The Differences Between Digital Video Recorders And Network Video Recorders

June 21st, 2019

When you decide to shop for a security system, you will have to decide if you wish to go with a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or a Network Video Recorder (NVR).  The major difference between the two recorders is how they process video data. It is important to understand that they also use different cameras, DVR is a wired system and NVR can be wired or wireless. In order to determine which of the two security recording systems is right for you, you’ll need to assess the pros and cons of each.


The Pros And Cons Of a DVR System

We have compiled a list of some of the pros and cons of the DVR system to help you with your decision making. There are two types of DVR units so we will address them both. The first one is a standalone DVR which looks like your home DVD player or an old VCR.  It includes all power supplies and IC chips, DVR’s and CPU all in the unit. A PC-based look like a computer tower contains a LAN board, motherboard, and video card. It also has a DVD writer that allows you to burn your security video images.


Pros Of Stand Alone DVR

  • Standalone DVR units have technology that has been proven for many years.
  • Due to older technology and using an analog camera they are not as expensive
  • They have an embedded software system that does not require daily updating

Pros of a PC-based DVR

  • More flexibility: because they are PC based you can add and remove components like your own PC
  • More user-friendly than standalone DVRs and have more features owners can interact with.
  • Uses both analog and digital cameras.
  • They have more power and greater memory so they can store more information.

Standalone DVR Cons

  • They are not upgradeable. Everything is connected to one motherboard. If a component fails, you will probably have to replace the whole unit
  • Limited storage capacity
  • Does not integrate with other technology well
  • Can only use analog cameras

Cons of A PC Based DVR

  • More susceptible to security breaches, viruses, and hacking
  • More expensive and require regular updating
  • Bulkier and larger than stand-alone DVRs
  • Susceptible to conflicts between the hardware and software due to the interchangeable parts.


Now having looked at the pros and cons of a DVR let's take a look at NVRs


The Pros And Cons Of An NVR System

An NVR uses a digital recording format burnt to a disc drive, USB drive, or a cloud-based system. NVRs are very advanced and can be a great option for both business and the home user. The pros and cons include:


Pros Of An NVR system

  • Similar to DVR system pros
  • Uses Wi-Fi connection
  • Does not require professional installation
  • NVR uses ethernet cables allowing them to communicate with each other.

The Cons Of An NVR system

  • The signal is dependent on your internet connection. Weak internet connection will result in less clarity
  • Cost is higher than DVR, but maintenance is lower
  • Any signal loss will affect recording and surveillance results
  • Not all IP systems are compatible with NVR systems


All of these options are an excellent choice. Which one you choose depends entirely on your unique security needs. A qualified security professional can help. They can assess your property, security needs, and existing security infrastructure to recommend which is right for you.






"Steve I just wanted to thank you and your partner Ray Kindsfather for the fine work you men did installing the security cameras around my home. The quality of the pictures is excellent, the clarity in day or infrared mode is exactly what I was looking for. What good is a camera if you can't identify the person and these cameras will greatly assist the police in identifying a perpetrator. The computer side of the job is easy and fast with very little adjustment time for me in finding what I want to see. Software and hardware get A+++++ no doubt about. The Ring is equally easy to use and the quality of the camera is equally strong. The installation was clean and fast. You maintain a clean site, it’s like you were never here. You answered all my questions with pin point accuracy. Integrity suits you well. Your answers were honest and to the point. Refreshing in today’s world. All and all you and Ray make a strong team at DWS Technology LLC. I have no problem recommending you to friend or family, home or business. God bless you both with your business. I will call you for future installations. "

Cliff Mulvaney


"Ray, in reviewing several different security cameras there were many good products, but none met my criteria of clarity and no long-term contract. Raymond, you showed me one product that caught my attention with the clarity and distance viewing that I could not get with other systems. The zoom after a few feet became distorted with the other systems but with the Alibi NVR package you demoed, we could zoom in and out with clarity which made this product stand out from all the rest. The NVR system is so simple, in fact, anyone can configure the system to suit their needs. You can monitor your home from your smartphone or tablet and having security cameras makes it a great deterrent for criminal activity. DWS Technology delivered as promised! Your installation crew worked clean and treated my home as if it was their own. Great attention to detail! I will recommend DWS Technology to anyone! Great job guys!"

Eli R.

"DWS Technology does great work! I found them to be knowledgeable, professional and cost-effective. DWS designed a company-wide integrated comprehensive solution with site survey drawings outlying every detail of the project for our nine major locations. The surveillance performance we needed was exactly what we received. DWS, you outperformed our expectations and continue to do so with your tech support. Thank you for providing great service and delivering on your promises."

John Schreiber

Building Superintendent, Catholic Charities

Call 866-465-6961