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How Do Wireless Security Cameras Work?

Gone are the days of long, obtrusive wires running across floorboards or walls. Many of today’s security cameras are wireless, using broadband or short-range technologies like Z-Wave to communicate with a control panel or connected smart device.

Wireless security cameras are easier to install, and they give you greater flexibility for placement.

Wired vs. Wireless Home Security Cameras

When security cameras first came out on the market, they had to be connected to an electrical source to work. Some cameras still work this way. These wired cameras rely on video cables to transmit video signals to a viewing device, like a computer or television.

With a wireless security camera, the video signal—and, with some, the audio signal as well—is transmitted over the internet or other wireless network to a receiver that connects to your viewing and recording device. Many people use computers or Cloud storage accounts to save the video footage for later viewing.

Wireless Security Camera Benefits

As mentioned above, wireless security cameras are easier to install than the wired alternative. Wired cameras must connect to your home's electrical system, so you’ll need to hire a professional for the installation. Wireless cameras rely on Wi-Fi or other networks. Follow the instructions, and you can set up and connect most cameras in less than thirty minutes.

Wireless security cameras are often more ideal for renters, people new to home security, or those on a budget. Not only are wireless security cameras less expensive than wired systems, but they’re also easier to move and transport. Just unplug them, and you’re ready to go!

Wireless Security Camera Limitations

It’s important to note that there are limitations to a wireless security camera’s capabilities. A wireless camera must maintain a signal and connection to your network to record and capture footage. If your connection is disrupted, your wireless security camera can’t send the feed to your viewing device.

Additionally, if the camera is completely wireless, it’ll need to be powered by a battery. In this kind of arrangement, you’ll need to make sure to replace the battery before it dies.

Lastly, a wireless camera generally can’t be too far away from the main hub. If there’s a direct line of sight, a wireless camera’s range may reach up to 500 feet or more. Within a house, the range is usually lower—around 150 feet—though not always.

The signal range depends on a few factors, including your home’s building materials, other wireless devices in the area, and any walls or objects through which the signal has to pass. Standard drywall and glass windows may not impact the strength of the camera’s wireless signal, but brick and concrete will. If there are brick walls, concrete floors, and large trees in between the camera and receiver, your signal strength will likely weaken.

Wireless security cameras are a great addition to your home security system, as they offer you 24/7 viewing access to your home, no matter where in the world you are.

Now, explore the best home security cameras on the market and see which ones can integrate with your home security system.

SafeWise Best Home Security Companies of 2018

The SafeWise team has researched and reviewed security companies from around the nation. Each year we release our annual rankings. Check out our picks below! To read more, including reviews and packages, you can visit our Top Home Security Systems of 2018.

What We Love

  • 30-day, risk-free trial
  • 100% wireless security system
  • DIY, no-cost installation

What We Love

  • The most monitoring centers
  • 140 years of home security experience
  • Theft protection

What We Love

  • Flexible financing
  • Energy management
  • Sleek, state-of- the-art equipment

What We Love

  • Lifetime equipment warranty
  • Low up-front costs
  • Locked-in rates for life