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How Long Do Home Security Cameras Keep Footage

How long do home security cameras keep footage. A home security camera records images or videos that can be used as evidence in case of any mishappenings. Thereby, an important question is how long do home security cameras keep the footage.

In general, the footage from a CCTV camera is stored for between 24 and 72 hours. After that time, it will automatically be deleted as there are no further recordings to overwrite the old data. There are several reasons why video footage isn’t kept for months or even years.

The cost of storing terabytes of data would be enormous and similar to what cloud storage companies charge their customers!

With every new image recorded, an additional copy would need to be saved, which brings us back at square one – meaning a copy occupies space as well. What happens after the surveillance period expires?

After this time, the security camera will only save the pictures taken a right before turning off.

How Long Do Home Security Cameras Keep Footage

security cameras footage capacity

Several factors will influence the length of time footage is saved. The most important ones are:

Quality And Resolution of The Video Recordings ​

The better the quality, the more data is stored. High definition (HD) images need much more space than low definition (SD) ones.

To give you an idea of how that works, a 4K image with 30 frames per second would be 3840 x 2160 pixels, which equals about 5 Gigabytes per minute!

Therefore, it makes sense to adjust the recording settings according to your needs and to use SD cards instead of HD cards when installing security cameras at your home or office.

Internet Connection

It goes without saying that if your internet speed drops below 10 Mbps, there won’t be any live streaming. In addition to that, if your warranty offers a daily upload quota of 10 GB.

For example, and you exceed it, the camera won’t record anything from the moment you go over this limit. The same applies when your internet connection isn’t stable – video recording will stop until you get a steady signal again.

Number of Installed Cameras

The more cameras you have, the longer your security system will store footage.

I’ve seen several setups where the DVR can’t record more than 24 hours even if you insert an SD card that’s 64GB large!

Specific devices/camera brands Some cameras are programmed to save data for a shorter period than others. The only way to purchase equipment from different manufacturers or contact your dealer to see many options.

Another problem is that some brands don’t use standard file formats and therefore stop working with third-party software after their warranty has expired.

It gets worse; most manufacturers require API access (Application Programming Interface) before they agree on providing compatibility – meaning sometime down the line, we won’t be able to access footage recorded with these cameras at all!

Storage Space

Last but not least, the size of your storage space matters! As mentioned above, a standard DVR supports 32GB, while some even can store footage from up to 5 cameras.

If you plan to use a surveillance system with more than four cameras, I suggest getting an NVR that allows unlimited storage, unlike their less powerful counterpart.

What Happens When the Recorder Is Turned Off?

how longs does cctv cameras keep footage

The answer depends on the type of device you have.

Since I know many of my readers use wireless home security cameras, I’d like to point out that these devices usually stop working after a few minutes unless they’re plugged into a stable internet connection!

Traditional DVR

If your security camera system has a traditional digital video recorder, then any data currently being written onto the disk will be saved when you turn off your power supply.

The same applies to surveillance systems with internal hard drives – they will keep recording until their storage capacity runs out or if there’s not enough power to operate the hard drive’s motor.

In addition to that, most models don’t have batteries, so footage can only be protected from unexpected disruptions due to a power outage.

Embedded DVR (Network Video Recorder)

If your surveillance system uses an embedded digital video recorder, then all data is written onto the hard drive of your router or computer instead of the DVR itself.

This allows you to turn off the monitor and keep recording for days until there’s no more space left on your SD card / HDD.

It doesn’t matter if someone unplugs the power cord because as long as there’s a stable internet connection, your camera will switch to live streaming mode.


What’s The Best Way to Avoid Running Out of SD Card/NVR Memory?

To avoid this from happening, I recommend setting up motion detection zones. This way, security cameras will only record when needed, and if something happens in another area that isn’t covered by any motion detectors, it won’t be recorded at all!

In addition to that, make each camera covers a vital spot and places it carefully. For example, if possible, avoid installing an IP camera that monitors the outside of your home and stick with a regular one instead.

What Happens to Old Security Footage?

Once the storage space is entire, security cameras will start to overwrite footage, so constantly monitor your cloud account!

This way, you’ll know when the system has reached its limit and can spend some time deleting unimportant data or switching to another recording method (HDD/NVR)!

Overwriting old footage means that any evidence of tampering won’t be available anymore. Please keep this in mind if you’re planning on taking legal action against someone who trespassed into your property!

How Much Storage Do I Need?

Ultimately, it depends on how long you want your footage to be stored and whether or not it’s limited by size. If this is the case, make sure you never hit the maximum storage quota.

If your camera doesn’t overwrite old data automatically, set up a schedule in case something goes wrong! As for myself, I prefer using SD cards since they’re cheap and can store enough footage even when I have three cameras installed at home.

Where Is the Security Footage Stored?

The storage space of a DVR is connected to the recorder with a data cable. To ensure that all cameras record without interruptions, you should install an external power supply and connect this device to the input on the back of your security camera system.

There’s no risk of losing footage due to a power outage as long as you have chosen a DVR with backup battery support.

What Happens If the Monitor Is Turned Off?

If your surveillance system is connected to a TV or monitor, it will stop recording after 5-10 minutes if you haven’t touched any buttons. If there’s no display attached, it will keep recording for 24 hours before stopping automatically!


If you don’t want to miss any critical events during a power outage, the recorder doesn’t support a backup battery (most commonly used in IP cameras).

You can still install an external battery inside your surveillance camera or place it near a window. This way, even if the electricity goes out for 5-10 minutes, you’ll be able to record anything that happens! The choice is yours.

Thank you for reading; I hope this article has been helpful! Please remember to share it online, so other people will have a chance to find professional answers independently. Have a nice day!

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