Date: 22/05/2023

What is Cloud CCTV? A Concise Overview

CCTV cameras that use a cloud system

Cloud CCTV, which stands for cloud-based closed-circuit television, is a modern approach to video surveillance that takes advantage of cloud technology. Instead of storing the footage locally on a network video recorder (NVR) or digital video recorder (DVR), Cloud CCTV stores the recordings on an off-site server, offering a range of benefits such as scalability, centralised management, and easier installation compared to traditional CCTV systems.

Users continue to rely on a network of cameras installed at their site, but their recorded footage is securely uploaded to the cloud. This method reduces the cost associated with maintaining and upgrading physical video recorders while also granting access to new features that were previously unavailable. Businesses can improve their security infrastructure and effectively monitor footfall and activity by opting for a cloud-based solution.

What is Cloud CCTV?

Cloud CCTV integrates traditional Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems with cloud technology. Like conventional CCTV, Cloud CCTV involves using a network of cameras at a site to monitor and record activities. The key difference lies in storing and retrieving the recorded footage, which takes place on a remote server instead of a local device or server. This off-site storage method offers several advantages, such as scalability and centralised management.

As the term ‘cloud’ implies, Cloud CCTV footage is uploaded to remote servers via the Internet. In the past, extensive CCTV systems required on-site servers and storage devices for keeping the recorded files. However, with the advent of cloud technology, businesses and individuals can now store their security footage in a more secure and accessible manner.

Cloud-based video surveillance essentially involves streaming the camera footage to remote servers for storage and retrieval. This alternative to traditional physical video recorders, such as Network Video Recorders (NVR) or Digital Video Recorders (DVR) on-site, can help reduce the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading these devices and provide access to new features and capabilities.

For this system to function efficiently, a cloud video surveillance partner must offer support for the cameras to ensure seamless connectivity between the camera and CCTV cloud storage. The ability to store and manage CCTV footage in the cloud has revolutionised the industry, offering users a more efficient and cost-effective option for their security needs, and bringing to light new facts about security cameras.

How Does Cloud CCTV Work?

Cloud CCTV, also known as Cloud-based Video Surveillance, is a modern approach to security that uses internet-connected cameras to capture and transmit footage to remote cloud servers for storage, streaming, and playback. This section explores how Cloud CCTV systems work, focusing on various aspects such as camera setup, data transmission, cloud storage, video streaming, and playback capabilities.

Camera Setup

A Cloud CCTV system’s core is a network of internet protocol (IP) cameras. These cameras connect to the internet, allowing them to transmit captured footage to remote servers. The cameras may be wired or wireless, depending on the specific requirements and infrastructure of the site being monitored. The setup process typically involves proper positioning, networking, and configuration to ensure optimal coverage and connectivity with the cloud infrastructure.

Data Transmission

Once the cameras are set up and operational, they continuously capture video footage and transmit it over the internet to the cloud servers. Cloud CCTV systems use either a wired connection (e.g., Ethernet) or a wireless connection (e.g., Wi-Fi) to facilitate this data transmission. Depending on the system, data transmission may be continuous or triggered by specific events, such as motion detection or alarm activation.

Cloud Storage

As the cameras transmit video footage, the cloud servers receive and store this data on secure remote servers, often owned and maintained by reputable third-party service providers. Unlike traditional CCTV systems that rely on local digital video recorders (DVRs) or network video recorders (NVRs) for storage, Cloud CCTV eliminates the need for on-site storage equipment, potentially reducing maintenance costs and providing greater scalability for expanding camera networks.

Advantages of Cloud CCTV

When choosing a CCTV system, it is important to take into consideration the following advantages of cloud CCTV.

Accessibility and Remote Viewing

One of the main benefits of Cloud CCTV is the ability to access and view footage from anywhere with an internet connection. Administrators can monitor video feeds in real-time or review recorded footage on multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, or computers. This helps improve overall security as potential issues can be spotted and addressed quickly from any location.

Moreover, for businesses, especially in the retail sector, integrating a till fraud detection system can be a strategic move. This system, while monitoring all transactions at the cash registers, provides an additional layer of security by identifying and alerting to any suspicious activities at the point of sale. Not only does a till fraud detection system safeguard your revenue, but it also ensures the transparency and accountability of each transaction, thereby fortifying the trustworthiness of your operational environment.

Moreover, integrating a facility security checklist into your routine can ensure that all aspects of your security, not just surveillance, are robust and comprehensive, providing a holistic approach to safeguarding your premises.

Balancing the advanced capabilities of cloud CCTV with the immediate alerting and preventive advantages that come from understanding the benefits of alarm systems, a facility can ensure a well-rounded, proactive security strategy.


Cloud-based CCTV systems offer greater flexibility and scalability compared to traditional systems. As the storage and processing are handled off-site, there is no need for large on-premises equipment or capacity limitations. This means that as businesses grow or their security requirements change, the system can easily be expanded or upgraded without significant downtime or cost.

Easy Setup and Maintenance

Cloud CCTV systems are generally simpler to set up and maintain than traditional ones. As most of the infrastructure is hosted off-site, there is less hardware to install and maintain on-premises. This can lead to reduced installation costs, and any issues that arise can often be resolved remotely, reducing the need for on-site visits and maintenance fees.

Data Security and Encryption

Storing CCTV footage in the cloud adds an extra layer of security compared to traditional local storage options. The data is encrypted and protected from tampering or physical damage, offering a safer and more robust solution for data protection. Additionally, the risk of data loss is significantly reduced as the footage is automatically backed up to the cloud.

Disadvantages of Cloud CCTV

While Cloud CCTV offers many benefits, it also has some disadvantages that users should know before implementing this technology. In this section, we will discuss two main drawbacks of Cloud CCTV:

Reliance on Internet Connection

One significant downside of Cloud CCTV is its reliance on a stable, high-speed internet connection. Since cloud cameras continuously transmit data over the internet, there is a risk that a slow or unstable connection can affect the performance of your CCTV system. This might result in lost footage, delays in live-streaming, or an inability to access the recorded data when needed. For some companies without the appropriate network infrastructure, cloud video solutions may slow down their internet connection.

Monthly Subscription Fees

Another disadvantage of Cloud CCTV is the ongoing cost associated with monthly subscription fees. Unlike traditional CCTV systems that usually require a one-time investment in hardware and installation, Cloud CCTV typically involves monthly or annual fees to maintain access to cloud storage and other cloud-based services. These costs can increase over time, making Cloud CCTV systems more expensive in the long run than traditional surveillance solutions.

Comparing Cloud CCTV to Traditional CCTV

Cloud CCTV and traditional CCTV systems are designed to provide video surveillance for security purposes. However, how they store and manage recorded footage differs significantly, leading to varying benefits and challenges for users.

Traditional CCTV systems capture footage on cameras connected, usually by long cables, to a central recorder on the premises. In contrast, Cloud CCTV records, stores, and retrieves footage from an off-site server. This fundamental difference has several implications:

  • Installation: Cloud-based systems are generally easier to install due to the elimination of extensive cabling.
  • Scalability: Cloud CCTV offers increased scalability as additional cameras and storage can be seamlessly integrated into the existing system.
  • Centralised management: Cloud systems enable users to access and manage footage from multiple sites through a single interface.
  • Storage management: With traditional CCTV, limited physical space can be a concern for on-site storage. Cloud systems overcome this by securely storing data off-site.
  • Proactivity: Cloud CCTV systems can be set up with proactive monitoring features, while traditional CCTV systems are often viewed as reactive.

Regarding security, traditional CCTV hardware may become vulnerable to cyber-attacks as it could be out of date upon arrival, with new vulnerabilities arising over time. Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, benefit from regular updates and more robust security protocols.