In the midst of the rise of connected devices, one particular technology has taken center stage: wireless security cameras. Whether for watching a sleeping baby, monitoring theft in retail stores, or offering visibility of your home while on vacation, Wi-Fi security cameras are quickly becoming a popular choice. But there’s more than meets the eye with these devices, so let’s dig beneath the surface and learn more.
3 Things to be Aware Of
“Security cameras no longer require the monotonous task of changing a tape every few hours in order to prevent a lapse in coverage,” Green Residential notes. “Today, there are cameras on the market, like the Nest Cam made by Google, that are specifically designed to capture both audio and video 24 hours a day.”
Whether you’re interested in wireless cameras for the technology, or you have a particular use for one in your life, there are some things you need to know up front.
1. Here’s How They Work
Wi-Fi cameras – or IP cameras as some refer to them – work by sending a transmission to a computer via a small wireless receiver. These transmissions then send data to the cloud, which holds that data for a predetermined amount of time (typically 30 days). From this cloud platform, which generally has an accompanying mobile app, users can watch footage (live or recorded).
The best part about Wi-Fi security solutions? As Cammy explains, “These types of cameras are usually plug-and-play, so there are no holes drilled and no electricians needed. Pick a spot, plug it in, and you’re off.”
2. They Aren’t Perfect
Wi-Fi camera manufacturers will try to make their products sound like the perfect solutions, but as is the case with any new technology, they have their flaws.
The most notable threat to a Wi-Fi camera is the vulnerability to hacking. Just like anything that’s shared over the internet, the data and footage that a wireless camera records can end up in the wrong hands if you don’t follow the proper protocol for securing it. This can be particularly scary if you have security cameras inside your home or in a baby’s nursery. Nobody likes the thought of being watched.
It’s nearly impossible to make a wireless camera impenetrable, but proper and timely firmware updates and secure passwords usually prevent most hacking threats.
In addition to security threats, there’s always the risk of having a wireless camera stolen. Since they’re simply plug and play devices, they aren’t always attached as well as wired cameras. Keep this in mind when installing wireless cameras outdoors.
3. They’re Coming Down in Price
From a consumer point of view, there’s good news on the pricing front. Wireless IP cameras are cheaper than ever and prices continue to drop. All you have to do is run a quick search on Amazon and you’ll find a number of best-selling devices under $100. There are even some good ones under $50. That means you can secure an entire home or business for just a few hundred dollars.
In the coming months, prices should inch down a bit more (though not much). However, the focus moving forward will primarily be on improving functionality and security. As such, it’s possible that top-end cameras will actually increase in price as the technology is enhanced.
Consider the Alternatives
It’s important to note that wireless security cameras aren’t the only options on the market – they’re just the newest. In addition to Wi-Fi- enabled security cameras, you can also find traditional wired cameras. Many people prefer wired cameras because of the lack of interference and better security. Make sure you evaluate all options before deciding which route you want to go.