Can wireless cameras interfere with WiFi?

People frequently ask the question, "Can wireless cameras interfere with WiFi?"

The quick answer is, yes, wireless cameras can interfere with the WiFi, but it all depends on how your system is configured, and there are always to prevent that.

Let's take a look at how that happens and how to avoid this problem.

How the security cameras interfere with the WiFi

Most wireless security camera kits bring an NVR (Network Video Recorder) and some cameras that use the 2.4Ghz WiFi band to communicate.

When the NVR and the WiFi cameras transmit data, it's possible to have some interference in your local wireless router depending on the frequency and channels it's using to communicate with the other devices in the network.

The explanation is very simple; there are a limited number of channels your router can use to receive and transmit data in the network. If your WiFi cameras are using the same channel or an adjacent one, they can cause interference.

The picture below shows the 11 WiFi channels available in a WiFi router.

WiFi channel overlap

As you can see, channels 1,2,3,4 and 5 overlaps. This means they use a frequency with some point in common, which's not good because there's some interference between them.

How to setup the WiFi cameras to avoid interference

You can prevent your WiFi cameras from interfering with your router by following some simple rules or using a different frequency. Let's dig into that.

Here's how to avoid WiFi camera interference:

  1. Use channels 1 for your router and channel 6 or 11 for the NVR;
  2. Enable both WiFi bands (2.4 GHz and 5GHZ) in your router;
  3.  Set your other devices to use the 5GHZ WiFi band.

The ideal channels to use are 1, 6, and 11 since they are separated apart and don't interfere with each other. You just need to plan how to use such channels.

So, it's essential to separate the WiFi router and the NVR using such channels.

The best approach is to use a dual-band router to work with the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. You can use the 5Ghz for devices (modern laptops, mobile phones) that support such a frequency, thus avoiding interference with the NVR.

Other things to reduce wireless interference

Be aware that Wireless interference is also caused by other devices such as your neighbor's WiFi router, a microwave oven, a cordless phone, etc.

Here are other important things to reduce wireless interference.

  • Keep your WiFi router away from cordless phone and microwave oven;
  • Place the router in an open place and avoid obstacles;
  • Don't block the WiFi router's antenna with objects;
  • Use software to scan your surroundings and choose the best channel.

It's essential to avoid interference from other sources; therefore, you can use an App such as the WiFi Analyzer to better look for frequencies.

The picture below shows the App on my smartphone displaying the signal on my surroundings; I have my WiFi router using channel 1 and my NVR using channel 11.

WiFi signal analyzer

As you can see in the picture, my neighbors are using the same channels, and that's impossible to avoid, so I got the ones less used (1 and 11).

Conclusion

Now you have an answer to the question, "Can wireless cameras interfere with WiFi?" It's clear that your wireless security camera system can affect the communication between your WiFi router and other devices. Still, you have a way to avoid such a problem or reduce it as much as possible.

==> To learn more, read the article: Wireless design for CCTV

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