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How to Backup CCTV Footage to USB

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

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There are many benefits to backing up your CCTV footage to a USB. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to do it.


We all know how important it is to keep important footage safe in the case of a security breach. In order to accomplish this, many CCTV owners are now backing up their footage onto USB media. USB-based backups are relatively simple and often provide the perfect combination of portability and durability needing for important video backups. This guide will help you understand the process of backing up camera footage onto a USB drive so that you can ensure your security in case of an incident or burglary.

What You Need

To ensure that your CCTV footage is secured, you should backup any recordings to a USB drive. To do this, you will need a few essential items. First, you will need a USB drive with enough capacity to store your recordings. You will also need a compatible CCTV system and a USB cable to connect the CCTV system to the USB drive. Lastly, you will need backup software to help you manage and store your recordings. These are the key components needed to complete this task.

CCTV System

A CCTV system is composed of cameras, all connected to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or to an NVR (Network Video Recorder). The main function of the DVR or NVR is to store footage from the cameras and make it available when needed. It’s important to note that both a DVR and an NVR will require a compatible hard drive.

You need two components for backing up your CCTV footage to a USB:
1. The DVR/NVR: This receives the video from all connected cameras, stores it locally and allows you to access it using a web browser or client software. It also allows you to export footage directly from the interface and backup onto a USB drive.
2. The USB Drive: USB drives come in various sizes and speeds, ensuring that you can choose one that fits your needs perfectly. When purchasing a USB drive for backup purposes, keep in mind what resolution your camera records at and how much storage space you will need on hand at any given time.

Having both components in place provides multiple options for easily backing up your CCTV footage. For instance, if you have an NVR with network connectivity enabled, you could transfer files locally over the LAN or remotely over the internet using FTP protocol or dedicated software tools like FileZilla or WinSCP once they have been backed up onto the USB drive.

USB Flash Drive

A USB flash drive is a viable and cost-effective option for backing up your CCTV footage. USB flash drives are relatively inexpensive, with most of the devices capable of storing 64 gigabytes retailing for less than $20. They are small and easy to transport, making them perfect for taking your footage away from the recording site.

As long as you buy from a reputable brand assurance of quality is given, so that you know that your data will be stored safely on the device. It’s important to double check how much storage space is available on the device before you purchase it in order to ensure that it fits your needs.

When it comes to installation, plugging in theUSB flash drive requires no special setup or configuration and can usually be done in seconds without needing any prior IT knowledge. The data stored can usually be read by most computers and other devices with a USB port, giving users access to their footage at any time and place they wish.

For many people using a USB flash drive is a simple and practical solution when it comes to backing up their CCTV footage cheaply without sacrificing security or convenience.

Step-by-Step Guide

Backing up your CCTV footage is a great way to ensure that you can always access and review it in case of an incident. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of backing up CCTV footage to a USB drive. It is important to ensure that you have a reliable and secure backup of your footage available in case of an emergency. With the right steps, you can easily and securely backup your CCTV footage. Let’s get started.

Connect the USB Flash Drive

Connecting a USB flash drive is essential for backing up CCTV footage, as it provides you with a reliable external storage solution. To begin, plug the USB flash drive into an open USB port on your computer or laptop. Once the USB flash drive is plugged in, the computer should automatically detect it and prompt you to choose what you want to do with it. Make sure that the device is connected properly and securely before proceeding.

Next, launch File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (macOS), then select the connected USB storage device from one of its dropdown menus. Choose the correct drive letter for your USB device then open up its File Explorer window. This will give you access to all of the data contained within your USB storage device, including any existing CCTV footage files on there. Before transferring new footage to the device, take some time to check over your existing files so as not to overwrite them accidentally.
Once you’ve set everything up correctly, you can proceed with copying (or moving) CCTV footage files onto your external USB storage device securely and easily.

Configure the CCTV System Settings

In order to properly configure the settings for backing up your CCTV system footage to USB, you need to first understand your existing CCTV camera equipment and system. Take note of all the CCTV cameras, their set-up location, power and connection sources, and type of signal or format each is recording in (analog, digital etc).

Once your entire CCTV system setup is clear and identified, you can start modifying the settings depending on what type of backup needs to be done. Generally speaking this would include configuring motion detection and motion area settings as well as other various options available in the camera hardware’s setup menu.
Motion detection parameters allow for recording only upon detection of movement in certain areas like a driveway entrance or off-limit areas that visitors may frequent – this conserves storage space by not constantly saving endless footage that may never be viewed later on.
Setting your motion area parameters is also important; this way each camera will have its own distinct region where it will effectively respond to movement – overlapping with another camera’s region should be avoided if possible. The bitrate quality setting should also be adjusted as per requirements, since this determines streaming/recording image/video resolution quality while greatly impacting file size (for example 4K vs full HD). Lastly make sure the NVR/DVR ports are configured accordingly so that they can receive data input from separate cameras. Once all these steps are completed your CCTV system is ready for backup using a USB drive.

Select the Footage You Want to Backup

Once your CCTV footage is stored on a hard drive, you are able to access it and make a backup of your recordings to an external storage device. Before you begin the process, it is important to select the footage which you wish to backup. When going through recorded footage, you should take note of dates, times and scene changes so that you have identified the crucial parts of the recording which must be backed up. Ensure that any clips which you intend to backup are clearly separated from other recordings on your hard drive in order for them to be more easily arranged on your external storage device.
Once you have selected all of the footage that needs to be backed up it is time to move onto step two of backing up CCTV footage.

Backup the Footage to the USB

Backup the footage to the USB stick is an important and necessary step in protecting CCTV footage. The process of backing up CCTV footage may vary depending on the model of your CCTV system, but typically involves copying the data from your recordings to an external storage device such as a USB drive.

To backup the footage to a USB drive, you must first insert the device into an available USB port. Then, go to your computer’s security system application and locate “Backup” from the main menu options. You will be prompted to enter a password for encryption and then select which files or folders you wish to back up.

Once you have selected all desired folders or recordings, click “Start Backup” at the bottom of your window and wait as it runs through each file or folder and begins copying them onto your USB drive. When finished, remove your USB drive from the computer port and store it where it can easily be accessed if needed in future.


Whether you are backing up the footage from a single security camera or an entire CCTV system, using USB storage devices is a convenient and secure way to ensure that your videos remain protected. All you need is an external hard drive with enough capacity and speed to meet your needs. Once you have your device, connect it to the camera or NVR, enable the backup feature and configure any other settings as needed. Regularly check the drive or NVR for corrupted backups and make sure that your footage is continuously updated. Taking these steps will help protect your business from potential data loss and ensure that important video evidence is easily available in case of an incident.

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