The convenience of a wireless system is tempting when you are purchasing a video surveillance system -you have more flexibility in where you install cameras, and can limit the number of cables you need to run by connecting to the cameras using wifi internet. But do you know how this technology works, and what situations it is best suited for?
When it comes to wireless surveillance systems, you are really talking about two different types of technology: wifi cameras, and point-to-point wireless linking.
All-in-one wifi cameras are popular with homeowners and small businesses. These cameras are small, affordable, and easy to use. They should only be used in small systems though, because having too many wifi cameras on one network could overwhelm your bandwidth.
These cameras will have basic features, so if you need a specific feature or advanced functionality your options will be limited. It should also be noted that very few cameras are battery operated – even a wifi camera still needs to be plugged in to get power.
If you need to install multiple cameras over a large area, and require specific or advanced features, a wireless point-to-point system is a much better option. This type of system allows you to turn an IP system into a wireless system by linking cameras with wireless antennas.
These systems use powerful antennas to connect over large distances (although they should have line of sight ideally), such as connecting surveillance systems in multiple buildings on a college campus or a retail store and its parking garage. The wireless antenna connected to the cameras will communicate with the base station, connecting it to your NVR or VMS.
The cameras in these systems also require power, and are not batter operated.