Let's learn how to avoid paying cloud storage subscription for security cameras.
That sounds interesting, doesn't it?
If you are using smart cameras such as Wyze Cam, Ring, Yi Home, Blink, or other models such as Reolink and Amcrest chances are you are paying for a cloud subscription because that's the model used by most of the camera manufacturers.
You usually get a free trial period that expires in 30 days, and then the bill starts coming every month. The price is not high; still, it's your money!
Well, it's time to turn the table over and stop paying.
How to eliminate the cloud subscription bill
Here are ways to avoid paying for security camera cloud storage.
- Use a limited Free subscription plan;
- Record the footage on a micro SD card;
- Use an NVR (Network Video Recorder);
- Install a recording software on your computer;
- Record the video on Google Drive.
The options depend on the camera you are using.
PoE and Wi-Fi security cameras are more flexible compared to smart cams.
Let's take a look at each option.
Use a Free subscription plan
Some manufacturers offer a limited subscription plan for free.
For example, the Wyze Cam Plus lets you record clips with 12 seconds duration and a cool-down period of 5 minutes (interval between consecutive recordings).
Yeah, it's limited, but that's what you get without spending a dime to record your smart camera footage. Perhaps that may work for you.
Visit the camera manufacturer website to check which free plans are available.
Record the footage on a micro SD card
Most IP cameras and smart cameras come with a slot for a micro SD card.
You can insert a class 10 micro SD card with a higher capacity to record as long as possible. It usually records for 15 to 30 days depending on the card size and record settings such as recording quality, type of compression, and motion detection.
The idea is to use a 32GB, 64GB, or even a 128GB micro SD card to record for an extended period of time. Read the camera manual to find out the card's maximum capacity; most cameras accept at least the 32GB card.
You can play with your camera settings to reduce the footage's size and increase the period of recording. Take a look at the compression type such as H.264 and H.265 (the last one compresses more), reduce the frame rate (FPS), and create a recording schedule based on motion detection.
Use an NVR (Network Video Recorder)
You need to use the same IP camera and NVR brand to match the protocols.
It's also possible to have IP cameras recording on an NVR if they have the ONVIF protocol available, allowing cameras and recorders from different manufacturers to communicate.
The picture below shows an IP camera connected to a router and an NVR.
Cameras that don't use UTP cables can also connect to the network by using the Wi-Fi router, so if you have a Wyze Cam, it's going to work.
You can also use the RTSP protocol to record some smart cams (such as the Wyze Cam) to an NVR. You just need to make sure such protocol is available in the camera.
Install a recording software on your computer
It's the same idea from the previous diagram; the only difference is that you will replace the NVR with a computer running the recording software.
You can buy a lifetime license for the software.
Record the video on Google Drive
You can use Google Drive to record your footage.
Again, that depends on the camera model you have. Check the user's manual to make sure this option is available on your camera.
I've tested a Hikvision camera and DVR to record the footage on Google Drive, and there's an article on this topic.
You can avoid paying a cloud storage subscription for security cameras as long as you are willing to make an effort to have the cameras working with a local recorder or with a free service such as Google Drive (if your camera has such a feature).
Either you paid for the monthly subscription, or you try the option on this article.
Unfortunately, the options won't work for every situation or camera model, but you can at least try looking for the best alternative for your case.
I hope this article can help you; please share it with your friends.
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 16+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.