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  • Writer's pictureChris Druckenbrodt

Pros & Cons: Cloud vs. Local Surveillance Systems

Surveillance cameras come in diverse models, each with a specific purpose.

Shopping for a security camera system can be overwhelming, especially with the marketing being flooded with tons of options from wireless to wired cameras. At Pearland Home Theater we believe its important to understand the two biggest categories of surveillance cameras so that you can make an informed decision what will work best for you home or business. We’ve compiled a brief list of Pros & Cons for Cloud-based surveillance cameras versus Local surveillance camera systems.

Cloud-Based Systems:

Pro: They’re very easy to use!

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how great the technology we use is, if its cumbersome to operate we’ll stop using it. Cloud based systems like Ring and Arlo have made this category of products popular because they’ve designed their software to be very easy to use for just about anyone.

The Ring mobile app is one of the most user friendly interfaces.

Con: Camera streams load slowly.

The vast majority of cloud-based camera systems connect over wifi, which adds a very long path of communication between the camera, your home network, and the cloud storage server. Accessing these feeds while away from your home can result in a long loading time which users may find frustrating. Even when accessing the camera feeds when you are at home, wireless connections will still cause a slow load time. This wireless connection also taxes the network they are connected to.

Pro & Con: Great installation flexibility, but with some annoyances.

Cloud based systems are so popular because of how DIY friendly they are for the homeowner to install. Oftentimes the cameras are wireless and can mount anywhere the owner wants them, and also have rechargeable batteries to keep from having to run power to them. However, the constant need to take the cameras down to recharge them can add some annoyance by having to constantly maintain them.

Cloud based camera systems are very flexible with ways they can be installed.

Con: Not Compatible With Home Automation Systems

Barring a recent partnership between Ring and Savant, the majority of cloud based camera systems do not play nice with the popular home control system platforms. This is because these companies are very protective of their API and do not allow 3rd part integration. This is an important consideration before investing in a camera system that may not work with your home control system.

Local Camera Systems:

Pro: Better Security

Because your camera footage records onto a physical hard drive it is easy to control who has access to the recorded footage. For example, there was a popular 2022 story where Amazon handed over Ring surveillance footage to local police without the camera owner’s consent. Another added benefit is you own the footage on the drive, so there’s no monthly cloud storage fee to pay per camera.

Local camera styles have advanced features such as AI processing to determine the differences between cars and people.

Con- Not as User Friendly

Many of the camera manufacturers have not kept up with the likes of Ring and Arlo by upgrading their user interfaces. Users may experience more of a learning curve using their local surveillance app than their cloud-based counterparts.

Pro- Higher Quality Image & Fast Loading Speed

Because local cameras are connected by wires the loading speed and image quality is improved. You also have a secondary benefit of not affecting your networks performance because the devices do not connect to Wifi.

Con- More Complex Installation

There’s more planning and work when installing a local camera system, often requiring a professional to get the system up and running.

Pearland Home Theater offers installation on all camera purchases.

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