Cable, DSL, 3g or Satellite Broadband?

January 1st, 2021

If you are looking at wireless internet CCTV for the first time, you may also be faced with the decision of which type of broadband package to go for: DSL, cable, 3g or satellite? This article aims to help you choose.

If you have decided that you want to see your property from wherever you happen to be, by using CCTV over the internet, you may also be faced with trying to choose a broadband package if you don’t already have one. There are so many types of broadband on the market that it is a daunting task, but I am here to give you some information that should make this task easier.

Here are the main types of broadband available to the domestic customer from your local provider in Chico, CA:

  1. DSL Broadband. (The most common form is ADSL.) This is broadband via your existing phone line.
  2. Cable Broadband. This uses the line provided by a cable company.
  3. 3g/Mobile Broadband. The connection is made through the mobile phone network.
  4. Satellite Broadband. This comes through a satellite dish.

Items three and four are really problematic and not recommended for hosting wireless CCTV cameras. Without going too far into the technical details, these types of broadband often block the ports (the specific addresses) through which you connect to the camera from the internet. If you have no choice but to use one of these two options, be prepared for the fact that your wireless CCTV camera may not be viewable from the internet even after a long process of trial and error, reading forums, and spending time on the phone to a helpdesk. For this reason alone, this article is going to focus on the comparison between the most popular two types of broadband: cable and DSL.

Broadband speeds and packages are changing all the time, but companies always use the download speed as one of the headline selling points. This is unhelpful when it comes to wireless internet CCTV, because the cameras use mostly upload rather than download capacity, as almost all of a camera’s data traffic is made up of images sent up the line. So, when considering broadband for internet CCTV cameras, you need to dig deeply into the broadband provider’s website until you find the upload speed, and believe me, you will need to dig deeper because the upload speed is usually pitifully unimpressive. In-home packages and most small business packages, it is often 10 or even 20 times slower than the download speed. In the next section, we’re going to look at some of the numbers.

Cable broadband can in theory have a download speed of up to 30Mbps, but most packages offer something between 1 Mbps and 6 Mbps. On the upload side, cable offers between 128Kbps and 1Mbps. DSL comes in at between 2Mbps and 24Mbps on the download side and between 128Kbps and 1Mbps on the upload. Looking at the upload side of the equation which is what we’re interested in for internet CCTV, you can see that there is no difference between the ranges for cable and DSL. However, there will be a big difference in performance from a package with 128Kbps upload speed compared to one offering 1Mbps. Let’s say your camera produces a series of images that, when viewed one after another, appear as video. If each of these images is 15Kb in size, the broadband upload speed has the following effect on the number of frames per second or fps:
Upload speed 128Kbps: 1fps
Upload speed 1Mbps: 8fps
This really makes a big difference. Viewing streaming images from an internet CCTV camera at 8fps gives a real approximation of movement, whereas 1fps certainly does not. So, whether you choose cable or DSL, be careful to get the best upload speed that you can from your local provider in Chico, CA.

Pricing for cable and DSL packages is very competitive these days, and as with upload speed, there is no clear winner. Suppliers are bundling in all sorts of other services that make a direct comparison more complicated. All I can say is that it is definitely worth spending an hour on the internet looking at current offers and taking note of reviews, especially bearing in mind that you may have to sign up for as long as 18 months.

What Our Customers Say

"I had the Alibi system installed several years ago. It has functioned flawlessly. The image quality is exellent both night and day and in all weather conditions. I particularly like the replay (which can be set at various speeds) and zoom functions of the system. Tech support from Crimefreeliving has been excellent. I have received quick responses to questions, and timely home visits — as when I changed IP carriers and my Alibi system needed to be reset. I have recommended Crimefreeliving to several friends."


"As a small business owner here in Chico we definitely saw the need for video surveillance. After expressing our needs and concerns Tim did an excellent job getting us set up with the set up with the appropriate equipment. He really took the time to address our concerns in a very friendly, professional and knowledgeable manner. I highly recommend Tim for all of your business and residential video surveillance needs."

Ron H., Owner/Auto Doctor

"I have to say I love having my security cameras at my home. Tim Truby did a wonderful job of installing the five cameras. He is very neat and cleaned everything up after the installation. He explained to me how to operate the monitor, my phone and IPad. However, I have had to call Tim because I'm not tech savvy and forget what he has told me. He usually just helps me over the phone and then all is well. I'm 80 years old and enjoy the comfort of knowing I have these security cameras."


"Tim Truby designed and installed a 32 camera system for us here at the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. We had received several other quotes from security system vendors, but Tim’s quote was the least expensive. Tim also installed the system quickly and has always been available when we needed him. We are very happy with our security camera system and we can highly recommend Tim Truby for all of your surveillance system needs."

D. Weseman, Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Crime Free Living updated our old video system with a new 16 Channel HD Alibi Video Security System. The old system had been added onto by different installers which resulted in a cabling mess. There were cables that worked and cables that went nowhere. It was a mess. Tim sorted it all out and installed cameras that are very clear. He also installed a monitor for our cashiers to watch hidden areas, a monitor to watch the entry door, and a monitor that allows employees to watch the outside parking and gas pump area. All work was done on time and very professional! Will always recommend Tim and Crime Free Living.

S. AM PM Chico Arco Station

"I had Tim install an Alibi Video Security System at my residence and a couple business locations. The remote view option is invaluable to absentee owners or anyone who travels a lot. The clarity and quality of the cameras have allowed for viewing employee theft. The evidence provided from the HD video cameras was fantastic! Tim was professional and provided extra value from his law enforcement background."

J. Folsom Arco Station

"Tim, I want to thank you again for doing such a fantastic job on installing a wireless IP security camera system at our dream home. The extra time that you took to hide wires, and install a clean, professional system is much appreciated. I still can’t believe the clarity, quality, and ease of use of this new system. I wished that I would have met you before our original inferior system was installed by another company. Now, whether I am at home, or monitoring the system from around the world, I know that my home and family are safe and sound."

John M.

"In April of 2017, my husband and I made a phone call to Crime Free Living that turned out to be a smart and wise decision. Amazingly, in just a few hours, Tim installed four Dome Security Cameras, weatherproof enclosures, and hooked up into our home a 23" Full HD Widescreen Security Monitor. Even more than his professional expertise was the time spent with us in making sure that this system was working correctly and properly installed on our phones so that anywhere in our travels we can monitor our new home in Magalia."

Tieka and Don S.

"I have been using Crime Free Living for the last couple years ar work and at home and I really recommend this product. Tim is a very good service provider. If he can't figure it out, he's got good tech support with the system that he offers."

Gary D.

"I have known Tim for over 10 years. To date, Time with Crime Free Living has installed two separate surveillance systems for my company. With each system, Tim has listened to my needs and custom dsigned surveillance systems for my specific needs and within my budget. The equipment used is always state of the art, the workmanship is top notch, and Tim is the example of trustworthy. I would recommend him for any job."

Steve D., Down Range Indoor Training Center

images Certifications & Training

With 16 years of experience in law enforcement, Tim Truby, CEO, is fully certified in video surveillance and training.

  • Certified Advanced Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Academy Instructor Certification
  • California POST Certification in Specialized Surveillance Equipment
  • California POST Certification in Basic Crime Prevention
    • Advanced Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
    • Certified Alibi Security Dealer
    • Enhanced Risk and Threat Assessment (FEMA)
    • Incident Command System (100 & 200)
    • Certified Cognitech Video Forensic Investigator
    • Neighborhood Watch Toolkit Trainer
    • Computer Crimes/Investigations
    • Domestic Crisis for Crisis Negotiators