how long does the average security camera store footage?

Are you thinking about monitoring your premises and asking, how long does the average security camera store footage?

With the rise in criminal activities, security cameras are becoming a day-to-day necessity.

You may need to track information on your camera, but you should know if you can find it anytime you want. Read below to see how long your camera can store footage.

Your average security camera can only store footage as long as it has space. When it fills up, it overwrites older videos and replaces them with new footage.

How To Store Footage On Security Cameras

It is good to understand the various methods footage is stored on these cameras before going further.

Different people or organizations store data based on their preferences, resources, and needs.

Previously, people could record footage using DVDs or VHS tapes. However, other methods have come that people have embraced, and so the former ones are now outdated.

The current techniques that most companies and people have adopted include:


It is a popular way and includes DVRs and NVRs. These two are external devices, and they have several hard drives that store footage.

You can choose to store the devices at the same place as your business or far away.

The best option is always keeping it far from the business if you fear break-ins to your site.

Smaller applications may have no issue when the devices are onsite. However, it always depends on business owners’ preferences.

SD Cards

These devices are also another good option to store camera footage. Most CCTV cameras come with inbuilt SD cards.

However, the cards may not accommodate all the information you wish. So, you must purchase an external SD card to increase storage capacity.

The SD card you choose will affect the number of footage files you store on it. The good thing is that you have the option to delete or save them for later use.

You may only lose the data when it is damaged or broken. Though still, these devices, in conjunction with the video servers, make the best storage.

Cloud Storage

The cloud makes a good storage option too. Most modern IP cameras have this option. They also allow you to buy more storage if you wish.

You can only store your videos on the cloud storage if you have an internet connection.

You may not need electricity to use this option. Hence, very convenient even for construction sites. You may only need wireless connectivity, a 5G or a 4G.

So, it is the best, secure, and most convenient storage method for modern applications. But what amount of storage space is in security cameras? How big is it?

The Amount Of Storage Available In Security Cameras

average security camera store footage

Different factors affect the amount of storage you have in a security camera. These include:

  • Your storage method.
  • The number of cameras available in your facility.
  • The application you are using.

If you are using the camera’s hard drive to record video footage, you may only have between seven and 30 days to store video. Meaning that you can view your files no later than these days.

If you need the video later, you will have to offload it to an external device, e.g., a computer.

Most cameras have inbuilt storage capacities of between 60 and 240 GB. The space may not be enough for an organization.

So, it is important to consider the amount of inbuilt storage available, the devices your camera is compatible with, and the storage methods you will use.

You will also need to consider if your business is likely to grow. This means you will need more surveillance.

Can You See Old Footage?

Once your camera’s hard drive reaches the maximum storage capacity, it overwrites the old footage and replaces it with new ones. So, you cannot view older footage if you have not stored it on an external device.

However, if you wish to delete old footage manually, you can constantly adjust the setting on the server.

How much storage should I go for?

You know how much storage you need for your organization.

When going for a camera, you may need to consider factors like the size of your operation, how much recording space is available, how much footage you wish stored, and if your cameras will record continuously.

Most businesses wish to store footage for at least one month. This period is reasonable and enough if they want to access some events that happened back in time.

Depending on where you want to use the camera, you may need to understand the following:

How Long Does Average Home Security Camera Store Footage?

Your home security camera may need to store footage for around one or two weeks. This information is according to most camera vendors.

However, since this is not a policy, you are the one to determine how long you wish the camera to store the footage.

How Long Does The Average Security Camera Store Footage In Enterprises?

There are different classes of enterprises. The longer a camera stores footage depends on the security vulnerability of the place. Let us see each below.

Medium-Sized Organization

The standard storage recommendation for medium-sized organizations like supermarkets, hotels, construction companies, etc., is around one month to three months.

Large Entities

It is often recommended that larger entities should store footage for at least three months.

Banks And Casinos

These enterprises and others that store lots of cash are recommended to store footage for at least six months to even a year.

For higher organizations, they may need more storage. Hence, more costs will apply when getting bigger hard drives.

A better option can be storing the files on the cloud, though if you want extra space, you will need to purchase it.

Does Resolution Affect Storage On Security Cameras?

One way that resolution affects your footage camera storage is the amount of bandwidth. High-resolution videos will use more bandwidth than low-quality videos.

Most camera settings check the quality of your video, how long to store the footage, bitrate, resolution, etc., before it stores the footage.

You may not need to change the resolution because the footage may end up useless when viewing.

You may not be able to find facial features clearly. Other information like license plates may be blurry; hence you cannot distinguish them.

To get the best out of a footage file, organizations must balance between a good resolution and proper storage.

A 3MP camera or higher megapixel camera is ideal for capturing detailed and necessary information.

What Should You Do If You Want To Store Footage For Longer?

The straightforward answer to how you can keep footage for longer is buying an external storage device. However, this trick can be quite expensive.

So, you may need to consider another way of doing the same without compromising on crucial matters like camera resolution.

1. Schedule The Recordings

Continuous recording eats up too much space. Remember, your camera will be recording even unnecessary footage you do not need.

You can adopt scheduling your camera to only record at specific times, for example, at night only.

2. Use Motion-Detecting Cameras

Another way is to use motion-detecting cameras that will only record in case there is a movement.

Remember, you may need to consider how much movement occurs on your premises. If it is a lot, your device will fill up faster.

So, you may opt to only schedule the camera on areas that you do not expect people to move more often.

3. Export Footage

Transfer the necessary footage to an external device such as a computer or an external hard drive. Hence, you will free your camera’s space and allow more room for newer videos.

Footages can stay on your average security camera for as long as you want. The only limitation is that it deletes older files and stores newer ones when the storage space is full.

Read Next: Does My Samsung TV Have a Camera?


Your query about how long does the average security camera store footage may not have a straight answer.

What matters is the inbuilt storage space in the camera. The moment it fills up, it erases the old footage and stores other newer files.

So, if you wish for more storage, you may need to spend some little cash on external storage devices.

Nicole B