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Can You Make a Wired Security Camera Wireless?

Wired security cameras are ideal for homeowners who don’t have intentions of moving anytime soon. However, these stationary cameras aren’t easy to set up and they’re even harder to move. To save a lot of time and energy, a lot of homeowners want to know how to make their stationary cameras wireless.

Can you make a wired security camera wireless? You can convert a wired security camera to wireless with the use of a wireless receiver and a transmitter.

Imagine being able to move your security camera whenever you want or even through a window which we’ve discussed before. If this is something you’ve wanted to do, you’ll find everything you need to know here. Below, we’ll explain how to use a receiver and transmitter to convert your wired security cameras to wireless, and if you’re looking to understand the resolution types better we have tutorials on that as well.

Using a Wireless Converter Tool

Lorex Digital Wireless Converter for Wired Security Camera 1 - Smaller
Credit: Lorex Technology

Below we’ll discuss the benefits of using a dedicated wireless-first security camera. But first, here’s how you would go about converting a typical wired security camera –  whether 5MP or 8MP which we’ve talked about at length – to wireless.

How to Use a Wireless Converter Tool

One of the easiest ways to switch your wired security camera to a wireless one is with a converter tool that will allow you to simply convert the wired connection into a wireless one so you can have the best of both worlds, however, as we talked about in our guide, lag can be a problem. This model offered by Lorex is simple to use and you don’t have to purchase any additional components. 

It’s comprised of two parts, a receiver, and a transmitter, and it’s compatible with most wired security camera systems including the Lorex 4k Wired HD Security Camera.  These two components will allow your analog security camera to transmit video and if your camera is equipped with audio, it will also transmit that signal. 

The transmitter works by sending data from the camera to the Lorex receiver. Once the receiver is connected to the DVR, you can set up the now-wireless camera almost anywhere. There are other benefits to converting your wired camera with the tool that includes:

  • Increased coverage
  • Improved night vision capabilities
  • Continuous wireless signal monitoring and reconnects when signal strength is low

Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras

Wired and Wireless Security Cameras - Smaller

When the security camera is described as wired or wireless it’s referring to how the devices communicate, often through WiFi like we’ve talked about before, not the power source. Both types of security cameras come with power cables that you’ll still have to manage (more on security camera cable types in our guide). Where they differ is how the devices transmit information.

Wired Security Cameras

Wired security cameras like the Blink Smart Security Camera (on Amazon) are connected to the internet via a cable. There are two types of wired cameras, digital video recorders (DVR) and networked video recorders (NVR). A DVR security camera system, which we’ve talked about before, uses a coaxial cable for the image signal and recording whereas an NVR system uses an ethernet cable for better image quality. Using the ethernet cable typically means the camera will also have features like motion-detection and two-way communication. 

A wired security system can come with anywhere from 4 to 16 cameras giving you plenty of options on how when to set it up. Most models also come with an app so you can remotely view the footage and you can also connect the security camera to your computer monitor (our guide) so you can easily view the recorded footage and live feeds. 

Wireless Security Cameras

Also known as a Wi-Fi camera, you will need to plug the system into an AC outlet for power. It transmits recorded and live footage over your Wi-Fi network. Some wireless security cameras like the Nest (on Amazon) store the footage in the cloud which allows you to access footage from any compatible device regardless of location. It’s not uncommon for models to come with SD cards for internal storage as well.

Other wireless camera models can be programmed for 24/7 recording. Most also come with motion and sound detection that automatically turns the camera on and off depending on whether the detection system picked up on the signal. This proves especially useful for looking through the footage later because the camera will only record activity.

Wireless cameras often feature two-way audio and night vision. With night vision, the video will be sharp and clear even in low lighting. Newer wireless security cameras also come with limited learning capabilities, although many of them can be used as webcams if you wanted (our guide). For instance, it could send an alert when a package is delivered or someone is detected nearby, or even use facial recognition to detect who’s there.

A Few Details to Think About

You might still be unsure if it’s worth the hassle to convert your wired security camera system to a wireless one, but there are a few things you may not have considered (more on types of security cameras in our tutorial) . If you already own wired security cameras, you might not be looking forward to replacing them, in fact, some users try using a GoPro as we’ve explained before. Using a tool to convert the system into a wireless one is a great way to save money and it won’t take a lot of your time.

Some other reasons to switch your current security system instead of replacing it include:

  • Upgrade and expand signal strength. Your wired cameras might be exactly where you want them, but you need more coverage. Instead of buying new cameras, converting the old ones to wireless will increase signal strength. In some cases, depending on the tool you use the coverage can go up by 800 feet. 
  • You still have coverage if your Wi-Fi goes out. The Wi-Fi signal goes down and your wireless security cameras are no longer receiving a signal. You can sidestep this problem by converting your wired ones to wireless so that when the Wi-Fi is out, your converted wired camera will still be recording. Since the video is stored on the DVR, you don’t have to wait for the internet to come back to access the footage. This is a unique advantage of converted wireless cameras, since something like the Nest will simply stop functioning if the Wi-Fi goes out.

Other Considerations

Doing some research before making a purchase is key. It’s easier to just use a wireless security camera system like Nest the first-time because these systems are a breeze to set up. You just need to place the cameras close enough to a power source to connect them and you can move the cameras at any time without a hassle, as long as you take your Wi-Fi range into consideration.

It’s also easy to access the footage from any device you have connected to your network. However, sometimes you want or need added security and this is when you should look at wired cameras. Hackers can get into wireless ones and use the camera to spy on you and the property. It’s an unsettling feeling to know that someone could be watching you.  

Wired security cameras make it virtually impossible for hackers to get in since the system is hardwired to your Wi-Fi, but the downside of this is you have to deal with all the cables, and the length of the cable will depend on where you have the cameras placed (more security camera questions answered in our guide)

Conclusion

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to replacing wired cameras with wireless solutions. While there are clear benefits to both, wireless cameras are more convenient.  You have the option of converting wired cameras to wireless using some simple tools, but this doesn’t give you all the modern features of smart, Wi-Fi enabled cameras. However, it also shields you from some of their weaknesses (like not being able to function if Wi-Fi goes out).

Converting is the less expensive option if you want wireless cameras, and it’s also not difficult to do. If you need more coverage, want to move your wired cameras, or you’re on a budget, the best advice is to consider saving money and purchasing a converter tool. A converter tool is the best value for the price, and you won’t have to purchase an entirely new system.

Danielle Mounsear-Wilson

Monday 18th of October 2021

Can you have a semi wired and wifi system? I have cameras which cables length interferes with the picture and some cables have been run over the top of the geyser by the installer so I wish to by pass those.