How to Back up Your IP Security Cameras to the Cloud

Security Video Footage Is Safe in the Cloud

Security camera, city lights background
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You're planning to put up IP Security Cameras to provide 24/7 unblinking eyes on your home and possessions. Everything will be recorded to a DVR or your computer's hard drive. You've thought through all the possible scenarios related to break-ins, but there's one scenario that still bothers you: What happens if the bad guys steal your computer or DVR where all the security footage is stored?

Unless you have your footage sent to an off-site security camera storage service, you are likely to be up a creek should a thief steal your computer or DVR.

IP security cameras aren't new technology. They have become increasingly popular, and the technology is getting better and cheaper. Camera makers are producing affordable cameras, some of which, like Canary, upload surveillance video to the cloud through a subscription service.

Most IP cameras are stand-alone units with a built-in server that doesn't need a separate computer to operate. Some models add SD card storage so they can record video locally as a backup or alternative to computer monitoring and recording solutions.

If your cameras didn't come with a cloud storage subscription option, you can (and should) back up the footage to the cloud yourself.

How to Back Up Your Cameras to Cloud Storage

The first and hardest task for backing up your IP cameras to off-site cloud-based storage is finding a service provider. There aren't a lot of them out there that cater to the home or small office user. However, a couple of services stand out because one of them has a free option, and the other offers a completely integrated solution that features HD-quality video.

Mangocam

Mangocam is an Australia-based company that provides cloud-based storage for IP camera footage. One nice thing about Mangocam is that it has a free option that lets you store a day's worth of footage (up to 3GB). It also allows you to set up a schedule to record only the hours and days you want. The service caters to Foscam and supports cameras such as the Foscam FI8905W, but the service supports most IP cameras.

Mangocam's paid options start at $6 a month and provide a host of additional features such as motion-detected event recording, multiple cameras, seven-day video retention time (15GB), footage download via ZIP file, SMS alerts, and more. The most expensive plan ($16 per month as of mid-2018) supports up to eight cameras, holds up to a month's worth of footage (50GB), and supports a higher frame rate than the other plans.

Nest

Nest offers a fully integrated end-to-end solution for home and business users. With its internet-connected Nest Cam Indoor security camera, you get a wireless HD IP security camera from Nest that comes equipped with 2-way audio and night vision. Nest also stores up to seven days worth of footage and offers event detection, which marks points of interest on the video timeline on the web-based DVR. 

A disadvantage of both solutions is that they rely on your internet connection, which creates a central point of failure. This is one reason why people are electing to purchase cameras with onboard SD card storage that keeps recording even if the connection to the server is lost. Similarly, some cameras come with backup batteries so they can function when the power goes out.

A camera with onboard SD card storage, backed up locally to a computer-based DVR with cloud-based off-site storage should capture the bad guys in just about every possible scenario.