Thanks to fast and nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi technology, home security cameras have quickly become a great addition to any smart home.
Instead of spending thousands to keep an eye on your home, there are a wide variety of different options that can even integrate with other smart home devices. And you can keep an eye on what’s happening anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.
While it’s easy to jump in head first to add security cameras to a home, there’s still one thing that might trip you up: a power cord. Almost every option requires a power outlet connection. And many times, that can be a problem.
But thanks to improving technology, there is an interesting new class of security cameras that completely ditch wires. These completely wireless options take power from batteries and give smart home fans many more options on where to place their cameras.
We’ll take a closer look at how completely wireless security cameras work, discuss some key advantages and disadvantages, and provide four options for you to take a look at.
Is Going Wire-Free for You?
Easily the biggest advantage with a wire-free security camera is easy installation and the ability to place the device anywhere in the range of a wireless signal. That definitely opens up the possibilities for home surveillance when compared to options that need a power cable.
Especially if you rent a home or live in an apartment, cutting through walls and stringing power cables for cameras isn’t exactly an option. Some homeowners may also not have the DIY skills to get power to where they’re looking to place a camera.
But with a wireless option, after some quick installation, your camera can be placed almost anywhere. This flexibility can be invaluable in a number of scenarios.
Another advantage of most completely wireless cameras is that any recorded video is usually stored in the cloud in some form. So while having no wires could many times make the cameras easier to steal, any evidence will be safe and sound. Just make sure to follow some easy steps to protect from hackers.
On the downside, the biggest issue with wire-free cameras is the power source. Usually, the camera is powered by some sort of rechargeable or replaceable battery. Because of that, to help preserve battery power for as long as possible, it’s important to understand some important compromises.
Usually, a completely wireless camera isn’t constantly recording video. It will only begin when the camera senses motion and record for a short amount of time. That can sometimes cause the camera to miss a complete event.
All wire-free options do allow some sort of live look on the camera even without any motion. But doing that can quickly drain the camera’s batteries. So don’t expect to view the camera’s feed live 24/7.
Another disadvantage to prepare for is the price. The number of completely wireless cameras are much fewer than options that use the power cord.
You can usually snag a run-of-the-mill wired option for less than $100. That’s not possible with wire-free options since you pay for their flexibility.
4 Wireless Security Camera Options
If a completely wireless security camera interests you, here are four great options that offer a wide range of different features including motion detection, video playback, and more.
A great way to start out with truly wireless home security, each camera in the Blink system is powered by two AA lithium batteries that can last for up to two years with normal usage. Once you install the Wi-Fi bridge somewhere in a home, the camera can go anywhere within wireless range.
Any time the camera senses motion, you’ll receive a notification on your smartphone. You can also customize the length of a short video clip the camera records — anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds. Previous motion videos are available in the cloud for no additional monthly fee.
At any time, you can also take a live view of what’s happening using the companion iOS app or Android app. At home, you can also take a quick look at the video feed using a voice command to the Amazon Echo Show.
While a one-camera system is historically less than $100, you can easily purchase additional cameras later to expand the system. If you’re looking for exterior home surveillance, the Blink XT camera is weatherproof and features true night vision.
This great option, made for use outdoors, offers more than just a totally wireless security camera. Taking power from a removable and rechargeable battery, the Ring Spotlight Camera’s built-in spotlight can shine a light on what’s happening during a motion event.
If necessary, you can even turn on a 110-decibel siren alarm during an emergency. Two-way audio allows users to hear and speak to anyone in view of the camera. You’ll need the companion iOS app or Android app.
Built-in night vision will let you know what’s happening around the camera’s 140-degree field of view. Along with being able to adjust the motion sensitivity, you can customize specific schedules for motion.
An optional Protect Basic account is available and costs $3 per month (or $30 per year). Subscribers can save all videos for up to 60 days and share videos with others.
The Netgear Arlo 2 is completely weather resistant and can easily withstand the elements and large swings in temperature. Rechargeable batteries power each camera in the system. The two-way, 1080p video feed also allows users to listen in on what’s happening (and even reply!) through the companion iOS app or Android app.
The base station that needs to be plugged into your router offers a smart siren that can be controlled from the app or when motion or sound is detected. You can pay for optional cloud storage past the seven days available to all users. But an easier option is to plug in a USB drive keep recordings locally.
Even though the cameras are completely wireless, they’re also compatible with a power cord. When indoors, users can take advantage of specific features including a three-second loopback feature before a motion event and the ability to set specific zones in the camera’s view to receive motion and sound alerts.
There are a number of optional accessories for the cameras including a solar panel for power, charging station, and more.
4. Reolink Keen
The Reolink Keen is a completely wireless security camera and a lot more. Taking power from four CR123A batteries, the camera can pan 355 degrees and tilt 105 degrees to provide a better look at what’s happening at home.
But beyond that, the camera even packs a separate wireless motion sensor and alarm, making a great all-in-one home security option. Mounting hardware for both the camera and motion sensor is included.
While you’ll need to provide your own microSD card for local storage, you can view the live feed and change settings via the iOS app or Android app. Along with the great pan and tilt capability, the camera features night vision and two-way audio to both listen and talk to anyone in the range of the camera.
You can read more about the camera in our original review.
While not a perfect choice for every situation, completely wireless cameras can provide another level of security for your home.
As long as you realize the some of the disadvantages before installing a system, the technology can definitely pay off. The devices provide a look at the interior or exterior of your home without needing to worry about wires of any kind.
Are you using a completely wireless security camera in your home? What has been your experience so far? Let us know in the comments.