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DVR Cards vs Standalone DVRs


One of the questions we get the most is whether a customer should get a DVR card or a standalone DVR. There is a no straightaway answer.  We sell both, and each offers something different to the end user.  It really depends on the customer.  To help you make your decision, we have highlighted the differences below.

Both Products Get You The Same End Result

Both DVR Cards and Standalone (Embedded) DVRs take care of your digital surveillance.  Both will do your viewing, recording, motion detection recording, viewing over the internet, and playback of recorded video.  Neither one is superior to the other.

DVR Cards Cost Less Money

Without a doubt, DVR cards will cost you less money.  So, if price is your biggest concern, you will want to really consider the DVR card.  The main catch with this is that you already need a computer to use to make it work properly.  A DVR card installs into a vacant PCI slot in a computer you already have.  So you must already have a computer you are willing to use for surveillance for the DVR card. If you don't already have a computer you are willing to use, then an embedded DVR may be the right way to go.

Standalone DVRs Require Less Technical Knowledge to Install

Standalone DVRs are ready to go out of the box.  There is no assembly required whatsoever.  While not difficult, a DVR card does require you to open up your desktop computer and install the DVR card into a PCI slot.  If you are unwilling or unable to install a card in your computer, then an embedded DVR may be the right choice for you.

If Using a DVR Card, Anyone Using That Computer Will Know There's a DVR Card Installed

For DVR cards to work properly, the computer must be on whenever you want to be able to view or record, and the DVR program must be running.  You can minimize the program and still use the computer without any issue, but the program will still be visible in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.  There will be nothing secret about it.  If you need to perform surveillance without anyone else being aware of it, then an embedded DVR would be the route to go.

Embedded DVRs Are Easier to Conceal

Standalone DVRs are much easier to hide.  If you don't want it to be obvious there is surveillance going on, an embedded DVR may be the route you want to take.  Once setup, they can be controlled through your network and you don't need to have access to them physically.

DVR Cards Will Only Work On Windows Based Computers

If you're an Apple or Mac user, you will need to get an embedded DVR.  DVR cards need to be installed on Windows computers and will not work on Macs.

Hopefully this document will help guide you in the right direction when purchasing your surveillance equipment.  You can always email us or call us toll free at 866-720-0779 and we will be more than happy to help you figure out which one is best for you.



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