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Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras

Choosing a security camera system for your property can be overwhelming. With so many different brands and camera types, it's difficult to figure out where to start. A good first step is to understand the difference between wired, wireless, and wire-free security camera systems to narrow down your options and decide which best suits your needs.


Wireless and Wire-Free Cameras 

Wireless systems transmit video signal through WiFi to the cloud or to a recorder, therefore no ethernet cables are required here. However, wireless cameras such as Google Nest and EZVIZ need to be connected to a power source through a power cable, so some cable running is still required. Truly wireless camera systems, known as wire-free cameras, are battery-powered and transmit signal via Wi-Fi. Wire-free systems are the easiest to install because they have no cabling at all. However, wire-free systems depend on a strong wireless connection and require frequent battery changes (1-3 times per year).

Like wired systems, footage from wireless cameras can be accessed through a video recorder or, more commonly, through cloud storage via a smartphone app. Typically, wireless and wire-free camera applications have a much better user interface but sometimes require monthly subscription fees.

Compared to a wired system, wireless and wire-free cameras are easier and faster to install because cables are not required to be run throughout the house to connect the recorder to each camera. However, wireless systems and wire-free systems often compromise frame rate and have a longer lag time because of their dependence on a strong wireless connection.

Wireless cameras normally record at less than 30 fps, which results in some choppiness when viewing the camera stream live. The image on the monitor is likely to be less clear when using a wireless camera, and a 2 – 5 second lag is not uncommon. Furthermore, wireless cameras are not known for their reliability. The video transmission could be easily affected by many environmental factors, such as metal architecture and the proximity between two different wireless network routers. These cameras are suitable for homeowners or renters at a temporary location because of the convenient installation and lower cost.


Wired Cameras

Wired systems require cable(s) - ethernet, power, and sometimes both - that need to be pulled from each camera to the video recorder. This makes the installation process much more labour-intensive, and multiple cables will have to be pulled and concealed around the property. 

These cameras are longer-lasting and more reliable than wireless cameras. Wired systems generally provide at least 30fps for live viewing, which allows video footage to run smoothly and provides a higher definition image. These cameras are suitable for homeowners and business owners who have a more permanent location and require a more professional camera setup. For these customers, the reliability and durability of these systems will offset the longer and more complicated installation process. Because wired cameras transmit video to a video recorder through physical cabling, video streams are more reliable and do not depend on WiFi. In fact, WiFi does not even need to be installed at the location when using wired cameras, making it perfect for monitoring warehouses, construction sites, or outdoor locations with weak signal. Weeks of footage can be stored in the video recorder’s hard-drive and accessed by the owner. However, if you want to access your wired security camera stream remotely through a smartphone application, WiFi will need to be installed. Common wired security system brands include Lorex, HikVision, and Dahua.


Are you ready to get your own security system installed or have further questions? Let us make this process fast and simple for you. Visit to receive a free quote today or send us an email at and our customer success team will assist you with any questions you have.