Wireless & Wi-Fi Camera Technology

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Wireless security cameras are security cameras that send audio and video signals to a receiver using a radio band.  These security cameras have a built-in transmitter that takes care of the transmission, making wires unnecessary.

The radio transmitted on wireless security cameras sends the video and audio to a receiver that is connected to a recording device or monitor.  Some receivers have a built-in storage which store images and videos for later viewing.  Cloud storage options are also of avail.

Contrary to what you may think, and because the name implies it so, there are cameras that still need a wire for its power source.  Some cameras, however, use batteries for power, making them really wireless.

Wireless cameras are very useful when you do not wish to run long video and audio cables around the area you are putting under surveillance.  As such, installation is also less expensive when compared to wired security cameras because you work with fewer cables.  There are also times when laying down cables are simply not an option, such as in historical places, museums, and other similar sites.

It is also a better option when you have to watch several buildings.  You simply can’t run a video cable across the street or into another building.


Different types of wireless security cameras

As we have mentioned before, there are wireless security cameras that rely on a power source and those that use batteries.  Wireless security cameras that plug into a power outlet do not have to be recharged or have their batteries changed. This prevents footage from not recording due to a depleted battery.  However, it would be impractical to put a very important area under surveillance with a power outlet near the camera. The best option in this case would be battery-operated security cameras.

Other types of security cameras are:

2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz wireless security cameras.  One classification of wireless security cameras makes use of the frequency they broadcast in:  2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz wireless security cameras.  Both types of cameras can handle analog and digital video, but a 2.4 GHz camera has a maximum range of around 700 feet and handles up to four transmissions.  This uses the same frequency that most other wireless devices use, so there may be interference problems with analog devices.

A 5.8 GHz wireless security camera, on the other hand, has a range of around 2,000 feet and can carry up to eight transmissions.  And because only a few wireless devices are on this frequency, less interference will be encountered.

Wi-Fi security cameras.  Wi-Fi security cameras are just that, wireless cameras that connect to your Wi-Fi network.  Multiple devices may be networked together and your cameras are able to access your local area network via the wireless router.  Such a system makes it possible for your cameras to transmit information to and from one another, and to and from the Internet.  A Wi-Fi router usually has a range of around 300 feet and it is possible to connect as many cameras as needed on one router just as long as there is enough bandwidth to handle all of these devices.

Analog and digital wireless cameras.  There are two types of transmissions that are possible on an RF transmitter: digital and analog.  Analog cameras typically send out a steady stream of data and this makes the transmission vulnerable to be intercepted.  A person using a properly tuned receiver can pick up transmissions.  Beyond that, analog transmissions are also vulnerable to interference.  Digital wireless security cameras work around that issue by modulating their signals and cycling through different frequencies to help avoid interference.  It is also more secure in that it needs to be paired with a receiver before the latter can pick up the video and audio feeds.

Cellular security cameras.  Cellular security cameras are wireless cameras that include a cellular transmitter and connect to a cellular carrier network in order to transmit videos.  They work just like how a Wi-Fi security camera works, but their reliability may be affected by network conditions.  Another downside to these types of cameras is that it may prove to be very expensive in the long run.  For one, the cameras are a bit expensive and additional fees for storage and cellular may apply. The cost for unlimited cell and cloud service may be around $1,000 a year.  However, for some, this may be the best solution since it does not rely on your broadband system.  Since cellular security cameras rely on cellular network, surveillance videos will still be captured and stored in case of a power outage brining your Wi-Fi network down.


Wired vs. Wireless: Advantages/Distadvantages

Wireless security cameras offer a world of convenience.  For one, these cameras are smaller and can easily be concealed, so it is perfect for situations to record covertly.  These cameras are also generally less expensive than wired cameras. Features such as resolution being equal. In fact, PCMag.com writes that an HD wireless security camera with video resolutions of 720 pixels and a 1280 x 720 photo resolution go for less than $80.

Wireless security cameras also offer more flexibility as it can be positioned anywhere within the range of the receiver, and it is not necessary to place it near a power source if it is a battery operated one.  It is also very easy to move around even after initial installation.

Wired security cameras are perfect for minimal signal interference, but could be a problem for analog devices or multiple transmitters that are in the same area when the security camera’s signal is not the strongest. Video footage is transferred via wires, making it quite difficult for hackers to intercept your feed and spy on you.  Plus, video and sound quality is generally better on wired security camera systems.

There are also technical downsides to a wireless security camera system.  For instance, you may have a camera that is not compatible with the current IEEE 802.11n wireless standard, which offers more bandwidth and wider coverage distance.  Or your security camera requires a line of sight, meaning there should be no obstructions between the camera and the receiver.  Even then, there are a lot of things to think about, such as signal quality and signal strength.  There are also times when video and audio packets are not received in order, which result in a poorer video quality or compression problems when the protocol is quite intolerant to packet loss.

Wireless & Wi-Fi Camera Technology