Security DVR Software : Three Software Features You Need in Your Security System

As you probably already know, there are many different components to a security camera system. Most people think that the cameras are the most important items in the system, however without the security DVR; you don’t have a system at all. Think of the DVR as the engine to a car, without it, the vehicle is useless except as a shanty lean-to in a storm. In this article I want to demonstrate the importance of a DVR and key must have features that are essential when implementing a system.

  1. Event Recording – When setting up your DVR to how you’d like it to record, its essential to have options. In this day and age, simple 24/7 around the clock recording just won’t cut it. It’s imperative to have a DVR that will allow recording based on motion (with adjustable sensitivity on the amount of motion), the time of day, or 24/7 if need be. Security DVR System
  2. Recording abilities – The way your system records is almost as crucial as what it records. Let’s say your DVR only records a week’s footage at a time, how does it record once the memory is full? I’ve heard many stories about people having to go into their system about once a week just to delete the previous footage. What a pain! You must have a recorder that is on a loop, meaning that once the storage is full, the machine will automatically record over the first day’s footage. A self-sufficient system is imperative, and will save you a lot of time and headaches.
  3. Video Analytics – Video Analytics is an extra feature that the DVR may have that is considered the “Bells and Whistles.” These features will further more help secure your application as well as give you more peace of mind. One feature called facial recognition actually stores a picture of your face when you walk past the camera, and stores it on a virtual board within its memory. At the end of the day you have the ability to pull up this board and see whose come in and out, and at what time these events occurred. There are many other complex analytics that are specific to the DVR, it’s your job to figure out what is most important, and which features will benefit you the most.

Standalone vs PC-Based DVRs: Pros and Cons

Not to be overly simplistic, but when choosing a DVR for your surveillance system, you’ll basically need to decide if you want to go with a PC-based model or a standalone unit. To make this decision a little easier, let’s take a look at what each of these are, and what kinds of benefits they provide.

Standalone Security DVRStandalone DVR

A standalone digital video recorder is a unit that is made specifically for one purpose, which is to capture, record, and store your surveillance footage. Standalone DVRs usually use a Linux-based operating system that is designed with whatever features the DVR needs to perform.


  • With a standalone DVR, you have a stable and dedicated recorder that can quickly and easily record your various surveillance cameras’ input and store their footage for later viewing. Furthermore, the hardware and software are pre-installed, making setup a breeze.
  • Linux operating systems are less vulnerable to viruses, and since the DVR won’t be accessing the internet on a regular basis (beyond serving up video for remote access), your chances of getting a virus that will clog up your system are very small.



  • Standalone DVRs can cost a bit more than it would to make or buy a PC-based DVR that runs with a windows operating system.
  • With a standalone DVR, you will not be able to perform other functions that you may want, such as internet browsing and word processing.



PC-Based Security DVR

PC-Based DVR

A PC-based DVR is a digital video recorder that uses a PC operating system (mainly Windows), and can record your surveillance footage, but it can also act as any normal PC would and operate in that fashion.


  • Many standard computers can be turned into a PC-based DVR simply by buying the proper equipment. By getting a DVR card and the software to accompany it, you can make your home computer into a DVR capable of recording your security camera footage.
  • These types of DVRs can be a bit more cost effective (especially if you’re just upgrading your pre-existing home PC with a DVR card).


  • A big downfall of PC-based DVRs has to do with their higher chance of breaking down or having buggy issues. The reason for this is because instead of only having to worry about video recording, it now has to deal with all the other programs that are running, such as internet browsers, word processors, video games, etc. These additional programs create more strain and complications with the hardware, and can cause more problems.
  • Another setback for PC-based DVRs has to do with storage. If you are running a PC DVR, and it’s your main personal computer as well, then you will be competing for hard drive space as it records and stores your video.