How to Find the Right Video Surveillance System for Your Business
If you own a business, it needs security. That’s non-negotiable. Locks on entry doors, theft monitoring devices, commercial security cameras – they all serve one vital function: protecting your business’s assets.
But video surveillance systems aren’t simply designed to protect against asset loss from outside sources. They’re also designed to monitor internal activity and even help keep your staff on track.
Today’s commercial security camera systems are more intelligent and comprehensive than ever, with a wide range of useful features. From motion sensors and phone alerts to instant law enforcement contact and efficient video storage and retrieval, these systems can provide powerful monitoring and protection for any business.
But selecting the right video surveillance system isn’t always a straightforward process. Like selecting a business phone system or business internet, you’ll need to have an understanding of several factors to make the right choice.
The experts at Lighthouse Technology Solutions share what you need to know to choose a video surveillance system for your business.
Understand Your System Installation Requirements
If you own a small business and don’t need to monitor many areas, you may not require professional system installation. However, if you’re unsure how to install your cameras properly or test their functionality, it’s best to work with a professional. Improper installation puts your business at risk.
On the other hand, if your business has multiple locations, you’re implementing a complex surveillance system, or you’re updating an old system, professional installation is highly recommended.
Know Your Budget for Commercial Security Cameras
Obviously, the size of your property, the number of locations you have, and the number of cameras you require will impact the total price of your system and installation.
Other factors you’ll need to consider that influence system price include:
● The features you’d like: motion detection, video quality, analytics, etc.
● The amount of storage you need
● The length of time you’d like to store video
Monthly costs for video surveillance systems can vary widely depending on several factors. As you evaluate systems, think about your proposed budget for products and installation and how that plays into the type of products you can opt for.
Understand the Type of Cameras You Want
Video surveillance systems use two primary types of cameras: analog and internet protocol (IP).
Analog cameras are on the more traditional end of the spectrum and have been used for years; however, they don’t offer as many features as IP cameras. As a result, they’re gradually being phased out in favor of their IP counterparts.
IP cameras capture video with better resolution and offer a number of additional features like video analytics, automatic alerts, and more. While they require a larger initial investment, IP cameras are generally the better choice as they offer clearer surveillance and more robust protection.
Narrowing Down Your Needs
One of the first steps to finding the right surveillance camera is understanding your needs. Running a business requires consistency, and as a manager business owner, you can't be everywhere on your property all the time.
So, a few questions to ask include:
● Are you concerned about or experiencing missing inventory?
● Is your business located in a high crime rate area?
● Do you want to improve safety in the workplace?
● What kind of video quality do you need?
● Do you need remote or on-premise viewing access?
● Do you need a wireless or wired system?
Figure Out Features
Modern video surveillance cameras are available with a plethora of useful features and a wide range of storage capabilities.
When it comes to features, just a handful of the capabilities you can choose from include:
● Night vision
● Infrared sensors and thermal imaging
● Smart motion detection
● Pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) functionality
● Remote monitoring
● Vandal-proof and weather-proof features
The placement of your cameras plays a major role in the type of features you’ll want to opt for, so you’ll need a solid understanding of where your cameras should be installed.
● Indoor security cameras: Help keep coverage of footage inside your business and can be installed in open or discrete positions.
● Outdoor cameras: Are made to withstand the elements while still offering clear viewing. They also help with the surveillance of parking lots, outbuildings, and the exterior of your business.
If you’re unsure, consult with an expert who can help you determine appropriate camera placement for comprehensive monitoring.
Understand Your Storage Requirements
In addition to features, you’ll also need to know the type of storage you want the cameras to have, how much storage you’ll need, and how long you’d like to store footage. You can choose between NVR, DVR, and hybrid storage (HVR), depending on the type of cameras you select.
Analog cameras use DVR storage, which typically offers standard resolution — the video quality in closed-circuit TV. DVR systems are generally more difficult to scale since they require that cameras be close to the recorder for best video quality.
The recorder also features a limited number of ports for camera connections, and once those ports are occupied, another DVR is required to install additional cameras.
IP cameras, on the other hand, use NVR storage, which offers higher, 1080p resolution. They’re also easier to scale up because a network video recorder connects directly to a network. If multiple cameras are connected to the same network, they all transmit video footage to the NVR.
What about wireless cameras? Wireless cameras are IP cameras and can transmit footage to the NVR over WiFi with no proximity requirements. However, not all IP cameras and NVRs are compatible. If you’re leaning toward IP cameras, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional who can help you understand compatibility requirements.
If you’re planning to update an old system by adding IP cameras to your existing analog cameras, hybrid storage (HVR) is necessary. Hybrid video recorders run both analog and IP cameras and can help you make the gradual transition to a comprehensive IP system later on.
Our Process for Helping You Find the Right System
When you work with lighthouse technology solutions, we start by setting up a consultation to understand your monitoring needs better. And whether you are looking to improve and upgrade your current system or invest in a new one, we can find one that helps meet your budget and specifications.
From there, we will recommend a solution and connect you with a surveillance provider for the installation.
At the same time, we work with you and the provider to ensure smooth communication and system implementation while offering ongoing and on-call tech support if you have questions or experience any issues.
Need a Commercial Security Camera System?
At Lighthouse Technology Solutions, we help businesses find the best tech solutions for their unique needs and budget. From video surveillance systems and digital signage to business phone systems, business internet, cybersecurity, and more, we offer leading-edge solutions, project management, and support designed to help your business operate more efficiently.
To learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 612-345-9177, request a free quote, or send us a message with any questions, and we’ll be in touch.