How to Calculate Video Storage Requirements for an IP Camera


When purchasing an IP surveillance camera system, you will also need to purchase enough storage to store the images taken by the IP cameras. Your company's internal policies and any applicable law will tell you how long you need to keep the surveillance feed. Underestimating your storage needs can be illegal or against the internal policies of your company, while oversizing will make your company spend more than necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • IP camera manual
  • Calculate how many hours of feed you need to store. Multiply the number of hours the video system needs to run per day (only at night? 24/7?) by the number of days you need to keep the feed.

  • Determine what frame rate you need on your camera by factoring in your company policies and the type of surveillance. Take that frame rate and multiply it per 3600 to know how many images per hour the camera will take.

  • Count how many cameras you will need. Take than number and multiply it by the number found in steps 1 and 2.

  • Read your camera's manual and write down the size of the image created in KB (kilobytes)or MB (megabytes). Multiply by the number you found in the previous step.

  • Take the final number and divide it by 1,000,000 if the size of the image is in KB or 1,000 if the size of the image is in MB. The number you find is the number of GB (gigabytes) your storage system must be to store the feed create by your cameras.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most IP camera users find that 1 to 5 frames per second are plenty for their needs; some specific situations--casinos, for example--use IP cameras with 30 frames per second.

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