How to Find a Security Camera System (And 5 to Try in 2020)
Building a small business takes serious time and commitment, and you want to protect it. When you invest in inventory, a storefront, website, e-commerce, point-of-sale solutions, and more to help your business grow, it only makes sense to invest in a great security system to secure your business.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the basic features and styles for video surveillance systems and some of the most popular brands on the market.
A Brief Guide to Security Cameras
With rapid improvements in video technology, security cameras have never been easier to install. Most now provide crystal clear images, link to your Wi-Fi, and store recent footage in the cloud, where you can safely access it at any time. Many even link to apps on your phone, meaning you can view real-time footage of your business with a tap on your phone.
Dome Cameras vs. Bullet Cameras
Dome and bullet cameras are the two most popular kinds of cameras for security systems. Bullet cameras are shaped like a bullet and protrude from their mount. Dome cameras are usually smaller, rounded and less noticeable.
Bullet cameras are often bigger, and because of this, they might feature stronger resolution, a sharper range, or better features. Dome cameras are more discreet and less noticeable by guests (or intruders). It’s really a matter of style and preference.
Features You Want in a Security Camera System
Surveillance works for any kind of building or office space, provided you pick a system with the right kind of features for your needs.
Make sure whatever security system you choose is paired with a mobile app that’s accessible on your smartphone or tablet. Most major companies provide free apps you can download to control the systems.
The added benefit is that your security system can provide you live, real-time video and two-way communication wherever you are via remote access with the app.
Depending on the size of your space and the detailed picture you require, you’ll need to make sure your security camera video is providing the highest resolution possible. Most modern systems capture video from 1080p HD to 4k ultra HD.
You’ll also want to make sure you have a DVR or hard drive system in place to store the video for future use. Some systems use cloud storage, while others require the setup of a hard disk drive (HDD) or server to maintain archives of stored footage.
The other consideration for camera quality is night vision. Make sure your system features some kind of night vision, especially if it’s outdoors. The most common uses infrared, but there are a variety of low-light night vision systems.
If you’re planning on installing a lot of cameras, make sure you’re thinking about power supply as well as placement and quality. Every camera your security system uses will require power. Be sure to check if you’ll need wire-free cameras in areas without electrical sockets. And if you go with an entirely wireless security camera system, you’ll need to be able to access your cameras regularly to replace the batteries.
5 Security Systems to Try in 2020
We’ve covered what a good security system should have. Let’s get to five security products we really like for 2020.
1. The Nest Cam Outdoor Security System
If you’re looking for an all-around reliable, effective security camera system, the Nest Cam has you covered. The Nest Cam’s Outdoor Security System provides both a clean HD video feed and the versatility of a 130-degree wide lens. Not only can you see all of your surroundings with a high level of video quality (1080p HD), but you can rotate the camera to capture almost any angle and change your field of view. The Nest Cam pairs with the Nest app, available on any smartphone, and provides automated mobile alerts.
The camera also includes night vision, a “Person Alert” that distinguishes when a human (and not your neighbor’s dog) is outside, and two-way audio to communicate — even to a mobile device. When paired with the Nest mobile app, you can use the two-way audio to communicate even when you’re away.
The weatherproof outdoor cameras will record activity from motion alerts using continuous video recording. The outdoor cameras can also be wired directly to electrical outlets, bypassing the need to constantly change batteries. And the cameras are easily installed using magnetic mounts. Often you won’t need to drill or nail any kind of mounts at all.
2. Ring Spotlight Camera
If you’re an Amazon Alexa user, Ring is your best bet for a security camera system. The Ring Spotlight provides the same 1080p HD video as the Nest and also has a very convenient installation package (the company estimates 5-10 minutes to mount the cameras and activate monitoring). Like Nest, Ring also operates with a smartphone app and can be controlled from your mobile device.
Depending on how you activate your Ring app, you can receive instant notifications for motion detection at your business. In case of an emergency, you can activate a siren remotely using the Ring mobile app or Alexa while you notify local authorities.
There’s also a two-way audio communication that can be accessed through a smartphone, and every outdoor security camera is weatherproof and equipped with night vision. And Ring’s integration with Alexa conveniently lets users access the system with just their voice.
Ring cameras also feature a variety of power options, including an optional solar panel for outdoor cameras. They can also be wired to an electrical outlet or powered by replaceable batteries.
3. Lorex Security System
If you’re looking for the best possible picture in a surveillance system or the ability to capture a wide field of view, the Lorex is your best bet. This system is popular with many retailers and businesses as it provides crystal clear images at a very high resolution. The Lorex surveillance cameras boast a 112-degree field of vision and 4K video.
Even at night, a Lorex outdoor security camera captures perfect, 4K video up to 200 feet away. And because the system connects to a network video recorder, you can store the video safely. Lorex uses the Sony Exmor image sensor, which features “back illuminated pixel technology” designed to work in very low light.
Lorex features adjustable individual “zones,” meaning you can adjust particular settings such as motion sensitivity for each area of your building and property. Lorex allows for up to four different motion trigger zones for each system. And unlike Ring or Nest, Lorex offers color night vision on all of its weatherproof outdoor security cameras. The cameras themselves are built to resist heavy weather and are finished in black, allowing them to blend in, especially at night.
4. Swann Bullet Camera
The Swann Thermal Sensor Outdoor Security Camera features a wired dome camera with a 60-inch power cable. The Swann’s dome camera features a 102-degree viewing angle and 1080p HD video, plus a motion sensor to trigger video recording and send mobile alerts to a paired smartphone or mobile app.
Along with standard night vision and weatherproof outdoor cameras, Swann has a unique True Detect sensor that spots warm objects. With adjustable settings, you can create notifications for various levels of infrared night vision alerts, including people, cars, and animals.
Swann Bullet Cameras are built to pair with Swann security systems, which can connect over Wi-Fi.
5. Arlo Pro 2
If you’re looking for an affordable, versatile security camera system, try the Arlo Pro 2. The most notable feature of the Arlo is that it pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free (and device-free) commands and controls, including activating cameras.
The weatherproof Arlo cameras provide standard 1080p HD video and two-way audio, and they pair with the Arlo mobile app on any smartphone. The cameras can also be wired directly to a standard wall outlet or run on rechargeable batteries.
Get Easy Access to Safety With the Right Security Camera System
Choosing the right security camera system should be based on your business needs, budget, and preference. First, decide how many cameras you’ll need and what quality is suitable. Do you just need a digital video recorder, or do you also want audio recording? Are you monitoring indoors or outside a property as well? If you’re outside, be sure to find weatherproof cameras with some form of night vision. And the longer or wider an area, the more cameras you’ll need — and the higher quality.
Second, make sure these fit with your budget. These systems can range from $179.99 to thousands of dollars. And finally, make sure to select a system that offers the control and access features you’re most comfortable with. The easier a system is to navigate, the more often you’ll be likely to use it.