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Do Security Cameras Work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi?

Although most security cameras operate in the 2.4 GHz frequency band, some security cameras work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks, empowering homeowners to enjoy faster data transmission, smoother live video streaming, and higher-resolution security footage. 

Advances in Wi-Fi router and security camera technologies encourage a move towards the latest generation of network bands, and many routers feature dual band support (both 2.4 and 5 GHz).

Do Security Cameras Work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi?

Yes, some security cameras work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi, provided they operate on a similar frequency band or have dual-band capabilities.

Only 5 GHz security cameras and those with dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) features will work seamlessly with 5 GHz Wi-Fi. Users can derive great benefits from such systems, like less signal interference, faster download and upload speeds, and smoother video streaming. 

2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz for Security Cameras: Will It Make a Difference?

It’s a fact that not all security cameras work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi. So, is it worth investing in a 5 GHz security camera, or should sticking to 2.4 GHz technology? The answer to this question lies in the difference between 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz. 

2.4 GHz 

ProsCons
More extensive range for better coveragePenetrates solid objectsSlow data transmission rateProne to signal interferences 

Because all these household objects operate on the same band, they can easily interfere with the wireless signal going to and from a security camera, slowing down data transmission. Although a 2.4 GHz band has 14 channels (the Wi-Fi router can automatically select the least congested channel to connect to), multiple devices using it will still reduce signal stability.

Nevertheless, a 2.4 GHz system is perfect if the wireless security camera is far from the Wi-Fi router, or when there are many obstructions between them. 

5 GHz

ProsCons
Fast data transmission rateLess prone to signal interferences Limited range, except for the 802.11ac wireless protocolPoor penetration of obstacles

Introduced around the millennium, fewer household devices use the band, meaning there’s less competition for the signal.

The 2.4 GHz system’s strengths are the 5 GHz technology’s Achilles heel—namely, poor penetration through solid objects and limited range. Still, a 5 GHz Wi-Fi router is perfect if the security camera is nearby and there aren’t many obstacles between them.

2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz: Which to Choose?

Deciding between a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz system boils down to four crucial factors.

1. Home Size

A 2.4 GHz system is better suited for large homes and buildings because of its better coverage. On the other hand, 5 GHz technology is more suitable in smaller spaces. 

2. Obstacles

Pick a 5 GHz technology if there are no obstacles between the router and internet-connected devices. Otherwise, a 2.4 GHz system is more suitable.

3. Interferences

Families with many devices running on the 2.4 GHz bandwidth should pick a 5 GHz system or dual band router to reduce signal interference.

4. Device Type

A 2.4 GHz security camera only works with a 2.4 GHz system. On the other hand, a 5GHz security camera only works with a 5 GHz network. A dual band wireless outdoor security camera can do that, too.

The Evolution from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz

In 1997, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers released the first wireless internet protocol, 802.11, with 2 Mbps. Two years later, the 802.11b protocol saw action with an 11 Mbps speed. The 802.11g protocol improved the data speeds to 22 Mbps in 2003.

The IEEE introduced the 802.11a standard to leverage the 5 GHz bandwidth because too many devices operate on the 2.4 GHz frequency. Newer internet protocols now use the 5 GHz bandwidth while maintaining compatibility with 2.4 GHz systems. 

Why Do Security Cameras Use 2.4 GHz?

Are All Wi-Fi Security Cameras on 2.4 GHz?

No, Wi-Fi security cameras operate on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, with the latter being a newer technology requiring the latest wireless internet protocols.

Will a 2.4 GHz Security Camera Work for 5 GHz?

No, a 2.4 GHz security camera will not work on a 5 GHz wireless network because of frequency incompatibility. 

4 Best 5 GHz Wi-Fi Compatible Security Cameras

The 5 GHz system offers exceptional data link speeds and mitigates the signal interference that many homeowners experience using 2.4 GHz tech. Here’s four of the best 5GHz WiFi security camera units for your consideration.

Reolink E1 Pro

Available on Amazon from $59.99.

Reolink E1 Pro with blue film covering the lens.
Image via AlfredCamera editorial team

Pros

  • Two-way audio functionality
  • Multiple storage options
  • Voice command-compatible

Cons

  • A little streaming delay
  • App is a little dated in design

The Reolink E1 Pro offers superior Wi-Fi connectivity because of its dual-band capabilities. It has an exceptional 1440p video resolution and infrared technology that delivers crisp images in low-light conditions from 40 feet. 

Setting it up is never an issue, and operating this indoor security camera that supports 5G WiFi is effortless. Homeowners can install the Reolink app and never worry about monitoring babies, pets, and elderlies again.

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Available on Amazon from $269.98.

Image via Ring

Pros

  • Multiple smart technology integrations
  • Integrated alarm/siren
  • Full color night vision

Cons

  • Requires hardwiring to supply power

Ring offers many fascinating technologies to improve home security, and the Floodlight Cam is one of them. This dual-band WiFi security camera records at a standard 1080p resolution, allowing homeowners to maximize data transmission speeds. 

It can communicate with Amazon Sidewalk, Alexa, Fire TV, and Echo Show to improve a family’s smart home integration, while full-color night vision capabilities allow homeowners to see who’s at the front door day and night 

Arlo Ultra 2

Available on Amazon from $299.99.

Arlo Ultra 2
Image via Amazon

Pros

  • 4K video resolution
  • Two-way audio
  • Integrated alarm/siren

Cons

  • Poor weather protection 

This impressive 8MP camera delivers stunning 4K-resolution images. Users can hardwire it to the house electrical system or run it on rechargeable batteries, which last six months before requiring a recharge when using motion detection. 

Like other wireless security cameras, this device has extensive smart technology integration, including Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Alexa, and IFTTT. Its USB and Micro SD storage options are also appreciated.

Foscam HT2

Available on Amazon from $103.99.

Pros

  • Waterproof design
  • Integrated WPA, WPA2, and WEP for connection stability
  • Engaging dual audio functionality

Cons

  • 32 GB limit on SD card storage

Those looking for a dual band wireless outdoor security camera with impressive night vision coverage, look no further. This Wi-Fi security camera can see through the darkness 165 feet away while allowing users to zoom up to four times. 

Its Artificial Intelligence is also impressive, with notifications sent when it “sees” people, animals, or vehicles. The wide dynamic range brightens faces it detects automatically. With Google Assistant and Alexa integration, it slips right into smart home setups. 

FAQ

What speed Wi-Fi do I need for security cameras?

The average wireless security camera requires one to two megabits per second (Mbps), assuming the video footage has 1080p resolution, runs 6-10 frames per second, and has H.264 codec. 

On the other hand, security cameras with “steady-state” capabilities consume five to fifty kilobits per second (Kbps). Other gadgets also connect to the internet in the same space, making Wi-Fi with at least 10 Mbps upload and 20 Mbps download speeds the minimum.

Does 5 GHz penetrate walls better than 2.4 GHz?

No, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signals penetrate walls better than 5 GHz signals. However, a 5 GHz system can negate signal interferences better than a 2.4 GHz system.

What security cameras use 5 GHz?

A growing number of security cameras now use 5 GHz, including the Reolink E1 Pro, Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, Arlo Ultra 2, and Foscam HT2. Most of these devices are dual-band, operating on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz platforms.

What is the point of 2.4 GHz?

The 2.4 GHz frequency band is ideal for connecting many different appliances, gadgets, and devices because it is older, and therefore more widely used. It’s a low-frequency wave, allowing it to transmit signals through solid objects, including walls and trees. This band also features extended transmission capabilities, making it ideal for businesses and homes prioritizing range over speed.

Why is 2.4 GHz so common?

The 2.4 GHz frequency band is so common because it’s older, developed for use in the 1980s. Hence, it’s present in microwave ovens, radio-controlled models, garage door openers, car alarms, baby monitors, and wireless microphones, in addition to modern devices like wireless speakers, and Wi-Fi networks.

Conclusion

Security cameras work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi, provided they have identical bandwidths. Although the trend is for 5 GHz technologies to lord over legacy systems, homeowners and businesses must not disregard 2.4 GHz systems. They might be outdated, but 2.4 GHz systems are still useful in some situations. 

However, as everyone aspires for faster and more stable live video security footage streaming, 5 GHz Wi-Fi is the sounder option for smaller spaces.