Wireless Hidden Cameras and Wifi

wireless hidden cameraWhen we see covert surveillance cameras, we usually see wireless hidden cameras.  This is because wired cameras are a pain to hide (it’s ok, you can laugh as you imagine someone walking around with a huge cord hanging out there pant leg which is attached to a DVR or viewer that someone else is holding 500 feet away…tripping everyone as they attempt to capture their image).  Fortunately, cameras and technology in general continue to improve by leaps and bounds.  Back in the day, wireless cameras were just cool, but completely useless for capturing viewable images.  Before we get into some of the interesting tidbits about these, let’s clarify the term.

Wifi versus Wireless Hidden Cameras

I have a lot of people that ask me for wireless cameras and they want to use them as home security cameras over their wifi.  These are not the same thing.  Wifi cameras broadcast the video feed over the house or business high speed internet using wifi (this is your wireless internet).  While these do not need a direct internet connection, they still need to run a cord to power the camera.  So, while wifi cameras use a wireless internet connection, they still need to use a wire for the power (usually to a power plug or power over Ethernet).  In comparison, wireless cameras either run off batteries or find a creative way to power the camera and video feed.  An example of creativity is the IP Light Bulb camera that functions as a light bulb, drawing power through the same portal as the light, providing power to the camera and using the wireless internet to broadcast the image.  Since we are more into the spy gear side of things, let’s focus on the wireless hidden cameras and not on the wifi cameras for home or business security.

Considerations for Wireless Hidden Cameras

First, let me remind you that recording in some locations is illegal.  Keeping this in mind, you might want to review your choices for wireless hidden cameras and make sure that you get one you can turn off before you walk into the public restroom.  Here are some key considerations of true wireless hidden cameras:

  • Battery life is usually rather short- no more than a couple of hours if you are lucky.
  • wireless hidden cameras memoryIf you are not broadcasting the image to a receiver, you are most likely recording it to internal memory or a memory card. Depending on your settings, you might run out of memory before you run out of battery.
  • If you are broadcasting the video to a receiver, the receiver needs to be relatively close by (this really depends on the device) or runs off of internet (so not as mobile as you might like).
  • While a lot of newer cameras can now record 1080P HD, this will take up more memory…so you trade length of the video for quality, unless you can make regular trips to the bathroom to download information or swap out memory cards.

As you can see by that list of considerations, you can easily limit your options for wireless hidden cameras simply because you want to record longer at a higher quality, or in a more remote location, etc.  When you explore your options for wireless hidden cameras, keep these considerations in mind.  Think about where you want to use the camera, how much recording you need, how long you need to record in that situation before you need to charge the battery or swap out the camera, etc.  Understanding your needs for the situation will help you identify your best options for wireless hidden cameras.

-The Private I on Wireless Hidden Cameras