Installing multiple IP cameras outdoors can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to wiring. The traditional method of wiring each camera separately can be time-consuming and expensive, and harsh environmental conditions can damage wires and disrupt connectivity. However, there is a game-changing solution to this problem – wireless bridge technology. It provides an easy, cost-effective, and scalable solution for your IP security camera system and ensures the security of your surveillance footage. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of using a wireless bridge and how it can help you install multiple IP cameras outdoors with ease.
What’s Wireless Bridge and Its Benefits?
A wireless bridge is a network device that uses radio waves to connect two or more LAN segments that are physically separated by distance, usually hundreds of meters to tens of kilometers apart. It is impossible to use only one wireless bridge, but more than two, while APs can be used alone. Wireless bridges are commonly used in outdoor surveillance systems to connect multiple IP cameras to the internet or a central access point. It works by receiving a wireless signal from an access point and converting it into a wired Ethernet connection, which can then be used to connect multiple IP cameras. By deploying the wireless network bridge, you can cover a larger physical area with higher throughput to build a point-to-point (P2P) or point-to-multipoint (P2MP) connection between cross-building offices, neighboring districts, nearby towns, etc.
The benefits of deploying wireless bridges include:
1. Easy Installation
Wireless bridges are very easy to install. Unlike traditional wired networks that require an expert to run cables, a wireless network can be set up in minutes. All you need to do is plug in the bridge, configure it with the access point and you’re ready to go. It’s that simple.
2. Lower Cost
Wireless bridges are more cost-effective than traditional wired networks. With wireless bridge technology, you can save the cost of installing extra cables and power outlets, and connect all cameras to a single access point, making it easy to configure. Additionally, you can cover larger areas with a wireless bridge at a lower cost than with a wired network.
Wireless bridges are very reliable. They can transmit data over long distances without degradation, interference, or loss of signal quality, which makes them ideal for outdoor installations where cable damage can be a concern. Compared with wired connections, they are also less susceptible to interference from other devices. This means that you can enjoy a stable and uninterrupted connection, even in areas with high levels of interference.
Wireless bridges use the latest encryption protocols to secure data transmissions between devices, ensuring that your data cannot be accessed by unauthorized users, which is extremely important when it comes to surveillance footage, as it contains sensitive information that needs to be protected.
Wireless bridges offer flexibility in terms of camera placement. You can place the cameras wherever you need them without the restriction of cable lengths, which enables you to choose the best location for each camera without worrying about the need for a cable. They’re also highly scalable, allowing you to add more cameras to the system.
What’s Point-to-Point Wireless Bridging?
A point-to-point (P2P) wireless bridge allows you to transmit data from one location to another location in a seamless manner. It provides a secure and reliable link to share data, video, and audio between two locations and only communicates with each other. P2P wireless bridges are usually used to provide a direct link for both short and long-range connections where a line of sight is available and delivers data at a comparable speed to a fiber optic network (100Mbps, 1000Mbps, 10Gbps, and more). They are commonly used in industrial settings, video surveillance systems, IoT systems, disaster recovery links, etc., where network connectivity is needed between large numbers of devices. Given that they only connect two locations, they’re fairly easy to manage and monitor, as well.
How to Set Up a P2P Wireless Bridge for Your IP Cameras
The wireless bridge is a game-changing solution for networking and IP surveillance. Whether you’re looking to expand your surveillance coverage or connect multiple devices wirelessly, wireless bridge technology is definitely worth considering.
A Clear Line-of-Sight is Required
A clear line of sight (the path between two access points) is important for a wireless bridge to work at its full throughput, which is especially true for rural areas. WiFi signal will radically deteriorate as it passes through obstacles, resulting in poor signal strength. For example, things like trees, buildings, or other landscape features or obstructions that may partially or fully block the line of sight between the wireless bridge will jeopardize its network performance. So it’s important that you install the wireless bridges in a wide-open area with few obstructions in between.
Equipment You’ll Need…
If you’re planning to install multiple IP cameras outdoors, the wireless bridge is a great solution that can save you time and money. To set up your system, you will need a pair of wireless bridges, a router, an NVR, an outdoor PoE switch, and some Ethernet cables. In this case, we’ll use 5GHz 802.11ac Outdoor Wireless Bridges as an example. It comes with the next-generation WiFi standard of 802.11ac and runs flawlessly at 900Mbps at an extended range of 3km with a clear line of sight. It also allows you to connect more than 7 IP cameras at once when used together with the outdoor PoE switch.
Now, follow the instructions below to complete the setup:
To set up your system, start by using a short patch cord to connect your router to the NVR. Then, take a longer Ethernet cable to connect the NVR to the Gigabit PoE/LAN port on the wireless bridge. Power up the device with the included power adapter and make sure the first bridge is set as “Master”. When the wireless bridge is online, the digital channel (1-8) will display at the rear, and you can press the reset button to change the channel.
Next, power up the other wireless bridge and make sure the two wireless bridges are aligned on the same level and face-to-face. Set the second wireless as “Slave,” and make sure the two bridges are on the same channel. Check the indicators on the wireless bridges. If they’re on, the devices are successfully connected. Take another Ethernet cable, plug it into the Gigabit port on the second wireless bridge, and plug the other end into one of the Gigabit PoE ports on the outdoor PoE switch. Lastly, power up the outdoor PoE switch and connect the IP cameras to it.
Other Ways to Power the Wireless Bridges?
If you don’t want to use the included power adapters, there are other ways you can power your wireless bridges. One option is to use a PoE injector, and the other is to take advantage of the solar power system.
1. PoE Injector
For the wireless bridge that is PoE-enabled, you can power it with a PoE injector. By using the PoE injector, constant power delivery is guaranteed with an uninterruptible power supply and the conversion from AC to DC power also lowers the risks of power outages/overloads and power failures. Once connected to a power source, the PoE injector will simultaneously convert the received energy to DC power and send it to the wireless bridge.
2. Solar Power System
Since power outlets are often unavailable in hard-to-reach areas, it would be too impractical and expensive to run a traditional wired power source to the edge devices, but the solar power system allows you to install the wireless bridge anywhere you want. And the setup is very straightforward when you’re using our 10A Solar Charge Controller. First, mount the solar panel on the roof and use a power cord to connect the solar panel to the controller. Use another power cord to connect the battery to the controller. Finally, connect the wireless bridge to the controller, and then the whole system is completed.