Last Updated on 30 July 2020
When shopping for a wireless security system, you will encounter both hub-based and hub-free security cameras. Understanding the distinction between the two is essential as many wireless, wire-free security cameras still require a hub which can mean additional costs to you. Keep in mind that just because a security camera is wire-free, it doesn’t mean that it is also hub-free. (Need a quick reminder on the difference? Check out our blog on wireless vs. wire-free security systems).
What is a Hub Free System?
Before we dive into the benefits of a hub-free security camera let’s start with the basics. A hub is a base station or recording/storage device that connects via the Internet to the cameras. In contrast, a hub-free security system operates on Wi-Fi exclusively without requiring any additional hardware to store footage. Hub-based systems have some limitations that may not be immediately clear. On the contrary, there are many benefits to a wire-free, hub-free security camera.
1. No Additional Hardware or Products Required
A hub-free security system will utilize Wi-Fi and will work with any router and smartphone with the installed app. As such, after purchasing a wire-free security camera you will likely already have everything needed to set up the security camera. As setup doesn’t require additional hardware or products, a hub-free security system is more affordable.
2. Multiple Locations Are Easy to Set Up
In addition, a hub-free security system allows you to set up wire-free cameras in multiple locations around your property or different properties without needing to purchase additional hubs.
3. You Can Extend the Range of Your Wi-Fi Signal
As with any wireless security system, a hub-free security system is subject to range limitations. Wire-free, hub-free security systems, can use Wi-Fi range extenders to bridge gaps between the camera(s) and router. However, with a hub-based camera system, the wireless range cannot be extended. The ability to extend and strengthen your wireless connection is vital to provide the best coverage.
5. You Can Connect As Many Cameras As You Want
Hub-free systems such as Swann’s wire-free security can connect as many cameras as available IP addresses on your router. In reality, this is many more cameras than you would need. Before you could reach this limit, wireless interference would be the limiting factor. Although Swann does not limit the number of cameras you can install on a property other security systems do. Camera limitations are important to keep in mind when selecting the right hub-free security system for your property.
6. Storage & Backup
Hub-free security cameras operate independently with built-in storage capabilities. However, storage and backup capabilities vary significantly by company and can be a hidden cost. Make sure to review the internal and cloud storage options when assessing security cameras.
Swann provides customers with seven days of internal storage and two days of cloud storage, all for free. Additional cloud storage can be added and is a very affordable option compared to other cloud storage pricing. The internal, or backup clip storage, can be accessed from the SAFE by Swann app but is intended primarily as a backup. Cloud clip storage is more easily accessible within the app and should be considered the primary method of storage. Few other security cameras include any free internal or cloud storage. The cameras which do include some free cloud storage often have additional limitations
Another benefit of internal storage capabilities relates to any downtime. If Swann’s wire-free security camera loses connectivity, it will continue to record and store footage in the backup clip. Furthermore, once the connection is restored, the backup will be automatically added to the cloud.
7. Battery Life & Weather Resistance
Most hub-free security cameras use rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries and include IP65 weather resistance. The IP65 rating means that the camera can be used both indoor and outdoors. However, the performance of camera batteries can deteriorate at low temperatures.
While many companies overestimate their battery life, the Swann solar panel provides a renewable power source that’s easy to install and a great wire-free charging solution.
Based on the benefits outlined above, a hub-free camera is the ultimate hassle-free security system. While it’s not the best choice for large properties, it’s flexibility and ease are perfect for small to medium properties, renters, and people looking for flexible solutions.