With rising inflation and the hike of almost every other thing/commodity both here in the US and around the world, it only makes sense to begin the process of tightening one’s financial belt and importantly, avoiding financial leakages. It, therefore, makes sense that any cost that can be avoided, should in fact be avoided – there’s no shame in that.
Looking carefully, one of the varying and persistent of costs that present itself day in, day out, is data – especially if one is on a capped plan.
It is also a cost that cannot be successfully cut out, completely. It can only be managed. To manage data thus, the first thing one needs to do or understand is/are the various outlets that actually sap the data, in the first place: smart devices and IoTs, smartphones, computers (read: laptops and tablets) and well, your IP cameras, which is where Eufy security cameras fall.
Since the Eufy cameras and its entire security system need the internet to work and cannot logically exist without it, it only makes sense to figure out how much, on average these units consume and see if one can live with the cost, abandon the idea completely or understand if there’s a way to mitigate the data consumption in some manner without affection normal use and function.
This will be the thrust of the present article.
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Do Eufy Cameras Use A Lot Of Data?
Eufy cameras do not use a lot of data to record, transmit and ensure playback. However, this blanket statement is highly subjective and may not apply in your case or at best, may only partially apply. This is why it is important to give exact figures and average numbers to guide you.
For a start, the Eufy camera system, using 3 cameras and deploring the base station (with the optional color night recording prevalent on some models switched off) will take roughly 500 MB of data a day assuming footage comes in the range of 30-50 and this footage is watched with decent enough setting.
However, using the same guide and example above, allowing color night recording (and seeing a decent amount of it), and importantly, having the footage set to record maximally and play at their best quality, will take north of a gigabyte to get notified and watch the same range of footage as earlier indicated, i.e. between 30-50 coming in from 3 cameras.
For very conservative settings and the strictest quality renderings, this same range of footage will see between 150 MB and 250 MB doing justice to it in such a manner that will allow the same to still qualify to be called ‘footage’ from a ‘security camera’.
However, if one decides to go with the least in terms of ‘quality’ recording and rendering in the sole bid to maximize data, the quality of the resulting footage and the manner it would be recorded and pushed on may at the end of the day, likely defeat the very essence of buying and installing a security camera to start with. In my opinion, the only options worthy of consideration are the ‘half quality’ and ‘full quality’ options.
Finally there are periodic software updates that cannot be avoided. These updates are largely security fixes and bug patches. For them, there is really no control or avoidance. The cameras (including the Home Base), if your unit uses one, will update when it is connected to the internet and importantly, meets an update or an update gets rolled by. These can also vary in size and the time it either takes them to start or finish the update process. These are proprietary information and Eufy largely keeps them to itself. However, after each successful update of any of the connected cameras or the base station, you get a notification via the app stating which camera/base station was updated and to what version exactly.
Can You Use Eufy Security Cameras Without The Internet?
Recently, I published an article that detailed whether or not IP cameras can successfully work without the internet. While that article was published in general terms and addressed the entirety of IP cameras, it is important and instructive to take the lessons and conclusions shared therein especially since Eufy security cameras are also IP cameras and strictly speaking, under the same broad family as the rest.
However, if you’re not willing to read an entire article dedicated to the said subject matter or are simply okay with a smart, sweet summary, here is it: IP security cameras (and by extension, Eufy security cameras) cannot be used without the internet, at least, initially.
You’ll need to set up the camera and toggle its control or the base’s controls using an app that is powered by the internet. However (and this is where it gets interesting) for models with mesh-like connection realities, disconnection from the internet or a hiccup in internet connectivity doesn’t affect their motion detection and footage recording abilities. Everything still works as intended.
But, as much as motion detection and footage recording is possible without an internet connection, at least for Eufy security camera models that use the base station, all this isn’t possible without first setting up the system using the internet, initially.
That isn’t all: remote footage viewing, accessing footage onsite, live views, camera controls, Home Base settings and cloud storage (if enabled) will not happen or will not be possible until such a time as the internet is restored.
How Can You Save Data When Using Eufy Cameras?
Above, I shared how, on average, the Eufy camera settings dictate the data range that will eventually be consumed. However, are there other specific measures that can be taken to ensure that you save data when using Eufy security cameras?
I’m afraid, no. Over and beyond setting the cameras to record in short bursts, stop recording early when motion stops, and adjusting both the recording and playback quality of the cameras, there is pretty much nothing else you can do besides avoiding viewing life footage for extended periods of time and downloading footage excessively.
Eufy security cameras, together with their base stations (if so designed) aren’t in the habit of draining data, in my experience and personal use case. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done, if by my estimates you still believe that they consume data outrageously or are generally looking to save on data bills by finding ways you believe can mitigate the system’s data consumption.
That said and cleared out of the way, there are however some issues (though not terribly effective) that can be effected to ensure that you perfect data savings here and there, when using the Eufy security camera system.
- Minimize the viewing of live footage. This drains data faster.
- If what matters to you is human movement alone, set it accordingly to minimize data use in the transmission of none human movements.
- When you’re streaming footage, do it in low quality; for recording quality, simply run it in full HD (1080p as against the standard 2K HD – for models that offer this resolution point).
- Finally, make certain to avoid the cloud storage route, at all costs if you are sorely looking forward to saving data. The cloud storage route ensures data is used up twice as much: first, in getting it to your device and then, to the cloud.
While not much, these steps, religiously taken into consideration will certainly ensure some data savings and eventually, will mean a lower bill, no matter how ‘insignificant’ down the line.
This, I am perfectly sure, based on my experience, research, and actual use.