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Wired or Wireless Video Surveillance Systems?

Once you decide that a video surveillance system will help you protect your home or business, you really need to decide if it will be a wireless or a wired system.

Both systems have their pro's and con's, and we will outline them here so you can make an informed decision regarding your situation.

Wireless Cameras

There are two types of wireless cameras; ones that transmit the data across an electronic frequency, usually between 1.2 and 2.4 Ghz from the cameras transmitter to a receiver that you plug into your quad/vcr/dvr/pc to view the image, and ones that capture the video to removable SD cards that can be viewed on a number of systems. Both have their pro's & con's. Wireless hidden cameras are usually hidden inside everyday objects like clocks, DVD players, exit signs, Pringles chips cans, packs of cigarettes, or any place you can imagine.

Wireless camera systems are the fastest systems to install, and are the most expensive. All you need to do to get a wireless camera system installed is to mount the cameras, and a using the 2.4G camera, hook up the wireless receiver in the back room to some type of system to record the video. You can use VHS tape, digital video recorder, or a PC. Using this system, you can monitor your chosen area wirelessly as easily as you'd use Mobile Broadband or a Wi-Fi network.

The advantages of wireless cameras are that they can be installed in locations that are difficult, if not impossible to wire. They can be moved to different locations easily, as often as you like, and they can be hidden inside everyday objects; the list is endless.

To overcome the disadvantages of a wireless camera, you should buy one with a higher frequency transmission band of at least 1.2GHz or above. If you need to take video from the wireless camera a long distance from the receiver, or there are walls, metallic or steel obstacles between the wireless camera and the receiver, you should buy a wireless model with a higher transmission power, that is, a transmitter with longer transmission distance. Another good idea is to use a high gain antenna for the transmitter or receiver, which will improve the signal transmission/reception.

The disadvantages of wireless cameras are that the video stream might be disturbed or influenced by moving objects or strong radio or even telephone frequencies. 2.4 GHz wireless cameras operate on the same frequency as most cordless phones, so that is something to take into consideration. Video/audio transmission is limited within the prescribed transmission range. These disadvantages will not occur with a wired camera.

None of this is needed with the newest wireless cameras on the market that record all the video to standard SD cards. While these systems are usually more expensive than the ones that emit the electronic frequency, the privacy advantages are worth considering the higher price, as you won't be broadcasting your video across the neighborhood for some hacker to pick up. The signals stay inside the SD card, so there are no privacy issues and are effective when security is needed.

Wireless camera systems are also more expensive than wired systems, as they require either receivers and transmitters, or an SD card recorder to record the video that normally would run in the inexpensive wires. However, the costs are usually worth it, as it could cost less to install, and less to relocated. Overall, the video/audio signals from a wireless camera are less stable than a wireless camera.

Wired Cameras

Wired CCTV cameras offer the best quality resolution at the lowest price. If you don't intend to move the camera's, and can get in the roof to run the cable, wired cameras are your best choice. Wired camera systems are more stable due to the cable, which doesn't have the interference problems associated with wireless systems.

You need to run a video cable to each camera in order to get a video feed. You will have to run the wire either through the walls and ceiling, or have it exposed on the wall, which is very tacky, and could easily be cut by anyone with a sharp knife. While the cost of the system is less than a wireless system, it will require more work to install, and if you are paying someone, it might cost even more than buying a wireless system.

Indoor Systems vs. Outdoor Systems

Depending on your needs, you will need a camera for indoor or outdoor needs. If you need to monitor your loading dock or front/back porch, you will need a camera that can withstand the elements. Unless it's specifically sold as an weatherproof camera, a regular camera will not withstand the beating from Mother Nature that a weatherproof camera can endure. Spend the extra money on an outdoor camera. Since all break-in's occur at a door or window, it makes sense to monitor doors & windows with an outdoor camera.

You can find many types of outdoor cameras; dome camera, bullet camera, and standard. All are enclosed in waterproof cases and some even have heaters for cold areas. You can also buy hardened cameras that will withstand direct hits from bats and hammers. These are recommended in high crime areas.


You should look at the total costs to purchase and install both systems, and go with what is best for you. Overall, the video/audio signals from a wired camera are more stable than a wireless camera, and are less expensive. Good for someone on a budget, a retail establishment or home owner. Wireless might be better for people in an apartment, if you need to hide them, or if you might need to move the cameras, though they are more expensive.

Don't wait until you are robbed to install a system. Take a look at the huge variety offered at EyeSpyPro.com and get something that fits your needs and budget.

Christopher Winkler
Spy & Surveillance Equipment Expert

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