How Much Data Does A Wifi Security Camera Use (By Device)

data usage

A wi-fi security camera is excellent for remote surveillance. However, to reap the benefits of this technology, you have to give something in return. In the case of wi-fi security cameras, it’s the cost of a data plan. No matter how much we crave unlimited data plans, there are almost always limits.

So how much data does a wifi security camera use?  In general, a wi-fi security camera can use between 60-140+ GB a month unless you have a 4k device then the rate could be much higher.

Quick Summary: Here is how much data wifi security cameras use

  • Wireless Security Cameras: Minimum 3-5+ GB, Maximum 60-140+ GB per month
  • Smart doorbells: 3Gb to 5GB per month

Wireless Security Cameras Data Usage

arlo security camera

The data usage of a wireless security camera depends upon how long it’s on, if you use standby mode, what resolution you use, and a few other factors including the camera resolution, and the number of cameras in the network. so it’s almost impossible to give you a hard number but if we’re talking household averages we can try.

The precise figure depends upon the kind of camera you have as well. On average a person could use up to about a minimum of 3-5 GB of data per month. However, depending on a few factors, the extent of usage could also shoot up to 60 GB per month or even 140GB

Factors to keep in mind.

Camera Resolution:

One of the key factors that determine the data usage in a security camera is the picture quality. For instance, videos with 4K quality can exhaust about 7GB per hour. Thus, to save data, you can use wifi security cameras with low resolution, but then again, the minimum resolution of an average wifi camera is 1080p. It would then boil down to how many cameras are installed in the whole system since each camera will use up data in recording and uploading the footage. Additional functions like uploading the images and the videos to the cloud system add more data usage into the equation. (1)

  • 1080p – can use about 60GB a month on average
  • 4k – A-Data hog can go up to 140GB plus

camera resolution

However, the total data consumption can soar due to other functions, such as the transfer and upload of data. With this and other variables into account, you can easily expect to use 60GB per month. However, the data depletion could also be determined by other factors, such as video resolution, the number of cameras in the system, bandwidth, Frame rate per second or FPS, camera features, and more.  A high-resolution camera could swallow up 140 GB of data, while those with low resolution could consume 18GB per month.

Camera Features:

If the camera offers sophisticated features, such as two-way audio, motion detection, or alarms, then the data consumption would increase, and subsequently, the amount you’d be required to pay for them.

Motion Detection On – Reduced Data Usage
Facial Recognition On – Larger Reduction In Data Usage

Compression Level:

The videos can be compressed before they are uploaded on the system or the cloud. The levels of compression could vary from camera to camera, based on their brand and model. Ideal compression levels could help in managing the data consumption and bandwidth usage immensely. (2)

2MP usually uses H.265 at 15 FPS – can go 2048 kb/s

Smart doorbells Data Usage

arlo smartdoorbell

Smart doorbell cameras have become extremely popular of late. They let you screen your visitor before having to open the door and letting them in, and in doing so, keeps you safe from intruders. However, these can demand high data usage too, depending upon what brand and model you use. Even so, the data consumption of smart doorbells is relatively less than what a comprehensive outdoor security camera demands.

On average, a smart doorbell could be expected to consume about 3Gb to 5GB per month, but it can also be brought down to just 1 GB a month if used wisely.

Some doorbells, usually with more features and enhanced specifications, could consume about 50 and 300 GB per month.

If you maxed out the settings, and have sophisticated features such as motion detection, you’d have to pay up more for those. Although, there are plenty of ways through which you can bring down the data and bandwidth usage of the camera. By adjusting the resolution setting, length of the video, and customizing motion zones, you could keep the data usage in control.


ava dome camera

What Affects How Much Data a WiFi Security Camera Uses?

The data usage in a wifi camera is determined by a lot of factors. Some of the things that can increase or decrease the data usage are the quality of the image or the video, the scene complexity, frame rate per second, and video compression.

The number of cameras in the surveillance system and the viewing client also play a significant role in how much data is exhausted while using an outdoor security camera. 

Can WiFi security camera data usage slow down your internet?

In a nutshell, yes, WiFi security camera data usage slows down your internet. Wifi security camera data usage can certainly overwhelm the connection a little. While it can have an impact on the speed of the network, it isn’t as prominent as you might think.

Speed would also not be affected if you’re trying to access the camera via a device like a laptop or a phone. Although, a lot of these things also depend upon what kind of wifi camera you have installed in your house and the network itself.

Can You Reduce How Much Data a WiFi Security Cameras Use?

All wifi security cameras use up data usage. However, there are a few ways through which you can reduce data consumption and bandwidth usage. 

1) Using lower resolution: 

Video resolution can increase data consumption. If you’re trying to watch in high definition, needless to say, you’d be asked to cough up more money as well. If you’re trying to keep the data exhaustion minimal, use cameras with lower resolution. 

2) Minimal Number of cameras during security camera installation:

Another thing that affects the data consumption of a wifi camera is the number of cameras installed during security camera installation. Recording through too many cameras will lead to higher aggregate data usage, as each camera will demand its fair share of data. Reducing the number could also bring down the total data consumption. 

3) Setting recording intervals:

You simply cannot use the security camera systems 24/7 and expect to remain within your data consumption budget. The more the camera records, and uploads, the more data will be exhausted. Instead, consider syncing your devices at a given interval. There are also other ways of setting recording intervals to ensure that your camera does not over-record. 

4) Reduce FPS:

High FPS or frames per second can lead to higher consumption of data, in security camera systems. Thus, you might want to keep it minimal for lower data usage. 

Can You Have a WiFi Security Camera Not Use Any Data?

There are some security cameras that can work without an active internet connection and data. Although, without the data, you might not be able to perform some of the functions that are conventionally available in wi-fi security cameras. 

(1) cloud system –
(2) levels of compression –

About John Fox

ebbb364ee14268bd3b77496cab3d1d78?s=90&d=mm&r=gJohn Fox has worked as a security consultant for over 20 years. During his time in the industry, he's learned about what it takes to ensure your home and family are always safe.

With Safe Now, he's taken those two decades of experience and decided to share it with others to help them figure out how to make the right choices for their businesses and families.

John writes tips and guides to prevent crimes, as well as product recommendations, and tips for what to do in case of an emergency and how to protect yourself at all times.