Home surveillance systems are fast becoming the most popular and effective way to protect your home and loved ones from intruders and trespassers, especially in today’s day and age of rising crime rates across all major cities and urban areas in the United States. One of the biggest questions surrounding these systems, however, is how long do they keep their recordings? How long does the average security camera store footage?
As a general practice, the security camera owners keep the footage on average from 2 weeks to 12 weeks approximately depending on their businesses.
We’ll cover all of this below with initially starting their pros and cons and finally the factors involved in occupying storage and the quality of image and video.
So, let’s start with pros and cons of keeping the footage of security camera.
The Pros of Keeping Footage
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- There are several good reasons to keep your footage. If you want to review past events, you’ll find it beneficial to hold onto recordings for as long as possible.
In addition, if there’s an intruder who enters your property but doesn’t trigger a motion detector, having older recordings may help identify him or her—especially if they try to enter again.
- As well, according to Next-door (an online social network), keeping recordings could come in handy when filling out a police report. The company suggests that If something happens at your home and you don’t have video of it, chances are it won’t be taken seriously by law enforcement. When we helped our neighbor catch a thief stealing packages off his porch, he was able to show us video of someone casing his house earlier that day and then returning with a car full of friends to take everything from his porch. This led directly to an arrest because we had clear evidence of what happened and who did it.
- Lastly, many people like to use their cameras for other purposes, such as watching pets while away from home.
- While some cameras offer cloud storage plans that allow you to view footage remotely, others require on-site storage so you can access them later. It all depends on how much storage space is available on your device and how much footage you need to save.
The Cons of Keeping Footage
Even though companies like Amazon and Google offer free cloud storage for their security cameras, they only store your video feed for a limited amount of time—typically between 24 to 36 hours. For most homeowners, that’s probably more than enough time to catch a thief red-handed. After that initial window, footage gets deleted from their servers unless you pay a monthly fee for extended storage.
And if you have multiple cameras set up at different locations around your home, it could get expensive fast. (Amazon charges $7 per month per camera; Google charges $10.)
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But even then, there are other factors to consider before deciding whether or not to save every last second of recorded footage:
You may need to share footage with law enforcement in case of an emergency. If something bad happens on your property, police might want access to as much information as possible in order to investigate what happened and identify any suspects. That means having a record of everything captured by your cameras, which can be tough if you decide to delete footage after just one day.
How Long Does the Average Security Camera Store Footage?
A lot of people don’t know how long cameras save their data for. It all depends on what kind of business you have and how much access it has to electricity. The right video surveillance company can tell you exactly how long your video will be stored by looking at these factors.
Here are some examples
Footage is typically kept anywhere from one week to a month depending on if there was a theft or not. If there was, they keep it longer because they need evidence.
Depending on what they manufacture, sometimes they only keep it 1-2 weeks unless there is an accident or theft. If so, then they may keep them longer if needed due to legal reasons.
In restaurants, they usually keep footage for around 2 months. This is because most restaurants have very few incidents that require keeping video past 2 months (unless it’s something major like a robbery).
Hospitals also keep footage up to 2 months as well since again there aren’t many incidents that require keeping videos after that time period.
These buildings tend to keep videos up to 6 months or more in case someone needs information from that time period in order to investigate something.
Where to Find Out The Answer
Check with your local police department. That is where you can find out about state laws and policies that are specific to your city, county, or even neighborhood. Also, see if there’s a particular law enforcement agency in your area that deals with home invasion and robbery prevention.
A lot of times, these organizations have information on how you can best protect yourself from becoming a victim as well as statistics about crimes in your area for a previous year or two.
Finally, check with your insurance company; they might be able to give you some advice based on what they know about similar homes in your area.
If all else fails, call around to different security companies and ask them how long they typically keep their recordings. They may not be able to tell you exactly when you will no longer have video evidence of a crime (because it depends on how often someone accesses their storage), but at least you’ll get an idea of when it will happen.
Security Camera Models and Their Recording Lifespans
Some of today’s most popular surveillance cameras can record anywhere from six months to seven years. Let’s explore how a business or person can determine which recording time best suits their needs. But first, let’s talk about how these recording times affect the video itself.
When it comes to choosing an optimal recording time for your surveillance cameras, two primary factors are at play:
Storage Capacity and Image Quality.
For example, if you choose a system with four 720p HD cameras that records 24/7, you could end up with nearly 16 terabytes (TB) of data each year. This is why it’s so important to choose a surveillance camera that offers either cloud storage or enough internal memory to hold several days’ worth of footage—otherwise you might have to delete recordings on a regular basis.
Image quality also plays a role in determining how much footage you can store. Recording in HD will take up more space than standard definition, while recording in slow motion will take up more space than recording at normal speed.
How to calculate the exact Storage Required?
To calculate how much storage space your setup requires, multiply together all of your cameras’ resolutions and frame rates; then multiply by 30 seconds per minute; then multiply by 24 hours per day; then multiply by 365 days per year.
Finally, divide that number by 1 TB to get your total yearly requirement. The following table shows some common resolution/frame rate combinations and their estimated annual storage requirements:
How Long Does the Average Security Camera Store Footage? and How Much?
Resolution Frame Rate Estimated Storage Space
|Quality||Frames Per Second||Storage|
|1080p||60 fps||6 TB|
|1080p||30 fps||9 TB|
|720p||60 fps||3 TB|
|720p||30 fps||4 TB|
|960H||15 fps||2 TB|
|960H||5 fps||3 TB|
*Note: As mentioned above, high-definition systems require higher amounts of storage space than standard-definition systems.
We hope that now you have a clear idea regarding how much storage do you need for your security cameras and how long do you have to keep the footage. Please let us know if you have any questions in this regard, we would help you.