The best microSD cards for Home Assistant

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The Raspberry Pi is possibly the most popular device to run Home Assistant on. It’s small, cheap and won’t make a noticeable dent in your electricity bill. But, the Raspberry Pi has one pitfall: it uses microSD cards for storage. And microSD cards aren’t very reliable at the best of times. This issue only gets exacerbated when they’re constantly being written to. Unfortunately, that is exactly what Home Assistant does.

While there are ways of using external SSDs, they can be quite complicated to set up. And despite all of the downsides of using microSD cards, I still recommend them for absolute beginners. Once you’re well into the project you can start to think about other storage solutions.

So, what is one to do in this situation? My recommendation is to choose the most suitable microSD card to get started. If your microSD fails within a few weeks you will quickly become disheartened and might give up on the project. By choosing the right microSD card for the job it should last you a lot longer. Even if the recommended cards cost more than the alternatives they will save you money over time simply by not dying.

microSD card failure prevention

There are ways to limit the amount of data your Home Assistant writes to your microSD card. Limiting those writes is the easiest way of extending the lifetime of your microSD card. The most frequent writes come from the recorder, which stores details from all of your sensors and switches etc. in Home Assistant’s database. It is recommended to set the commit_interval of Home Assistant’s recorder to a higher value (at least 30 seconds) when using a microSD card. Making that one adjustment should extend your microSD card’s lifetime considerably.

Disaster prevention

Any microSD will most likely fail at some point. I won’t be recommending any unbreakable microSD cards simply because there aren’t any. So you don’t have to start from scratch every time a microSD card fails, make sure you frequently back up your Home Assistant configuration. There are multiple ways of doing this and you can even have your backups automatically uploaded to Google Drive and other cloud storage providers. Setting up an automated backup task should be one of the first things you do after installing Home Assistant. It is never too early to start backing up your Home Assistant configuration.

Avoid these microSD cards

Don’t go for any microSD cards which don’t come from a reliable source. Buying cheap microSD cards from a Chinese store might seem like a good offer but you have no way of knowing their legitimacy until you have them in your hands. To add to that, selling fake microSD cards, which will report a larger storage capacity than they actually have, is a common scam.

When buying microSD cards from an unreputable source you will probably also have issues when it comes to replacing the card under warranty. Save yourself the headache and only go with well-known and recommended brands.

The best microSD cards for Home Assistant

The Home Assistant developers recommend you go with an Application Class 2 rated microSD card. While that is certainly good advice I’d take it one step further and buy an endurance microSD card. Endurance microSD cards are built to be used in dashcams and security cameras. Just like Home Assistant, those cameras are constantly writing to the microSD card.

When it comes to size I’d go with at least a 32 GB microSD card. However, that is the absolute minimum I can recommend. If your budget allows it, go with a 128 GB or larger card to future-proof your setup. Below you will find a list of the best microSD cards for Home Assistant. The endurance numbers are for the 128 GB version of each microSD card.

Samsung PRO Endurance

Use: Video monitoring

Write: Up to 30MB/s

Read: Up to 100MB/s

Endurance: Up to 43,800 hours of 4K and Full HD recording and playback

Other features: Shockproof, waterproof, temperature proof, x-ray proof, and magnetic proof

Warranty: 5-year limited warranty

SanDisk MAX Endurance

Use: Video monitoring

Write: Up to 40MB/s

Read: Up to 100MB/s

Endurance: Up to 60,000 hours (over 13 years) of Full HD video; total hours less for 4K

Other features: Temperature proof, waterproof, shockproof, and x-ray proof

Warranty: 10-year limited manufacturer warranty

Western Digital WD Purple

Use: Video monitoring

Write: Up to 60MB/s

Read: Up to 100MB/s

Endurance: Up to 64 TBW (terabytes written)

Other features: Supports -25°C to 85°C temperature range; humidity resistant

Warranty: 3-year limited manufacturer warranty

SanDisk High Endurance

Use: Video monitoring

Write: Up to 40MB/s

Read: Up to 100MB/s

Endurance: Up to 10,000 hours of Full HD

Other features: Temperature proof, waterproof, shockproof, and x-ray proof

Warranty: 2-year manufacturer warranty

Kingston High Endurance

Use: Video monitoring

Write: Up to 45MB/s

Read: Up to 95MB/s

Endurance: Up to 20, 000 hours of Full HD

Other features: Shockproof, waterproof, temperature proof, and protected from x-rays

Warranty: 2-two year warranty

About Liam Alexander Colman

Liam Alexander Colman has been using Home Assistant for various projects for quite some time. What started of with a Raspberry Pi quickly became three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-blown server. I now use Unraid as my operating system and Home Assistant happily runs in a Docker container. My personal setup includes many Zigbee devices as well as integrations with existing products such as my Android TV box. Read on to find out more on how I got started with Home Assistant.

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