There are a few reasons why your Wi-Fi cameras will slow down your internet, and one of the primary ones is the router. Wireless cameras depend on your network router, which is dependent on bandwidth for the cameras and the multiple devices connected to it.
This includes mobile phones, computers, video streaming devices, tablets, and gaming consoles. Add these all up, and you’ve got a lot of processing power demands on your home wireless network. Now add cameras to the mix, and say you want a really extensive camera system that requires a lot of bandwidth – now you may have a real problem on your hands.
When you add security cameras to the collection, they will slash a portion of the internet connectivity of your other devices. There are solutions to this problem, however. For starters, you can upgrade your broadband coverage for faster internet Mbps – though this is expensive and provides no guarantee that demands on the internet won’t be an issue in the future.
Another solution is to reduce the number of cameras using your wireless signal by making the ones you have maximally efficient. You can do this by eliminating redundant surveillance spaces. Additionally, you can choose a standard video compression rate to make the footage files smaller. We’ll discuss this more below.
Specific Factors Affecting Internet Speed
With security cameras in all their complexity, very small effects can make big differences. Here are the factors you want to consider when purchasing a security system to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact your internet speed.
Camera Screen Resolution
It seems evident that you’d want high-resolution cameras if you have enough budget. Examples include catching the license plate of burglars driving off with your possessions, getting an accurate assessment of their height and weight, and instances that happen during the night.
The issue is that high-res cameras have high upload bandwidth requirements. That is to say, the higher the resolution rate, the more internet bandwidth and data the cameras require. For this reason, you will see a reduction in the upload speed across devices on your network.
It isn’t as much of an issue if you have FiOS or a general unlimited data plan. As we’ve indicated above, however, these plans can get pretty pricey. Buying an SD (standard-definition) security camera vs. an HD (high-definition) security camera can solve this problem, and there are ways to maximize an SD camera’s quality.
After all, you don’t need high-res running all the time. Or you could get one HD and one SD camera. You should experiment with different combinations to maximize efficacy and reduce processing demands.
The frame rate on your wireless camera or IP camera, like any other camera, is the number of frames per second that determine the overall quality of your video footage. There are typically two speeds: 30fps or 60fps. As you might imagine, the higher the frame rate, the higher the bandwidth demands. One way to quickly solve this problem is to know that 30fps is usually enough.
SD cards or internal memory storage are generally things of the past. Nowadays, digital storage is the norm – that is, uploading to the cloud. But you guessed it: uploading footage to the cloud happens over…Wi-Fi. If you’re constantly uploading footage to the cloud, even when you don’t need it (how you know this is personal and subjective), it can eat up a lot of bandwidth, upwards of 60Gb of data per month.
The good news is you can customize how your camera uploads data, letting it upload only when it detects motion or sound. This is one of those personal and subjective options. Another would be to turn it off while you’re home and feel safe and secure. There are many choices available.
There are ways to compress your wireless security camera’s video and audio (separately) to make the footage files smaller. You do this through what’s called a codec, which tracks and eliminates duplicate/redundant files.
While most cameras will choose a codec/compression rate automatically, again, you can customize these settings, with the following three ways being the most recommended/common:
- H.264. This is the latest and most systematic video codec.
- MJPEG. This codec stores separate frames as JPEG files.
- MPEG4. This is an older codec, but still usable.
Other Factors and Solutions
Number of Cameras
As mentioned, the more cameras in your home security system, the higher the bandwidth demands on your router and wireless network. You can learn more about how many wireless security cameras you’ll need in this helpful blog post.
One of the solutions we previously suggested was to plan the layout of your cameras to reduce the number required by eliminating duplicate spaces. You can also install a combination of high-res and standard-res cameras to offset internet and data demands.
Remote vs. Local Access
Good news! If you’re not accessing your home Wi-Fi cameras remotely, this won’t be an issue for you.
Reroute Your Cameras to Multiple Networks
This is an innovative solution that requires a bit of tech-savviness, but with enough research and planning, you can redirect the main bandwidth load to an auxiliary router and network. You can also use the auxiliary network for remote access.
We hope that we have provided all the factors that determine whether your wireless security cameras will affect your internet connection speed. We also presented several solutions to any problems that could arise in this regard.
There are plenty of ways to maintain a secure and safe home and minimize the effects on your internet connection so that you can enjoy all of the other technological conveniences of modern living with negligible interruption.
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