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 also add a remote management system.
There are many types of cameras to choose from. The main types include:
Box: One of the most commonly used camera types. These are practical and cost-effective with minimal features.
Dome: These also have minimal features, but they have a compact, discreet shape and are well suited for dirty environments, like kitchens or warehouses.
Pan tilt zoom: These cameras feature pan-tilt-zoom capability, which allows the camera to 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 an NVR and DVR record video captured by your surveillance cameras. The difference is how those systems process video and which cameras they are paired with.
DVRs are used primarily with analog cameras; they are always a wired system and process video data at 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 a wired or wireless system.
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, and NVRs offer more features and customization options.
What main features should I look for in a video surveillance system?
Look for a storage solution that works for you, whether that is DVR, NVR, cloud or hybrid, and high-definition cameras that offer easy control and allow you to easily review footage.
Most cameras come with features like night vision, PTZ capability, a wide-angle lens, motion detection with alerts and weatherproofing. Determine which features are necessary for your business.
You should also look for an easy management solution, whether it's a mobile app or sophisticated software. Most midlevel surveillance systems come with an app that you download on a smart device that allows you to control your cameras and review footage.
What types of businesses could benefit from video surveillance systems?
Any business that is looking to protect its assets and prevent theft or fraud can benefit from implementing a video surveillance system. Often, the mere presence of cameras can be enough to deter thieves or vandals.
Which is better? Wired or wireless security cameras?
Neither system outperforms the other, but there are certain benefits one system may offer over another, depending on your needs. Wired video surveillance systems tend to be more reliable, but can be clunky and difficult to use with modern technology. Wireless systems are easier to install and come with user-friendly software.
How does a surveillance system help improve a business's safety and security?
A video surveillance system can provide a deterrent to intruders just by being placed in a visible location. And if your business is broken into or experiences another type of incident, a system can provide invaluable information. Video surveillance captures evidence and provides the peace of mind of knowing that you can see what’s going on in your business at any time.
Some systems automatically alert emergency responders if an incident is detected.
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 business and off-street windows, above a back door or garage (if applicable), and in the basement or storage room. Try to avoid placing cameras behind glass due to glare that will distort images.
What should you ask your security camera installer?
As you compare various installers, inquire about internet access requirements, recording time and ability, and the warranty length on camera parts and labor. Additionally, ask the installer for references or sample work before you hire them.
Do you need Wi-Fi for security cameras?
Typically, yes, for wireless security cameras, you will need Wi-Fi, though some cameras are battery-powered. Internet protocol cameras connect directly to an IP network to send and receive image data. These cameras require an internet connection, but your ability to monitor and control them is improved, you can easily access footage for playback, and you receive notifications whenever cameras detect movement.
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?
There are several things you can do to protect your security footage from hackers. You should:
- Choose a router with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or WPA 2 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 the service plan you choose . Some plans allow you to store footage indefinitely; other plans automatically delete footage after a certain period of time, usually anywhere 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, and 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.