Calculating WAP Bandwidth

Does anyone have a formula that can assist in calculating wireless access bandwidth? Something along the lines of this:

(The number of cameras) X (MP of each camera) = X (Mb/Gb) of bandwidth or Ghrtz.

I would like to be able to simplify the choice of wireless access points in a given envioronment. If I have (4) 3mp cameras I need a wireless access point capable of meeting the bandwidth demand.


Are you talking about PtP wireless links, or using WiFi integrated into the cameras? There are so many factors involved that it will be hard for anyone to give you an accurate, reliable answer here.

But, in a perfect world, where the signal strength of the WiFi enabled cameras are able to provide a good, clean, reliable signal (read: -60 dBm or less), you would only need to cover the max bit rate of the combined cameras.

The type of wireless supported by the cameras also matters. If the cameras only support 802.11g (54mbps), that will be your cap most likely. If the cameras support 802.11n or AC, you for sure will have enough speed per camera.

For 3MP H.264 cameras, usually you will be fine planning on a maximum of 8mbps, but you need to test in the given environment with the specific cameras to be sure. You may find they never hit more than 2mbps. If they have smart codecs or H.265, they may have even lower bandwidth totals.

Either way, in the perfect world scenario, even a 54G connection should be plenty for 4 cameras, but a perfect world is rare. You need to know if there are other 2.4GHz networks in the area. What is the noise floor? How much attenuation does the building structure add? How far apart are the cameras from the AP? I could keep going, but honestly, none of this matters until you do a site visit and take some measurements.

I usually start with simple network speed/stress test between 2 points

( in case of IP radios)

Does anyone have a formula that can assist in calculating wireless access bandwidth?

It sounds like this question is not directly related to wireless access bandwidth, just bandwidth. Yes/no?

Correct U2. (U2 ....Never had a chance to write that before). The customer only wants to use WAP, but wants "High Def", 4 cameras. He is a smart person, but does not seem to understand there is a cap.

He also wants to wireless and integrate his access control, and not interested in anything cloud-based.

I have been to the site. One of the more frustrating things is he has been "reading and reading" about CCTV, and is sick of so many choices. "I don't know how you folks keep up with all of the changes".

He knows he doesn't want to install any wire outside, (trenching here would be a nightmare and expensive), 200' from the building to the guard house, plenty-o-trees with lots of those green things on them in the spring, summer and fall. I saw maybe 25 existing analog cameras (all but one was interior) and no two were the same, high expectations and "no budget" number in mind.

He would like to spend 600-800 dollars per camera installed.

Translate all of that and he is looking at a Hikvision type product integrated with access control.

And for good measure. Throw in some audio for visitors at the gate to a guard that may or may not be at the guard station. "We want the guard out on patrol".

Mobile, remote, app ready.

Does he want to integrate the existing analog cameras with the four new HD cams?

When you say integrated with access control, what is being controlled, doors, gates?

$600-$700 per camera seems really cheap if you need to integrate access and wireless too. If it's just mounting the camera, that's different.

200' away, even with trees, is no problem at all for PtP links. We have used Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco M5 radios for this purpose with great results. People will tell you that trees block 5GHz, but we haven't seen issues yet. Some installs have been up and running since 2013 with no issues.

One site has 12x 2MP plus 4x D1 cameras using one pair of UBNT radios at about that distance with trees in the way. Those radios power are turned way down too and still have full bandwidth (per the UI).

Good morning Jon. He wants to integrate his existing analog with "HD" IP cameras.

He does want to integrate gates and doors at the guard house. If unattended, an employee can just use their card to enter. Simple enough. If a visitor shows up, they can push the button on an intercom and the roving guard can let them in via their remote app. Now we are talking video, access, and intercom with SIP.

That number does include the equipment and labor. He provides the network cable.

I need to demo a PtP link in that type of environment. Even sales vendors wave me off of areas with heavy trees. This is the 2nd job I have been asked to do with a relatively short distance but lots of Carolina oaks and pines in the way.

Any opinion on Trendnet?

Thanks Man, enjoy your Sunday.

What did you have in mind for a VMS/NVR? Integrating analog with IP will take some planning. You can go with a Tribrid style DVR, but you will be limited on IP ports. You could use encoders for the analog cams, but make sure your VMS/NVR support them.

For the PtP links, I'm unsure if you will find anything cheaper than the UBNT nano loco M5s, but if you want to pay more for Trendnet, go ahead. I have no experience with them and have no clue how they perform. Ubiquiti has always worked really well for us, so we haven't needed to look elsewhere.

What type of access control does he have now? Does it have 12v contacts for access triggering? If so, some higher end IP cameras will have two way audio and I/O integrated.

I'm not entirely sure how to integrate the SIP into the equation. Hopefully someone else here has more experience there.

I have done this with both 5Ghz and 900Mhz radios from UBNT but you would need to perform a site survey to see which radios will connect reliably and give you the bandwidth needed. Adding the access and intercom is easy depending on the VMS and the level of integration the customer is looking for.

Not knowing the customers budget but Genetec has video, access and VOIP unified in one platform. If he doesn't care for the integration of the three you have a lot of options as you there are a number of browser based IP access solutions that will work and you can use a IP intercom solution to make a VOIP call to a desk or cell phone.