In a world of increasing uncertainty, spyware is turning from something only movie spies would use to a common household and office necessity. More and more people are opting for hidden cameras, whether an inconspicuous dashcam to record accidents or hidden cameras to increase security around homes and offices. The most pertinent question that people face while selecting a spy camera is whether to go for a wired camera or a wireless camera. In this article, we will be comparing and reviewing between wired mini spy camera and wireless mini spy camera.
Wired VS Wireless Mini Spy Camera: Difference
Spyware technology is improving at a rapid speed. These days, even the cheap spy camera record at a minimum of 1080p pixels, which gives a clear video. Audio and storage have become basic requirements instead of sought after features. There are a lot of factors we need to look into while selecting a Wireless or Wired version of the mini spy cameras. Checkout the list of best mini spy cameras if you are looking for one. We will discuss all the salient points in detail.
1. Wires and Wire network
The main disadvantage of wired spy cameras is the wires. When you look at wired vs wireless mini spy camera you will have to consider this factor. Many people think that a wired camera system means hanging a bundle of wires which makes it conspicuous and bulky. However, that is not the case. Wired mini spy cameras do not have an internal battery and need a power source to work. Which means that we need to hide the wires into the walls.
You could hire a professional and do it yourself if you are experienced in such jobs. However, once the wires are hidden, you have a pretty seamless spy camera working for you. Another disadvantage of the wired spy camera is that in case you are creating a network, you need to work on hiding the wires into the wall or ceiling each time.
It is a cumbersome task compared to wireless cameras. Also, if you live in a place where there is a lot of power outage, wired spy cameras will work intermittently. However, if you can connect it to a power source which is not your main power supply, you will have the advantage of the cameras recording even during a power outage. If you want a permanent or long term spy camera network, the wired camera is a good solution.
Wireless spy cameras, as the name suggests, are wireless. They work on an internal battery. They are connected through your home or office WiFi network. Wireless spy cameras don’t need much to install, you turn them on, select an inconspicuous point with a wide line of vision, place it, and turn it on. You don’t need to make any major or permanent changes in your space as in the case of wired spy cameras. However, if you have a spotty WiFi network or the spy cameras are not within range, it becomes difficult for the cameras to work smoothly.
Also, if you are setting up a network of wireless spy cameras, you need to be careful and see if the whole network is covered within the WiFi signals. However, the major advantage of the wireless spy cameras is that it can be disguised as something else, be it a clock camera, or a nanny cam, or even a button camera that you can wear on your person and record.
Adding to your network is also effortless as you need to connect the wireless camera to the WiFi network. Having a wireless spy camera also makes it portable, you can changes places any time and any number of times you wish to, as long as it is connected to a WiFi system, as it has an internal battery.
2. Power Supply
This is another major difference between Wired and Wireless mini spy cameras. But before you dismiss the wired cameras, there are advantages to having a spy camera system that is connected to a power supply.
The wired camera system, while they need a power source, does not need to be looked after. Once the camera is plugged in, you don’t have to worry about having to charge the battery at regular intervals. If it is connected to an external power system that isn’t your main power supply, the recording can be seamless and practically continuous. You won’t even have to worry about WiFi or any other internet connection. Wired mini spy cameras will record as long as they have a power source.
Wireless cameras have an internal battery, so they do not need an external power source. However, wireless spyware technology is not advanced enough if you are looking for robust surveillance with low maintenance. Wireless cameras have a short battery life, from 12 to 24 hours. The expensive ones go for a maximum of 48 hours which means that you have to take out the batteries and charge them at regular intervals.
Unless you have a backup battery, you will not be able to record anything while the camera battery is being charged. Since they are also connected to your WiFi system, wireless cameras are dependent on two things to operate smoothly, making them more vulnerable compared to wired spy cameras. However, if you are looking for recordings for a specific number of hours and not a continuous stream, wireless is better than wired.
3. Storage and Recording Capacity
Wireless mini spy cameras usually have a slot for an SD memory card. However, as most spy cameras film a recording in 1080p or at least 720p, the memory card fills up quite quickly. A 16GB SD memory card can hold five to six hours of footage, depending on if the recording is being filmed in 720p or 1080p. That means that if you are looking for a continuous recording, wireless cameras are not favorable.
Again, as in the case of batteries, you have to remove the SD memory card at regular intervals and store the footage in a more permanent place, else you lose recordings. There are some wireless spy cameras, however, who have tried to overcome this disadvantage. They have features called a loop recording and a motion detection recording. Loop recording will overwrite the oldest recording, thus recording continuously.
A motion detection recording works such that in case of any sudden movement, the camera will sense it and lock the recording, preventing the loop mechanism from erasing the recording. Still, it is cumbersome if you want continuous footage. Also, in case the WiFi loses strength or power, the wireless mini spy cameras will immediately stop working.
Wired mini spy cameras are at an advantage in this factor. Since they are wired, you can easily connect them to an external hard-drive, and forget about it for a couple of weeks or even months depending on the quality of the recording. Since they are not connected to any internet system, they can record continuously without interruption.
However, it is important to note that some wired mini spy cameras do not have the ability to store the recording. That means that if they are not connected to the external drive, they will not be able to store any recordings. Hence, it is important to adequately secure the external hard-drive if your wired mini spy camera does not have an internal storage memory feature.
Wired mini spy cameras are practically interference-free. As they operate on a wired power source and are connected through wired for their storage, it is difficult to mess with their filming. Most power sources are continuous, uninterrupted, and steady. So wired mini spy cameras have a greater probability of interference-free recordings.
Wireless mini spy cameras, on the other hand, are susceptible to interference. Most wireless cameras work on a radio frequency, which can be disrupted. Also, if there are conflicting WiFi networks, it can interrupt the recording of the wireless cameras, even if you have taken care of everything else.
5. Potential of breach
Since wired mini spy cameras are connected by physical wires to the power source and storage, they are difficult to hack. The worst-case scenario to disrupt a wired camera system is to either remove the power source, remove the external hard-drive where the footage is being stored, physically damage the wires or the cameras itself. As they are not connected to any wireless networks, they are robust in terms of security.
Wireless mini spy cameras are more susceptible to breach. Since they are connected to a WiFi network, anyone with the WiFi password can hack into the footage or make changes in the settings of your spy camera. Also, in case there are conflicting WiFi networks, the recording can be interrupted. Also, most wireless cameras use radio frequencies to operate, which makes them vulnerable. In terms of security, they are more ways to damage the footage of wireless mini spy cameras than wired mini spy cameras.
6. Installation Time, Effort, And Maintenance
Wireless mini spy cameras have an edge over the wired cameras in this factor. Installation is easy and takes hardly any effort in the case of wireless cameras. As long as the necessities are fulfilled, such as a secure WiFi network and an inconspicuous position where the camera will be placed, you need to place it in position and connect it to the WiFi network. There are no permanent changes you need to make in any parts of your home or office to install a wireless mini spy camera. There is no expertise required, anyone can follow the instructions and do it.
In the case of wired mini spy cameras, there is a considerable amount of time and effort involved. One needs to cover the wires so that the camera can be hidden and the wires don’t come in the way. This involves making permanent changes in your walls and ceilings. If you are not handy with tools, you will need to hire a professional technician to do these things.
And even if the professional does an exemplary job, it is a more invasive method of installation, as some parts of your drywall will have to be removed and repaired back. And each time you want to add a camera to your network, the whole process has to be repeated. Compared to wireless mini spy cameras, they require a considerable amount of time and effort to install.
In terms of maintenance, however, wired mini spy cameras have an edge. Once the installation is complete, you don’t need much maintenance besides making sure the power supply is continuous and replacing the external hard-drive every few weeks or months depending on the quality of the recording. Wireless mini spy cameras need to be recharged almost every day and the footage needs to be copied into a more permanent space at regular intervals.
While the cost of wired and wireless mini spy cameras could be competitive, there is a considerable installation cost when it comes to wired spy cameras. Which makes the wireless mini spy cameras a cheaper option overall, compared to wired mini spy cameras.
When you compare wired vs wireless mini spy camera, each mini spy camera has its advantages and disadvantages. There is no clear winner, and the selection depends on individual needs and requirements.
Go for a wired mini spy camera system if you want a permanent system, are concerned about your system being hacked, want a continuous recording, can make changes in your walls, are willing to invest a moderate amount of money, and want a more robust system which doesn’t need much maintenance and looking after.
Go for a wireless mini spy camera system if you want a portable system, you move frequently or are a renter, need an easy installation option, do not want to invest a sizeable amount, and don’t mind taking out the cameras every few days to charge the battery and store the recordings in a more permanent space.
Kindly note that we do not recommend or promote the use of the Spy Camera Clock for any illegal purposes, illicit surveillance, or to violate anyone’s right to privacy.