Network Video Recorder vs Cloud Surveillance

If you’re trying to decide what to buy for your business’s video surveillance system, you’re going to have to decide not only on what cameras to buy, but how and where that data will be stored. You’ve probably seen systems designated as being a network video recorder or cloud surveillance. Here are the differences between Network Video Recorder vs cloud surveillance as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.


white security camera on side of building with green trees in the background

NVR Surveillance

NVR stands for Network Video Recorder. An NVR is a physical device that stores and processes video captured by a security camera. Think about a DVR for your television, only for security cameras instead. Footage is captured by cameras and converted into a digital file that is sent over a local IP network to your NVR. 

The NVR stores video and audio data received through the network. Footage is stored until it is reviewed, then it can be erased or saved. Viewing can happen either on a monitor next to the NVR. Depending on your system’s capabilities, you may be able to access this data remotely using software or a mobile app. 

These systems generally have better image quality and are more flexible. These cameras come in wired and wireless options. Some cameras may have multiple lenses, allowing for wider coverage. 

As with both systems, there are a few disadvantages. An NVR requires a temperature controlled and clean room within your business to operate. These systems may be more expensive as they require a physical data storage device rather than just needing the cameras. The software for these systems are also not as user friendly typically. 

Cloud Surveillance

Cloud surveillance uses remote storage rather than storing data on a physical device. No equipment or wires are needed for these systems, only a reliable internet or cellular connection. Footage is caught and converted into a digital file that is stored on a host site on the internet. The data is then accessed either through the host website or through an app. For security reasons, a password is required to access the footage. 

Cloud systems are easy to set up and navigate. They are typically cheaper than NVR systems. They require very little upkeep and the data can be accessed from anywhere, making them a great option. 

Unfortunately, they can eat up a lot of internet bandwidth and have extra security needs. Because they are Wi-Fi devices, they can be hacked. To prevent this, proper firewalls, antivirus and malware software should be implemented, as well as data encryption.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Video Surveillance System? Contact Us Today to Learn More and Get a Free Estimate!

If you’ve made your choice between Network Video Recorder vs cloud surveillance, and it’s time for you to upgrade your security system, contact Smartshield Solutions at (866) 891-9183 or email us at You can also set up an appointment with us directly on our Home page.  Our trained personnel will take the time to answer your questions and help you choose the best security system for you and your business.