Insights

Wired vs wireless security cameras: when and where to use them in your business (2024)

October 31, 2023

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

There is no one type of commercial security camera that can be used in all situations. The best video surveillance systems deploy different types of cameras to the locations where their advantages are best exploited. Here’s what you need to know about wired vs wireless security cameras to best place them in your business.

See how Solink maximizes the security value of your wired and wireless security cameras.

What is a wired security camera?

Wired cameras can refer to several types of cameras that require one or two wired connections for power and/or data transmission.

Analog security cameras have two wired connections, one for powering the camera, and the other, a coax cable, for transmitting data. However, in most cases, “wired camera” refers to modern IP security cameras.

IP cameras use power over Ethernet (PoE) connections to both provide electricity to the unit and transmit the video data. This makes them dependable and easy to install.

Wired security camera pros and cons

Wired cameras are the mainstay of the business security system market. That’s because they are easy to install and dependable.

Wired security camera advantages

Here are the main advantages of wired cameras:

  • PoE allows transmitting data and power over a single cable.
  • Easy to install as there is only one cable running to the NVR or DVR.
  • Dependable, long-lasting cameras.
  • Models available that can be installed in almost all indoor and outdoor locations.
  • Longer transmission range than WiFi cameras.

Wired security camera disadvantages

Here are the main disadvantages of wired cameras:

  • Cannot be used far from power source.
  • If cabling is not possible, then wireless security cameras may be necessary.
security camera illustrations in row

What is a wireless security camera?

Wireless security cameras generally refer to cameras that transmit their video feed wirelessly but still require power via a standard power cable. Although there are battery- or solar-powered security cameras, they tend to only be used where electricity is impractical.

That’s because these cameras can be considered less robust than those connected to the grid. It can also be impractical to regularly service the camera with new batteries or to clean the solar panels. In fact, these types of security cameras tend to only be used for residential purposes where running cables would be onerous or damaging to the property value and the security level doesn’t need to be as high.

Both digital and analog security cameras can be wireless. Wireless analog cameras connect to the network using a radio frequency (RF) signal. Conversely, wireless digital (IP) cameras connect to the network via WiFi. 

However, practically all current wireless security cameras use WiFi. WiFi signals are very robust to noise, but their range is still very limited compared to wired connections.

Wireless security camera pros and cons

Generally speaking, the disadvantages of wireless cameras outweigh their advantages. However, there are places too remote for wired security cameras, in which case a wireless one could be the best option. 

Wireless security camera advantages

Here are the main advantages of wireless cameras:

  • They can be deployed in more remote locations away from the grid when battery powered.
  • Don’t require any cabling, minimizing the installation requirements.

Wireless security camera disadvantages

Here are the main disadvantages of wireless cameras:

  • Less robust than wired cameras.
  • Need regular maintenance to remain operational.
  • Noise can disrupt the video signal, causing data loss.
  • Impractical where many other WiFi signals may interfere with the camera’s transmission.

While it’s never easy to say one type of security camera is better than the other, since most have their place in a video surveillance system, the majority of business camera systems will be 100% wired. 

Indeed, wired security cameras are more reliable than wireless ones. Therefore, Solink recommends using wired, specifically PoE IP security cameras, in your business whenever possible.

Where should I use wired vs wireless security cameras?

Use wired security cameras both indoors and outdoors whenever possible. If a wired connection is possible and practical, then wired security cameras are the best choice.

Where should I use wireless vs wired security cameras?

Only use wireless security cameras when they are your only option. For example, historical buildings might not allow holes to be made for running cable and therefore only wireless cameras can be installed. 

Similarly, a very long fence line along a mining operation’s outer perimeter may only need intermittent video footage of movement and not want to spend the money on Ethernet cabling and repeaters, so settling for less reliable wireless cameras is a reasonable trade off. 

Solink is your one-stop shop for cloud-based security cameras and video surveillance. We can source business security cameras at competitive prices and then have them installed.

Our AI video analytics platform comes with helpful features that lower costs, save you time, and improve revenue. 

If you are looking to install or upgrade your security cameras, sign up for a demo today.

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Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.