How Long Does A CCTV Hard Drive Last? Expert Opinion

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Have you ever wondered How Long Does A CCTV Hard Drive Last? A standard surveillance-rated hard disk will survive 5-7 years on average, although their lifespan in CCTV recorders is sometimes substantially shorter. Users could find themselves changing hard drives every year for various reasons.

The fundamental objective of having a security camera system will be defeated if a surveillance hard disk fails and all video footage is lost. More tragically, most users are unaware when a hard disk has failed. They believe the system is recording when, in fact, it has long since stopped saving the video. Then something happens, and no recordings are available for playback.

How Long Does A CCTV Hard Drive Last?

An ordinary mechanical hard drive will survive between three and four years, but hard drives used in CCTV recorders frequently have far shorter lives. Sometimes, consumers will need to replace the hard disks in their CCTV recorders every year.

Hard drives used in CCTV recorders often have a lifespan of only a few months to a few weeks, compared to the 3- to 4-year average for mechanical hard drives. In some cases, the CCTV recorder’s hard drives will need to be replaced every year.

Long Does A CCTV Hard Drive Last

To increase the lifespan of hard drives in security camera systems, you can take a few straightforward steps. We advise reading through them because doing so will improve your CCTV system’s overall dependability and save money on the hard disk.

Discover The Life Of A Hard Drive

Typically, you won’t discover that your CCTV Recorder’s Hard Disc has failed because you need to see footage from it until it’s too late. You can increase the life of a hard disc in a CCTV recorder by following a few simple steps.

For Recordings, Use Motion Detection

Continuous or motion-detection recording modes are available on most CCTV cameras. Using a CCTV recorder 24 hours a day means that the hard disc has to work harder and wear out more quickly.

When using a CCTV recorder for continuous recording without a UPS, power outages are also a possibility. Even if the power goes off, the hard disc will still be writing data because of continuous recording. While a hard disc is writing data, cutting the power to the device might result in data loss and even drive corruption.

A CCTV recorder with motion detection is a wise investment since doing so decreases the amount of work needed on the hard drive, allows for longer records, and makes it much easier to search through the recordings. Detection of motion also means that if the power goes off, the drive won’t work.

Disable The Pre-Record Function On Your CCTV Camera

Pre-record is a standard feature on many CCTV recorders. When a hard disc fails, this is the most common cause. Pre-record utilizes your recorder’s motion detection to capture footage from a few seconds before it was triggered. To accomplish this, the CCTV recorder will continually record, but it will only save the recordings made before, during, and after the motion was detected.

The frequent writing, erasing, and moving of data across the disc causes a large increase in hard drive usage. If a power outage occurs without a UPS, the recorder will shut down while the hard disc is still in operation, which could result in data loss or drive damage.

Disable pre-recording and increase the motion detection sensitivity to ensure that recording begins as soon as the subject of the image is recognized in the photograph.

Choose The Proper Hard Disc For Your CCTV System

Since CCTV recorders have become increasingly popular, hard drive manufacturers have started creating hard drives specifically built for use in CCTV recorders. CCTV hard drives are built for continuous use, unlike normal PC hard drives, which are utilized infrequently.

The hard disc technology used in CCTV cameras was originally developed for servers, which had a similar workload. Since data is written more randomly on a PC, the CCTV-specific hard drives would be a poor fit. Data is written more regularly in a CCTV recorder dramatically improves the driver’s life.

Solid-state drives, a newer type of hard disc, are rising in popularity (SSD). No moving parts are required for a solid-state drive, storing information on a memory chip instead of a spinning disc. In the beginning, SSDs were not ideal for CCTV recorders because they had a limited number of write cycles, resulting in a short lifespan if they were constantly used.

On the other hand, CCTV recorders can benefit from new types of SSDs that are designed for usage in servers and other write-intensive equipment. An SSD used in CCTV must indicate that it is designed for writing-intensive purchasing applications.

Although SSDs are more expensive than regular mechanical hard drives, their advantages may make them attractive for usage in CCTV. The advantages of using an SSD are as follows:

  • Because there are no moving parts, there is less heat generated.
  • Reduced usage of energy
  • Physically smaller and lighter
  • The completely silent operation
  • For smooth playback, rapid read times are required.
  • Not at risk of being damaged by movement or vibration.

There are more than simply financial considerations to consider when purchasing a hard disc for your CCTV recorder. You can contact one of our CCTV experts for help in picking a hard disc for use in a CCTV recorder.

Protect Your CCTV System From Power Outages And Spikes

The hard drives of CCTV recorders are constantly filling up with data. Data may be lost, the drive may get damaged, or the drive may physically fail if there is a power outage while the recorder writes data.

Power outages are widespread and usually last only a few seconds, enough time to see the lights flicker. Hard drives in CCTV recorders can be damaged even in brief power outages. Surges in power can also be a concern, resulting in damage to the hard drive and CCTV recorder.

Installing a UPS can help protect your CCTV recorder’s hard disc from power outages and surges. A backup power supply (UPS) is a basic plug-in device that offers battery backup for any mains-powered electronic equipment in the case of a power outage. “

An additional benefit of employing POE or POC technology to power your cameras from your recorder is that your entire CCTV system may continue to operate even if the power goes out. Battery backup is a standard feature of most UPS machines. Just be sure that the UPS can supply enough power to power all the devices you need to safeguard.

Temperature And Humidity Can Be Controlled

When it comes to mechanical hard drives, the humidity and temperature in which they work can considerably impact their lifespan. Installing CCTV cameras in unventilated areas, such as attics, closets, and other similar structures, is quite frequent. This method may shorten the lifespan of a recorder’s hard drive. A well-ventilated area or enclosure should be used to house CCTV recordings to keep them dry and cool.

Vibration, Shocks, And Movement Should All Be Avoided

Large-capacity mechanical hard drives are particularly vulnerable to damage caused by movement, shock, or vibration while in use. Due to the tighter fit of larger hard drives’ components into their enclosures, they are produced to exceedingly strict specifications.

Even though they are more expensive per megabyte, smaller, lower-capacity hard drives offer better shock and vibration resistance, such as those found in laptops. For CCTV recorders likely to be subjected to stress or vibration, such as CCTV recorders on buses and trains, this makes them a superior option. SSD drives are virtually impervious to the impacts of stress and vibration, making them an excellent option for some CCTV recordings.

How Long Does CCTV Last?

The majority of CCTV footage is typically kept for 90 days. However, each arrangement has various requirements for footage storage.

How Long Will 1TB Last On CCTV?

With MPEG-4 compression, a single continuous video stream at 20 frames per second at 704×480 image resolution may fill a 1TB disc in just 42 days. In this case, video storage can be extended to 66 days thanks to H. 264 encoding.


This is all about How Long Does A CCTV Hard Drive Last? The security system relies heavily on hard discs, which store all footage. Since CCTV systems use surveillance-rated hard drives, it’s always a good idea to go with them.

Prevent bumps and shock, and use a UPS to prevent damage from power failures to increase the hard drive’s lifespan. It Records motion sensors. Disable pre-record mode. Put the unit in a well-ventilated area.

Frequently Asked Questions

On CCTV, how long does 1TB last?

A MPEG-4 compressed video stream at 20 frames per second at a resolution of 704×480 pixels may fill a 1TB disc in 42 days, as shown in Table 1.

Exactly how long are CCTV cameras able to record?

Camera footage is typically retained for 30 to 90 days. As a general rule, this is true for all businesses, from hotels to retail stores to supermarkets. Industry regulations require banks to retain security camera footage for six months.

24 hours of video takes up how many gigabytes?

For a camera that records at 1080P 30 FPS, 64 GB is enough space for around 24 hours of continuous footage when using the H. 264 codec. A: For a single camera recording at 1080P 30 frames per second with H. 265, a 32 GB card has around 24 hours of continuous footage.

How long can a 2TB DVR record be for?

Your DVR’s recording resolution will be affected by how many cameras you’ve linked to it. Up to six months’ worth of recording can be done with just 500 GB. One TB is up to a year of recording time. Twenty-four months of recording with 2 TB = 24 months of recording The shorter this period becomes as you add more cameras to the DVR.

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