Security Camera Video Storage
The field for security cameras is changing rapidly. You no longer need to record security footage to a tape and wipe it after a set number of days. Now, there are numerous other options, and we’ll go through them here to help you figure out which one works best for your home security needs.
Universal Flash Storage (UFS)
The future has arrived, and it’s stored in universal flash. This type of storage aims for higher data transfer rates and better reliability than flash drives of the past. This type of storage is already available in many mobile phones, digital cameras, and other consumer electronics. Deep Sentinel is the first among home security camera manufacturers to use UFS for storing video.
Local Storage – SD Cards
One of the easiest ways to record footage is to s Secure Digital (SD) card. This ensures that you’ll have the video in your possession, and makes it very simple to trash the unnecessary footage and to backup any footage that you’d like to keep on your home computer.
On top of that, SD cards are increasingly inexpensive. Recording HD video footage quickly takes up a lot of memory, however, a 64GB SD card will cost less than $30. When it’s full, simply back it up, wipe it, and reinsert. SD cards are not meant for long term storage.
Other benefits of SD cards are that they don’t require the subscription costs that many wireless cameras utilizing cloud storage have. Most cloud storage only keeps the past 3 to 30 days – depending on your subscription price – whereas you can theoretically retain all your SD-captured security footage forever.
If you fail to backup an SD card before it becomes full, most cameras are smart enough to start recording over the oldest saved dates. Home security cameras that have internal SD or microSD storage include the Vimtag P1, all Reolink cameras, SV3C cameras, Trivision cameras, and many more.
Local Storage – DVRs and NVRs
In this scenario, cameras are wired to, or send wireless data to, a central unit that records information. This central unit can be a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) which often has internet and mobile network connection. Some DVRs communicate with cameras wirelessly. NVRs (Network Video Recorders) are similar, but the cameras are always wireless, and do all the data processing before sending it to the NVR to record.
Both NVRs and DVRs make storage easy, as they can easily have terabyte-sized hard drives at this point. There’s no need to continuously backup security cameras with when they transmit to a DVR/NVR, as that is the backup and will last a considerable amount of time. However, most have USB ports, CD drives, or other ways of exporting video if you want a secondary backup.
If you run out of space, then you can use the NVR/DVR’s app to delete unwanted footage. If the NVR/DVR does get completely filled with footage, virtually all are smart enough to reloop to the oldest footage and record over that.
Systems like these are almost always bundled. A couple examples include the ZModo series of NVR systems and Amcrest series of DVR systems.
Remote Storage – Cloud Storage
Many security cameras now offer cloud storage, or only offer cloud storage, for saving video footage. Some companies offer some amount of storage for free, and charge for premium amounts.
Cloud storage is where data is saved on a remote server, and you have permission to view it. Your wireless cameras or central unit needs an internet connection, or sometimes a mobile network connection, in order to send video footage to the remote server where it’s stored.
The major benefit of cloud storage is avoiding the task of organizing the constant generation of video files on your own. You can still easily view recent and live footage. Many companies will allow you to download parts for free. More features are unlocked the with higher plans.
For example, Nest offers 10 days of cloud storage for its cameras, plus other features like more intelligent alerts and the ability to make timelapses, if you sign up for it’s $10-a-month subscription called Nest Aware. Without Nest Aware, recorded footage is unavailable to view.
With Arlo cameras, you get watch the previous 7 days for free. You can’t download the footage, and after those 7 days the footage will be hidden. You can upgrade to 30 days of cloud recording for $9.99 a month.
How much storage do you need?
There are a few security camera system options when it comes to video storage. The biggest question when deciding between the three should by how important having access to previous video is in comparison to other security camera features. If you want to see 10 days prior, then cloud storage will be a little costly, while the others are simply more manual.