What Is the Most Important Difference Between a DVR and an NVR?

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When shopping for your first security system, you'll need to get a video recorder. However, at first appearance, this can be a perplexing subject. What type of recorder do you require? Should you purchase a DVR or an NVR? What is the difference between NVR and DVR? This post will clarify all your doubts.

NVR and DVR collect video data; the difference is in how they perform this task. So before pondering the thought, "which is better - NVR or DVR?" let us first understand what exactly they are and how they work!

What is an NVR?

An NVR (Network Video Recorder) is network-connected and comes with software to help with this. As a result, it's more commonly associated with IP (Internet Protocol) cams than classic analog ones, as it enables footage to be recorded to a digital medium, whether a disc drive or a memory card.

NVRs utilize wireless devices such as Wi-Fi to function as they work with IP cameras. In addition, they frequently include ethernet connectors, allowing for faster and higher-quality uploads.

Network Video Recorder                    

NVR security camera systems use cutting-edge technology to deliver a more robust, feature-rich surveillance system. As a result, NVR-based surveillance camera systems, also known as POE surveillance cameras, are more versatile and advanced than DVR systems.

Type - IP Camera

NVR systems analyse visual information at the lens rather than the recorder and are far more resilient than their DVR counterparts. IP cameras, stand-alone image capture devices, are used in NVR systems. Each IP camera has a chipset that can analyse video data before transferring it to a recorder.

Ethernet Cable

NVR systems, like DVR systems, connect the camera to the recorder. However, how the camera is linked to the recorder is very different. Professional installers prefer ethernet connections over coaxial cables for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The Ethernet cable powers the camera utilising Power over Ethernet (PoE). This implies that your camera requires one wire to record video, audio, and charge, eliminating the need for bulky splitters like a DVR system.

  • The Ethernet cable is thinner and has a smaller connector, so it is easier to route and terminate.

  • Ethernet is less expensive and more widely obtainable than coaxial cable, allowing cable maintenance and system extension to be more accessible and cost-effective. Many new homes and businesses are Ethernet-wired, making setup even more accessible.

  • Ethernet can transfer audio data natively, so every camera on the platform can broadcast audio.


The recorder in an NVR system does not interpret video data and gets completed at the camera before the broadcast. Instead, it only saves and views the footage.

System Adaptability

NVR systems are more adaptable because video surveillance does not have to be attached to the recorder. Instead, only IP cameras need to be connected to the same network. As a result, you might have cams all over the place on the same web that interface to your NVR to form a comprehensive system.

What is a DVR?

A DVR (Digital Video Recorder) often works with analogue cameras. For example, DVR CCTV is commonly used in commercial and public contexts. A fully connected connection is achieved when the camera provides an analogue signal to the DVR via a coaxial cable. The DVR subsequently processes the footage.

Digital Video Recorder

Over the last five years, advancements in analogue high definition have narrowed the resolution difference between the two systems. As a result, DVR-based security systems are likely to be less expensive than NVR systems.

Camera Type - Analogue

A DVR system's cameras account for most of the cost savings realized by adopting a DVR system. Unfortunately, although you can combine and match cameras in your home surveillance system, the sort of cameras you can utilize with DVR systems is limited.

A DVR system's analogue cameras deliver an analogue signal to the recorder, which then analyses the images. Compared to an NVR system, the benefit of this structure is the less intricacy required of the camera.


DVR cameras use a hardware device referred to as an AD encoder to convert the raw data pouring from the camera into readable video recordings. When it pertains to the recorder, DVR systems have various needs. In particular, in a DVR system, the user must directly connect each camera to the recorder. An NVR system, on the other hand, merely demands that each camera access the same network. In addition, in a DVR system, the recorder does not supply electricity to the cameras. Instead, each camera link will require a splitter to power the cameras.

System Adaptability

Regarding camera kind and mounting possibilities, DVR security systems are much less versatile than their NVR competitors. For example, DVR systems can only use wired surveillance cameras, whereas NVR-based systems can incorporate wired and wireless security cameras. DVR systems also have fewer flexible mounting options because coaxial wire routing can be challenging in confined spaces, and each camera requires a power outlet.

What is the Difference between DVR and NVR?

If you're new to security monitoring and video cameras, one of the first things you'll learn is the difference between DVRs and NVRs. This is a popular topic for newcomers who want to know what elements they need to buy to set up their system. While both devices serve comparable functions, there are several critical differences to consider before determining the best for your needs.

So, let us dive into the difference between DVR and NVR cameras:

Basis of differentiation DVR NVR
Connectivity DVRs link to CCTV cameras instantly and store camera footage on a hard drive. 

NVRs, unlike DVRs, are not directly connected to CCTV cameras. They instead acquire camera footage from the cameras via a data connection.
Ease of use DVRs are usually relatively simple to operate and include many options that enable you to personalize your system. 

To be effective, NVRs necessitate a greater level of technical understanding.

Furthermore, specific customers may have difficulty configuring the system due to sophisticated network configurations.  
Storage DVR systems save the pictures on a hard drive directly linked to the DVR, eliminating the need for an external data connection or service to view the captured film. 

NVR solutions allow you to save video footage on a central database or in the cloud, providing far more storage options.
Cameras DVR converts a digital stream into an analog version for recording on coaxial lines. This has the advantage of being compatible with modern CCTV cameras.

DVRs have locked systems and cannot be used with third-party cameras.

As NVRs use IP cameras, digital data is recorded straight into hard drives. This results in higher video quality because it is not transformed from one format to another before being captured.
NVRs have open systems that work with third-party cameras.  
Transmission DVRs use coaxial wires. They are usually used for high video cameras.

  These cables are less expensive, but their intricate construction might be challenging.

NVRs use Ethernet wires. They are extensively employed in camera systems that can record high-resolution audio and video.
They are simple to set up and maintain and enable a secure link between cameras and NVRs.  
Special hardware DVRs necessitate using an external device and keyboard to configure the system and make modifications, which can be cumbersome for some users.

Furthermore, DVR systems frequently require a unique connection for each camera, which consumes bandwidth and hinders performance.

As NVR systems have a built-in network that can be reached from any mobile or desktop device with an internet connection, they do not require any specific hardware to watch recorded footage.

Compatibility DVRs are incompatible with other devices and can be challenging to operate.

NVRs are more versatile than other sorts of devices, such as phones and tablets, which makes them easier to use.
Video quality DVRs often produce lower-quality recordings and have a restricted storage capacity.

NVRs have the capability of recording in high definition and storing footage for extended periods.


A variety of things determine security cameras. First, you must assess any present wiring and be prepared to replace it if necessary. You'll probably go with a DVR system if money is a concern. Finally, consider who will need to view the system and when they would need to do so.

The NVR system is ideal for individuals looking for modern security and surveillance systems for their business. NVR is the best-preferred alternative due to its flexibility, innovativeness, image quality or data resolution, audio availability, and endless surveillance capabilities. NVR systems typically provide:

  • More excellent picture quality.

  • Quicker setup.

  • Greater flexibility.

  • Native audio capabilities for all cameras with microphones.

So, now's the time to end the "NVR vs. DVR debate". Instead, get in touch with Tekcart, one of Australia's most trustworthy electronic stores, and get the best security camera for yourself!