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Do outdoor security cameras record all the time

Today, having a “spare pair of eyes” that can watch your property when you're away is a valuable privilege. However, you probably know that security camera installation is quite expensive. Before deciding whether you need it or not, it might be useful to know the pros and cons of these devices.

One of the most asked questions we hear is probably whether the cameras work all the time, recording footage or not. Well, it's definitely a reasonable question, as most people want to have the possibility of constant monitoring. Plus, the recorded footage can be used in case something bad unfortunately happens. As a locksmith and security company with over 35 years of experience, Sure Lock & Key knows how important it is to consider customers' desires. That's why we want to share the information with you so that you can choose your best option. We invite you to keep reading if you're interested.

Factors that affect the recording time

There are many factors to consider before choosing the camera for your property. We assume that high-level security cameras, usually used in major financial or state institutions, are needless in ordinary houses or apartments. Not only are they expensive, but also, it's doubtful you will have enough space to store the recorded footage they provide. However, there is no need to worry as reliable home security cameras exist in abundance on the market. We're sure you can find the most appropriate one just for you.
Before purchasing one, ask yourself, “What is my desired security camera recording time?” Some record footage 24/7, while others are set to record only at a scheduled time or when they detect a motion. What factors affect that? As mentioned above, the variety of cameras is huge. For example, public facilities require 24/7 recording plus live remote monitoring to prevent crimes and acts of vandalism. However, for home security, you can use something a bit more simple. Basically, regular home security cameras are mostly used to detect criminals. When looking for a perfect security camera for your home, it's recommended to consider the following aspects:
A power source and type of batteries.
The security cameras may be wired or wireless. The first ones are usually plugged into an electrical source over an Ethernet cable or into the digital video recorder (DVR) systems. These cameras can continuously record video as they are connected to the recharge. Wireless cameras use batteries as the power source, and the type of these batteries can tell how long a camera may record a video. Cameras with rechargeable battery packs usually serve longer than those operated by ordinary AA batteries, as you have to replace them from time to time. The wireless camera's recording time is usually 5–12 seconds and can be limited to 30 seconds maximum and configured to 60 seconds.
outdoor camera for your house
Camera recording type.
This is another important factor that influences the recording time. The camera recording types are next – motion detection and live viewing. The first type implies cameras set to record at a defined time, usually when they detect a motion. Those are, for example, doorbell cameras or small home security cameras. It means they don't record all the time and it has its own benefits. Live viewing cameras record footage continuously until they are out of space. As we've already mentioned, major institutions usually install these cameras.
After choosing the right security camera, you might want someone to assist you with the installation. If so, feel free to call the security services to get the job done!
outdoor camera for your house

How long does the average security camera store footage

The answer to this question depends on the camera type, as the standard response doesn't exist. Talking about the video surveillance cameras of some industries and institutions, we may conclude the footage-keeping regulations are based on federal and state requirements. However, the situation is different compared to regular home CCTV cameras. The great advantage is that you can choose how long the recorded video should retain, but this time is also limited. Usually, home security cameras keep the footage between 1 and 30 days, but the most optimal one is a period of 14–30 days.
What influences the time of the footage accommodation? One of the most important factors is definitely what you use to store the recorded videos. Those devices may be hard drives, SD cards, servers and DVRs, and cloud storage. Most cameras using motion detection recording keep footage in cloud storage or SD cards. The main reason for that is that the recorded video doesn't require much space as it's not filmed 24/7.
On the other hand, those security cameras that record continuously cannot do it without hard drives, servers or DVRs. On average, one security camera needs 1 TB (terabyte) of storage space for 24 hours of recording. A regular SD card would be filled up after less than 1 hour of work. There is one alternative if you want to increase the storage time for your regular home security camera that uses an SD card or cloud storage, and that is a network-attached storage (NAS) device. It's a mini-computer with its own hard drives that can be accessed over your local network. Also, considering storage space, it's important to remember that high-definition videos take up much space on a storage device. You may, for example, set a 720p resolution instead of 1080p to save room for new records. They usually overwrite the old ones when the space is filled up.
two bullet outdor cameras
two bullet outdor cameras

Summing up

The recording and storage time of the security system cameras may vary depending on your camera type and personal preferences. If you need a continuous recording to feel extra secure and have peace of mind, you don't necessarily have to spend much money. The security camera market is full of alternatives you may choose from. Before purchasing and installing one, decide what you're looking for so that the whole process is as easy as possible. We hope this article was useful and it'll be easier for you to decide.

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