Do Home Security Cameras Delete Footage?

A common concern among homeowners who use CCTV cameras is the auto-deletion of the recorded footage. Why does this happen?

The auto-deletion is mainly because security cameras don’t have unlimited storage capacity.

When your camera’s hard disk drive or SD card fills up with continuous video recording, the old CCTV camera footage disappears to give the new data video clips the space.

The storage rule is simple. A home security camera keeps footage until it has the recording space available.

Businesses are capable of saving security system video recordings for almost a month. In contrast, home surveillance footage allows the owners to have them for one to two weeks only.

Surveillance cameras do it by default but there are ways to fix the issue.

Why Do Security Cameras Delete Footage?

CCTV cameras have limited available storage. When they record continuously, the new footage overwrites the older one. Hence, the clips recorded previously get replaced by new recordings.

You cannot access the overwritten data (the old footage) ever again. You will still have video recordings of the last two weeks on the go. But, you can’t access them any time after the 2 weeks. 

However, certain ways can help you in keeping the recorded footage saved for a long time.

You have various options to get additional video storage depending on your purpose and resources. With analog systems, CCTV users had to the recordings onto DVDs.

Luckily, we now have much more diversified storage options. Today’s security cameras’ storage system uses the following mediums for motion detection.

  • Hard disk drives
  • Servers
  • SD cards
  • Cloud storage on cloud servers

It’s okay if you don’t want to use this standard method of auto-deletion in your home security camera.

You can always choose to delete unnecessary old data. You only have to adjust your device settings in NVR camera systems or web interfaces.

How Long Can Security Cameras Keep Footage?

Security cameras can keep footage saved for longer depending on the frequency of the use.

When there’s no overwhelming amount of new video recording, the older CCTV recording stays in storage. The camera’s maximum storage capacity and resolution also play a significant role.

Home security cameras hold security footage for up to one to two weeks. For some people, one week’s video data security is enough.

In comparison, some homeowners like to have a good number of old and new footage for safety purposes. It is alright to do what satisfies you; the ultimate goal whatsoever is to be safe!

Replacing the necessary files to make way for the new ones ensures you always get the freshest data. The most important thing is to store the important recordings before your storage fills up.

Saving Footage To A Camera

Most security video cameras have a built-in slot for continuing storage. These smart cameras use a micro SD card slot for internal storage of recent videos.

Each camera has a different storage capacity for recorded footage. It varies from about 128 GB to about 256 GB of storage.

This technology is also known as Edge Storage. Edge Storage involves storing security camera footage at the edge of a network. Here, an internal SD card or an external device stores the data.

Surveillance footage in a busy place full of motion will affect the storage capacity. With limited recording events, you can maximize video storage duration on the camera.

You can even go for months if you save storage by controlling recordings in your CCTV system.

You can use SD cards to set up a standalone camera or a full video surveillance system. It is always a great choice to record a surveillance video.

It’s a smart way to keep a backup in case of any unforeseen incident or deletion of the old security footage.

Saving Footage To An External Storage

You need an external recorder to store footage of a CCTV camera for full video surveillance systems. These are called Network Video Recorders or NVRs in IP systems.

CCTV’s DVR videos are known as Digital Video Recorders, DVRs for analog systems.

IP security cameras may have from one to up to 16 hard drive slots. External hard drives have storage capacities ranging from 500 GB to 8TB. It can exceed up to 10 TB also for some recorders. 

You may wonder with older footage when you run out of storage space. Read the next section. 

Do Home Security Cameras Record Continuously?

The first thing to know is that normally, home security cameras will only record when they detect any motion. They will also send you a notification.

For this attribute, they are also called motion-activated cameras. Some cameras can record all the time. They perform Continuous Video Recording (CVR).

The micro SD card CCTV video does not record all the time. You need to do the settings beforehand to capture video with motion detection, line crossing, etc.

There are two possibilities. You save individual clips to the camera or save video data to the external SD card or recorder. Any external recorder connects to your storage device.

How Does Camera Resolution Affect Storage Capacity?

Higher resolutions consumed in recording footage of a CCTV camera affect the bandwidth of your system. While lower quality does not affect it that much.

You can use your camera settings to set the resolution and length of the video. You can also control the frame rate, bitrate, compression type, levels, etc.

But, reducing the resolution may also not help. Minutes’ important details like facial features, licensee plates, and objects in the hands will be very blurry.

It concludes that you must set your storage options to an absolutely balanced level and hit the target.

Quick Tip: To capture all significant details, you will need a 3MP security camera.

Easy Ways To Keep Your Footage In Today’s Video Surveillance Systems

The CCTV videos do provide appropriate support to prevent any unauthorized intruding, even in your absence. Besides, most home security cameras have video feed limitations.

The limited storage capacity is only because of the heavy bandwidth needed and enough storage to record further.

The best part about modern cameras is that they allow users to control motion detection and line-crossing settings for target-oriented safety precautions. It enhances the productivity of individuals as well as businesses.

Protect your sensitive data without spending more. Use any of the following quick ways that can help you save your CCTV video images for longer periods:

  • You can export the footage you need for longer and store it on the hard disk drive of your computer. You can also go for a separate or external hard disk drive. You can also export video data from the NVR or your recorder’s web interface.
  • Enhance your camera’s common storage consumption by scheduling video recordings. Set the camera timer for only the necessary bits of time to record. It cuts down storage space, saving you bucks and energy.

You can set the camera for night vision recording and save your day storage time. And you are good to go for more!

  • To save on storage, you can also go for motion detection cameras that are programmed to record only when they detect any movement around. For higher security and accuracy, you can make use of motion detection with commercial alarm monitoring.
  • Modern security cameras come with line-crossing features. You can create your boundary defining your area of concern for monitoring motion.
  • Compressing videos reduce the size of your video recordings leaving your camera with more storage. In this process, a codec goes through your video footage and filters it to keep unimportant files. It also makes existing files smaller in size without affecting the video quality.
  • Quality IP cameras are very convenient and flexible. These are compatible with cloud storage. Cloud storage allows unlimited space for video storage. You are no more dependent on any physical space. But you still need to pay more for even better storage. Even so, the results are awesome.

Internet protocol (IP) cameras are very beneficial to store footage. Such as:

  • Better video quality
  • Extra coverage
  • Higher frame rate
  • More storage features
  • More flexibility
  • Unlimited server support
  • Easy remote management
  • High compatibility with cloud servers

These CCTV systems even work in the absence of electricity to record CCTV videos. Many construction companies use these high surveillance cameras even with offsite servers through remote access (wireless technology) like 4G and 5G.

Using any of these methods, you will not have to compromise on important details like resolution options and get the desired results.

The Bottom Line

Today’s security cameras have become smarter, more intelligent, and object-oriented at monitoring intruders.

So, investing in smart security cameras is the way to go to improve safety and lead a more productive life anywhere you are!

Surveillance has become an integral part of our day-to-day life. With ever-increasing crime levels, these high-tech, and reliable quality cameras are no longer a luxury. Rather, these smart appliances are now must-haves for all regular household pursuits.

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