Hi everyone! Thank you for reading my fourth article in the Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Security Cameras for Home series. Today’s topic is all about storage options, plus I’m going to have a look at some of the subscription based services that are around. Let’s get straight into it!
Why do I need to store and backup my security footage?
Your security camera system would not be complete without somewhere to store and backup your security footage. Without storage, your system will only give you the live monitoring capability. This would be fine if your goal is to use the cameras as a baby monitor, or keeping an eye on the kids in the backyard. However, for a fully functioning security camera system, storage is a must. Why? Well if an intruder breaks in to your home, you will want the evidence recorded to pass on to the authorities to try and catch the culprit. In addition, your insurance company may also want to see the footage as proof for your insurance claim.
There are two main types of storage, local and cloud storage.
Local storage – As the name suggests, the storage of your security footage can be stored on a device within your home. Local storage devices come in different formats with the most common being a Digital Video Recorder (DVR), a Network Video Recorder (NVR), or a memory card.
- Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – This is usually a box, that looks a little like a DVD player, that has a hard drive inside and your security cameras connect directly to the DVR to record the footage. They can usually be hooked up to a TV or computer monitor so that you can watch back the vision that has been recorded.
- Network Video Recorder (NVR) – Very similar to a DVR, however an NVR is connected to a network device such as a modem or router. Then your cameras, computer or other monitoring device connect to it over the same network.
- Memory Card – Some indoor security cameras come with a memory card slot so that you can record directly to a memory card. This would have to be the easiest set up as there is no need to connect the security camera to a recording device by cables or wirelessly over a network. All the recording is done within the security camera itself. The downside to using memory cards is the storage space, which is significantly smaller than what you can get with a DVR or NVR setup.
It is important to note that most devices can be connected to your home network, whether it is a DVR, NVR or memory card. Connecting these devices to your home network will allow you to access the cameras via your smartphone or tablet by using a specific app that comes with the device. A great feature if you travel frequently.
Cloud storage – This is increasing in popularity not only for security camera footage, but for all forms of digital storage. The reason? For the convenience. Say you don’t want to purchase memory cards, or have a bulky DVR/NVR sitting in your home. Well Cloud Storage would be for you. Plus, data stored in the Cloud can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Another great thing about Cloud storage for security footage is that if an intruder in your home also takes the physical storage device, then your footage is gone. However, with storage in the Cloud, even if the intruder steals the security camera, your footage will be safe and secure, ready to be extracted for the police to track down the culprit.
There are some down sides to Cloud storage. You have no control over the storage. In other words, you are relying on the company having excellent uptime for their servers, otherwise you will not be able to access or record any security footage. In saying this, most services have excellent uptime.
Another down side to Cloud storage can be the cost. There are some excellent free storage options, however for a fully featured cloud based security storage, you should expect to pay a monthly fee. It is worth weighing it up though. Think about it, either spending the money up front to buy your own storage, or pay a monthly fee for the convenience of cloud storage. Like most things, it comes down to personal preference.
What about subscription based services? What are they and what is available?
Subscription based services are an all-encompassing security service for your home. There are several companies out there that offer these services such as:
- Link Interactive
- Protect America
Depending on what package or service level you sign up for, these companies offer all-inclusive security systems for your home. From the devices themselves, to installation, and even a monitoring service, if you are looking for a “done-for-you” solution to home security, then one of these companies may be just right for you.
I’ve only just touched the surface on these services, however I plan to provide you with detailed reviews of these services in the future.
Storage, yet another important decision in designing your perfect home security system. Ultimately, if you want to have the control of your storage and enjoy the physical presence of the security system, then buying a system with local storage is for you. On the other hand, if you want the convenience of no bulky devices and storage that can be accessed from anywhere, then a cloud storage system is the choice. Alternatively, for a completed, no fuss, setup, it might be worth considering one of the subscription based security services of the companies listed above. All in all, only you can make the decision on which path you want to take.
If you do have any questions about anything I have written about today, please leave me a comment below. I’ll be more than happy to help you.