Winches can be powered in two very different ways.
The most common are electric winches, which use the vehicle’s battery power to run the motor. Electrically powered winches typically have faster winding speeds and are easier to install. They also offer the advantage of using a remote control that allows you to stand safely away from the winch and vehicle during activation. With the electric winches you can get AC winches or DC winches, generally speaking an AC winch will be for a static environment where electricity is available nad your DC winch will be for your vehicle
Because an electric winch draws lots of power from your vehicle, it’s important to make sure there’s enough power to operate it. Make sure your vehicle’s battery and alternator can deliver the necessary amperage to run the winch at full capacity, even with the headlights on. If not, you may need to upgrade to a dual-battery system or a higher-output alternator.
Hydraulic winches generally use the vehicle’s power steering pump to power the winch. Many enthusiasts prefer hydraulic winches because they are extremely reliable and not affected by water or low battery power. For this reason they are commonly used in areas with lots of mud or water. As long as the vehicles engine is still running, not all hydraulic winches fit on every vehicle and are not compatible with every mounting method.