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Do I need a base station for 16 camera outdoor setup?

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ccfair
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Getting ready to set up 16 camera's in a outdoor setting with wifi and was looking to see if I needed base stations(s) to make them work?  What purpose do the base stations serve?  I plan to use cloud storage if I can and subscribe to a plan once I have them all working.  The network is a Netgear setup with 8 Access points all running the same wifi SSID.

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ccfair
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Thanks you for the response, it helps in filling in some of the gaps in reading.  So my plan is to put 16 cameras over a large outdoor area, more than the 300 feet that a base station would cover but I have more than one base station that came with the camera kits.  I plan to use a Secure Plus plan and store video in the cloud with a least 4 of the cameras with a CRV subscription.  I have great wifi access over the entire area thanks to netgear WAX610Y access points.  I have Pro4 and Ultra 4K cameras.  do I need a base station or a Hub?  I don't mind spending the money if it would make performance better.  Thanks

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StephenB
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@ccfair wrote:

What purpose do the base stations serve? 

Base stations/smarthubs create a closed wifi network that the cameras can join (but your other devices cannot).  The bases do not form a mesh, so you need to explicitly pair each camera with a base when you on board it.  Another downside is that you have no control over the base wifi, so you cannot select channels, etc.

 

Bases have local storage, which can be used as a backup to the cloud storage - and with smarthubs, you can use local storage instead of cloud storage if you want.  There are lots of limitations though, and so IMO a subscription is a better way to go.

 

Another aspect of bases, is that all the cameras paired to a base can be controlled and scheduled as a group using custom modes defined for the base.  If you don't use a base, then each camera needs to be controlled and scheduled individually (though the app does let you disarm all cameras in the account, and pause all notifications).

 

In my experience, using a base can be a bit more power efficient (increase the time between camera recharging).  That is because the base wifi is customized to minimize power use.  But whether that is worth the hassle is debatable.

 

Some cameras require a base - those include the Pro, Pro 3, Ultra, and Ultra 2.  Others can be connected directly to you home wifi if you with - those include the Pro 4, and all Essential models (including the doorbells).  If you go with bases, I suggest getting smarthubs (VMB4540 or VMB5000).

ccfair
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Thanks you for the response, it helps in filling in some of the gaps in reading.  So my plan is to put 16 cameras over a large outdoor area, more than the 300 feet that a base station would cover but I have more than one base station that came with the camera kits.  I plan to use a Secure Plus plan and store video in the cloud with a least 4 of the cameras with a CRV subscription.  I have great wifi access over the entire area thanks to netgear WAX610Y access points.  I have Pro4 and Ultra 4K cameras.  do I need a base station or a Hub?  I don't mind spending the money if it would make performance better.  Thanks

StephenB
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@ccfair wrote:

I have Pro4 and Ultra 4K cameras.  do I need a base station or a Hub?  I don't mind spending the money if it would make performance better.  Thanks


As I said earlier, you need a base for the Ultras (preferably a smarthub).  

 

The Pro 4s can connect either to a base (preferably a smarthub) or directly to your wifi.

ccfair
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Does the SmartHub have to be within 300 feet or just on the same network?

StephenB
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@ccfair wrote:

Does the SmartHub have to be within 300 feet or just on the same network?


It has to be within wifi range of the cameras.  The cameras connect to the base directly using a closed wifi network, they cannot connect to it via your normal home network.

 

300 feet might be too far - that is the max.

 

If you have a strong wifi signal at the camera locations, you might want to start by connecting cameras to your home wifi, and add the hub later if you want its features.  Of course if you get Ultras (or the older Pro 3s), you will need a smarthub, as they cannot connect to your home wifi network.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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