A wireless camera is a great addition to your security system and an excellent alternative to using a wired system because its footage is transmitted wirelessly across your network. There is some bad news though, as their heavy dependence on a strong Wi-Fi network can lead to issues when the signal is weak, making it important to know how to extend their range.
You can increase the wireless camera range through connecting to different wireless channels, changing the router position, using Wi-Fi extenders, securing your Wi-Fi network, using a dedicated Wi-Fi camera NVR, and updating the firmware.
As much as Wi-Fi reliance in a security camera is convenient due to easier setup, Wi-Fi signals have limited distance ranges, and knowing the reasons behind weak signals can also help you enhance the range of good quality footage.
The factors affecting wireless signal range
A Wi-Fi signal can experience problems penetrating through solid objects that can include people, walls, and buildings. The more the obstructions between your wireless camera system and the router, the shorter the signals will become – so it is important to place the router in the clearest spot you can find.
Distance between devices
The further away the cameras are from your router, the weaker the signal range and strength becomes. This is because wireless signals spread out over a wide area, and this area increases as they go further, leading to the decreasing range and signal strength.
It is important to implement security protection protocols in your wireless network such as a router encryption as it will maintain the security of your network. However, a cheaper or older system will prevent the optimal security settings on the wireless network, making it important to update your firmware as often as possible.
Interference from other wireless signals
As technology keeps improving, wireless networking is becoming more common in devices today, and that means there are more wireless signals in the air. When different signals operating at similar frequencies are in the same area, they will interfere with each other and lead to decreasing network range and overall performance.
This means that a band used frequently such as a 2.4GHz band can suffer due to wireless signals overcrowding it, and the devices using the network such as your security cameras cannot operate. Additional devices can affect the network as well, such as microwave ovens and smartphones operating in the same range.
Manu router manufacturers are solving this issue by making routers dual band through adding a 5GHz band, which can help you in an area of high wireless network density.
Sharing the signal
A wireless network allows more than one device to communicate with the network source. Therefore, if there are many devices using the same network alongside your wireless security system, the signal source must share the resource with each device, resulting in lower signal strength and range.
Ways to extend the wireless camera range
Connecting to different wireless channels
A wireless security camera set and system is vulnerable to interference, especially from other wireless signals like radio and TV signals. However, you can set up the wireless security system to operate on a different wireless channel, which ultimately increase its range.
Preferably, you should choose a lesser used channel to connect your security system, which will reduce chances of interference, and you can use a dual band router type to achieve this.
Changing the router location
Routers are devices that allow internet connectivity for your devices, and it allows you to connect your security cameras to your network. Because wireless signals have a limited range, it is important to consider where you will position your router to maximize on the best range for wireless camera footage.
Despite their usefulness, they are regularly seen as eyesores and many people are tempted to hide them behind other devices or inside cabinets. However, this can affect your wireless network performance, as placement is important when dealing with short-distance wireless signals.
To get the best chances of wireless connectivity, position the router closest to the security cameras and ensure there are little to no obstacles blocking the paths between the router and camera. The best signal quality in the cameras will be enhanced when you place the router closer to them.
Using Wi-Fi extenders
As we mentioned before, a wireless signal from your camera has a small distance it can travel to reach your router before its quality degrades. If the router is far, you can use Wi-Fi extenders to increase the range and improve signal quality.
Securing your Wi-Fi network
Using proper levels of protection on Wi-Fi networks will not only enhance your network security, but improve its performance. Always opt for WPA2 encryption because it will secure the network more efficiently.
Ensuring your firmware remains up-to-date is essential to ensuring your wireless camera range increases. This is a regular occurrence, as manufacturers often release security patches and updates that will enhance the wireless connection, so this goes a long way to improving signal quality.
Many routers will build in the update functionality in the admin interface, so all you need to do is tap on the upgrade button, while other models will need you to visit the website of the manufacturer and download and install the upgrade firmware file.
Using a dedicated Wi-Fi camera NVR
If these tips do not give you the results you want, you can use a dedicated Wi-Fi camera NVR. This will give you a better signal range compared to a Wi-Fi router and camera setup, and allows you to position the Wi-Fi NVR in an optimal place to get the signal from all your wireless cameras.
This solution works very well for open areas as well, such as a farm or factory, without forcing you to resort to sky cabling which is expensive and messy.
Using a wireless security setup is more convenient to setup and is a great alternative to a wired setup, especially when using cameras. Using the tips in this article, you can extend your camera range and get the most out of your surveillance footage.