There are many ways to achieve a Wireless CCTV system and most reasons to fit Wireless CCTV are due to the premises existing issues preventing a wired CCTV system being installed. For some buyers, the benefit of Wireless may be convenience, to others it may be price-driven. For most, it will be a benefit that its wireless, thereby requiring less wiring.
This may be somewhat true but not entirely. Even with all Wireless products discussed here, a mains cable or power supply cable is still required to be fitted to the Wireless camera to keep the cameras powered.
Residential homeowners may choose to opt for a Wireless Smart camera as technology has advanced and some retailers having developed smart home CCTV products, which are advertised all over the internet.
The likes of Amazon, Nest, Hive, Netgear Arlo, Curry’s and many more smart home wireless cameras are now so advanced that you can remotely connect to your cameras from anywhere with your mobile device, either over Wifi or Mobile Data. These smart home cameras can act upon motion, turn on lights, allow you to speak to persons via their built-in speakers, and more.
While these retail products are now making a splash for ease of use and ease of installation, one needs to bear in mind that the price level these products are manufactured to, i.e. the residential user, the products are limited in some ways too.
A Basic Amazon Ring Doorbell is only 1080p resolution, with a very limited night vision distance capability, so do not expect to see your car parked 5 metres in perfect image quality at night without any ambient lighting to assist the camera. Additionally, if you want to record video for future playback, an Amazon monthly subscription is required as the video recordings are stored in the cloud and ultimately drive the cost up over a year or several years of use. In order to take full advantage of some of these features additional products may be needed such as a wireless plug-in Chime (extra cost) if you want to hear the doorbell inside without your phone.
The ring doorbell connects directly to your home Wifi, so ensuring a good signal between the Ring doorbell and Home wireless Router are essential. If you have a poor wifi signal, you really need to look at improving the Wifi strength by changing your Wireless broadband Router, Wireless extenders or other Wireless Networking devices on the market.
So with an ease of installation to suit the home end user and easy to use App, a quick Wireless Camera can be installed either as a Ring doorbell or Ring’s various indoor cameras with two-way audio features and more, making it painless to implement some surveillance on your home.
However, it is worth noting that some of Amazon’s Ring products confirmed by the company use third-party services to ‘optimize the customer experience’’’ and ‘‘evaluate the effectiveness’’ of its marketing.
‘‘Ring ensures that service providers’ use of the data provided is contractually limited to appropriate purposes such as performing these services on our behalf and not for other purposes’’,
On its website, Ring discloses that it utilizes third-party data analytics, but the extent of the data collection was not made clear in the post. The information on Ring’s website also only mentions four companies: Google Analytics, Mixpanel, HotJar, and Optimizely. The page has not been updated since May 2018 and does not include companies found to be receiving data, including AppsFlyer or Facebook.
If you are a privacy-conscious person and want to make sure that your mobile app and personal data are not used for other 3rd party sources, then we suggest you do not purchase these ‘smart devices’.
Whether you choose an Amazon Ring system, Arlo, Nest, Hive or Eufy or other Smart home residential cameras to install yourself, we strongly suggest that you verify with the brand what customer information is held by the brand manufacturer and what data is being forwarded to 3rd party analytics companies.
Another disadvantage of these cheaper ‘CCTV’ alternatives is the fact that these cameras are often in easy reach for anyone to easily remove them. Persons with malicious intentions can rip these cameras off the door frame or low level leaving you vulnerable. Some of the external cameras are still made with plastic housings so more susceptible to wear and tear compared to professional cameras housings made of metal.
There are positives for these products, in that they plug in, set up easily and often work with other home devices such as an Amazon Alexa or Google services, but in our view should be used to CCTV monitor your internal home, whether watching the dog, cat or your cleaner as a convenience camera as opposed to your external security needs.
These devices can have a place for convenience, if Wifi offers an easy way to connect the camera to a broadband router, and allowing you to view your cameras over a mobile or compatible tablet. Unfortunately, compared to professional CCTV cameras, these smart home cameras lack the professional ‘surveillance’ technical features that professional CCTV cameras offer.
Furthermore, we advise potential buyers to look at the ‘one-off cost’ of these smart home cameras and possibly additional hardware and service features that require ongoing subscription charges from the brand suppliers. It may not be the cheapest and best option available to you in the long run.
Retailers and some security Distributors market professional Wireless CCTV cameras to be a step up from smart home cameras. In many cases these cameras have their own Wireless Wifi Antenna, transmitting the CCTV images back to a dedicated Recorder with additional Wifi Antennas on the recorder.
Many of these cameras are IP66 rated, meaning that these are suitable for external use in all weather conditions. Although these cameras transmit the CCTV images wirelessly, the cameras still need to be powered by mains, thereby requiring a professional installation of the power cables. If your building has mains cabling near to the new camera location, the installation of power cables is kept to a minimum.
With Wireless CCTV transmission there is no need for extra cabling to transmit video, however any Wireless can be susceptible to other radio interference, loss of signal due to less Wifi bandwidth being available or physical / environmental barriers.
To ensure that a ‘surveillance’ Wireless CCTV system is suitable we suggest that a signal test is carried out at each camera location. As a minimum, a basic test with a mobile phone, detecting the Wifi strength from the business premises will determine whether a camera location can receive decent Wifi signals or not.
Searching the internet for Wireless CCTV Surveillance Systems will show a plethora of brands, often generic brands.
These generic brands often present a cheaper alternative with 4 or 8 cameras as a package compared to professionally security Industry recognised CCTV brands.
Various brands offer a range of High-resolution cameras, be it 1080P (aka 2MP) 2 and 4 Mega Pixels as well as Infra-Red (invisible) lighting and with the recorder offering Motion detection, pet detection etc. to minimise unwanted video recording when nothing is happening within a camera view. The recorders are available with large storage hard discs, providing several days or weeks of recording at your premises to playback on your premises.
We would advise customers to research every generic brand review available for you to satisfy yourself that the product fits your needs.
Again, these generic ‘surveillance’ CCTV camera packages are primarily sold through retailers with a target price to suit homeowners and small business with relatively small budgets.
Professional Security Installers have an extensive and broad knowledge of CCTV hardware for all applications, providing assurances to clients of quality CCTV products being proposed.
Security Installers’ knowledge of transmitting video itself is extensive, offering a wide-ranging selection of how, when and where a transmission method offers a better solution over another.
The most basic of CCTV cameras will transmit the video images over an RG59 Coax cable. In manufacturing terms, RG59 is a very similar cable to Satellite TV aerial cables.
Pending the maximum cable distances involved between a camera and the central monitoring hardware, an installer may choose between RG59 coax cables and CAT5 / CAT6 to allow transmission of HD Analogue or IP cctv cameras over these cables.
Certain sites may be unsuitable for cable installations as the camera and monitoring site may be between two separate buildings or sites, maybe several sites on an estate or multiple sites throughout a town or city.
In these circumstances, the installer will draw on their knowledge and technical expertise of Wireless CCTV transmission available to clients.
Now, when planning a Wifi or Radio CCTV installation, you can enjoy unlimited transmission possibilities. With well thought-out solutions, Wireless devices are adapted to all types of CCTV cameras in every standard, from IP, TVI to AHD, CVI up to 4k and 8k.
They can be installed outside and indoors, for several meters and several dozen km of wireless range, sending an image from one camera, or from all 16 cameras simultaneously, transmitting video, sound and PTZ control.
With Industry recognised brand devices you can always perform even the most difficult installation.
Purpose built for these applications, i.e. video transmissions, the Wifi Transmission products are manufactured with several models to cater for small to large scale sites and various distances, including meshed Wireless transmitters spread over a grid like pattern over large distance ranges.
Whether you require to transmit CCTV video signal a few metres, hundreds of metres or even miles, from point A to point B or even over an entire town, Wireless IP, Radio or GSM (3G/4G mobile Data) Video transmission systems are available to suit all planning obstacles.
While Wifi has been continuously developed for just about every IoT (internet of things) these days, CCTV is not just limited to Wi-Fi in terms of wireless transmission.
In certain projects Installers may offer Laser transmission (also known as free space optics). A big benefit of laser transmission is that lasers can transmit large capacity of bandwidth in the region of 30 Gigabits, meaning that Multiple Mega Pixel cameras as well as other data only devices can transmit over laser, without a loss of video or data speeds. With free space optics can offer large distances up to well over 10km.
Microwave transmission has been around for over 50 years, is well established and in use on large scale sites or many miles distance projects.
Being licence free, there are no subscription charges and provide a long-term return on investment.
In today’s digital IP world, the use of 3G/4G, professional mobile data Routers are specifically manufactured for harsh environments and areas where ‘mobile data’ provides a solution where Wifi, laser or Microwave are either not suitable to the environment or are too costly a purchase option. Mobile Data transmission devices such as 4G routers are compact in size and this has benefitted the surveillance industry in many ways. If you have a temporary site, that needs monitoring against Intruders, or an event to monitor crowd management, 3G/4GM mobile data units offer a great alternative. This transmission technology is often found in ‘mobile’ or ‘temporary’ CCTV packages.
Over the last 5 years we have seen a major increase in mobile CCTV towers, which are deployed to any site and in most cases use a 3G/4G Mobile Router to transmit video.
A major advantage with a mobile CCTV unit and Mobile data SIM Router security system is that it can be moved from one location to another with minimal effort. On a temporary site such as a building site, that has constant vehicle movement, people and building material movement, the Mobile cctv tower offers great versatility while still being able to be monitored 24/7 as well as transmitting video on demand when triggered by alarm activations should it the alarm triggers be operational ‘during out of hours’ .
If you are looking for one or two cameras for a site where your Wifi is out of range, Laser and Microwave do not have direct line of site or are cost-prohibitive, another option may be to go for a CCTV camera that has mobile data SIM card functionality built in. Professionally manufactured cameras with 2, 3 and 5 Megapixels, long range Infra-red lighting and typical features found in most CCTV cameras the 4G tops the transmission issues. These cameras come in either Fixed lens bullet type or as a Pan Tilt version with 30x Optical zoom, giving plenty of coverage on larger sites. With these types of 4G direct mobile data SIM card CCTV cameras, the end-user can choose their own Network provider and view the CCTV images via the provided CCTV App and remote viewing software for Pc.
4G Routers is the same as your broadband Router at home, except for using a 4G SIM data card instead of a permanently fixed telephone line. This means that any type of IP based CCTV system or IP security system can be mobilised for remote monitoring. Prior to committing to a 4G Router solution, it is recommended to carry out a 4G signal test, as this can highlight a Mobile Network provider having a stronger signal than another provider.
We also recommend that the end user or contracted Security installer check for the latest Data only SIM packages suitable for fixed IP Routers to ensure the best possible on-going costs are kept to a minimum with best possible network service.
ACCL is a structured cabling Network company, with an Access Control and CCTV security division. Our company can provide the Wireless solutions and are experienced in Wifi, Laser, Microwave and 4G transmission through previous projects carried out for CCTV and/or Data Networks.