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Why Most WiFi Smart Cameras Don’t Support 5GHz WiFi

Understanding 2.4 GHz vs. 5GHz

Why Most WiFi Smart Cameras Don’t Support 5GHz WiFi

What is GHz and What Do 2.4 and 5 Represent?

Gigahertz (GHz) is a measure of the frequency at which wireless devices exchange data. The numbers 2.4 and 5 GHz refer to the specific frequency bands used for data transmission. These frequencies determine the speed and distance over which data can be exchanged between devices.

Characteristics of 5GHz Compared to 2.4GHz

When comparing 5GHz and 2.4GHz, several key differences emerge:

  • Speed: 5GHz offers faster maximum transfer speeds, allowing for quicker data transmission.
  • Capacity: 5GHz can handle more wireless devices connected simultaneously without significant interference.
  • Distance: 5GHz has a shorter transfer distance, meaning the signal does not travel as far as 2.4GHz.
  • Penetration: 5GHz signals are weaker at penetrating walls and other obstacles compared to 2.4GHz, which can affect connectivity in multi-room setups.
2.4-ghz-vs-5-ghz

Source:CenturyLink

3 Reasons Why Smart WiFi Cameras Don’t Support 5GHz WiFi

Higher Cost Without Corresponding Benefits

One of the primary reasons most smart WiFi cameras do not support 5GHz is the increased cost. The 5GHz WiFi module is about $4 more expensive than the 2.4GHz module. In the competitive market of WiFi security cameras, this cost difference significantly impacts the final retail price.

For most smart WiFi cameras, which typically range from 2 to 5 megapixels, the required bandwidth is only 2Mb to 5Mb per second. Given that 2.4GHz WiFi can deliver speeds up to 100Mb per second, while 5GHz can reach up to 1GB per second, the 2.4GHz bandwidth is enough sufficient for smooth video streaming. Therefore, paying more for a 5GHz camera would not necessarily improve the user experience.

Shorter Transfer Distance and Weaker Wall Penetration

Another drawback of 5GHz is its shorter transfer distance and weaker ability to penetrate walls. This limitation means that 5GHz smart WiFi cameras need to be positioned closer to the router to ensure a stable connection. Even if the connection is successful, users may experience screen freezes or longer loading times for live streams, particularly if there are obstacles like walls between the camera and the router. Therefore, for many households, the 2.4GHz frequency, which offers better coverage and penetration, is more practical.

Higher Heat Dissipation Requirements

5GHz WiFi modules consume more power and generate more heat. This increased heat can make the camera hotter, leading to potential issues with image quality due to higher image noise, especially during night vision operation. Effective heat dissipation is crucial to maintaining the performance and longevity of the camera, making the more power-hungry 5GHz modules less desirable for many applications.

dual lens wifi camera P100A-4

3 Scenarios Where 5GHz WiFi Smart Cameras Are Beneficial

Despite the limitations, there are specific situations where 5GHz WiFi smart cameras are advantageous.

Home WiFi Only Provided by a 5GHz Router

Some modern routers support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz but provide a single connection interface. In these cases, a 2.4GHz WiFi security camera might fail to connect unless the user has the technical knowledge to configure the router settings. Using a 5GHz WiFi smart camera that also supports 2.4GHz can provide a more convenient solution, ensuring seamless connectivity.

Too Many Devices Communicating on the 2.4GHz Channel

The 2.4GHz frequency band is crowded with various devices like mice, microwaves, and TV boxes, leading to network congestion and interference. In such environments, a 5GHz WiFi smart camera can operate more reliably, as the 5GHz band is less crowded and can support more devices without interference.

Higher Resolution on WiFi Panorama Cameras

While 2.4GHz is sufficient for cameras with 2 to 5 megapixels, the market is moving towards higher resolution cameras, such as 2K or 4K. These higher resolutions require faster data transfer speeds, which 2.4GHz may not adequately support. In these cases, 5GHz WiFi becomes necessary to ensure smooth video streaming and better image quality.

Conclusion

While 5GHz WiFi offers certain advantages, such as faster speeds and higher capacity, it also comes with limitations that make it less suitable for many smart WiFi cameras. The increased cost, shorter range, and higher power consumption often outweigh the benefits. However, in specific scenarios where higher resolution and less crowded channels are required, 5GHz WiFi smart cameras can provide a superior solution.

FAQs

What is the difference between a 4G cellular security camera and a 2.4GHz WiFi smart camera?

4G and 2.4GHz refer to different methods of connecting to the internet. A 4G cellular security camera connects directly to the cellular network provided by telecommunications companies, while a 2.4GHz WiFi smart camera connects to the internet through your home router.