Camera

When it comes to wired spy cameras, the biggest advantage that you’ll get is their reliability. You won’t have to worry about the wifi signal dropping or their battery life. 

As long as the wire to the hub remains intact, the signal remains uninterrupted. 

With a wired camera system, you decide if you want the system to connect to the internet to view the feed live when you’re away. 

In order to keep your data more secure, you can set up your system to operate locally without connecting to the internet. 

This also makes it rather unlikely (but not entirely impossible) to be susceptible to digital snooping.

Furthermore, wired cameras aren’t reliant on wifi signals and therefore, you can expect the feed from the HD camera to be fairly consistent. 

The video quality remains stable and is not vulnerable to bandwidth fluctuations. Plus, the cameras don’t require much bandwidth in the first place as they don’t send the data to the cloud.

You can also cover a larger area using wired security cameras than you can with wireless security cameras. 

Disadvantages of Wired Security Camera

While the cost of equipment for wired spy cameras are less than those of wireless security cameras, they tend to have higher installation costs. 

If you want to monitor a wide area, you’ll have to position the cameras far apart, meaning hundreds of feet of wires. 

Since you need to run them through walls and along the ceilings to connect to the central recording device, you’ll have to seek professional help. 

Furthermore, the applications and software that come with wired spy cameras are not as advanced or as user-friendly as those used by wireless security cameras. 

Keep in mind that you may have to set up a computer monitor to playback footage.  

Wireless Security Camera

wireless security camera - The spy store
4G Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

A wireless security system transmits audio and video data from cameras over the wifi signal. They are connected to a power source with a cable, unless they’re wire-free (battery-powered or connected to a solar panel). 

Once the wifi network receives the signal, it’s transmitted to a cloud server where it is stored. Certain cam specifications may include micro SD card storage. 

The footage can be accessed live or played back in the future. 

Wireless cameras are armed with motion detection and typically start recording if the sensors pick up movement. 

You can also expect your wireless system to come with night vision along with a built-in mic and Bluetooth speaker for two-way audio capabilities.

Pros and Cons of Wireless Security Camera


  • Easier to set up and install; perfect for DIYers
  • Easier to relocate and is ideal for renters or as temporary solutions 
  • Thieves and robbers cannot tamper the cameras by cutting wires
  • Comes with cloud storage, which makes viewing live feed on the go easier
  • Simple to scale up and add more cameras to the system


  • Still require wires for power source 
  • Vulnerable to wireless hacking 
  • Video quality depends on wifi signal 
  • Signals can drop due to interference with other wireless signals, devices or reflections from walls, floors or other building elements 
  • Signal range limited by wifi range
  • Lower image clarity and frame rates 

Advantages of Wireless Security Camera

Wireless security cameras are much easier and faster to set up than wired security cameras. Simply mount them to a wall or ceiling using a drill, then connect it to a power source and your wifi network, and it’s good to go. 

Since wireless cameras aren’t restricted by wires, you can relocate the cameras if the need ever arises. This flexibility also allows you to move the entire system to a new location if you ever need to.  

They are also rather straightforward to use. You can use your smartphone or tablet to view the live footage or playback old footage. Most wireless systems use cloud storage so you can store the data for longer.  

As there are no wires between the cameras and the hub, intruders will find it harder to physically tamper with the system. 

Wireless security cameras can range up to 500 feet given that there are no interferences (walls, buildings, etc.) in between.

Disadvantages of Wireless Security Camera

The performance of wireless security cameras relies greatly on the wifi network

If the wifi signal fluctuates, or if the router is positioned far from the camera, you’ll end up with unstable footage, higher lag times or no feed at all. 

The signal will also be interrupted if it has to pass through materials like brick or concrete blocks (drywall and wood studs should be fine).

The quality of the video will also change depending on the internet bandwidth. The strength of your wifi signal will vary depending on how many users are nearby and radio interferences with other wireless devices 

Lastly, since wireless cameras are connected directly to the internet and are accessible remotely, they are susceptible to getting hacked. 

Time to Make Your Choice  

Now that you are aware of all the differences between wired and wireless security cameras, all that’s left to do is select the one that’s right for you and order one.

The Spy Store offers a range of equipment to improve the safety of your loved ones and your assets. Please make sure that the product you want to buy is legal in your country and/or state of residence.

Featured Image: Pixabay by Molicris