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Best Hard Disks for CCTV Camera DVR (2021)

CCTV Cameras are essential to keep our businesses and homes safe. CCTV Cameras allow us to monitor any unwanted activities at businesses and our houses. But most of the home and business security CCTV Cameras and DVRs have limited storage space and they can store recording only up to a certain point of time, like 10 to 20 days.

Let’s say, you’re going on a trip for 10-15 days, then your DVR’s in-built memory wouldn’t be able to store 10-15 days of recording. That’s why today I’m going to list 5 of the best Hard drives which can be valuable if you want your DVR to record more than 50 days of activities with more than one CCTV camera depending on the number of cameras installed.

There are many Hard Disks out there from many manufacturers. But not every Hard Drive is suitable for the DVR as some hard drives are for internal use and some are for external use. So, I will list only the internal drives here which can be installed within the DVR system itself.

Note: A normal 4TB Hard Disk is capable of recording around 100 days of video on 30 FPS and 720P resolution with a single camera. So, if you have multiple cameras, this time will get divided. Make sure to do these calculations before you choose the right size for you.

Pros
  • 7200 RPM means faster speed
  • Compatible with most DVRs
  • 3 years of In-House of Warranty
  • Support for up to 64 cameras
Cons
  • Unresponsive on older DVRs

Seagate SkyHawk Surveillance drive is my best pick as it offers better value per TB than others on this list and Seagate Hard drives are known for their endurance. Seagate Skyhawk comes in various sizes from 1TB to 18TB. You can get 1 TB to 8 TB on SkyHawk Hard Drives and 8TB to 18 TB on SkyHawk AI (Artificial Intelligence) enabled drives.

Seagate SkyHawk Hard Drives has support for 1 to 64 CCTV on both SkyHawk and SkyHawk-AI drives. However, for SkyHawk normal drives the Workload Rate Limit is 180 TB/year and for SkyHawk AI-series drives the workload rate limit is 550 TB/year. Seagate offers a warranty period of 3 years of In-House data recovery.

I would prefer the Seagate SkyHawk Surveillance Hard drive for anyone who wants to keep their CCTV camera recordings safe and someone who wants to connect more than one camera with their Hard drive. Seagate Hard Drives have less failure rate and can be used for longer recordings also.

Pros
  • Higher Workload rate limit on small sizes from 4 TB to 12 TB
  • Vibration and Heat protection sensors
  • 5-year warranty
  • 2 Million MTBF
  • 7200 RPM
Cons
  • No 1TB or 2TB size available
  • A bit expensive

Seagate Ironwolf Pro Surveillance drive is another Hard Drive from Seagate which is really great for Surveillance systems and DVRs. It is better in performance but is really expensive than others on this list. Seagate Iroenwolf Pro’s Workload rate limit flattens at 300 TB/year however for Seagate SkyHawk the workload rate limit is higher on bigger sizes. So Seagate Ironwolf is great if you want up to 12TB of the drive as it has the best in class performance and  workload rate limit within 4TB-12TB

Seagate Ironwolf Pro has sizes ranging from 4TB to 18TB, this hard drive doesn’t come in 1TB and 2TB sizes. Seagate Ironwolf Pro has 300 TB/year for all sizes, which is really great if you want a high workload rate limit on drive size up to 12 TB. Seagate Irnwolf Pro also has a Vibration protection sensor that can protect your drive from sudden vibrations and jolts.

Seagate Ironwolf Pro is good if your requirement is below 12 TB as it offers a better workload rate limit of 300 TB/year on lower sizes. Seagate Ironwolf Pro also has the industry’s best protection rating and long endurance rating. However, Seagate doesn’t offer 1 TB or 2TB size which can set some customers off who wants to purchase it only for house surveillance.

Apart from that Seagate Ironwolf Pro has higher performance than Seagate SkyHawk on lower sizes. Seagate also offers a 5-year warranty on Ironwolf Pro drives which is great for long-term usage.

Pros
  • The tarnish-Resistant design ensures High durability
  • Competitive pricing for the same specifications
  • Compatible with most of the DVRs
  • No Noise at normal operations
Cons
  • 3 Years Warranty
  • 5400 RPM

Western Digital manufactures Hard Drives for both DVRs and personal computers, so their Hard Drives have good performance and endurance. Western Digital Purple has very competitive pricing and is compatible with many DVRs in the market. It is available in the 3.5″ Form Factor. WD Purple Drive is also available in many sizes from 1TB to 18TB and has a SATA interface for faster connectivity.

WD Purple supports up to 64 CCTV cameras simultaneously. The Workload Rate Limit is 180 TB/year and WD Purple is designed with continuous write duty in mind so it won’t fail easily. Like Seagate, WD also offers a 3-year warranty on all of the sizes.

I would personally recommend WD Purple to anyone who wants to use it on more than 20-30 cameras or for small business use as it has long endurance which is helpful for continuous write operations. I have personally used Western Digital for our home and we have around 14 cameras around the house and it still works great. 

Pros
  • In-built Sensor for Protection from Heat and Vibration
  • High Endurance rating
  • Less noise
  • Good for Small Businesses with its High Durability
  • Built for 24/7 operations
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Similar drives are available from other manufacturers at less price
  • 1TB and 2TB size not available

Toshiba N300  Surveillance Hard Drive is very reliable in performance and durability as it has Toshiba Dynamic Cache Technology for faster write operations and it comes with Toshiba Stable Platter Technology for higher endurance. Toshiba’s state-of-the-art technology makes this drive better equipped for heavy operations and has built-n error recovery control which lets the drive recover from errors automatically. 

Toshiba N300 comes in sizes ranging from 4TB to 18 TB. It also has support for up to 64 cameras and can support 1-8 bays with a boosted buffer of 512 MB/s on 14-18 TB sizes. The  Workload Rate Limit is 180 TB/year which is similar to other drives on this list. However, Toshiba N300 is expensive than other Drives for the same specifications. 

If you want to buy a reliable drive with better endurance then you should go for Toshiba N300, because Toshiba N300 has everything which is required for a long and reliable operation. Toshiba N300 has an in-built vibration protection sensor so it is designed with keeping vibration and heat problems in mind.

Pros
  • Cheaper than others
  • Good endurance rating in its class
  • No Noise on normal operations
Cons
  • Workload Rate Limit (72 TB/year) is low
  • No size option for 4TB or above
  • Only two years warranty

MaxDigitalData CCTV Surveillance Hard Disk Drive (MD4000GSA6459DVR) is good for Home surveillance and small business where you need to connect 5-20 CCTV cameras as it is cheap and has a good endurance rating. It comes in 1TB to 4TB, which is good for domestic use. I have used this one at my home and it is great for home surveillance.  The maximum RPM of this hard drive is 5900 RPM which is good enough for CCTV operations.

This hard drive comes with a 64MB buffer cache and its form factor is 3.5 inches. It supports up to 16 CCTV cameras which are good for house or small business usage. The company promises a quiet operation, low heat production, and low power consumption with this hard disk. Like other drives on this list, it also comes with a temperature sensor and temperature control. 

I would recommend this hard disk to anyone who wants good storage for Home surveillance or small business surveillance like a store or small shop. It has competitive pricing than others and has good hardware. Also, if it goes down within the 2-years warranty period, they have a full 100% refund policy.

Hard DiskSizes (in TB)Cameras SupportedWorkload Rate Limit (TB/year)Warranty (in Years)
Seagate Ironwolf Pro4 – 18 TBUp to 64300 TB/year5
Seagate SkyHawk AI SkyHawk – 1-6 TB
SkyHawk-AI – 8-18 TB
Up to 64180 – SkyHawk
550 – SkyHawk-AI
3
WD Purple1-18TBUp to 64180 TB/year3
Toshiba N3004-18TBUp to 64180 TB/year3
MaxDigitalData1-4 TBUp to 1672 TB/year2
How much HDD RPM is good for CCTV Hard Disk?

5200 RPM is enough for up to 720P resolution CCTV with 30FPS. But, if you are dealing with HD cameras with high FPS, you should surely go for 7200 RPM Hard Drive. In very high-definition setups, you may have to set up NAS as well.

How many days of CCTV footage a 2TB hard drive store?

If you have four cameras with 720P resolution, a 2TB hard drive will be able to store footage of around 12 to 15 days for all. If it is a single camera, you can expect it to store around 50 days of footage.

Which Hard Drive brand is good for CCTV storage?

WD, Toshiba, Seagate, and MaxDigitalData are some of the popular CCTV hard drive brands. You will find numerous other brands as well. Whenever you buy a hard drive for your CCTV, make sure to check it is made for those tasks. A normal PC hard drive is not made for 24/7 operations.

How to choose the right CCTV hard drive?

The first thing is to see how many cameras you have and their resolutions. If you are installing four cameras with 720P resolution and you want to store up to 10 days of footage, a 4 TB hard drive will be more than enough.
However, if you are planning for high-definition cameras or even looking to store more days i.e. >20 days, you should go for any hard disk with 10 TB or more than that.

I have a free PC Hard Drive with me. Can I use it in my CCTV DVR?

If your hard drive’s form factor matches the DVR requirements, it will surely work for you. But, the PC hard disks are not made for those regular operations which a CCTV DVR will put it through. Excessive heat will be the first problem you will see on your hard disk. Also, the hard disk may get damaged once the heat reaches its peak limits. So, it is never a good idea to install your PC hard disk into your CCTV DVR.

Thanks for being here!