How Much Data Does A WiFi Security Camera Use?

by | Jul 22, 2021 | Blogs

A smart home integrated with a number of WiFi-accessible gadgets has become increasingly popular these days. Security cameras are a very important piece of everyone’s smart home set-up. Despite the trend, many people are still skeptical about using a WiFi security camera due to all its bandwidth and data usage. If you are planning on installing one, it is good to know how much data a wifi security camera typically uses.

First, you must note that WIFi cameras are constantly connected to the cloud so they can stream and record video. Due to this, some camera brands may consume a lot of bandwidth and data. Some WiFi security cameras use up to 4 Mbps when uploading records to the cloud. This usage may even go higher, depending on the video quality. The higher the quality of the recording, the higher data usage the WiFi security camera will consume. If not monitored properly, some home security systems can use as much data as up to 400 GB a month for just a few wireless security cameras.

Suppose you are concerned about bandwidth and data limits. In that case, it’s best if you look out for these factors that will affect the data consumption of a WiFi security camera:

1. Video Resolution

Higher video quality is ideal, especially for security cameras. Although higher quality is preferred, it compromises the data consumption of the WiFi security camera. The average camera quality is 1080p. If you are on a budget with your data, it is better to set the quality of the camera one setting lower (typically 720p or 480p). Some cameras will switch between high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) — standard definition settings will reduce bandwidth and data for storage.

2. Frame Rate Per Seconds (FPS)

FPS is the rate at which a camera displays frames in a second. The typical FPS options for cameras are 30fps or 60fps. The same with video resolution, the higher the FPS is, the higher the data consumption rate of that security camera. If you only need to capture good images with lower FPS, it is better to set your settings to 30fps. You can easily adjust the FPS in your WiFi security camera settings.

3. Footage Upload Frequency

The frequency of uploading recordings to the cloud is usually the primary reason why a WiFi security camera consumes a large amount of bandwidth and data. WiFi security cameras can consume up to 60GB of data transfer per month, depending on the upload frequency. To avoid around-the-clock uploading of footage, set record/upload intervals (once daily is a good standard) so that the security camera is not continuously uploading recordings to the cloud. It is also better to use a motion/sound-based record function with low sensitivity, which will only begin record after motion is witnessed or sound is heard. You can also get security cameras with artificial intelligence to prevent the false recording of movement from pets, plants, or vehicles passing by. If the security camera only uploads 10-15 seconds of an intruder alert recording, you can expect the data consumption to drop to 10-20 GB per month.

4. Number of WiFi Security Cameras

Well, this one is pretty straightforward. The more WiFi security cameras you install, the more data you’ll be consuming. If you have tons of WiFi cameras installed, you should expect your monthly data to be capped in a matter of days or weeks. The more video streams recorded and uploaded, the more data is consumed. So it’s better limit the number of WiFi security cameras (don’t go overboard) if you want to avoid capping your data limits.

5. Compression Level

The compression level of the recordings of WiFi security cameras helps lessen the data consumption. Although it may affect the video and image quality, it’s best to set a higher compression level if you are under a smaller monthly data budget from your internet service provider.

In Summary

These are just some of the common factors that you can look into regarding how much data a WiFi security camera uses. To be more accurate, it’s better to plan out properly how much data it should consume. However, if you have an uncapped internet plan, you don’t need to worry about your security system’s data consumption. But with a tighter data budget, it’s important to find the best WiFi security camera that suits your internet plan, as well as your security needs.

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