Storing video locally makes the footage a lot easier to access, saves money, and are often easier to use. As far as storing your surveillance footage locally, in its broadest sense, you have two options. You can either store your recordings internally inside the camera or externally to a hard drive (generally inside a computer or CCTV DVR/NVR). There are advantages and disadvantages for both options.

Internal Camera Storage

Internal camera storage is generally going to be a microSD chip inside the camera. Usually you would opt for this option if you don’t want to rely on internet access or wiring. Wiring an HD security camera can be difficult and transmitting video over the network can slow down your internet. Another advantage of local storage is going to be speed. Since the footage doesn’t need to transfer to any external storage, it’s available right away.

A big disadvantage of local storage is going to be its limited storage capacity. To work around this limitation, most cameras using local storage will only record video when it detects motion. Another disadvantage is its vulnerability. If someone steals your camera, for example, then you won’t have any footage to prosecute them because the storage is inside the camera.

External Camera Storage

External storage is a good option if you intend to record throughout the day. You can store large amounts of video as a relatively low cost, especially compared to online storage.

Wired Camera Storage

Hooking your camera to storage with a wire is going to save your network a lot of work. It’s also a lot faster, so you won’t usually experience any lag time if you’re watching live video. Usually you would have some type of hub that encodes the recording. Usually the wire will route to either a DVR (digital video recorder) or straight to a personal computer with a lot of storage space. Personal computers are usually the most convenient if you intend to edit the video.

One disadvantage of a wired security camera is having a wire that can be severed. To get around this you would usually want to embed the wire through the wall and make sure the camera is mounted very securely.

Wireless Camera Storage

Wireless cameras can be the most secure and the easiest to install. Usually you just plug it in, connected it to the network, and install some software. The footage would either route to your personal computer or an NVR (network video recorder).

One disadvantage to a wireless security camera is that they tend to overload smaller home wireless networks. Not only does that slow down the internet, but it also causes a delay in the video feed. It would be kind of irritating if you were trying to see who was at your door only to find that your video feed is delayed by a minute. That would kind of defeat the purpose! So if you’re thinking about getting a wireless security camera, just make sure that your network can handle it.


There’s no best way to store your video, but there are always key advantages to certain storage types that pertain to someone’s unique situation. If you’re just looking to make sure that no one steals your packages while you’re at work, then storing your video on a local microSD card is probably good enough. But, not everyone’s going to be satisfied with that. Fortunately, there are plenty of different options these days and new technology comes out every day.