Wi-Fi cameras work by connecting to the Internet to upload pictures to a remote location, thereby saving digital storage space on the camera itself. These cameras have a switch that connects equipment to a Wi-Fi hotspot, and then sends the photographs to another piece of hardware through the Internet connection. Some Wi-Fi hotspots require login information, while others connect to the camera automatically.
Wi-Fi cameras search for wireless local-area networks, and users select one to make a connection. After the camera takes pictures, the photographs are sent to another Internet-enabled device, such as a PC or laptop, with a greater storage capacity than the camera. Most of these cameras come with a CD with programming to download to a computer. This programming recognizes the camera's Wi-Fi connection when it sends information through the Internet. The camera usually has to interface with the computer before taking pictures to ensure the connection operates properly.
Advantages of Wi-Fi cameras include greater storage capacity, quick access to stored pictures and instant sharing of uploaded photographs. The major disadvantage is that Wi-Fi spots may not be available where pictures are taken. Some Wi-Fi spots may not function all the time, so there may be times when the camera cannot upload a picture. Privacy is not guaranteed over public networks, so private pictures should be encrypted in case data gets intercepted.