How long do security camera systems keep video surveillance?

(Last Updated On: November 24, 2022)

This is a common question we get about security camera systems. There is no simple answer.

This will depend on many factors, including how many cameras you have, what method you use to record, how much space you have available, the resolution of the cameras, and the purpose of recording video surveillance footage.

The answer to this question can be summarized as follows: How long surveillance footage is saved varies based on how much recording space is available.Most businesses have at most one month of footage, while homeowners usually keep one to two weeks.

Let’s take a look at this. Let’s look at two scenarios: footage saved directly to the camera or footage saved to an external recorder. First, let’s discuss what happens to older surveillance footage if there isn’t enough recording space.

What happens to old security footage?

How long do security camera systems keep video surveillance?

Most of the time, the new footage will simply overwrite older footage when an SD card or recorder hard drive is full.

If you have enough storage for two weeks’ worth of video surveillance footage, you can save the last two weeks.

This is the most common way to deal with a hard drive. You can also adjust the setting on your NVR’s website to delete older footage manually if you prefer.

Edge Storage: Save Footage for a Camera

How long do security camera systems keep video surveillance?

Many security camera systems have the option to store onboard data using a MicroSD card.

Our H-Series cameras can save approximately 128GB of storage, while Uniview cameras can store about 256GB. Please be aware that not all cameras support edge storage.

A security camera systems that records footage to a MicroSD card is not recording all of the time. These cameras are usually set up to record only during certain events such as motion detection or line-crossing detection.

However, depending on the amount of activity recorded by your security camera systems, your MicroSD card storage will determine how much.

You may not be able to store more than a few days of footage if you are recording on a busy street that has lots of movement.

If your recording time is limited, however, you can store your MicroSD card for several weeks or even months.

If you are looking to install a standalone camera, SD cards can be a great option. It’s a smart idea to have an SD card even if your system has a complete video surveillance system.

This way, you will always have a backup in case something happens to your NVR’s hard drive.

External Storage

Recorded footage for full video surveillance systems is saved on an external recorder. These are known as NVRs or neural net video recorders in IP systems.

They’re also known as DVRs or digital video recorders in analog systems.

Recorders must have at least one hard disk installed. Larger models may have up to four. One NVR even has 16 hard drive slots!

Nelly’s Security sells hard drives ranging from 500GB to 8TB. However, some recorders will accept hard drives up to 10TB.

Again, how much storage space you can save will depend on how big your hard drive is and how high resolution your camera is.

Check out the video below for a deeper explanation of NVR hard drive storage space. This calculator can be used to determine how long you can record, based on the size of your hard drive and cameras.

What Length of Time do Businesses Typically Keep Security Camera Footage?

security camera systems


This question is not easy to answer because every business is unique and has its video surveillance requirements.

Nelly’s Security recommends that all business customers have a hard drive big enough to store at least one month’s worth of video footage.

We might recommend that video footage be stored for as long as three months if it is a larger company.

The availability of security camera footage at any given moment will depend on whether the business records continuously, based upon motion, or according to a schedule.

What Length of Security Camera Systems Footage do Residential Video Surveillance Typically Keep?

How long do security camera systems keep video surveillance?

We recommend that residential customers who call us to inquire about a system have enough storage space to keep at least one week of footage.

You won’t need to refer back to footage older than a week when you set up a surveillance system at your home.

You will usually know in a few days whether you have to keep some surveillance footage.

Some people like to keep their video surveillance up for more than a week to ensure safety.

That’s fine, too. There is no right or wrong solution. You can do what makes you feel most secure.

How to Increase the Quality Of Your CCTV Footage

How long do security camera systems keep video surveillance?

The videos recorded by the majority of CCTV cameras aren’t sufficient to detect the intruders clearly.

This is why the footage (and videos) are often not able to provide prosecutors with sufficient evidence to prove that suspects are guilty.

When your surveillance cameras aren’t recording clear footage and are not clear enough, here are some ideas for how you can improve the quality of surveillance camera video.

Pick a camera with the perfect resolution

The resolution capacity of the resolution of a CCTV camera can be measured by lines and the higher the number of lines more detailed, the better quality of the video.

For a camera that is outdoor you require an image sensor that has 700 lines of resolution or higher.

In this way, you can get crisp images and excellent facial recognition. Indoor cameras designed to cover a smaller area, say less than 50 feet radius — don’t require as high resolution to produce clear images.

Enhance light around your camera

How long do security camera systems keep video surveillance?

Whatever you think your camera’s resolution however, you won’t be able to get sharp footage without proper lighting.

The biggest mistake that many make is believing that the street lights will provide sufficient illumination for outdoor cameras, but it’s not always the case.

To increase lighting, outfit the camera you are using with an LED light source. When installing, ensure that the reflection or glare of the light source does not affect the quality of your image.

Utilize infrared light sources to enhance night vision

In areas of residential homes where light pollution could be a problem or in places where it is necessary to keep an eye on intruders in the dark Infrared illuminators can be used in lieu of visible LEDs that emit light.

With IR light the camera can get sufficient illumination to take clear images , however the illumination isn’t visible to the naked eye.

How to Keep Your Footage Clean

How long do security camera systems keep video surveillance?

Your security camera systems or recorder will begin recording the oldest footage as soon as the SD card or hard drive is full.

This takes place automatically and requires no additional effort from you.

Sometimes, however, you may need to keep more footage than your storage space allows. If this happens, you can export the footage and save it to your computer or another hard drive.


Individuals or business owners can reach out to professionals to get greater clarity on recording and saving photos.

Normally, most CCTV footage gets stored for ninety days. However, each setup is distinctive, and the photographs garage needs too.

So, research more about CCTV cameras, and the storage part, or buy the proper machine with Technowb. Call our professionals to realize greater!

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