What Upload Speed Do I Need for Security Cameras?

May 13, 2019

Internet Speed Bandwidth

Internet bandwidth is a significant issue nowadays. Everything is tapping into the internet— from our phones to our refrigerators. If you’re installing IP security cameras, they will use some of the internet from your network. The question is, how much?
 
When you purchase home internet service, you typically get unlimited data with your package. You may think the fact that you have unlimited data means you should have no issue with uploads, but that isn’t true. The reason prices go up on the internet is because companies are actually charging you for upload and download speeds. A typical home internet service package may come with 1GB of upload speed and 250 MBPS of download speed.

Simple One or Two-Camera Set-Up

Your typical home internet can probably support a one or two-camera system set-up. So, if you wanted to set up a camera by your front and back doors that you could access from your phone, you will likely have enough upload speed to upload the images to the network video recorder (NVR) or cloud storage system.

More Complex & Everything Else

Beyond this simple home monitoring set-up, there are a ton of variables that come into play that will affect the upload speeds you need. We have outlined some security camera and upload speed considerations.

What Resolution is Your Camera Shooting at?

The higher the resolution your camera is shooting at, the clearer the picture will be, but the more internet bandwidth it also is going to use. The files simply are much larger to transfer.
 
Digital camera resolution is measured in megapixels (MP) or millions of pixels per inch. Pixels are the tiny squares that make up an image. The more pixels an image contains, the clearer the image. Pixel size is sometimes given in horizontal and vertical dimensions. So, a camera that is 1280 x1024 resolution contains 1,280 pixels horizontally and 1,024 pixels vertically or 1,310,720 pixels total. Divided by 1,000,000, you get 1,310,720 or 1.3MP (1.3 million pixels per inch).
 
To be considered a high-definition camera, the camera must shoot at a resolution of 1MP. A camera shooting at 1280 x 720 pixels (921,600 pixels divided by 1,000,000 equals .92) is a 1MP camera. This resolution will likely work with your typical home internet in the scenario described above. A camera shooting at 1600 x 1200 pixels (1,920,000 pixels divided by 1,000,000 equals 1.9) is a 2MP camera.

How Many Frames Per Second (FPS) are You Recording?

Frames per second (FPS) is how many pictures are taken in one second of time. The higher the FPS of your camera is, the more realistic-looking motion you’ll get on video, and the more bandwidth you’ll use. Security cameras can typically shoot anywhere from 1FPS to 30FPS, with the average frame rate usually around 10-15.

What is the Dynamic Range of Your Camera?

Another critical factor that will affect the clarity of images is the dynamic range of the video your camera is recording. Dynamic range is the measurement between the whitest whites and the blackest blacks in an image, or the range in which a camera can successfully capture the lightest and darkest areas of an image without losing detail. The wider, or higher, the dynamic range, the better images your camera will deliver and the greater bandwidth they’ll demand.

How Many Cameras are You Installing?

The more cameras you are using, the higher your Internet speed requirements will be. How many cameras you will need for your home or business depends on a few factors: why you need the cameras, what areas you want to monitor, how large a space you need to watch, the type of security camera you purchase and whether you are going to install a wired or wireless system.
 
In addition to all the above considerations, there are a host of other variables that can affect your security cameras’ performance and the upload speeds needed, from where the cameras are placed to the type of router you operate to whether you are recording continuously or intermittently.
 
Today’s homes and businesses need a lot of power and resources. While today’s security technology, is better than ever and less expensive, you don’t want a slow connection or inadequate Wi-Fi coverage to prevent you from accessing your security system when you need it.

How Fast is My Internet?

You can contact your internet provider and inquire about the internet speeds in your area. Your service provider will be able to give you more detail and help you upgrade your bandwidth if necessary. Free online tools such as https://www.speedtest.net/ can help you learn more.

Where to Begin?

The security experts at FSS Technologies are experienced professionals who have helped many home and business owners optimize their internet and security system requirements. Contact us to learn more about our security options and ask any questions you may have.

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