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Best Wireless IP Cameras for Home Security

By Edited Jan 14, 2015 1 0
Best Wireless IP Cameras for Home Security
Credit: mjpyro

If you are concerned about leaving your home or property for extended periods, or would simply like to keep an eye on the interior or exterior while you are away at work, a wireless IP camera is the solution.

While a wired version of an internet security system will take more time and expense to set up, the wireless devices are relatively cheap and easy to install. If you have any basic DIY skills along with moderate tech skills, the installation is simple.

Why Do I Need a Wireless IP Camera?

There are many uses for these devices. Aside from the novelty of watching what is going on at your house while you are at work, there are practical reasons for owning at least one inside or outside your home.

If you have children, an IP camera would allow you to monitor when your kids arrive at home from school, or monitor a baby sitter if you have small children.

They are also great for deterring thieves. The last thing a robber wants to see is a camera staring at them as they walk into your living room. In fact, they can even be used as evidence in that regard because some systems can be set up with DVR devices to record everything that happens during a certain period of time.

Or perhaps you have experienced vandalism outside your home or another property and would like to keep an eye on the place. Outdoor cameras provide a constant view so you can check in throughout the day. Some even have night vision mode so darkness is not an issue.

How IP Cameras Work

An internet protocol camera sends a constant video stream over the internet that is accessible via an IP address dedicated to your system, or via a smartphone app or tablet.

This allows you to monitor what is going on at your home 24 hours a day simply by pulling up the interface on your computer screen at work.

If you have multiple cameras set up in your home, you can even view them all at once on a split screen.

How to Setup IP Cameras

IP video cameras must be connected to your home network. You have two choices.

You can purchase the hardwired version which requires a direct network cable from your router to the camera itself. While this type of connection is more reliable, it has one major drawback.

Hardwired cameras require you to feed network cable throughout your home either via the crawlspace or in the attic. And if the camera is located a significant distance from the router, this can be a very time consuming task.  It can also increase the cost of installation significantly depending on the distance needing to be traversed.  Network cable can be purchased in lengths of 25, 50 or 100 feet, but the cost goes up to $25 depending on the quality. If the distance is greater than 100 feet, you will need to purchase a roll of network cable that can cost upward of $50.

However, if reliability is your main concern, this is the way to go particularly if you are installing a network camera outside of a second property that is some distance from your home.

If you have an IP camera located at a property that is not easily assessable and it goes down, it will require you to travel to that property to reset the network by rebooting the wireless router. While this can be done remotely with some routers, it is not always reliable and frankly, it is beyond the technical knowledge of most users.

Once you have wired the camera to your router, or chosen the right wireless camera for your needs, the next steps involved simply giving it access to your home network. If it is hardwired, this is not a problem If it is a wireless connection, you will need to access the GUI on your browser and enter the wireless network password to give the camera access to your network.

From there it is just a matter of familiarizing yourself with the configuration screen and tweaking it to your needs.

Best Features for an IP Camera

Best Wireless IP Cameras for Home Security
Credit: Amazon.com

If you plan on installing IP cameras at a distance greater than 50 feet from your router, your best bet is to go for a wireless version, especially if it is at your personal residence. If you plan on installing a camera on an outdoor shed or building, this is definitely the best way to go, else you will be burying network cable in the yard to connect it to your router inside.

  • Verify the camera has a secure encryption feature especially if you are using a wireless IP as your video will be streamed across the internet, and if that is a view inside your home, you definitely want that secured.
  • If you plan on using it outdoors especially, you definitely want to find a camera that has night mode allowing you to see in the darkness.
  • Make sure any camera you choose has an external mic so that you can receive audio also.
  • Verify that the IP camera you choose has a robust software package that allows you multiple options for viewing the video feed such as customizable windows in your browser and remote access to the camera settings via a browser or a smart phone app.
  • Verify the frame rate or video pixels. Some cameras show video in HD while others are more grainy
  • Some cameras have the option of panning around an area. Look for a camera that you can control remotely to get a complete view of the area any time you want.
  • Motion detecting feature that will send you a photo of any activity if it is triggered.

Best Options for IP Cameras under $100

I put together a short list of some of the best options for an IP wireless camera. I chose these three based on the positive user reviews and the overall value compared to the options you get with each. 

If you are just getting started and would like to try one of these cameras out before spending big bucks, these three are great starter cams. Each can be had for well under $100 and require no monthly monitoring fee of course.

Foscam FI8910W Pan and Tilt IP Network Camera

  • R-Cut filter for true color video and images
  • The IR lights can be remotely managed
  • WPA2 Encryption Supported
  • Audio input jack for an external microphone
  • CMOS Color Image Sensor
  • Resolution 640 x 480 Pixels
  • Lens f: 2.8mm, F:2.4

Cost:  $69.04

Product Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars

TENVIS JPT3815W Wireless IP Pan/Tilt/ Night Vision Internet Surveillance Camera

  • Built-in microphone
  • User Friendly GUI
  • Pan/Tilt: Horizontal 340°, Vertical 90°
  • WiFi Signal Reception, WiFi IEEE 802.11b/gg
  • Enhanced Camera Shell Rigidity

Cost:  $48.50

Product Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars

Wansview Wireless IP Pan/Tilt/ Night Vision Internet Surveillance Camera

  • Built-in microphone
  • Easy Install Wizard for Setup
  • Embedded operation system supports the TCP / IP, SMTP, HTTP, UPNP, etc.
  • Through external alarm device, the alarm information can be sent to your e-box or your mobile phone
  • M-JPEG standard Image Resolution: VGA(640x480)

Cost:  $48.25

Product Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars



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