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How to Backup Your IP Security Cameras to the Cloud

Off-site storage in case the bad guys steal your Computer / DVR

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Security camera, city lights background
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So you've made the investment to put up some DiY IP Security Cameras. Your IP security cameras provide a 24/7 unblinking eye and everything is being recorded to a DVR or onto 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 my computer or DVR that all the security footage is stored on?

Unless you have your footage sent to an off-site security camera storage service then you are likely up a creek should a smart bad guy try to cover his tracks by stealing your computer or DVR.

IP security cameras aren't a new technology, but they are still not mainstream. They have become more and more popular over the last year or so and the technology is getting better and cheaper. Camera makers such as Foscam, Dropcam, and others are producing ultra-affordable cameras that cost as little as $80.

Most IP cameras are stand-alone units with a built-in server that doesn't need a separate computer to operate. More and more models are adding SD card storage so they can record video locally as a backup or alternative to computer monitoring and recording solutions such as Blue Iris (Win) or EvoCam (Mac).

How can you backup your IP security cameras to off-site cloud-based storage?

The first and hardest task for backing up your IP cameras to offsite cloud-based storage is trying to find a service provider. There aren't a lot of them out there that cater to the home / small office user. Of the few providers that I've found, there are a couple that stand out because one of them has a free option, and the other offers a completely integrated solution that even features HD quality video.

Mangocam

Mangocam is an Australia-based company that provides cloud-based storage for IP camera footage. One really nice thing about Mangocam is that it has a free option that will let you store up to a days worth of footage (up to 3 Gigabytes). It will also allow you to setup a schedule to only record the hours and days you want. The service caters to Foscam and supports cameras such as the Foscam FI8905W which we have reviewed in the past. Although Mangocam specifically supports Foscam products, most similar IP cameras will likely work as well.

Mangocam's paid options start at $50 a year and provide a host of additional features such as motion detected event recording, multiple cameras, 7-day video retention time (15 GB), footage download via .ZIP file, SMS alerts, and more. Their most expensive plan ($140/yr) supports up to 8 cameras, holds up to a month's worth of footage (50 GB), and supports a higher frame rate than the other plans.

Dropcam

Dropcam (Website / Compare Prices) offers a fully integrated end-to-end solution for home and business users. For $150, you can get yourself a wireless HD IP security camera from Dropcam that comes equipped with 2-way audio, and night vision. For an additional $9.95 a month you get Dropcam's cloud-based DVR video storage solution which stores up to 7 days worth of footage and offers "event detection" which marks points of interest on the video timeline on the web-based DVR. You can try a demo of the DVR feature by going to the Dropcam and checking out one of their HD publicly-accessible webcams. You can access the DVR functions of the public cameras as well.

A couple of disadvantages with both solutions is that they rely on your internet connection which creates a central point of failure. This is one reason why more and more people are electing to purchase cameras with on-board SD card storage that keeps recording even if the connection to the server is lost.

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

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