All cars are equipped with a rearview mirror and a pair of side mirrors, but it can still be hard to judge the distance between your back wheels and a curb, or your bumper and the car behind you. Modern cars are equipped with backup cameras, which are mounted on the back of the vehicle and send a live video feed to a screen on your dashboard.
If you want the same functionality in an older car, you need a wireless backup camera. These cameras are typically made up of two parts: a screen you attach to the top of your dashboard, and a camera that’s installed onto the backside of your car.
More from Rolling Stone
- Amazon Alternatives: The Best Places to Get Everything From Toilet Paper to Diapers Right Now
- Deal Alert: The Motorola Razr is Back and It's Buy One, Get One Free Right Now
- The Best Hair Products for Men
The camera needs to be installed into your car’s electrical system (if you don’t feel comfortable with this, call a mechanic or use Amazon’s Installation service), and wirelessly sends a signal to the screen by establishing a connection on the 2.4Ghz frequency. That’s the wireless frequency used by many WiFi routers and wireless phones, so it’s a tried and true solution.
If you want some help judging the distance between you and another car — especially in the dark — a wireless backup camera is an excellent investment. It’s one of the biggest tech upgrades you can make to an older car, and one you’ll use every time you get behind the wheel.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Wireless Backup Camera
There are many factors to think about when choosing the right wireless backup camera for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Resolution: The video quality of your backup camera doesn’t need to be pristine, but the clearer the image, the easier it’ll be to avoid obstacles. Our picks range from 240P through 720P, but each will offer a good experience.
Field Of View: A camera’s field of view signifies how wide of an image it can capture. The wider the field of view, the more of the curb, car, or parking space you’re able to see. Our minimum requirement was a 110 degree field of view, which is the standard for many smart security cameras.
Screen Size: The quality from the wireless backup camera doesn’t matter if you’re not able to view the footage easily. Our picks all have a screen that’s over four inches large, which is the industry standard.
Durability: These cameras are going to be outside of your car all the time, so our picks were designed to withstand difficult weather conditions.
See where your favorite artists and songs rank on the Rolling Stone Charts.