PoE Camera or WiFi Camera: Which Should I Choose?
Security is still a hot topic, industrial surveillance is more pervasive in the name of security. IP cameras can provide viable solutions allowing users to monitor the specific regions they need. PoE cameras and WiFi cameras are considered two common surveillance camera options.
- What are their differences ?
- What are their advantages and disadvantages?
- And how to choose between them?
Introduction of wired and wireless camera system
The wired camera security system is considered the de facto traditional solution. As the name suggests, this system requires cables for power supply, internet connection and video transmission.
With the introduction of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology , power supply and Internet connection will be achieved with a single cable. IP cameras that support PoE technology are able to send the video stream they record over the network while receiving both data and power from that same PoE switch.
As an alternative, a wireless camera system that adopts wireless technology allows cameras to connect to a wireless router without a wired connection. However, cable power is still required.
The WiFi IP camera works by transmitting security footage from the camera to the NVR recorder, which can be accessed over a network or remotely. That is, the user has access to the images either through an embedded device or through cloud storage .
PoE Cameras Vs WiFi Cameras: Advantages and Disadvantages
Both PoE and WiFi IP cameras can offer basic surveillance functions. The differences between them, however, are quite distinct.
Advantages of the WiFi camera
- Wireless Design – Great Flexibility:Place the camera wherever you want as long as there is power nearby, saving you time maneuvering it.
- Easy Installation:Since the cameras are connected to the WiFi network for image transmission, there is no need to run cables between the NVR recorder and the cameras, which greatly facilitates installation. The only limitation is the power source.
- Concealment function:WiFi cameras are obviously easier to conceal. The adoption of these cameras saves space and better organizes the area.
- Price:Generally, fewer tools and accessories will be required, which saves on accessories.
Disadvantages of the WiFi camera
- Vulnerable to interference:The major drawback of wireless security cameras is that they are susceptible to interference, which can make them less reliable in certain situations.
- Limited speed:If you have, for example, 6 IP cameras, all transmitting almost continuously, this definitely slows down the WiFi.
- Limited coverage:The biggest problem with a wireless connection is that you are limited to the signal range of WiFi routers. All wireless security cameras must be located within WiFi range .
Advantages of PoE cameras
- PoE design – great flexibility:The installation process is not difficult because you don’t have to worry about a secondary cable for power. And there is also no need to install the camera near a power source because the network switch directly supplies the power source.
- Faster Transmission Speed:Data transmission speed improves with PoE technology PoE can deliver up to 2.5 Gbps to 5 Gbps over distances of 100 meters, with the immediate prospect of reaching speeds 10 Gbps by adopting Cat5 and Cat6 patch cables.
- Increased transmission reliability:Data transmission is via wired cable for PoE security cameras. Therefore, these wired security systems are not susceptible to wireless signal interference and jamming due to the physical connections between the camera, network switch and NVR recorder.
- Wider coverage:The maximum connection distance of PoE IP cameras is 100 meters, which is ten times that of WiFi cameras. In other words, WiFi cameras should be within 10 meters of the router’s signal, while PoE IP cameras can be installed up to 100 meters from its network switch.
- Better centralized power management:A power outage will turn off your entire CCTV system without UPS (uninterruptible power supply) . By adopting PoE technology, you can rely on a single, centrally managed UPS to provide backup power to your critical network devices. You are able to shut down or reset these devices remotely, saving you a lot of time and money.
Disadvantages of PoE cameras
- Installation costs: Installationcosts are much higher than those of standard WiFi cameras.
PoE or WiFi security camera, how to choose?
Ask yourself several questions: How are my daily network and power conditions? What type of application should I make? How many devices should I install? And should I consider future upgrades?
Take your time, assessing your current situation based on the following factors:
- Network environments
The most important point is to assess your current network and electrical situation. Wireless signal strength, or extent of coverage, is related to various factors like the router, interference, current power design, the path the signals have to take to reach your cameras, etc.
- Application scenarios
Generally speaking, WiFi IP cameras are widely used for indoor office security, while PoE IP cameras are installed for outdoor surveillance systems. When planning to install IP cameras outdoors, make sure the models you buy are weatherproof.
Also, wired security camera systems are generally for business owners with relatively permanent use, while wireless systems are ideal for businesses in temporary locations.
- Evolution and extensibility
The size of your property and the number of cameras needed will determine your decision between WiFi and PoE cameras. If you want to install a single IP camera for monitoring a small area, you can choose a WiFi IP camera. Just make sure the WiFi IP Camera is installed within the coverage area of your WiFi router.
However, if you want full coverage and flawless performance it is recommended that you use a wired system capable of supporting and linking all cameras. Additionally, PoE technology allows for greater flexibility when adding, moving, changing, or temporarily deploying security cameras, which is ideal for future upgrades.
The need for security in industrial applications, has triggered increased adoption of these wired and wireless IP cameras for industries. Compared with WiFi cameras, PoE cameras feature faster transmission speed, higher reliability, better security, and wider coverage for more application scenarios. With the popularity of PoE technology, these cameras are poised to gain more market share and will be an inevitable trend in the near future.
And you, what type of IP camera do you prefer for your security systems?