Are Wi-Fi security cameras a viable alternative?
Over the past few years there has been a significant growth in the availability of Wi-Fi enabled security cameras. Foscam is probably one of the biggest and oldest players in this market.
They first came into popularity as Nanny Cams, used indoors to keep an eye on your family and pets. But now they have moved into the domain of serious mainstream indoor and outdoor security CCTV.
But are they any good? The short answer is yes, if used for the appropriate location with the correct infrastructure. One of the greatest criticisms is reliability, how often have you heard that you can’t trust Wi-Fi? Yet we use Wi-Fi to connect our phones, our laptops and computers, we use Wi-Fi to connect our smart TV and stream movies, we use if for alarms and almost everything. The days of the traditional cable CCTV camera are numbered. Both big business and the smaller domestic consumer are typically relying more and more on Wi-Fi than cable.
The key to a successfull deployment of Wi-Fi security cameras lies in the Wi-Fi infrastructure, not the camera. Just like your cell phone, if it can’t connect to your Wi-Fi network then your camera probably won’t either.
For a simple nanny cam like the Foscam C2 or R2 a normal Wi-Fi router sitting in the study will be sufficient. Simply power the camera up, join the Wi-Fi and away you go. But when you start wanting to monitor your main gate, pool area, etc things can get tricky. There are normally a few thick concrete walls between your study and where you want to place your camera.
So most people then turn to running a network cable to the camera, but is that the most effective solution? Surely its more practical to extend your Wi-Fi , that way you cover a previously “dead” region and now you can add many new devises, from your cell phone to cameras.
Wi-Fi has come a long way, the options are varied from mesh (High density of devices) to point to point (for long distance, up to 8 km great for farm or large commercial applications along with solar) options. The TP Link Powerline range is also often a viable solution by using your buildings electrical wiring to deliver a Wi-Fi access point at any plug in your home?
The trick is to not overload your access point, plan your Wi-Fi correctly and spread your cameras over two or more access points correctly placed and you can benefit from great Wi-Fi coverage all over your property including your garden as well as having the freedom to place your cameras anywhere you choose, two birds with one stone.
One of my favourite budget entry level Wi-Fi router/access points is the TOTO-LINK N300RH 300Mbps High Gain Wireless N Router, this is cost effective 11DB router that punches through walls like a knife through butter. I have regularly placed one in the roof of a large home and connected 6 to 8 cameras to it, from the driveway gate to the pool boundary wall. For larger homes two of these placed correctly does the job.
For smaller homes and business the Foscam FN3104W-B4 kit even comes with its own NVR with built-in Wi-Fi, so all you need to do is plug a network cable in from router to the NVR, turn it on and away you go. No configuration as the cameras come already paired to the NVR’s Wi-Fi. They can however join your existing Wi-Fi or even use a normal network cable if you wish.
Foscam South Africa is the authorised distributor of the Foscam brand in South Africa, we support and guarantee our products locally and passionately believe in the future of Wi-Fi enabled cameras.
We have 8 over years of experience in supplying, advising and installing Wi-Fi security cameras. For any trade or purchase queries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org