How do I speed up my internal network?

Brent Johnson
Brent Johnson used Ask the Experts™
Hello Experts,

This is similar to my other open question, but maybe if I try to simplify my question, I'll get more responses.  Basically, how do I speed up my internal network speed?  I am trying to view a whole ton of IP cameras all located on my LAN and every camera that I pull up is extremely slow.  I've tried lowering the video quality settings to no avail.  I replaced all of our 5 port 10/100 switches with gigabit unmanaged switches. I also ran a LAN Speed Test and to transfer a 2GB file from one computer to another took 35.3 seconds to upload and 30 seconds to download.  I'm attributing the slow video to this.  How else can I speed this up?
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Sam Simon NasserIT Support Professional

to ensure that you have a gigabit network, these conditions should comply:
1. gigabit switch (Done)
2. CAT6 or CAT7 cables to connect the switch with the wall sockets
3. CAT6 patch cables

by using these, you'll get a speed of 1000 instead on 100 ... what is the speed that you have now? (right click network icon, network and sharing center, click on connection - in the middle of the screen)

also, regarding the cameras, are they normal cameras connected through normal DVR or they are IP cameras? they also need gigabit base to get the mas speed.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

That's actually a decent network speed.  2GBytes = 16Gbits divded by 30 seconds = about 500Mbits per second.  There is a bandwidth calculator at
RafaelArchitect - Network Engineer - Instructor
Cat 6 and Cat 7 can be expensive whereas Cat5e will work.  However, as stated above you need to make sure that at a very minimum, there is no legacy cat 5 in the network anywhere as it can slow down your traffic.

I would also look at using a managed switch versus and unmanaged switch.  An unmanaged switch simply allows Ethernet devices to communicate with one another,and are usually shipped with a fixed configuration and do not allow any changes to this configuration. although, some do allow more control over ports, VLANs and QOS. However, you didn't specific which you had.

A Managed switch provide all the features of an unmanaged switch as noted above and provides the ability to configure, manage, and monitor your LAN. It also gives you greater control over how data travels over the network as well as run SNMP which will help you determine the health of your network if configured for such.

Finally you may want to investigate what ports are in use versus what is needed as it can add a load or chatter to the network.  You may not even know it but  you could have something that is causing the rest of the network to behave sluggish.

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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Over the years including one yesterday, I've had one or two ports on a 5-port and a 16-port switch go bad in such a way that the speed was less than 1/10th what it was supposed to be.  But only for that one port.
Top Expert 2014

As Dave Baldwin pointed out you are getting about 500 Mbits/sec.  Which is decent speed if you are using the default 1500 byte MTU.  Try enabling jumbo frames and configuring your MTU to at least 4000 bytes.

This is assuming your switch and the cameras support jumbo frames.  You will want to verify that everything supports this before you start changing things.
Senior CyberSecurity Engineer
so as another answer
since you have seemed to have implemented  a gigabit network
the speed of your network is reasonable - not necessarily your quandary

by the way what kind of cameras and what signal does it supply - this makes a difference also

regarding network

by applying other network technologies you can make improvements in certain areas
1 choice is to segregate the video traffic in a virtual network - called a vLAN
(this can Tag the traffic as video, ensure other types of traffic are not interfering or stepping on it)
2 choice is prioritize traffic ( speed up or slow down) by using QOS/COS quality of service and class of service
(priority is usually set based on type of traffic or vLAN --- so these 2 steps often go hand-in-hand)

usually these technologies are implemented in medium and large companies - and often small also
usually these are controlled and or configured via the Router / Switch / Firewall
to implement these does take an extra jot or 2 or networking knowledge/understanding
but they are not extremely difficult
even a basic SOHO router will often offer QOS in their router GUI interface

check out some numbers
Streaming video to a LAN file server or storage unit: A single camera feeding 30 frames per second (fps) of high-quality images at 640x480 pixels using the MJPEG codec for storage requires 11 Mbps of bandwidth. Five cameras doing the same require 53 Mbps


Thank you all for your input so far.  One thing I ran into today is as I was working on the computer on which we are trying to get all of these cameras to display accurately, I noticed the computer's CPU was constantly at "100%" both in the camera software GUI (using the vms software called, NVMS7000) as well as in resource monitor.  I came to the realization that the CPU might be overloaded and that is what is causing all these camera issues.  Could this be an accurate reason for the slow video streaming, lag, and delays?

To answer a few questions from your responses, every camera is an IP camera.  We are using NVR's mostly, but we also have one DVR in use.  We have no CAT 5 cables.  This is a new building and all wiring is CAT 5e.  Isn't CAT 5e gigabit capable?  What do you mean by "what signal does it supply" regarding the cameras?
Top Expert 2014
CAT5e does support gigabit speeds CPU busy can contribute to  the appearance of slow video.  

Every Ethernet frame received requires the CPU to be interrupted to process the frame,  so the fewer frames the fewer interrupts.

However, what are the specs on the computer that is having the problems?  Could be a simple CPU upgrade (if possible) could resolve your problems.
DarinTCHSenior CyberSecurity Engineer
type of ip camera signal

could deliver the video feed in


H.264 is leaner - uses less bandwidth


The specs of the computer is:  Lenovo ThinkCentre M78 10BR0005US Tower Desktop (3.5 GHz AMD APU A8-6500B Processor, 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD, Windows 7 Professional), so it has a crappy AMD CPU and when I have the NVMS 7000 software open, both resource monitor and the NVMS software both say that the CPU is at 100%.  I have a strong feeling that that is what is happening.  I think the cpu is overloaded.  I'm going to try to get them a new computer that has an Intel Core i7-5820K CPU and DDR4 RAM.  I think that should do the trick.
Top Expert 2014

Before you do that, is it 100% of all 4 cores?  Or just 100% of 1 core?

What happens if you just have 1 video feed showing?

How many cameras is a "ton" of cameras?

What does taskmanager show for the network utilization?

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