“Do IP cameras affect internet speed?”

“How much data is consumed from an IP security camera?”

You rely on your network to provide you with access to the Internet. If the network is slowed down, your access could be seriously affected, which could impact various aspects of your day-to-day life, including searching the Web, using your smartphone (if it is hooked up to your network,) and using any other device that may be connected to your network.

If you are considering the IP camera bandwidth consumption, and wondering whether IP cameras slow down your network, you can spend a few minutes checking out this article.

IP Camera Bandwidth Consumption

Do PoE/Wireless Cameras Slow Down Internet Speed?

While an IP camera will certainly make your home security system more efficient and reliable, there are certain things that you may want to consider before installing one; namely, the IP camera internet usage.

While the concern is certainly valid, the truth is that an IP camera does not slow down your network as much as you may think, or you may have heard. While yes, it may slow it down a bit, technology is always advancing, which means that IP cameras are becoming more adaptable to networks, thus having less of an impact on them.

Factors that Affect IP Camera Internet Connection Speed/Bandwidth Consumption

“Will 2 to 3 security IP cameras affect internet bandwidth?” Generally, the upload bandwidth and download bandwidth your IP security camera uses varies due to several factors:

  • Compression. It’s a major cause of your WiFi security camera data usage. MJPEG/MJPEG-4 and H.264 are the two most popular compression standard in the video surveillance and security industry.
  • Camera resolution. A camera that offers higher resolution will require more bandwidth, which requires more storage, and will thus slow down your network. Say, a 5MP camera will definitely need more bandwidth than a 2MP or even 4MP IP security camera does.
  • FPS (Frame Rate per Second). The frame rate determines the quality your CCTV surveillance footage. The more FPS, the better videos. FPS also has influence on the data of your CCTV streaming uses.
  • Number of IP cameras. The more cameras installed in your home, the more data your security system will use.

You can use tools, such as IP camera data usage/network bandwidth calculator, to see the internet speed requirement for your IP cameras to work, and get normal video streaming.

Tips to Reduce Your IP Camera Bandwidth Consumption

If you are concerned that an IP camera will impact your network, here’s a look at some things that you can do to reduce the amount of bandwidth it will use.

Select the Proper Compression Format

Right off the bat, you should familiarize yourself with the settings of your IP camera and opt for a compression format that will best suit your specific needs. For example, if you want to increase your storage, an h.264 format may be a good option for you, as this will reduce the amount of storage space your IP camera requires, and will thus have less of an impact on your network.

Use the Right Resolution

Another way that you can avoid having an IP camera slow down your network is by choosing a camera that provides the least amount of resolution that you need in order to get the job done. See what pixels you’ll need for your camera if you want to identify license plate and people.

Of course, you don’t want to compromise security when choosing a camera. Before opting for a lower resolution camera, make sure that you take into consideration the area that you are monitoring. For example, if you are monitoring a larger area, such as a parking lot, higher resolution may be necessary; however, if you are only using the camera to monitor a small space, such as a door or a hallway, opting for a camera that will capture the detail you need at a lower resolution is a wise idea to avoid unnecessary strain on your network.

Lower the Frames Per Second

Lowering the frames the IP camera catches per second can also help to avoid unnecessary strain on your network, which will help to avoid slowing it down. While it may be nice to capture a high amount of frames per second, doing so will have a major impact on the speed of your network; generally, capturing 5 to 7 frames per second is more than enough to effectively monitor your home and will show you everything you need in order to capture evidence of criminal activity.

Only Record Motion

Set your camera so that it is activated when it detects motion, and therefore only records when there is motion. Having the camera stream live video when nothing is occurring is unnecessary and will slow down your network. If you opt for motion based recording, the camera will only kick on when it detects motion, which will reduce the amount of data and storage is uses, thus reducing the impact on your network.

  • SuperDave

    I would have to disagree on your last point, unless you are talking about programming within the camera internally. Any camera is always streaming to the NVR…regardless of whether motion detection is activated. The NVR is recording everything but only saving motion files(kind of like marking the file). This is how you can get pre-recorded motion. Otherwise this would not be possible. How else would a system know to have an extra 10 seconds pre-recorded before a motion event happens? Now if there is a specific setup within the ip cameras internal menu that can disable streaming yet reactivate it to an NVR with a pre-record setting activated…it would have to have an internal sd card. And I have not seen a camera with that type of programming. In essence the camera must always stream and the nvr must constantly record…but what it saves is based on the motion detection algorithm you have programmed. My experience…current computer technician but Camera installer for 10 plus years…switched to all high def in the last 5 years. I would love to hear a counterpoint..perhaps I missed something.

    • Hi Dave, thank you for sharing your ideas with us!
      What you mentioned here is true and very professional in regards of the NVR security camera system. Well, that could be a little different when it comes to the standalone security cameras (without SD card) which are popluar on the market actually. Usually, they couldn’t do the pre-recording, and therefore they will only record and consume your network bandwidth when motion is detected if you set them to the motion detection mode.
      I hope this information could be helpful, and you are very welcome to reply and continue the discussion. 🙂

  • Hi MAGA, motion detection mode will have less impact on network bandwidth than the recording mode. And many Reolink cameras could offer 3 streams to suit your home network conditions. For example, the most popular 4MP PoE bullet Reolink RLC-410: /product/rlc-410/ , and its wireless counterpart Reolink RLC-410WS: /product/rlc-410ws/