Fluidmesh Wireless Overview

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Nov 13, 2011

In the surveillance industry, Fluidmesh, along with Firetide and Ubiquiti are the three most commonly mentioned wireless providers. However, the relative positioning of the three are often unclear. This is made even more challenging by the lack of detailed information on Fluidmesh which is generally available. In this update, we dig into Fluidmesh's product line, the features which may appeal to integrators, and how it contrasts with Firetude and Ubiquiti.

Product Overview

The Fluidmesh line consists of three series of product. Note that most prices are given in ranges, since they are available with varying levels of throughput. The MITO series has the greatest variance, and thus the widest range:

  • First is the 2200 Duo (approx. $3,300 MSRP), a dual-radio, IP68-rated outdoor model. It is capable of transmission in the 2.4, 4.9, and 5 GHz bands, using external antennas. The enclosure also contains 12VDC and 120VAC power outputs for powering cameras or other devices, and room for mounting an encoder internally. The Duo is often used in locations where less gear on a pole is desired, since it may supply power to cameras without additional hardware. It is also the only IP68-rated product in the Fluidmesh line, and is available with a heater kit, which makes it more suitable for harsher locations. 
  • The Endo series ($900-1,500 MSRP) is essentially the same as a 2200 Duo in an indoor, non-NEMA rated, form factor. A single-radio model, the 1100 Endo is also available. The Endo is typically used in locations which already have an enclosure for camera gear, battery backup, etc., on site. 
  • The MITO series ($560-2,700 MSRP) is Fluidmesh's latest product offering. It is a single-radio 2x2 MIMO unit with integrated antennas, one model equipped with a 40° patch antenna, the other using a 90° sector. The MITO series is intended to remove some installation variables which may affect wireless performance, such as cabling, weatherproofing, and grounding, in order to simplify installation for integrators. Due to its MIMO architecture, the MITO series is better suited for backhaul, and able to sustain higher data rates across longer distances. Its small size, however (14" x 3" at most) also makes it suitable for locations where aesthetics are an issue.

All of the above models are compatible, which means that from site to site in a wireless deployment, users may select whichever radio makes the most sense in that location. For instanace, some camera locations may have a NEMA enclosure on site, and adding an external radio may be undesirable, so an Endo is located in the enclosure with other gear. At other locations, it may be preferable to simply put a camera and small external radio on a pole, making the MITO a better choice. All of them may operate together in point to point, point to multipoint, or mesh modes.

The Fluidmesh line is "plug-in" based, meaning that users purchase the throughput or other features they need. All products are shipped with at least 1 Mbps capacity enabled, which may be increased by license up to 2.5, 5, 10, 30, or 60 Mbps. 802.1Q VLANs and AES-128 encryption may also be enabled via license. This allows users to not over-specify, so deployments requiring 10 Mbps only pay for 10 Mbps, instead of 60.

All of Fluidmesh's products include web-based management software, named FMQuadro, for free. The wireless network may be represented graphically, including integration with Google Maps, so radios may be placed in their actual geographical location. FMQuadro also includes a built-in spectrum analyzer, to detect interference in all three bands (2.4, 4.9, and 5 GHz), and is fully SNMP compatible, so alerts may be sent to third-party network monitoring software.

Automatic Configuration

One other Fluidmesh feature aimed at making wireless deployments simpler for integrators is their FluidMAX technology. In simple terms, FluidMAX is intended to automatically select the radio's operating mode based on network layout. TDMA and CSMA are selected by the unit, with no user intervention required. It should be noted that users who do not wish to use the automatic features of the Fluidmesh line may disable them, and manually configure the units' parameters themselves.

Distribution Channels

Fluidmesh is sold through a network of integrators, who may purchase the product through select distributors or directly from the manufacturer. Partners are also eligible for project registration discounts. Product is not sold to end users. One potential advantage for Fluidmesh is that they give a free level one online certification class to all their authorized partners. With this, they aim to remove the fingerpointing which can (and has, historically) plague wireless deployments, when integrators are able to buy product which they have received no training on. 

Competitive Comparison

Compared to its two most common competitors in surveillance, Ubiquiti and Firetide, Fluidmesh sits somewhere in between. The low end is in the range of five times the cost of a Ubiquiti radio, with many Ubuiquiti models selling for under $100 each. Firetide's wireless access points and point to point products run from about $200 to $2,000, with mesh nodes coming in near $3,000. For these comparisons to be fair, it must be noted that most Fluidmesh products may be run in PtP, PtMP, or mesh modes, which many manufacturers do not offer.

While Fluidmesh, like the bulk of the industry, is at a pricing disadvantage against Ubiquiti, they do claim two things as advantages against them: training and support. As mentioned above, all Fluidmesh partners receive free certification training. Ubiquiti currently has no training program, though it is in development. Ubiquiti's live technical support has also been an issue historically, and users mostly have relied upon their public forum for application and troubleshooting issues. These two issues combined may drive some integrators to choose Fluidmesh over less expensive options, since it potentially decreases their risk.

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Milestone Has Problems on Oct 01, 2019
Milestone has problems. While the company previously excelled in the shift to IP cameras, as IP has matured and competitive differentiation has...
Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) Guide on Oct 01, 2019
Understanding wide dynamic range (WDR) is critical to capturing high quality images in demanding conditions. However, with no real standards, any...
Mobile Access Control Shootout - Farpointe, HID, Openpath, Nortek, Proxy on Jul 29, 2019
One of the biggest rising trends in access control is using phones as credentials but which offering is best? IPVM has tested five of the...
Lens Focal Length Tutorial on Jul 10, 2019
3mm, 6mm, 2.8 - 9mm, 5 - 50mm, etc. Camera specifications often list lens lengths but what do they mean? These metrics are important in...
Ideal SecuriTest IP Vs Unbranded IP Camera Install Tool Tested on Nov 21, 2018
In our recent IP camera installation tool shootout, multiple members questioned the Ideal SecuriTest IP's features compared to low-cost unbranded...
Avigilon Opens Up Analytics And Cameras on Nov 06, 2018
Avigilon is opening up. The company historically famous for advocating its own end-to-end solutions and making it harder for 3rd parties to...
Backboxes for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Aug 15, 2018
Backboxes are a necessity in surveillance, whether for managing cable whips, recessing cameras, adding wireless radios. But it can be confusing to...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems (Statistics) on Feb 28, 2018
In our most recent statistics series, over 150 integrators told IPVM the most common problem their customers have with their video systems....
Resolution Tutorial on Dec 28, 2017
Understanding video surveillance resolution can be surprisingly difficult and complex. While the word 'resolution' seems self-explanatory, its use...
Dedicated Vs Converged IP Video Networks Statistics on Sep 12, 2017
'Convergence' has been a major industry theme for many years. All organizations have IP networks today with laptops, tablets, phones and more...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Access Control Online Show - July 2020 - With 40+ Manufacturers - Register Now on Jul 01, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our July 2020 Access Control Show. With 40+ companies presenting across 4 days, this is a unique opportunity to hear...
Hanwha Face Mask Detection Tested on Jul 01, 2020
Face mask detection or, more specifically lack-of-face-mask detection, is an expanding offering in the midst of coronavirus. Hanwha in partnership...
UK Government Says Fever Cameras "Unsuitable" on Jul 01, 2020
The UK government's medical device regulator, MHRA, told IPVM that fever-seeking thermal cameras are "unsuitable for this purpose" and recommends...
Camera Course Summer 2020 on Jun 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training...
Worst Over But Integrators Still Dealing With Coronavirus Problems (June Statistics) on Jun 30, 2020
While numbers of integrators very impacted by Coronavirus continue to drop, most are still moderately dealing with the pandemic's problems, June...
FLIR Screen-EST Screening Software Tested on Jun 30, 2020
In our FLIR A Series Test, the cameras' biggest drawback was their lack of face detection, requiring manual adjustment when screening each...
Dahua Buenos Aires Bus Screening Violates IEC Standards and Dahua's Own Instructions on Jun 30, 2020
Dahua has promoted Buenos Aires bus deployments as "solutions that facilitate community safety". However, they violate IEC standards and,...
UK Firm Markets False Fever Screening, Hikvision Disavows on Jun 30, 2020
A UK security firm falsely claimed its Hikvision-based thermal solution could be used for "accurately detecting fever in any person", even claiming...
Industry Study: 83% of US Temperature Screening Sellers Falsely Say Not Medical Devices on Jun 29, 2020
83% of US companies selling temperature screening devices, aka 'fever' detectors, claim they are not medical devices, contrary to FDA definition,...
Manufacturers on Virtual 'ISC West' 2020 and Potential ISC West 2021 on Jun 29, 2020
With the 2020 ISC West show now officially canceled, attention turns to Reed's new "ISC West 2020 Virtual Event" planned for October and for the...