Most wireless security cameras have a transmission range of approximately 150 feet indoors and around 500 feet within an open space with the router or hub within direct line of sight.
However, this effective range is not guaranteed since it can vary depending on physical obstructions and signal interference.
Removing physical obstacles such as walls and trees can be difficult so there are several other things you can do to improve the signal. So keep reading to learn how.
Things to Know
- Typically, security cameras have an effective range of 150 feet indoors and 500 feet in an open space.
- The effective range may be lower than the manufacturer’s stated maximum due to various factors.
- 5GHz Wi-Fi has a shorter indoor range (50ft) compared to 2.4GHz (150ft), and many cameras don’t support 5GHz.
- Devices emitting radio waves (e.g., microwaves, baby monitors) can weaken the signal and reduce the camera’s wireless range.
- Providing a clear line of sight between the security camera and network hub/router and minimizing physical obstacles will help to improve range.
- You can replace the antenna in certain security cameras for increased range or use other security cameras as network repeaters to improve coverage.
Factors That Affect the Wi-Fi Range of Wireless Security Cameras
Most security camera manufacturers will list the maximum wireless data transmission range of their security cameras on their data sheet or features list. However, in practice, the effective range will be lower than that based on the environment and the connected hardware.
These factors can be:
- The Frequency Band of the Wireless Signal
- Interference from Radio Waves and Other Devices
- Physical Obstructions and Line of Sight
- Quality of the Antennas and Network Modules in the Security Camera or Hub
Want to know more about Wi-Fi and other networks for security cameras? Check out this article on the different methods of data transmission available for security cameras.
Frequency Band of the Wireless Signal
Wireless networks with higher frequencies will have more bandwidth but lack enough range.
For instance, a 5GHz Wi-Fi network has an effective indoor range of 50ft, whereas 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi can reach up to a maximum distance of 150 ft indoors.
Also, most security cameras do not support 5GHz Wi-Fi. So when you try to link them up, they will not connect or display a “Low signal error”.
To resolve this, you can:
- Switch over to the 2.4GHz network on your security camera’s settings (if your router broadcasts on both frequency bands)
- Change your router settings to broadcast only in the 2.4GHz network
- Dedicate a separate router for 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
Check out this article on the best 5GHz home security cameras.
Interference From Radio Waves and Other Devices
Wireless signals don’t mix well with other wireless networks, especially when there’s a lot of interference.
So if you have other devices that emit radio waves, such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, baby monitors, and other smart home gadgets, they can interfere with the wireless signal dedicated to your security cameras.
This reduces the effective range of your wireless network.
To tackle this:
- Try turning off unnecessary devices and checking if the security camera’s wireless signal improves.
- Reposition your Wi-Fi router or wireless hub so it’s away from microwaves and other devices that may cause interference.
- Change the Wi-Fi channel on your router settings.
Physical Obstructions and Line of Sight:
One of the most efficient ways to improve the range of your wireless networks is to reposition the router or network hub in an open space or within direct line of sight of your security cameras.
This helps the wireless signal propagate much further and minimize interference caused by physical objects such as furniture, trees, walls, and doors.
Quality of the Antennas and Network Modules of the Security Camera or Hub
Higher-quality cameras often have advanced network components that allow for longer transmission ranges.
On top of that, some cameras come with fixed or removable antennas specifically designed to improve the range and focus on the network hub.
So when picking out security cameras, make sure you go for high-end products from reliable brands and manufacturers.
Also, if your security camera comes with a removable antenna, you can replace it with a Wi-Fi extender kit, or a stronger antenna.
7 Tips to Increase the Range of Your Wireless Security Camera
Here are some practical tips that will help you extend the transmission reach of your wireless security camera:
- Using a Wi-Fi Extender: A Wi-Fi extender can help amplify your wireless signal, extending its reach.
- Replacing the Camera’s Antenna: If your security comes with a removable antenna, you can replace it with a better one or an extension kit that can run through walls for increased range.
- Reposition your Wi-Fi Routers or Network Hubs: Moving them into an open area and minimizing obstructions caused by trees, walls, and furniture will also help.
- Turning Off Unnecessary Devices that Emit Interfering Wireless Signals: Microwaves, baby monitors and other smart devices broadcasting in Wi-Fi or other wireless signals can weaken the network connected to your security camera. Try to turn them off or space them out.
- Making Wise Camera Choices: Some cameras are designed with a longer transmission range than others. Check out this spec and compare models before purchasing cameras.
- Set Up Your Other Cameras as Repeaters: In certain security camera systems, you can use your cameras with a high enough signal strength to extend the signal. (Usually, carried out using the settings in your VMS Software.
Wireless security cameras are easier to manage than their wired counterparts. However, you must ensure the security camera is within the transmission range of the wireless network.
The transmission range of these units primarily depends on the line of sight, where fewer obstacles translate to increased range.
Adopting strategies such as using Wi-Fi extenders, selecting a quality camera, and minimizing interference caused by other devices and physical obstructions can significantly enhance your camera’s range.