Cloud Security Cameras Recommendations

Is this a new trend for video storage?, any recommendations on cloud storage services?, what´s the best take?, ...google, amazon?


Saul, thanks for the comment. It's a newer trend but there have been offerings around for at least the last 5 years (see our original 2009/2010 coverage). In that time, it has gotten better, but not that much.

Some providers might use Amazon for storage but unlike other services, security cameras don't really connect directly to Google or Amazon. Typically, there is a service provider.

The biggest name right now is Dropcam. That link shows our tests and discussions on them. They are an example of an end to end solution, whereby you buy their camera and it automatically connects to third party services.

Axis has been in this space for a long time but they go through numerous 3rd party service providers (Axis used to have a public list but it look like it's been removed). It's basic functionality but pretty expensive ($10, $20, more per camera per month).

There's dozens of smaller players / offerings in the space. Almost all are focused at small camera counts (4 or less per site) and the value prop is not terribly strong (e.g., How Strong is VSaaS ROI Really?).

So that's a brief overview. Saul, let me know what you are looking for specifically and we can expand.

Thanks for the update John, I see companies like Eagle Eye Networks doing efforts on their hardware/software solution, whereby third party services (if I understand correctly) are overpassed as these guys offer the complete solution thru their partner channels, is this right?

what´s the catch here? is there any business limitations at this point for VSaaS still?

Saul, see our post on Eagle Eye Networks. They are a managed video offering where they use an appliance on-site and then transfer some video to the loud. By contrast, companies like Dropcam are 'pure' cloud / hosted, meaning no local recording, everything sent to the cloud. The business limitation for hosted video is that it's still much more expensive to send and store all video in the cloud.

Eagle Eye, and others like them, are closer to traditional DVR / NVR architectures with cloud management / access added on. Eagel Eye, in particular, is a new company so be careful that they have all the features you need.

Two questions:

1. At what point does local storage make more sense than cloud storage (or vice versa)?

2. What a typical cost of cloud storage today?

Jim, good questions.

The typical cost of cloud storage today is roughly $10 for recording 1 week, $25 for recording 1 month. This assumes pure cloud / off-site recording.

Take a 16 camera system, recording for 1 month, that's $14,400 over 3 years. This includes (1) storage, (2) VMS software / upgrades and (3) cloud access.

However, you can easily get a 16 channel NVR for a fraction of $14,400. Equally problematic, the VMS software for cloud cameras / systems is almost always extremely rudimentary, with less features than the typical Costco system. And, obviously, most people don't have the bandwidth to upstream 16 cameras anyway.

So, where does it make sense? Typically when you are only doing 1 or 2 cameras, and it's worth paying a small monthly fee to avoid having to do any work setting up recording on site.