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I'm thinking on a system which needs up to 10 wireless cameras, and the same number of cheap computers, so each can display the live feed of one particular camera. One wireless router is planned to do the job, but I would like to think preemptively in the case that one router will not have enough bandwidth for the 10 live feeds with good image quality and frame rate. In this case, what is the simplest and best solution for another router? Just two parallel systems, like 5 cameras+computers on one of them, and 5 on the other? Or is there a simple solution for all 10 to be able to use any of the two routers, depending on load?

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So if you were using the 2.4GHz spectrum of the 802.11n (or g) protocol then you could have three Wifi routers that wouldn't overlap each others wireless signal. This is assuming they are within a 100ft (or so) of each other where they would cause interference on the same channel.

  • Lets call the 1st router 'Main' which has DHCP enabled and plugged into external Internet.
  • 2nd and 3rd routers have disabled DHCP and have one of their internal ports plugged into internal ports of Main. This connects them physically and creates one "flat" network.
  • Anything that is plugged in via Ethernet cable can go on any internal port of the 3 routers.
  • Set the three routers wifi to channels 1, 6, 11 respectively. Don't enable wideband (hopefully 130Mb/s will be enough). In this config, the channels are far enough apart that the signal won't overlap. Channel 1 is at the bottom of the 2.4GHz band, etc.
  • Set the SSID to something like network-a, network-b, network-c respectively.
  • Distribute the clients across the three SSID's. Signal matters here. If a camera only has 1/2 signal bars then it won't get the full bandwidth of the channel. Wireless clients auto scale down in speed as they get weaker (or noisier) signal.
  • Use 802.11n over g if possible, it has better muti-path and error handling.
  • If you saturate those three (bad video performance) then turn off a few cameras and see if that helps. If so, you can try to put devices on the 5GHz 802.11n or 802.11a spectrum which is seperate from 2.4GHz but not as common in devices.
  • Also, don't use other 2.4GHz gear in the area if you can help it... Cordless phones (often on 2.4GHz but not always), microwaves, other wifi routers, etc.

Advanced: if both computers and cameras are wireless, then to prevent potential bandwidth saturation buy nice dual-band wifi routers (netgear or linksys) and set it up so computers are on 5GHz and cameras are on 2.4GHz. You'll need higher-end wifi cards in the computers to support 5GHz.

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