How Long Does A CCTV Camera Footage Last? 

The global CCTV Camera market is multiplying with security cameras installed at commercial and residential properties. The market is growing at a CAGR of 11%, and it will be valued at around $30 billion by 2022. It has made CCTV manufacturers establish and grow their market, making the technology affordable for small-scale manufacturers.

However, the question is, how long does the CCTV footage last? Read on to find out as we discuss its various aspects.

Top Ways to Store CCTV Footage 

Before discussing how long surveillance camera storage lasts, let’s first check out the essential ways to store CCTV footage.

  • Servers and Recorders: The DVR (digital video recorder) and NVR (network video recorder) are the external devices used to store video footage. Though both are responsible for recording videos, they differ in how they record. The former processes the data at the recorder, while the latter encrypts and processes it at the camera – and are more suitable for analog and IP cameras, respectively.
  • Surveillance Hard Drives: The Surveillance HDD drives store CCTV footage 24*7, as these drives need to be active all the time. These surveillance hard drives are designed to write operations. These hard drives write the data 90% of the time and 10% of the playback data.
  • Cloud Storage: Modern IP cameras come with cloud storage. Users can store videos in the Cloud with the help of a strong internet connection. The wireless connectivity using 4G and 5G can help keep the footage without electricity.
  • SD Card Storage: Many modern CCTV cameras come with in-built storage memory. The storage is quite limited, so an SD card becomes necessary. You can save the particular footage on your SD card. Along with video servers, they prove helpful as a backup system.

These storage options make 24*7 surveillance easier. They help in actively monitoring your surroundings and recording the live activities of the people. The slightest suspicion can alert the security of the commercial and residential properties. To know more about why we need special surveillance storage read this article.

How Long do Security Cameras Keep Footage? 

A CCTV camera consumes a lot of bandwidth and storage space. Most storage devices come with a 1TB hard disk. Moreover, the CCTV camera storage requirement can change according to individual and business requirements. Generally, security camera footage lasts from three months to one year based on cases. The old footage is deleted automatically to create space for new recordings.

Note that each security camera is different and storage space too. A few businesses and financial institutions have a large amount of storage capacity. Choose the best surveillance camera for storing your footage, as the factors like camera frames, resolution, camera model and audio affect the storage.

Moreover, the security camera storage capacity depends on several factors like:

  • Number of cameras installed operating on NVR or DVR
  • Storage method used for the CCTV camera
  • The application used for the security camera storage
  • Additional device installed
  • The in-built capacity of the CCTV camera
  • 24*7 recording schedule
  • Government mandate / regulations of footage storage

Many state governments in India such as Delhi, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Gujarat, Pondicherry have made CCTV mandatory for establishments like shops, and bank ATMs, and the regulations stipulate the minimum footage that needs to be stored. Enforcement agencies use this footage as proof. Most government agencies have made it mandatory to notify customers or passers-by that they are under “camera surveillance” near the particular shop, stores, shopping malls, etc.

Few cameras record the footage each minute. A few others may record if the motion is detected. These are mainly the video doorbells. CCTV cameras are mostly picked because they work as 24*7 surveillance systems. These factors play a role in the footage period.

The average storage time depends on many factors. Owners must choose versatile tools related to the surveillance cameras to capture high-quality images for storage purposes.

However, if the owners want to retain a particular security camera footage, they can always backup older footage, for future reference. Even if the live footage gets removed/overwritten, you will still have the proof saved in the backup.


Individual or business owners can reach out to experts to get more clarity on recording and saving the footage. Generally, most CCTV Footage gets stored for 90 days. However, every setup is different, and footage storage needs too. So, learn more about CCTV cameras, the storage part, or buying the right system with Western Digital. Call our experts to know more!