WiFi Signal Optimization

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When working with WiFi cameras, it is important to conduct a Wireless Site Survey. The WiFi signal strength will be a main factor for the quality of the video stream. A low signal strength can result in lost connections or choppy/intermittent audio and video.

How objects affect wireless signals

The signal range can vary depending on several factors including the type of building, materials or objects the wireless signal must pass through. Different materials (or air density, weather) may cause the signal to react in different ways:

Reflection Scattering Diffraction Refraction Attenuation
Wifi-reflect.png Wifi-scatter.png Wifi-diffraction.png Wifi-refraction.png Wifi-attenuation.png
The signal reflects back off an object. The signal scatters creating multiple signals. The signal changes direction as it passes around an object. The signal changes direction as it travels through an object. Signal strength reduction during transmission. The loss is greater over distance or as it passes through an object.

Maximize the Signal Strength

Maximize your WiFi signal to extend the range and reliability of your WiFi camera. Here are some tips to either strengthen your WiFi signal or to prevent the signal from degrading.

Line of Sight - Limit the number of obstructions between the camera and the receiver. Clear line-of-sight provides the strongest signal.

Antenna Positioning - High gain antennas focus the signal in a narrower range that targets the receiver.

Signal Interference - It is important to limit the number of competing signals. Signal interference may degrade the performance or even stop it from functioning.

Material vs signal reduction

Cubicles, drywall, and windows generally do not significantly degrade wireless signal strengths due to the thin, light materials used allowing the wireless signal to pass through with limited impediment. Denser building materials can significantly degrade the signal.

Wood Brick Concrete Metal
Wifi-wood.png Wifi-brick.png Wifi-concrete.png Wifi-metal.png
10-30% signal reduction 30-50% signal reduction 50-70% signal reduction 70-90% signal reduction

Tips for extending wireless range

Wireless range extender antennas

Use a 2.4GHz Directional Wireless Panel Antenna to focus a wireless signal onto one specific camera. To extend the range of more than one wireless camera, use an Omni-Directional Antenna. These two types of extenders can also be combined by connecting the directional wireless panel antenna directly to the camera.

Extension cables for analog receivers

Mount the wireless receiver further away from the DVR using a Siamese BNC extension cord (60ft maximum). This will allow you to place the receiver in a better position to optimize the signal. For example, you will avoid a great amount of signal reduction if you extend the receiver to the same room as the camera.

Weatherproof receivers

Many cameras include weatherproof receivers. Installing the receiver outdoors with the help of a Siamese BNC extension cord will provide a better line-of-site and greatly enhance signal strength for your outdoor wireless camera.