Favorite Wireless Surveillance Manufacturers 2011

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Dec 18, 2011

Using wireless networking to connect video surveillance cameras has increased in the past few years, certainly helped by the strong growth of IP cameras. However, what type of wireless systems should one use and who are the 'best' manufacturers for surveillance?

To find out what integrators truly prefer, we asked the following question as part of our Fall 2011 integrator survey:

The question was left open-ended, so integrators could choose their favorite instead of being confined to a preselected list of options. We also gave space for comment so they could explain their choice, or why they didn't deploy wireless.

The Responses

Of the 80 total responses, integrators answered with fourteen unique wireless providers, ranging from single point-to-point links to full mesh deployments.

The Analysis

Three wireless manufacturers stood out with a surprising underdog top choice. Additionally, unlike with cameras and VMS systems, integrator responses showed far less maturity and far less consensus in total choices. Inside, we examine these points in depth.

Use of the Favorites

The following chart shows respondents' top choices:

With 27.5% of respondents preferring it, Ubiquiti receives more than double the votes of runner-up Firetide (10%), and more votes than numbers two and three, Firetide and Fluidmesh (9%), combined. A total of fourteen companies were named, but only three others, Motorola, Proxim, and Tranzeo, received more than one mention.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Relative to marketing expenditures, the results are extremely surprising. In the past 5 years, Firetide must have outspent Ubiquiti and Fluidmesh in marketing and PR by 10-20 times. Ubiquiti's marketing is nearly non-existent and Fluidmesh's was been fairly modest (including desperate moves such as LinkedIn spam). By contrast, Firetide has raised tens of millions in funding and must have spent millions on marketing and PR.

From a technology and product positioning standpoint, the results make more sense. The bulk of the market requires only simple point-to-point or point-to-multipoint links, not more complex mesh networks. Ubiquiti is well-suited to these sort of projects, with integrators regularly commenting positively regarding their simplicity and reliability, at an extremely low price point. Ubiquiti has been growing rapidly because of this, veritably killing the wireless market.

Firetide, on the other hand, is not really intended for the mass market, instead focusing their product development on mesh offerings for large, often city-wide, deployments. While they do offer point-to-point products, the cost of a Firetide point-to-point link is easily 10x the cost of a Ubiquiti link, placing them outside the budget, as well as the needs, of most integrators.

Fluidmesh has built a limited, but faithful following, falling between these two competitors. We have heard reports from integrators that it is simpler and less prone to issues than Firetide, and Fluidmesh's tiered throughput licensing allows integrators to pay less for links with lower bandwidth needs, making it more cost effective, though still well above Ubiquiti. 

Large Segment Without Preference

Wireless surveillance has no doubt grown in the past few years. Previously, when analog video was still dominant, integrators seeking to deploy cameras wirelessly often needed to deploy encoder/decoder combos or proprietary analog wireless systems. The advent of IP has simplified this process, and wireless products themselves have become simpler, as well. However, there is still a substantial segment of the market avoiding wireless deployments, for various reasons. 

Out of the 84 total integrators who took our survey, a total of 21 respondents either skipped the question or had no preference. This represents 25% of the total sampling. Clearly, this is a non-trivial percentage, when compared to other questions in our survey, such as favorite VMS or camera, which both had 100% responses with preferences. While wireless has come a long way, it obviously has not yet become an everyday occurence for many deployments.

Preferences Not as Concentrated

Even among integrators having a favorite, the top 3 responses only gathered 45% of votes. This is much lower than in VMS software and IP cameras where the top 3 gathered over 60% of the votes. We believe this also shows the lack of maturity in this market segment and the questions that integrators still have.

Ubiquiti - Integrator Comments

Here's what integrators preferring Ubiquiti had to say:

  • "Ubiquiti. Cheap, easy to use."
  • "Ubiquiti. Even the cheap Bullet M series units are head and shoulders above the rest."
  • "Reliable at a great price."
  • "The stuff works and is priced remarkably low."
  • "Cheap and easy, and actually works well."
  • "Ubiquiti Networks. The product is easy to use. Easy to configure. The amount of bandwidth is great. The product out performs what is promised. The cost is as low as 5% of Firetide or other similar products. It is perfect for point to point or point to multi point."
  • "Ubiquiti, very cost effective and works great"
  • "We use Ubiquity products almost exclusively, for ease of use, and cost."
  • "Ubiquiti, cheap and works great"
  • "Ubiquiti. Cost effective. Good performance."
  • "Ubiquiti. Cheap and works and does the job we need it to do 95% of the time, which is mostly point-to-point connections. Also has built in software site survey scanning and throughput test features that's outstanding for the price."
  • "In the past year we have moved from Avalan to Ubiquiti and can't say enough about their solution -- it just plain works."

100% of comments from integrators with a Ubiquiti preference mentioned price as a factor, with the most common adjective used being "cheap". However, nearly every comment also mentioned reliability and ease of use, as well. This is what we've heard from our userbase, and which we expanded on in more detail in our recent Ubiquiti overview

[Note: Since November, we have significantly increased our coverage of Ubiquiti. However, this was largely in response to the survey results completed at the end of October. As such, our recent coverage could not have impacted integrator's favorites as it came afterwards.]

Firetide - Integrator Comments

Here's what users had to say about Firetide:

  • "Firetide - We installed this at a regional airport with good results. Deploying 2 mobile trailer mounted PTZ with a 2km wireless range"
  • "Firetide. Solid performance and support."
  • "Firetide. Solid product."

Again, we were surprised by both the lack of votes and the lack of praise in comments.

Fluidmesh - Integrator Comments

Lastly, respondents had the following to say about Fluidmesh:

  • "Fluidmesh. Love the technology, love the support, love the price. They make it easy to do business with them unlike the many issues I've had with Firetide."
  • "Fluidmesh. It performs consistently in any configuration and our clients have never experienced a problem with it."
  • "We have used Fluidmesh only once, it was easy to install and I guess it survived a lightning strike so it has been reliable. Also was way cheaper than Firetide."

Fluidmesh appeared to fall in the middle, product wise, compared to Ubiquiti and Firetide - a step up in price and performance compared to Ubiquiti but less expensive and challenging than using Firetide.

3 reports cite this report:

Favorite Products on Mar 29, 2018
100+ Security integrators periodically report on their favorite and worst products to IPVM. These are known integrators who IPVM pays to answer...
Surveillance Statistics Survey Directory Vol 1 on Jan 03, 2012
In this report, we aggregate and present dozens of statistics about how surveillance is being used in the real world. Recently, we conducted an in...
Top 5 Disruptive Surveillance Companies 2012 on Dec 15, 2011
What companies are driving changes in the video surveillance industry? What companies are the toughest competitors? In this new report, we answer...
Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Vivotek Favorability Report 2019 on Jan 29, 2019
Taiwanese video surveillance manufacturers, even relatively large ones like Vivotek, have lost ground in the PRC-China-driven race to the bottom....
Hanwha Techwin Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 31, 2019
Hanwha Techwin's favorability results surged, in IPVM's 2019 study, going from barely neutral in 2016 to strongly net positive, as the results...
Ubiquiti Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 18, 2019
Ubiquiti has quietly grown into a $1+ billion annual revenue company, with offerings across wireless, wireline network and video surveillance (see...
Axis Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 26, 2019
Despite more product shortages, but strengthened by increasing cybersecurity and China concerns, Axis' favorability, amongst 200+ integrators in...
Top Metrics For Ensuring Integrator Profitability - Statistics on Mar 20, 2019
How do integrators ensure the profitability of their projects? As part of our profitability study, 100+ integrators answered the following...
Cambium Wireless Video Surveillance Profile on Mar 27, 2019
Cambium Networks, spun out of Motorola Solutions in 2011, says "outdoor durable radios are in their DNA" and they are targeting video surveillance...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...
Ranking Manufacturer Favorability 2019 on May 06, 2019
24 manufacturer's favorability was ranked based on 170+ integrators feedback. Voting plus in-depth comments revealed insights on which brands were...
Favorite Wireless Manufacturers 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
Many wireless options exist for video surveillance but how are integrator's overall favorites? 170 integrators answered the question: What is...
Favorite Camera Manufacturers 2020 on Jan 20, 2020
The past 2 years of US bans and sanctions have shaken the video surveillance industry but what impact would this have on integrators' favorite...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Every VMS Will Become a VSaaS on Feb 21, 2020
VMS is ending. Soon every VMS will be a VSaaS. Competitive dynamics will be redrawn. What does this mean? VMS Historically...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance on Feb 20, 2020
This is the last chance to join IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Credentials on Feb 20, 2020
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be difficult to see, especially because most look and feel the same. Even insecure 125 kHz...
AI/Smart Camera Tutorial on Feb 20, 2020
Cameras with video analytics, sometimes called 'Smart' camera or 'AI' cameras, etc. are one of the most promising growth areas of video...
China Manufacturer Suffers Coronavirus Scare on Feb 20, 2020
Uniview suffered a significant health scare last week after one of its employees reported a fever and initially tested positive for coronavirus....
Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception that integrated IR makes cameras mostly the same, according to new...
Milestone Launches Multiple Cloud Solutions on Feb 18, 2020
Milestone is going to the cloud, becoming one of the last prominent VMSes to do so. Milestone is clearly late but how competitive do these new...
Video Surveillance Architecture 101 on Feb 18, 2020
Video surveillance can be designed and deployed in a number of ways. This 101 examines the most common options and architectures used in...
UK Stands Behind Hikvision But Controversy Continues on Feb 18, 2020
Hikvision is exhibiting at a UK government conference for law enforcement, provoking controversy from the press, politicians, and activists due to...
IronYun AI Analytics Tested on Feb 17, 2020
Taiwan startup IronYun has raised tens of millions for its "mission to be the leading Artificial Intelligence, big data video software as a service...