Top three best wireless dash cams for 2019
By Callum Tennent
Dash cams have come a long way over the past few years, exploding not only in popularity but also in terms of what they can do. Some high-end models now have wi-fi functionality, but as useful as that can be, it doesn't guarantee that they also perform to the high standards we've come to expect from Best Buy dash cams.
A wi-fi connection on your dash cam means that it can connect with your computer, tablet or smartphone when it's in range of a wireless internet connection. From there, certain models can transfer saved footage wirelessly or stream what's being recorded in real time to the device, among other useful features.
These wireless dash cams are useful, but the big price that frequently accompanies them shouldn't be mistaken for a mark of quality. We've seen plenty of high-end models disappoint in our in-depth dash cam lab test. Be sure to look at the table below before committing to an expensive new model.
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Top three wireless dash cams
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct at January 2018.
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And here are two wireless dash cams to avoid
It may be an advanced, and often expensive, feature, but the presence of wi-fi on a dash cam is no guarantee of quality. The two models in the table below are proof that there's really no telling how well a dash cam will perform until you get it out on the road. We've gone to that effort so you don't have to. Take a look at the in-car cameras below and be sure to buy something else.
Worst wireless dash cams
This incredibly pricey sat nav/dash cam hybrid failed to impress in our tests. We found the dash cam footage was average at best. Daytime recording was acceptable but night time footage was awful. Even though most of the night recordings came out pitch black, road signs still produced significant glare. This model may be succeed as a sat nav but it simply wasn’t good enough as a dash cam.
Is a wireless dash cam worth the money?
A dash cam with wi-fi will often cost you more money than a comparable model without. That means you need to consider whether it's worth the extra expense to you.
Wi-fi is most useful when the camera in question doesn't have a built-in display. It can be hard to tell how you've angled the camera and what it's filming without a display, so wi-fi can allow you to see through the dash cam's lens in real time via your smartphone's screen.
The other main use for built-in wi-fi is transferring recordings to your computer or smart device without messing around with cables. There will usually be bespoke software accompanying the dash cam that allows you to seamlessly and simply send your files across. This isn't quite as crucial a feature, but it's definitely a time-saver.
You might not be too fussed about either of these features, in which case you could well save money by simply buying a model without wi-fi. If you do decide to buy a wireless model, be sure to check exactly what features the wi-fi grants you, as not all models are the same.
Can you buy a truly wireless, battery-powered dash cam?
The answer to this question is a simple 'no'.
This guide has covered dash cams that cut the cables when it comes to transferring data and connecting to your computer, but you may be looking for a dash cam that's wireless in another sense.
Every major dash cam on the market currently connects to a car's battery via a cable, either one that's trailed to the vehicle's 9V socket or hard-wired into the dashboard. Many have internal batteries to ensure recordings are saved in the case of a power outage, but they need that continuous connection to run for any practical length of time.
There aren't any truly wireless dash cams out there right now, and we would advise you to steer clear of any you can find that run on batteries alone.