10 - Video Storage - Hard Drives & Cloud

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Video Storage

There are several storage options for video surveillance systems. The most common is equipping the video recorder with enough hard drive space to provide the amount of storage needed for the number of days desired. The video below does a good job of explaining.

The only limitation you have to consider is the number of hard drive bays the video recorder provides. Four channel recorders have one hard drive bay, eight camera recorders have two hard drive bays, sixteen channel recorders have two or four bays (depending on the model), sixteen and thirty two channel recorders have four or eight bays and larger systems have a minimum of eight bays.

Determining the Hard Drives Needed

The size of the hard drive(s) needed is based on the number of cameras, resolution, recording options, and number of desired storage days. The hard drive calculator below allows you to set the values for your application and calculate the storage needed. This tool is also available on our website for use anytime. Go ahead and try using the calculator below for practice.

Often consumers don't know how many days they need stored. Standard is 2 weeks continuous recording, but if the cost is an issue, calculate the hard drive using the motion recording feature, this will drop the storage requirements in half. Some industries require considerably more storage days.

For example, state regulatory agencies require a cannabis "grow farm" to store 90 days of video for all cameras. A childcare facility will typically need at least 30 days. Often it takes 30 days after an event occurs for a parent to contact an attorney and the attorney contact the client. If this happens you don't want the video that documented the event to be overwritten on the hard drive because only two weeks of storage was available.

Always keep in mind you can usually add more hard drives to a system if the storage time is not adequate or if they add cameras and want to maintain their original storage capacity.

On-board Memory

Our cameras are equipped with an SD memory card slot. Equipping the cameras with a memory card is a good low-cost solution to guard against the video recorder being stolen. The memory card allows the video from the camera to be simultaneously recorded in the camera and video recorder. If the recorder is stolen the cameras storage can be accessed with your smart phone allowing you to view the events of the recorder being stolen. A 128Gig memory card usually provides 5-7 days of motion activated storage. When the memory card is full, it will delete the oldest files and continue recording, all without maintenance or upkeep for the customer. This feature usually eliminates the need for a Cloud backup system and has no monthly fee.

Expanded Storage

Both our ProVue and Cyber Secure series has the ability to add more storage to a recorder using our expanded storage unit Item HD100. This unit connects directly to the video recorder using the eSATA connection on the recorder. The unit can support four more hard drives, allowing you to expand the total storage capability on any of our systems.

NAS - Network Attached Storage - The Right Kind of Cloud Storage

We offer two Network Attached Storage(NAS) units, one with the capacity of four hard drives and one that can supports eight hard drives. These units with multiple hard drives installed are connected to the video recorder via a network or an internet link. Since 4K video produces terabytes of data, the smart way to use the remote backup is to schedule a nightly upload. Depending on the number of cameras, a single day's backup through a network can take 1-2 hours, and using an internet connection for the backup can take 2-6 hours, but the video remains in 4K, the frame rates are not altered, and no monthly fee is required! Backups are scheduled during the evening due to the time they take to upload.

Cloud Storage

Cloud cameras and services are new to the industry and the concept is undeniably popular. However, the reality is that the companies that are providing cloud services are benefiting far more than the customers. All cloud services degrade the video signal so that the bandwidth and storage requirements can meet the limits of the technology. For example, if you send a 4K camera's video to the cloud, it will not be recorded in 4K. The cloud service is likely to record it in 1080p - 1/4th of the resolution that the camera is capable of. They may also drop video frame rates to take pressure off of the bandwidth, resulting in choppy video. There's also the monthly fee based on the number of cameras and the days of storage you require. It can get very expensive.

All our cameras can be connected to any cloud service. We do not sell cloud services simply because they degrade the video and cost more than they should. But if a customer wants streaming cloud backup, we will support it. The customer will have to choose the service and manage the setup themselves as we are not trained to provide support on 3rd party cloud services.

The main reason people believe they want a cloud system is because they are concerned about their video recorder being stolen. Luckily, there are better ways to address this concern. One option being the addition of memory cards in the cameras as discussed above in On-board Memory.

Below is a conversation one of our student initiated in our Consultants Training Course, the added detail may be of interest.


Dome & Book


1 - The Smart Way to Shop for Security Cameras

Many consumers are more confused at the end of shopping for a security solution than when they started. (video)



2 - Choosing the Right Technology

There are so many different technologies on the market: solar, battery, wireless, wired as well as Consumer Grade and Professional Grade versions of these products. How do you know which is right for you? (video)



3 - Industry Warranty's Indicate Quality

A security camera's warranty is a good indication of its quality and how long you should expect it to last. Industry warranties range from 1 to 10 years. Know the warranty before you buy! (video)


PTZ & Book


4 - The Pro's Golden Rules

There are golden rules that should be considered when designing or purchasing any security camera system. We explain each rule so you "Get It Right the First Time"! (video)



5 - Understanding Resolution & Frame Rates

Let's cut through the confusion and keep things simple when it comes to video clarity and resolution. Which resolution is right for your application? (video)



6 - Camera System Components

It's important to learn the basic parts that are used in all video security camera systems: camera components, cable, recorders, monitors and internet connection. This video covers it all. (video)


360 & Book


7 - Best Camera Locations & Heights

Learn recommended camera fields of view, installation locations and heights for best coverage. Your design should be flexible while following these best practices.



8 - Selecting the Right Camera & Mount

One size does NOT fit all! Learn how to select the right camera for each location. Optical Zoom vs Digital Zoom, how to capture license plates, color night vision & more. Follow the Pro's tips and get it right the first time. (video)



9 - Video Recorders & Best Locations

How to select the right security NVR (network video recorder) for your application. Click through to learn the best locations for video surveillance recorders.



10 - Video Storage, Hard Drives & Cloud

Use our storage calculator to easily calculate what size hard drive need. Learn how to expand storage, protect against theft and what cloud options we offer. (video)


Phone & Book


11 - PoE Units & How to Use Them

PoE units make installation more cost-effective and provide flexible system design options. Learn what they are and how to use them.



12 - Wire & Cable - Alternative Transmission Options

Learn how to wire a system, plan cable runs and design efficiently. If the camera installation is difficult, our wireless transmission options will solve the problem. (video)



13 - Business System Design

Learn how to design an effective business security camera system. Effectively secure your assets and employees while managing your business operations from anywhere. (video)


Cable & Book


14 - Home System Design

Learn how to design an effective home security camera system to secure your home, assets, and family. Monitor your home remotely from anywhere. (video)



15 - Interior Camera Placement

Learn how to effectively locate security cameras inside of your home or business for the best coverage while maintaining privacy.



16 - DIY Installation or Pro Install - You Choose!

Most of our customers install the system themselves with our expert factory support, but you may want that clean professional installation completed by a pro. We support both options nationwide and you choose which you prefer. (video)


Plate & Book


17 - Live & Remote Viewing with Alerts

You choose how you interface with our state-of-the-art-systems. All options are available and any combination of viewing options can be used: direct connect monitors, personal computers, tablets, and smartphones - Super fast, clear, and no monthly fees.



18 - Capturing License Plates

One of the most common requests our customers have is the ability to identify and capture license plates. This can be achieved if you follow the rules and recommendations we detail. It is important that you follow them, simply because capturing a license plate is one of the most challenging tasks for security cameras.



19 - Customizing Kits - Sending Quotes - Financing

Learn how to customize any of our kits to meet your exact needs, then send a line-item PDF quote to any email you choose. Use our instant financing option during checkout to fit the budget. (video)



20 - ProVue vs. Cyber Secure - Feature Comparison

We offer two high performance series. Both are cutting-edge 4K solutions. Which series is right for you?



21 - Become Certified Design Consultant

Help secure your community and earn a great income on your schedule. Backstreet University offers a professional consultant training course.


Design Tools & Resources

Design & Book


Expert System Design Service

Let one of our experts design your system. Its the sure way to get it right the first time at the lowest price. Book a 30-minute design appointment using our online calendar. You'll be glad you did!



Do-it-yourself System Designer

Design your home or business security system like a Pro. Locate cameras and their viewing areas to provide a visual of the effective coverage of each camera and evaluate the overall design. This surveillance system design tool covers it all.


HDD & Book


Custom Kit Builder

Build a complete custom system for your home or business without any confusion or mistakes. This easy to use tool makes sure you select all the components you need for a complete system. You can even include installation!



Hard Drive Calculator

Use our video storage calculator to determine the size of the hard drive you need based on the number of cameras and the desired storage days.



Security Industry Terms

Not sure what Cat6 is? Would you like to know the difference between a DVR and an NVR? Here are simple and clear explanations of the industry terms.


How to Troubleshoot Security Cameras & Systems

CCTV Security systems consist of several electronic parts. The system requires all of them to be operating flawlessly for reliable operation. When one item fails it can be difficult to find the issues because each part relies on the other for system-wide operation. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions and you'll quickly identify the part causing the problem.

Industry News & Events

Surveillance Trailers

What is a Surveillance Trailer?

Why are these strange, purpose built, surveillance trailers popping up all over the country? Are they the only reliable and cost-effective solutions available for crime deterrence and response? How do they work? Are they Effective? What do they Cost?

Banned Security Brands

US government banned the use of Dahua, Lorex, Hikvision and other security cameras in federal facilities due to hidden backdoors. In June 2021, the FCC unanimously voted to start procedures to ban the sale of these brands to the general public by denying new products FCC approval.

What is NDAA & Why It Matters

The NDAA law banned the use of electronic equipment provided by specific companies. What’s interesting about the law is that it bans companies rather than countries. It ignores borders and focuses on individual entities.


Fun & Interesting How-to Videos

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