Many people looking for spy cameras want the convenience of leaving the camera unattended, whilst being able to view the footage miles away.
Wifi spy cameras are perfect for the job.
Here I’ll explain exactly how Wifi spy cameras work, so you can see if it fits your needs.
Wifi Spy Camera Equipment
The most obvious piece of equipment is the camera itself.
These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be incredibly well disguised (hidden in plain sight).
Let’s take a typical example : The Black Box Pinhole Wifi Spy Camera.
It looks like a Wifi Router but has a hidden pinhole camera!
As you can see, this camera looks just like a Wifi router. At a casual glance, no one would suspect that it’s actually a covert Wifi spy camera.
You could easily leave this unattended in your front room, and an intruder would be none the wiser.
All Wifi spy cameras come with the device, the camera lens and some kind of antenna.
The antenna is used to transmit to the receiver (more on this later), to allow you to connect from the other side of the world to view the footage!
The actual camera can vary massively, from providing the very latest HD footage to standard black and white.
So let’s get the best possible quality……correct?
Not always. The high quality footage will generate very large files and whether they are stored locally or transmitted, big files can cause a problem.
It’s better to get lower quality footage than nothing at all.
The camera works by having the shutter open to admit light, the lens adjusts to focus on the object.
The light allowed through the lens is captured by a sensor array.
Finally, it is then converted into a digital image or a set of images, which when put together will create motion video.
As footage can use a lot of storage space, many cameras are fitted with motion detection.
So you only get the good stuff.
This however only works in areas where no motion is expected, such as an empty warehouse.
This would not work at a busy train station for example.
Depending on the intended use of your spy camera this might be a useful tool.
When we think of an antenna we think of something like this bad boy.
And that’s what they used to look like.
But things have moved on…….a lot.
But how do they work?
Just like old radios, there is a transmitter and a receiver.
The transmitter sits on the spy camera and the receiver sits on the WIFI router.
However, that’s where the similarity ends with old radios.
Nowadays the antennas are very small and can be placed anywhere.
Also unlike radio, each device does not have a unique frequency but they all work on the same frequency. This is called a spread spectrum.
This is a LOT more efficient and allows MANY devices to work at the same time on the same frequency.
This is the last component in the WIFI spy camera and it’s also optional.
A lot of spy cameras don’t have this.
The reason is that if the data is being streamed via WIFI then the data can be stored on a remote cloud drive.
Which is great…….until the WIFI breaks.
Having an onboard SD card allows the data to be backed up locally so you have a fail-safe should the WIFI stop for whatever reason.
Some cameras need to be placed in areas that don’t have WIFI access such as remote areas outside.
In these cases, it is essential to have local onboard storage but be warned…..
In most cases, the footage will loop and overwrite the oldest footage which might be the very footage that you need.
So cameras with local SD storage need constant attention to avoid losing key moments of footage.
As a precaution, always get the largest local memory card to work around this issue.
The modern WIFI spy camera has two core components and one optional.
And all of these can be very small.
This is the reason WIFI spy cameras can fit anywhere and into anything.
The possibilities are endless.
A perfect example is the smoke alarm discussed in this article
No one would ever suspect it’s even there.