March 21, 2023

how long is security footage stored

Security footage has become an essential part of modern security systems. It not only helps to deter criminals but also provides evidence for police investigations. However, question remains, how long is security footage stored?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as type of security system, storage capacity, and regulations in your region. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.

Type of Security System

Analog security systems use VHS tapes to store surveillance footage. These tapes have a limited storage capacity, and footage needs to be manually swapped out periodically. This type of system is becoming less common as digital systems have overtaken market.

Digital security systems, on other hand, use hard drives to store surveillance footage. These hard drives have a much larger storage capacity and can record footage for several months or even years, depending on system.

Storage Capacity

The amount of storage available on a security system will also impact how long footage is stored. Most systems will have a certain amount of storage space available, and once it’s full, oldest footage will be overwritten. This means that for a system with a smaller storage capacity, footage will be stored for a shorter amount of time.


There are regulations in place that dictate how long certain types of security footage must be retained. For example, in United States, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare providers to retain security footage for at least six years. Similarly, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires businesses that handle payment card data to retain footage for a minimum of 90 days.

how long is security footage stored

In some cases, businesses or organizations may choose to retain footage for longer periods for their own liability reasons.

Overall, length of time that security footage is stored can vary depending on type of system, storage capacity, and regulations in place. However, in general, most systems will retain footage for at least a few days or weeks, while some systems can store footage for a few months or even years. It’s important to consult with your security system provider as well as any applicable regulations to determine how long your footage will be stored.

how long is security footage stored