How to Access an IP Camera over a Point to Point Network

In the wireless surveillance world, local Point to Point Networks are one of the most popular methods of transmitting video feed. Point to Point Networks have clear advantages in being cost-effective, simple to set up, and low maintenance.


What is a Point to Point Network?

In its simplest form a Point to Point Network (abbreviated as P2P) consists of two antennas. One antenna is configured as a transmitting radio, while the other is set as a receiving radio (also known as an Access Point). The transmitting antenna is installed at the same location as the IP Camera, and communicates with the camera through a CAT-5 Ethernet cable. The signal from the camera is then broadcasted to the receiving antenna, where another Ethernet cable connects the radio to a Network Video Recorder (NVR).
A Simple 2 Antenna Point to Point Network Example

Remote Monitoring with Port Forwarding

Typically the Access Point and NVR are located at the facility responsible for managing the property. If Internet access is available at this location, both recorded footage and live video can be viewed remotely from a computer, tablet or smart phone. This is done by establishing Port Forwarding at the Access Point. IC Real Time put together this guide on setting up Port Forwarding.


Line of Sight

One limitation to consider when setting up a Point to Point Network is the need for Line of Sight between communicating antennas. While this type of network can communicate surveillance feed for many miles, the path between the antennas must be free of any obstructions. These obstructions can include hills / mountains, tree or ridge lines, or tall buildings.

If Line of Sight is not achievable between the Transmitting Radio and the Access Point, additional radios can be placed to create a Wireless Bridge (also known as a “Backhaul”). To create a Wireless Bridge you will need two additional radios, one configured as the receiver and the other as the transmitter.

The radio that is configured as the receiver or Access Point, is set to communicate with the transmitting radio located at the surveillance sight. The second radio is set as the transmitter, and is set to communicate with the Access Point located at the recording site. The two radios that make up the bridge communicate with one another through an Ethernet Cable and bridge the gap between the surveillance site and the recording site.


Mesh Networks

Often times more than one camera will need to transmit to a single recording location. This is easily accomplished simply by adding more transmitting locations and / or Backhuals.  When multiple Transmitting Radios, Wireless Bridges, or Access Points are interconnected, it is referred to as a Mesh Network.

KBC Networks and AvaLan Wireless both sell high quality wireless products that have been hardened for outdoor usage, and we recommend both of them for creating a Local Point to Point Network for a Wireless Surveillance System.