When it comes to keeping an eye on your premises, you can never be too safe. That is why it makes sense to invest in a wireless security camera. Imagine if you could open up a web browser and check up on what is going on at your house while you are at work or traveling out of town. This is a great way to make sure that your property, pets, and children are staying safe. It also ensures that if something does go wrong, you will have video footage to share with the authorities.
If you are thinking of buying a wireless security camera, it is helpful to start out by comparing prices and features for top-selling products on Amazon.com.
Still not sure what wifi security camera you need? Read on to learn all about wireless security cameras.
What is a Wireless Security Camera?
A wireless security camera is simply a camera you set up in your home or office to record the goings-on in your environment. The camera contains a low-range transmitter that sends a signal to a receiver. The wireless design makes it much easier to conceal the security camera and also eliminates unsightly cables.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Wireless Security Camera
Do you really need a security camera?
Not everybody needs a wireless security camera. If your main goal is just to keep an eye on your pet, for example, you would probably be fine just sticking with your webcam. If however home security is a major concern for you, you need a camera designed for that purpose.
What devices will you use to view the security feed?
There are some security cameras which require you to use specific software programs to view footage. With these cameras, you can only access their recordings on computers that have that software installed. If you want to be able to view the security feed on any device, you need to make sure that web access is included as a feature.
What field of view do you need?
A 180-degree field of view will give you the ability to watch an entire room. Pan and tilt will help you to expand that field of view even further if needed. Zoom can also be a useful feature.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Wireless Security Camera
With a motion sensor, your camera will only record footage if motion is detected. This prevents the camera from recording a lot of pointless footage and using up all your storage space. Be sure to do your homework here; not all motion sensors work equally well. Some are also easier to set up than others. Pick something which is reliable and offers you customization options to fit your needs.
Infrared and night vision
In the dark, it can be hard for motion sensors to detect movement through visual data alone. So if you will be setting up a wifi security camera to use at night or in any dark environment, make sure it includes passive infrared (PIR) sensors which detect heat. Some cameras also output infrared light. This light is invisible to our eyes, so an intruder would not notice it, but it functions as effective night vision, providing you with a clear view of what is going on.
This is one yet another useful feature which can activate your camera at the right moments. You can set up sound and motion sensors to send automatic alerts to your email or text your mobile device as well.
Local recording function
What if you want to use your wireless security camera to simply record footage and store it? If your wifi security camera includes a card slot, you can record footage locally and upload it to the card. You can then download the data onto any device and view it.
This is a key feature. There may be times when you need to look back over old footage or even share it with the authorities. Both local storage and cloud storage are options; some cameras only allow one function while others allow both. Which one is best? It really depends on your needs and preferences.
That said, there are some cameras which require you to pay a monthly subscription fee if you want to make use of cloud storage. Fees can range, but they are typically between $5-$10 per month. If you can find a high-quality wireless camera which also provides you with cloud storage for free, all the better.
Integration with other security devices
If you already have other security products in your home, you may want to hunt around for a wireless security camera which you can integrate with your existing security setup. Usually this is easiest if you stick with the same brand, but you will find that there are cameras which can talk to third-party devices. Integration can augment the capabilities of all your devices, not to mention make setup much easier and faster.
In some cases, it may make sense to purchase a wireless security camera which includes some two-way functionality. If for example you are buying the camera in part to keep an eye on pets or children while you are away from home, you may find two-way audio very useful. Your voice may soothe an anxious pet, and if you have something you need to communicate to your child, you will be able to have a conversation.
Now you understand more about how wireless security cameras work and how they can enhance your home security. Many cameras allow you to network a number of units together to cover multiple rooms in your home. Remember that if you are shopping for outdoor wireless cameras, you need to look not only for the features above, but for weatherproofing as well. Ready to shop? Scroll back up to the top of the page to take a closer look at our comparison chart for top wireless security cameras!
Arlo Camera: Crisp High Definition Details
If you currently have an older security camera that’s only capable of recording grainy footage, you’ll be startled by the extra crisp HD recordings that you can get out of an Arlo. Because it’s fully weatherproof and built to withstand outdoor conditions, you can set it up pretty much anywhere.
- Sharp details. Most security cameras deliver grainy, hard-to-see footage, but the video quality hat you get with Arlo is truly outstanding.
- Weatherproof. The Arlo camera can withstand intense heat, wind, rain and snow.
- Set it up anywhere. This camera is totally wireless, so after you connect it to your network you can place it anywhere you need it.
- Night vision. When the sun goes down, you can still monitor your home.
- Free monthly service. With the free basic plan you get 7 days of cloud storage, support for 5 cameras, email alerts, and live streaming.
- Easy to program. Use the smartphone app to schedule rules for turning the camera on and off.
- Battery efficient. Arlo camera will run for months on a single battery charge.
- You’ll need to buy additional products if you want to hook this camera up to an audio alarm system or have it alert the police.
Amcrest IP2M-841: Two-Way Communication
The Armcrest IP2M-841 is perfect for checking on and keeping in touch with babysitters and live-in nurses. The IP2M-841’s excellent 1080p HD camera will make you feel like you’re right at home when you’re away. Also, its well-constructed built-in speaker/microphone system lets you communicate directly with the people you trust to take care of your loved ones.
- Communicate from afar. The IP2M-841’s built in microphone and speaker allow for two-way communication.
- No extra fees. With this product, Amcrest offers 4 hours of cloud storage and a 1 year warranty for no extra charge.
- Pans and tilts. The ability to remotely move the camera around allows you to see what’s happening in every corner of a room.
- 1080p HD. The IP2M-841 delivers real HD video at 30 frames per second.
- Choose local or cloud storage. You can rely on either an internal microSD card or cloud storage to save your video files.
- Cross platform compatible. View and control the IP2M-841 on Apple Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, iPad or Android devices.
- Motion alerts. This camera sends a message to your email inbox if someone enters your home while you’re away.
- The slot that hooks this camera up to a power source is not micro USB compatible.
Foscam R2: Free Online Archiving
Even though the Foscam R2’s 1080p HD camera is quite good, the best thing about this device is that it uploads archived security footage to the internet for free. You either can configure the R2 to record surveillance videos locally to an SD card, or you can opt to have the R2 upload to a remote FTP site instead.
- Discreet design. This camera is 20% smaller than other cameras of its type.
- HD video surveillance. Unlike standard security webcams, the Foscam R2 delivers great looking 1080p HD video.
- Push notifications. If someone or something triggers an alert, you’ll get a snapshot sent to you via push email.
- Internal mic and speaker. The high quality audio hardware that’s built into this camera makes it easy to communicate with babysitters, nurses or cleaners while you’re away.
- Extra long warranty. Most camera manufacturers only offer a 1 year warranty, but with the Foscam R2 you get a 2 year guarantee.
- Digital zoom. For more detail, the R2 can provide up to 8x digital magnification.
- No monthly fees. Record locally to an SD card or store video on the internet via FTP for free.
- Because the Foscam R2 isn’t weatherproof, it’s only good for setting up an indoor surveillance system.