Wired home security cameras are an important alternative to the wireless cameras popular with homeowners, renters, and small business owners.
While they sacrifice some of the convenience and ease associated with wireless security (particularly when it comes to wired security camera system installation), they are both more secure and more reliable thanks to their lack of reliance on wireless networks.
So, what are the best wired security camera systems in 2023? Read on and find out our favorites.
What is a Wired Security Camera?
Best Wired Security Cameras: Our Top Picks
- Our Pick – ADT
- Best Wired Security Camera for Outdoors – Swann 8 Channel 4 Camera Security System
- Best Budget Wired Security Camera – ZOSI 1080p HD Bullet Camera
- Best Wired Security Camera Without Subscription – Annke E200 Lite Wired Security Camera System
- Best Wired Security Camera with Two Way Audio – Lorex 4K Security Camera System
- Best Wired Doorbell Camera – Google Nest Doorbell (wired)
Available at ADT. Free quote.
It’s been around since 1874 and has a revenue of more than $5 billion a year, so ADT must be doing something right.
In terms of round-the-clock service, there is little comparison, making ADT the wired security camera provider of choice for homes and businesses alike. They have a wide range of different wired security cameras available, designed for use both inside and out.
You’ll be advised on what works for you based on your individual quote for a security system.
Cameras have excellent voice assistant integration and even the wired ones come with 30 days of cloud storage. Motion detection is extra useful because there’s a security team monitoring your devices and ready to contact authorities at a moment’s notice, keeping you safer than regular unmonitored security.
Swann 8 Channel 4 Camera Security System
Best Wired Security Camera for Outdoors
The Australian security solutions provider Swann is another well-established older brand. Variety is the essence of their product line, with a huge number of wired and wireless security cameras at both the very low-end and the very high-end of budgetary constraints. They certainly have a camera for every occasion.
We like this simple, budget-friendly 4 camera pack that comes with an 8 channel DVR. The 1080p cameras are weatherproof and boast strong night vision (up to 100 foot in black and white), making them perfect for affordable outdoor and indoor surveillance alike.
They’re wired, but they don’t forego modern features, like Alexa and Google Assistant integration. They even have the option for storing footage on Dropbox, not that you’ll need it–the harddrive is a generous 1TB.
- Alexa and Google Assistant integration
- Generous 1TB of local storage
- 60 foot cables make it perfect for outdoor use
- No audio, though the DVR has audio inputs
- DIY setup, with no option for professional installation from Swann itself
ZOSI 1080p HD Bullet Camera
Best Budget Wired Security Camera
Available on Amazon. From $19.99.
You’ll find that most wired cameras are sold in packs of 4, 6, or 8 cameras alongside a DVR or as part of a quote-by-quote security system, which can be a great way to save money on security for bigger spaces.
If you’re looking for a cheap wired security camera to add to an existing DVR, this standalone 1080p camera from ZOSI will do the trick. The price is unbeatable, and you’ll get strong infrared night vision and an IP67 weatherproof rating.
That’s about it, though. You get what you pay for, after all. It doesn’t come with any cables or a power supply, so it’s most useful if you’re introducing it to a DVR to replace a dead camera. But for standard surveillance needs, it ticks all the boxes.
- Extremely affordable
- Sold standalone, meaning it makes a great replacement camera for existing setups
- Strong night vision and weatherproof for outdoor use
- Cheap looking and feeling
- No cables or power source provided
Annke E200 Lite Wired Security Camera System
Best Wired Security Camera Without Subscription
Most wired security cameras omit the emphasis on subscription-only features that wireless security cameras push. Not everyone has the same need for more features like automation and AI person detection that wireless camera subscriptions provide.
Annke’s 8 piece 1080p camera set with DVR is similar to Swann’s, with 1TB of physical storage, great night vision, and IP66 weatherproofing. There is also an app for remote viewing, making the most of motion detection, which sends push notifications or emails when something’s spotted in the customizable detection zone.
No subscription is required for using the app or the camera. Cables are 60 foot each, and with eight cameras included, this is definitely the subscription-free choice for a larger property. The price doesn’t hurt either.
- App is free to download and use with no subscription
- Effective motion detection with customizable detection zones
- Includes 8 cameras for a very affordable price
- App’s features are pretty limited
- No voice assistant integration
Lorex 4K Security Camera System
Best Wired Security Camera with Two Way Audio
Available on Amazon. From $799.99.
Not all wired security cameras come with a tiny price tag. On the contrary, Lorex’s 12 camera set will cost you just a couple hundred shy of a thousand bucks, representing the higher end of home and commercial wired security camera systems.
You’ll find a lot of the features associated with wireless security cameras in these excellent devices, including two-way audio. Each camera clocks in at an impressive 4K resolution.
Eight of the cameras are ‘bullet’ style cameras and four are dome-shaped, allowing for an impressive range of surveillance in every corner of a space. Dome-shaped cameras will be more useful for wider indoor spaces, while bullet shaped cameras are better for exterior and narrow spaces. All are weatherproof.
It’s a wired setup with a 16 channel DVR, yet has Alexa and Google Assistant, smart person and vehicle detection, 135 foot infrared night vision, and built-in sirens and warning lights. 4K footage for eight cameras, even if motion detected, accounts for a massive amount of storage. Even 3TB of data will quickly be filled if you’re recording 24/7 in a commercial context.
- Excellent 4K quality
- 12 cameras for total coverage, with a mixture of bullet and dome shapes
- Advanced features like voice assistance and person detection
- Very expensive
- Setup will be time consuming
- Though 3TB of storage is good, continuous 4K quality recordings will quickly fill it up
Google Nest Doorbell (wired)
Best Wired Doorbell Camera
Doorbell cameras are a subtle way to find out what’s going on outside your home. They are useful not just for security, but for keeping an eye on when your packages are dropped off at the door.
Google’s Nest Doorbell comes in identical wired and wire-free options to cater to everyone’s power preferences. Both are beautiful, with sleek designs that date their competition significantly.
Making excellent use of intelligent AI, it can recognize people, animals, and packages, and you can easily trigger preset responses to whoever’s on the other side of the door. If you have existing doorbell wiring, we’d actually recommend the wired version over the battery-powered counterpart because existing wiring can be reused.
This makes the installation quicker and easier, and you won’t ever have to recharge the device (and you can find it for a decent amount less than the battery-powered version).
- 3:4 aspect ratio cleverly mimics the shape of an entryway, so you won’t miss a thing
- Attractive, sleek design.
- Can use existing doorbell wiring making setup faster.
- Requires a subscription for best features
Do you need the internet for wired security cameras?
Is wired security system better than wireless?
Wired security systems have certain benefits over wireless ones, namely that they are considerably safer from hacking or data breaches than a wireless camera. At the same time, they are considerably less convenient, harder to install, and lack useful modern features like push notifications.
Are wired security cameras easy to install?
How to set up a wired security camera?
To set up a wired security camera, you will need to
- Choose a mounting position that has an optimal view of the space to be surveyed. We recommend high up in corners, away from sources of light that can obstruct the image. Be wary of what objects may appear in the frame.
- Measure and sketch out drill marks. Most cameras will come with stencils to aid in this.
- Decide how to hide the wires. This will either involve structural damage (drilling into the wall or ceiling to feed the wire through) or taping it to the wall’s perimeter.
- Attach the mounting bracket by drilling holes, placing anchors inside. Screw the camera to the wall via the anchors.
- Once wired to the DVR/NVR and/or power supply, turn the device on and consult the instruction manual as to how to complete the setup.
How long do wired security cameras last?
Wired security cameras can last a long time, with no determinable lifespan. They’re known for being reliable devices, which would explain why they’re still around despite being decades old. The lifespan of different devices from different brands will vary widely. A DVR, however, can be expected to last anywhere from 3 to 8 years without needing any of its components replaced. Even if it does stop functioning, there’s a chance a component can be replaced and the device repaired, so the lifespan of a wired security system as a whole isn’t as straightforward as that of an IP camera.
Can wired security cameras be hacked?
Wired security cameras can be ‘hacked’ as any technology can, but it would require direct physical access to the device because there is no wireless network connection. This would realistically amount to cutting the wires, accessing or intercepting the DVR, or physically stealing footage. So the chances of being ‘hacked’ are significantly lower than they are for a wireless camera.
How do wired security cameras get power?
Wired security cameras are connected to either a DVR or NVR through coaxial or ethernet cables, from which they draw their power. They are not connected to sockets or USB ports like wireless cameras are.
How often do wired security cameras need to be replaced?
There’s no conclusive evidence as to how often a wired security camera will need replacing. We’d suggest that ten years is pushing it, and you might want to consider replacing it after that point even if you don’t notice any major faults. The older it is, the higher the chance is that it could fail and cause lost footage or coverage. DVR/NVRs are likely to need replacing much sooner than the camera itself and certainly won’t last a decade.
What causes a DVR to stop working?
- No storage – it’s not always as obvious as you’d think! You may have simply run out of storage, so check on your linked screen device. Try deleting older footage you don’t need.
- Check cables – cable connections may have come loose at some point. Thoroughly check all cables and tighten them where needed.
- Broken coaxial cable – while checking, pay attention to the shape and color of the coaxial cables. The coax is inside the head of the cable (a small black, white, or gold colored line in the middle of the circle). It’s small and delicate, so make sure it isn’t bent out of place or heat damaged, in which case you’ll need to buy a new one.
- Corrupted harddrive – even if storage isn’t full, the harddrive itself may have become corrupted, which can cause the DVR to stop functioning. Check this by seeing if you can play back old footage.
- Hardwiring chewed – hardwired cameras may not present an obvious problem, because you can’t see the wiring. If it’s in the wall or ceiling, there’s always the chance it could have been chewed through by an unwanted resident.
Wired Security Cameras Buying Guide
Hardwired security brings with it more stability, reliability, and simplicity. Even the more expensive options have less features than wireless IP cameras, making them more suitable for those looking for straightforward, no thrills surveillance, whether that’s at home or in a commercial setting.
The benefits and continued popularity of wired security cameras in commercial contexts make it well worth considering one before taking the plunge and buying an IP camera, though there’s no doubt most people looking for home security, pet monitoring, and nanny cams will find these more aligned with their needs.