Verkada camera architecture is optimized to provide organizations with the best user experience with minimum bandwidth usage. In normal operation, Verkada cameras consume as low as 20-50 Kbps upload bandwidth depending on the camera model and features enabled. However, there are cases where Verkada cameras need to be deployed in extremely bandwidth constrained environments, such as remote locations, mobile deployments or sites with high camera densities. For such deployments, we offer Low Bandwidth Mode that further reduces the resting bandwidth consumed by Verkada cameras by up to 75% and streaming bandwidth by up to 33% with a slight decrease in video quality and video scrubbing experience. Low Bandwidth Model enables customers to run their day to day security operations and incident response use cases without downtime, loss in productivity or overwhelming existing mission critical workloads. Low Bandwidth Mode is available for all Verkada cameras and can be enabled from Command for a single camera or in bulk for multiple cameras at the same time.
What features contribute to internet bandwidth consumption
Video streaming: remote video streaming (live or historical) constitutes the bulk of internet bandwidth consumption, with standard quality consuming 300-600 Kbps and high quality video consuming 1500-3000 Kbps of internet bandwidth depending on camera model and mode (live video vs historical playback). Details of bandwidth consumed by different camera models can be found here. Special notes:
Remote playback of video consumes upload bandwidth on the camera’s network but consumes download bandwidth on the client’s network.
If the client and camera are on the same network local video flows directly from the camera to the client and does not consume any internet bandwidth. Learn more about local streaming in this Knowledge Base article.
If cloud backup has been enabled then the video upload to the cloud consumes upload bandwidth on the camera’s network. If the requested video is present in the cloud, the video flows directly from the cloud to the client, so no additional bandwidth is consumed for historical playback.
Resting bandwidth: Verkada cameras upload thumbnails once every 20 seconds. However, if the camera sees any motion in the 20 second interval, the camera uploads an additional thumbnail to capture the motion event. So, during active hours Verkada cameras send 2 thumbnails every 20 seconds. In addition to thumbnails, cameras upload camera health metrics, and video metadata throughout the day. The thumbnails are used to deliver a smooth video scrubbing experience on the single cameras page and history player. The camera health metrics are used to monitor the health of the camera and ensure it is behaving as expected. The metadata helps with smooth video streaming and playback experience. Note that:
Thumbnails constitute the majority of upload bandwidth
People analytics, vehicle analytics, and timelapse features consume additional internet bandwidth.
Timelapse needs high-resolution JPEG images to be periodically sent to the Verkada cloud and consumes additional bandwidth
How does Low Bandwidth Mode reduce the bandwidth consumed
Video streaming bandwidth:
Low Bandwidth Mode reduces the high quality video bitrates on 4K cameras (CD61, CD61-E, CD62, CD62-E, CB61-E, CB61-TE, CM61) and fisheye camera (CF81-E) from 3 Mbps to 2 Mbps that allows more video streams to play with minimal loss in video quality.
Note: The cloud backup feature cannot be used if the camera is operating in low bandwidth mode
Under Low Bandwidth Mode, non-motion thumbnails are uploaded only once every 5 minutes. Motion thumbnails are still uploaded at most once every 20 seconds if the camera sees motion during the 20 second interval. In addition to thumbnail upload frequency, thumbnail quality and size are also reduced to minimize thumbnail size.
The timelapse feature cannot be used if the camera is operating in low bandwidth mode.
When Low Bandwidth Mode is enabled for a camera any older or cached thumbnails stored on the camera are deleted and only new thumbnails from that point onwards are uploaded to the cloud.
Enabling Low Bandwidth Mode
Low Bandwidth Mode is available for all cameras and can be enabled at an individual camera level or in bulk for multiple cameras at the same time.
Enabling it for a single camera
The feature can be toggled on from the camera settings menu.
Enabling it for multiple cameras
From the Devices page, select all cameras that need Low Bandwidth Mode and click on Edit Settings in the top left-hand corner.
Only Org Admins or Site Admins can enable or disable Low Bandwidth Mode.