Are You Meeting Your Video Surveillance Bandwidth Requirements?
Your Commercial Video Surveillance Requires a Robust Network to Function
What items do you associate with a commercial video surveillance system? You probably thought of security cameras, video management systems, security alarms and motion sensors. Very few people consider their business network a vital part of that system. Even when they do, it's usually primarily tied to very legitimate concerns about cybersecurity.
During your surveillance installation, it's just as important to consider your network bandwidth. In most cases, we recommend IP cameras and a cloud VMS system. Networks then have to deal with the large bandwidth needed to collect and manage footage from multiple cameras.
Here we outline some of the most critical bandwidth considerations when adding commercial video surveillance to your business in The Woodlands, TX.
What is Your Network Bandwidth?
Bandwidth is typically measured in the number of bits your network carries per second. If you've ever looked up your network upload and download speeds, that is your bandwidth. Though bits are the basic unit, in most cases, you'll see bandwidth listed as megabits per second. Most IP cameras, for example, usually require between 1 Mb/s and 4 Mb/s bit rates.
For your surveillance network, you’d want to add these all up to gauge the network load needed. Though it’s uncommon to have all cameras at the same bit rate, to make things simple imagine you have 10 IP cameras in your surveillance system at 3 MB/s each. Then your network needs to be able to carry at least a load of 30 MB/s.
What Will Affect Bandwidth Requirements?
During your installation, you always want a network bandwidth that exceeds your estimated minimum requirements since there'll be variations in consumption. The most obvious reasons are resolution and frame rate. The higher these are, the more significant bandwidth is required, since there is more information that needs to be carried. That's why you may see Netflix streams go down in quality when your network connection starts acting up.
There are a few less obvious reasons your bandwidth requirements might go up on a given day. Footage of an empty hallway will be easier to carry than one full of students, for example. A lot of moving objects, in particular, will up the camera's bandwidth requirements. In low-lighting situations, there may also be higher bandwidth requirements to overcome noise from the cameras themselves.
How to Reduce Your Bandwidth Requirements
The good news is that some things will help with your bandwidth needs as well. Through our years of experience in the security industry, we’ll be able to recommend the most efficient cameras and video management systems for your commercial video surveillance.
First, you want to use cameras and video management systems with advanced image processing and smart codecs that significantly reduce bandwidth needs. The placement of cameras and recorders will also affect your network load. We'd recommend keeping recorders close the cameras, so if you have multiple buildings, it may be best to have one in each.
If you want to learn more about building a reliable commercial video surveillance system for your business, we’d love to help. We can do an on-site consult to gauge your security needs and design a custom solution for your space. Schedule a meeting with our team by calling us at (877) 418-ASAP, filling out our contact form or chatting with a customer service rep below.