This post was originally published on August 30, 2018 and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Did you know banks and retailers were the first U.S. businesses to use video surveillance as a security practice in the 1970s?

Since then, video surveillance has become immersed in business security across a variety of industries. From gas stations to corporate offices, establishments around the world use cameras to protect inventory, employees and customers.

In current times where many companies are operating partly or fully remotely as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, video surveillance plays an even more crucial role in monitoring your business and assets.

Although video surveillance can help protect business assets, the way it’s recorded and stored differs. To help you decide which video surveillance solution is right for your business, we explain the difference between a traditional network video recorder (NVR) and cloud surveillance, and the ways both could impact your business security.

What is NVR Surveillance?

An NVR is the physical device that processes and stores video signals from a security camera. When video is recorded, the IP camera converts footage into a digital file that is sent to the NVR over a local IP network.

NVRs store surveillance footage until the proper personnel can review it. With remote access enabled, recordings can be viewed using security software or security mobile apps from any location.

What is Cloud Surveillance?

Cloud surveillance is the remote storage of video recordings on the Internet. It does not require any physical equipment or wires—only an Internet connection.

When a cloud-based surveillance camera records a video, the footage is converted to a file and sent to a storage host on the Internet. This host is typically a webpage that requires the user to use a unique login. Once logged in, users have access to all recorded videos and can also control the cameras remotely—an increasingly important feature as more workforces are working from home due to COVID-19.

The Difference

Both NVR and cloud-based surveillance systems are similar in that they are both crucial to storing a company’s video footage. The difference between the two lies in accessibility and convenience.

NVRs are physical systems that require a clean, temperature-controlled setup on-site. Although footage is transferred over the local network, NVRs must still be plugged into electricity. Additionally, if you manage a multi-site business, each location will require its own NVR and connected app.

On the other hand, cloud surveillance only requires an Internet connection. The cameras are wireless and can be controlled from multiple devices, including your smartphone, computer or tablet. Once video is sent to the cloud, it is secured and cannot be tampered with.

What Does it Mean for Your Business?

With an NVR surveillance system, you’ll need to consider the potential for physical setbacks, especially across scaling enterprises. Some service and maintenance issues could include overheating, improper installation, accidental damage or tampering.

If you have a cloud-based surveillance system, the system connects to a network, which means cyber security safeguards must be in place. This includes:

For help finding the best solution for your business, contact a trusted security vendor today.