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Why you need specialist hard drives for your NVR

When we prepare a CCTV proposal with a new NVR we always recommend new hard drives, but often clients ask if they can utilise their existing storage, to reduce costs.

We work with clients to maximise value and reliability.

By choosing new surveillance storage you will improve performance and system longevity.

Typical drive types

Essentially a hard drive for surveillance, a NAS storage system and a a desktop device has very similar (or the same) hardware but different operating software (firmware).

Surveillance = drives are tuned for streaming data to and from the disk and is designed for 24/7 operation (sequential read/write)

NAS = drives are optimised for random data retrieval, with many users working on multiple files with 24 hour working (random read/write)

Desktop = designed for general performance


When planning storage, consider the likely number of cameras that may be fitted to ensure you maintain the desired retention period.

Top Tip: Some configurations, such as RAID, may require existing hard drives to be reformatted when additional drives are added, so some recorded images may be lost

We work with you and use storage calculators to model your requirements.  This calculator considers the number/type of cameras, the image quality and preference for image retention to calculate storage.  It also shows the internal bandwidth requirements for the NVR, so this illustrates why we prefer the higher specification systems, especially when there is little price difference.


We install hard drives from popular/reliable manufacturers including Seagate to minimise issues with failures.

We purchase the drives from the supplier of the NVRs to reduce the risk of support issues.