What is a cloud camera?
Sometimes called a cloud cam, cloud IP camera, cloud storage camera, cloud security camera. In this instance, we’re referring to specialist cameras being advertized as plug-and-play instantly streaming to the cloud.
Did you know that you don’t need a cloud camera to get a cloud based security system?
Yes, you can transform traditional or even legacy IP & analog cameras into smart cloud based cameras by connecting them to a Cloud Adapter. In fact, connecting regular security cameras to the cloud may be a preferable option to buying a specialist cloud camera.
If you don’t believe us, get ready to be convinced otherwise!
- Do I need a cloud based security system?
- 7 advantages of having a cloud based security system.
- Do I need a special cloud camera to get a cloud based security system?
- Advantages and disadvantages of a cloud camera.
- Can I connect regular IP / analog cameras to the cloud?
- Advantages and disadvantages of using an independent cloud service provider.
- How can I connect a camera to the cloud? What about a cloud storage plan / pricing?
Do I need a cloud based security system?
Taking a step back first, do you even need a cloud based security system?
That question should be as outdated as asking if you need cloud based streaming platforms like Netflix or Prime, or a VCR to watch your favorite shows.
If you’re thinking about getting a traditional security system that’s not cloud based it’s time for a rethink.
Everyone’s connecting their security systems to the cloud and there are many reasons why!
7 advantages of cloud based security systems:
1. Provides a reliable backup
The moment when you most need your footage to be recorded safely (e.g. in the case of criminal activity, fire, flooding, etc.) happens to be the time when your footage is also most at risk due to potential damage to the recorder.
Footage stored in the cloud is not vulnerable to accidental or deliberate damage like it would be with an onsite recorder. Once recorded to the cloud, it’s safe and retrievable anytime.
Want definitive proof that cloud storage is necessary to keep your footage safe?
In some US states certain businesses (like cannabis farms) are actually required to have their security footage stored in the cloud because of the risks associated with storing footage onsite.
2. You don’t have to worry about storage maintenance
Recorders can malfunction, and you have to maintain and repair them which can cost time and money.
So, if you would like an easier life, cloud storage is often preferable. Your cloud storage provider will be responsible for all of the cloud servers maintenance.
3. Live camera health monitoring
Another issue that is highly prevalent with onsite recorders is that often they would malfunction and the owners wouldn’t realize until they needed the footage.
Almost all cloud storage providers have live camera health monitoring features, which means the owner of the system will be notified if cameras stop recording for any reason.
They also frequently provide useful diagnostic tools that help to quickly solve the issue and get the system back up and running.
4. Makes it easy to access footage anywhere
With cloud based security systems you can view your footage anywhere using your phone or laptop.
You can also view all the footage from different locations in one centralized platform. This is especially beneficial for multi-site businesses.
5. Easy to share footage
Sharing video on a cloud based security platform is significantly easier and quicker than with traditional systems.
Being able to quickly share footage can be crucial in emergency situations. Yet with traditional systems it can be a pain to show others security footage, and can sometimes even require the person to have to travel to the site to view the footage.
With cloud based systems it’s easy to download and share footage with anyone.
6. Makes a security system proactive
Cloud based security systems often make for very proactive and personalized security, as they’re able to alert the user via push notification or email when motion is detected.
Some cloud based systems are even more intelligent and enable you to make your security very personalized. For example, being able to schedule when you want to receive alerts or using analytics to define what objects you specifically want to be alerted for.
7. Cloud can be more secure
Cloud based systems can be more secure for a variety of reasons:
- Remotely stored – Your footage is more likely to be secure because it can’t easily be tampered with onsite.
- No port-forwarding – Cloud video surveillance can also have better cybersecurity than traditional recorders. They often require port-forwarding, which leaves your system vulnerable to infiltration. Cloud recording doesn’t require port-forwarding, hence avoiding that vulnerability.
- Continuous updates – We all know it’s important to update our computers and phones to ensure that they have the most up to date software and to therefore patch any potential vulnerabilities that cyber criminals may have discovered / created. The same can be said for your security system. Having a cloud based system means that it will be updated continuously and thereby protect your software from the latest problems.
The obvious next question is; but doesn’t the cloud mean new security problems arise?
Well the answer is; possibly, it really depends on a few factors.
For a start, it depends on your cloud service provider and the security precautions they take. If your cloud provider takes security precautions seriously then cybersecurity shouldn’t be an issue.
Videoloft provides a cloud storage service for those with security cameras. It is an independent software platform that runs on Cloud Adapter rather than on the cameras or recorders, meaning the camera manufacturers have no access to the Videoloft cloud platform or your video.
Videoloft records to Amazon Web Servers (AWS) and takes lots of security precautions such as video encryption, password encryption and external security validation.
Do I need a special cloud camera to get a cloud based security system?
No, you don’t need a cloud camera or any type of specialist camera to get a cloud based security system, and you’d be silly to buy one.
Advantages of buying a cloud camera:
- All of the above points about why cloud based technology is useful.
- Simplicity of buying everything from one provider.
Disadvantages of buying a cloud camera?
- You will need to buy new cloud cameras. The cameras are often very expensive as most of these providers charge a premium because their cameras are manufactured at a much lower volume than mainstream security cameras.
- You’re tied into their cloud service for at least the length of the life of the camera, which comes with these problems:
- The price of the actual cloud storage can be eye-watering with such providers as they know that you’re tied in once you buy the camera and take advantage of that position. See how Videoloft’s pricing compares.
- If security problems arise with that provider it is difficult to leave.
- Restricts flexibility, both in terms of choosing new cameras and cloud storage plans / features. Perhaps you need a specific type of camera that the provider doesn’t supply. Or, perhaps you need a specific feature that they don’t offer.
Being tied into a single cloud camera provider might sound okay because it saves you the effort of connecting a traditional IP or analog security camera to the cloud, but in reality is it really worth the hassle?
Can I connect regular IP / analog cameras to the cloud?
Yes, to get a cloud based CCTV system, you just need to connect an analog or IP camera from any compatible major security brand to the cloud with the Videoloft Cloud Adapter.
It takes literally a couple of minutes to connect the Videoloft Cloud Adapter to your security camera, and the benefits easily outweigh the small amount of extra work it requires.
Advantages of using an independent cloud service provider
- All of the benefits of cloud based security systems.
- No need to buy specialist cameras, use the ones you have already, or buy from an established brand. Likely to be more reliable and cheaper.
- Upgrades legacy systems instantly with new features such as scheduling tools, motion detection and analytics.
- Scalable and flexible – you can add new / different cameras and features easily, if you decide you don’t like that type of security camera system anymore you can change to a different one. You can also change the cloud provider.
- Cheaper – independent cloud storage providers don’t tend to charge the same premium on cloud storage pricing given you are not tied into their system. See how Videoloft’s pricing compares.
Disadvantages of using an independent cloud service provider
- An extra minute set up time required to connect cameras to cloud adapters in comparison to buying a cloud camera.
How can I connect a camera to the cloud? What about a cloud storage plan / pricing?
With the Videoloft Cloud Adapter!
How do I get a cloud based security system:
- You can use any compatible IP or analog camera, and you can record alongside any compatible local recorder.
- Then you can use our guides to connect a Videoloft Cloud Adapter to the network which takes just 30 seconds. Once connected, installation takes a couple of minutes and can be done remotely via the Videoloft mobile app.
- Finally you’ll need a cloud storage plan: We know that every security system has unique cloud storage requirements, so you can tailor your plan based on a variety of options. Check out some example Videoloft plans here.
So now you know you don’t need a cloud camera to have a cloud based security system.
There are lots of benefits to cloud based security systems over traditional systems, including ease of access and safe backup of footage.
While buying a cloud camera may seem like a simpler option it can come with a lot of disadvantages, especially the expense and being tied into a provider and their system. It’s easy to connect regular IP and analog cameras and recorders to Videoloft, and our cloud storage plans are affordable.