As with everything in life, there are trade-offs when deciding where to store and how to secure your surveillance camera footage. Most options available fall into two main categories: Local Storage and Cloud Storage. In this article, I will walk you through the pros and cons of each and hopefully help in avoiding some pitfalls and misconceptions along the way.
Storing Security Camera Footage Locally
Local storage entails storing all footage on a hard drive or similar device on premises with the cameras. Some security cameras have on-board storage via a micro-sd slot). The hard drive is typically stored in an NVR or DVR device and footage can easily be reviewed and retrieved directly on the recorder or via a web browser, smartphone apps, or camera management software.
Local storage solutions have a few advantages over cloud storage, namely accessibility, ease of use, and low cost. The storage device is on site, so there are no onerous bandwidth requirements to store massive amounts of data. This also applies to retrieving footage, as you don’t need to download or stream footage to review it on site. While cloud storage solutions require monthly subscriptions (many times on a per camera basis), a local storage solution only requires the upfront cost of the equipment with no ongoing monthly cost.
For applications where there is limited or no internet access, local storage may be your only option. This may leave you with some distinct disadvantages over cloud storage, the most apparent being loss of the footage through theft or fire. To mitigate this risk, a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device can be installed on the network in a separate location from the recorder. While this might not help in the situation of a whole building fire, it will allow for a backup to be saved if a would be thief decided to make off with the recording device. Another option is to physically secure the recorder in a locked room or small lockbox. This will deter anyone from attempting to steal/destroy the recorder and may cause them to move on when faced with the extra time it would take.
While local storage may sound “low tech” it is a completely viable solution given you have adequately secured your Surveillance Recorder.
Storing Security Camera Footage In The Cloud
Cloud Storage is a relatively new development within the security and Internet of Things markets. Up until now, internet connection speeds (especially in the US) have lagged behind the demands of ever increasing high resolution security camera footage making it difficult to upload large amounts of data. The systems that have emerged usually have such large bandwidth requirements that they are not a viable solution for most homeowners and small businesses. Two things have changed in recent years that have brought cloud storage of high resolution video into the realm of possibility. First, bandwidth offerings have increased fairly steadily and costs of high bandwidth connections have declined. Second (and most important), the advent of smart IP cameras has allowed for a more intelligent approach to what footage gets saved and what gets discarded.
Smart analytics processing has changed the game when it comes to cloud recording. New systems, at the most primitive, have the ability to determine when an object is in motion in front of the camera or if an object moves past a certain point in the image. More advanced systems, like Arcdyn Cloud, can discern what kinds of objects are present and where they are. For instance, the Arcdyn Cloud Box is always analyzing your camera feed for people on your porch. Every time it determines this to be true, it grabs other meta information, such as, the color of their shirt, what time of day it was. With this information, a search by the user of “Person in blue shirt on porch” will result in a collection of clips matching this query. Other query examples could be, “UPS truck in driveway” or “SUV at gate.”
With smart footage analysis, not only are you able to pare down your searches to find the footage you need, but the Arcdyn Cloud Box intelligently uploads only the footage that is relevant to you, which drastically decreases bandwidth requirements and makes Cloud storage a viable option when bandwidth is limited.
Checkout both our local and cloud storage solutions. If you’re not sure what would work best for you situation, feel free to give one of our techs a call or start a chat and we’ll walk you through the selection process.