Wireless video cameras are quite prolific these days. The thing is that there are both passive and active video cameras. Passive cameras are cheaper on average. However, one wonders if they are worth the investment. Active cameras are not that much more expensive, yet they generally offer greater capabilities.
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The Difference Between Passive and Active
A passive video camera is one that gets turned on and left to run for a designated amount of time. Some passive cameras offer motion detection so that precious storage space isn’t wasted recording unnecessary footage. Regardless of model however, the main feature of a passive camera is that it does not send data to any sort of receiver for the purposes of real-time monitoring.
An active video camera is just the opposite. Whether it runs all the time or is activated by motion, the camera sends data somewhere as footage is being shot. More often than not, this means sending it to cloud storage or a home security provider. Homeowners can monitor active cameras in real time.
Who Might Want a Passive Camera
Passive cameras are still sold today despite their technological limitations. You might wonder who would want one. For starters, consider parents of a young child who are concerned that their baby isn’t being properly cared for by the sitter. A well disguised passive camera can record video footage throughout the day. Parents can know in short order what is going on in their home.
Another homeowner who suspects her dog is getting into trouble during the day might want to set up a passive camera to see what is going on. It is not that the dog is doing harm, it’s just that the homeowner wants to verify just who or what it is that keeps stealing the peanut butter fudge on the counter.
As creepy as it sounds, people might install passive cameras with the expectation of catching a cheating spouse. A parent might install a camera after suspecting a teenage child is stealing from the master bedroom. The possibilities are really endless.
Passive Camera Limitations
As previously mentioned, passive cameras do tend to be a bit cheaper. But when you understand their limitations, saving a few dollars might not be worth it. Let us start with the fact that passive cameras cannot be monitored remotely in real time. That means homeowners have to retrieve data manually and watch it after the fact.
Seeing video footage of a babysitter not properly caring for a child is better than seeing no footage all. But wouldn’t you rather see that footage in real time? Of course you would. You would want to see things as they occur just in case you have to intervene quickly.
In terms of storage, passive cameras typically come with limited on-board storage. Go with an active camera from a company like Vivint, and you get a lot more storage in the cloud. You can also access the storage remotely. In other words, you don’t have to retrieve data from the camera itself. You can log on anywhere you have an internet connection and view your footage.
Finally, passive cameras are just cameras. They cannot be connected to a home security system. On the other hand, active cameras can. Not only can they be used to monitor your pets or children, but an active camera can also alert you in the event of a burglary, fire, etc.
Passive cameras served the buying public very well when they were the only game in town. But now that active cameras can do so much, passive cameras might not be worth investing in.