Hard drives play the most crucial role in the security devices. Imagine any security camera without a storage device. I know you can not even imagine.
In this blog I have tried to elaborate some important aspects of hard drives. I have come across a lot of people asking various questions about hard drive security cameras that I also answered properly here.
Lastly, I have shared my best recommendations and reviews about hard drives for security cameras which are mostly used in security cameras with DVR while others are with NVR recording devices.
According to me, hard drives in a Surveillance system are for recording a huge bulk of data.
The hard drive storage security cameras are best for offices, courts, super marts and schools where security is the main concern.
So, let us get straight into the main topics to know each and every aspect related to these hard drives that are important for every security camera buyer.
Daniel Kim (Security Expert)
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- 1 Overview to Security cameras' hard drives
- 2 Comparison table of the top 5 Security camera hard drives
- 3 Types of hard drives
- 4 What role do hard drives play in security cameras
- 5 Why should we prefer security camera’s hard disk drive
- 6 Difference between a computer hard disk drive and surveillance hard drive
- 7 Factors to check before buying a hard drive for your Security camera system
- 8 Important Tips for hard disk drive security cameras
- 9 Best 5 Security cameras hard drives
- 9.1 Seagate constellation 2 TB Surveillance Hard drive
- 9.2 Western digital security camera hard disk drive
- 9.3 HGST ultra star hard disk drive
- 9.4 WL spy camera hard drive
- 9.5 Seagate Skyhawk hard drive
- 10 Conclusion
Overview to Security cameras' hard drives
Hard disks are an integral component of a number of devices now a days. These are the storage point for every essential detail.
In computers these are working as their souls same goes for the surveillance systems, how would you be providing and recording any evidences without an apt data writer and reader?
Hard drives are meant to be an integral part of every reliable wired security system.
Have you ever come across a damaged computer saying hard disk failure? Whenever your computer’s hard disk fails there comes a black screen which means your device is unable to show anything.
Security systems has to perform a 24/7 duty. Its performance counts on its power and recording capacity.
In wired security systems electricity would fulfill the power demand but how will you manage the storage, data reading and writing prerequisites?
This pivotal role would be played by the hard drives installed in your Dvr/NVR.
The form of the hard disks can vary, but generally they are in the form of a rotating device with a rigid and stiff plate, the plate would rotate.
The performance of a hard disk depends upon its rotation per minute.
Security devices and systems require a different kind of hard disk drive. Which are more fast, reliable and capable of working for the longer run.
It is always suggested to have a surveillance hard drive for your surveillance and security system.
Comparison table of the top 5 Security camera hard drives
In a hurry?
If you want to finalize your decision quickly then you can compare and decide from the top 5 hard drives for surveillance system comparison chart, which are also reviewed in the later section below.
For a more accurate and wise decision and for proper understanding,
Types of hard drives
Generally hard disks are divided into two categories. They all are for the same purpose that is storing data.
1- Hard disk drive
These are the most common type of hard disks. It is made up of a nonmagnetic material. A thin film of magnetic material is coated over this disk.
The data is stored in the forms of magnetic bits. Whenever the disk rotates the readers read the data according to the arrangement of the magnetic bits.
Hard disks are known for formatting data in different packets of data. In advanced hard disks the data is in the forms of blocks.
These blocks are reliable because each packet of data is placed with respect to time.
2- Solid state hard drives
These are not physical drives. These drives store data in the form of flash memory. Which means that these are also reliable storage devices.
Even without power loss the devices can store the data for an unlimited period. The SSD drives can work without mechanical support.
Unlike hard disk drives they are not designed with any arm to read the magnetically stored data.
That is why they do not require extra power to work, these hard drives are reliable for smaller devices. Specifically, those which work with battery.
The only issue that might arise is the replacement of data, when some information is missed or accidently deleted it is not placed at the previous place in SSDs.
What role do hard drives play in security cameras
Here are the major roles that hard drives play in surveillance systems.
Non stop recording
Security cameras which have got hard drives installed in their DVR/NVR systems can record 24/7 without stopping.
Specially those hard disk drives which are designed for surveillance purposes can work without stopping.
If you opt for a surveillance hard disk drive then you will not be in any kind of slow recording or no recording.
Surveillance hard disk drives can work 24/7, on the other hand if you choose to use the PC hard disk drive you can be in real trouble.
PC hard disk drives only work for 8 hours a day their mean time failure is different from the surveillance hard drives. They can not work continuously.
Same goes for any other mechanical or electronic device you might be thinking to use with your security camera’s DVR system.
Unlimited storage for your security camera
Your hard disk drive, once installed does not need to be removed or changed. You can use the same hard disk drive for decades if your security cameras are that reliable.
In some cases, you might need to format your hard disk rive which would only take 20 minutes if you are a slow person, or even 10.
But after formatting these you can easily relax for more than two months.
On the other hand, if it is with loop recording format then it is similar to a free cloud storage package. You will be doing nothing at all for retrieving the storage space.
Lastly, the video compression plays a very huge role for limiting the occupied and used space. These codecs help the user in storing maximum data in their hard disk drives.
Long term use
Surveillance hard disk drives are with longer lives. Unlike normal hard disk drive which come with 45000 hours life time, also known as power on hours.
Surveillance hard disk drives are with a double or sometimes triple power on hours capacity. Which means that it can last longer than any other storage device.
Fast data writing
Your security cameras work on two principles, either they continuously record or if you have configured their settings then they are likely to record when there will be a slight motion, this recording needs to be very fast.
Only hard drives are swift and fast for recording that moment very precisely.
Hard disk drives can not only store a bulk of your data recorded in your security camera but they can also do it faster than other storage devices.
Fast reading for live footage
Many times, people complain that their security cameras recording is not available for live view.
This can happen when your storage device is not an efficient one, or if you have got a wire free security camera then the internet connection can be the culprit.
Hard disk with greater rotational per minute capacity reads the recorded data with more speed. This way the live footage is readily available.
Why should we prefer security camera’s hard disk drive
Preferring security camera hard disk drive might sound a bit old fashioned and outdated but it is just a myth.
Hard drives are never outdated when you intend to store a big amount of data and many reasons that are mentioned below.
1- Easily available
Hard disk drive security cameras are the most common type of CCTV security cameras. In market the hard disk drives are easily available.
You do not have visit many shops, every hardware shop around you have got hard disk drives.
2- The Storage
The most crucial aspect in any security system is storage. Hard drives can store more than you think. In advanced devices they can store more than 20 TB.
Generally, security cameras are with 1 TB which is enough if the format is MPEG and the videos are recorded in compressed forms.
3- Long life
Hard disks will not be worn out easily, have you ever heard that your old friend found out your childhood pictures which you thought are lost now?
That data would probably be retrieved form hard disks. Old computers and laptops might be worn out but as long as their hard drives are working you can get your pictures, videos and files back.
Unlike other storage formats the hard disk drives are very stubborn. Your data would not escape anywhere. Flash and USBs sometimes get corrupt and you end up in a complete data loss.
Here, even if your device stops working your data would be secured and you can transfer it to some other devices as well.
5- Secured from hacking
Once you have installed a hard disk drive in your DVR or NVR system, you re no longer liable of hacking. Your data is not free and open.
No one can access it by nay means. In case of advanced cameras people think that remote control and configuration are making the data open and accessible, but let me clear it, it is an absolute myth.
Because your data gets stored in hard drives not on cloud storage.
6- Strong connections
Most of the hard disk drive security cameras work through wired internet connections. Wireless internet connections are risky when the weather conditions are not favorable.
Here, your internet connection is as fast as you know it, there will be no fluctuations nor any kind of inconvenience.
7- Variable codecs and format
In hard disks drive there are some specific codecs for video containers. They are designed to compress and decompress the videos.
In a hard disk drive even if your camera’s lens is not of high quality your codecs and video containers such as MP4 will automatically convert recorded videos in a high definition video.
Difference between a computer hard disk drive and surveillance hard drive
Whenever we talk about hard drive the first device which would come in our minds will be computers and laptops.
That is why most of us assume that computer hard drives are similar to surveillance hard disk drives.
Difference in working potential
In reality, both look same and both are for storing data. Their functions and the situations in which they are meant to use require a bit change for potent and optimized functioning.
For instance, computer hard disk drives are not designed to work 24/7. On the other hand, surveillance hard disk drives are designed to work 24/7 and 365 days an year. They work without stopping.
Management and association
Computer/normal hard disk drives are not designed to work within a DVR/NVR, while surveillance / security hard drives are specifically designed to work within a DVR.
Surveillance hard drives can be formatted according to user’s requirement.
A computer or normal hard disk drive would get data only from a particular computer or laptop, the entire data is read and written for a single source and channel.
On the other hand, if we see the surveillance systems, they constitute a number of security cameras generally more than four.
Thus, the hard disk drive gets information from more than one source. That is why it is designed a bit different.
In surveillance system you ought to get an external hard disk which is then installed in your DVR recorder.
In case of normal hard disk drives, you do not have to get a separate hard disk, the drives are already installed in your computers/laptops.
That is why whenever the hard disk gets filled you can replace it with a new one, somehow the storage system of your surveillance and security system gets unlimited and secured.
Factors to check before buying a hard drive for your Security camera system
Like every other thing related to your security you must never forget about the evidence providing factory of it, which is its storage device.
Hard disk drives perform various function other than just recording your data.
It has got a strong impact on the performance of your surveillance system that is why you need to be a meticulous person while purchasing a hard disk drive.
Rotation per minute (RPM)
This can be one of the biggest advantage or a risk of buying a hard disk drive. You are supposed to buy only those hard disk drives which have got the highest RPM.
This can range from 5300 RPM to more.
So, this is essential for proper functioning of your hard disk drives. The rotation decides either your disk would be recording at a high speed or not.
Load bearing capacity
A surveillance system is designed with more than four cameras normally, this means that the hard disk drive you ought to use for a better and reliable performance needs to be an apt one.
You can have a look at the description, or read some reviews about the working capacity of your hard disk drive, if it can work with more than 4 cameras then you must opt for it otherwise look for something better.
Power on hour capacity
No one would be buying a new surveillance system for his huge business set up after every year. They plan for more than 8 or 10 years.
That is why you must make sure that your hard disk drive can work for more than 7 years at least.
These hard disk drives must be capable of working 24/7, without even stopping for a second.
This can be determined by knowing the mean time between failure of your hard disk drive.
Important Tips for hard disk drive security cameras
Here are some useful tips for security cameras that use Hard drives as their storage option.
- Firstly, never ever try to use your normal hard disk drive for your surveillance system for it would not do any good.
Secondly, if you feel like doing so, then consult some technician forts, he would change the functions and formats of your hard disk according to your need.
- The hard disk alone would not be enough, if your security camera system has got more than 8 cameras then use a DVR system for an effective and reliable surveillance.
- If you have got a huge surveillance network then the internet connection must be IP, unlike CCTV security cameras you must get a NVR system.
- If you are using a security camera without IP system then try to upgrade it as soon as possible.
Because with the passage of time IP security cameras are becoming more common.
- While buying a hard disk security camera make sure that the hard disk is designed with some reliable video containers. This will make your security system even more reliable.
- Internet connections can be an issue but as these are wired security cameras so you do not have to worry about it.
However, it is advised to use modern technologies. Internet is necessary If you have not got someone to monitor your surveillance footages.
- Always use wire holders while mounting a hard disk wired security camera, otherwise there can be risk of irreparable damage.
- Make sure that you have placed your DVR or NVR systems at a safe place, if in case of any accident your Hard disk drive gets damaged it would not be able to store anything and ultimately your entire security system would need a new DVR/NVR System.
Best 5 Security cameras hard drives
So, finally, below are our top 5 picks of the hard drives that you can use for your security cameras data storage and are the great performing hard drives ever.
Seagate constellation 2 TB Surveillance Hard drive
Works with almost all types of security cameras.
It is a smaller drive with a larger capacity. This means that you can use this device for storing data even for your DVR or cctv cameras.
It is adjustable in various recorders for storing data. You can take it out for shifting the data to some other devices such as your computer.
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However, you might need a connector for connecting your drive to the computer. I once ordered it and initially I was confused if it would be suitable for my hard wired security camera system but the customer care service is fabulous.
You can return the device in case of any insecurity.
It has got a very reliable reading and writing capacity, the 3.5” drive has got 1.2 million MTBF.
I have noticed its effectiveness. My DVR recorder did not heat up the drive does not need excessive power, you can save your electricity bill.
The material used is highly reliable it automatically cools down. It is a self encrypting device which means that there is no need of over writing.
Many times, a heated up DVR slows down and the video recording is not done with the greatest accuracy. The video clips are not recorded and written on the hard drives.
This is a wonder in that regard. You can trust the quality and all your data would be safely recorded at this disk.
When I called the customer care before writing this blog, they claimed about the testified reliability. they have tested this hard drive for PCs, DVRs, CCTV cameras and other data readers and recorders.
If in case you do not feel satisfy with the recording, writing or reading capacity of the drive then you can return it and get your money back.
Like I have always mentioned a company which does not offer a warranty, does not trust the product itself. Warranty is a sign of confidence.
Secondly, there can be a lot of issues with your device as well. So, having a warranty keeps you safe from losing your money.
The hard disk drive is checked in every kind of device. You must not worry about the performance. a testified claim has also been written on their website.
This mean that they are sure about their product’s capabilities. Thus, the consumers must take a deep breath and give this drive a try for it has been tested for your surety.
The package has got all the relevant accessories in it. Which means you would not be going out or calling a professional for fixing the hard disk in your DVR or other systems.
This will be making your drive more accurately installed into your recording system.
It is what makes this a preferable hard disk drive. You must be relaxed after having it. your time and energy would not be expended on any kind of extra activity.
2 TB storage which does not need any kind of over writing.
You can relax for up to two months with this storage device it can record for two security cameras 24/7 for a longer period of 2 months.
The 2 TB storage has got 64 MB, cache recording as well. It is not that much less than 100 MB.
This means that your device would not stop recording and you can relax.
The more the rotation the more reading capability. As long as your hard disk is recording data, it must be capable of reading it with the same potential.
Otherwise, retrieving data can be very difficult task. Your device, must be a fast and efficient one, and this hard disk is a reliable one.
The format of the hard disk is designed in a way that each device will be suitable for the hard disk drive. This can be used with a DVR, NVR OR PC as well.
Western digital security camera hard disk drive
3 years limited warranty.
You can have various storage devices for your surveillance systems but still you would be wishing to have more.
This can only be possible if your hard disk drive is designed with proper attention to the surveillance aspect.
WD hard disk drive has been specially designed for surveillance systems. It has got the all frame technology which ensures the complete frame recording while compressing the unnecessary parts.
I have been using this hard disk for my cctv camera system. which I recently sold out because I had to shift into a rented place.
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I was operating almost 18 cameras with this.
My neighbors wanted me to connect their security cameras with my system, they were oldies so, they wanted me to help them out.
The booklet which came with the hard disk drive claimed that it can work for almost 64 cameras at a time.
64 cameras are very huge, I mean you can use this security system for stadiums, zoos, public places and halls.
Where there is a need of large security system. If your DVR is installed with a western digital hard disk you do not have to worry about the storage.
It can work 24/7, many hard drives heat up when there is a load of recordings and sometimes stop writing some parts of the videos or there can be issue sin compressing the videos in the required codecs.
This company also offers a surveillance system which is designed according to this hard disk drive. If you want a super efficient security system you can look for that too, it will prove as a very reliable outdoor security system.
I have not tried it myself but have asked different clients to whom I referred this system so far, they are satisfied with the recommended security system.
The hard disk drive is designed in such a way that it can continuously work for 24/7 without ever stopping.
This means that the rotation speed of the hard disk drive for reading and writing data and ultimately recording your security cameras videos is manifolds.
It would not stop recording because of any technical issues, the hard disk drive is a special drive which will support your security system for 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
This is something we all were not expecting. Many a times a hard drive is not able to support more than 12 security cameras at a time.
Which means that you can attach as much cameras as you want.
If you are planning for an indoor security system then this security and surveillance system hard disk drive is more than enough, you cannot get enough of it ever like a 16 channel security camera system.
On the other had if you want it for an outdoor surveillance then you would not be going out after every week for getting a usb to store the recorded data.
This technology helps the hard disk in managing to get a clear video quality. Your compression and codecs will not disturb the picture quality ever.
Many times, people complain about the poor video quality which is only because of lost frames. If you would be having this hard disk drive then there will be no such issues, each frame will be in its original quality.
It depends very much on the resolution, angle lens and image sensors of your security cameras like it will be too great with cameras like 4k security cameras.
This hard drive is a special one. The manufacturing company has designed it while keeping in view the needs of a surveillance system.
It has got many variants from 1 TB to 12 TB storage capacity, along with it, this disk has got compressing systems, thus the system would be free to record as much as you want.
Also, a 500 Gb variant is also available for small consumers.
The only limitation is the formatting, you might need to save the recorded videos then you will be needing a USB to save your data in or you can get some help from an external hard disk this depends upon the number of security cameras used in a system.
HGST ultra star hard disk drive
3 TB storage.
If you are looking for a security system hard disk drive in an affordable range then this can be one. You can rely on it as it has got some loud features with it.
The only thing that might trouble you is the manufacturing style, the designs are not very common and you will find a number of compartments while installing this device. Not to worry at all they are only a unique stile.
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All these hard disk drives are already tested. I would recommend these if you are thinking of a high speed data reading and writing. You would not be expending your time in the system to respond.
The device can work with various recorders, you can use it for your PC or if you are planning to have to for your cctv system then it can perform equally well.
The hard disk drive is designed to handle pressures, it will not stop if you will add up more than 8 security cameras in your system in fact it will work like a pro.
I did not have it but I once installed it in my office’s security system, it worked without any issues. However, as I have mentioned earlier the design puzzled me a bit.
Rotation per minute decides how much would your hard disk drive will be recording and how easily your recorded data will be accessible.
Thus, higher the RPM more reliable the hard disk drive.
This means that you can be a laxed consumer no worries if your security system is recording 24/7 or you have set it for motion detection recording system.
The device would record without any interference. You would not be buying some extra hard disk drive or would not be spending time in formatting every now and then, but only once in a blue moon.
The company has tested the compatibility and reliability of the hard disk drive. It would not disappoint you. You can have it for your various recording systems.
It is a flexible hard disk drive. Which means that if you want to install the same hard disk drive in your PC you can easily do that.
Similarly, it will be equally good with NVR, DVR and cctv recording devices.
You can record as much as you want, the disk would not stop. The designs and technology will be a reliable support.
It will not get heat up which can be the major cause of interrupted video clips.
You can return this device whenever you feel any kind of issue or problem. It would be a rare event but if in case there happens to be a mishap you can get your money back.
WL spy camera hard drive
Excellent mechanical speed.
I have installed this at my client’s school. This is incredible in many aspects. The technology is super cool. It would make you happy when you will experience the speed of the drive.
You will not be spending a single extra minute it is super fast. You have no idea, I was not expecting this much speed but luckily I found it working like a pro.
These can save your data with a very reliable format.
You can use more than one of the same hard disk drive, my client had order two and once a drive is filled he uses the second one, while formatting and clearing the last one.
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When I first used it on my client’s computer I thought it is aa wrecked object and I would be returning it the next moment, I noticed the warranty it said one year.
I told her about my returning plan but suddenly I noticed the speed and efficiency, the recorded videos which come up after 15 minutes were very clear.
For clearing my doubts, I touched the hard disk area, it was not very warm, nor was it completely cold, but not that warm which we might think as a destruction for our systems.
I started to think about the main issue, then I came up with the facts. It is because of the processing speed.
You might hear very loud sounds and would probably think of it as a poor disk but it is only because of the speed.
You can opt for these hard disk drives if you are planning to have a multiple recording devices. You can use these with NVR, NAS, DVR or even desktop.
The manufacturing company has taken care of each use of hard disk drive and ahs managed to prepare it which can perform equally good for every recording device.
This makes it super cool, you can record your data as fast as possible similarly you can check it in the same way. It would not stop under high pressure.
The speed of reading and writing data in the hard disk drive is the ultimate power o a disk. 7200 ROTATION PER MINUTE is more than enough but it also depends upon your security system.
You can return the device in case of any mishap, your money would be refunded. It shows that the sellers or resellers trust their product very much.
It can record non stop, you would not be missing a single moment. Your DVR or NVR will be supported by a reliable hard disk drive.
No issues of interruption, no missed clips will make your surveillance system an incompetent system in any way.
Along with smooth recording it allows you to record as much as you want. A 3 TB hard disk drive can support a 12 PC security system for more than a month.
Which means that you will not be doing the formatting process every now and then you will be living a relaxed and secured life.
Seagate Skyhawk hard drive
Many storage capacity available.
This hard disk drive is specially designed for surveillance purposes. I have installed it in a NVR system.
The device was already a very efficient one but the hard disk drive had been a great improvement.
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The manufacturers have claimed it to be effective. It can record for a continuous time. It will not stop, 24/7 surveillance system can be operated with it without any kind of interruption.
You can attach almost 60 cameras to your device if you are using this hard disk drive, you can also increase the space up to 14 TB. This makes it a very reliable product.
This hard disk drive can record for more than 150 TB per year, you only need to format it after two months if you have got more than 4 security cameras in your system.
The best places where you can sue this security and surveillance hard disk drive is business, office and public places where you need to record 24/7.
It is designed for your DVR, NVR or other recording devices, its size is very compatible. Which will fit in every regular recording device.
This is really big, many hard disk drives are with lower rotational speed, which can be a serious problem when you need to get speedy recordings.
This hard disk drive would not disappoint you in any ways. You can read your recorded data whenever you want without any kind of issues.
You can record as much data as you want without worrying about the storage. formatting is not a point now, you will not be getting your data in other disks.
Your hard disk will make your life an easy and secured one as you get so many options of storage capacity in this Hard drive.
Like every other trusted brand it has also got a reliable and effective customer support policy. You can return your hard disk drive.
These sensors are for supporting multiple drives devices, you can have it in other devices such as raids etc.
This means that you are free to optimize your security system whenever you want.
Hard disk drives are the ultimate storage points, other sources for storing your video recordings for your surveillance system are temporary, they can be removed quite easily and their storage capacity is very low as compared to hard disk drive.
Hard disk drive security cameras are another integrated form of wired security cameras, they are generally known as CCTV and analog security systems.
These security cameras are best to use for higher storage capacity. Institutions and offices need such big surveillance system, these systems are a bit expensive.
You cannot mount each wired, hard disk drive security system alone. Even if you are an expert. I also need some assistance sometimes from the installing guide or from any of my helper for tightening some nuts and bolts.
However, these are the most efficient and reliable type of security cameras so far because hard disks are known for storing data even for ages.
Lastly, while purchasing a hard disk drive you must make sure that it is apt in recording the data, it would not get heat up when there will be a load. This can be analyzed by reading some technical details or reviews if you are buying it online.
The only hard drive which I recommend if I had to choose among these five is the Western digital hard drive, because it is specially designed for surveillance systems.
Others are also good, but it can handle more than 60 cameras which make it special and got many storage capacity variants which is very great for almost all type of consumers.
Explore more amazing Surveillance system hard drives & cams here
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- AllFrame technology for better performance
- 【8CH 5MP DVR + 4Pcs 5MP Waterproof camera】This is 8CH 5MP Digital video recorder + 4Pcs 5MP(2592*1944) IP66 Waterproof Camera System, You can add four more extra cameras(You can search: B07PYN423J on amazon)Meet your need to monitor more areas.Get a sharp and crisp image day or night with the camera's automatic IR-cut filter. Up to 64ft night vision. Aluminum weatherproof housing, cameras can be used indoors and outdoors
- 【Plug & Play and Remote Viewing】Real Plug and play, Only a single Ethernet cable is needed to transmit video signal and power the camera simultaneously, thus you don't need to use a separate power adapter to plug each camera into the nearby power supply. Safe, stable and reliable power transmission is always guaranteed. Easy to get live streaming or playback videos via free XMeye App on iOS & Android devices, through free XMeye Client software on Windows or Mac.
- Western Digital
- 500GB AV Drive
Similarly, if you are opting for hard disks then make sure that they are equipped with the latest technology because it would annoy you a bit when the current available systems would not go hand in hand with your analog system.
Your need and situational analysis is the best guide. Only you can decide which product will be best for you.
I have suggested and elaborated some aspects now its time for you to see and choose the best among them.
Last update on 2019-10-13 at 16:59