WiFi cameras vs a PoE camera system, which is better?
The difference between WiFi and PoE Camera Systems
WiFi allows devices such as a camera to transmit data through a signal. The advantage of WiFi is it allows a device to connect wirelessly to a router without a hardwired connection.
However, these devices still require a power source, so a WiFi camera can’t be put anywhere without a power outlet close by, nor can it be positioned too far away from the router.
This explains why some outdoor WiFi cameras can be unreliable.
A WiFi camera is only as good as the strength of internet, so the internet needs to be stable and the camera within good range to receive a strong signal.
Most routers have a WiFi coverage that only covers up to 10 meters outdoor, making it unable to support multiple outdoor cameras in addition to all your other devices.
PoE Camera Systems
Alternatively Power-over-ethernet (PoE) uses a single Ethernet cable that plugs into a PoE switch to deliver power AND an internet connection.
It’s like killing two birds with one cable.
This is important when you consider the location of outdoor cameras which are not always close to a power source.
A PoE camera also has a connection distance much powerful than WiFi. This makes it ideal for monitoring outdoors.
Aside from the reliability and flexibility that outdoor PoE camera systems offer, they can be easier to troubleshoot if there is an issue because they are powered from a central switch.
Unlike WiFi cameras, a PoE camera system requires professional installation, but in return your get a reliable camera connection.
Which one should you choose?
This really depends on your monitoring needs, the set up of your property, strength of internet and where you want to place cameras.
WiFi cameras may be suitable for a home or business that only requires 1-2 cameras, and has a good internet signal plus access to power for the cameras.
A PoE camera system is more suitable for a high end home or small to medium sized business that require multiple cameras including outdoor cameras and wants a professional and clean look (no visible cords/cabling).
The other thing to consider is whether you want local video storage. Most WiFi cameras that offer cloud storage can’t support 24/7 video due to bandwidth issues and associated data costs.
You also need to decide what software features you want. The type of cameras are only part of any camera system. The software is arguably more important because this is what you’ll be using everyday to monitor your cameras.
We hope this gives you a better idea of the differences and benefits between WiFi cameras and PoE camera systems.
If you liked this post, check out where to place your cameras when planning out your home security system.