A Beginner's Guide To Wireless Camera Connection Types
Making sense of remote monitoring options
Over the past two years, we at BrickHouse Security have made a significant investment in wireless security camera technology. From professional-grade, fully integrated camera systems, to individual covert WiFi cameras, these devices offer concerned parents and business owners alike the ability to check in on what matters most directly from their mobile devices using exclusive apps.
While the concept of a wireless camera isn't the most complicated connection type on the market, within the world of wireless connectivity there are a number of different types of connections. Some of these connection types work better for specific applications and industries. In this article we'll look at the most common connection types and discuss the benefits of each.
Standard WiFi Connectivity
WiFi cameras connected via a standard WiFi network function in the same way any normal WiFi-connected device does. The camera contains a WiFi receiver (much like your tablet or smartphone), and gains access to the web through your router's unique SSID (service set identifier). Once your camera makes this connection to the wireless local area network (WLAN), your video data is streamed through a cloud-based server which can then be accessed directly from your mobile device or computer.
This type of connection is the most popular because it enables you to access your video from anywhere with an internet connection. Because of the versatility and range of this connection, it is the go-to connection type for parents looking to check in on their nanny live, or a business owner monitoring their property remotely.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Connectivity
Of the less common wireless connection types peer-to-peer, or P2P, connectivity is becoming increasingly more common. Within a P2P connection, the camera itself acts as the router, and you connect to the video feed directly, through your phone, within proximity of the device.
In a P2P connection, you use your mobile device to access an app; once in the app, the camera recognizes a unique ID (UID) from your phone, allowing you to create a local connection between the two devices. Once the connection is made, you're able to stream your video feed within a certain proximity of the device, typically around 100 ft.
While P2P connections don't afford a user the ability to tap into their feed from anywhere with an internet connection, there are a number of benefits to this type of local connectivity. For one, the camera is not reliant on an outside network to be able to stream its feed. So, if cable services were to go out in a region, a user would still be able to view their video locally.
Many retail loss prevention specialists, store security workers, professional investigators, and secret shoppers like the locality of P2P connections because, in many stores WiFi networks are unavailable or, if they are available, they are unsecured. By creating direct connections between a camera and a mobile device, professionals can monitor the activity within a retail space from an actionable position within the store itself.
Much like peer-to-peer connections, the confusingly named point-to-point connection works irrespective of a router. In a point-to-point connection, cameras themselves are connected to each other. This ad hoc network can then be accessed via mobile device through the same peer-to-peer connection we discussed previously.
By creating a point-to-point network, a user, in this case typically a retail loss professional or store security manager can tap into multiple feeds simultaneously to get a full picture of what is happening on a property. What makes point-to-point connections especially beneficial is that it extends the range of a network. Say one camera is set up 100 ft. from another camera, which is set up 100 ft. from the hub camera connected to the end user's mobile device; the end user can then see a camera feed hundreds of feet away. Point-to-point connections enable the monitoring of much larger retail spaces than standard peer-to-peer connections, and in some cases, traditional WiFi connections. But again, unlike traditional WiFi connections these video feeds can only be accessed locally.
With the breadth of different wireless connection types out there, an end user is sure to get the setup they need that suits their purposes. The best part is that many of the cameras we offer at BrickHouse Security feature multiple connection types. So if you require traditional WiFi connectivity when you're away from your home or business, your camera can be configured to stream your video from anywhere. But, if you only need a local feed, many cameras have the ability to do that too.
Published December 23th, 2016