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You might think we’re a little old-school for saying it, but hard-wired security cameras provide a level of reliability that most wireless cameras simply can't approach. You’re never going to have to worry about your battery running out of charge, and once they’re installed, you can put the ladder away for good.
That being said, wired cameras have disadvantages, the most significant of which being that they are trickier to install. For plug-in type cameras, you’ll need to ensure they are located near an outlet. For those that connect to a recorder, you may need to find a way to run an Ethernet cable from the camera through various areas of your home to the recorder.
However, for most people the advantages of wired cameras may outweigh these drawbacks. So if you think a wired security camera system is for you, you’ll find in this guide the top contenders that we selected after thoroughly assessing dozens of wired security camera systems. Before that, though, let’s take a pause and break down our testing process.
|Best Asset||No Interference|
|Test Duration||10-12 Days|
Without further ado, let’s get into our best wired cameras.
Lorex cameras are some of the most powerful professional-grade wired and digitally advanced security cameras on the market. Lorex offers feature-rich wired HD video camera systems with up to 4K resolution, night vision, cloud connection and apps, and simultaneous recording and playback features from various streams.
Lorex has plenty of wired options including a new 2K Wired Floodlight Security Camera that the company just rolled out. The new, improved floodlight comes with motion-activated dual LED floodlights designed to stop intruders in their tracks along with a warning siren and two-way talk that you can control from the Lorex Home app.
Just like any other brand, however, when the firmware updates roll out, problems seem to follow, and Lorex has been no exception. At the same time, when you compare the hardware on the various systems, Lorex has some of the best cameras out there. Here are some of the Lorex pros and cons.
Some of Lorex’s best wired cameras fall under the Nocturnal series, a line of cameras with superb night vision, rugged hardware, and sophisticated security features. Here’s a breakdown of some of the models features and their prices:
|Camera Features||Model LNB9383||Model LNE9383|
|Night Vision Range||197 Feet||164 Feet|
|Lens||Motorized Varifocal||Motorized Varifocal|
These Nocturnal cameras are designed for outdoor use. They go up to 4K in resolution, they are weatherproof, and they have some of the best night vision ranges we’ve seen. Some Nocturnal cameras can see up to 150 feet in complete darkness, aided only by streetlights. For reference, outdoor cameras usually have about 50 feet of night vision.
The zooming ability of Nocturnal cameras is also impressive, with some of them offering up to eight times optical zoom in addition to digital zoom. This zooming ability makes it easier to see and identify smaller details, such as license plates.
Because Lorex has a continuous recording feature with motion-activated alerts, you no longer have to choose between continuous or motion-activated recordings. And, the Lorex cameras have a reputation of being super dependable.
Don’t expect to get such an advanced security camera system for cheap, though. Pricing for Nocturnal systems starts at about $700 for a four-camera system. You can often offset the cost a little through Lorex’s deals and sales, but the Nocturnal cameras really are some of the most expensive from Lorex.
If you’re looking for a more wallet-friendly alternative, Lorex has another product line called Fusion, which combines wired and wireless cameras into one system. Because of that, you can place wired cameras where they make the most sense (e.g. outdoors where interference is most likely to happen) and wireless cameras wherever appropriate.
You can often get a four-camera Fusion system for less than $500, and although they are lower-quality than Nocturnal cameras, they deliver excellent video quality (up to 2K), both color and infrared night vision, and smart motion detection.
Read our hands-on review of Lorex cameras for more info.
If you’ve seen a porch pirate busted on YouTube, chances are a Ring video doorbell did the busting. But there’s a Ring camera for just about any place in your house, inside or out, including wired options like the wired Spotlight Cam and Floodlight Cam, a wired mountable indoor camera, and the classic wired Stick Up Cam for desktops and shelves. While Ring cameras are contract-free, an optional Ring Protect Plan ($3.99 and up) could save you 10 percent on select cameras.
With the Ring indoor/outdoor wired cameras, you receive quite a bit of versatility and some of the most advanced features available. The Ring wired cameras are available in white or black and have built-in speakers, a wide-angle camera lens, night vision, a siren, and exceptional clarity with their 1080p HD video.
One unique feature that the Floodlight Cams offer is your choice of premium colors — the camera is offered in dark bronze and graphite.
The price range for the wired Spotlight Cam and Floodlight Cams is $229.99 to $249.99 per camera — they’re not exactly cheap. The wired Stick Up Cam, on the other hand, costs $129.99, while the wired Indoor Cam sells for $59.99.
If you qualify, though, Ring offers 0% financing with payment options up to 12 months. Multi-camera bundles are also available at discounted prices, so the more you buy, the more you’ll save. Read our Ring Cam review for the full scoop!
It’s not just about the hardware with Ring, though. It’s one of the top security camera brands because they pair their cameras with good software for a seamless monitoring experience. The Ring app is incredibly smooth to use and it comes with tons of options for customizations. Plus, Ring cameras work great with Alexa, the AI voice assistant. You can even tell Ring to stream live video to an Alexa smart display.
Lastly, cloud storage for Ring cameras is cheap. It costs $3 per month to store videos from one camera for 60 days, or $10 per month to store videos from any number of Ring cameras installed in your home.
The blue ADT sign in your front lawn is usually all it takes to deter the average lurker. Fortunately for us, ADT also has powerful wired security systems with cutting-edge monitoring technology, which has made them the top name in the business for over 145 years. ADT isn’t resting on its laurels, though. Recent partnerships with Google and State Farm Insurance mean ADT has gotten serious about smart-home compatibility, which is good news for homeowners looking to save on home insurance premiums.
ADT offers an indoor and outdoor camera, in addition to their video doorbell. While the doorbell has only 720p HD, both cameras come with 1080p HD video resolution, two-way audio, and person detection. Both are rated IP65, which means they are dust-tight and capable of withstanding low-level water jets. Even better, they can resist temperatures of up to 40 degrees below Fahrenheit because they each come with their own built-in heaters.
The integration of ADT’s cameras to the ADT security system really takes home security up a notch. Instead of relying on just what the cameras see, ADT’s security sensors can give you valuable insight and notifications about your home security. If you’re alerted to a door being opened, for example, you can pull up the cameras’ video to see what’s going on. What’s more, ADT systems are linked to a monitoring center, so if there’s a need to call for help, they can dispatch the police to your address in no time.
Be sure to check out our latest ADT pricing page to learn more about these systems and the costs associated.
If you want more than just a basic wired home security camera system, Google Nest has exceptional cameras, as well as a variety of home automation equipment to go with them. The Google Nest cameras come in 1080p HD video with night vision and the ability to check on your home 24/7 using a mobile app and the live streaming video feature. However, there have been some complaints about Nest’s customer support. So keep that in mind. Here are some of the Google Nest Cam pros and cons.
Just about everyone who owns a Nest camera system loves it because of its advanced technology and available integration capabilities. With Nest, you get a 24/7 live video feed, mobile alerts, 1080p HD resolution, a 3-hour snapshot history, night vision, two-way talk, and more. Nest’s wired cameras are actually new, but their features are closely similar to the now-discontinued Nest Cam IQ models. So if you’ve heard about the superiority of Nest Cam IQs, you’ll know what to expect from the new cameras.
The wired indoor cameras come in at $99.99 a piece, while their outdoor wired camera comes in the form of a floodlight-equipped security camera selling for $279.99. However, if you buy a bundle, you can save yourself some money versus buying everything separately. And, if you want to expand your Nest Cam system, you can easily do so using third-party products that are Z-Wave compatible. Check out our comprehensive Google Nest Cam review, which we’ll update soon with information about Nest’s newest camera lineup.
Arlo built a name for themselves as the leading provider of wireless security cameras, but they have wired cameras, as well. The wired Arlo cameras, called Arlo Essential Indoor, are extremely easy to install because all you have to do is plug them in. Currently, there are no wired outdoor cameras from Arlo.
After thoroughly testing Arlo cameras, we can say one of the best things about them is that they are portable and extremely easy to move around, which is important if you live in an apartment or similar living situation. And, the Arlo wired and wireless cameras are very easy to install because they come in a kit that provides you with everything you will need for a quick installation.
The Arlo wired cameras have some basic smart features that include remote control using the companion mobile app, they have HD quality videos, will send you smart alerts, and they work with third-party devices such as Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Stringify; however, they aren’t the most affordable.
The Arlo Essential costs $99.99, which is the industry average price, but if you add wireless outdoor cameras, which start at $129.99, the costs can add up quickly. Arlo also offers Smart Plans for your video recording storage. The Arlo video storage plans range from $2.99 per month to $14.99 per month depending on which plan you choose and whether your plan records continuously or only when there’s motion.
The beauty of Arlo is that you can mix and match wired and wireless cameras. Some installation locations work better with wired cameras, but others are easier to monitor if you have wireless, battery-powered cameras. For example, if you have a wide front yard, you might be better off with wireless cameras that don’t need power or Ethernet cables. Arlo has a whole fleet of wire-free cameras that work well with its wired cameras.
Swann is a trusted name in home security, and they have a unique lineup of security cameras from which you can choose. They have floodlight cameras, thermal sensing bullet cameras, dimmable motion lighting, color night vision with long-range capabilities, and more. Here are some of the Swann pros and cons.
Swann manufactures and sells its own security equipment so there’s no middleman which means they can pass those savings along to the consumer. Additionally, all the Swann camera systems are a DIY installation. However, if you want a professional installation or monitoring options, you’ll have to look elsewhere because Swann doesn’t offer any professional installation or monitoring services. They do, however, have a wide variety of wired and wireless cameras available at just about every price point. The Swann cameras range from $59.99 to $399.99 each when buying them individually. You can also buy security camera systems that range from $179.99 for a two camera 4 channel system to $2,299.99 for a 16 camera 16 channel system.
Security cameras wired for power are simply cameras that use an AC power adapter that is plugged into an electrical power outlet. They draw power from the outlet, but most can transmit footage to a recorder or to the cloud wirelessly, often using Wi-Fi. They are easy to install because you don't need to run wires throughout your house; you just need to find an installation spot close to an electrical outlet with good Wi-Fi coverage.
Sometimes, however, security cameras wired for power will also need wires to transmit footage. These types of wired cameras need two wires — one for power and an Ethernet cable for connectivity. Because of that, they are harder to install, but the use of an Ethernet cable allows for more reliable connectivity than Wi-Fi.
There is one more method of powering a security camera that offers the best of both worlds: a single-wire installation with the reliability of a wired Ethernet connection. We call them security cameras wired for internet connectivity.
Pro Tip: If these cameras aren’t the perfect fit, read our guide to the Best Home Security Cameras of 2023 to find a better match.
Security cameras wired for internet connectivity are a little easier to use. This is because security cameras that are wired for internet connectivity only use one Ethernet cable, versus the other option which uses an AC adapter and a cable cord. Internet connectivity that is used to power a security system is called a POE or Power Over the Ethernet-enabled system. And to get power to a POE enabled device, you simply plug the Ethernet cable into your device on one end and to your internet router on the other end which will then supply your system with power and an internet connection both from one cord. So you end up only having to use one cord rather than two, while also enjoying the reliability of a wired internet connection.
It’s a lot to take in, we know. To help you process all of this, let’s take a look at some of the most popular hardwired cameras from the manufacturers we listed above.
|Security Camera||Resolution||Best Feature||Price|
|Lorex Nocturnal Bullet Cam||4K||Real-Time 4K Recording||$299.99|
|Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro||1080p||3D Motion Detection||$249.99|
|ADT Cam||1080p||Security Integration||Unavailable Standalone|
|Google Nest Cam||1080p||Facial Recognition||$99.99|
|Arlo Essential||1080p||Automatic Privacy Shield||$99.99|
|Swann Bullet IP Cam||4K||Thermal Imaging||$99.99|
Finally, before we dig into the features to look for in a hardwired camera system, just want you to know that you can get back to the basics in our Ultimate Guide to Home Security Cameras. There’s a lot to take in when considering which security cam is right for you. So why not simplify your search?
The motion detection feature in a security camera refers to that camera's ability to detect motion then capture, and, in some cases, record the events it detected. This works using a software-based monitoring algorithm that when motion is detected, it will send a signal to the companion video camera which then triggers the camera to begin recording. Then, most motion detection features are also designed to trigger an alarm and send an alert to the appropriate parties.
Almost all wired and wireless home security cameras have a 2-way voice feature built-in. This feature enables you to have a two-way conversation with anyone at your home that is within range of the camera. These two-way talk cameras work by using an intercom, microphone, and a speaker to allow for voice communication and this is what enables you to talk with a person on the other end in real-time.
The angle of camera lenses is measured in degrees so the higher the degrees, the wider field of view the camera will be able to capture. A wide field of view refers to how wide of an area any given security camera can see and capture. Security camera lenses are what determines the field of view. So a fixed camera has a permanently set field of view so you will need to select the right field of view for your needs, which would be either a wide-angle or a narrow-angle and if you need a larger field of view, consider opting for a wide-angle camera or an ultra-wide-angle camera.
Every security company these days offers a companion mobile app along with its security services. The mobile app will allow you to remotely access, monitor, and control the security and home automation features in and around your home. This includes your wired security cameras. With the corresponding app, you can, depending on the type of cameras you have, pan, tilt, and/or zoom in on an event if you receive an alert, or if you just want to check on your home or family at any time. The combination of the mobile app and your wired security cameras will provide you with live streaming capabilities so you can see everything on-demand in real-time. And, with the mobile app, you can access everything all from a single dashboard.
The high resolution on a wired security camera refers to the number of pixels any given camera has. The more pixels a camera has, the clearer the picture will be. Most wired home security cameras these days have either a 720p or 1080p image resolution. However, some brands are starting to offer higher resolution options such as 2K and 4K cameras. The resolution is important because that's what makes the picture clear and crisp enough that you can see specific details such as a license plate number, etc.
Every security brand offers different video recording options. There are local video recordings that are stored on the camera itself, to an external MicroSD card, or to separate devices called digital video recorders (DVR) or network video recorders (NVR). Then there are cloud video recordings that are stored on a remote server that is accessed using the internet. Wired security camera recordings are either an intermittent recording that only records when activity is detected. Then there is a continuous video recording option that records continuously, not just when activity is detected.
Night vision is the feature that enables a wired security camera the ability to see images in low-light conditions. Some night vision cameras offer a black and white image and others offer color images. Most wired security cameras with night vision use infrared technology to enable the camera to see objects in any low-light situation.
When opting for a wired security camera, you have to pay particular attention to whether it's weather-resistant or not if you will be using it outdoors. This is because sometimes a security camera will say it's weather-resistant, but the power cords might not be. So make sure you look for that when purchasing a wired outdoor security camera. The weather-resistant feature is an extra measure that protects the camera's internal parts from external influences such as moisture, dust, and humidity. Additionally, the degree of weather resistance varies between manufacturers. So make sure your chosen camera is designed to withstand the elements at your particular location.
When a wired security camera system talks about smart home integration, it's referring to that camera's ability to work with other smart home security and automation devices throughout your home. Some brands offer third-party compatible components and other brands only offer proprietary equipment. So if you already have some home automation products in place, make sure you pay attention to what's compatible with what you already have and what's not. Smart home integration is great for being able to access, monitor, and control everything from a companion mobile app that allows you to view and do everything in real-time all from a single dashboard. With smart home integrated products, you can connect your security cameras, lights, thermostat, garage door, and more and control all of them remotely using the associated mobile app, but only if they are all compatible with each other.