Home security systems deliver more than just a property protection strategy. They also help you monitor your family, pets, and other assets to guarantee maximum safety.
Furthermore, these units have evolved in function and style. For example, security cameras now give more than constant monitoring and a one-way view.
In addition to multiple convenience features, most modern cameras are wireless. They use Wi-Fi to converse with the control panel or connected smart device, making them easy to install and use.
However, homeowners wonder if they can improvise wireless security systems to work without Wi-Fi. Therefore, let’s address this question: Must I Have Internet for Wireless Security Cameras?
Thankfully, wireless security cameras can work without the internet, depending on how they interface with the control source. Besides, the term ‘wireless’ does not necessarily mean Wi-Fi dependent.
We have multiple camera brands utilizing other connections such as Bluetooth and cellular data to stream, share and save footage instead of an internet or Wi-Fi connection. As a result, you are spoilt for choice and can choose whichever strategy meets your preferences.
Further, this article discusses all you need to know about wireless security cameras, for instance, different types in the market, how to install them, and what to expect after installation.
What Is Wireless Security Camera?
A wireless security camera is an AC-powered device that transmits footage over WI-FI. It stores recorded footage on local media, such as a micro SD card or a cloud server, allowing you to access the images from anywhere.
These cameras are also famous because they are easy to mount, and you can view footage using a computer or smartphone.
A wireless camera is not wire-free since you must plug it into an outlet with a power cable. Instead, the device gets its name from its wireless internet (WI-FI)usage. Moreover, a wireless camera becomes a wire-free gadget when powered by a battery.
Wireless security cameras record when they detect sound or motion. But they can record 24/7 when plugged into a power source. Better still, when equipped with night vision, the devices capture high-resolution videos and even record them at night.
These cameras also feature two-way audio capabilities, allowing you to talk to the person seen by the unit.
Besides, some models utilize machine learning technology to alert you when they detect someone or a package. Thus, you are always aware of your home’s safety status.
We have three primary types of wireless security cameras, each made for a specific function. They are as follows.
1. Indoor Security Cameras. These gadgets are called nanny cams and work perfectly inside a home.
Moreover, you can mount them like outdoor cameras or on flat surfaces. Either way, they alert you when someone enters your house or apartment.
2. Outdoor Security Cameras. As the name implies, you mount these devices on your home’s exterior as they offer images of people or objects moving around your perimeter.
However, the cameras are helpful for apartment dwellers and require you to check the camera’s IP ratings to know what weather conditions they withstand. For instance, ensure it rates at least IP 65, meaning it’s dust tight and can handle water projected by a nozzle.
3. Doorbell Security Cameras. These security features are among the most popular in home safety technology. They are usually positioned outside your house, next to the front door: thus, protecting your home’s entrance and allowing you to view what’s happening on the doorstep.
Uses of Wireless Security Cameras
Generally, anyone can benefit from wireless security cameras, ranging from families to landlords. They are excellent home protection installations as deterrents and recovery tools.
For instance, trespassers are wary of homes or property with security cameras. Also, if a crime occurs, the cameras help gather evidence.
More specifically, vital groups that heavily benefit from wireless security cameras are:
- Smart Homes Owners. Smart homes are wireless, meaning wireless security cameras, unlike wired ones, can directly communicate with internet of things (IoT) gadgets. Besides, once the house communicates with the security cameras, you can use voice commands to adjust zooms, reposition cameras, and pull up footage on your smartphone or television.
- Renters. Tenants need surveillance systems and security cameras as much as homeowners do. Moreover, wireless security cameras work perfectly without requiring you to change your apartment permanently. This way, you can mount the hardwired security system even if your landlord prohibits you from tearing up walls.
- Landlords. Wireless security cameras are easy to install, allowing you to move them quickly from one area to another to suit your tenants’ preferences. In addition, they provide maximum security without the bulky equipment that ruins the facility’s curb appeal.
- Families. Interestingly, wireless security cameras are not just for preventing break-ins. They also allow you to watch your family when you are away. Better still, with two-way audio features, you can inform an injured person that helps is on the way or soothe a crying infant.
- Anyone Expanding Their Security System. Wireless security cameras are a perfect choice when you’re looking to add cameras to your security system. Besides, they are user-friendly and easy to install.
Other uses of wireless security cameras include
1. The Cameras Are The Most Efficient Burglary Deterrents
Successful thieves will avoid being seen at all costs. No wonder they wait for a facility to be empty and frequently investigate it, looking for the perfect moment to perform a crime. As a result, the wireless alarm for home security cameras comes in handy.
Criminals realize they cannot commit a crime without leaving video records. So, they avoid a property with mounted cameras and abort their robbery plans for fear of being recorded and caught.
2. They Aid Police Investigation After a Crime
Wireless security cameras guarantee high-definition (HD) footage of the criminals with the exact incident time and date. Moreover, in recent times, they have aided in solving multiple cases and stopping further criminal activities.
Therefore, regarding the difference between imprisoned offenders and unsolved robbery, camera evidence makes all the difference.
3. Prevent Parcel Theft
Internet buying is becoming increasingly popular among shoppers. Besides, it is convenient, allowing you to access an almost limitless assortment of products. However, despite the ease of online shopping, your latest purchase anticipation and excitement may be cut short by one thing: parcel theft.
When burglars see a package on the gate, they’re tempted to take it. But they’ll think twice once they see surveillance cameras on the property.
Furthermore, although wireless security cameras cannot guarantee package safety, they are a strong deterrent.
4. The Devices Integrate Perfectly With Home Security
Integrating wireless security cameras into your home’s intelligent machines network guarantees convenience and protection. Besides, with smart locks, security cameras, and bright lighting, you have a more comprehensive alarm service assortment, simplifying your life and making your home more secure.
For example, when someone comes to your doorstep, you can receive text notifications on your smartphone or any other connected device. In addition, you’ll see who it is and communicate with them via the unit’s two-way audio.
5. They Help Claim Insurance Compensation With Ease
Wireless security camera footage makes claiming insurance benefits easier in case of fire, riots, or theft. Also, some models allow you to access and store the video on your smart devices. This way, you can use it as a reference for insurance claim investigations.
As such, consider high-definition wireless cameras for your property as it guarantees insurance assurance. You have enough proof to document your losses and receive the maximum insurance claims.
Pros of Wireless Security Cameras
The primary variance between wired and wireless security camera systems is that the former requires a wired home connection, while the latter does not. Below are the pros of a wireless system.
1. The Cameras Work During Power Outages
The security camera remains running even if the power goes out in your home or business. Thus, burglars and other dangerous guests will not take advantage of power loss to invade your property.
2. They Transfer Footage Via a Receiver
These security accessories do not need data transfer cables to transmit footage. Moreover, they transfer videos and audio to a receiver, delivering them to connected devices such as your phone, tablet, or television.
3. The Gadgets are Affordable and Easy to Install
Wireless security cameras do not need wiring to function optimally. Besides, they are wire-free and efficient, only needing power and working batteries. As a result, you spend less money during purchase and installation.
4. You’ll Enjoy High-Quality Footage
These safety devices guarantee sharper video quality and clear audio. And depending on your internet strength, you can adjust them to deliver high-definition content. Hence, you’ll not have to guess what you see and hear.
5. The Cameras are Small and Easy to Hide
Since wireless security cameras are not limited to a cable or wire location, you can set them up anywhere within the receiver’s range. Besides, they are small, allowing users to position them in odd, burglar-unsuspecting places.
Cons of Wireless Security Cameras
Despite the cameras’ advantages and uses, they also have limitations. Check them out and determine your risks.
1. The Systems Need Battery Power
Wireless cameras usually need batteries for power, meaning they cannot function with low or flat batteries. Therefore, replacing or recharging the accessories before they die is prudent, especially before a power outage.
2. Distance From Router or Hub
The longer the camera’s distance from the wireless or central hub, the less effective it is. Generally, most brands recommend 500 feet if there is a direct line of sight and 150 feet inside a house.
Thus, check your device to determine the most appropriate range.
3. Signal Interference
The signal also depends on your home’s building materials, walls or objects through which the frequencies pass, and other wireless devices in the area. For example, glass windows and standard drywall do not impact the camera’s signal as much as concrete and brick do.
Concrete floors, large trees, and brick walls between the receiver and camera weaken your signal’s strength. Hence, you’ll have poor footage of criminal activities, compromising further action such as identifying and arresting burglars.
How Does a Wireless Security Camera Work?
Wireless security cameras are among the best security features in a home. Unlike window, door, motion, and glass break sensors, they are the only ones that show you what’s happening.
Furthermore, beyond allowing you to see live images of your property, most security cameras record videos. Recordings are crucial in helping police track down burglars and provide evidence for insurance claims or recovering stolen property.
It’s worth noting that you will plug the security cameras into a power outlet for them to work. Technically, they do not need wires to communicate. They send and receive information through incoming and outgoing messages.
- Incoming Messages: The system gets instructions through your mobile device to reposition the cameras or adjust their field of view. Also, a motion sensor can send instructions to the cameras by alerting them to start recording when they detect motion.
- Outgoing Messages: Technically, security cameras send information by transmitting videos directly through a live stream on your mobile device. They can transmit that footage to cloud storage or a professional monitoring service.
Wireless security cameras use wireless technologies to communicate with other security system components. They include
- Cellular. Previously, most security systems needed landlines: no wonder most of today’s best no-landline units still need a phone connection or number. However, these connections are wireless, using cellular networks.
- Wi-Fi. Wireless security cameras receive instructions and send videos through a home’s WI-FI network. This setup lets the devices communicate within a home and with connected gadgets outside it. Thus, you can receive footage wherever you are.
- Bluetooth. This technology uses the same frequency as Wi-Fi. But it connects gadgets directly through star topology, where one controlling device pairs with one to six others. As a result, Bluetooth work over short distances, and the cameras cannot transmit footage out of the home. However, you can connect the cameras to security system hubs connected to the internet. This way, the latter can communicate with the device’s signals to the outside world.
- Zigbee/Z-Wave. These additional wireless communication designs allow smart home gadgets to connect. But neither Z-Wave nor Zigbee features sufficient bandwidth to transmit videos. So, you can only use them to connect home security system parts with other wireless technologies.
How Do Wireless Security Cameras Get Power?
Wireless security cameras get power from batteries, power cables, power over Ethernet (PoE), and solar panels. Hence, choose the best option depending on the camera placement, maintenance, and monitoring modes.
Here are the power sources discussed in detail.
1. Power Cables
Technically speaking, wireless security cameras are not truly wireless regarding an energy source. Besides, although some are powered by power supplies or batteries, some models only work with power outlets.
However, this option compromises the camera’s positioning. We often position the device on higher grounds to monitor a wider area. But using a power cable requires you to mind the position outlet.
Still, power cables are a reliable camera powering option since your main supply does not deplete like a battery. Moreover, it is the most efficient, efficiently powering the devices as they send footage.
The other option is powering wireless security cameras with batteries. You won’t compromise the camera’s position based on the available power supply. So, your indoor monitoring or outdoor surveillance projects are sorted.
But remember, batteries deplete much quicker and are generally high-maintenance energy sources. Thus, choose a camera unit with a rechargeable battery pack to save a few bucks occasionally.
Thankfully, batteries last longer than three months, depending on the camera’s usage. In addition, some cameras only monitor motion. Thus, their active monitoring time is less, translating into extended battery life.
3. Power Over Ethernet (PoE)
Several wireless security cameras depend on Power Over Ethernet for power. The technology helps network cables supply energy to electric gadgets. Moreover, PoE-enabled cameras need one connection to be established with the router.
Once the connection is set up, the power and the footage pass through the same connection. Also, the method is cost-effective as PoE-enabled cameras come with the necessary cables to connect to the router.
4. Solar Panels
This alternative is the easiest for powering wireless security cameras. Furthermore, although solar panels are unavailable on every product model, they come as add-ons to several cameras.
In addition, they are more pricey than traditional cameras but worth the expense as they’re low maintenance.
High-quality cameras hold a charge for a week if you place them in direct sunlight for one day. Thus, place the camera’s solar panels where they are under maximum sunlight exposure and protected.
How Do You Install a Wireless Security Camera?
Wireless security cameras do not need much time, effort, and resources, as you may imagine, making them relatively simple to install. Besides, though different brands need slightly varying setups, most cameras’ installation process is similar.
Learn how to install your wireless security camera in these eight easy steps.
- Step One: Install the Application and Create an Account
First, install the security camera’s corresponding app on a compatible gadget. Also, setting up the application will be the longest step if you are not mounting the device to a wall, such as a desktop position.
You can get the app on App Store for iPhones and iPads and Google Play Store for Android smartphones and tablets. Then, create an account using your email address or another google or Facebook account.
Read the terms, conditions, and data-sharing practices before agreeing to them to prevent hacking and other malpractices.
- Step Two: Plug in the Camera
Usually, wireless security cameras use USB C cables for power supply. So, plug them into an appropriate slot and wait for the status LED. Also, don’t worry about plugging the device into its long-term position.
The status LED shines either green, blue, red, or orange. Further, the product is faulty if you do not see any of these colors. In this case, check the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guidelines in the app or their website.
If the above fails, contact customer support services to report a faulty device.
- Step Three: Sync the Camera to the Application
Look for a prompt to add a new camera in the app’s main menu: it’s usually a plus sign, ‘Add Camera,’ or ‘Add New Device.’ Then, start the synching process.
You can hold the QR code on the viewing device before the security camera. The latter scans it and pairs the gadgets. However, other brands may need you to select the camera from your viewing device’s Wi-Fi settings and connect.
- Step Four: Pick the Best Location
Select a suitable location for the camera after successful pairing. Aim for a seven-foot high area that maximizes visibility and avoids direct sunlight. Then, do a test run and adjust as necessary.
Placing the camera too far away from the Wi-Fi router increases signal dropouts on the live stream. Hence, ensure it is as close as possible to the hub, for instance, on the floor level with it.
Alternatively, you can get a Wi-Fi extender to increase the signal’s range without sacrificing your desired location. In addition, position the camera near a power outlet, ensuring the cable is long enough.
- Step Five: Mark Holes for Mounting
Reputable wireless security cameras have mounting templates with clearly illustrated drill placements. This way, you know how far apart to space them. Also, use a spirit or bubble level perfectly align and straighten the holes.
Use a wall scanner to confirm the wall is safe to drill in after marking the holes. Further, prioritize pipe finders, stud finders, and cable detectors to prevent structural damage.
- Step Six: Install the Mount and Fix the Camera
Drill the marked holes once you are confident of the location. Ensure you follow your markings or where the mounting guide sticker recommends, and drill to the plug’s length.
Thankfully, these stickers come with cameras. But if the manufacturer does not attach them, consider buying them to protect the wall’s integrity. Next, insert the plugs by tapping them with a hammer, hold the camera, and insert the screws.
- Step Seven: Adjust the Camera for a Perfect View
Open the camera’s app live stream to verify the viewing angle. Further, play around with various angles by moving the camera’s head until you get what works best.
In addition, move the camera’s body by hand to confirm it is straight. Or reposition it with the app if it has a motorized head.
- Step Eight: Tighten the Camera
Tighten the screws when happy with the device’s angle and position. Then, head to the application and make automation and other setting adjustments to suit your needs.
You can enable Google Voice Assistant, Alexa, and other voice assistants, depending on what your gadget supports.
It will not be immediately obvious what adjustments your home needs until you use the wireless camera for some time. Therefore, be open to changing settings, such as image quality and sensitivity, as you understand the system over time.
How to Install Wireless Security Camera:
How Far Do Wireless Security Cameras Reach?
The average range for wireless security cameras is 150 feet, but some devices reach 500 feet or higher. Further, the actual range depends on the model, the router range, and the number of devices projecting signals within the range.
Brands do not provide data on camera signal range as it is a challenging promise to keep. Besides, the range varies dramatically for various customers.
Wireless security cameras also experience interference, mainly where multiple gadgets use different signals, whether Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or mobile data, in a confined space. In addition, the more devices are connected to the router, the more taxing it’ll be on the upload and download speeds.
Is It Better to Have Wired or Wireless Security Cameras?
There are multiple factors to consider when deciding between wired or wireless security cameras. Moreover, while wireless gadgets have pros such as ease of installation and flexibility, wired ones are more reliable and secure.
Nonetheless, your choice depends on your home structure and personal needs. So, let’s decipher each category to aid your decision-making.
- Wired Security Cameras
The dominant consideration here is installation, which turns some homeowners away from a wired system. Installing wired cameras is time-consuming and needs wiring throughout the house wherever you want to place them.
Further, although a professional can help with the process, it needs running multiple cables throughout the ceilings and walls of your home. Well, this sounds daunting, but the system still has multiple pros. For instance, after installation, it won’t be a hassle again.
In addition, the system is reliable, and you don’t have to worry about cameras going down or interruptions by spotty signals. You’ll also have a robust and stable connection, guaranteeing clear video and audio.
Lastly, a wired security camera is not vulnerable to wireless hacking. Hence, it is a perfect option for a long-term security solution.
- Wireless Security Cameras
The system’s setup is a big plus, as you only need to plug it into a power outlet. Besides, this process is not as in-depth as having a fully-wired unit. You’ll also be able to adjust and move the equipment when you relocate.
Wireless security cameras connect to Wi-Fi, allowing you to set up everything using your phone. In addition, they store all your footage in the cloud, allowing you to access it anytime, anywhere.
On the other hand, coverage break-ins or poor signals affect coverage since the devices rely on an internet connection. Also, spotty and slow signals affect the audio and video quality.
Finally, being connected to the internet and uploading your footage to the cloud makes you prone to hacking. But there are ways to prevent this occurrence, like adding more authentication measures and updating passwords.
The above descriptions show that the best system depends on your project needs and long-term goals. For instance, a wired system is perfect for reliability and permanence.
Conversely, a wireless camera system is best when looking for adjustable and minor coverage lapses that don’t impact your security needs.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Wireless Security Cameras?
Averagely, wireless security camera installation cost extends from $150 to $2,040. So, there is an available alternative for every budget to facilitate home safety.
Nonetheless, there are various factors in calculating the installation cost since all cameras differ. Moreover, the systems’ quality, type, and location affect the cost and recorded footage.
The best home security systems offer enough security to guarantee homeowners peace of mind while staying within their budget. Therefore, understanding what to consider when purchasing and installing the unit helps develop a workable budget.
- System Type
Internet Protocol (IP) and wireless security cameras transmit footage using the home’s Wi-Fi signal. However, they are not truly wireless as they must be powered through Cat 5 wire or Ethernet connections.
Since some units are battery-powered, they are easy to install. However, when the devices are not within reach, trouble kicks in during battery replacement. But you can get a professional to mount the cameras and firewall them to resist hackers.
Generally, the fee is about $100 per camera, meaning the more cameras, the higher the price.
- Camera’s Field of View
The camera field of view determines possible installation areas and the cost. Further, night vision technology in external cameras keeps the video feed from turning gray blur. And you can add an extra $15 to $90 for an infrared illuminator to sharpen the intruder’s facial features.
- Video Storage
Some wireless security cameras allow the user to store videos or not or to store them for short durations before automatically erasing them. The latter is the more affordable alternative, and it’s sometimes free.
You’ll get cameras in several storage tiers, each category with limited available space and how long the video remains stored. Smaller-capacity storage for shorter durations is less pricey. But there is a balance: multi-camera systems with limited storage store the video for a few days.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I Need to Plug in Wireless Security Cameras?
Wireless security cameras need a steady power source and need to remain connected to the main power supply. However, you can get one that relies on solar panels and batteries for power.
Remember, the ‘wireless’ aspect of these security cameras is the wireless connection between them and the receiver of the footage. Also, you can shift to a PoE connection when you do not have a main power supply or the wireless connection is inefficient.
- How Do I Hardwire a Wireless Camera?
Hardwire wireless security cameras by connecting them to the router for power. Further, connect an Ethernet cable to keep the device within a 30-foot radius of the router. This way, you guarantee a steady connection.
Although wireless security cameras are perfect for concealment and placement ease, a wireless connection may still be unsteady. So, consider a wired connection via PoE when the camera is not within the router’s range.
- How Long Do The Batteries Last in Wireless Security Cameras?
The batteries in these security cameras last from a day to six months, depending on the usage. Your camera needs much more power if it’s on active monitoring without motion-based recordings.
Thankfully, several wireless camera models only record after detecting movement or on schedule-basis, which helps save battery power. Thus, review the device’s specifications to determine what its mode supports.
Undoubtedly, wireless security cameras are perfect investments for improving home security. Besides, they do not need bulky equipment like their wired counterparts and are easy to install.
However, most people find these devices confusing. For instance, the phrase ‘wireless’ is a misnomer as it does not mean wire-free. Instead, the camera uses signals to communicate with other connected gadgets.
Fortunately, this write-up answers your questions on wireless security cameras and ensures you’ve got the basics before settling on one.
Must I Have Internet for Wireless Security Cameras?
Interestingly, wireless security cameras can work without the internet. Moreover, most of them use cellular connections as a backup when Wi-Fi goes down.
Lastly, remember that the camera must maintain a connection or signal to your network to capture footage. Otherwise, disruptions to this connection compromise its ability to feed your mobile device.