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Wireless vs. Wired Home Security Cameras: Which Is Best for You?

Feb 27, 2024|

In the digital era, home security cameras are more than a part of your security setup. They're your eyes and ears when you're away.

Whether it's keeping tabs on your beloved pets, protecting your home from intruders, or syncing seamlessly with your smart home ecosystem, these cameras are game-changers. The big question, though, is whether to go wireless or stick with wired options.

This comprehensive guide discusses the nuances of both, empowering you with the knowledge to pick the ideal camera type that aligns with your lifestyle and security needs.

Exterior of a home.

How do wireless security cameras work?

Embrace the ease of DIY with wireless security cameras, the trendsetting guardians of your home. These savvy devices, often battery-powered, liberate you from the complexities of traditional wiring. Keep an eye on battery life though, with options ranging from regular to rechargeable batteries.


  • DIY installation. Say goodbye to complex setups! Many models offer adhesive strips for quick mounting.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity. Wireless cameras seamlessly integrate with your home's Wi-Fi network, becoming a core part of your smart security system.
  • Real-time notifications. Stay informed with instant alerts sent directly to your device.
  • Cloud storage. Access your video footage anywhere via cloud storage. While basic plans are often free, additional storage might come with a fee.
  • Adaptable placement. Their wireless nature means you can place them almost anywhere within your Wi-Fi range.
  • Indoor and outdoor compatibility. Whether it's an indoor camera monitoring room temperature or an outdoor camera with a robust 130-degree field of view, there’s a fit for every need.
  • Add-ons and functions. From spotlights for enhanced security to temperature sensors, the versatility is unmatched.


  • Battery dependence. Regular monitoring of battery life is essential, especially for battery-powered models.
  • Wi-Fi reliance. A strong and consistent Wi-Fi network is crucial. Spotty or disrupted Wi-Fi can impair functionality.
  • Cloud storage costs. While basic cloud storage is free, expanded storage options can incur additional charges.
  • Security risks. Like all Wi-Fi-enabled devices, they can be vulnerable to hacking if not properly secured.
  • Limited by range. The camera's efficiency is tied to the range of your Wi-Fi network and router’s reach.

For those seeking a wireless security camera system that bypasses Wi-Fi dependency, some models offer alternatives like cellular network connectivity or local storage on a micro-SD card. This adaptability ensures your home remains under vigilant watch under all circumstances.

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How do wired security cameras work?

Wired security cameras offer a robust solution to home surveillance, connecting directly to your home's electrical system. While their installation might be more intricate, often requiring professional help, they stand as a dependable choice for many.


  • Local storage. Directly store your video footage on a recording device in your home, eliminating monthly cloud storage fees.
  • Consistent performance. Unaffected by Wi-Fi fluctuations, they provide a stable and reliable security solution.
  • Indoor and outdoor use. Both indoor and outdoor models are designed with unique features, like LED lights for clear night recording.
  • Long-distance monitoring. Outdoor bullet-shaped cameras are ideal for focusing on distant objects, perfect for exterior surveillance cameras.
  • Wide-angle viewing. Dome-shaped indoor cameras offer a broad field of view, covering large areas inside your home.


  • Complex installation. More involved than wireless options, often requiring professional installation, especially for those not familiar with electrical work.
  • Limited access to footage. Without cloud storage, accessing live streams remotely can be a challenge.
  • Vulnerable during power outages. Being hardwired, they can be compromised during power outages unless backed up by a power supply.
  • Less flexibility. The need for wiring can limit where you can place these cameras, especially if avoiding the hassle of extensive wiring.
  • Potential for clutter. With wires and base stations, these systems can be less aesthetically pleasing and more obtrusive in your living space.

Plug-in models can offer a middle ground, balancing the reliability of wired systems with easier installation. Wired security cameras, with their steadfast recording and local video storage options, remain a formidable choice for those seeking a more permanent and robust security system.

an monitor a large square area inside your home because they have a dome shape that gives them a wide-angle field of view.

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro on a home exterior.

Wireless vs. wired security cameras: key differences

When choosing between wireless and wired security cameras, it's important to compare their features side-by-side to understand which best suits your needs.

Internet connection and integration

  • Wireless. Rely on a Wi-Fi connection for communication and integrate easily with smart home devices, including voice assistants.
  • Wired. Typically use physical connections like coaxial cables, offering limited integration with smart home technology.

Video recording storage and accessibility

  • Wireless. Often use cloud storage, allowing remote access to footage, which may require a monthly fee for expanded storage.
  • Wired. Primarily utilize local storage on NVRs/DVRs or hard drives, avoiding ongoing fees but limiting remote access capabilities.

Installation and setup

  • Wireless. Generally easier to install and ideal for DIY setups due to their flexibility and absence of physical wiring.
  • Wired. Installation can be more complex and might require professional help, especially when integrating with existing alarm systems.

Motion detectors and alerts

  • Wireless. Excels in providing real-time motion alerts and can include features like spotlight cameras for enhanced security.
  • Wired. While capable of motion detection, they may not offer the same level of interactive alerts or additional features as wireless models.

Power and reliability

  • Wireless.Typically battery-powered, making them susceptible to dead batteries unless they have a backup power source.
  • Wired. Directly connected to your home's power system, offering consistent operation. However, these may be affected by power outages unless backed up.

Cost and long-term investment

  • Wireless. May seem cost-effective initially but can incur additional expenses over time for cloud storage or battery replacements.
  • Wired. Generally a higher upfront cost due to installation but can be more economical over time, with less maintenance and no cloud storage fees.

Understanding these differences will help you make an informed decision on which type of security camera system aligns best with your home security needs.

How to choose the best wireless home security camera system

A wireless security camera is likely the better option if you’re looking for a camera that will be a part of a larger smart home security system.

A smart wireless security camera lets you use a mobile app to see what’s going on in your home, whether you’re at your work, on vacation, or anywhere else. You can even access historically recorded video while you’re out and about.

The next few sections will cover some considerations that can help you pick from the best wireless home security cameras to fill your needs.

Consider smart home integration

If you want your security camera to be part of a wider security system, you’ll need it to have compatibility with the rest of your smart devices.

Some smart security devices, like those offered by Vivint, even work with smart home hubs like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. An integrated security system will help you automate many of your home’s security functions.

For example, you could tell Google Assistant on your Google Nest system to activate your outdoor security camera, turn on your smart LED lighting outdoors, and lock the smart locks on your front door at the same time—all without getting up.

You can even program your smart devices to work on a schedule. For instance, you may program your security camera to monitor its motion zones after 11 p.m. when everyone in your household is sleeping.

Camera types to choose from

The wireless camera that’s best for you will depend on what you want to monitor. Different security cameras have different features, like high video quality, facial recognition, and color night vision.

Here are some of the basic types of security cameras.

  • Outdoor security cameras are weatherproof and might have security features like alarms that help them ward off burglars. For example, Vivint’s Outdoor Camera Pro uses Smart Deter technology that plays a loud sound and illuminates its LED ring if someone lingers too long. A floodlight camera is another type of outdoor camera. The floodlight cam shines a light that fills your yard when motion detection sensors pick up movement.
  • Indoor security cameras like Vivint’s Indoor Camera also have security features like motion sensors, alarms, and lights. Wireless indoor cameras are also great for pet owners and parents. For instance, a baby monitor is a type of indoor security camera.
  • Video doorbell cameras like Vivint’s Doorbell Camera Pro monitor the area directly in front of your front door. Video doorbells also have two-way audio, or two-way talk, that lets you remotely interact with visitors.

Installation options

Even though you can technically install your wireless security camera yourself, it’s better to enlist the help of a professional.

An expert installer will be able to position your camera system so it monitors the exact areas needed. They’ll also be able to help you connect your security camera to all the smart devices in your home.

At Vivint, we offer professional installation for all of our smart products. Our knowledgeable installers will help you set up your security cameras, smart locks, and other devices for optimal performance.

Vivint indoor camera in a baby's nursery.

Find out how Vivint brings your home security to the next level

Both wireless security cameras and wired cameras can be valuable tools to improve the safety of your home and give you peace of mind. However, a wireless security camera will work with all of your smart home devices.

When your smart devices operate together, you get a seamless automation experience that you can manage from a central control panel like Vivint’s Smart Hub or remotely using your smartphone.

If you’re ready to take your smart home security to the next level, take a look at the best wireless security cameras offered by Vivint. Our cameras have a variety of useful features and programs like 1080p video resolution, professional monitoring, and Smart Deter technology that make it easier to keep your home safe.

Call us at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation today.

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*Offer Details

Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 expenditure on equipment after all discounts have been applied, professional installation, and execution of Vivint monitoring services agreement. Click here for monthly service plan prices. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Equipment purchase may be financed separately subject to an agreement with one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply.

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Financing eligibility and terms subject to credit approval by one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Qualified customers may finance equipment purchase at 0% APR for up to 60 months. Month-to-month service agreement available when equipment is purchased upfront.

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System supports up to six cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds. Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Speak to a Vivint representative at the phone number in this offer for complete equipment, services, and package details, including pricing and financing details. Products and services in Louisiana provided by Vivint Louisiana Commercial Certificate #58280. See Vivint license numbers here.