Have you experienced a life changing event that is making you rethink the security needs of your family or business?
Has your motion sensor camera failed to detect an important event?
And you realise that a camera that only sends short (and almost useless) motion detected just won’t cut it any more.
Do you need to upgrade to a security camera and a storage system that will allow you to record footage 24/7?
Well, let me help you out.
In this post I will:
*Answer some of your most pressing questions
*Outline the pros and cons
*Provide reviews of some of the best continuous recording security cameras
And guess what?
Most of these solutions will not break the bank.
So let’s start with a quick definition.
Definition: Continuous Recording Security Camera
Security cameras that continuously record every minute of everyday are commonly called CVR (Continuous Video Recording) security cameras.
If we look at a timeline showing the history of security cameras, in the big scheme of things CVR is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Many businesses and ordinary people could not afford the costs of storage.
Just think of the number of cassette tapes that you would need to record the footage from one camera for one day?!
Neither did they have the space to store all of these systems.
But as the cost and size of the storage systems has plummeted, the ability to own a CVR security camera becomes much more realistic.
Types of CVR
There are broadly three different types of CVR storage and they are;
Which is a form of remote storage or storage which is not kept anywhere near the device itself or anywhere on the premises.
CVR plans are structured slightly differently from other (motion detected) plans.
And the main difference is that each separate camera needs its own CVR subscription.
Whereas a motion activated subscription plan provides for the use of multiple cameras within it.
Subscriptions for cloud storage vary in cost depending on how many days worth of footage that you want to keep.
So, for instance a 30 day plan will storage footage from the last 30 days.
Any footage older than that is securely deleted by the provider: or you hope that it is!
Together with a DVR and NVR, cloud storage is the main way that footage from CVR security cameras is held.
The advantages of cloud storage
Footage which is stored in the cloud is a very safe form of storage because the footage is encrypted- often to the same high level of encryption as banks.
Also, if the device itself gets stolen the footage remains accessible because it is stored remotely.
The storage is also very flexible because it can be accessed from a variety of different devices such as a smartphone, PC or Mac or tablet via an app or a web browser.
If you pay for a subscription on a yearly not monthly basis, most companies offer a significant reduction in costs.
Cloud subscription plans are no longer just for storing your data. Your subscription includes time saving ways to analyse your data.
These include the use of complex algorithms to identify people or objects in your footage or the ability to create specific areas within a camera’s field of view that need closer monitoring.
The disadvantages of cloud storage
Storing footage in the cloud incurs a monthly subscription- an ongoing cost which will never stop.
Next, for every camera that you need footage from CVR stored, will incur a separate subscription. Adding multiple cameras to a plan will raise costs very quickly.
If you want to pay for a cloud subscription plan, you are very limited. Only plans provided by the company that makes your security camera can be used. You cannot use third party services.
And finally, in an age of where websites are under constant attack from hackers, how safe is any footage that is stored on a device over which you have total control?
Micro SD Card
This is a type of local storage.
A micro SD card is smaller than a postage stamp and it fits into the device itself.
The cards are available in different sizes, which vary according to the amount of storage.
Typically, it is recommended that security cameras use a card with a capacity of between 16 GB and 128 GB.
Although these cards can be used be used for CVR, because they are so limited by their capacity, it is not usually the preferred measure.
However, for a camera owner that wants to be able to record continuously on the cheap, these cards are ideal.
Like cloud storage, micro SD cards store footage in chronological order.
Once a card is full, the oldest footage will be overwritten by new footage firs- which is called “loop recording.”
Pros of micro SD cards
The biggest advantage is that these cards are cheap and buying them is a one off cost.
Micro SD cards are not rented out for a monthly subscription.
Disadvantages of micro SD cards
Micro SD cards are located within the device itself or within the device’s base station.
If, as part of a robbery, your device is taken then the footage is lost as well.
Footage could also be lost in other situations, such as fires.
Accessing your footage on a card is not as easy as accessing it from cloud storage.
Although some companies let you access the card via an app, once upon a time footage could only be viewed by physically removing the card and slotting the card into a reader or another device.
I have written a separate post about great security cameras that record with SD cards.
DVR or NVR
The third type of storage which is used for CVR, is either a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) or NVR (Network Video Recorder).
Both types of video recorders store security camera footage in the same way.
The recorders contain a hard disc drive, which varies in size between one and six terabytes onto which footage is recorded.
But DVRs are connected to multiple cameras via wires whereas NVRs connect to cameras wirelessly.
Advantages of Video Recorders
For most users, buying a DVR or NVR is a one off cost.
Video Recorders are designed to have multiple cameras connected to them- some systems can have as many as thirty two connected to them.
Unlike cloud storage, adding an extra camera to your system will not automatically increase your storage costs.
Many video recorders can be accessed remotely via an app or web browser.
Disadvantages of DVRs and NVRs
Like SD cards, because these recorders are stored on the premises or in your home, they might be stolen in a robbery or destroyed in a fire.
Either way, any footage will also be lost.
DVRs and NVRs need to have a monitor and keyboard attached to them, which will incur extra costs.
Must Have Features Continuous Recording Security Camera
Slightly further down the page, you will see my reviews of some of the top cameras to buy.
In order to make those reviews easier to read, I will describe some of the essential features that most of the cameras in my comparison have.
In this way, I can avoid needless repetition in the reviews and you won’t be forced to read the same thing over and over again….
Firstly, let’s have a look at the common elements in the cloud subscriptions.
Cloud Subscription Features
Every cloud subscription service offers a free option.
This is a short duration that your footage will be stored for free. And the duration varies between providers, from 48 hours to seven days.
Number of Days
CVR plans, like most other cloud subscription plans, are differentiated according to the number of days that you want the footage stored for.
The more days that you want, the higher that your subscription will be.
This feature refers to one or more of the following skills: person or human detection, vehicle detection and animal detection.
Activity or Motion Zones
Activity zones or motion zones are specific areas of a camera’s field of view that a user can create in order to only be alerted if motion is detected in that particular area.
Security Camera Features
Security cameras, like many other high tech gadgets, have a wide variety of specifications which can be used to compare them with other similar products.
In the camera’s reviews below, there is a complete list of specs which will help you in your search for the best continuous recording security camera.
But in this section, I will only describe 8 of the most important specs.
And they are:
This is ameasure of the quality of your video footage. It is measured in pixels and the number of pixels horizontally and vertically.
The gold standard can still be considered to be 1080p, which is an image that contains 1920 pixels from left to right and 1080 pixels from top to bottom.
1080p security cameras are also measured in megapixels- and they are 2 MP.
Well, perhaps gold standard is too strong a term as many cameras produce images that are higher than this, some cameras even producing pictures in 4K, which is 8MP.
Field of Vision
Field of vision is the area that a camera “sees”. It is the distance between the far left of the image to the far right of the image. It is measured in degrees (°), which is why it is also known as the viewing angle.
Cameras with a greater viewing angle see more objects, whereas camera with a smaller field of vision see fewer objects.
Importantly, a security camera with a smaller field of view will show those objects in greater detail than a camera with a bigger viewing angle.
And so, bigger is not always better. If you want to focus on a specific area or object in a room, a security camera with a smaller viewing angle would be your best choice.
Voice Control: Motion Detection:
Security cameras are normally powered in one of three ways; battery, power cable or solar panel.
The most common is the power cable because compared to a battery or solar panel, it is currently much more reliable.
However, one of the security cameras that I have reviewed can be powered by power cable, rechargeable battery or solar panel.
Rechargeable batteries and solar panels offer people without any outside electrical sockets, greater flexibility when placing their cameras.
However, it has to be said that battery powered and solar panel powered security cameras tend to be less reliable.
Night vision Range
Most security cameras use a technology called PIR (passive infrared) to detect objects and movement at night time and at other times when there is very little light.
Infrared sensors are placed around the camera lens and these sensors detect the heat that an object produces and create a black and white image of it.
Most of the cameras in this review have night vision ranges of between 20 and 30 feet.
A direct connection to a Wi-Fi home router is the most common method that security cameras use to connect to the Internet.
And most cameras will only connect to a 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi network as opposed to newer and faster 5 Ghz ones.
Although this CVR camera in my review connects to both speeds of network.
If on the other hand, the place where you want to position your camera had no Wi-Fi coverage, you might need to think about cellular security cameras– which connect to the Internet via a SIM card.
The standard for security cameras is two way audio.
A camera which is equipped with two way audio has a built in microphone and speaker.
This enables anybody who is next to the security camera to talk to another person who is connecting to the camera via an app.
This is incredibly useful for families who want to stay in touch but it can even be used as a deterrent against a break in because you can talk to an intruder as well and try and reason with them or frighten them off!
If using your voice to try to stop a burglary doesn’t work, maybe you need a security camera with a siren.
Finding a security camera with a siren is no mean feat as they are few and far between.
However one of the CVR cameras in my selection has a siren which is incredibly loud.
Remote access is the ability of a user to interact with, access and manage their security camera without touching it.
This is achieved via an app (which is usually free) and can be downloaded and used on most modern smartphones- Apple or Android.
It is a given that the security camera which you buy will have remote access.
 Nest Outdoor CVR camera
This little camera is a beautiful design with modern style and technology. To make the most out of this system as subscription to Nest Aware will bring the best features. This improves your surveillance system with multiple new options open to you. I would highly recommend if you purchase this system that you subscribe to the full package.
Nest stores your footage in the cloud where you won’t lose any data. It records 24/7 with the subscription and allows for time lapse options. This CVR means you don’t miss anything. Other systems would cause you to miss important events due to only momentary recording.
Nest gives three subscription options. The first allows 5 days of video history along with all features for $5 a month. The second gives you 10 days of video history for $10 a month. The final package gives 30 days of video history, for $30.
With these packages come three key additional features.
Intelligent alerts: We all know how annoying receiving false alarms are. But with the ever improving A.I. technologies, these false alarms are almost a thing of the past. Intelligent alerts uses an algorithm to make sure that you only get alerted when a person or pet is detected.
Activity Zones: These zones can be programmed from your phone or tablet. It allows you to choose where you want the motion sensors to focus. You choose what areas of the camera you want motion and activity alerts from.
Time Lapses: When you have 30 days (720 hours) of footage, you don’t want to watch through all of it to find a specific event. Time lapse allows you to skim through at a faster pace to find the specific activity you want. You no longer need a CSI team to review your footage!
All of these packages come with the 24/7 CVR as well as all the above mentioned features. And if you subscribe for a year you get a better deal. I would highly recommend getting a year’s subscription as it saves you money and hassle.
Okay let’s have a brief look over some of the other main features of this camera.
- Waterproof camera design.
- 24/7 streaming.
- Hardwired power, never have a flat battery.
- Two way audio.
- Motion, voice and sound alerts.
- Cloud storage.
Conclusion : This camera is best suited for someone who wants to improve their home security and upgrade their alarm notifications and who wants to avoid inconvenience with false alarms as it has motions, voice and sound detection.
 Arlo Pro 2 CVR Camera
The Arlo team continues to release great cameras. With the Arlo Pro 2, they have gone even further than before as far as technology. New features and great CVR subscription plans allow for better security and surveillance. It is one of the best wire free cameras on the market at the moment.
The Arlo Pro has a number of different options as far as recording. Unlike a lot of other cameras, cloud and hard copy options are available. Using a USB data stick, one can record a hardcopy of all footage continuously.
However, for proper CVR, a subscription for cloud storage is recommended. This allows not only the storage of data but extra features. This will improve your security and give you more options as to how you use the device.
Intelligent Alerts – Arlo has some advanced human identification A.I. systems. This will help you identify only people and animals with the motion sensor. This will make sure your camera doesn’t “cry wolf” as it were.
E911 Emergency Services – This feature only works in the USA. When you access your mobile app you will have this option. It allows you to instantly contact the authorities to send emergency response units to the camera. This saves you crucial time.
Activity Zones – Arlo allows you to set up activity zones on all of your cameras. You then change and operate them all from your app. This allows for you to only get the Arlo alerts when these zones are triggered.
Lock Screen Notifications- Even if your phone screen is locked, the notification will appear with a snapshot. This way, when activity is sensed you will waste no time. You will get the immediate option to either: activate siren, call friend or e911 emergency call.
Arlo smart gives for $2.99 a month 30 day video history with AI motion detection and notifications. Or for $9.99 you can get up to ten cameras on the same plan, and it comes with e911 emergency call service. This service applies only in the USA and will call the police or other service in the case of an emergency.
For optimum CVR recording with the Arlo Pro 2, Arlo has two subscription plans that might just be right for you.
For $9.99 a month your camera will get 24/7 cloud recording as well as streaming. This is non stop recording. You can also upgrade to the $19.99 a month package which brings even more recording time (30 days).
So what are the best and key features that makes the Arlo Pro 2 stand out? Let’s have a look over a few of these features.
- 1080p HD recording (Improvement from the previous 720p recording cameras).
- Wire Free.
- Cloud storage subscription options.
- Local storage with USB sticks.
- Battery, hardwire or solar power options.
- 2 way audio.
- Motion Activation.
- Advanced AI systems.
This Camera is great for those who need 24/7 surveillance which requires HD recordings and need easy access, when needed. If you often need to make emergency calls this is for you as you’ll have the option to activate the siren,, call a friend or e911 emergency call and waste no time, all at the touch of your hand.
 Wyze Labs Indoor CVR Camera
The WyzeCam is a decent camera with a box look. It can attach to most surfaces, but is not the prettiest of cameras. However, it gets the job done and it does so well.
WyzeCam comes with a 14 day cloud storage of free rolling footage. However, it is built to use a micro SD card that inserts into the back of the camera.
Once you have inserted the SD card, choose “continuous recording” from the app.
This type of recording comes with advantages and disadvantages. While you can’t access your SD card wirelessly, you do not need a smart phone or wifi to review footage. This makes it more suitable for people who don’t want to use a cloud system.
Installing the SD Card – Before putting in the SD card, make sure the power is turned off. Then you can insert it into the slot under the camera. When you turn it on again, you should hear a beeping noise to say it’s put in correctly.
(Class 10, 32 gigabyte SD Cards are recommended by Wyze Labs)
Now using the app, go to the advanced settings and turn on local recording to micro SD card.
Once you have your micro SD card installed you will be able to activate your local CVR. This comes under the advanced options “continuous recording”. I highly recommend making good use of this option.
Motion Tagging – Motion tagging pinpoints motion and marks it as you stream or review your footage. This makes it easier to spot noteworthy events.
Alexa – Voice activation is always cool. You just have to call out “Alexa, show me the living room” and bam you have a full view of your camera. This makes it quicker and easier to access your streaming footage.
To help you decide if this camera is right for you, here’s a quick breakdown of its main features.
- 1080p recording.
- Wifi and local recording.
 Zosi 4 Channel 1080p NVR
This camera by Zosi is your basic security system, but with a few modern perks. This Zosi allows for multiple cameras to be operating wirelessly. The cameras are your classic security cameras which come with durable wall mounts.
With the Zosi 4 channel system, you receive an NVR device with the package. This device takes the signals from all the wireless cameras and records your footage onto its inbuilt 1 terabyte hard drive.
This large hard drive allows for many hours of CVR footage at 1080p resolution. A NVR comes with many advantages over cloud and SD card storage. It is much larger and can store much more data than a SD card. It also is a once off cost, whereas a subscription to the cloud would be a constant expense.
It also comes with the option to export the footage onto USB or SD card.
Activation Zones: With editable activation zones you can receive alerts when specific areas have movement. You can change these zones from your NVR connected to a screen or on your mobile device with the Zosi application.
Email and Phone Alerts: The Zosi will send email and phone notifications depending on the setup. You can change this on the mobile device.
The Zosi system comes with a lot of tech features. These help secure your house or business more professionally.
- 720p Recording.
- 100ft (33 meters) Night Vision.
- Wifi and Ethernet connection.
- 1 TB hard drive.
 Zmodo Wireless Security Camera System
Zmodo wireless cameras look like your traditional security camera. The package comes with four cameras which all operate wirelessly. They have “pivotable” mounts that allow them to be placed on any wall.
Zmode comes with the option of additional subscriptions to have CVR features. However, for free it records and stores 12 hours of footage in the cloud.
But then for $4.99 a month you receive seven days of CVR footage as well as extra features. For $9.99 you revive 30 days of CVR footage as well as the extra perks. These reasonably priced subscriptions get better if you buy a year package, getting up to $20 off the annual cost.
Alert Clip Storage: Not only does the cloud subscription record your raw CVR footage, it also keeps you alert clips separate. This way you can quickly look through all of the times you camera was motion or sound activated. Zmode’s inclusion of this features makes navigation so much easier!
Detection Zones: Detection zones are included in Zmode’s subscription packages, and can be edited through their app. Make sure your activation clips are only of important events!
Video Editor: In the Zmode subscription package you are able to edit footage remotely. This can be used to your advantage in a number of ways. Use your imagination. You can clip out certain footage that’s non desirable while pinpointing the most crucial.
Time Lapse: Time lapse is very important when reviewing such large amounts of footage. You’ll be able to skim all of those hours of footage quickly and efficiently.
To make a good decision, if this camera has exactly what you are looking for, here is a list of some of the most noteworthy features:
- Weatherproof design.
- Mobile streaming via the app.
- Night vision up to 65ft (about 20 meters).
- Works with alexa.
- 720p HD recording.
 YI Dome 1080p Security Camera
The YI Dome has brilliant movement, and makes for a highly advanced security camera. It is able to pivot on its X, Y and Z axis and thus gains almost a 360 degree view. A brilliant modern camera.
Unlike the cameras we have reviewed so far, the YI Dome does not settle for only one means of CVR. Instead, it gives you the option to have both a cloud storage of your footage, and a hard copy. This gives you options and security, able to not only access wherever you are, but also access the data on physical device.
YI Cloud: The cloud service comes with two options: a standard package and a premium. Only the premium gives you CVR! The standard gives only motion detection footage recording.
The Premium costs almost no more than the standard at $19.99 for 7 days footage storage every three months. For 15 days loop recording it costs $9.99 per month. For 30 days loop recording CVR, it costs $19.99 per month.
These prices are very reasonable. If you decide to purchase a annual subscription you can receive up to $30 off your purchase.
CVR on SD Card: How long you can record continuously on your SD card depends on the type of SD card. The TI Dome records at 1080p 20fps. This means that with a 32 gigabyte card you will get 3 days of recording and with a 64 gigabyte card you will get 6 days.
With 128 gigabytes you can get between 9 and 12 days of recording time.
This recording time is very good for CVR local storage. I recommend getting a larger SD card to get the most out of your device.
Let’s have a quick break down of the main features of the YI Dome.
- 1080p recording.
- SD card and Cloud options.
- 360 degree view.
- 3 meter night vision (9 feet).