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? How much data does a WiFi security camera use?

Then this post is right for you.

In the next 3 minutes, 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.

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.

          • Elvia

            ”Hey" has been sent to Lindy, and Lindy also says ”Hi” to you. Have a nice day!

            • Daleo56

              Tell Lindsay to FB me. I will have more boat videos soon!

            • Elvia

              Wow, nice. Thank you so much!

            • Daleo56

              Autocorrect, my niece is Lindy

        • Goldendays

          Hi Elvia,

          I understand NVRs Will use bandwidth only when I Access them
          from the Internet. My question is how much bandwidth is required for accessing
          each individual camera from the Internet in real time. Is it the same bandwidth
          that is used for the recording, or can I see it from the Internet with a
          different (compacted) resolution and use then less bandwidth?

          With three or four cameras connected to the NVR can I see
          all of them simultaneously from the Internet grouped in a mosaic window display
          and use less or the same equivalent bandwidth of a single camera?


          • Elvia

            Hi there, the estimated required bandwidth for each camera is around 6 Mbps but the requirement may vary depending on actual usage. If you watch the live feed in a lower resolution, the bandwidth usage will reduce at the same time.
            Meanwhile, bandwidth usage depends on the number of cameras that you are accessing. So, it will use more bandwidth of a single camera even you see all of the 4 cameras simultaneously grouped in a mosaic window display. Hope this would clarify.

    • Peghaam TV

      One 4MP came how much consume bandwidth? for local transmission and for remote?

      • Elvia

        Hello there, if the bitrate of your 4MP camera is 6144 kbps, your camera will consume about 6 Mbps bandwidth for remote access and other functions requiring Internet connection.

        If you just use your camera for local recording, it won't take up any bandwidth.

    • Miraj Din

      hello, i have installed total 50 cameras, 12 cameras are 8 MP and other are 3 MP of hikvision, i am using two NVR and one Gigabit switch but some cameras are facing problems of bandwidth. some cameras are facing slowness issue, please help me how can i resolve problem?

      • Elvia

        Hello Miraj, considering you've installed many cameras, you can lower the frame rate of your cameras, and adjust the video streaming to sub stream.

        You can also get another router for your security cameras exclusively 🙂

    • Elvia

      Hello Rory, please check your 4K cameras’ bitrate, and then use this formula to calculate the bandwidth consumption: Bandwidth (Mbps) = Bitrate (Mainstreaming) * N + Bitrate (substream) *M

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

    • Minhaz Ahmadz

      I have 2mp HD poe ip camera.. Can video transmission be done on existing utp telephone line for 5km distance

      • Elvia

        Hello Minhaz, typically the PoE type security camera can work in a distance of 300ft-500ft.

        If the distance between your camera and the router or telephone line is too far away, the video transmission would not be smooth.

    • khawaja usman

      Hi Elvia
      i have 56 IP camera
      50 5MP
      and NVR 64 channel so i want to remotely access in head office so our micro link speed is 100MB
      Resolution 1MP
      BIrate and Framerate
      10 and 728

      • Elvia

        Hello there, considering you have many security cameras,the bandwidth would be high.

        You can use sub stream instead of the main stream to access the cameras. You can also lower the fps of your cameras 🙂

    • Matthew Chambers

      Hi Elvia.
      It looks like you're still responding to questions about this post so I'll share mine.

      1. What happens when the demand from the IP cameras is greater than the available wifi router or internet connection capacity?
      2. If a takeaway shop is operating a server to receive online orders and also running IP cameras live streaming a constant flow of customers, can the data being uploaded by the cameras interfere with the server operations or a music streaming service or does a maxed out upload not effect download?

      Apologies if my questions are basic. I have very little understanding of network capacities.


      • Elvia

        Hello Mat, I will definitely try my best to answer every question 🙂

        1. If you need higher bandwidth, you'll need to upgrade your bandwidth capacity. You can upgrade it via discussing with the network company 🙂

        2. If all of the devices including your security cameras, phones, computers connect to the same router, the speed would be affected by the cameras since cameras need Internet to upload live streaming.

        If you have other questions, just leave them here 🙂

        • Matthew Chambers

          So either the router or the connection can be a choke point, right?
          If the cameras don't have the bandwidth they need do you lose footage or does the upload fail and need to be reset?
          Finally, the chart above lists the overall Internet bandwidth? Wouldn't that be upload only? Do the cameras take up download traffic?

          • Elvia

            Yes, that's right 🙂

            If you opt to a security camera system (with an NVR and multiple cameras), the system will record and save the videos to the NVR even without Internet connection.

            However, without Internet connection, you cannot access the cameras remotely or get motion detection alerts.

            The chart listed above refers to the overall Internet bandwidth 🙂 If the bandwidth meets the number in the chart, you can download the videos smoothly 🙂

    • Elvia

      Hello there, sure 🙂 we will add the bandwidth numbers of our cameras today 🙂

    • Mohamed Gaber

      What for LAN banbwodth. It should be more

      • Elvia

        Hello there, if you want to watch the live feed without any obstacle and obtain the best image quality, the recommended LAN bandwidth for each camera is 6 Mbps. Hope this helps.

    • Mohamed Gaber

      What are the main specs for the switch. Is it the throughput?
      I had to thank you for the caluable information

      • Elvia

        Hello there, you may calculate the bandwidth required by counting how many security cameras you plan to install (the bandwidth requirement for each camera is around 6 Mbps). In terms of the main specs of the switch, it is best to consult the sale team of the companies that sell switches. Hope this helps.

    • Mohamed hanon

      Hi Eliva ,
      I have 8 cameras ( 4 mb ip camera) installed in separate places ( 2 km between one to other ).
      I want to transmit the data of each one to the main NVR using Nanostation M5 but I need to use ( one metal or bullet ) access point for that .
      Will this succeed or not ?
      Can you calculate the bandwidth.?

      • Elvia

        Hi Mohamed, the bandwidth requirement for each camera is around 6 Mbps if you want to deliver clear images and videos. So, the bandwidth for 8 cameras will be around 48 Mbps. However, it can be a tough task to transmit data from each place to the main NVR since the distance is quite long. It is best to consult the WiFi extender provider and ask them to offer you the best solution. Hope this helps.

    • joemmm

      I want to put a camera with a resolution 1080p or 720p on a robot that moves at 10 mph. I would like to minimize the data rate I need to send. If using h.265 what do you think the data rate will be? For one application I am restricted to a 10 MHz bandwidth. I probably will use O-QPSK rate 1/2, or rate 3/4 to send the signal out wirelessly.

      So for your camera what do you think your data rates will be and do you think the 1080p will fit into the bandwidth and at what frame rate?

    • Michael Newsome

      Good Morning, So I've got 6 IP Bullet cameras (8MP) and each one is Mounted to a wooden post plugged into a power outlet that was installed for each camera at each post. Also each camera is plugged directly into the LAN port on its own Ubiquity. How much MBPS or bandwidth would I need for each camera to get them to stay on , because I have 3 that stay on consistently but the other 3 go in and out.. (I have 1 main Ubiquity Hard Wired, and the other Ubiquitys are wireless and daisy chained creating a Mesh network. Also I have up to 200mbps currently with my internet provider. Do I need to bump that up?

      • Elvia

        Hi Michael, generally speaking, the bandwidth requirement for each camera would be around 6mbps. So, for 6 IP cameras, they may require around 48mbps. A possible reason why your cameras won't connect can be WiFi interference. You may click here to find practical solutions to solve WiFi interference, /how-to-solve-wireless-security-camera-wifi-interference/. Hope this helps.

    • Elvia

      Hi there, we are sorry that we have never conducted any tests on the bandwidth requirement for a camera on a robot that moves. So, we may not offer you any solid figure as of now. Generally speaking, the bandwidth requirement for a 1080p security camera is around 4mbps with H.264 compression. Also note that currently our cameras don't support H.265. Hope this would clarify.

      • joemmm

        Thank you. I am looking at a cheap way of doing some demos and the security cameras looks as a cheap and quick way of doing it.

    • 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).



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