What equipment do you need for a video surveillance system?
A basic video surveillance system requires at least one camera, either wired or wireless, and a way to store your video data. If you want more advanced features or have several cameras to manage, you can add a remote management system.
There are many types of cameras within the overarching categories of IP and analog. These are the main options:
Box: This is one of the most common camera types. Box cameras are practical and cost-effective, with minimal features.
Dome: These cameras also have minimal features, but they have a compact, discreet shape and are well suited for dirty environments, like kitchens or warehouses.
PTZ: These cameras have pan-tilt-zoom capability, meaning they can move and survey a wide area.
Bullet: These cameras work well in low-light environments; they require little maintenance and have a small footprint, making them ideal for small spaces.
What is the difference between NVR and DVR?
Both NVRs and DVRs record video captured by your surveillance cameras. The difference is how those systems process video and which cameras they pair with.
DVRs are used primarily with analog cameras; they are always a wired system and process video data within the recorder.
NVRs are used with IP cameras; the cameras process and encode the video data, then stream it to the NVR, which is used for storage and remote viewing. NVRs can be wired or wireless systems.
What type of storage is best?
DVRs cost less than NVR systems, but analog systems are quickly falling out of use as image quality and storage capacity for NVRs becomes more advanced.
NVR systems provide greater flexibility in scaling, applying updates, and new technology. They also offer more features and customization options.
What types of businesses could benefit from video surveillance systems?
These security systems are often associated with retail stores, banks, and other businesses with a lot of inventory or cash on premises. However, any business looking to protect its assets and prevent theft or fraud can benefit from a video surveillance system. Often, the mere presence of cameras can be enough to deter thieves (including internal ones, such as disgruntled employees) and vandals.
Which is better: wired or wireless security cameras?
Neither system outperforms the other, but one system may offer certain benefits over another, depending on your needs. Wired video surveillance systems tend to be more reliable, but they can be clunky and difficult to use with modern technology. Wireless systems are easier to install and come with user-friendly software.
How do wireless security cameras get power?
There are two ways for wireless security cameras to get power: batteries or a wireless transmitter. With a wireless transmitter, the camera will be powered as long as it is within range. Most battery-powered cameras use a lithium-ion battery, which is long-lasting and durable.
How long do the batteries last in a wireless security camera?
On average, the lifetime of a lithium-ion battery is 10 times that of a traditional lead-acid battery, which is five to 10 years.
How does a surveillance system help improve a business's safety and security?
A video surveillance system can deter intruders just by being placed in a visible location. If your business is broken into or experiences another type of incident, a surveillance system can provide valuable information.
A surveillance system can help protect your business in these events:
- Theft or burglary
- Injury or accident
Video surveillance captures evidence and provides the peace of mind that you can see what's going on in your business at any time. Some systems automatically alert emergency responders if they detect an incident.
Where is the best place to put security cameras?
This will depend on your business and which areas you feel need surveillance. Most experts recommend placing a camera above the main entrance to your building and off-street windows, above a back door or garage, and in the basement or storage room if you have one. Try to avoid placing cameras behind glass, because the glare will distort images.
What should you ask your security camera installer?
As you compare various installers, ask about internet access requirements, recording time and ability, and the warranty length on camera parts and labor. Also, ask the installer for references or sample work before you hire them.
What is the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras?
The main difference between a security camera and a surveillance camera is their purpose. A surveillance camera is there simply to surveil and capture goings-on, whereas a security camera is there to actively help protect your business, so it may include features such as intrusion alerts and motion detection.
Can you mix and match security cameras?
Yes, you can use different types of cameras in your system, as long as they are all compatible with the type of recorder you are using.
Do you need Wi-Fi for security cameras?
Typically, yes, you will need Wi-Fi for wireless security cameras, though some cameras are battery-powered. Internet Protocol cameras connect directly to an IP network to send and receive image data, so these cameras require an internet connection.
What is an IP camera?
IP, or Internet Protocol, cameras run on a digital video system that transmits data over a network. (IP cameras are also called network cameras or webcams.) An IP system works with mobile devices, making it easy for you to view your security feed anytime, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
How can you keep your video safe and secure?
You can do several things you can do to protect your security footage from hackers:
- Choose a router with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or WPA2 security, which encrypts your video data.
- Utilize your camera's built-in firewall, which monitors and controls any information that passes to and from the camera.
- Use a password on your cameras.
- Use a different password on your Wi-Fi router.
- Turn on two-factor authentication, if it's an option.
- Regularly update your camera's firmware.
How long does surveillance footage last?
How long your surveillance footage lasts depends on your provider and service plan. Some plans allow you to store footage indefinitely; others automatically delete footage after a certain period, usually between 30 and 90 days.
Which security cameras work without Wi-Fi?
There are options available if you cannot use Wi-Fi-to connect your cameras. Some providers, like Blink, offer battery-powered cameras. However, these cameras typically have limited features and capabilities.
You can also use hardwired cameras, which offer security equal to Wi-Fi cameras. The downsides of hardwired cameras are that they can be difficult to install and don't offer access to live remote footage.
What is good video image quality?
There are two main factors in security video quality: image resolution and frames per second (FPS). Resolution is the number of pixels that make up the image, and you can think of FPS as how many back-to-back still images each second of video footage contains. Generally, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality of the camera.
A security camera with a resolution of 720p to 1080p and a frame rate of 30 FPS will give you smooth, high-definition video. Anything higher than that will probably be unnecessary and take up too much storage. It doesn't have to be crystal clear, but you need the camera to produce images with recognizable details. The exact resolution will vary from camera to camera, so ask the surveillance provider if you can see a demo before choosing a camera.
What is video surveillance used for?
Businesses mainly use video surveillance to help protect their buildings and offices against theft, burglaries, and other crimes; to monitor a facility and its day-to-day operations; to protect their assets and employees; and to deter vandalism with visible cameras around the property.