Closed Circuit TV or Cloud-Based Surveillance?

Written by Dan Star

Which is Better for My Business: Closed Circuit TV or Cloud-Based Surveillance?

A reliable security system is vital to your businesses so that your assets and buildings are protected from theft, burglary, fires, and other incidents. Groove Technology Solutions can help you price out surveillance systems for your business, as business owners usually choose between closed circuit television (CCTV) and cloud-based surveillance systems. 

Cloud-based surveillance systems have become the wave of the future for protecting businesses over closed-circuit television cameras. Choosing one over the other depends on the number of cameras needed and whether a business owner feels comfortable having videos on desktop or in the “cloud.” 

A surveillance system can discourage criminals and hold your employees accountable for their actions. For years, CCTV has been used to videotape what is happening when you are not at work. However, cloud-based surveillance has become popular because of its affordability and reliability. Read on to learn whether a closed circuit TV or cloud-based surveillance system is better for your business. 

Closed Circuit TV or Cloud-Based Surveillance?

When deciding whether a closed circuit TV or cloud-based surveillance system is better, it will ultimately come down to your preferences as a business owner and what type of technology you are accustomed to using.

  • Closed circuit TV is more optimal for you as a business owner if you are more comfortable using hardware-based surveillance systems
  • Cloud-based surveillance is better if you are adept at using software programs and are open to learning how to use the “cloud”

There are pros and cons to both closed circuit TVs and cloud-based surveillance systems, so neither surveillance system is objectively better compared to the other. 

The Benefits of Having a Surveillance System

Every business should have some type of surveillance system to protect their company. No matter what you are protecting, whether it is a small shop or restaurant, or an RV park or a hotel, there may be individuals out there who are intent on doing your business harm. Here are five reasons you should choose some type of surveillance: 

  • Deters crime: Having cameras on your property has been known to be a serious deterrent to criminals and individuals who are prone to illegal behavior. Just the sight of a camera watching them could deter a crime to be carried out.
  • Collects evidence of a crime: If a crime occurs, your surveillance camera will be the primary way to prove that it happened. Cameras collect evidence to see exactly what happened.
  • Monitor’s activities: Cameras can monitor the activities of what happens at your place of business, not only illegal activities, but the everyday actions of your employees. Unfortunately, 33 percent of business bankruptcies in the United States are from employee theft.
  • Settles disputes: Unfortunately, you may come across two employees that have a dispute and each individual has their own side to the story. Cameras will help you settle these disputes and make the proper decision because you will know the truth.
  • Maintain proper records: Because the videos are stored somewhere, you will have records of what your employees are doing—when they come to work, how long they work, how long they take breaks, and when they leave. 

It is unfortunate that seven percent of annual revenue is lost due to theft, shoplifting, and fraud, and nearly all businesses experience this during their life. Surveillance systems help give you, the business owner, peace of mind when you are not at the office. Do you go with the standard closed circuit television or send your videos up to the cloud? 

Closed Circuit Television Was the Staple for Years

Closed circuit television (CCTV) is a video surveillance system that uses a recording device like a digital video recorder (DVR) to capture video footage. The footage is stored on a hard drive, probably your desktop, and could have remote access through the Internet. There are ports on the camera limiting the number of cameras being used. 

CCTV systems used to be the more economical choice, but today they tend to be more expensive than cloud-based systems because they require more hardware, such as a recording device, wires, a hard drive and possibly servers. The coaxial cable used is pricey versus the cloud’s internet protocol (IP) camera that uses a standard network. 

That being said, if you run a small business and only need one surveillance camera, CCTV would work just fine. It is a stand-alone, single-capacity device that has been used for decades and can transmit your recordings to a hard drive for later viewing. If you have a larger company and need more surveillance, the cloud is an excellent choice. 

Cloud-Based Surveillance is More Popular Today

You probably heard business owners talking about their information “going to the cloud,” but what does that mean exactly? Cloud-based surveillance cameras record your footage using an internet protocol (IP) camera and then convert the footage to a file. This file is sent over the internet to a storage host and can be viewed from anywhere. 

In the past, business owners were worried about sending information up to the cloud and having it be susceptible to hackers, but today’s cloud-based surveillance services are safe and secure as long as you have cybersecurity safeguards. This includes using a secure network connection, antivirus software, and two-step password protection. 

In addition to cybersecurity protection for your cameras and footage, cloud-based surveillance is also convenient, as you can access your footage from any device at any time and control your cameras remotely through your password-protected Website. There are many pros to using cloud-based surveillance over CCTV, including:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Effortlessly accessible through the Internet
  • Adjustable from anywhere
  • Does not require network maintenance
  • Offers enhanced video quality
  • More reliable because, if your cameras are stolen, tampered with, or damaged, your videos are stored safely in the cloud
  • Can hold the videos for extended periods of time through a larger storage volume 

Since cloud surveillance does not need equipment or wires, just cloud-based surveillance cameras and the Internet, it is also less expensive than CCTV. However, it can use your bandwidth and slow down your Internet connection and could be vulnerable to hackers if you do not have two-step verification for password protection. 

How Does Cloud-Based Surveillance Work

Using a cloud-based surveillance system is easy to use, even for business owners who may not be tech-savvy under normal circumstances. Once your surveillance system is set up, it works effortlessly: 

  • Video is recorded through the cloud-based surveillance cameras
  • The videos are stored in files and “sent” to the cloud through scheduled uploads (i.e., twice a day at certain times)
  • You are required to log-in with a personal (and private) username and password. It is recommended that passwords have a two-step verification, which means you are contacted before you can officially log in

Unlike the analog cameras used for CCTV, cloud-based surveillance uses IP cameras that transmit your videos to your cloud destination. IP cameras offer better resolution, video analytics sent right to your phone, and are compatible with network video recorders to record high-quality video. 

Because IP cameras are the latest and greatest, they may be more expensive upfront than analog cameras. However, the entire cost of the system tends to be lower than an entire analog system since you only need the cameras and the Internet. An IP system may also need fewer cameras since they have a wider field of vision than analog. 

Cloud services may charge fees for storing your videos, so you should check to see if there are any additional prices. You should also review the company’s cybersecurity methods to ensure your videos are protected.   

Purchasing a Surveillance System

Cloud-based surveillance that uses IP systems has become less expensive than the CCTV analog systems and are recommended for business owners, but you should still examine your own business’s needs before deciding which system is right for you. What may work for a hotel owner may not be advantageous for a small business owner. 

For example, if you have a smaller business and do not need a lot of surveillance, you may be able to install the video surveillance system yourself and save some money. Cloud-based surveillance is less complicated than installing CCTV. Larger businesses that have multiple locations will need a professional to complete the installation. 

The type of camera should also be considered—analog versus IP. Analog cameras are starting to be phased out due to the capabilities and features of IP cameras. IP cameras give business owners better video resolution, automatic alerts, and video analytics of your business’s surveillance needs. You should ask yourself if you need these features. 

Finally, the type of storage and what areas you need protected should also be considered. Do you simply want your videos stored on your desktop through an analog system or would you like the convenience of having your data stored in the cloud so you can access it at any time? How many cameras do you actually need for your business? 


Cloud-based surveillance systems and their IP cameras are recommended for protecting your business. If you already have a CCTV system, does this mean you should replace it with a new cloud-based surveillance system? Not necessarily. If your system is working for you, you will save money by leaving it in place. 

Groove Technology Solutions can guide you through this important decision-making process so that you save money, choose the right equipment, and fully protect your business. They service all 50 states and can offer a quick and free quote today.