GoPros love water. One of the best things about them is that you can take them where other cameras fear to go. Whether that’s hiking in a downpour, snorkelling over a coral reef, or surfing big waves, GoPros are up for it.
But that’s not to say that every function will work in all conditions. As one example, you can’t control a GoPro by wifi underwater. That’s true even if it’s only the camera underwater and you (and the wifi remote or device) are above water.
That’s not a shortcoming of GoPros. It’s true of any camera, phone, or device using wifi. The problem is that wifi waves don’t work at all well underwater. It might be possible one day to set up wifi networks underwater, but for now it’s not an option.
The problem is that the signal drops off very quickly in even a small amount of water. By the time you get a few inches, let alone a few feet, underwater, the signal is to weak to be usable.
So for all practical purposes, you can’t control your GoPro underwater with a wifi signal. That means you can’t use the GoPro smartphone app, nor can you use the GoPro Smart Remote, the GoPro Remo Voice-Activate Remote (even though the Remo is waterproof), or the devices that turn an LCD Backpac into a wireless view and controller.
If you’re planning to film underwater, it’s also worth remembering that the LCD touchscreens won’t work for touch control underwater. They do work just fine for viewing, though.
Underwater Wifi Extension Cable
WiFi itself won’t work underwater, but what you can do is transmit the signal for the underwater portion through a cable. That allows you to livestream from your GoPro underwater.
If you like DIY projects, it is possible to build your own. Or Cam-Do now offers off-the-shelf extension cables for the HERO4, HERO3+, and HERO3 with lengths ranging from 20 feet to 300 feet.
If you want to try building one yourself, here’s a how-to guide.
Waterproof Depth Ratings for GoPro Cameras
Newer GoPro models have a waterproof body. Older models required an external waterproof housing. Here are the depth ratings for the cameras themselves.
|GoPro Model||Waterproof Depth Rating (without external housing)|
|HERO10 Black||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO9 Black||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO8 Black||33 feet / 10 meters|
|MAX||16 feet / 5 meters|
|HERO7 Black||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO7 Silver||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO7 White||33 feet / 10 meters|
|Fusion||16 feet / 5 meters|
|HERO6 Black||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO (2018)||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO5 Black||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO5 Session||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO4 Session / HERO Session||33 feet / 10 meters|
|HERO+ LCD||131 feet / 40 meters|
|HERO+||131 feet / 40 meters|
|HERO (2014)||131 feet / 40 meters|
|HERO4 Black||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
|HERO4 Silver||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
|HERO3+ Black||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
|HERO3 Black||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
|HERO3 Silver||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
|HERO3 White||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
|HD HERO 2||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
|HD HERO Original||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
|SD HERO||Not waterproof. Requires external waterproof housing.|
To go deeper, you can put the camera inside a protective dive housing. These are the compatible protective housings for recent cameras.
|GoPro Camera||Compatible Protective Housing||Depth Rating of Protective Housing|
|HERO10 Black||Protective Housing||196 feet / 60 meters|
|HERO9 Black||Protective Housing||196 feet / 60 meters|
|HERO8 Black||Protective Housing (for HERO8)*||196 feet / 60 meters|
|HERO7 Black||Super Suit||196 feet / 60 meters|
|HERO7 Silver||Protective Housing||131 feet / 40 meters|
|HERO7 White||Protective Housing||131 feet / 40 meters|
|HERO6 Black||Super Suit||196 feet / 60 meters|
|HERO (2018)||Super Suit||196 feet / 60 meters|
|HERO5 Black||Super Suit||196 feet / 60 meters|
|HERO5 Session||Aftermarket Dive Housing|
|HERO Session||Aftermarket Dive Housing|
|HERO4 Session||Aftermarket Dive Housing|
|HERO4 Black||Aftermarket Dive Housing|
|HERO4 Silver||Aftermarket Dive Housing|