Are All Hard Drives Created Equal?
In short, no they are not.
The type of hard drive that is in your computer will be very different to the surveillance grade hard drives that we supply and install.
For a security camera system, features such as read speed, write speed, spin speed and so on have very little bearing on whether a particular hard drive is a good choice for your recorder. Just like in one of Aesop’s more well known Fables – the tortoise and the hare – the top speed isn’t important. What is much more important is being able to just keep going, reliably. Without looking up the spec sheet for the hard drives we stock, we have no idea what any of the speed ratings are.
A security camera system is recording footage onto it’s hard drive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week non stop. When the disk is full, it goes back to the beginning and starts overwriting the earliest stored information. This loop is ongoing infinitely and consequently means a huge amount of data is written to the hard drive over a period of a year. Each hard drive has a specified amount of data that it can write each year. We ensure that all the hard drives that we stock here at Orange Security, if used within our recorders, will never be pushed to anywhere near their limits.
Going back to the tortoise and the hare, if the hare puts a foot wrong or on some loose ground he’ll likely fall over. The tortoise on the other hand can steady himself and continue. The comparison here is that hard drives will occasionally come across an error on the disk and the way this is handled is vital. Surveillance grade hard drives have different error handling protocols built in. These are designed to allow the hard drive to continue recording the never-ending stream of security camera footage that is being sent over.
It’s a well known fact that all hard drives wear out and will eventually fail. The purchasing decision you make will determine whether this is within a relatively short period of time or many years into the future. As a guide, we have seen drives that some of our competitors fit into their security camera systems fail within 6 months (and not just one isolated incident). You don’t want this to happen.
When purchased with a recorder, here at Orange Security we also fit the hard drive into your shiny new recorder, format it, run some tests and get everything up and running. This means that when you receive your recorder it’s as close to plug-and-play as you can get!
Note: Our 16 camera recorder has 2 hard drive bays. It’s recommended to either fit a single hard drive or a matching pair.