Best Outdoor and Indoor Wired Security Camera Systems – Guide to Choosing the Best Solution

Erik Goodman
24 min
July 18, 2022

Best Wired Security Camera System 2021 Essentials

From CCTV to VDR, the world of camera security systems is rich in acronyms that may sound unfamiliar to the ears of the average person wishing to secure their residential or non-residential property (even vehicle – car). Over the decades, mankind has tested many different camera security systems, both wired and the increasingly popular wireless ones. Since the market is literally flooded with various devices and systems, it is difficult to know how to choose the best one. Recently, people have been increasingly using Wi-Fi-based solutions (linked to Wi-Fi), but wired cams with video recorders, cabling and cameras are still in demand for a variety of reasons. Subject to interference from third parties, wireless options can also overload your home Wi-Fi access point, so it makes sense to opt for a wired one (smart option). Read on to find out about all the camera security system (CSS) tools available, their key features (to be reviewed) and how to choose the best wired cam security system.

Is a Security Camera System Worthwhile for You?

Depending on what level of security your home or nonresidential premises require (commercial applications as well), the question arises: Do you need a home camera surveillance system at all? So, you can dispense with cam surveillance using only motion detectors or opening camera sensors to recognize a possible intrusion. Without cameras, however, you can’t find out exactly what happened. According to some police departments in the United States, a camera-less system has a 90% or better chance of triggering a false alarm. As far as camera solutions are concerned, they have been proven to reduce false positives by about 90 per cent and facilitate a quicker response in the event of an intruder threatening to enter a secured area. Moreover, the resulting video footage can be useful in criminal investigations in the event of a burglary. For the above reasons, we recommend installing cam systems in homes and offices, as they help to reduce crime and make it easier to catch intruders.

How Many Cameras Do I Need to Build a Reliable Security System?

When selecting the right number of cameras, take into account the size of your facility and the level of security required. The simplest security system should include at least one camera installed at the entrance to your premises. To increase the level of security, identify the most sensitive areas of the house for installation of cameras that will monitor what is happening in these areas. To stay in protected environment, we recommend opting for outdoor and indoor (home) units in hallways and rooms. However, for privacy reasons, you should not install units in bathrooms and bedrooms except in very rare cases. Worth saying, private homes require at least two outdoor camera units (with an app you can send data to) for the front and back entrances, and one indoor unit to monitor the entrance.

Guide to Choosing the Best CSS

A wireless or wired camera security system is more than just cams, a recorder and cables (or a Wi-Fi router), so we’ve put together a guide to finding the best solution. Since the camera is the heart of such solutions, there are many factors you should take into consideration (to be reviewed), as we discuss later in this article. Even if you have a ready-made solution, it may already be out of date and need to be updated (or replaced by a new one).

Types of Security Cameras Reviewed

When choosing a good device, there are many things to consider, such as location (home or outdoor), power, quality and more. The higher the quality of the cam, the higher the cost (in $). To create an optimum security system capable of providing the required level of security without incurring extra costs (your dollars – $), you need to consider several important things as outlined below. So, we have reviewed several types of cameras and their important features.

Camera Location

The choice of camera location depends on the object to be protected. Do you live in a private home or a flat? If you want to protect your flat (home), you will need indoor units that can be installed in hallways and other areas. You also need outdoor units to protect your residence or non-residential premises. You can also install a video intercom. Here are a few types of devices depending on their location:

  • Indoor units. Designed specifically for inside use, indoor devices are usually wired or wirelessly connected. They are not protected against precipitation and other natural phenomena, so they are not recommended for outdoor installation. More compact and less bulky than outdoor counterparts, indoor units (smart options) are often domed to prevent intruders from recognizing where the lens is pointing.
  • Outdoor units. Designed to work reliably in even harsh weather conditions, outdoor cameras are most often wireless. They are also more expensive (and have some special features) because of the higher requirements placed on their housing.
  • Video intercoms. Also known as doorbell cameras (ADT), they allow you to see and talk to your guests remotely (from home). By transmitting live images and two-way audio, you can make an informed decision on whether or not to open the door for guests.

The final choice of camera type by locations depends on the specifics of the object to be protected. While one or more indoor cameras will be sufficient for securing a flat, in a private home (country houses), you can’t do without outdoor units. You can also install a video intercom as part of your best wired security camera system (or wireless one).

The Way Cameras are Connected

While some devices are powered from a mains outlet, there are standalone units with a built-in battery (long life). The way the cam is powered is an important issue to consider before you buy it. For example, wireless cams are simple to install. They contain a rechargeable power supply installed inside the housing. However, the built-in battery is a power source subject to natural wear and tear, so it needs to be replaced from time to time. There are also units with a solar cell that provides power from the sun (you can buy them and forget about having to change the battery).

As for the wired units, they do not need to replace the battery because they are powered from the mains through the cable. However, if there is no mains voltage, the units will not be able to transmit and record video (to station). On the other hand, a wired home security camera system without Wi-Fi is not susceptible to hacking, making it more reliable (but you can buy it at a lower price).

Necessity for an Internet Connection

Although the 21st century is a relatively long time ago, not all people use the internet (according to recent news). For example, as of 2019, around 10% of US residents still do not have access to the World Wide Web at home. However, there is a high probability that you have a Wi-Fi router at home to connect your CSS to watch live video through your monitor or mobile app (Android or iOS). Even if you don’t use the internet for whatever reason, there are analog solutions on the market so that you can always find a suitable option.

Digital units (IP ones) are capable of capturing and streaming live video via an app directly to your smartphone. Using these devices, you can monitor what is happening on your premises remotely. So, to keep up with what’s going on in your house and on your property at all times, you’ll need a smart system connected to the internet (but you can buy it at a lower price).

Alternatively, you can install analog devices connected to a video recorder allowing you to view what happened retrospectively. Analog home cam can save the video directly to your computer (laptop or PC) or memory stick. Among the many wireless solution companies, Reolink can be the supplier of your best wired home camera security system.

Housing Type

Although there are many variants with different enclosure materials and dimensions, you should also pay attention to the shape of the camera (to be reviewed). When selecting a unit based on the shape of the housing, the features of the protected area must be taken into consideration. For instance, dome units (for home use) are more difficult to install but are harder to steal and disable. As for bullet cameras, they are ideal for installation in the corners of rooms for better coverage (photo and video). Popular for over 30 years, box cams are gradually losing their appeal to cylindrical and dome counterparts. There are also turret units, which can be mounted in protected positions at any angle. Finally, there are hidden (covert) units on the market that can remain invisible to intruders. However, as practice shows, highly visible smart units can perform a preventive function.

Video Recording Format

There are two main types of devices that differ in the way they process recorded video. For example, DVRs most often operate within wired home security systems and transfer video data to the video recorder via coaxial cable. Video processing takes place in the video recorder. As for the NVR units, they mostly use Wi-Fi and perform video processing in real-time. Despite the ‘in-house’ way of processing video, NVR cameras can be either wireless or wired.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Home Wired Security Camera System

If a wired option is your choice, this does not mean that you cannot connect it to the internet. You still have the option of using your home Wi-Fi router or connecting units via Ethernet technology (hardwire connection variant). In addition, wired cams are powered by a shared power supply, so you won’t have to deal with the problem of a dead internal battery. Before you choose a unit, make sure the cable is long enough so you can plug it into a power outlet (at home). Ultimately, to choose the best home wired security camera system with audio (or without), you need to dig deeper and consider a few important things:

  • Operating conditions. If you want to purchase the best outdoor wired security camera system (for outside use), consider the temperature rating for which it is designed as well as the degree of waterproofing (to be reviewed). Depending on the Ingress Protection Rating, there are options capable not only of resisting dripping water on the housing, but also of continuing to work properly when submerged in water to a shallow depth.
  • Video quality. While the HD format is already considered obsolete, there are many devices capable of transmitting images in 2K or even 4K. The higher the video quality, the more distinguishable the objects in the footage. In addition, HDR support is important especially if you’re using the camera as part of an outdoor surveillance option (away from home). HDR technology eliminates glare and incorrect shadows, making images more realistic and vivid. Be aware that some infrared-sensor (night eyes) devices are only capable of shooting monochrome video, so the image will be without colors.
  • Zoom technology. While some units zoom in digitally, others do so optically. The latter option is preferable if you have high security requirements as the optical zoom provides higher image quality.
  • Coverage width or field of view. While 180-degree coverage is the mathematical limit, this value of 120 degrees is optimal for outdoor and indoor (home) security camera systems (smart solution) as well. To have more coverage, find a unit capable of panning all around.
  • Night vision feature. Your facility certainly needs to be protected at all times of day and night. The device is equipped with an infrared sensor or white light illuminator to capture what is going on. Devices with an infrared sensor can capture black and white images, while cameras with a spotlight provide a clearer picture in color (many colors for a more natural feel). However, the disadvantage of devices with a spotlight is that they are too visible to intruders. So, you should place them in hard-to-reach places for better protection.
  • Audio. While cameras without audio support are suitable for indoor (home) use, outdoor units (for outside use) should be equipped with speakers (to be reviewed). Cams with two-way audio containing a speaker and microphone may be the best choice (Ring cams), as they not only record audio but also send a signal or voice to a speaker. However, when choosing best wired security camera system with audio (for home), also take into account the required level of security and economic feasibility (consider your budget).
  • Video storage method. We recommend choosing the best outdoor wired security camera system with DVR with SD card, internal or external storage (hard disk or SSD). Typically, wired solutions store the video locally but there are also cloud storage options available in case the internal storage fails.
  • Smart Home integration. According to researchers, about a third of Americans use smart assistants from Google, Apple and Amazon on a daily basis. While almost any best wired 1080p security camera system 2017 has integrated into a smart home, it is now a necessity. As voice interfaces continue to be in high demand, a CSS that supports voice commands will allow you to stay on top of security.
  • Support for artificial intelligence technology. Today, many services and tools use AI and machine learning technology in one way or another to optimize their experience and perform tasks that previously only humans could do. More advanced AI-enabled security systems are capable of recognizing movement (thanks to PIR), identifying objects and alerting you to possible danger. For example, there are devices that recognize people and common animals (pets). AI-based cameras can really recognize (and tracking) the faces of your family members (loved ones, kids) and friends to generate special messages.
  • Installation features. Although installing a wireless IP unit is straightforward enough, when installing a wired security system, you need to consider (to be reviewed) how the cables should be routed. More than likely, to build the best home wired security camera system you would need to call in a professional (keep in mind in order to get max performance).

In addition, the issue of privacy is still important even if you are using a system that is not connected to the WAN. Given the experience with solutions from companies such as Ring and Nest, you risk losing your privacy by allowing others to view camera video and even listen to audio. To prevent unauthorized access, we recommend choosing devices with two-factor authentication (Ring cams) so that you are always notified in case intruders try to connect to your security system. Even units connected by coax cable should be protected from tampering. As for IP cameras, the best ones use data encryption technology making unauthorized access to (media) video virtually impossible.

What Is the Best Wired Security Camera System?

By building a reliable wired security system, you will be able to monitor your facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most modern devices have a wide viewing field so you can monitor a vast area. Installing multiple units along a perimeter allows you to cover every inch of an area to ensure your personal safety. Based on PoE technology (Ethernet connection) or with coax cables, these systems are never run down.

Today’s wired CCTV market is saturated, so you may find it difficult to choose the best option to suit your needs. We’re here to tell you about some of the best options on the market that deserve your attention. We’ve done some serious research and found out what the best outdoor wired security camera system 2016 was, as well as what has changed over the past few years. We’ve compiled a list of the best outdoor and indoor (home) video surveillance solutions and have some useful tips to help you choose the best solution based on your financial situation.

Best Outdoor Wired Camera Security System – The Most Popular Brands on the Market

Data from American police departments show that street security cams are not only capable of detecting an offence, but also of preventing illegal activity. With siren speakers, bright floodlights and motion detectors, these units often deter unwanted visitors. Equipped with a night video function (thanks to a spotlight or infrared sensor), outdoor units can also capture video at any time of day. Below we take a look at solutions (outdoors) from several popular brands and describe all their features to help you choose the best wired outdoor security camera system.

Lorex Cam Reviewed

Lorex is a manufacturer of high-quality CCTVs offering a variety of IP, Wi-Fi and wired devices capable of video recording at any time of day or night. It is also known for producing the best wired security camera system 2018 in terms of value for money. For example, the HP 1080, one of Lorex’s most popular on the market, captures 4K video while many competitors still offer solutions that support lower-quality HD 1080p video. With geo-fence, two-way audio, motion sensor and the ability to listen and analyze sounds, Lorex cams are activated when motion-initiated noise occurs. Also consider Ring, Arlo, Amazon and Google solutions.

The package includes special mounting elements that allow you to install the units almost anywhere in the protected area with your own hands (DIY, so it’s a great option for people who are reluctant to call in professional installers). Video (the action) is streamed to your computer, a special monitor (may be included) or directly to your smartphone (Lorex app required). Lorex cams can run on a built-in battery (must be changed every 3-4 months starting from the moment of setup) or via a power cable. The company’s online catalog offers a wide selection of single cameras (for home) and kits to build any level of security system.

Nest Cam Reviewed

Owned by Google and a major competitor to Amazon’s video surveillance solutions, the Nest brand offers a wide range of continuous video recording devices and off-the-shelf cams that can be installed with your own hands. Although Nest’s products have had some weaknesses in terms of data security, the manufacturer has gone to great lengths to make the necessary improvements. Equipment such as Cam Outdoor and Outdoor IQ are perhaps the best of their kind, as they are protected against vandalism, rain and they support facial recognition (see settings). The devices contain a built-in battery that can be recharged multiple times.

When using Nest cameras, you must purchase a Nest Aware plan (there are several cheap options and other features available) to store and view recorded video. The Nest-Brinks professional monitoring feature is also available to users by subscription (send report). Buy it for $29 a month (basic fee you spend) and you can be assured that security will dispatch police, firefighters, or paramedics in response to a security alert. Full compatibility with Google Assistant, Google’s voice assistant, is another advantage of Nest’s cameras. For example, you can control the cams using Google Home. Arguably the best wired outdoor security camera system in 2019, Outdoor IQ is connected via a secure cord to prevent unauthorized access to the system.

Arlo Cam Reviewed

Arlo offers a wide range of wired and wireless units varying in video quality (720p which is low quality today, 1080p, 2K and 4K) and including motion detection, infra-red sensor floodlighting and other features. Their catalog includes a variety of cameras for outdoor and indoor (home) applications. Although Arlo does not offer monitoring, you can use their products in conjunction with security cams from other manufacturers. With their paid cloud service, you can store your video footage for up to 60 days. Although Arlo specializes mainly in a home monitoring, they also have rugged outdoors cams with housings built to withstand harsh weather conditions (terrific option for country houses). If you buy multiple Arlo solutions at once, you can get a good discount on the use of paid cloud storage (not free of charge).

Ring Cam Reviewed

Ring is a major camera manufacturer (earns popularity) with a huge range of products in their catalog while their competitors offer just one or two models. Their units (Ring) can be powered by a solar panel (local point), a built-in battery or connected to the mains electricity supply. Given their reliability, affordable feature set and high-quality video, Ring offers a truly fair price (buy for $) for their products. Compatible with Smart Home and having a voice interface, you can control your devices via Siri, Google Home or Amazon’s smart speakers (e.g., EUFI). Produced in a variety of housing options, Ring cameras are easy and quick to mount (even if you lack experience), so you can install the system yourself (DIY). Most models of Ring street cameras shoot in 1080p resolution (good zoom), contain an infrared sensor, cover a wide area and have some specific features. Please note, some Ring units contain a spot light which turns on when motion is detected (high rated devices), and they also support two-way audio with a powerful speaker up to 100 dB.

Blink XT

If you value reliability and security at a reasonable price ($), then Blink XT is what you’ve been looking for (probably the cheapest option on the market). With ample cloud storage and mobile alert functionality, Blink XT solutions (like Ring ones in comparison) are suitable for people on any budget, so it’s not for nothing that they’ve been voted the most affordable packs on the market. Offering industry-standard 1080p video resolution, Blink XT products incorporate infrared sensors for night time recording as well as motion detection. Most of the solutions are wireless, however there are also low price (in $ monthly) wired solutions that are still easy to install and maintain (DIY, good for people who prefer to do things themselves). Although Blink XT provides free cloud storage for up to 2 hours of video, you can expand this by purchasing a low-cost ($) storage plan.

Top 5 Solutions Worth Considering in US

Below we present a list of the top 5 Ethernet cable connectivity solutions that offer a number of advantages (that you search for). While most of the benefits of Ethernet connectivity are beyond the scope of this article, we’ll cover a few of the most important ones. First, although wireless technology has made a big leap forward in recent times, a cable connection still offers higher data transfer rates. Second, Ethernet technology is characterized by lower network interference leading to packet loss. Thirdly, an Ethernet cable contains the power lines to power your cameras so you don’t have to change or recharge batteries from time to time. Finally, while the old generation coax cables were capable of delivering standard quality video, more recently things have changed and coax cables can now transmit the same quality video as Ethernet (home internet). So, let’s take a look at the 5 best CCTV cameras that can be integrated into your security system:

  • SANSCO Pro CCTV. A BNC-connected option, it includes a video recorder with up to 6TB of internal storage and supports remote monitoring (live video view, email alerts). Despite somewhat limited night viewing distance and not the widest viewing angle, SANSCO Pro CCTV can be an excellent wired security solution for your home. In addition, loop recording, eliminating the need to erase old recordings from storage, is an added benefit of this pretty cheap option. Consider Ring, Arlo, Amazon and Google products.
  • ZOSI. Designed for both indoor (home) and outdoor use, it includes IP67 water proof units (protection against moist air). Equipped with a 3.6 mm lens, the Zosi is capable of shooting (and writing) standard quality video and storing it on a video recorder with 1TB hard drive (safe). In addition, you can download the handy Zosi mobile app (special software – you need to be signed up) to your mobile device to keep up to date with everything happening in your Zosi cams field of view (so, you can trust that protection).
  • A-Zone. This product offers an extended field of view (up to 100 feet from the lens) and video compression capability with H.264+ codec (almost no loss of quality). It comes with a video recorder with 2TB internal storage (up to 30 days of uninterrupted video recording). In addition, there is the option of remote access via a dedicated mobile app compatible with most modern mobile devices (including Amazon Alexa).
  • Reolink PoE system. This solution includes 1440P cameras transmitting video signals to a recorder with 2TB of storage capacity (closed solution). The units support night-time video with a range of up to 100 feet from the lens. With support for plug and play technology, you can easily deploy the system in almost any location (business and home use). Push notifications, email notifications, H.264 video compression and FTP support are additional benefits of this option.
  • Amcrest. With an IP67-rated waterproof housing, this camera is capable of working in extreme conditions down to -40 °C. A video recorder with 1TB of storage is included. The units have night vision capability up to 98ft and a viewing angle of up to 100 degrees (which is a disadvantage of this variant). However, the Amcrest is in high demand due to its support for two-way audio, which is a rarity as for complete solutions in this class.

As you can see, wired solutions are still in high demand, so many manufacturers continue to produce cable-connected prime solutions. The main advantage of them is the lower cost compared to IP/NVR. Apart from the above, there are many wired security camera systems to choose from. In making your choice, consider enclosure waterproofness, temperature ranges, night vision capability and range, coverage width, and many other things described in this article.

F.A.Q.

1. What is the best wired security camera 2020?

We cannot give a definite answer to this question, as much depends on your budget and the requirements for the device (night vision, coverage angle, two-way audio, movement recognition with PIR, CAT machine security (MSS), etc.). For example, if you are interested in an economical solution, you can buy a device from Blink XT (the cheapest option), Wirepath, OOSSXX, Defeway, Ring or Samsung. Also consider Ring, Arlo, Amazon and Google if you want more security.

2. What is the difference between outdoor and indoor (home) wired cams?

As outdoor (not for home use) smart devices (with special features) can operate in harsh weather conditions, their housings have higher requirements in terms of moisture and temperature resistance. Consider Ring (sells well, lots of sales), Arlo, Amazon and Google if you want more security. Notably, there are devices that fit Apple HomeKit and interact well with Alexa and Google Assistant too. For example, the Wyze camera (check it out) – as well as Ring – can deals (integration) with smart assistants like Apple Siri (outdoors and indoors).

3. What is two-way audio?

Devices with two-way audio contain a microphone capable of picking up sounds and transmitting them over a cable (or wireless line) and a smart speaker to which you can input a sound signal or voice. So, if it’s a choice between single-channel vs dual-channel sound, it’s best to opt for the latter.

4. What are the advantages of wired security systems over wireless ones?

Wired CSS transmit data (reports from units) in a more reliable way through Ethernet with minimal data packet loss (smart solution). They are also powered by the main cable, so you don’t have to charge the battery. As for the price, it may be lower than that of wireless devices.

5. Is it possible to view video from cams on-line?

There are several models of wired devices and complete solution that support live video streaming through a mobile device (Android or iOS). Thanks to high tech, you can now watch videos not only in a window on your laptop, but also directly on your phone.

6. Does the NVR system need the internet to operate?

By definition, an NVR is a network video recorder (hub). Although the NVR can connect to a network router, it can also operate as a closed-circuit CCTV smart system with a video recorder without the need for a WAN connection. The customer can also buy a camera (Ring) in the shop that covers a wide zone and has a retrievable microSD as a storage device (to receive information, for backups, optional).

7. Can I use the best wired camera security system for commercial purposes?

Most of these inexpensive solutions are designed specifically for home use. However, by choosing the best wired security camera system, you can use it to protect smaller non-residential facilities and commercial premises (smart solution). Finally, consider installing pans as an option.

8. What is the highest quality video a home wired security system can capture?

According to the ratings, there are at least ten wiring devices on the market capable of shooting 4K video (like TV motion pictures).

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