Surveillance systems have pretty much become the norm in business environments, but now we are starting to see more and more of them in homes as well. For either usage, one of the big questions is, “How much hard drive space do I need in security cameras?”

While we could answer, “That depends,” the question we ask is, “How long do you want to keep your security footage?

Different security cameras offer different storage capabilities and lengths. If your security camera runs 24/7, it will take up more storage space than those that activate only when motion is detected. And if your camera is recording in a higher resolution, it will also require more storage space.

Video Codec Capability is Increased

According to Wikipedia,

“Video codec is an electronic circuit or software that compresses or decompresses digital video.”

Previously with an ultra high definition (HD) surveillance camera, a wide transmission bandwidth and a huge storage capacity were needed.

The Hikvision H.265+, for example, enables the system to compress video so that a large amount of footage can be stored on the hard drive. You can also program how much data gets transferred over to the hard drive.

The way it used to work is that .mjpeg snapshots would save the entire image on the hard drive. At 10 frames per second, for every 30 seconds, 300 full-sized images were saved. This took up an enormous amount of storage space.

With the H.265+, if there is movement in an image, the cameras focus on the person walking, not on the empty, still space or background. This technology does allow a full-frame (iFrame) picture to be captured every 30 seconds.

Hard Drive Grade Matters

The amount of hard drive space you need in security cameras depends on the quality of the hard drive itself. If you want to store large amounts of footage or need to keep images for a longer period of time, you want to invest in a high-quality hard drive.

Many security cameras are programmed to re-write on a scheduled pattern. For example, a hard drive might re-write over Day 1 on the 31st of the month.

Constant overwriting can cause lesser quality hard (like those purchased at WalMart or Costco) drives to fail. Invest in a quality surveillance system from the start and save money in the long run.

Type of Recording Makes a Difference

When you ask how much hard drive space is needed in security cameras, you need to understand the types of recording options available.

Cameras that constantly record require more drive space than motion-activated cameras. Sensitivity thresholds also make a difference. For example, a tree blowing in the wind can set off a highly-sensitive motion detection technology.

Choose a recording system that enables you to set the threshold and sensitivity levels. The best ones allow you to block out the background and focus recording on the object or person in motion.

How much motion is what really matters.

You can get a quick estimate of the number of days of video hard drive storage you have along with the hard drive size requirements by referring to this online Storage Calculator.

Consult a Security Expert—Fortified Services, LLC

If you are serious about security in your home or business and want to know how much hard drive space you need in security cameras, consult an expert, like Fortified Services, LLC. We can help you design and select the right surveillance equipment and capabilities for your individual needs.

Let Fortified Services answer your questions about security, alarms, automatic gates and access control. Contact us today.

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