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How Wireless Security Cameras Work (and How to Maintain Them)

Nov 16, 2022|

With property crime rates increasing in the U.S., home surveillance is more important than ever.

Fortunately, many of today’s home security cameras can record a live view of your property, send alerts, and even scare off lurkers when it detects suspicious motion inside or outside your property.

There are different types of security cameras. If you want to take advantage of all the benefits of Wi-Fi technology, a wireless home security camera could be what you need.

In this guide, we explore how wireless security cameras work and how to ensure they stand the test of time with proper maintenance.

Vivint Indoor Camera.

How do wireless security cameras work?

Wireless home security cameras work by transmitting the camera’s video through a radio (RF) transmitter. The receiver connects to a built-in storage device or cloud storage, which gives you an easy link to access your images or video clips.

Wireless security cameras are much simpler to install than wired ones, as you don’t have to connect wires or drill into walls.

That’s also great news if you plan to change each camera’s location often.

Moreover, wireless technology offers several convenient features, such as remote viewing, two-way audio, and scheduled recording.

Vivint’s home security camera systems can also help prevent crime by scaring away potential intruders with light and sound — giving you that much-needed peace of mind whether you’re near or far from home.

You can access all these features remotely through your mobile device, a touch-screen base station like the Vivint Smart Hub, or even voice-enabled technology.

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Do wireless security cameras still work without Wi-Fi?

Your wireless security camera must be connected to the internet to view a live video stream of your home and receive alerts. You also need a Wi-Fi connection to control your camera’s settings, adjust the field of view, and watch video recordings.

Still, you might be surprised to learn that wireless security cameras can work without Wi-Fi. How?

You can use a micro-SD card, a hard drive, or local storage to temporarily store recordings when the camera isn’t online. This is also a great solution when your internet connection is unstable or intermittent.

Do wireless cameras work in cold weather?

If you plan to install your camera outside, it’s smart to opt for an outdoor home security camera like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro.

Outdoor security cameras are made with weather-resistant materials to withstand cold temperatures and extreme weather conditions like hail, dust, snow, and heat.

A great way to check the durability of your wireless security camera is by looking at the IP rating.

The first digit describes the camera’s resistance to dry elements, such as dirt and dust; it ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (complete protection).

Similarly, the second digit refers to water and moisture protection and ranges from 0 (no protection) to 8 (safe for water immersion).

Ideally, your wireless security camera should have an IP rating of at least IP65. This means you don’t have to worry about fluctuating temperatures or weather conditions impacting your camera.

Vivint Outdoor Camera.

Security camera features to consider

A wireless home security camera can be a worthy investment for keeping your property and family safe.

But with so many Wi-Fi security cameras available on the market, choosing the right camera for your needs might be overwhelming.

If you want to make an educated purchase, consider how well the device scores on the below features.

  • Video quality: Video quality is one of the key features to look for in your new home security camera. Invest in a camera with at least 1080-pixel HDR/HD video resolution, such as the Vivint Indoor Camera or the Outdoor Camera Pro.
  • Motion detection/human detection: Many home security cameras have a motion sensor that detects movement and automatically starts recording. They can also send you alerts whenever there’s movement in the area. For added security, Vivint wireless security cameras use Smart Deter technology to proactively detect lurkers close to your home and send them away with LED illumination and loud sounds.
  • Remote access: Seeing what’s happening around your home 24/7 is important for keeping your belongings, family, and pets safe. Vivint’s outdoor and indoor security camera systems allow you to remotely access your camera from the Vivint app, no matter where you are. You can also watch real-time or recorded footage, adjust your camera’s settings, and interact with your family through two-way talk.
  • Night vision: To get the most out of your home surveillance system in low light conditions, consider purchasing a wireless camera with infrared color night vision.
  • Scheduled recording: With scheduled recording, you can schedule your home security system to record during the times and days you choose. For instance, you may want your home security camera to start recording when the kids get home after school, when you leave for work, or when the housekeeper enters the house. That’s all possible with scheduled recording.
  • Cloud storage: One big advantage of a wire-free smart home security camera is the ability to integrate cloud storage for storing recorded video, meaning you can easily access, manage, and share videos online through your home’s control panel or the Vivint app. If you’re looking for unlimited cloud storage options, you can opt for a paid subscription that comes with a monthly fee.
  • Smart home integration: With smart home technology so prevalent in our lives, it only makes sense to invest in a surveillance camera system that supports smart home integration. Vivint home security cameras work well with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for using voice commands through your Android or Apple smartphone.

How difficult is installing a wireless security camera yourself?

More and more people are choosing wireless security cameras, and it’s not without reason. Wireless security cameras are flexible, convenient, and easy to install.

Still, it’s better to avoid the DIY route and hire a professional installer in some cases (like when you’re setting up a complete smart ecosystem, adding integrations, or installing devices in hard-to-reach areas).

Leaving installation to the experts can save you time and effort. They can also provide recommendations and product training, which can help you get the most out of your home security device.

Not to mention that professional installation guarantees seamless integration with your current home setup, including floodlight cameras and video doorbell cameras.

If you need help with your home security camera installation, get in touch with our Smart Home Pros.

Vivint indoor camera.

How to maintain wireless security cameras

Proper maintenance is key to maintaining the functionality of your wireless security camera system for years. Taking care of your cameras can also help you get the best performance out of them.

Here are some maintenance tips to keep your security camera working optimally:

  • Make sure your device is up to date. Modern security cameras may require you to perform periodic firmware updates and security patches. Considering that these updates could potentially protect your device from new malware or other defects, snoozing your updates for too long might not be the best thing to do.
  • Protect it from tampering. Depending on the camera’s placement, burglars or thieves may attempt to compromise or tamper with your device. A tamper detection service alerts you through the Vivint app when the camera is obstructed.
  • Check for camera downtime. Knowing when your camera is offline and for how long can help you diagnose and fix any potential problems. For this reason, check your camera regularly or allow notifications that alert you when the camera is offline.
  • Hire a professional to check it. If you think something is wrong with your device or it’s not working as intended, don’t wait to call a professional. Vivint’s smart home pros are always ready to help you with whatever you need.
  • Check the battery life. If you have a model that uses a rechargeable battery power source, it’s best to perform frequent checks to assess the battery’s health and fix any problems that might be draining the battery life of the device.

How to prepare wireless security cameras for bad weather

Home security cameras can experience extreme weather conditions throughout the year, including hail, wind, snow, or heavy rain.

Weatherproof home security cameras, like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, are specifically designed to withstand the elements. Marked with an IP rating of IP65, you shouldn’t have to worry about bad weather affecting your device.

Given that prevention is the best cure, it’s still a good idea to perform a quick check on your security camera before any expected extreme weather conditions.

Remember, taking proper care of your security camera is a great way to avoid defects or problems before they happen.

That said, if you have a battery-powered wireless security camera, ensure the device is fully charged.

During poor weather conditions, you can also use your wireless home system to see what’s happening in your surroundings and take any precautionary measures.

For example, during a tornado warning, you can use your Vivint app to lock the garage doors without stepping outside and putting yourself in danger.

Discover exceptional wireless security camera options from Vivint

Thanks to wireless home security cameras, you can stay connected from anywhere using an internet connection.

From scheduled recordings to remote viewing and smart home integration, Vivint home security cameras are equipped with an array of advanced features that can make your life easier and safer.

If you’re on the hunt for the best home security camera, contact our Smart Home Pros 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.