Security NVR Storage Calculator

Wondering how to calculate cctv storage? Use this calculator to determine the required hard drive space you will need to achieve your desired record time.

Fill out the calculator, find out your storage needs:

If you're in the security industry, check out our partner program.

Storage Tips: how to get more footage out of the hard drive you already have:

Frame Rate

Lower the frame rate to save space on your NVR.


Setup your NVR to record only after motion is detected.


Record only during scheduled timeframes every day.


Choose a lower resolution setting to decrease file sizes.

Frequently Asked Questions About NVR Storage:

What happens if the NVR's hard drive fills up?

Out of the box, most NVRs record over the oldest footage first, like a FIFO inventory system or a snake eating its own tail. You can turn this feature off with some systems, like ours. if you need to and make it stop recording and send an alert when the hard drive is full.

How much footage do I need?

When an event is recorded by an SCW NVR that will need to be referenced in the future, the amount of Hard Drive space available will decide how long that footage sticks around before it is overwritten.

If you customize a system that has three days of recording space, you will have three days from the time of an important event to review and copy that footage. A comfortable standard that we like to aim for is about two weeks. This gives ample time to retrieve footage without the worry that the system will overwrite it with new footage, even if something were to happen during a vacation or an otherwise distracting time.

That being said, the calculator above is armed with the tools to estimate recording times to fit with any standard that is needed, and any SCW NVR that has the Hard Drive capacity can fill those Hard Drives with as much footage as possible to reach thirty, sixty, ninety days and beyond.

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Normal Homeowner: To leave proper time for review, the average amount of recorderd footage for a homeowner is about two weeks.

Travelling Homeowner: If you're someone who does a lot of travelling, a better average will be more like 3-6 weeks, depending on vacation time. Try to leave at least a week from your return for potential review.

Vacation Homeowner: If you own a second home, SCW can help you design a system that will record footage for 2-3 monts or more, so you'll have eyes on the property the entire time you're gone.

Business Owners
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Normal Business Owner: This applies to you if you're concerned about common issues such as theft. You'll need 3-4 weeks of recorded footage.

Regulated Industry Business Owner: Business owners in these industries are legally menadated to have surveillance systems. In this case, you'll need anywhere from 90 - 365 days of recorded footage.

High Risk Business Owner: These are the business owners who have to worry about false insurance claims or other high risk scenarios. If this sounds like you, then you'll need a custom amount of footage.

Stuck on the Encoder Question?

Our line of NVRs record with a new more efficient file H.265 compression, so that you can record video about 40% longer on the same size hard drive. H.265 replaces H.264. H.26X is block-oriented motion-compensation-based video compression. In plain English, H.26X, rather than updating the whole frame at every refresh, splits the screen into horizontal and vertical grids and only updates the grids with changes. H.265 increases the flexibility of these grid containers so that surveillance video files take up less space on a hard drive than H.264. (The new line is backward compatible with H.264.)

If you don't know what encoder version you have, select H.264 as that is more common.

Disclaimer: All SCW NVRs can record with H.265 video compression. This means that they can record up to 40% longer than the H.264 models. The calculator that we have on this page will reflect this.