Envision this—you’ve just outfitted your home with all the latest and greatest technology aimed at securing your property, and everything works like a charm, that is until you check your camera’s supposedly view-from-anywhere video feed. Did you make a mistake with your choice of camera? Did the installer place the camera too far and away? Maybe the problem is bandwidth, in particular the amount of reliable internet speed that is available for your camera to use on a consistent basis.
The internet speed you need depends firstly on the definition quality of the video being transmitted. This can include each of the following:
Camera Resolution: higher resolution cameras deliver clearer picture quality but require increased internet capacity.
Frame Rate: since video is a series of images back-to-back, a higher frame rate is an increased number of images per second, delivering a smoother video at a higher use of resources.
Compression: digital media can often be delivered with some repeated information omitted, which does nothing to negatively affect the video quality. This can help reduce the need for internet bandwidth.
One example is some high-end CCTV cameras that require an immense 6 Mbps upload speed per camera to transmit a singular 4K (or greater) video stream. Those cameras are not commonly used for home security, and for good reason, as most homes wouldn’t have the resources to leverage them.
Some of the most popular, most effective cameras are expected to use about 2 Mbps of upload speed per camera. It is believed more than 94% of homes have access to adequate internet upload speeds around 3 Mbps, which is enough to run these cameras on their highest settings, and future improvements in broadband infrastructure are an ongoing focus of the FCC.
Having additional devices, including multiple cameras, transmitting information at the same time is going to require more bandwidth; however, settings, such as video compression, can be toggled to improve performance as more cameras are added.
Security Cameras which leverage Video Analytics possess the benefit of activating only when a rule has been triggered. This alleviates the burden placed on your internet to keep up with having multiple video streams being uploaded at once, since it is unlikely that a noteworthy event would occur simultaneously on different sides of your property.
The speed of your internet directly impacts how quickly information, such as a digital video signal, can be transferred, and video cameras are unlikely to be the only devices using your internet signal.
With so many individuals now working from home, sometimes attending video meetings, those resources can become strained. If there is an online gamer in the same house, then they are using some of the same resources needed.
Also, the advertised speed of your internet may not be delivered on a perfectly consistent basis, as population density in urban areas can affect the service to your home when demand increases around you.
While the FCC is working to measure broadband, ensuring the consistency of its delivery, individuals also have some simple tools to test their internet speed at any given moment.
One such tool is the ability to run a query in a search engine, such as asking Google, “What is my internet speed right now?” You will likely receive a prompt that states “Run Speed Test “. This will first measure your download speed, followed by your upload speed.
Remember that the upload speed is the most relevant metric for determining the reliability of your video camera’s feed. Download speed will affect viewing the video feed, so that would need to be considered if you are having difficulty monitoring your camera’s live stream while at home.
Of course, the quality of what you transmit over the internet is only as good as its source, so there are some additional considerations involving your Wi-Fi that need to be taken into account.
Be mindful that, even with the best internet service available, there may be flaws within your device settings or placement creating problems before the signal reaches your internet. It might be useful to know the top reasons that a security camera may fail to work properly, as well as the causes of video loss and preventative measures you can take.
There are numerous factors that can affect how your system will operate—type of cameras you select, number of cameras, camera streaming settings, installation, competing resources, and internet speed variability. It is best to get started on the right foot and ensure that you have continuous support of your equipment.
Having a professional security monitoring company includes exactly that level of ongoing service and support. Ensure your security cameras are optimized for each of your home’s unique aspects. Contact us today to speak with a Brinks Home™ Security Consultant who can advise on equipment with you and your property in mind.
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