How to Store Video from CCTV Cameras
How often do you need a video archive? For real-time video surveillance, archives are often not necessary as an employee is always in front of the monitors and watching the footage from cameras there and then. However, if some kind of force majeure occurs, for example, a robbery of a store or a workplace accident, in the absence of archive records, one can only rely on the witness’s testimony. Trying to figure out what happened, finding the suspects, and writing an accurate incident report will be nearly impossible. On top of that, full-fledged analytics of face recognition or license plate recognition becomes impossible too. Therefore, without a doubt, archiving is necessary.
So, what is the best way to store video footage from the cameras? Let’s take a look at several methods, their pros, and cons, and figure out which one will suit you the best.
- DVR (Digital Video Recorder)
- Flash Drives
- Cloud Storage
- Is cloud storage safer than local storage?
- What to Choose?
DVR (Digital Video Recorder)
Historically, this is the first and perhaps the most common way to store video. The DVR is like a VHS player with a hard disk inside. Such video recorders can be analog or IP. There is also an NVR (Network Video Recorder) which provides the additional ability to access the video over the Internet.
- Imagine a situation where you need to connect several dozen Full-HD cameras and each of them sends out a stream of 5 Mbps. To process such a stream, you need either an internet connection with sufficient bandwidth or an onsite DVR-video recorder. Since broadband internet is not always available everywhere, the choice is obvious.
- The purchase, installation, and maintenance of DVRs are usually very expensive. It’s not enough just to install the cameras on the site. They must be connected to a central location and the DVR itself must be somehow protected from physical attacks or natural disasters. And don’t forget that regular maintenance of the equipment by a specially trained system administrator is required.
- Recordings from the DVR are stored exclusively locally, on the hard disk. This means that in the event of a hard disk breakdown, it gets lost, or it gets stolen, the records will be gone forever. Often during robberies, the first thing to go missing is the DVRs. That is why many people try to secure them as much as possible by locking them in safes or security cages.
- The inability to create and configure individual video access rights. This is very inconvenient in cases where a video surveillance service is provided in a place (for example, in a residential complex) where the property management needs to give residents access to individual specific cameras.
- The storage period of the recording from the DVR directly depends on the volume of the hard disk and can reach several months.
This is the most convenient way to store video for Wi-Fi camera users. Such cameras are usually used for home video surveillance, which the user can configure themself. A wireless Wi-Fi camera can be bought and installed anywhere in the house, office, etc.
- No additional expensive video recording equipment is required, just the flash drive that comes with the camera.
- The main disadvantage is that the size of the archive is limited by the capacity of the flash drive. As a rule, they can normally only hold about 3 to 7 days of recordings.
- When recording in 24/7 mode, flash drives can fail at the most unexpected moment. When you try to watch a video from a week ago, it may turn out that the drive failed a month ago.
Cloud storage is a must for a complete, modern, and reliable video surveillance service (VSaaS) that provides everything that users will need.
- Anytime and anywhere access to the video surveillance service via the Internet using a web interface or a mobile device application.
- Video is stored on a reliable server, which ensures its complete safety and the archive size will be more than sufficient for anyone’s needs.
- Subscribers can access all the features of the service, which is regularly updated. This includes, among other things, the analytics service for the recognition of numbers, faces, and other objects. It’s easy to expand the service and connect new services, you don’t need to buy additional equipment - everything is easily configured through the subscriber’s personal account.
- It’s possible to customize access rights and roles, which is very important for a video surveillance service.
- For telecom operators, the undoubted advantage is the ability to launch their own video surveillance service with a branded website and application. At Flussonic, we allow operators to use our API, billing, etc.
- There’s only one, but significant disadvantage: in order for the cloud video surveillance service to work, you need a stable and continuous connection to the internet.
Is cloud storage safer than local storage?
Different types of security camera storage have different benefits and drawbacks. In general, cloud storage is more reliable. Once the data is in the cloud, it will remain there even if a natural disaster or fire destroys the cameras, for example. Professional cloud storage providers also are on the cutting edge of cybersecurity and rarely suffer the data breaches that so often hit individual corporate networks. Physical tampering is also never a risk in the cloud. On the other hand, local storage is not subject to connectivity issues and in many cases — especially when no inbound connections are prohibited — cameras employ very strong data security strategies of their own.
What to Choose?
Nowadays, hybrid storage systems are gaining popularity, where the video is recorded locally on DVRs and is either completely copied to the cloud, or only by events or certain triggers (for example, by motion). Thus, communication channels are not overloaded and the most important data is preserved. If internet access is lost, it remains possible to watch the video locally, like a back-up for when forces of nature or forces of man disrupt the connection to the cloud. Flussonic, in particular, has the ability to write to a flash drive in the absence of the Internet. As soon as internet access reappears, the records from the drive are uploaded to the cloud, thus ensuring the continuity of the video surveillance.
This storage method has no visible drawbacks. It is beneficial and convenient for everyone, however, not everyone currently provides it. Now, a number of our clients use the hybrid method, which includes all the advantages of both local storage and cloud services.
You can also test the capabilities of our service with no commitment - just send us a request at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will contact you.