At Integramax, “what is the best wireless security camera?” is the most common question we are asked.

Our response is always the same. “You don’t want a wireless security camera.”

Why? Because wireless security cameras are NOT actually wireless. They still need a traditional electrical outlet for power.

Instead, opt for a PoE wired system. In addition to being more reliable, it will be less expensive (and less invasive) to install.

The Best Wireless Security Camera is NOT Wireless

The interest in wireless video surveillance is certainly understandable because we are surrounded with “wireless” devices.

But what most people fail to consider is that while smartphones, laptops and tablets are wireless with regard to data, they are anything but wireless when it comes to power–as anyone who has hunted for a charger cord by noon knows full well.

The same holds true for “wireless” security cameras. While they transmit data over Wi-Fi, even the best wireless security camera requires a separate power source in the form of a traditional electrical outlet right next to each camera.

Installation of new outlets requires a licensed electrician which represents a considerable expense.  Outlets have water resistance issues and can easily be unplugged by a potential perpetrator. Having a big black square plug a few feet from each camera looks also looks ugly and obtrusive.

Finally, a wireless security camera system can easily be put out of business with a Wi-Fi jammer. Although highly illegal, these devices are easily ordered from China for under $100 and are approximately the size of a pack of cigarettes.

Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Security Cameras are the way to go

Instead of a wireless security camera, the right way to go is with a wired power over Ethernet (PoE) system from a reliable manufacturer such as Mobotix or Hikvision.

Integramax specializes in the design of such systems. Our video surveillance systems transmit data and receive power through a standard Ethernet computer cable that looks very similar to telephone wire. This arrangement, known as Power over Ethernet (PoE), is simpler and less expensive to run than electrical wire. It is also safer, as the entire system is low voltage. There are no ugly big, black wall plugs. Just sleek, clean installs. Finally, PoE-based systems are not susceptible to electronic countermeasures (jamming).

Government facilities, casinos, banks and other places where security is mission critical do not employ Wi-Fi security cameras. In police work, we call this a clue.

Temporary systems that require a fast, covert install are the only situations in which we routinely recommend wireless security cameras. These installations tend to be performed at the behest of law enforcement agencies, private investigators, attorneys and business owners and are almost always in support of active investigations.

But in general, the best wireless security camera is the one you leave on the shelf in favor of a wired PoE system!

Take-away Summary

There is no “best” wireless security camera. All have a huge shortcoming in that they still require expensive and invasive wiring for electrical power. Only data transmission is wireless. In addition to being more reliable, PoE wired systems are able to transmit data and power over a single low-voltage wire that is easier and less expensive to install.

Want to learn more about how to select a security camera system? Consider reading Security Camera Basics, one of the free guides available on this website. It contains quality information in easy-to-understand language.