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Digital Wireless Cameras: Frequently Asked Questions

Wired vs. Wireless Cameras

A wired camera has a video cable that transmits the video signal from the camera to a recording or viewing device.

A wireless camera does not use a video cable. Instead, it wirelessly transmits the video signal to a wireless receiver that is connected to your recording or viewing device. Although the typical digital wireless camera is priced slightly higher than a wired camera, wireless cameras can provide cost savings compared to standard wired setups. For example, wireless cameras do not require cabling to be run between the camera and the viewing / recording device, which reduces installation time and cost.

Wireless cameras can also be installed in places that wired cameras cannot, such as rented houses where the landlord does not allow cables to be run through walls or ceilings.

Wired vs wireles setup diagram

Q: Does a Wireless Camera Require Power?

A: Yes. Wireless cameras require two power sources: one connected to the camera, and the other connected to the receiver.

Q: How far can a Wireless Camera Transmit a Video Signal?

A: In an open field (with line of sight), a typical wireless camera has a range between 250 to 500 feet. In a closed environment—such as an interior of a house—the wireless camera range is between 100 to 165 feet. The signal range varies depending on the type of building materials and/or objects the wireless signal must pass through.

Cubical walls, drywall, glass, and windows generally do not degrade wireless signal strength. Brick, concrete floors, and walls degrade signal strength. Trees that are in the line of sight of the wireless camera and receiver may impact signal strength.

The signal range also depends on whether there are competing signals using the same frequency as the camera. For example, signals from cordless phones or routers may affect signal strength. Avoid placing cameras or receivers near sources of competing signals (e.g. cordless phones, wireless routers, etc.) and leave as much space as possible between wireless receivers.

Factors affecting Wireless signal

Signal Reduction Through Materials

Signal strength decreases as it passes through different types of material. Try to position your wireless camera and receiver in a location where the signal does not pass through metal or concrete blocks, which can significantly reduce signal strength (as shown in the table below).

Material Signal Reduction (%)
Plaster & Wood 10 - 30%
Brick 30 - 50%
Concrete Cinder Blocks 50 - 70%
Metal & Metal Cladding 70 - 90%

NOTE: Signals that must pass through wet or moist materials (e.g. shrubs and trees) may be significantly reduced.

The stronger the signal strength, the higher the video frame rate. The lower the signal strength, the lower the video frame rate.

Signal strength vs FPS diagram

Improving Wireless Signal Range

You should always ensure there is a clear line-of-sight between the camera and the receiver and limit the amount of obstructions (e.g. walls or tree branches) between the camera and the receiver.

Line of sight between camera and receiver

Wireless range extender accessories are available to help boost the range of your wireless signal and overcome barriers and objects. Please see the Wireless Range Extender Compatibility Chart for wireless range extenders compatible with your model.

Q: Are Digital Wireless Camera Signals Secure?

A: Yes. Lorex digital wireless products feature a wireless transmission method called FHSS— Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum.

This type of signal is highly resistant to eavesdropping as it generates a channel hopping sequence using an algorithm generated by the receiver, which only the camera can follow through the "pairing" function. FHSS makes digital wireless signals secure, private, and interference free.

For more information on FHSS and digital wireless technology, see Understanding Digital and Analog Wireless Technology.

Q: How Many Frames per Second Should I Expect from a Digital Wireless Camera?

A: Current Lorex digital wireless cameras offer 10 - 30 FPS (Frames Per Second) performance. Actual frame rate depends mainly on signal strength and resolution (see the chart above).

See the Specifications Sheet for each model for details on supported resolutions and frame rates.

Q: How Many Wireless Cameras can I Install in a System?

A: It is recommended to install a maximum of 4 wireless cameras per system.

Some wireless receivers can support multiple cameras; however, it is still recommended to have a maximum of 4 wireless cameras per system. Example installation scenarios are:

Scenario 1: Wireless security camera system with multiple cameras and multiple receivers:

  • 4 receivers: 4 cameras. See the installation tip below.

Scenario 2: Wireless security camera system with multiple cameras and 1 receiver:

  • 1 receiver: up to 4 cameras.

Scenario 3: Video home monitor or baby monitor:

  • 1 monitor: up to 4 cameras.

Installation Tip

To receive the strongest signal possible, leave as much space as possible between wireless receivers. Use BNC extension cables or the termination cables attached to the receivers (depending on your model) to increase the distance between receivers.

Wireless multi-receiver installation

Q: Will Wireless Cameras Interfere with the Signal from my Wireless Router?

A: Wireless cameras will not prevent a wireless router from functioning. However, signal collisions between the wireless camera and a wireless router may decrease the speed of the Internet traffic from the wireless router, the range of the wireless router, and the camera frame rate. In many cases, this will not even be noticeable.

Signal collisions between wireless cameras and wireless routers will not cause you to lose any data sent from your wireless router or affect security settings. Wireless routers are designed to detect when information is not successfully received due to signal collisions or other factors, and resend the information on a different channel, depending on settings. This is what may sometimes cause a slowdown in network traffic. If the speed of your wireless network or the frame rate of your wireless cameras is noticeably impacted, move the wireless router and any wireless cameras or receivers as far apart as possible. If the issue persists, turn off auto-channel scanning on your router and lock your router onto a single channel. See Improving Wireless Camera Signal Stability: Configuring your Wireless Router for details.

Last Updated: 4/26/2012