Are you in the market for a home security system recording device? There are many brand names and products to choose from out there, whether you are shopping online for a device or shopping in a brick and mortar store for these products. You have probably noticed by now a lot of talk of two different options for recording called NVR and DVR.


Both have their ups and downs but the choice really boils down to either cost or preference. There really isn’t any difference in quality so we won’t really be discussing that, other than to state the fact that you can select products of either NVR or DVR in a range of quality settings of each. Usually, you have to spend a bit extra to get the highest quality products, and the same holds true in the markets for home security solutions. So what are the differences between DVR and NVR? Keep reading to learn more or consult with an expert from Protect America to get started on your home security DIY installation.

Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay. –  Jiddu Krishnamurti

What is DVR? 

DVR is an acronym for Digital Video Recorder. A digital video recorder pretty much does what it says. It records digital video. They key thing to understand here is that storage is local to the device. That means that whatever video you are recording get stored directly into the DVR unit you purchased for your home security system. Many retailers sell DVRs, but don’t get the kind made for consumer entertainment use. You want something made for and dedicated to your home surveillance, preferably something you can connect with a smart phone or other mobile device.

A variety of companies make these including Honeywell and others. Local storage is easy to access, but you might not have as much space as you could get with NVR or other cloud solutions. There are a variety of options for hard disk size, so if you plan to record many hours of video, go with the biggest you can get for the money you have to spend. DVR technology has been a main component of many, if not most, video surveillance systems in the United States since the technology has surpassed both tape and disc format.

So what is NVR then?

Just as DVR has come to replace technologies like VHS, DVD and even BluRay, cloud and network solutions are being rapidly developed to replace DVR systems that record directly to hard disks. NVR is an acronym for Network Video Recorder. What does that mean? Essentially it means the video recordings from your surveillance systems are not stored locally but on a server, usually in the cloud. This usually gives users more available hard disk space (virtual rather than local) and the flexibility to easily upgrade to more if necessary. It creates more built in efficiency and the opportunity for developers and the manufacturer to create more app-based solutions and newer integrated technology.


NVR systems usually record video with IP cameras that are connected via network cable. The only possible drawback to these systems are configuration and installation options. They can be more difficult due to the fact that the cameras are network devices that need to be separately configured usually. Sometimes software can assist in the process, otherwise you can call experts at Protect America for help with your home security system installation.

HVR? What is this? 

HVR stands for hybrid video recorder. What is that you say? It simply means that a device can be both NVR and DVR or has components of both types of systems. This gives you some added flexibility and local control or backup options. Interested in monitored home security? Get a free quote from Protect America.