Last Updated on August 31, 2019

Getting Started

wire vs wireless mini cameraMini spy cameras, nanny cams, home security cameras, these are all often the same thing. They’re tiny cameras, made for you to be able to hide around your home, and see if anything is happening that you should be aware of. That could be an untrusted caretaker for your child, suspected partner infidelity, or even burglars and thieves. Regardless of your reasons for one, chances are you want a good one.

On today’s market, there are plenty of options for a mini spy camera. There are cheap ones, expensive ones, small ones, larger ones, wired ones and wireless ones. That last one is what we’ll be discussing today, as there are a lot of reasons to go either way. Oftentimes, whether you get a wired or wireless nanny cam depends on your specific situation, but there are certainly things that you should know before you pull the trigger and order one.

Below you will find a bit of information on both types, as well as which one is better for what. At the end, we’ll take a look at who should get a wired one, and who could do a better job with a wireless one. Without wasting any more time, let’s begin.

Wired mini spy camera

The “definition” of a wired camera is a camera that requires a wire, or a cable, to bring both power supply, and video transmission. Where many people make a mistake is thinking that this always leaves unsightly cables hanging around your home. Even though this is sometimes the case, if you plan things out well, this can be prevented.

There’s actually nothing stopping you from guiding the cables through the wall, thus hiding them out of sight. However, this is close to impossible to do when you have a camera that isn’t attached to a wall, such as a bookshelf nanny cam. If you want to be safe when trying to figure out whether to go wired or not, consider that you’ll need to do something about those cables with a wired camera. Wires that need to be taken care of remain the biggest downside to a wired mini spy camera.

If you can take care of the wires, though, there are numerous advantages. For one, power and video transmission is taken care of.

Power is easy – all you need to do is route the power cable to the nearest outlet, or connect it to your home installation if you’d rather keep things clean.

Video transmission depends on the type of camera you have. Even though some cameras come with built-in storage and there’s no cable for video, this is a feature best saved for wireless cameras. You’re running wires anyways – why not run one to your router or DVR? It will most likely be just an ethernet cable, so it’s easy to run.

A wired camera also isn’t limited to the storage in the camera, or the SD card. You can just add a large hard drive to your DVR and extend the recording time. And, if you want to take a look at the video that’s recorded in its full quality, you just need the DVR. With a wireless camera, you’ll most likely need to get the SD card out, as any video transferred wirelessly will be compressed for speed of transfer.

And, last but not least, there is no interference from nearby devices. Wireless cameras, especially cheaper ones, use frequencies that might also be used by other devices in your home. Two devices transmitting data on the same frequency can be a problem.

Wireless mini spy cameras

A wireless mini spy camera, on the other hand, doesn’t require any wires. Video transmission is taken care of wirelessly, usually through your home’s Wi-Fi network, and power comes from a built-in battery. This makes them extremely convenient for places and situations where you just can’t afford to have cables visible, and there’s no way to guide them through a wall.

If you want to put the camera somewhere on a shelf, or on a wall you can’t afford to destroy for cable management, you want a wireless camera. However, they actually aren’t that great for much else.

To begin with, video almost always has some sort of compression when you’re transferring it wirelessly. Therefore, the only way to actually see the video in full quality is if your wireless mini spy camera has built-in storage, or an SD card. However, you’d have to connect to it via a cable to see the video.

Another thing is that the battery on a wireless camera doesn’t always last long. You could usually get a few hours of continuous recording, but you’ll need to recharge it afterwards. A workaround would be to keep it connected to a power source continuously, but that somewhat defeats the purpose of “wireless”, doesn’t it?

So, who needs what?

I would understand if you’re a bit confused at this point. Yes, the truth is that there isn’t a clear winner between wired and wireless. Sure, technology is going wireless, rapidly, but we just aren’t there yet. There are still situations where you just need a cable, in one way or another. Such is the case with mini spy cameras in some circumstances.

The general recommendation would be, if you can afford to route the cables through a wall, or you just don’t care about them being visible, a wired camera is the way to go.

Better quality, no worries about charging or emptying the storage, it’s a “set it and forget it” solution.

However, if you need a camera in a location where you can’t have cables visible, such as a hidden camera, you’ll be much better off with a wireless one. Sure, you’ll need to check up on it daily, or every two days, but that might be a worthy compromise.