What is a Wireless Camera?

N. Madison

A wireless camera is a type of video camera that does not require the use of cables or external wires for connection to related equipment. Wireless cameras offer convenience when the placement of such cables would be difficult or even impossible. Some wireless cameras use batteries, making them totally independent of power outlets as well. Furthermore, they are portable and can be moved from location to location quite easily.

Wireless cameras may be hidden in stuffed animals.
Wireless cameras may be hidden in stuffed animals.

Wireless cameras function similarly to other types of wireless devices. The exception to the similarity, however, is that they send radio signals that are decoded into video data. Wireless cameras are often used for surveillance, though some people purchase them just for fun. Some wireless cameras are compatible with personal computers (PCs) and are used to serve data streams to computer applications or the Internet.

Someone who suspects their partner of cheating may set up a wireless surveillance camera.
Someone who suspects their partner of cheating may set up a wireless surveillance camera.

A wireless camera may be a good choice for video surveillance. This type of camera can be used for both home and business, providing good surveillance coverage while offering easy installation. Keep in mind, however, that some wireless cameras still require connection to a power outlet. If connecting to a power outlet isn’t convenient or will give away the location of a camera you want hidden, consider purchasing a battery-powered wireless camera instead.

A wireless camera can be hidden to keep tabs on childcare providers.
A wireless camera can be hidden to keep tabs on childcare providers.

It is wise to consider the laws of your state or country before using a wireless camera for surveillance. In some cases, there may be legal issues involved. However, you may find that using a wireless camera for surveillance is acceptable as long as it is used in a place in which others could have no expectation of privacy. Such places may include a public sidewalk or the inside of a retail store.

A wireless camera can help people with online dating get to know someone.
A wireless camera can help people with online dating get to know someone.

Some individuals choose to use wireless cameras to keep tabs on their babysitters or daycare providers. In such cases, wireless cameras are hidden or camouflaged, making them practically impossible to detect. Often, a wireless camera can be hidden in household items like plants or stuffed animals. Again, it is important to check your local laws before using a wireless camera for this purpose.

Wireless cameras are also popular for webcamming. Used for this purpose, a wireless camera owner can allow another Internet user to both see and hear him or her using Internet technology. Many individuals use wireless cameras to catch up with long-distance relatives and friends, chat over the Internet with just about anyone, and even participate in the online dating scene.

A wireless camera does not need cables to operate.
A wireless camera does not need cables to operate.

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Discussion Comments


I am considering bringing nanny cams into my babysitting service business to provided an added feeling of comfort for parents who can check on children anytime from anywhere, but I am so confused by all of the options out there (I am not very technologically inclined).

Is there a wireless camera that my sitters could bring with them to the houses they visit, and set up easily within a few minutes of arriving, that will be able to broadcast footage to parents (smartphone or web address)? They don't all visit the same house every day; it changes sometimes on a daily or hourly basis depending on need.

Is there a type of wireless camera that could accommodate this type of movement easily? Any information would be appreciated! Thank you!


@popcorn - It really is interesting to see what people are using wireless cameras for. I installed some wireless home security cameras after there were a bunch of break-ins in our neighborhood and I got worried about keeping an eye the entrances and windows throughout our home.

I liked that I was able to access the feed of the cameras through the Internet and that they could be set to record when motion was detected. We've never had a break-in but I like to think that the cameras we put up are a deterrent as we put up one of those stickers that identifies our home as being under surveillance.


I have been having trouble with my roommates taking stuff from my room so I recently installed a wireless video camera so I could see exactly what was happening in my room when I wasn't there. I was pretty mad to find that my roommates were using my computer and borrowing my software without my permission.

I think that having something simple like a wireless Internet camera set up is a good way to deter people from an area. I ended up talking with my roommates and while they were surprised I knew they were using my computer and stuff. I think they were more embarrassed than anything.


@nony - Most states will allow you to conduct video surveillance of your residence within reason. Surveillance is not allowed in parts of your home where someone would expect a high level of privacy, like the bathroom for example.

Also, third party observers are prohibited from conducting surveillance within your house. As a homeowner you can conduct surveillance, but Big Brother can’t. That makes sense in my opinion.


@miriam98 - Yeah, privacy is pretty much out the door nowadays. But as long as you are doing nothing illegal you shouldn’t worry about that too much. The store scenario is definitely beyond the bounds as you said. Most surveillance is not done for voyeurism but for security.

For example, I heard of a guy who bought a wireless web camera and used it to catch a thief stealing some money. The camera had the ability to record video so he was able to leave it on all day. You can view real time video using a web browser too.

The system is expensive so I wouldn’t exactly use it if you just wanted to chat over the Internet like the article talks about. A cheap web cam would suffice in that instance. But if you want to do some covert surveillance with remote viewing capabilities, it's perfect.


@SkyWhisperer - I’ve heard that you can get a pinhole sized wireless CCTV camera system. These things can be hidden behind pictures or walls.

Frankly this kind of thing has always made me feel nervous. How do I know if I’m at someone’s house that I am not being secretly spied upon?

For that matter, what if I go to the clothing store and step into the fitting room? I always have a sneaking suspicion that there is a camera on the other side of that “mirror” in the room.

That would certainly be plainly illegal. I certainly have an expectation of privacy in the fitting room.


A wireless surveillance camera system is a great investment to add an extra layer of security around your house. The good news, at least from what I’ve seen online, is that most of these systems are fairly cheap.

So you can buy several of them to make sure that you’ve adequately covered the important locations where a security breach could occur.

I would also like to point out that some of these systems come with night vision technology so that you can view objects in the dark. The system uses infrared to do this. The pictures will look ghostly as a result but at least you will know if something – or someone – is moving inside your house.

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