Maximum server streams performance issues?
  • Hi Ben,

    I am in the process of setting up an 8 camera security system. I have been a user of Security Spy for a few years now but I haven't experimented much with the remote access features and I know some of them are relatively new. I am wondering if in your testing you have seen performance issues with multiple individuals accessing the server remotely on a different network. Ideally I am picturing that I would have one to two remote viewing stations locally (same network) at all times, and possibly two to three additional remote viewing clients (outside of local networking using iOS app) at any given time. The outside of network access through the iOS app would be maybe only a few times a day everyday, but I am certain I would like to have two local viewing stations running at all times in addition to the central hub. In your testing, have you seen any issues with multiple clients viewing the stream remotely simultaneously? Does is negatively impact performance on the main computer and will I have to account for that when deciding which Mac to purchase? I am looking at a 2017 quad-core iMac to serve as the central station, but I also understand that running 8 cameras at my desired quality requires that power and I just want to make sure that it will be able to handle both the 8 cameras, and the multiple streams from various clients, whether that is the iOS or Apple Tv App, or a second version of SecuritySpy in view mode only. Appreciate any help or advice you can offer. Love your software. Thanks.
  • Each additional stream going to a remote viewer will require a certain amount of additional CPU resource usage on your server Mac. Exactly how much is difficult to predict because it depends on many factors (resolution, frame rate, encoding format).

    For the two viewing stations that are on the same network as the cameras, I would advise you to set these up to connect directly to the cameras to receive the streams, rather than your SecuritySpy server. This avoids putting any additional load on your server. Most cameras can stream to multiple clients in this way (perhaps with a slight reduction in frame rate, but this shouldn't be a problem as you will still most likely get good performance).

    Then you just have occasional access via the iOS app - this will have a negligible impact upon server performance.

    The new iMacs are powerful machines - I think the system you are describing will perform very well. If you haven't seen it already, check out our System Requirements Calculator as this will help give you an idea of what sort of performance you can expect.

    Hope this helps!
  • Hi Ben,

    Your answer was helpful.
    Would the two viewing stations on the same network require additional licenses, or is that only if are needed to record (which they would not be)
    Also, that option may be difficult for me because I already have purchased 3 M Series Axis dome cameras and I believe they only support one h.264 stream for each camera? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Is is possible for those 3 cameras to output both h.264 and motion jpeg, with the h.264 stream going to the server or am I out of luck with those. I have two 3004 Axis dome cameras and one 3005-v dome camera.

  • For any Mac that you want to use SecuritySpy for viewing-only purposes (i.e. just to display live streams and no other features), you can use an unlicensed copy of SecuritySpy for free.

    It's good that you're going for Axis cameras - these are very high quality, with excellent firmware, and I don't think you'll have a problem with three H.264 streams from these cameras. Like most Axis cameras, the spec sheets for the two models you mention say "Multiple, individually configurable streams in H.264 and Motion JPEG". Once you have had a chance to test this, please report back to confirm.
  • Ben, are the Axis cams noticeably higher quality than the Hikvision or Dahua? If so, what might a user notice after the cams are installed?


  • Hi Robert,

    Axis has a long history of high-quality IP camera products and excellent firmware, so you can be sure that when purchasing an Axis camera you are getting a quality product. Hikvision and Dahua are newer, and they seem to be aiming at a different segment of the market (lower cost higher volume). They both do have some very good products, and are both better than some other low-cost manufacturers that I could mention, but quality can be variable at times.

    If you go for Dahua or Hikvision cameras, make sure to get a model with good reviews if possible, and with Hikvision make sure to get one from a reputable outlet (e.g. use B&H, not Amazon), because these cameras are region-specific and if you purchase a Chinese-region camera outside China (so-called "grey market" products), then you may have problems with the camera and you won't get any support or firmware upgrades from Hikvision.

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