Which do you like better, to catch the burglar during or before committing the act? Well, if you have a motion-activated CCTV system, many are the times you’ll get recordings of the perpetrator while in the act. But with the best continuous recording security camera, the saved footage usually catches the potential burglar before, during, and after the act.
So, in the event of a break-in, vandalism, shoplifting and other criminal activities, you can playback the whole scene. Then, highlight all the key moments that can help process the investigation faster.
In this review, we’re going to look at some of these best 24/7 continuous recording security cameras that you can get for your home or business place. And in case you’re new to CCTV, we’ve also put together the nine crucial features to focus on if you’re to make the most of your system.
What’s The Best Continuous Recording Security Camera?
In the eight options that we’ll be reviewing, the Wyze Cam V3 is our overall best continuous recording security camera system. Then, the Google Nest Cam Indoor is the best option for indoors, Reolink for good clarity, and ZOSI 5MP Lite if you need a budget-friendly upgrade system.
Our Favorite Pick: Wyze Cam V3 1080p Weatherproof Security Camera
Features 2MP starlight image sensor, Audio recording, two-way talk, siren, IP65 weatherproof rating, plus Alexa & MicroSD support
Best of Upgrade: ZOSI 5MP Lite Super-HD DVR Security System
Features a 5MP DVR station, eight channels, H.265+ video compression, 1TB preinstalled hard drive, IP67 rated dust/ water protection
Best of Clarity: Reolink (RLK16-810B8-A) Ultra-HD PoE NVR Kit
Features a 16-channel NVR station, 4K resolution, 25fps frame rate, one-way audio, H.265 compression format, & up to 12TB hard drive capacity
Benefits Of A Continuous Recording Security Camera
Before all else, the majority of security cameras in the market usually record footage by activity. In most cases, these event recordings are triggered by movements of the object, but others like Wyze and Nest Cam also have sound detection analytics. Thus, starting to record when the built-in microphone picks noises of a certain level.
Even so, a continuous recording security camera is still more convenient to have on your property than the motion-activated and sound-activated ones. Some of the best benefits include:
Accurate: a continuous recording security camera records moments of the events from the start to the end. So, you’ll be able to play back everything you must have missed.
Credible Evidence: As we’ve just mentioned, you can use the full video recording of a CCTV system to highlight the key moments of a burglary. Thus, speeding up investigation and even prosecution.
Timely Reaction: various security cameras that record continuously also have a 24/7 live stream, which can help you see and stop the potential burglary before it happens.
Comparing the Features, Pros, & Cons of the best Continuous Recording Security Camera
|Continuous Recording Security Camera||Maximum Resolution||Field of View||Type of Technology||Storage|
|Wyze Cam V3 Security Camera||1080p Full HD||130°||WiFi Wireless||MicroSD Card|
|Google Nest Cam Home Security Camera||1080p Full HD||130°||WiFi Wireless||Nest Aware Plus (Cloud Plan)|
|ZOSI 5MP Lite Super-HD Security System||2K Super-HD||75°||Analog DVR||1TB Hard Drive (Max. 8TB)|
|Reolink Ultra-HD PoE NVR Kit||4K Ultra-HD||87°||PoE NVR||3TB Hard Drive (Max. 12TB)|
|Hiseeu 8-Channel AHD Security Camera Unit||1080p Full HD||75°||Analog DVR||1TB Hard Drive (Max. 6TB)|
|Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Security Camera||2K Quad HD||160°||WiFi Wireless||Add-on CVR (Cloud Plan)|
|Kittyhok Wireless Security Bundle||2K Full HD||100°||Wireless NVR||1TB Hard Drive (Max. 6TB)|
|XVIM AHD DVR Security System||1080p Full HD||75°||Analog DVR||1TB Hard Drive (Max. 3TB)|
1. Our Favorite Pick: Wyze Cam V3 1080p Weatherproof Security Camera
- Color night vision: An all-new Starlight Sensor records night time video in full, vivid color. The...
- Indoor/Outdoor: Wyze Cam v3 is a wired video camera with an IP65 rating so you can confidently...
Indeed, the Wyze Cam V3 is our first recommendation and also the best wireless security camera with continuous recording for free. It’s also the overall bestseller on the list, with more than 35,000 positive ratings on Amazon (only).
As for the performance, the security camera has a 2MP Starlight image sensor that delivers detailed recordings even in low-lighted conditions. It also has a wide-angle lens to cover a large scene of your property, plus an IP65 weatherproof rating to enable both indoor and outdoor monitoring.
Furthermore, Wyze crafted the WiFi security camera with a slot you can add a MicroSD card. Then, you can use that MicroSD feature to enable 24/7 continuous recording if the free cloud recording clips aren’t enough.
- It’s very cheap to own
- Delivers clear & bright videos
- Can record in full color at night
- Has built-in audio and two-way talk
- Includes a siren to deter potential criminals
- It works with Alexa and Google Assistant seamlessly
- It charges to use human detection feature
- Supports only the standard H.264 compression
- It lacks fast-forward function during playback
2. Best of Indoors: Google Nest Cam Indoor Home Security Camera
- 24/7 live stream video in full 1080p HD over Wi-Fi. Check in from anywhere at anytime. Send clips to...
- Night vision featuring 8 high-power infrared LEDs provide light for clear video in the darkest...
The Nest Cam Indoor is another wireless security camera with a continuous recording feature. It’s also a top-seller here in the U.S. and records footage in full 1080p HD, which, of course, isn’t the highest, but clear enough to identify a face nearby.
At a 130-degree field of view, the WiFi security camera can cover a large scene of your room at a time. Then, it has 24/7 live streaming and powerful infrared LEDs so that you can keep an eye on what matters anytime, day or night.
Just as the name advertises, though, the Nest Cam Indoor has no water protection, thereby can only be used indoors. Also, it has no local storage option like the Wyze Cam, in which case you’ll need to purchase the Nest Aware Plus plan for 24/7 video history.
- It’s so easy to set up & operate
- Delivers super clear images & videos
- Supports both motion & sound alerts
- Has audio recording & two-way talk
- Also, has a reliable Home/ Away video mode
- It works well with Alexa for hands-free control
- It requires a monthly subscription
- Nest cloud plans are limited to select countries
- It’s relatively expensive compared with Wyze
3. Best of Upgrade: ZOSI 5MP Lite Super-HD DVR Security System
- 【H. 265/H.265+ 8CH 5MP Lite HD-TVI DVR】--With the advanced H. 265 technology, which could double...
- 【Built in 1TB Security Hard Drive】-- Support Ultra-Long Continuous Recording and Backup By USB....
Would you like to upgrade your old, analog security camera system? ZOSI Lite kit here’s a great option, especially if you’re interested in 24/7 recording mode. It has a 5MP DVR that can work with up to eight 2K Super-HD cameras.
However, the recorder usually comes with 2MP bullet cameras, a move that we believe aimed to keep the price as low as possible.
Each of the provided security cameras has a sturdy metal housing, plus an IP67 weatherproof rating. Then, they have up to twenty-four built-in (850nm) Infrared LEDs that make it possible to continue recording at night.
Another thing, ZOSI usually sends this security camera system with a preinstalled 1TB hard drive. Thus, providing 24/7 video recordings without having to pay for the monthly cloud subscriptions.
- It has a reasonable pricing
- Delivers decent pictures day & night
- You can expand the local storage up to 6TB
- Has motion detection zone & privacy protection
- Has up to H.265+ recording mode to save on space
- It supports real-time remote viewing on smart devices/ PC
- Provided cameras have no built-in audio
- The smart motion detection’s relatively unreliable
- Cameras have a clicking sound when switching to night vision
4. Best of Clarity: Reolink (RLK16-810B8-A)Ultra-HD PoE NVR
- 4K Ultra HD – Reolink 4K Ultra HD (8MP) PoE camera delivers almost 4 times the clarity of 1080p....
- Person/Vehicle Detection – Smart PoE IP cameras can identify people and vehicles in terms of their...
Technically, the Reolink RLK16-810B8-A is one of the best continuous recording security camera systems to keep an eye on high-value areas. For one, it’s an expandable PoE NVR kit that you can hook up as many as sixteen cameras. So, you could use it for a large home property or even business.
Secondly, the recorder of the security system supports up to 4K Ultra-HD streaming and recording. The provided cameras also have an 8MP image sensor, thereby capturing pictures that you can zoom distant objects without drastically diminishing the clarity.
Even better, each of the security cameras has eighteen infrared LEDs that guarantee detailed recording after dusk. And since the company sends with only half of the cameras, you can add the remaining NVR ports with the Reolink Motorized PTZ camera to cover even more space without sacrificing clarity.
- It feels sturdy and well-made
- Captures sharp & crisp pictures
- Has 2TB preinstalled hard drive
- Includes a built-in mic for one-way audio
- The cameras can be installed indoor or outdoors
- It supports up to HEVC (H.265) recording mode
- It’s pretty expensive to own
- The recorder lacks ONVIF support
- Motion detection still detects bugs & leaves
5. Best of Budget: Hiseeu 8-Channel AHD DVR Security Camera Unit
- 【Unique & Advanced Face Detection Tech & 1 TB Large Storage HDD】Advanced Face Detection Tech...
- 【HD 5MP Highest Resolution & Clear Night Vsion up to 60ft 】Compared with most low Resolution...
At a price tag of under $200, the Hiseeu AKIT-A-2AHBB12-1T is definitely the best continuous recording security camera system for you on a tight budget. Of course, the image quality is considerably lower than the ZOSI Lite kit, but it’s usable for most applications. Why so?
Well, first, the CCTV system streams and records footage in the standard 1080p resolution. So, you can still tell a person within proximity and also distinguish a dog from a coyote at night.
Moreover, Hiseeu has designed security cameras with metal housing and IP66 weatherproof construction. So, you can use them in the harsh outdoor weather for a long time without worrying about the sun heat degrading the body as with the plastic cameras.
- It’s very affordable
- Has a well-made, durable design
- Delivers decent pictures, day & night
- Comes with a preinstalled hard drive
- Supports up to H.265+ recording mode
- It has a customizable motion zone & alerts
- Cameras have no built-in audio
- It has a relatively low frame rate
- The software needs improvements
6. Best of Wire-Free: Arlo Pro 4 Wire-Free Spotlight Security Camera
- See a bigger picture - The security camera has a wide 160° diagonal viewing angle lens for auto...
- Capture clearer details - The wireless outdoor security cameras with advanced video quality that...
Do you have a place you’d like to monitor but that has no wired power? The Arlo Pro 4 is one of the battery-powered continuous recording security cameras you can use in such situations. And thanks to the built-in 3.6MP image sensor and spotlight, you can not only enjoy 2K Quad HD videos that are slightly sharper than the standard 1080p. But also get detailed recordings (in full color) at night.
Furthermore, the security camera has both a built-in microphone and speaker. So, it can record videos you can listen to, as well as enable two-way conversation with your deliveryman while even away.
- It captures outstanding daytime videos
- Supports both infrared & colored night vision
- Includes both sound and motion detection alerts
- You can use either the H.264 or H.265 video codec
- Can work with Alexa, HomeKit, & Google Assistant
- It has a built-in siren feature to deter potential intruders
- The battery life is considerably low
- It requires a monthly plan for 24/7 recording
- Comes with only a magnet mount- risky for outdoor use
7. Best of Deal: Kittyhok All-in-One Wireless Security Camera Bundle
- 【12 Inch 10CH NVR Monitor with 1TB Hard Drive】This all in one wireless security camera system...
- 【 Auto WiFi Relay Tech】This wireless security system use enhanced two 5dbi antenna to provide...
Although going for three hundred bucks, this Kittyhok system still is the best deal on the list. Different from the Reolink NVR kit above, it has its recorder with a 12” colored display, thereby you won’t need to purchase another one.
Both the recorder and monitor also have a built-in 2.4GHz access point that creates some kind of a private WiFi signal. Thus, allowing them to communicate with each other and transmit the video files without the need for the router WiFi.
Speaking of the video, the wireless security system has 3MP cameras that record in 2K Full HD quality. The security cameras also do have a built-in microphone and speaker to capture pictures with audio, as well as enable two-way talk.
- It’s effortless to set up
- Delivers clear and sharp pictures
- Has a built-in siren to deter intruders
- Works well either indoor or outdoor
- Comes with a preinstalled hard drive
- It supports recording in the HEVC mode
- The instructions are a bit vague
- Voice quality isn’t exactly the best
- It has pretty many false motion alerts
8. Alternative: XVIM Full 1080p AHD DVR Security Camera System
- [4 1080P HD waterproof cameras] With night vision function, night vision range up to 100 feet and...
- [Security camera system with 1TB hard drive] Pre-installed 1TB hard drive supports 24 hours over 30...
Also tagged under $200, the XVIM DVR system is a great alternative that you can get when your piggy bank is relatively low. Of course, the 1080p resolution is still not the best, considering we’re in 2023, but it’s enough for the general monitoring at home.
Other features to like on the XVIM AHD DVR security camera system include:
- It comes with a preinstalled hard drive
- Includes easy remote access & viewing
- The cameras are all weatherproof for outdoors
- Has 12-piece IR LEDs for nighttime monitoring
- Supports various recording modes, including 24/7
- You can customize the motion detection of each camera
- It has only H.264 video compression
- Cameras lack built-in audio function
- Night vision is not the best in total darkness
Quick Guide: 9 Things to Consider when Choosing a Continuous Recording Security Camera
In truth, you’ll come across many security camera systems with continuous recording mode. However, they all have varying designs, features, and specs. So, the results they’ll also offer or rather what you’ll get at the end of the day varies.
All in all, the nine crucial features that matter in any continuous recording security camera includes:
- Video Quality: A CCTV that streams & record in rich clarity makes it possible to easily identify key features like face, tattoos, and license plates
- Frame rate: should be as high as possible for smoother & more detailed videos
- Storage capacity: also should be enough as camera recording around the clock will use more space than one that saves only the event clips
- Video compression: a security camera system with the advanced H.265 (HEVC) video codec can cut down the storage consumption by 50%
- Motion detection: the feature allows you to stay ahead of the potential intruder, giving you the time to act accordingly
- Intrusion alerts: works in hand with the motion detection feature to alert you of the possible threats
- Audio function/s: Although not compulsory, a camera that records audio can give more convincing evidence. The two-way talk feature also can help you talk back and scare away the intruders.
- Remote access & Viewing: helps keep an eye on your property while even miles away
- Sturdy & Weatherproof: very crucial if you’re planning to mount your security camera/s outside the building
Frequently Asked Questions:
How many cameras do I need for home security?
In general, the number of cameras you need for your home security varies with the size of your property, personal preference, and the type of systems you want to use. However, we’d recommend you have at least four bullet cameras or two PTZ cameras to effectively cover both the front and backyard area.
Are retail stores security cameras monitored 24/7?
Again, this is a question with an “it depends” type of answer. However, many retail stores have security cameras monitored 24/7, specifically the PoE NVR or Analog DVR kits that have a large local storage capacity.
How long can you record on security cameras?
Overall, how long security cameras store footages depend on the storage available and the camera features, such as video quality, audio, frame, and compression technology. For instance, a system with four cameras can record in 5MP quality for approximately three days in a 1TB hard drive or 36 days in a 12TB space.
How long is CCTV footage kept in banks?
First, we’re not exactly sure why you want to know about this. But most banks usually keep CCTV footage for about at least three months or more if the system has enough storage for it.
Either a motion-activated or continuous video recording security camera is no doubt worthwhile than none. However, the latter is a much better option if you want to keep an eye on your property all time of the day, with 24/7 streaming and playback.
As for the question of the best continuous recording security camera, the Wyze Cam V3 is still our number one. It’s not only the cheapest on the list but also has a lot of features to love. That includes crisp videos, audio functions, weatherproof design, and most importantly free recording to a MicroSD card.
Alternatively, you can check out the ZOSI Lite system, which can work with up to 5MP Super-HD cameras if you want to upgrade your existing analog security system. But the Reolink RLK16-810B8-A has the sharpest clarity of all if you won’t mind putting down a grand or laying out the PoE infrastructure.