Wireless Surveillance Systems VS Conventional Video Surveillance Systems

When choosing a surveillance system for your business, it is important to know that you’ll be choosing between wireless surveillance systems and traditional analog video surveillance systems. Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses, and there is no one size fits all. Although wireless systems come with newer technology, there are still some businesses that prefer to use analog surveillance systems. We’ll compare the two so that you can make an educated decision on which system best fits the needs of your business.

Conventional Analog Surveillance Systems

Traditional analog CCTV security cameras capture an analog video signal, which is then transferred over to a digital video recorder by coax cable. The analog surveillance system must use video and power cables, and has to be plugged into a power supply to work. The digital video recorder takes the analog signal and compresses it, and then moves it to a hard drive after converting it to a digital. Once the CCTV video has been digitized and transferred to the DVR, the DVR can then complete tasks such as motion detection, zooming, and scheduling.
CCTV security systems began using DVR in the 1990s, but the original CCTV systems recorded video on video tapes. Neither the original CCTV systems or the newer DVR systems can transmit video in real time. Instead, you have to either retrieve the tapes or the DVR video on a hard drive and view it at a later date.

Wireless Surveillance Systems

Wireless surveillance systems record what their cameras are seeing, and transmits that data digitally via a LAN signal. This allows wireless surveillance systems to send their video in real time to a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Wireless systems allow for quicker analyzing and processing of security information. Power is provided to the cameras via Ethernet cable or power over Ethernet adapters. Since wireless surveillance systems do not have to use a DVR to convert video from analog to digital, the video tends to be significantly higher resolution and thus, clearer and higher quality.

Cost Effectiveness and Quality

Currently, analog systems with DVR are the most cost efficient. Wireless surveillance system cameras can cost as much as twice the amount of analog DVR cameras. Bandwidth is not much of a problem for analog camera systems because they transmit via coax cables. But for wireless networks, bandwidth can be significant, and that can be costly. Wireless surveillance systems provide significantly higher resolution, however, and this is of great importance to some businesses.


Wireless systems are easier to install, especially if a wireless network is already setup and in place. As the name states, wireless systems are not bogged down by space constricting wires. Analog surveillance systems use an abundance of wires, making it critical to know how much extra space you have in your office to accommodate them.