PoE camera and WiFi camera are two of  the major IP-based camera branches in our time. They share many similarities among fundamental surveillance functions. While they still vary a lot if we discuss their theories and functions in detail.

It’s not easy for many professional-knowledge-absent users to make an appropriate choice among the distinct arrays of cameras. This article will lead you to grasp their common advantages and disadvantages so that you can align your requirements to their features and avoid potential misconceptions or pitfalls.


What is a PoE Camera?

PoE is the abbreviation of “Power over Ethernet”. This type of camera, wired, works over single cables that serve for power supply, video transmission, and internet connection simultaneously. This makes their installation process easier and more succinct than traditional wired surveillance cameras. PoE cameras do not need separate power cables or outlets for the cameras. Therefore making the installation position of the cameras more flexible. You just need to locate where there an Ethernet port is in our room.


It can be derived from the explanation that all POE cameras actually are IP cameras since they transmit video signals by network. But note that not all IP cameras are PoE cameras. There are also WiFi IP cameras, or, wireless IP cameras.

PoE cameras are well-received and well-reviewed for their reliable and smooth transmission of video feeds. They can be influenced less by surroundings, such as physical obstacles or electronic devices.


What is a WiFi Camera?

The distinguishing feature of a WiFi camera vs a PoE camera is that it connects the camera directly to a WiFi router for video transmission. But be aware that, differentiated from a PoE camera, a WiFi camera still needs a power cable. The WiFi connection does not enable any supply supply. Furthermore, a WiFi camera can share the live feed to your mobile devices when you access them by app or software. For a WiFi camera, cloud storage can also be an alternative for its footage storage – It is space-saving because cloud storage can reduce the reliance on an NVR, which takes more space.

Pros of PoE Camera


1. Network Reliability

1)Firstly, because PoE cameras are wired networking, they are less likely to have network outages, and their connection is not easily interrupted or performance-degraded.

2)Secondly, in terms of transmission speed, POE cameras vs WiFi Cameras have less network speed loss- Consequently, less network latency happens with them, and the live feed will be smoother

3)There are fewer chances a hardwired system confronts with havoc by network hacking.

2. Transmission Range

A standard PoE camera supports a maximum 100 meters of signal transmission with the PoE cable. It’s enough for regular scenarios. In contrast, a regular WiFi camera can only work within 10 meters around the Wireless router, only 1/10 of a PoE camera’s.

3. Uninterrupted Power Supply

Power by the PoE network cable, a PoE camera doesn’t need a separate power cable, which guarantees the camera still works even under a power failure – precious for a 24/7 surveillance system deployment.

Additional power supply absent, you don’t need to hesitate about the installation place next to the electrical outlets. If you want to relocate the camera, simply move the Ethernet cable to an appropriate place.

4. Transmission Speed

Typically, wired devices feature faster transmission speed than wireless ones. Most PoE cameras work with Cat5e and Cat6e network cables, which transmit video data up to 5 Gbps within 100 meters. Contrary to the feature of PoE, a WiFi camera is prone to losing signal connection due to interference, for instance, walls, windows, etc. Also, WiFi cameras are vulnerable to being interfered by electronic devices that generate intangible signal interruption.

5. Security

When it comes to the reliability of cyberspace security, Poe cameras vs WiFi cameras are more entrenched under potential cyberspace attacks. Comparatively, wireless networks are more prone to being the target of network hacking or spoofing because of their network openness.


Cons of PoE Camera

1. Installation

A PoE camera tends to be more labor-intensive for an installation because it needs more wires. Also, it is more likely to require professional knowledge to figure out how those wires and ports should be paired.

2. Flexibility

More cables make it hard to relocate the camera in a specific area since not all locations often have the interfaces needed for a PoE connection. Secondly, if you want to add more cameras to the original system, you may need additional network cables, which leads to more cost.

3.  Potential Network Issues

Because a POE system connects to multiple cameras over one single Ethernet port (under the maximum quantity of the NVR), if the PoE network port occurs with any problem, all cameras will lose video signal on the system and there’s no spare method of connecting with the network.

Pros of WiFi Camera

1. Easy to Install

Installing a wireless security camera is generally simpler, since there are fewer cables involved, which is very friendly to common non-professional household users. On the other hand, installing a WiFi camera requires fewer tools.

2. Flexibility

For a PoE camera, the installation location can be arranged freely in a way without the confinement of cable length. More importantly, they enable remote control, in which owners can access the camera’s real-time video feed even from the other side of the Earth over their cell phone, laptop, or computer. For those who want to know the real-time

3. Compatibility with Smart Devices

The wireless feature is advantageous to enable a WiFi Camera to incorporate smart home devices into the whole camera system, which makes it possible for you to build an intelligent, seamless surveillance ecosystem around your property.

4. More Choices of Power Supply

There are different categories power supplies among WiFi cameras, mainly battery-powered, solar-powered, and regular AC-powered. Customers can choose according to their installation environment and budget. For example, in regions where there’s strong and long-duration sunlight, outdoor water-proof solar-powered WiFi cameras are ideal for customers to reduce the electricity cost brought by charging.


 Cons of WiFi Camera


1. Unstable Signals

A WiFi camera can be easily influenced by surroundings. Physical obstacles such as walls or windows can easily undermine the signal of the WiFi network. Also, the cameras are vulnerable to interference by electronic devices that generate signal interruption.

2. Range

Although connecting a WiFi camera to the network is simple, it has really finite working circumference to retain a stable network. Most WiFi cameras only work within 10 meters around the router. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of WiFi cameras. Thanks to the invention of the repeater, using the repeater to strengthen the signal can alleviate this drawback.

3. Bandwidth

If multiple cameras are set up in your WiFi camera system, they can restrain your network speed, affecting the internet speeds when you use other mobile devices such as cell phone or laptop.

4. Cyberspace Risks

WiFi cameras tend to be more vulnerable to internet attacks. Even though they are popular with the network openness and flexibility, they are also much more “popular” for illegal visits, being intercepted or hacked. Therefore, securing a wireless-based system with strong passwords and encryption is extremely important.

5. Repeated Charging

A WiFi camera is usually powered by an AC power cable or battery. For battery-powered WiFi cameras, periodic recharging is necessary, which might cause much inconvenience for continuous surveillance.

What Should You Consider before A Purchase?


1. Image Quality

Be clear about your purpose and choose suitable camera resolution. For common household users, a 1080P or 4MP security camera quite works.

The the bigger resolution, the better? – It’s not the case. Spend every penny of your money on your real needs.

2. What Scenario?

The installation location will directly affect whether security cameras can exert their the functions to the best. Most users will prioritize parameters for choosing a camera. But do not ignore a very important thing: every surveillance camera is not omnipotent. Every camera has requirements when it comes to the choice of installation location. Therefore, it’s necessary to pick a suitable camera compatible with your installation scenario to achieve a better monitoring effect.

3. Wireless or Wired?

Firstly, check the wiring conditions of your installation places. Secondly, mind your own professional knowledge with security cameras. If you not good at those complex specifications and wiring process, maybe wireless camera IP camera will be better choice.

 4. Your Installation Conditions?

Different type of are applicable for different angles, height or mounting ways. For example, a dome camera needs to be installed on relatively high places to offer appropriate angles for its wide coverage. In addition, you should also consider the mounting location of the camera and your interior space layout. If there are obstacles within the dome camera’s viewing range, it will fail to achieve your surveillance purposes.

5. Bandwidth

IP Security cameras with high configurations run more bandwidth. If you are going to choose a wireless IP camera, it will slow down the network speed for other devices – Comparatively, this issue won’t happen with a POE security camera. Hence, choosing the appropriate camera model compatible with your network bandwidth is also important.

6. Your Budget

Pick the right one compatible with your budget. Don’t be over-mesmerized by the technological features of security cameras.

PoE vs WiFi Camera: Summary of Comparison

Generally said, PoE cameras are more ideal for locations where 24/7 constant and stable surveillance is prioritized. So, make sure the place where you install the camera has the interfaces you need. In contrast, Wireless security cameras are more ideal for common non-professional homeowners. It is because they’re more simple in installation and wiring and more flexible in remote access.

Meanwhile, mind the bandwidth of your home WiFi. If multiple cameras are set up in your WiFi camera system, they can restrain your WiFi network speed. In a further way, they will affect the internet speeds when you use a cell phone or laptop. A large bandwidth will be needed then.

In addition, common household users must improve the awareness of prevention against potential network risks. Unlike businesses or organizations that employ professional IT personnel, non-professional users are less aware of those risks. Whether for a PoE or WiFi Camera, securing it with encryption deployment is significant to make the best use of the system’s efficacy.This the first layer of entrench to prevent network risks.

To compare the regular functions of PoE vs WiFi cameras, there’s not much difference varied by wired or wireless. Functions such as Motion Detection, Alarm Alert, Two-Way Audio, or Night Vision are common in PoE and Wireless Cameras. When you compare camera models, compare their specific functions and parameters. Then, align cameras’ features with your needs, budget and installation condition.