What Type of Wire for a Security Camera?

by Ariel Schaub

To reap the benefits a security camera can provide for your home or business, it is essential to maintain the integrity of the video image by installing either coaxial or fiber optic cable.

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable

Coaxial cable---abbreviated coax--is the standard cable for transmitting video signals. It consists of an inner and outer conductor between which the signal is transmitted in the form of electronic pulses.

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic strands

Fiber optic cable consists of transparent fibers through which the signal is transmitted in the form of light pulses. It has greater bandwidth capacity and can transmit over a longer distance than coax.

Choosing a Cable

Fiber optic cable is more expensive and fragile than coax. Even a kink can prevent the signal from passing through, so unless you need the extra bandwidth or to transmit over a long distance, coax is a sensible choice. RG-6 coax is approved for use up to 1,500 feet, and RG-11 can be used up to 3,000 feet. For optimal performance, choose a cable with a solid copper conductor at its core, rather than one with a copper-coated aluminum conductor.


If the situation does require you to use fiber optic cable, choose a camera that has a built-in fiber optic interface; otherwise, you will need to connect a short length of coax to the camera and then use a media converter to attach the fiber optic cable.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera two cameras image by Vadimone from Fotolia.com