Should You Buy a Wired or Wireless Network Camera?

Wired or wireless? It’s a common question for a number of products in the world of home networking — and network cameras are no exception. Network cameras, not to be confused with webcams built in to laptops for video chatting, are used primarily for home monitoring. Many people also use them to keep an eye on their pets while they’re away or even to monitor their sleeping babies.

So when it comes to choosing between a wired and wireless model, it’s important to consider how it will be used. Generally speaking, though, I think the best answer is…both! Many wireless network cameras, including those in the mydlink line, feature an Ethernet port for wired connectivity. Choosing such a camera gives you the best of both worlds and the flexibility to switch back and forth as your needs change.

There are plenty of reasons why using your camera in wired mode might make sense in your current home setup. The most obvious relates to connectivity. For example, if you’re trying to connect a camera that’s outside of the range of your current wireless router, a wired connection offers a solution. Connecting your camera with an Ethernet cable is also ideal if you happen to want to place a network camera on the same shelf as your router or switch.

However, if your setup isn’t arranged this way, you’ll probably fare better connecting your cameras wirelessly. The most compelling reason to connect your camera wirelessly is flexibility. It can be a pain to string Ethernet cable around your house — not to mention the rewiring you have to go through if you ever want to move a network camera to a new location in a room (or another room entirely). If you’ve connected your camera with Wi-Fi, you can reposition it to your heart’s content. As long as the power cord reaches a wall outlet or power strip, you can deploy your wireless network camera anywhere with a signal.

Deciding between a wired and wireless is but one piece of a larger puzzle. Network cameras come with a number of options that differentiate them from each other in unique and useful ways — I’ll explore some of these features in my next blog post.

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