CCTV Camera Storage Capacity In Days For Your Surveillance System

Security or CCTV cameras are indispensable in today’s world, whether for a small business you own, your warehouse, or even residential security.

However, prolonged use of CCTV monitoring without intervals leaves no space to store footage quickly. Wondering how many days you can keep the footage? Want to know the CCTV camera storage capacity in days?

On average, CCTV cameras can store footage from 3 months up to over a year or more. However, several factors such as precision, disk space and accuracy work behind this storage capacity. Besides, you can also calculate the footage storage capacity of your newly installed surveillance in no time!

So, without wasting time, let’s see how functional your surveillance system is. And later on, we might also introduce you to some tips on extending its storage capacity. Delve into the details!

How Long Can You Keep CCTV Camera Footage?

The answer isn’t that simple. There are some technical specifications, factors, and types of surveillance that you have to consider beforehand. Besides, there are some surveillance footage laws too. Why don’t we check them out at a glance?

Technical Configurations

In case of technicalities, to store and capture footage 244 hours/7 days a week, you’ll usually need more than 10TB storage. This will allow you to accommodate almost 1300 days of video footage with an image resolution of 704×480 and a compression configuration of MPEG-4.

Besides, a lower storage capacity will also do. However, the time and image resolution will be different from expectations. No worries if you aren’t familiar with these technical terms; we’ll explain them briefly!

Surveillance Footage Storage Law

Regarding commercial use, businesses, residential purposes, etc., CCTV camera footage can be kept for as long as three months to a few years. However, these are not only personal security tools for businesses or homeowners but also enormously contribute to law enforcement. 

  • The footage from CCTV surveillance is often used as the primary evidence in solving crimes like theft, robbery, or attacks in hotels, markets, retail stores, etc.

As per the Media Development Authority of Singapore and the UK, the retention time for CCTV footage should be 31 days minimum. However, the time limit can be extended if the business owners want to.

  • On the other hand, robbery and crimes centered the banks, unfortunately, seem more common these days. And hence, for banks, the law is far more strict. They should retain the footage for at least six months.
  • Some legal standards and terms regarding surveillance footage storage include informing the subjects that they are being recorded. Besides, there should be strict control over who has access to the footage.

CCTV Surveillance Types

To understand the need for greater or lesser surveillance footage storage capacity, you need to know the types of CCTV surveillance and their purpose.

Motion Detection Camera

Such types of surveillance cameras only detect motion within their certain perimeter. Their purpose is to record important events or incidents efficiently, saving bandwidth and storage memory. However, the price tag on these is a bit higher.

Routine Surveillance

These surveillance systems are activated at a particular time of the day. They are usually used in commercial places like offices or restaurants open for a particular period. Doing so saves storage; surveillance with a lower storage capacity is ideal for such use.

Non-stop Surveillance

When it comes to large businesses and the security of businesses, or banks, non-stop surveillance is used. It captures footage 24 hours/seven days a week. And hence, the minimum storage capacity for surveillance cameras used for this purpose should be 1TB.

What Factors Influence Security Camera Storage Capacity?

CCTV camera specifications aren’t as easy to understand as your regular smartphone or laptop. Some factors impact whether your surveillance system can store enough footage per your requirement.

Camera Resolution

Higher resolution means more bandwidth which will eventually result in storing less and reaching the storage limit within a short time. Hence, choosing high-resolution surveillance in case of 24/7 footage storage isn’t a wise choice.

Compression Technology

Compression technology allows for reducing the size of the image and video frame, which eventually saves space. Hence, picking a surveillance system with installed compression technology is a good choice. The most used formats include MPEG4, MJPEG, and H.264.

Number of Cameras

It is expected that the more cameras you use in your surveillance system, the more storage space it will take.


A higher bitrate is essential for better picture quality. However, this also means taking up more storage space. Once we go through the storage capacity calculation formula, it will be much more straightforward.

Retention Period

The typical retention period for CCTV footage is 30 days. However, it can be extended if the business or homeowner wishes so. But that also implies a more significant storage space requirement.

Security Camera Storage Calculation

If you know the bitrate of your surveillance camera, the number of cameras you’re installing, and the retention period, you can easily calculate the storage capacity of your CCTV system. Let’s see-

Storage space =

Bitrate in kbps x 1000/8 x 3600 x 24 x number of cameras x retention period


For instance, if you have three cameras with the highest 1024 kbps bitrate and you need a non-stop recording for five days, the required storage space would be,

1024 x 1000/8 x 36000 x 24 x 3 x 5


= 1658.88 GB

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of manual calculation, you can also use online CCTV storage calculators. Of course, none of these would be correct because other factors influence capacity, as mentioned above.

How to Store CCTV Footage?

There are several ways to store your CCTV footage. You can go with any of these depending on your preference and convenience. Check them out:

Surveillance Hard Drives:

You’ll find surveillance hard drives that store 24/7 footage being active at all times. These drives write 10% of playback data and 90% of real-time data.


The Network Video recorder or NVR and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) are prominent among external storage devices. While NVR uses the camera for data processing after encryption, DVR uses the recorder.

Cloud Storage:

Cloud storage is basically internet based, which is built-in in the case of modern IP cameras. It stores the data utilizing 4G or 5G internet, and there’s no risk of losing the data.

SD Card Storage:

SD cards are in-built storage memory, which extends the limited storage capacity of the surveillance camera. They also come with a backup system for added security.

Practical Tips to Expand Security Camera Storage

By now, you have an idea about the storage capacity of CCTV systems and which of these you need. So, it’s time we give you a suggestion or two regarding the storage space saving on your device.

  1. PTZ security cameras with a broader monitoring lens, higher resolution, and zooming specifications help you save storage space by installing only a couple.
  2. Picking IP cameras with a compression format of H.264 will cut the video size by 20%, storing more within the limited storage space.
  3. Adding an external HDD can increase your CCTV storage space.
  4. Adjust the camera resolution without making it too blurry or too high quality, which will eat up more space
  5. You can regularly transfer important footage files to your PC and free up more space on the system itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens to the older footage of the CCTV?

When the storage capacity of your CCTV is complete, it automatically overwrites the older footage with the new one.

2. How long do commercial operations keep CCTV footage?

As per the typical CCTV footage retention period, for commercial business or other operations, the footage for about a month should be stored. It can extend as per the choice of the business owner.

3. How long is the CCTV footage stored in the case of residential surveillance systems?

For residential purposes, CCTV systems with a 24/7 storage capacity seem legit.

4. How many GB are 24 hours of CCTV footage?

Twenty-four hours of non-stop CCTV footage takes up about 64 GB with a 1080P resolution.

5. What is the maximum storage capacity of a CCTV camera?

The CCTV camera storage capacity range varies from the lowest 60GB to the highest 6TB for low-resolution and high-resolution cameras, respectively.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, although the CCTV camera storage capacity in days varies for different purposes and surveillance systems, the typical retention period is from a month to 3 months. Besides, other factors, including technical configurations, resolution, and camera numbers, have a significant role to play here.

So, for different surveillance system setups, don’t forget to take assistance from this article and, of course, the tech experts. Security is a basic need nowadays; hence, ensure you don’t compromise. Stay safe till next time!

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