No, 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.
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 so weak as to be unusable.
So for all practical purposes, you can't control your GoPro underwater with a wifi signal. That means you can't use the Capture 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.
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.
Common GoPro Questions
Here are some common questions I get from GoPro users.
How to Maximize a GoPro's battery life
There are several factors that influence how long the GoPro's battery life lasts. Among them include what mode you're recording in (4K uses more power than 1080p30, for instance), the health of the battery, and even the environmental temperature (lithium batteries don't perform well in very cold temperatures). But there are some things you can do to maximize battery life. Not every GoPro has all of these features, but start with these:
- Minimize use of the back screen
- Turn off wireless
- Turn off voice commands
- Turn off GPS
- Turn off Protune
- Use QuickCapture mode
Is it normal for GoPro cameras to get hot?
Yes. Depending on the model and the shooting mode you're using, it's normal for GoPros to get quite warm while shooting. They can get hot enough to be uncomfortable to touch. It's especially noticeable when shooting high-resolution and high-framerate video. Some newer models have an overheating protection mechanism that will shut the camera down if it gets too hot. I have more details on GoPros getting hot, here.
How can I control a GoPro remotely?
GoPro makes a range of wireless remote controls. They don't all work with all GoPros--for example, the HERO (2018) isn't compatible with this type of remote control. Many of the newer models also work with the GoPro mobile app. Not every model can be controlled remotely, but most of the newer models have wireless compatibility that can be used for at least some methods of remote control.
Can you take pictures with a GoPro?
If you've been using a GoPro for a while, this might seem pretty obvious, but if you've never used one, it's not quite so self-evident. GoPros are best known for dramatic action videos, but they can most certainly take still photos too. In fact, they can be a very interesting alternative to a traditional camera so long as you work within its limitations. I have more more details here.
Do GoPro wireless controls work underwater?
No. You can't use the mobile app or a wireless remote control if the camera is fully submerged in water. They will normally work just fine in rain and spray--just not submerged. I have a more detailed explanation here.
Do GoPro touchscreens work underwater?
No. If they're just wet above water, they can work to some extent, although often less reliably. But the touchscreens won't work underwater.