Wanna know the detailed information about IP camera bandwidth calculation, like: What are the 720p/1080p or 4MP IP camera bandwidth requirements? How many Mbps do I need for security cameras? Here you'll learn the bandwidth calculation for IP cameras as well as the insider tips to reduce bandwidth consumption. If you are also interested in the CCTV IP camera storage calculation, read this guide to check out the useful formula.

Table of Contents:

The following information is what you need to notice before reading this article:

Influencing Factors Resolution, FPS, etc.
Introduction IP camera bandwidth calculation formula
Different Scenes A wall/empty room/garage
Tips Choose H.264 video compression

IP Camera Bandwidth Calculation Formula & Example

Besides using the various IP camera network bandwidth calculators online, you can also calculate the Internet speed needed for security cameras on your own.

Below we'll introduce an easy IP camera bandwidth calculation formula and the 4 variables affecting your IP camera bandwidth usage (calculated in ideal environments).

Top 4 Elements that Affect IP Security Camera Bandwidth/Internet Speed

  • Resolution. Higher resolution will require more IP camera Internet bandwidth.
  • FPS (Frame Rate per Second). The higher the FPS is, the more IP camera bandwidth usage is required.
  • Video compression codec. It determines how the video is packaged and compressed before being sent over the Internet. There are 2 popular video compression format types: H.264 and MJPEG.H.264 HD IP cameras, with better compression, lower the security camera Internet speed requirements for transmitting video streaming.
  • The quantity of your IP security cameras. The more IP cameras you are using, the higher Internet speed is needed for your security cameras. You can see how many IP security cameras you will need for your home/business here.

The above 4 variables, determining the IP camera bitrate, interact and affect each other.

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Follow the below IP camera bandwidth calculation formula, and you can get the answer for IP camera bandwidth problems like "How much bandwidth do I need for security cameras? How much data does a security camera use?"

IP Camera Bandwidth Calculation Formula:

Bandwidth (Mbps) = Bitrate (Main) * N + Bitrate (sub) *M

*N & M represents the number of IP cameras for main stream and sub-stream.

In terms of the bitrate in this formula, you can check them in the specifications of your IP cameras or ask the security camera company staff directly.

Example: If you have one IP camera with the main stream of 6144 kbps and another with the sub stream of 1024 kbps, the required IP camera bandwidth would be

Required Bandwidth = 1 * 6144 kbps + 1 * 1024 kbps =7168 kbps = 7.168 Mbps

Since the bandwidth calculation of IP cameras would be too overwhelming, you can view the below IP camera bandwidth chart to see the overall Internet speed needed by your security IP cameras.

IP Camera Bandwidth Requirement
Resolution H.264 MJPEG
1MP (1280*720) 2 Mbps per camera 6 Mbps per camera
2MP (1920*1080) 4 Mbps per camera 12 Mbps per camera
4MP (2560*1440) 8 Mbps per camera 24 Mbps per camera

How much data does CCTV streaming use? Does an IP camera use bandwidth all the time? Hopefully you can get the answers you want in the information provided above.

IP Camera Bandwidth Calculation

Besides the internal factors that affect the IP camera bandwidth, the external factors, such as different installation places, can also affect the IP camera data usage calculation.

For more accurate IP camera bandwidth calculation results, keep reading the following part.

Dig up Further for More Accurate Result of CCTV IP Camera Bandwidth Calculation

The above bandwidth calculation formula for IP cameras is suitable for ideal environments.

However, the IP camera bandwidth usage varies in different scenarios. Thus it is impossible for the IP camera bandwidth calculators online to show you the most accurate calculation result.

Other external factors, such as the bright or dark environments, can also affect HD IP camera bandwidth consumption or Internet usage.

Special applications, like facial recognition or license plate recognition, will eat up more IP camera bandwidth, since these applications require higher resolution and frame rate recording.

If you want more accurate IP camera bandwidth calculation result, you need to do some tests by yourself:

Test your security cameras and record the IP camera bandwidth requirements in different scenes/places.

You can place your IP cameras in different places to see how much your IP cameras will eat up the Internet data with the CCTV IP camera bandwidth calculator software online.

Below are the scenes ranging from simple to complex:

  • Simplest: A wall
  • Simple: Empty room
  • Medium: A well-lit room
  • Complex: Parking lot/garage
  • More complex: busy entry way

By testing in different situations, you will get more accurate results on your IP camera bandwidth usage.

According to our multiple tests, the result is that the busier places the IP cameras are installed, the higher bandwidth is needed.

If you are searching for IP camera bandwidth and storage calculators for Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Sony, Vivotek, Samsung, Pelco, Panosonic, Cisco, Honeywell, Generic, Geovision or Hikvision CCTV cameras, remember to bear the above information in mind.

With the full knowledge on IP camera bandwidth calculation above, you can certainly find the most suitable IP camera that won't use much data.

Tips to Reduce the IP Camera Bandwidth Usage

Does an IP camera use bandwidth all the time? Do IP cameras slow down network?

Probably not!

The fact is that, the CCTV security cameras use data only when you access the cameras for live viewing or they send you instant alerts when motion events are detected.

Better yet, here are some effective tips you can try to reduce your IP camera bandwidth consumption.

  • Choose H.264 video compression codec instead of MJPEG.
  • Use the right resolution based on your needs. you can select the sub-stream type when accessing your IP cameras or recording videos.
  • Lower the frames per second (FPS) to reduce the IP camera bandwidth usage.
  • Set up motion detection recording.
  • Reduce the number of cameras by utilizing wide-angle PTZ security cameras.
  • Choose dual band WiFi security cameras and connect them to the less crowded frequency band (Finde best pickes here).

If you still have any problems or questions about your IP camera bandwidth calculation, please leave your comment below and we'll get back to you soon.

  • Daleo56

    I have eight cameras that record locally to two Reolink PoE NVRs on my boat. What kind of bandwidth will the NVRs use when I access them from the internet via the phone app? The NVRs will only use bandwidth when I query them from the app right?

  • Elvia

    Hello there, the NVRs will use 6144 Kbps per camera for main stream and 160 Kbps per camera for sub stream.

    And yes, the NVRs will only use bandwidth when you access them remotely. They won't take up your bandwidth when recording videos locally.

  • Daleo56

    Thank you for responding so quickly. You are awesome! Say hey to Lindy.

  • Joe

    In a word - No.
    She can not tell you that. You will have a hard time getting a clear and accurate answer on that because it depends a lot on what your cameras are recording.

    The video codecs (e.g. H.264) compress the video significantly. But how compressible the video stream is depends on how complicated the image is, and how much motion there is. If you point the camera at the sky on a starless night, the bandwidth requirement will be virtually nothing, because the image will be completely black (and highly compressible). If you're zoomed in on a very busy highway with many vehicles, the bandwidth requirement will be quite high.

    I have four 4MP cameras and two 5MP cameras connected to an NVR. Based on the chart above, I should need around 50 MB/S bandwidth.

    However, with all cameras recording 24/7 at their highest bit rate, my 6 TB of storage capacity keeps around 3 weeks of history. So that computes out to an average of around 3 MB/s. But during a lightning storm, the images will be changing drastically and my bandwidth requirement would be far, far, higher.

    Which bit rate do you want them to tell you?

    If you are asking about bandwidth to compute how much storage you need for video retention, you'll only care about the average bit rate (I'm seeing around 0.5 MB/s for each 4MP camera).

    If you are asking about bandwidth to compute your network requirements, you'll care about worst case camera bandwidth. Because if your network is saturated every time your images get lively, that would be a problem.

    However, you can set things up so most of this doesn't matter anyway.
    If you use an NVR, and connect the cameras directly to it, the traffic isn't on your general network. From a network perspective, I don't care what the bandwidth usage is on my cameras because they're plugged straight into the NVR. The NVR only sends traffic on my network when I'm trying to replay a video with my phone (which is usually 1 camera at a time, and my phone's network is by far the slowest link, so it is the only thing that gets congested).

  • Reolink

    Hi there, the calution formula "Bandwidth (Mbps) = Bitrate (Main) * N + Bitrate (sub) *M (N & M represents the number of IP cameras for main stream and sub-stream)" applies to both H.264 and H.265 IP security cameras. So, to figure out how much bitrate is required for a H.264 4MP IP security camera, you need to go to the product page and check out the bitrate specs first.
    Here we will take Reolink RLC-410W, a 4MP security camera, as an example. The max bitrate of its mainstream and substream is 8192Kbps and 512Kbps respectively. Then, by putting these two figures into the formula, you will get 1*8192Kbps+1*512Kbps=8704Kbps=8.704Mbps, which is the same as the table in this article shows. Hope this would clarify.

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