Wireless Security Cameras

What are Wireless Cameras?

Wireless security technology is being applied to almost every piece of tech device, and video cameras, surveillance systems to name a few takes has taken a good chunk of it. Many people aren’t aware that there are many types of wireless technology embedded in these devices, each with unique benefits and downfalls. A wireless camera includes a built-in transmitter to send video via the air to a receiver instead of through a wire.

The majority of wireless cameras are technically cordless devices, this means that though they transmit a radio signal, they still need to be connected to some kind of power source may it be electrical or some other means of power like a battery or solar energy. Some cameras do have batteries or solar, making them truly wireless.

These devices work on a simple principle. The camera contains a wireless radio (RF) transmitter. This transmitter broadcasts the camera’s video, which can be picked up by a receiver, which will be connected to a monitor or recording device. Some receivers have built-in storage, while others must be connected to a DVR.

Analog vs. Digital

There are two basic types of RF transmissions, analog and digital.
Analog devices send out a consistent string of data when they transmit. The data can be picked up by any receiver that picks up signal in its frequency range.This means that anyone tuned to the right frequency can pick up the transmitted signal. It also makes interference more likely. If there are more than one transmitters in the same area, the most powerful signal will knock out any others in the range.Digital wireless cameras work a little bit differently.

They transmit their signal slightly, immutable cycling through frequencies in order to avoid interference. This also makes transmissions more secure. In order to pick up this video feed, a receiver needs to be linked with the camera. This means the camera and receiver are programmed to cycle through frequencies at the same rate.

Types of Wireless

Whether analog or digital, most commercially available electronic devices that broadcast do so in either the 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz range. 900 MHz and 1.2 GHz were common at one time, but have both been almost phased out of use. The 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz cameras are similar in function

2.4 GHz

  • Available in digital and analog
  • Has a maximum practical range of about 720 feet
  • A single receiver can carry a maximum of 3-4 transmissions
  • The frequency most cordless/wireless devices transmit on, so analog devices are very prone to interference

5.8 GHz

  • Available in digital and analog
  • Maximum range of about 1900 feet
  • A single receiver can carry a maximum of 8-9 transmissions
  • Used by fewer household devices, less prone to interference
  • Analog signals can still be received by other receiving devices
Type of Device Advantages Disadvantages
Wireless Security Cameras Smaller Can be subject to significant signal interference
Can be concealed more easily Risk the possibility of hacking, or unauthorized remote access
Inexpensive Require a power source even though wireless
User-friendly possible legal regulations associated if concealed, relying on location
Can be placed in range of the receiver
Do not require data transfer cable
Provide great audio and video output
Allow remote access to user via the Internet

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