Speed and bandwidth availability are primary concerns when it comes to remote viewing of a security system. The good news is that, at Vistabeam, all of our packages – residential and commercial – provide unlimited data, so your concerns about data caps can be laid to rest.
However, upload and download speeds are important to consider when choosing a security system with remote viewing.
So, how much speed does a security system need to run smoothly without lag or jumpy video feeds when viewed remotely? This varies by the type of system used and the specifications of that system. Some systems store all of the video locally while others load all video to the cloud. CCTV systems with local storage will work best on residential connections, but systems that load to the cloud for all video will require a dedicated commercial connection.
Before identifying the speed required for your CCTV security system, it’s essential to understand the difference between upload speed, download speed, and bitrate.
Upload and Download Speeds
Upload speed refers to how quickly an internet service can send data, in this case, security camera footage out to the internet. A security camera system will struggle to deliver data over the internet to a smartphone, computer, or other viewing devices if upload speeds are too slow. Download speed refers to how fast you can receive information (like security camera footage) to your location. Download speeds are usually not an issue as most plans tend to have asymmetrical speeds heavily favoring downloads. As such, the upload speed of the internet connection at the local recorder is the single most critical element determining video quality when remote viewing.
Bitrate is what controls how much data a camera uses when it is recording or streaming over the internet. Bitrate is determined by each camera’s resolution and frame rate and controlled by the encoding settings on the NVR or DVR. By using a security camera system with a mainstream and substream, you can manually designate bitrates for each stream. Mainstream is the full high-definition resolution video stream that a camera can produce. Meanwhile, substream is a lower resolution stream used for remote viewing or a low overhead continuous stream for recording. Knowing whether you will be remote viewing in the mainstream or substream will place you in a better position when determining the necessary speeds to suit your demands.
An upload speed of 5 Mbps is the bare minimum requirement to view a security camera system remotely. At 5 Mbps, remote viewing of the lower resolution or substream is sufficient but not smooth. For the most optimal remote viewing experience, we recommend having an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps. At substream, 10 Mbps allows for a great, lag-free remote viewing experience. Sub-streaming of up to a 16-channel system without lag or jumpy video is possible with an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
A higher upload speed will be needed with additional sub-streaming channels or remote viewing in the full resolution mainstream.
Our three-tier residential plan – Value, Fast, and Max – offers up to 5, 10, and 20 Mbps of upload speed, respectively. The download speed for these plans is up to 25, 50, and 100 Mbps, respectively, and should be more than enough to handle the number of cameras that the plan’s correlating upload speed can handle.
Our Value package should be able to accommodate substreams for single-digit channel systems. Depending on the number of channels, you may experience some lag. We recommend that most security system owners go for our Fast plan, especially if they have a double-digit channel system and want to guarantee a lag-free remote viewing experience.
Our Max residential or one of our commercial plans will do the job for security system owners who have double-digit channels and want several mainstream channels and lag-free remote viewing. For commercial plans, we offer upload speeds ranging from 25 to 100 Mbps.
These figures are based on recommended speeds of popular industry-leading security cameras. The best way to determine an ideal security system plan is to reach out to our experts for a one-on-one call. Vistabeam is always here to help with our truly unlimited, no contracts, and better-than-money-back guarantee plan. We pride ourselves on delivering extraordinary connections with our quality internet and service.
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