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These brands of IP cameras allow you to save recorded video in the cloud for free

IP cameras are one of the most popular devices for the home. This type of device will allow us to monitor everything that happens in our home, or outside it if the camera is outside, with the aim of having everything under control. These cameras usually allow you to store video clips locally on a micro SD card, however, the most popular feature is to record it and upload it to the Cloud so that we can access said recordings from anywhere, and in the event that the camera is stolen, we can have all the recordings available us. Today we are going to explain what types of recording exist, which one is the safest and which brands offer you free cloud recording storage.

What types of home recording methods exist for home surveillance systems?

Home IP security cameras offer several options when it comes to recording video, either by motion detection, sound or human recognition, as well as continuous recording of everything that is happening. Depending on the characteristics of the camera, we can have up to three different ways of recording surveillance video. Next, we explain what they are and also their strengths and weaknesses.

Continuous recording to an NVR


Many models of IP cameras that are not powered by batteries and support the RSTP protocol, a protocol that allows us to view the camera through the local home network. If your IP camera supports this protocol, you can use any video surveillance software to take control of the camera and automatically record everything that goes to this program, which processes it and stores it continuously.

NAS server manufacturers such as QNAP, Synology or ASUSTOR, have completely free applications for their servers in order to provide their customers with the possibility of setting up a true video surveillance system at home. Some of the main options that we have available in these devices is the possibility of seeing the camera live and from any connected device such as a smart phone, continuous recording, recording only in case of detecting movement or sound, and we can even add a layer of artificial intelligence that these programs have to detect to people. These NAS servers would act as if they were an NVR (Network Video Recorder), but with many more functions and possibilities than the typical NVR.

This recording solution has its strengths, such as the following:

  • Continuous recording of everything that happens, so you can go back and review all the recordings in detail.
  • Possibility of recording only when there is motion and/or sound detection.
    We can detect people and faces if the software incorporates artificial intelligence that recognizes this.
  • We can use an NVR as dedicated hardware to store all the recordings, or a NAS server that has the necessary software for it.
  • We have the possibility of configuring backups in real time to the cloud with supported services that include Google Drive, Dropbox or to another NAS server to double or triple the number of recordings.

However, not everything is perfect with this way of recording system, here are the weak points:

  • Some knowledge of servers and networks is needed to configure it, so we could say that it is a ‘complicated’ solution.
  • The hardware, be it NVR or a NAS is expensive, plus the added cost of the cameras. If you already had them from before, perfect, otherwise, the high cost may not within everyone’s reach.
  • If the NAS or NVR is at home, and lets say thieves take it, we will not have the recordings

As you can see, this solution has very neat advantages, but the difficulty and cost may not worth while.

Recording of video clips on micro SD card


Today the vast majority of home cameras have a slot to insert a micro SD card, thanks to this feature, we will be able to store video clips inside with the aim of reviewing all the recordings later. In all manufacturers this is always free, since the storage of the videos is done locally by us, the manufacturer’s cloud or its servers are not used at any time. Some cameras support up to 64GB of storage but other higher end models support up to 256GB capacity micro SD cards. This form of storage is very simple and suitable for all users due to its simplicity and cost.

The strengths of recording to the camera’s micro SD card are as follows:

  • We will record and store the videos locally, for maximum privacy.
  • We record only video clips, there is no continuous recording, once the micro SD is full it will start deleting the oldest video clips.

However, we also have certain negative points that you should know:

  • There is no continuous recording, only video clips that recorded by motion detection  or by sound.
  • If the camera is stolen, they will take the micro SD.

Undoubtedly, the biggest problem is that they break in to steal and take the recordings, it will be useless to have bought an IP camera if you cannot see any recorded video in this case.

Recording of video clips in the manufacturer’s cloud
Many manufacturers in recent years have incorporated the possibility of recording video clips in their cloud service, that is, the video clips recorded by the camera by motion and/or sound detection will be stored on the servers of the company that owns the the camera, and we can see all these videos from anywhere, we will only need to have access to the application and our user credentials. This is a very useful solution to prevent a thief from taking the recordings made on the micro SD card, or on the NVR that we can install in our home.

The strengths of cloud recording storage are as follows:

  • We record and store the videos in the cloud, there are manufacturers that allow us to encrypt them, which increases our privacy.
  • We only record video clips that we need, there is no possibility of continuous recording.
  • In principle, there is no space limit, although we do have certain conditions such as only stored clips from the last week, last month, etc.
  • If the camera is stolen, the video clips will still be there and we can see what has happened.

However, we also have a negative points that we must highlight:

  • Most manufacturers do not offer this service for free, we have to pay a monthly or annual fee, either per account or per IP camera that we register in the cloud.

We believe that the recording of video clips in the cloud is the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to save video clips recorded from IP cameras, in fact, we have several cameras that offer this type of recording system.

Manufacturers with free cloud recording storage
Currently there are many manufacturers that offer cloud recording storage, although few of them have cloud recording storage completely free. Some of these manufacturers offer a completely free recording trial period, but after the trial expires, we will have to pay a premium subscription if we want to continue with this functionality that is crucial for home security.

D Link


This manufacturer has recently changed its cloud recording storage policy, until a year ago it offered completely free cloud recording storage with some time limitations and in the number of cameras that we could register. Now, if you buy any IP camera from the manufacturer we could add it to our mydlink account, we will automatically enjoy 1 year of recording in the Cloud totally free, not only for the camera that you have bought and just configured. The service allows us to configure up to 3 cameras simultaneously with free cloud recording storage, as was the case previously.

 

This free cloud recording storage has its limitations, we can only store the last 24 hours of recorded video clips, and it allows us a maximum of 3 cameras. However, its a good feature and one to consider before buying a camera from other manufacturers. In case you are interested in acquiring the paid subscription, here are the conditions:

  • Basic: up to 7 days of video clip storage, with up to 3 cameras and is only worth $24.99 US or €25 per year.
  • Premium: up to 14 days of video storage, allows up to 5 cameras, for $49.99 US or €50 per year.
  • Pro: up to 30 days of video clip storage, allows you to configure up to 10 cameras, for only $99.99 US or €100 per year.

We must bear in mind that these prices are at the user account level, other manufacturers are at the IP camera level.

EZVIZ


The manufacturer EZVIZ is another of the ‘big’ player when it comes to IP cameras. In this case EZVIZ  lets you try its cloud storage service totally free for 30 days when registering a new IP camera, its service is called Cloudplay and when we start the trial period, we can have a history of video clips of up to 7 days. This service is compatible with all the manufacturer’s cameras, both entry-level and top-of-the-line models. A very important aspect is that some top-of-the-line models of the brand provide cloud recording storage totally free forever, but it is something that we must look at very carefully because it seems more like a promotion than something “forever”.

In the case of EZVIZ, there are different plans, but all of them are oriented for an individual camera and not for an entire camera system as was the case with D-Link. Cloudplay plans are as follows:

  • Basic: up to 7 days of video clip storage, a single camera and is worth $59.99 US or €50 per year.
  • Advanced: up to 30 days of video clip storage, a single camera and is worth $109.99 US or €100 per year.
  • Pro: there is a professional plan where we pay a subscription and we can add up to 4 cameras, this is perfect if you have 2 or more cameras because it is cheaper.

We can choose between 7 or 30 days of recordings. As you can see, the EZVIZ solution is somewhat more expensive than D-Link, but the Pro version has some nice features if you have 2 or more cameras from the manufacturer in your home.

Xiaomi

The popular manufacturer Xiaomi offers a free cloud recording storage, with the possibility of storing and viewing video clips recorded up to 7 days ago. Of course, all recorded video clips are from motion and/or sound detection, just like with D-Link and EZVIZ, since we don’t have the ability for continuous recording. Some model of cameras also have a slot for micro SD cards, in this case, through the app we can go back as long as we want, but the camera will give priority to SD storage over the cloud, therefore, we recommend you not to put a micro SD card so that all the recordings are stored in the cloud. Something that you should keep in mind is that the duration of video clips last only 10 seconds, so it could be insufficient in some cases.

 

NETATMO

NETATMO is a manufacturer that includes cloud recording storage in its home cameras, but not recording in its own cloud, but directly in an external service such as Dropbox. This solution is quite smart because we have a lot of storage space, only the video clips where movement and/or sound has been detected will be uploaded, we do not have continuous recording, but it is totally free. Another feature of these cameras from the manufacturer is that we can upload the video clips to an FTP server, either a local FTP or one that is in the cloud, so we have two possibilities to leave the video clips in a very safe place, ideal so that no one can steal the recorded videos. As you have seen, depending on the camera manufacturer we have one policy or another regarding recording in the Cloud.

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