wireless home security cameras

How to Find the Best Wireless Home Security Cameras of 2017

In Home Security by JodyLeave a Comment

Nobody likes crawling around in attics and itching the rest of the day because of fiberglass insulation.

So:

Why would you?

With wireless technology opening up new possibilities, you can get some really high quality cameras that are downright easy to install and still produce good quality.

We’re going to walk through the benefits and the bummers and give you the tools to choose for yourself.

To help in your search, I built a home security camera comparison tool to help you out.wireless home camera systems

Why Wireless Cameras Can Save You Headaches AND Get Better Results

The benefit to wireless cameras (and I mean REALLY wireless AKA battery powered), is that they are incredibly easy to install and to move.

That way, you’re more likely to install more of them and in more places. That is, unless you like fiberglass inside your clothes and drilling holes in the outside of your house.

You can put multiple cameras around your house and have more opportunities to catch a good picture of the burglars face. This video of a burglary captured on a security camera gives you an idea of how hard it can be to get a quality picture of a burglar’s face, even when he isn’t wearing a hat or hoodie.

When is Wireless Really Wireless?

Don’t be fooled:

Plenty of people think “wireless” means no cables. You too? Sorry, you’ll still have to run power for most cameras.

What does wireless really mean? Strictly speaking, it means no wires, of course. But, what you’ll really get when doing a search for wireless cameras is a list of cameras that transmit their video feeds using wireless protocols (WiFi) but still require a power source that is very dependent on wires. Chances are, you are searching for wireless cameras exactly because you want to avoid drilling holes in walls, eaves, or attics to run cables all over your home or business.

That’s why, when you use our comparison tool, you can search for cameras that have wireless power sources too (AKA batteries).

Finding the Best Wireless Home Security Cameras of 2015

You can follow along in a new tab if you like:

  1. Visit our home security camera comparison page.
  2. Click on the “Wireless Data” dropdown and select “Yes” and “Both.”
  3. Click on the “Wireless Power” dropdown and select “Yes.”

Here’s a video walk through if you’re allergic to instructions. Open the home surveillance camera comparison tool in a new tab and follow along.

Yep, it’s just that easy. Here’s the current list:

You can take a look at the features offered by each camera, and you can even filter on other features that you’d like to have. Or, you can sort by cost if you aren’t that worried about the quality of the camera and just want something that’s affordable.

The Drawback of a Truly Wireless Camera

Here’s the catch:

You may have guessed it, but these cameras have to play some tricks to extend their battery life to something that you’ll tolerate. They do that by minimizing the amount of recording they do.

So, don’t expect to be reviewing hours of video of your empty house or your grass growing. Sensors on the cameras will “wake it up” when something happens so that it can capture video while something notable is happening. It will relay the information via your network, and then settle down for its next nap. Meanwhile, depending on the camera, you can get a notification pushed to your phone with an image or a video clip taken by the camera and will be able to log in to review video of the event. So, you can watch the UPS man tossing your package onto the porch from 5 feet away.

I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of battery life to expect. Of course, that depends on how often the camera wakes up to record video, but the Netgear Arlo claims a possible battery life of 6 months. That’s pretty impressive, but I would bet on something under that for typical use.

Here’s an idea of the battery life claimed by the manufacturers for those 3 cameras:

  • Netgear Arlo – up to 6 months
  • Netgear VueZone – up to 6 months
  • Viper Home – up to 1 year

Netgear clarifies that the 6 month battery life is based on 5 minutes of recording a day. So, if you schedule the camera to record for longer, log on to view the live feed several times a day, or have the camera in a highly active area, you can plan for the battery life to scale down from there. After that, you’ll have to bring it in to recharge.

Hopefully, we helped you narrow your search for the best wireless home security cameras and saved you some time. If so, pay it forward by sharing this article with your friends.


A Look at the Arlo

Netgear Arlo outdoor cameraThe Netgear Arlo is a compact HD (720p), battery powered, outdoor ready camera with some clever software behind it. The Arlo is smart about when it records footage so that it can last around 6 months on a set of batteries.

One thing to keep an eye out for is how the batteries hold up in cold weather, that’s a notorious weakness for most battery types. The operating temperature range is from 14 to 122 degrees F. Combine compact size, completely wireless design, and magnetic mounting options, and you can place an Arlo camera just about anywhere you can dream up.

They come in a kit of 1 or 2 with a hub that will set you back $200 or $350 respectively. So it’s a non-trivial investment to get started with the Arlo.

The initial reviews have been positive too, so it might be just what you need. Don’t forget to see how the Netgear Arlo stacks up in terms of features and cost before you buy.

As far as service charges, Netgear offers several options for customers, highlighted in the table below:

Packages: Basic Premier Elite
Features
  • Stores videos up to 1 GB for 7 days
  • Up to 5 cameras
  • Stores videos up to 10 GB for 30 days
  • Up to 10 cameras
  • Stores videos up to 100 GB for 60 days
  • Up to 15 cameras
Cost FREE $10 / month $15 / month

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