Security Camera System Basics: What to Know Before Buying an IP Camera System. Wired vs Wireless, Local vs Cloud & More

Security Camera System Basics: What to Know Before Buying an IP Camera System. Wired vs Wireless, Local vs Cloud & More

There used to be a time when you only saw the use of video cameras for security at large facilities and organizations. They were the only ones that could afford those expensive wired closed-circuit TV systems.

But with the explosion of the “internet of things” (IoT), nearly everything is internet connected and prices for technology have come down dramatically.

Now, families can afford a home camera system that lets them see when their kids get home from school or who’s at the door before they answer it. Small businesses can now benefit from the extra security that an affordable network IP camera system provides for their offices.

There are several options to sort through if you’re looking for a network setup with an internet protocol (IP) camera system. (Also known as a “network camera”)

Where should the cameras go? Should you use wired or wireless? What’s the difference between a commercial and residential system?

Quantum PC Services helps both residential and commercial clients in Sturgeon Bay, WI and the surrounding area sort through all those options. We provide a free site survey and consultation to help clients find the system that’s their perfect match.

In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of the different options out there for network IP cameras, so you can make an informed choice.

Network Cameras | Wired vs Wireless Systems

One initial decision you’ll need to make if you’re installing an IP camera system is whether to go with a wired or wireless system. Each has their pros and cons. Quantum PC Services works with both when we consult with customers on the best system for their needs. The one you choose will depend upon factors like cost and Wi-Fi reliability.

Wired Security Camera System


  • Cannot be hacked remotely
  • No signal interference
  • Has a battery backup in case of a power outage
  • Good for large homes/buildings


  • More expensive
  • More difficult to install (holes will need to be drilled)
  • Cannot be easily moved after installation
  • Harder to conceal cameras

 Wireless Security Camera System


  • Less expensive
  • Easy to install, don’t need to run wires throughout the buildings
  • Can run on batteries
  • Can easily move cameras to different positions


  • Can be hacked more easily
  • Can experience signal interference
  • Have to be installed within a home/building’s Wi-Fi range
  • Resolution may be reduced

Network Cameras | Local NVR vs Cloud Storage

Once you’ve decided on the main type of camera network setup that fits your needs, where all that video surveillance footage is stored is another decision point.

Two main options for storage are through a network video recorder (NVR) or cloud storage.

NVR is a network attached storage device that connects using a local IP network. It’s a device that’s on your premises and it acts as a dedicated storage device for your camera video.

Cloud storage is just like it is for other cloud-based programs. It’s a remote storage system, residing elsewhere, that will receive the camera footage over an internet connection.

Local NVR Storage


  • All data is stored at your property
  • Can be hard wired to not rely on an internet connection
  • Can handle high resolution videos


  • Not great for multiple locations
  • Potential data loss if there’s a natural disaster at your location
  • Not as easy to add on more cameras

Cloud Storage


  • No initial hardware cost outlay
  • Great for multi-building properties
  • Safe from any local flood, fire, or natural disaster


  • Requires good internet connection
  • May require an increase in bandwidth from your ISP
  • May need to use a lower resolution to transfer more easily

Network Cameras | Commercial vs Residential Systems

We often see residential customers asking about commercial options for video camera systems because they want something that’s top of the line.

Likewise, small business customers will want to know if they can get all the same features with a lower priced residential system. There are so many options out there for both, it can be a confusing decision.

Our goal is to help make your decision easy!

If you’ve been wondering what’s the difference between a consumer or commercial camera system, here are some key differences between the two.

Commercial IP camera systems will have additional options that are typically industry specific such as:

  • Ability to cover more expansive spaces
  • Reporting for exceptions and analytics
  • Scalability for multiple buildings
  • Dramatic lighting changes

Residential IP camera systems are designed with the home consumer in mind and typically have these targeted features:

  • Visually pleasing design mean to blend with any home décor
  • Less expensive than commercial systems
  • Consumer friendly app
  • Can be easier to set up

Have You Been Considering a Home or Business Camera System?

About 98 million network surveillance cameras were shipped globally last year. As the price of systems has gone down, the demand for the safety and security they bring has gone up.

Do you need some guidance finding the perfect IP camera system for your home or office in Sturgeon Bay?

Our experts at Quantum PC Services are standing by to answer all your questions! Call us at 920-256-1214 or reach out online.