Hard drives are the primary means for storing data on devices. Every device relies on external storage options to store critical data. Likewise, surveillance and security systems also need hard drives to save video recordings and images they have captured.
That said, a surveillance hard drive is not the same as a regular hard drive used in computers. Hard drives used with security cameras need to record surveillance video footage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since it allows you to record an extensive amount of recordings without delay, it plays a crucial role in your video security system.
Usually, most security camera system manufacturers preinstall these hard drives inside the (DVR) or the (NVR). However, users who want additional video storage install an external hard drive in their DVR or NVR.
Since the market is saturated with too many external storage options, it’s easy to get confused. To help our readers choose the better option for their devices, we have outlined the 7 best hard drives for security DVR systems. Keep reading this to discover the best hard drive for surveillance DVR.
Comparison Chart for the Best Hard Drive for CCTV DVR Kits
|Western Digital WD Purple Surveillance Hard Drive
|> 1TB - 14TB
> 6 Gb/s SATA
> 64MB Cache
> 5400rpm (Intellipower)
> 180 TB/year
> 5.1W power usage
> 3 Year warranty
> 24/7 recording
> Can support up to 64 HD cameras
|Seagate Skyhawk Surveillance Internal Hard Drive
|> 1TB - 16TB
> 6 Gb/s SATA
> 64MB Cache
> 180 TB/year rating
> 5.5W power usage
> 3 years limited warranty
> 24/7 recording
> Can support up to 64 HD cameras
> 2-year data recovery plan
|MaxDigital Internal Surveillance CCTV DVR Hard Drive
> 6 Gb/s SATA
> 64MB Cache
> Works quietly
> Doesn’t heat up
> Perfect for use 24/7
> 2-year warranty from the reseller
|Toshiba HDWT140UZSVAR Surveillance Internal Hard Drive
|> 4TB - 10TB
> 6 Gb/s SATA
> 128MB Cache
> 5400 rpm
> 110 TB/year
> 2 years limited warranty
> 24/7 recording
> Can support up to 32 HD cameras
|Seagate Constellation ES.2 Surveillance Enterprise Hard Drive
> 6 Gb/s SATA
> 64MB Cache
> 1 year limited warranty
|HGST Ultra Star Hard Disk Drive
> 6 Gb/s SATA
> 128MB Cache
> 7200 rpm
|WL Spy Camera Hard Drive
> 6 Gb/s SATA
> 64MB Cache
> 7200 rpm
> 1 Year Warranty from Reseller
7 Best Hard Drive For Security DVR in 2020
Western Digital 1TB Surveillance Hard Drive is one of the most reviewed hard drives on Amazon, something that speaks of the device’s popularity. It is available in a range of 2TB – 12TB external storage. By providing users with additional storage, it allows them to have surveillance 24/7 non-stop.
Since it supports vast space for recorded high-definition videos, it can cater to up to 64 cameras at a time. The storage capacity for this camera hard drive extends up to a workload performance of 180TB in a year.
Another thing that stands out about WD DVR external hard drive is that it’s the compatible chipset and chassis manufacturers. This means it not only fits easily into your existing video surveillance system but can also work ideally with future surveillance setups. The robustness provided by this hard drive set allows you to expand the current setup and upgrade to advanced surveillance systems.
Western Digital 1TB Surveillance Hard Drive is built for high-performance and can tolerate high temperatures, as well as a high workload. Therefore, it ensures that you have high-quality video playback at all times.
At the same time, WD Purple surveillance storage also utilizes the All Frame technology, something exclusive to Western Digital. As a result, it is much easier to deploy in business set-up and create a surveillance system that supports multiple frames at once.
SkyHawk drives are designed to support greater surveillance workloads than most options in the market. Optimized for personal surveillance systems, they are used in both small-medium businesses and homes.
Seagate Skyhawk Surveillance Internal Hard Drive HDD gives users 2TB of external storage, enabling them to save all essential video data backup without the fear of losing it. The extra storage provided by hard-drives allows the surveillance system to store footage 24/7.
For users who want to enhance their surveillance capacity, this system gives them the option to add more than 64 simultaneously streaming HD cameras. At the same time, you can also increase external storage to up to 16TB.
Security experts can use Seagate Surveillance Internal Hard Drive reliably to record more than 150TB of the video footage every year. This means that if even have a minimum of 4 security cameras in your surveillance system, the external storage device can help you record footage for years, as you only need to format the hard drive every two months.
With its ease of use and wide application, the security surveillance hard drive is excellent for personal use as well as businesses. We highly recommend it as one of the few Amcrest compatible hard drives and can work exceptionally well for shopping malls, individual shops, as well as home security systems.
MaxDigital 4TB 64MB Hard Drive is optimized for CCTV security surveillance systems. If you want to make a complete and high-security CCTV system for surveillance, then getting an external hard-drive is essential. However, it’s rare to find a hard-drive dedicated to CCTV, something that MaxDigital 7200PM SATA Internal CCTV Surveillance covers.
With this hard drive, your CCTV system can store video for playback none-stop. The SATA hard drive configuration gives your system access to footage at lightning speed of up to 6GB per second. As a result, you can camera can render and store high-quality video footage without any glitches.
The hard drive storage capacity starts from 2TB, which means it can give your camera an estimated 60 days of recording. With low power consumption, it can work quietly and extensively, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Toshiba is a veteran brand, known for making a variety of tech-related products. They also launched their specialized hard drive to provide their customers with a reliable storage device. Toshiba S300 Surveillance Internal Hard Drive covers every need of your surveillance system and provides a sturdy device for non-stop video recording.
The surveillance system can support up to 64 high definition cameras, giving you incredible capacity in terms of camera coverage. As a result, you don’t only benefit from a reliable storage space for your existing cameras, but also have the option to expand and upgrade your surveillance system in the future.
Seagate Constellation 2 TB Surveillance offers users larger capacity despite being a compact drive. This makes the device ideal for storing data in CCTV or your best DVR camera systems. Being adjustable allows you to use it in various recorders for storing data. Not only that, but you can also use it in your computer or shift it to another device by just using a simple connector.
With a 1.2 million MTBF, the hard drive offers reliable reading and writing capacity. At the same time, efficient design allows you to save power and prevents it from heating up excessively. The self-cooling material used in the device helps it cool down more effectively.
Seagate Constellation Surveillance Hard Drive is one of the few DVRs that provide users with 7200 RPM, which means that you can record footage from multiple cameras with ease. The faster rotation speed allows it to seek videos and transfer data more quickly.
If you are seeking a security system hard disk drive that is affordable, yet offers multiple features, this is the device for you. It provides users with high-speed data reading and writing, so you don’t have to wait to spend your time for the system to respond.
The high rotation per minute RPM allows you to record videos more easily and reliably. As a result, you can record videos 24/7 or using a motion detection recording system without having to worry about the device failing to record midstream.
At the same time, since the device works with several devices, you can equip it with your CCTV system, your PC, as well as your DVR. It is designed to handle pressure and works perfectly even if you add up more than 8 security cameras. We’ve discovered that it is the best hard drive recommendation for 8 camera DVR.
The only thing that may trouble you is the confusing design this hard drive has. While the uniqueness of the design looks well, some users may find it more difficult to install because of the unique design.
WL Spy Camera Hard Drive is an incredible device matched with countless features. With its fast speed, you will never experience any lag in recording as it saves all your data in a very reliable format.
By giving you a product compatible with a variety of options, it allows you to save data on NAS, DVR, NVR, and even desktop PCs. With the help of a smooth recording feature, you can record as much as 3 months without needing to format the device.
In case you have 12 PC security system, the 3 TB hard disk will work for more than a month. However, the only issue with the device is that it can make loud sounds and heats up occasionally. So, if you’re comfortable with a loud hard drive, and have good ventilation around the hard drive, there isn’t much to worry about.
DVR Hard Drive Buying Guide
With so many great options available, choosing the ideal one for yourself can be hard if you don’t know which key features affect you the most. Here are some of the key factors to consider before finalizing on one DVR surveillance hard drive.
Rotation Per Minute (RPM)
The Rotation Per Minute or RPM is one of the most important features of any hard drive. RPM determines the speed at which your hard drive spins. The spinning rate determines how fast the hard drive can seek stored data and transfer it. Therefore, it’s best to buy hard drives that offer the highest RPM.
Usually, this RPM range starts from slower speeds of 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM. However, a handful of enterprise drives can function as fast as 10,000 RPM. Although these hard drives may offer the lowest seek times and highest data transfer rates, they are a bit too advanced for surveillance systems.
Faster rotation helps your surveillance system to record at high speed. Therefore, hard drives with 7200RPM are perfect for the job.
Load Bearing Capacity
Usually, surveillance systems are meant to support four or more cameras. Therefore, any camera you buy for your surveillance systems must offer reliable storage performance for your system. Before choosing a hard drive for your system, it’s important to check how many cameras it can support.
Power On Hour Capacity
Security surveillance systems don’t come cheap, so is the case for external hard drives supporting these systems. People buy wired security systems such as POE security cameras, IP security cameras, or analog CCTV for commercial surveillance. This means they buy these systems for the long-term, as they are difficult to replace.
That is why it’s important to consider the power-on-hour capacity of your hard drive. In other words, you should see how much the product is likely to last while performing none-stop. While choosing a hard disk drive for your business, make sure that the device can work for more than 7 years.
Surveillance systems are meant to provide you full-time video coverage. This is why you need a system that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If the hard drive cannot continue recording footage none-stop, then it will malfunction soon without living its featured life.
Like any electric device, a hard drive can get damaged anytime because of several technical or external issues. If a provider gives you a warranty for the hard drive, it shows how much the provider trusts his or her product. Therefore, before buying a hard drive for your surveillance system, it’s good to consider the warranty offered by the seller or manufacturer.
Hard Disk Type
You should remember that all hard drives are not the same. DVR system hard drives use different technologies for storing video footage. A traditional hard disk drive (HDD) uses spinning dices that rotate to store recordings and footage. A solid-state drive (SSD) replaces the spinning parts of the hard drive with different technology.
Since an SSD hard drive has no spinning parts, it doesn’t depreciate as fast as a typical storage drive. Compared to traditional hard drives, this technology is new, so it isn’t tested extensively in video surveillance systems.
That said, hard drives created with SSD technology are exponentially faster than traditional drives at storing footage, transferring it, and recovering saved files. While they are rare in the surveillance camera market, a select group of manufacturers offers them.
How much hard drive space you need for your DVR system completely depends on how many cameras you are using and how long you like to store data. If you have limited storage capacity, you may lose important videos.
Ideally, you should equip your surveillance system with as much storage capacity as possible. Your security expert can tell you how much storage your DVR surveillance security system might need. You can also employ a RAID setup to prevent the loss of important data when part of your storage fails.
Fast Reading and Recording of Live Footage
Many users complain that their CCTV doesn’t record live video well. It usually occurs when the internet connection is working poorly or if the surveillance hard drive isn’t rendering recording footage as fast as the cameras are streaming. You can resolve this problem by buying a DVR hard drive with greater rotation or hard drives with SSD technology, as they help you record the data at greater speed.
Load and Unload Cycle times depict how the number of times your hard drive can spin up its discs before it starts a read/write activity. In this process, the pin of the head spins up and then down. This feature is more important for cameras that don’t require 24/7 recording but use motion detection to record footage. However, for live surveillance DVR system, it becomes less significant.
Data Write/Read Capacity
The data write/read capacity is a measure that shows how much data the hard drive can store in a year. It is shown in a TB/year rating.
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)
Mean Time between Failures is a standard measure that shows how reliable a device is. The higher it is the better it will perform. Many hard drive manufacturers quote their MTBF quotient as 1 million hours MTBF. However, you will not get the opportunity to use your hard drive for 114 years. This is why you should prefer other features such as power-on hours ratings, workload (TB/year), and load/unload (LUL) cycles, which are far more useful numbers.
Most DVR hard disks are designed to be economical devices because they have to run 24/7. Maintaining power efficiency might pointless for these machines, but choosing a DVR hard drive with efficient power consumption can save you significant energy costs over the years. At the same time, power-efficient systems are more capable of reducing heat output.
Advanced Format (AF)
The Advanced Format is a specialized technique for storing data more efficiently on external storages, by increasing hard disk density. If you’re buying a hard disk with a storage capacity of more than 6GB, then it’s best to get a hard disk that supports Advanced Format.
Which hard disk is used in DVR?
Nowadays, computers use SATA hard drives that are more reliable and powerful at data transfer. However, since DVRs and computers are different and must record footage 24/7 without delay, it needs a specialized storage device that can work non-stop along with the security camera system.
What is the best hard drive for CCTV DVR?
In terms of performance, enterprise SSD is better as it can process data much faster than any HDD. However, for general users, WD Purple stands out as the best hard drive for CCTV DVR. It consistently offers smooth and clear video and comes with prioritized write-operations.
As it is equipped with a decent heat sink, it works well in hot weather. Even without having the luxury of an SSD, it offers exceptional rotation speed and runs at up to 7200 RPM. Using the device, you can support as many as 64 HD cameras and reliably use it for 3 years due to its extended warranty.
Can you use a normal hard drive for CCTV?
Although it’s possible to use normal hard drives with your CCTV system, they don’t offer optimal performance when it comes to surveillance systems. This is why many users prefer surveillance drives as they are available with a little price difference and perform exceptionally well for surveillance CCTV and DVR setups.
What is the difference between normal HDD and surveillance hard disk?
Many people think that they can use traditional desktop hard drives for their surveillance system. While they can work in a surveillance system, they can’t perform as well reliably in that setting. These hard drives are meant to operate for 8 hours, usually. Therefore, if you use them in surveillance cameras, they will be able to work 10%-20% of their capacity, because they are overworked.
In contrast, a DVR hard drive offers a central component to the digitally store surveillance system video. It allows users to leverage the device 24/7 in either their Video Server, a Video Management System, or DVR and NVRs. Just like your surveillance system, these hard drives will always remain active.
It offers a surveillance system a high mean time between failure, which means that it can operate exceptionally well, without any needless delays. As a result, it lasts considerably longer than any traditional hard drive when being used in a surveillance system.
Moreover, some hard drive manufacturer even provides users with a service plan for recovering data lost in a failed hard drive as long it was damaged because of an accidental or mechanical issue.
We suggest our readers to use professional class or an exclusive DVR surveillance hard drive for their CCTV and DVR systems. Using a DVR, coupled with a surveillance hard drive, can ensure that you record every footage without the fear of losing data or encountering delays.
Which Western Digital hard drive is best for DVR?
Western Digital 2TB Surveillance Hard Drive is built for high-performance and can tolerate high temperatures, as well as a high workload. Therefore, it ensures that you have high-quality video playback at all times.
At the same time, WD Purple surveillance storage also utilizes the All Frame technology, something exclusive to Western Digital. As a result, it is much easier to deploy in business set-up and create a surveillance system that supports multiple frames at once. In our opinion, it is the best Western Digital hard drive for DVR.
What is the best hard drive for NVR?
Like DVR, Western Digital performs well for NVR systems as well. However, if you are looking for an external hard drive designed especially for NVR, then Toshiba NAS drives are an excellent budget option. Toshiba N300 provides users with 7200 rpm rotational speed supported by a cache memory of 128 GB, which is extremely generous.
NVR and NAS users often report that excessive vibration damages their hard drive over time. However, the hard drive provides users with integrated RV sensors to save the device from vibration and ensure that it runs durably. At the same time, is suitable for 1-8 bay NAS enclosures, as well.
Which hard drives are compatible with Amcrest security cameras?
Western Digital Purple 4TB surveillance hard disk drive is specially engineered for DVR/NVR security system and works with surveillance camera systems of different brands, including the Amcrest and others.
Which is the best hard drive for Hikvision dvr?
Seagate SkyHawk 4TB surveillance a high performing hard drive that works well with DVRs, NVR, as well as hybrid surveillance DVRs. It is one of the hard drives that are compatible with brands like Hikvision and Amcrest.
Does DVR have HDD?
Although some DVR surveillance systems provide users with their storage, not all of them do so. Even when DVR systems have storage by default, it is often not sufficient to back-up storage for an extended period. This is why many security experts recommend users to install additional hard drives so they can run their DVR systems for an additional amount of time.
What is the best hard drive recommendation for 8 camera DVR?
HGST Ultra Star Enterprise Hard Disk Drive is designed to handle pressure and works perfectly even if you add up more than 8 security cameras. Owing to its enterprise-level processing speed, we’ve discovered that it is the best hard drive recommendation for 8 camera DVR.
Can You Use an External Hard Drive instead of an NVR
Some users want to know whether they can use their computer PC to record surveillance footage to a 3TB, 4TB, or 6TB external hard drive. There are many video monitoring software that allows users to connect the external surveillance hard drive with a USB cable and then connect it to the computer. As long as you have a powerful machine to support such applications, you can external hard drives along with your computer.
Most of the options listed down here are compatible with PCs, as well. Options such as WL Spy Camera Hard Drive, HGST Ultra Star Enterprise Hard Disk Drive, Seagate Constellation 2 TB Surveillance Enterprise Hard Drive are compatible with PCs.
How can I get data from my DVR hard drive?
Step 1: Install the DVR video management software
Step 2: Connect the CCTV/DVR Hard Drive/SD Card to the PC and Open the Software.
Step 3: Select the Target Drive to Scan.
Step 4: Select Your Wanted Videos to Recover.
Step 5: Save the Selected Videos to Your Specified Path
A surveillance system needs to store large amounts of data and keep on running for 24 hours a day. Without reliable external storage, other storage systems give you temporary storage. Those storages fill up rather quickly and can be removed easily. Comparatively, the storage capacity is extremely low on surveillance systems.
This is why your surveillance system needs specialized hard drives for storing video footage. A DVR surveillance hard drive is designed professionally to work well for your surveillance system. It eliminates the likelihood of hardware failure and ensures that you never miss a beat.
Although choosing the best hard drive for surveillance DVR is not easy, you can always look for key features to find the option that works best for you. In our research, we found that Western Digital Purple 2TB surveillance hard drive offered users the most features despite being affordable.
At Phenom Security, we are always dedicated to assist you in finding products that ensure your safety and security. Aside from offering your excellent surveillance systems, we also provide our customers with collections of the best hard drive for security DVR.