A wireless fidelity camera, better known as a WiFi camera or wireless camera, is any camera with internet connection capabilities that records and stores video. However, it can store it either in a memory card inside the camera itself or store directly into a cloud storage.
Thus, allowing you access to that footage from your computer, laptop, phone, or tablet's drive. But only as long as you connect the WiFi camera to a reliable, relatively fast internet connection for it to upload it.
Historically, video cameras used standard analog signals to grab video and send it back to a receiver for storage. The more modern version of this same concept uses digital packets instead of analog signals, meaning you can now transfer much more data at once. On top of that, the image quality captured is higher than before.
WiFi Camera vs. CCTV
If you were born anywhere after the first half of the 20th century, you've heard of CCTV. Or at least seen them as you drove down the road, as many businesses now have these installed outside their shops. For a long time, these were our best option for surveillance system, and it works fine to this day. However, more flexible, convenient, and easy to install devices, like the WiFi camera, are now available.
But how do they stack up to one another? If you are looking to find out which is the one for you, allow us to tell you:
WiFi Cameras vs. CCTV Systems: The Main Differences
The main difference between a WiFi camera and a CCTV system is that a WiFi camera only requires a comparatively limited amount of hardware at one end. As long as a wireless internet connection signal reaches the camera, it will be able to upload the captured footage.
A CCTV system, on the other hand, will require the cameras hooked into a DVR device itself hooked to a monitor or several. Through the monitor, you will be able to see the video feeds captured by the cameras.
Thus, the CCTV system requires more hardware compared to the WiFi camera, which is able to internally store and upload the footage. Never mind a dedicated monitor; you can use the screen of whichever synced smart device you have with you to access the footage.
Another comparison point would be the monitoring time. CCTV systems remain actively recoding continuously for 24 hours. While some models of WiFi cameras are able to do this as well, most of them offer the option to record only when you command it to.
Alternatively, WiFi cameras equipped with motion sensors can start recording after a certain event whenever someone enters its field of vision. Thus, saving both footage recording time and the storage space the final recorded file would occupy.
Finally, the WiFi camera with sensors is also able to send you push notifications to your mobile device to alert you of an event's passing. Said capability is completely absent from CCTV systems, bar the inclusion of human operators to carry out the task manually.
WiFi Cameras vs. CCTV – Summary of Differences
So, to summarize, here are the main differences between the WiFi camera and the CCTV system:
- Hardware: CCTV systems require much more hardware.
- Storage: WiFi cameras can do both local storage and remote, cloud-based storage. CCTV systems do local storage almost exclusively
- Remote Access: Due to its cloud storage capabilities, the WiFi camerahas built-in remote access functionally, unlike most CCTV.
- Operation Time: When active, CCTV systems remain recording 24 hours. WiFi cameras can record on command or start on their own after a certain event trigger it.
- Notification Capabilities: WiFi cameras are able to send push notifications to your synced devices, something CCTV cannot.
Home Uses for A WiFi Camera
The most common reason for someone to purchase a WiFi camera includes monitoring pets when you're not around. As well as keeping an eye on children left unsupervised or making sure to quickly respond if elderly family members fall and hurt themselves.
Another rather popular use is to keep an eye on a babysitter when you're not around, a use popularly known as a nanny cam. There are many options for wireless cameras that can connect to your smartphone.
Meaning, you can live stream video of what's going on in any room or location connected to your camera's network to phone. So, you can overall feel a little bit more reassured in your ability to keep an eye on and protect that which is important to you even from afar.
Time Saving Protection
You can also use a wireless camera to monitor your home when nor you nor anybody else is around, like when the whole household is up for a vacation. Most of us would be reluctant to leave the house alone, so we would contact someone we trust to stay or watch out for it. Unless they are too busy, of course, in which case, you cannot do better than a WiFi camera.
While it might not make potential trespassers think twice before trying to break in as a big bad guard dog would, it can catch them in the act. The built-in connectivity of the device allows it to automatically upload the footage for you to check it from afar with any synced device.
From there, contacting law enforcement and providing them with the incriminating footage is a much faster process. All without moving from your vacation spot. Neat, right?
For the more forgetful among us, WiFi cameras are also quite handy. For example, have you ever driven out to work only to wonder in the middle of the route if you left the garage door open? If there's nobody else at home to call to check in on it, you would need to drive back to see if you indeed forgot to close it.
However, a well-placed WiFi camera will allow you to check if you actually need to trip back. You can simply make a stop and check the video feed on your mobile device (please don't text and drive!). Thus, potentially saving you a time-consuming trip back.
Workplace Uses for A WiFi Camera
On a professional note, you might also want a wireless camera system because it can be helpful at work. Both for finding lost objects around the office and monitoring employees' activity. If you find yourself having a lot of things go missing around the office, then you might need an extra eye supervising.
As a manager, having a WiFi camera streaming video directly to your phone cuts out the middle man as well. For example, if you had a traditional CCTV monitoring system, it's likely that you need one or more people observing the camera's feed for hours. In the case there's theft going on around the workplace, they would be able to catch when it happens and who did it.
However, what happens if they are in on it? That would add another layer of difficulty into handling the situation, thus, slowing down the resolution of the issue. That's not a problem if you are using a WiFi camera which captures the video and provides you the feed untampered directly to your synced devices. Quite an advantage to handle these uncomfortable situations.