The most flexible cloud recording & surveillance service.
More features, lower cost, extremely easy & secure.

Security and Surveillance Service Comparison

You can see CameraFTP has many advantages, incl. more features, more flexible, lower cost, easier to setup and more secure.

CameraFTP Other Surveillance Services
Service price From $1.50/camera/month From $10/camera/month
Retention days 7 days to 10 years Mostly 7 days or 30 days
Contract Monthly or yearly Usually 1 to 3-year contract
Installation Self-installation $99
Continuous recording Depends
Remote live-viewing May require DDNS service and router configuration.
Play back recorded data remotely Usually No
Support most IP cameras Usually No
Use PC/laptop as CCTV DVR security system Usually No
Use iPhone/iPad/Android/WP/Webcam as IP camera Usually No
Browser-based viewer Mostly Yes
iOS / Android viewer app Mostly Yes
Windows Phone/Windows viewer app
Share / publish cameras, embed in your web pages
No storage limit
Recorded data cannot be tampered Yes with cloud recording

CameraFTP vs. regular FTP/email service such as Gmail

While a regular FTP/email service can be used for security camera storage, it lacks basic surveillance features, and often cannot handle the load due to spam emails, storage limit, too many files/emails and abuse detection.

CameraFTP is fully optimized for security cameras. Our FTP and SMTP/email-uploading solution is specifically designed for transferring camera data and does not have any email/FTP overhead. Images are packed into zip files, emails are automatically processed and the attached images/videos are organized in the same FTP camera folder. You can use CameraFTP Viewer to view the live scene or play back the recorded footage anywhere anytime.

CameraFTP Use a regular FTP/Email service (e.g. Gmail) as IP camera storage
Storage limit No limit Limited
FTP/email overhead Fully optimized Email spamming, filtering, abuse detection, too many emails in one mailbox; no camera viewer
Server request limit No limit Upload could be blocked due to excessive usage
Automatically delete old files
Event notification
Browser-based Camera Viewer
Mobile camera Viewer
Remote live-viewing
Play back recorded data remotely
Share IP cameras
Publish IP cameras
Link cameras on your own web page

Camera Hardware Selection

Comparison of IP Cameras and CCTV DVRs/NVRs. CameraFTP is compatible with most IP cameras/DVRs/NVRs. We don't sell hardware.

CameraFTP IP Cameras only DVRs/NVRs only
Main Features Cloud Recording and Surveillance service that supports most IP cameras/DVRs. Features include: Live View, Playback, cloud Storage, Share and Publish. Also supports webcams and smartphones and tablets. Live view (and optionally playback with local recording, if the camera supports local storage) Multi-camera surveillance system + local recording, live view and playback
Hardware Price (1 camera) Service and software only. No cost with webcam or old smartphone $30 - $100 $200 - $300
Hardware cost (3 cameras) N/A $90 - $300 $300 - $500
Support Wi-Fi Device dependent Device dependent Device dependent
Support Night-vision Device dependent Device dependent Device dependent
Use Webcam as IP camera Yes N/A N/A
Use iPhone, Android, WP or iPad as IP Camera Yes N/A N/A
Mobile viewer Yes Device-dependent Device-dependent
Audio Recording Device-dependent; yes for webcams Device-dependent Device-dependent
Supports CCTV live view Yes No Yes
Offsite recording Yes No No

CameraFTP vs. Nest Cam and Nest Cam-Alternative Cameras

Nest Cam is a very impressive IP camera. Its sleek design and high-quality video make it very appealing at the first glance; but for most users, CameraFTP has a much better solution:

  • Nest Cam does not support motion triggered recording
    1. It will keep using your upload bandwidth even if there are no activities. Note many ISPs have a monthly cap on data usage.
  • Nest Cam may significantly slow down your network connection
    1. Uploading HD video requires very large upload bandwidth; however, broadband services usually have small upload bandwidth. Using Nest Cam with HD video setting is usually not feasible for most consumers and businesses, esp. those with multiple Nest Cam cameras. In the end, you will have to reduce your video resolution.
  • Very few models
    1. Nest Cam is a closed system with very few models to choose from.
  • Nest Cam is unnecessarily expensive
    1. At $199 per unit, you can buy 2 to 4 other IP cameras while still meeting your surveillance needs.
  • Nest Cam Aware (Cloud Recording) service is even more expensive!
    1. For 7-day video retention, the cost is $100/year; for 30-day video retention, the cost is $300/year!

CameraFTP Advantages:

  • Support most IP cameras/DVRs
    1. CameraFTP service can work with most in-door and out-door IP cameras.
    2. You can choose from many best-in-class cameras from many different manufacturers.
    3. More choices mean lower camera cost.
  • Lower bandwidth usage and motion-triggered recording
    1. For most consumers and businesses' surveillance needs, CameraFTP uses very low upload bandwidth; you can further reduce bandwidth with motion-triggered recording.
  • Super high quality image or video recording
    1. For high-end users or businesses, CameraFTP supports up to 12MP cameras for large site monitoring.
  • Low hardware cost
    1. For the price of one Nest Cam camera, you can buy 3 cameras monitoring your front door, backyard and living room. You can even use webcam or an old smartphone as your IP camera.
  • CameraFTP Cloud Recording service cost is even lower!
    1. Our cloud recording service starts at $1.50/camera/month for image recording and $2.50/camera/month for video recording. For a single-camera Nest Aware service, you can order 3 CameraFTP camera licenses.
  • Security Cameras

    Security cameras, also known as surveillance cameras, are used to monitor homes, businesses, and other types of properties. Typically, they are connected to a recording device such as a tape recorder or a disk. In the last few years, IP-based security cameras have become increasingly popular. Security cameras enable you to remotely monitor a scene and play back recorded images.

  • Analog CCTV Cameras

    Analog Closed-Circuit Television cameras record pictures or videos as analog signals. Most of old surveillance cameras are analog cameras. This type of camera records directly onto a video tape recorder. In order to save recordings to a PC, the analog signal must be converted to a digital format; this can be done with a video capture card.

  • Digital CCTV Cameras

    Digital CCTV cameras directly capture images and videos as digital signals. The signals are compressed and encoded into a standard video format such as MPEG. Digital CCTV cameras usually record videos onto a hard drive or a storage server.

  • DVR/NVR Security System

    A DVR (Digital Video Recorder) security camera system or a NVR surveillance system is basically a series of security cameras connected to a monitor and recording system. Most (old) DVR/NVR security camera systems are CCTV-based with the cameras connected to the recording system via video cables. A multi-channel DVR/NVR security camera system is dramatically more expensive than a regular IP camera; DVR/NVR security camera systems from different vendors require different cameras. Using IP-based network cameras, you don't need a DVR/NVR security camera system as each network camera can connect to the cloud directly.

  • IP / Network Cameras / Webcams

    An Internet Protocol camera or network camera is a type of digital video camera that can send and receive data via a computer network. This type of camera has become increasingly popular among homeowners and business owners in the last few years because of steep price drop. A webcam can also be considered as a network camera because it can send or receive data via a computer.

  • Security Camera Vulnerabilities

    Security cameras themselves are not completely secure. They can fail due to dust, smoke, fog, loss of power, or damage. They are also easily susceptible to tampering. If a security camera records data onsite, both the camera and the recorded data can be destroyed – by intruders, burglars, or anyone else who wants the data gone forever.

  • Camera Features
  • Motion Detection

    Many security cameras now support motion detection - a technology that triggers recording only when something changes in the scene. Motion can be detected by image changes or sound changes. Many security cameras can only detect image changes. As minor scene changes can occur due to events such as natural light changes or wind changes, many security cameras allow you to configure a “threshold”. By setting a higher threshold, minor scene changes will be ignored and only scene changes that reach the “threshold” will be recorded. Motion detection is very useful if you want to significantly reduce bandwidth and storage usage.

  • Night Vision Cameras

    One of the main usages of a security camera is to monitor night-time scenes. If the scene is not well lit, it is recommended that you use a camera with night vision capability. Those cameras use an infrared spectrum of light at night and can take pictures of objects in the dark.

  • Wireless Security Cameras

    Wireless security cameras transmit video and audio signals wirelessly to a receiving device. There are analog and digital types of wireless cameras. Digital security cameras have become much more popular recently because they can be accessed over the Internet.

  • FTP/SMTP Cameras

    FTP/SMTP cameras are a type of IP cameras that can upload recorded image/video files to an FTP/email server. Almost all IP cameras support FTP/SMTP uploading. FTP offsite storage is the most popular way of storing image/video files from a security camera/DVR.

  • Video Cameras

    All security cameras are video cameras. Most security cameras support real-time monitoring / live streaming via a web browser within the same network. From the Internet, it requires more complicated network configuration. Some security cameras can store video files to a network file server within the same network. Almost all security cameras can upload image snapshots to an FTP/SMTP server; some cameras can also upload video clips to an FTP/SMTP server. CameraFTP supports video recording if your camera supports it.

  • Camera Storage & Image Size
  • Security Camera Storage

    Most DVR/NVR security camera systems can store recorded images and videos to a tape, hard drive, or onsite storage server. However, storing data in this manner leaves it susceptible to tampering and damage by intruders. For better protection and security, offsite storage is the best solution.

  • Storage Requirement

    The required amount of storage is dependent on your camera’s image resolution, frame rate, compression ratio and days of retention. Setting up your camera to use motion detection can significantly reduce storage usage.

  • Camera Retention Time

    Security cameras can generate a large amount of data. The amount depends on the compression ratio, images captured per second, and image size. Most cameras provide a limited amount of storage space; therefore, recordings are usually kept for a preset amount of time before being overwritten by new images.

  • Camera Image Resolutions

    An analog security camera usually supports PAL (768x576 Pixels) or NTSC (720x480 pixels) format. A digital security camera can support many different image resolutions, e.g. 640x480, 800x600, 1280x960, 1920x1080 and more.

  • Upload Bandwidth

    While the resolutions of still image cameras can go as high as 10 million pixels, for a video surveillance camera, the standard resolution is lower. The main reason probably is because of storage and bandwidth requirement. The higher the resolution, the more storage space and the more bandwidth it requires. If you set the resolution to higher than 1280x720 and if you have multiple cameras, you might run out of upload bandwidth if you use ADSL or Cable Modem connections.

  • Service
  • Offsite Recording

    Offsite recording addresses one of the biggest vulnerabilities of a security camera. Instead of storing recorded data onsite, recorded images are uploaded to Camera FTP server in real-time. Even if an intruder destroys a security camera, he cannot destroy the recorded data, which can be very helpful for tracking down the intruder.

  • Remote Play Back

    Once a security camera uploads the recorded image/video files to Camera FTP server, you can play back the recorded footage from anywhere using CameraFTP’s Viewer App. The Camera Viewer feature is available for PC, MAC, tablet and smart phone.

  • Real-time viewing

    Camera FTP supports real-time viewing (live streaming) of a scene using the Camera Viewer feature. Many IP cameras can support live viewing; however, such feature usually only works at the same location and only supports few connections. With Camera FTP service, you can view images/videos over the Internet from anywhere using any device. It also allows many people to live stream the video concurrently.

  • Home/Business Security

    CameraFTP offers a revolutionary security and monitoring service for home and business users. Compared with traditional security services, it has a lot of advantages. It is extremely easy to setup, does not require any expensive hardware, requires no professional installation, and the cost is extremely low. Moreover, it is more secure than regular security services as it supports Cloud Recording and Playback.

  • Service Comparison

    CameraFTP has many advantages over other security and surveillance services. You can compare features and prices with other security services. It is also better than using regular FTP/email service (such as Gmail, Outlook, Dropbox) for security camera storage.