how much data do security cameras use

Have you ever wondered about how much data do security cameras use? It’s not a normal question to ask because most cameras would be WiFi-enabled, but what if the WiFi gets cut off?

Fret not, because, in this guide, we will be discussing everything that revolves around this query. We’ll discuss it completely, so you don’t need to look for other guides about it!

Generally speaking, security cameras, regardless of the brand and placement, can use anywhere between 100 megabits to 13 gigabits per day. This figure substantially increases if video surveillance is requested or involved.

Before we get to that deeper, let’s first discuss the importance of knowing the data usage of these security cameras. Why do we need to learn this in the first place?

Why Know the Data Used By Security Cameras?

Not all wired connections are unlimited. In fact, the majority of providers cap limits especially when the usage is excessive.

Yes, there are internet service providers that cap download limits (usage) per month. The strain on the bandwidth to operate them can be more trouble than they are worth! 

And that is just the reason why it is vital to consider the data usage of security cameras you use. Whether it’s placed and installed anywhere in your home, in your office or commercial establishment, or wherever.

Security Camera Overview

Security cameras can use a wide range of data based upon many factors.

They include the following:

  • Fidelity of the captured footage,
  • Events that trigger the camera to record
  • How the storage is handled
  • All control data consumption

Some Wi-Fi security cameras allow users to stream the video to another device. What this offers is real-time control over what’s happening even if the user is not within the vicinity.

This streaming is especially tough on your internet, regardless of the quality of the video.

There is an extensive list of factors to consider when deciding on your security camera. When just looking at the data used by your security camera, there are a few key aspects.

But, to answer the question of how much data does a WiFi security camera use, we would need to take a closer look at the features that the particular cameras have.

How Much Data Do Security Cameras Use?

data security cameras use

Understanding data usage when it comes to security cameras doesn’t fall far from how we know it’s used by phones, tablets, laptops, and computers.

In fact, there is a wide range of factors that apply to daily data usage in security cameras. And you’re lucky because this guide will inform you what features will most eat up data in the average Wi-Fi security camera!

But, in a general sense, you can expect anywhere from as low as 100 megabits to 13 gigabits of data usage each day.

Factor #1: Uploading Camera Footage and Communicating With the Cloud

Most security cameras store footage in some capacity. Even if exclusively streaming the video to another screen isn’t that sensitive with data.

With analog cameras, though, this most often means a physical hard drive to store data. This analog hard drive will be connected directly to the camera itself and isn’t as secure as remote storage.

The process of remote storage for a Wi-Fi security camera means it uses much more data, however. So, the question of how much data does a WiFi security camera use can be answered by looking at your camera’s upload features.

It can be based on the quality of the camera. This process can be the most taxing on your data usage, as the data is often uncompressed when uploaded.

Factor #2: Custom Triggering Events for Less Data Usage

Many security cameras are turned on or activated by default as soon as they are assembled.

Moreover, they will remain that way until they’re manually turned off for recalibration, relocation, or even replacement.

More modern cameras have motion sensors, intervals throughout their recording times where they shut off, and even more nuanced recording activation triggers.

Not having a security camera record the entire time it is on can save on data while not compromising work.

If you can customize this timeframe, it represents just that much more control over your internet’s bandwidth.

Some specific triggers for controlled recording include recognizing certain shapes or even figures in the camera’s view.

The camera can be on normally, but not begin recording until something specified occurs or comes into view.

Factor #3: Video Streaming on Request

Streaming the live feed of a security camera is an indispensable tool, but it can be particularly expensive in terms of data.

If you are also uploading footage simultaneously, it can be dangerous. How? – Because of the bandwidth, it also depends on the quality and size of the footage your camera can handle.

Some security cameras send footage to another source by default, while others allow you to turn this feature on and off.

Being able to control when the camera is streaming and when it isn’t is a huge help with limiting data usage.

Factor #4: Automatic Firmware and/or Software Updates

Having direct access to the internet also means that a security camera can automatically perform its updates.

This process is usually quick, as changes between updates are not large file sizes.

This automatic process can be bothersome during situations where every bit of data needs to be tracked.

It will occur as soon as the manufacturer releases a new update, rather than on a schedule you can easily control.

Factor #5: Variable Footage Quality

data do security cameras use

The largest factor in how much data your security camera is eating through is based primarily on the video’s quality. The video is streamed, uploaded, or both.

They can even be done in two (2) separate locations, which can take an enormous toll on your internet.

Most cameras have default footage quality, but there are options for how you choose to compress that information in most cases.

Beyond those compression and storage options, some security cameras also have variable footage quality modes or settings. This is for you to be more flexible in adjusting the size of your recordings or streams.

Features like recording in color, framerate, and overall image resolution are crucial. They’re critical in controlling how much data you consume while your security camera is running.

There are many variables to consider when looking at footage quality when setting up a Wi-Fi security camera.

These options can seem overwhelming at first. However, looking at just the ones to help you with the network bandwidth you have available will help you narrow the possible decisions you have to make.

Factor #6: Security Camera Networks

Networks that must support multiple cameras take much more data to use than those without.

A larger host of cameras will burn through data much faster, but certain features for cameras of the same brand can help.

If individual cameras can more smoothly communicate with one another or with devices they are streaming to, they waste less time and data trying to establish a connection.

If you utilize multiple devices, make sure they can easily connect to your internet and one another.

Security cameras use about 100 megabits up to 13 gigabits of data on a daily basis. This figure can be toggled depending on the use, the setting, and the features that the security camera has.

Read Next: How Long Does the Average Security Camera Store Footage?

Bottom Line

With our guide, you wouldn’t anymore be clueless when you’re asked how much data do security cameras use? Regardless of your technical expertise, you’ll be able to understand our guide by heart.

So, you now know that in order to know it, you have to look into the features of your security camera; you need to take a closer look at it with high attention to detail.

Take care to check over the specific network features that might be too much for your internet connection to handle.

Nicole B