WiFi for IP Cameras

As most all residential and commercial clients now have Wi-Fi availability, our industry has seen an increase in the demand for, and potential usage of Wi-Fi Enabled Cameras and IP Devices. Wi-Fi availability makes the connection of a camera to a client’s LAN quick and simple with no need to run wires through the building except for an AC plug to power the device.

The first thing to do before starting an installation using Wi-Fi cameras is to check the client’s Wi-Fi access point to see which version or versions of Wi-Fi it provides. Older Wi-Fi standards such as the 802.11g provide up to 54 Mbps of aggregate bandwidth, with 802.11n providing a theoretical bandwidth of 600 Mbps. The latest Wi-Fi standard is the 802.11ac, which is supposed to provide up to and in excess of 1 Gbps of total bandwidth. These bandwidth amounts are aggregate for that particular Wi-Fi access point, with the available bandwidth being shared by all devices that are simultaneously connected to the access point. So in the case of an 802.11g access point, the 54 Mbps will be shared by all connected devices, with each one getting a certain portion of the available bandwidth.

Now take into account a Wi-Fi Camera which will typically transmit multiple frames of video per second to a local or cloud based recording device on a constant basis. When combined with demand from gaming devices, smart phones and media streaming devices, dB Loss and interference, this is going to cause a significant strain on Wi-Fi bandwidth resulting in declined performance from all Wi-Fi connected devices including the Wi-Fi cameras. Other security devices are not as much of an issue because they only transmit periodically, such as a Wi-Fi door lock being opened or closed.

Smart security dealers will check the client’s Wi-Fi access point manufacturer and type before committing to using Wi-Fi cameras. If the client has an 802.11b/g access point, the dealer should recommend that the client’s upgrade their Wi-Fi to a newer and more robust standard. The dealer should also keep in mind that an 802.11ac access point that is connected to a wireless IP camera with a 802.11g chipset will see minimal improvement, if any, over the 802.11g standard. Having said that, the client should recognize the benefit of much faster transmission rates with their newer 802.11ac devices.

Aruba Networks line of high-powered 802.11b/g/n/ac access points are very popular throughout the industry. In tests, the Aruba Instant IAP-205 wireless was able to triple the Wi-Fi bandwidth to a smart phone compared to older 802.11g access points. These devices are very simple to install and program and they come in both indoor and outdoor weatherized versions

We are living in what is rapidly becoming a Wi-Fi world. By upgrading your clients’ Wi-Fi devices, whether in a commercial buildings or homes, you are providing them with a technology that will not only allow the use and convenience of Wi-Fi IP cameras. The increase in available bandwidth for other Wi-Fi devices helps increase office productivity and becomes an added convenience to tech savvy home owners.