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Breaking Down the Differences NVR vs DVR vs Cloud, Pros and Cons Explained

NVR and DVR have been an essential part of the security system, to set up surveillance at your home, office, or other workplaces. The two recorder types have the same purpose in the entire system. But they determine so many factors, making their setups different. At the end we will also discuss a new contender Cloud (Cloud VMS and Cloud Storage) this solution too has started to become popular and has some benefits over on- premise video surveillance.

So, if you are shopping for the surveillance of any place, you must be aware of the difference between NVR and DVR and possibly cloud to buy the correct one. When looking at on-premise video solutions, for instance, the camera must be compatible with the recorder. Otherwise, it may not work or malfunction. 

Both NVR and DVR recorders have pros and cons to look out for when buying. So, let’s cover that matter in this article. 

What Does NVR and DVR Recorders Stand For? 

NVR recorder stands for Network Video Recorder. This new system makes it possible to watch and monitor any place remotely. As you can understand from the name, it uses internet protocol with its cameras to send the video data to the recorder where they stay stored. 

DVR recorder stands for Digital Video Recorder. As the traditional choices, many people are more used to them. These recorders are capable of processing the video data in themselves and keeping them stored for viewing. You can usually only use analog cameras with them. These systems are more or less considered legacy and are used mainly in low-budget installations and / or DIY projects.

What Is a NVR Security System 

An NVR security system is one where the recorder is an NVR one, and the camera is not analog but a IP camera (ideally these will be connected by PoE, which stands for Power over Ethernet. One cable brings both network and power to the camera). With IP security cameras, the camera can encode the video data itself. Then it completes the processing part to create video files or streams. Finally, it sends that data through a single Ethernet cable or wirelessly to the recorder. 

Being capable of processing the video data in the camera, this system makes it possible to view the recorded video wirelessly and remotely. The camera either sends the data through the Ethernet cable or streams it wirelessly, and the recorder keeps it stored inside. They use advanced internet protocol (IP) for that. 

What Is a DVR Security System 

A DVR security system usually consists of three components- the video recorder, analog cameras, and coaxial cables. Here, the recorder is connected to the camera using that coaxial cable. The setup is quite simple, albeit the cables can be a bit cluttering. 

The analog camera will get the video data and send it to the DVR recorder via the cables. Then the latter will process and store the data in itself. It is ready for viewing or collecting now. 

Pros and Cons of DVR Security System 

Let’s focus on the pros and cons of a DVR security system. Yes, you may think that their low-cost components are huge advantages. But there are other benefits, as well as drawbacks here. 

The Analog Camera 

Pros: The analog or CCTV cameras in a DVR system are traditional indeed, but they have been improved a lot over the past few years. Hence, aside from being less complex and very cost-effective, they also can take high-resolution pictures. 

Cons: However, the imaging quality of CCTV cameras is yet to reach that of an IP one. Moreover, you have to use specific cameras for your setup, making it way less versatile and flexible. 

Coaxial BNC Cable 

Pros: The coaxial cable of the DVR system is its biggest drawback. However, one major pro you have is that many houses and offices often have Coaxial cables installed from a previous time, ridding you of the trouble of integrating them again. 

Cons: Unfortunately, the coaxial BNC cable has a list of cons. For example- 

  • Coaxial cables are wider and more rigid than the Ethernet cables you use in NVR systems. As such, they take more space while running them. 
  • A coaxial cable contains two different cables in one for video data and power. So, while installing, you need to connect each end of both cables correctly. It makes the process complex. 
  • It is mandatory to keep the DVR recorder near a power outlet since it needs a coaxial cable to transfer the power. 
  • If the coaxial cable is over 300ft, the video quality often lowers. As a result, the whole surveillance system is limited. 
  • There are many low-quality coaxial cables. Opting for them may cause signal loss often. 
  • Finally, most DVR systems do not support audio data, unlike NVR. But new DVR systems are coming out with the feature, like the Audio-over-Coax by Swann. 


Aside from some low-cost options, there are not many pros in a DVR recorder. But there are some cons. 

  • You will require a splitter to connect to each camera to enable a power supply. 
  • You will need to connect each camera with the recorder with the coaxial cables, causing a lengthy installation. Meanwhile, an NVR system only requires all the cameras to connect to a single network. 

Pros and Cons of an NVR Security System 

It is an undeniable fact that NVR security systems top DVR in many aspects. Here are some pros and cons of the former- 

IP Cameras 

Pros: The IP cameras used in an NVR system are way more capable than a regular one. Its built-in chipset can encode and process the video data before sending it to the recorder. You can have different features and video analytics in an IP camera. Hence, there are things like facial recognition or audio recording in them. 

Cons: Due to having such features, video processing capability, and higher resolution imaging, IP cameras are also expensive. 

Ethernet Cable 

If the NVR isn’t using a wireless setting (which makes the installation a breeze), the Ethernet cable also has many pros over the coaxial ones. It is also less costly to buy them. Other advantages include- 

  • The PoE system of an Ethernet cable allows the installer to use only one cable instead of multiple ends. Here, both the power and data transfer through the same cable. So, there is way less mess during the setting up. 
  • There is no need for one cable for each camera. You can thus reduce the hassles of installation by connecting the cameras on the same network. This flexibility also enables installing this camera anywhere. 
  • The compact and thin cable lets you run them anywhere. They also don’t need much drilling and can cover a wide surveillance area. 
  • The system can send audio data through an Ethernet cable, unlike the coaxial ones. 
  • By switching networks, you can have a really longer distance between the camera and recorder than the cable limit (the limit is 328ft). 
  • Modern homes and workplaces are shifting to Ethernet cables as their default surveillance. Hence, installing the NVR system is getting easier. They are cheaper and are more available nowadays. 
  • Many such cameras are waterproof nowadays, increasing their versatility of operation. 

NVR Recorder 

An NVR recorder only stores the video data and lets you collect or view them at any time. They don’t process any data inside. 

CLOUD Video Management & CLoud Storage

Cloud Video Surveillance is a game changer. Users no longer have to worry about the limit of cameras their DVR or NVR can handle but can buy as many cameras as they need and all these cameras connect to the cloud as long as the user has enough overall bandwidth.

These solutions do not need any local boxes or servers and there is no software to load or update on local servers, no licensing and no maintenance cost, no power and no single point of failure.

There are many kinds of Cloud Surveillance so it is important to pick a solution that is user friendly and designed for integrators and installers to offer premium services to their customers.

Final Note 

In summary, an NVR system beats a DVR from almost every angle. Unless price is the only criteria, we recommend an NVR for a on-premise installation, higher resolution than analog DVR , advanced features, wider coverage, versatility, and wireless functions.  If the customer has more than one locations and often accesses video remotely and or has remote operators we recommend to change to a purely cloud based solution like IPTECHVIEW surveillance.


nahidEditor, 10louder