NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons | What The Best?

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Before we jump to NVR Vs DVR pros and cons and how to know what the best for you and your home security system. We must know what is NVR and DVR at first.


NVR and DVR are the central part of any security system whatever where you will use the system inside the home, office, and company. But why NVR and DVR are important in the security system.

Imagine you have security cameras that capture any motion around you and your house. But what happens when you need to see the recorded video after a short time you couldn’t. why?

Because, Both NVR and DVR do the same function they record the camera footage. So, if you have the best security cameras and best storage devices without NVR and DVR is nothing.

Although the 2 systems do the same function. But each system has its usage and you should be careful when choosing an NVR system or DVR system. NVR stands for Network Video recorder system, whereas DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder.

In this article we take a look at each system, NVR Vs DVR pros and cons, and how to avoid popular mistakes that most people do when choosing between NVR and DVR.

NVR Vs DVR and What’s The Difference?

First, For NVR Security System.

How NVR system work?

The NVR system does the whole process inside the camera. It encodes and processes the video/ audio data at the camera, Then stream it to the storage device such as an NVR recorder.

NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons | What The Best? | How NVR system work?

NVR system as we mentioned above its stands for Network video recorder, and one of the most reasons to call this system an NVR system is because it uses a Network.

The connection Between the NVR system and security cameras comes through using Network. So, if you have one of the network cameras Like IP cameras you must use the NVR system.

For the Network connection, there are two types of cameras out there that use the Network to send and receive data. 

Wireless security cameras that use Ethernet Cable and in most cases PoE ( Power Over Ethernet) Cable, PoE cable transmit both data and work as a power source for the camera.

Wire-free security cameras that use also a network. But this type of security camera uses a Wifi signal to send and receive data, and a battery or solar panel for power.

So, before you buy the best NVR system for your home, you must ensure that you have IP cameras. As most NVRs are used with IP cameras no problem if it wireless or wire-free camera.

Now: Let’s Jump and look at the DVR system

How DVR system work?

Unlike the NVR system which processes and encodes the data in-camera by using advanced technology to record video footage.

NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons | What The Best? | How DVR system work?

On the other hand, the DVR system uses an old way to record video footage process the data in the recorder. Simply it converts the signal into digital format and compressed it to store in External Hard drives.

Most security cameras that use DVR systems are CCTV analog security cameras. This type of camera use wires in most cases Not wireless like IP cameras.

The DVR systems don’t require networks like NVR, all the security cameras of the DVR system are connected directly to the DVR using a Coaxial BNC Cable. The Coaxial cable is for transmitting data only and another cable is used for power.

To store the recorded videos in DVR an AD encoder is used, This encoder is responsible for processing the data streaming from the camera, digitizing, and compressing to make the data easy to store.

This is the NVR Vs DVR basic difference, and in the next word we explain more about each System.

NVR Security System

The Network Video Recorder system is based on new and advanced technology for recording footage. The NVR security system is flexible and can be used for indoor security systems or Outdoor surveillance systems.

NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons | What The Best? | NVR Security System
NVR Security System

Type of Camera 

The type of camera that is used with the NVR security system is an IP ( Internet Protocol ) security camera or as suppliers say “Network camera”. Unlike analog cameras in a DVR security system, IP cameras are capture videos and process the video, Audio data then transmit to the recorder.

Using IP security cameras in NVR systems adds more advantages to the security system. Now most IP security cameras have advanced features such as facial recognition, motion detection, and two-way audio.

Features like that are used in IP cameras require fast connection and large storage devices. Nvr security system provides a fast connection by using the network and dealing with large storage devices.

Cables Type

As we mentioned above, NVR security systems use cameras are wireless, and wire-free security cameras. Wire-free doesn’t use any wire it connects to NVR using a wireless wifi signal. On the other hand, Wireless security cameras use Ethernet cables such as cat5e and cat6, to connect the camera to NVR.

Ethernet Cables have many advantages, Let’s see some of them:

  • Ethernet cables use as PoE cable which means that the cable can send and receive videos/Audio. Plus, the power to the camera. The Ethernet cable has main 8 copper wires, only 4 that works, 2 for sending and receiving, 2 for power.
  • Ethernet cable in wireless security cameras makes you avoid using many long wires, in addition, eliminate the popular wire’s problems.
  • For indoor security cameras, Ethernet wires will be useful as the cable is easy to route and has a smaller connector. Plus, requires only less drilling.
  • You don’t need to run an Ethernet cable between each camera and the NVR system. Once the camera is connected on the same wireless signal this means that NVR and cameras are connected.
  • The only disadvantages of Ethernet cables that it use for 328ft or 100m and that is the max length of cable. But you can solve this problem by using a Network switch to make cable cover long distance.

Recorder Type 

As we know the camera in the NVR system does the whole process from processing the data and then transmitting it to NVR. The NVR works only for storing and viewing the footage. Unlike the DVR system in which half of the process is made in the recorder and the other half in the camera.


The usage of the NVR system differs from person to person. But if you have an Indoor security system then you must have an NVR security system.

The indoor security system requires fewer cameras and the camera used inside the home has advanced features.

Some homeowners use NVR outside the home for the outdoor security system. The NVR security system has wireless cameras, which make the mount of a camera in any place is too much easy without the need for buying more wires.

NVR Flexibility

One of the important differences in NVR vs DVR is flexibility, As we know previously that most IP security cameras work with NVR systems.

These IP cameras add more flexibility to the whole system, If you want to connect any camera to the NVR system just connect the camera to the wifi signal.

This means that you can mount your camera in any place you want without depending on wire long or short, and other wire issues.

In addition, this Flexibility in the NVR system allows you to see and view your recorded videos through the Network by using a camera App.

Video Quality 

Most IP cameras in the market capture and record videos in high definition and this Helps the NVR system. The recorder receives from the camera the data after processing in the camera receives it in a purely digital format.

Plus, The Ethernet cables used in the NVR security system have 2 copper wires for both sending and receiving. This allows the system to store clear Audio & Video without any Noise.

DVR Security System

Digital Video Recorder considers the older “legacy” option that is used to store the video footage of a camera. It uses the old Technology in which the cameras stream the video footage and the recorder processes the video footage.

Unlike the NVR camera process the video footage and then transmit it to the recorder.

NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons | What The Best? | DVR Security System
DVR Security System

Type of Camera

IP security cameras work with the NVR system, But for the DVR security system, the most popular type of cameras used with DVR is analog CCTV security cameras. The CCTV security cameras have more than one type there are Bullet, Dome, and many other types of cameras.

The analog CCTV cameras save the cost of the total DVR system, as most CCTV cameras come at affordable prices, Unlike IP cameras.

Analog CCTV security camera in DVR system stream the signal to the recorder in Analog format. Then the recorder processes the images and digitizes them.

Cables Type

Unlike NVR and Ethernet Cables. The DVR security system uses a Coaxial BNC cable to connect the DVR unit to the other security cameras.

But, What is Coaxial Cable?

Well, a Coaxial cable is a black cable that has only one wire from copper, and the cable is designed with a metallic shield, This metallic shield blocks any signal interference. Plus, this cable Does one process through it Transmit or Receive due to it has only one wire.

The Coaxial Cable has many Advantages, Let’s see 

  • Although the cable has only one wire. But it has a sufficient frequency range which supports many channels and gives more throughput.
  • Less interference. The coaxial cable shielded well and this makes the cable Block the interference of other signals, Plus reduces the errors.

Recorder Type

The recorder in the DVR security system is important, it’s a small hardware chipset called AD encoder that is used as a DVR recorder. In NVR systems the recorder is responsible only for storing the data.

Unlike the NVR system. The recorder in the DVR system process the video footage transmitted by the camera. After that compress the data into digital format to store it on an external storage device Like a memory stick, or Computer.


Most DVR security systems are used for large surveillance systems, as the DVR system has a low price as we compared with the NVR system. In addition, It can cover large distances and support a large number of cameras.

If you want to Use a DVR security system you must know how to install security cameras. Or hire an installation expert to install your security system.

In addition, you must know how to protect and hide security camera wires to avoid wires cut by kids, or thieves.

DVR Flexibility

For Flexibility, The DVR system considers less flexibility as compared to the NVR system. The system uses more wires and each camera must connect directly to the DVR unit. These large wires will limit your flexibility.

In the case of Camera place. In DVR security system you must know exactly where you need to mount your camera. Plus, are this place has a power source for the camera or not?.

For the NVR system, you have the ability to place the camera in any place as it’s wireless, But for DVR it’s not as it’s a wired security system.

If you want to place a camera high on trees or fences you must take care of the wire route and power source.

Video Quality

In NVR the camera process the camera and transmit it in digital format to the recorder which means High-Quality videos. But for DVR the process of video footage is done in the recorder and the analog signal transmitted from the camera.

The analog signal results in a lower quality image. In addition, The Coaxial cable used in the DVR security system doesn’t natively transmit an audio signal. The transmission through the coaxial cable is only for one signal and in most cases, it’s a video signal.

NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons

DifferencesNVR SystemDVR System
Recording Quality– Most Cameras Record High-Quality Videos.

– Resolution From 1080p To 4k.
– It’s hard to find a DVR system with the Quality of NVR.
– There’s no DVR system that records and streams 4K videos.
Installation– The NVR system with wireless or Wire-free cameras is easy to install.

– The DVR system needs more wires and installation tools.

Flexibility– The NVR system has more flexibility and you can add more cameras in the future.

– The DVR system has a specific number of channels for security cameras.

Price– High Price.

It- Cheap System.

Features– NVR system has more features.

– Fewer features.

Connection Problem– NVR system may be unstable depending on your network signal.

– Durable system and has fewer wire problems.

In the above words, we try to explain each system NVR and DVR, and the difference between them. In the next Paragraph, we explain NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons.

NVR Pros and Cons

NVR Pros

Recording Quality:
The recording Quality in the NVR system is much higher quality footage as we compared to DVR. The Digital IP security camera has high-resolution videos and crystal clear images.

Installation: The installation process of the NVR system is too much easy, as NVR cameras are wireless you don’t need to use wire and connectors. Once you mount your security camera connect it to the network and it will work.

Flexibility: As we mentioned above NVR systems are more flexible than DVR systems because of use wireless and wire-free cams. In Nvr camera can be mounted anywhere but the place must be in wifi signal range.

More Features: The NVR system supports an IP security cam with advanced features. If you have a smart home system you must search and pick up the NVR system. one of these features is a remote viewing feature that enables you to see your camera live from anywhere.

Fewer Problems: NVR security system uses fewer components as we compared with DVR system, and as we know the more component the system has the more problem it will be.

NVR Cons

Cost: Although NVR has many Advantages, one of the popular Cons of using NVR is the Cost. The cost of NVR is higher than DVR as the system use High-Quality cameras, and some NVR systems require a monthly subscription fee to access recorded videos.

Technical Problems: NVR units and IP cameras depend on software not hardware like DVR. So, If you don’t know how the system works it will be harder to use it.

DVR Pros and Cons

DVR Pros

Less expensive: The cost of a DVR system is less than NVR, as the main component in the system analog security camera is cheap. While IP security camera in the NVR system is expensive.

Installation: Installation of DVR security system is easy as we compared to NVR system. Most DVR components are hardware and you can install the cameras and system by reading the Installation Guide.

Note: If you read the Installation Guide and don’t know how to install a security camera. You can contact with Installation Expert.

Image quality is improving: one of the main differences in NVR Vs DVR is Image Quality. While Image quality in NVR is best, DVR image quality is improved (for systems using HD over Coaxial technology).

DVR Cons

More Cables and Wires: The most common problem with DVR is wires and cable issues. DVR depends on wired security cameras which take more wires. In most cases two wires, one for data and the other for power.

Power Source: The NVR cameras use batteries or solar panels as a power source. while DVR cameras must mount near a power outlet to make the camera work continuously.

Coverage area: The DVR system can’t provide large coverage. In comparison between one IP camera and an Analog CCTV camera, we found that one IP camera can cover the same area of multiple analog cameras.


The NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons differ from one person to another, some people prefer price over the quality of the system.

on the other hand, some people prefer Quality and easy installation over the price of the System.

So, If you search for NVR Vs DVR Pros and Cons, don’t worry both systems have pros and Cons. The best advice is to think about what will be helpful for you, and how to take full advantage of each system.

Marvin H. Tarrance

Marvin H. Tarrance

Marvin Is an Electric and Electronic Engineer passionate about content writing and marketing. In the past, He was installed a large number of CCTV security cameras, and IP cams also. For now, He is the Head of the Content Team which is responsible for writing informative and detailed posts for Safebudgets.Com