Everything you need to know about Security Camera Systems

Best Security Camera System

Introduction

Whether you’re running a business or just trying to maintain the safety of your home, finding the best security cameras is imperative to how you function safely – when you’re at work or not.

Having the right security cameras will allow you to also maintain inventory and prevent and burglars from getting away with your goods.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of buying a security camera, the factors you should consider before purchasing a security camera, tips for choosing the best security cameras for your needs, as well as an FAQ about security cameras.

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The Benefits

Now, as we mentioned you’ll be utilizing your potential security camera either at your home or your place of business. For one of the first benefits, we’ll be taking a closer look at your residence, rather than commercial property. Some of the benefits of owning a security system for your residence includes the following:

Keeping an eye on loved ones

Your family is more important than your work (while money is great, your family is even better).

keep an eye on your family

Having a security system will allow you to monitor their safety while you’re away. Whether it’s an elderly parent or your oldest babysitting your youngest, having a system implemented within your residence will ensure a weight is lifted off of your shoulders.

Many of the security systems now allow you to monitor the feed through a phone app, whether you’re on Android or iOS. Security cameras aren’t just for the outside of your home either, as you’ll be able to put them inside your home, too, to monitor what your kids are doing or to act as a baby monitor of sorts if you want something efficient.

Amcrest-UltraHD-3-Megapixel-8CH-Network-POE-Video-Security-live-watch

 

Nanny cam

While there are more efficient nanny cams out there, basic security systems do exist for those to use within their home as nanny cams.

Whether you hide it or not, you’ll be able to watch if your nanny is doing their job and that you can trust them with your youngins’.

There are far too many scary stories out there that include a nanny not knowing a camera was there and harming the child – effectively allowing the parent or guardian to see that they are unfit for the job.

amcrest 1080p review

While this goes hand in hand with keeping an eye on your loved ones, it’s extremely important to distinguish that you can absolutely use it to monitor your baby and the activity revolving around the baby.

Many times, various security systems will have some sort of Wi-Fi built in so that when you see something you don’t like, you can take action accordingly. Many also come with the ability to detect motion and then turn on when that motion is effectively detected. Don’t want someone in a certain room? You can now monitor when they attempt to!

 

Crime deterring

You may be wondering, “how does it deter crime if crime is caught on camera already?” Simple: when MOST culprits see that there are cameras, they tend to run away as they generally aren’t smart enough to scope out their potential crime area.

Burglars checking inside

Beyond this, they see that a camera exists and don’t come prepared, making them nervous and leaving. When this happens, they see that they’ve already been caught near on camera and won’t come back, as now, there’s a possibility of the store or homeowner being ready for their arrival. Anyone with a security system implemented within their home or store is that much scarier without even stepping into view.

 

Monitor employees or what’s happening

A security system is a great way to monitor employees or activity that goes on outside of your home. Depending on what size you’re purchasing, you may be able to hide it well enough so that you’re not exposing that you’re viewing some of the activity of your neighbors on the property of your home.

Check your employees

We think it’s worth mentioning that those who are planning to monitor the activity of their employees should use a security system that they’re aware of, and not illegally hide anything – or else YOU’LL have the law suit on your hands.

 

Gathering evidence

Of course, naturally, when you’re monitoring criminal activity with your security system, you’re naturally gathering evidence. Many security systems (if not all), come with some sort of recording mechanism that allows you to send this footage right to your computer or to your smartphone.

save some evidence

When you’re able to gather high-quality evidence of your findings, you’re able to pin down the culprit or bad employee that much quicker and easier – you won’t look like the crazy person in the scenario.

Another area of “gathering evidence” could be if someone tries to make a false claim against you, another employee, or the company as a whole.

Say that a customer came in demanding that you fixed or refunded them for something they broke (or another scenario), and you politely told them your policies, to which they didn’t care to hear and made a big scene – now, they’re threatening to go over your head! But wait – you have evidence proving that you weren’t wrong, and you were following proper protocol.

Unfortunately, nowadays, it’s far too common for someone to try and “pull a fast one” on a company to potentially sue and get money. With the right security system, you don’t have to worry about this in the slightest.

 

Record maintenance

Last but surely not least, another advantage of implementing a security system within your workplace is so that you can maintain records. Maybe you have a home office that you want to utilize a security system in. Regardless, you’ll be able to see what times certain events happening, thanks to the security camera monitoring and chronicling the times of these events – you’ll have actually proved backing up your claims in regards to time and what happened.

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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Security Camera

Before we get too deep into the types of security cameras that you should look towards, and the various types in general, you should know how to keep a record of the activity that happens on the camera. Whether you just want a record of the time and that nothing happened on said days, or you KNOW there was suspicious activity in the area, you’ll want to utilize one of the following:

 

  • Hard drivesHard drive for security camera system

    The aforementioned storage method is imperative when trying to keep a long track. The built-in HDD of a security system (if they have one) doesn’t have as much space as everyone desires, and the footage must be backed up accordingly, so that the camera can begin monitoring again. When this happens, you’ll want to utilize the method of a hard drive (which can have as much space as you desire) to back up said footage.

  • The CloudThe cloud

    You know how your iPhone has the cloud, a virtual server that you’re able to back up everything on? The same can happen for the footage in your security camera. You can pay to store important footage elsewhere, where no one can destroy it. You won’t have to worry about the culprit potentially finding your footage and trying to destroy it, as it’s saved away, password protected in a secret cloud.

  • Memory cards4gb memory card no brand

    While not the most effective, there are some security cameras that have systems in which you’re able to store away the footage on a memory card of sorts. While it’s not the most effective, and you’ll be swapping cards on a pretty regular basis, this can be the more affordable option. We say this because you can find memory cards somewhat cheap, but if you’re someone who monitors constantly, you’ll probably be spending more on memory cards than you would on an external hard drive – save up and buy a storage option that’s worth your while.

 

Other Important factors

There are other factors you should consider besides storage options, and one of them is the weatherproof aspect.

icon png weatherproof

While generally, security systems that are to be used outdoors should generally be weather or water proof, some aren’t, which is a good reason they come with some sort of protection like a dome. While the dome can be waterproof, the actual camera is not; however, there are some basic ones that are meant for outdoor usage and have an IP rating.

While we aren’t talking about the Internet Protocol acronym of this, IP for outdoor cameras stands for “ingress protection”.

ingress protection table

The aforementioned is a type of rating system for cameras that determine how well said cameras able to rest damage from water and dust when placed outdoors. Typically, when you look at a rating, like IP66, the first number you see in that sequence stands for the solo rating against a solid like hail or dust. The second number in that rating is the number that describes the resistance against liquids of sorts like water and rain. A rating of IP66 means it’s extremely powerful in resistant water and it’s resistant against dust from getting into the door – aka “dust-tight”.

 

While many instances require some sort of motion ranged camera, we believe that fixed cameras as much more cost efficient. If you’re looking to monitor your home or your commercial property, the cheaper option is the fixed motion. Although, you may want to splurge and purchase something that has a wide range of motion, like PTZ cameras that are able to pan, tilt, and zoom so that you can catch the license plate number of someone super fishy.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Surveillance Camera for Your Needs

Before we head off into our reviews of various security camera systems, you’ll want to know the different types and how one may serve you better than the other. There are five basic types of cameras you’ll see most often when searching for the best security system. The aforementioned includes the following:

 

Different types of cameras

– Bullet camera

bullet camera without brand

You may have seen this camera the most, as it’s the old familiar camera that’s cylindrical in shape that are used virtually everywhere. While some of them are inexpensive and that’s why so many people have them, they are also effective. Appearing like a lipstick tube, there are also some that are as robust and large as a can of soda.

Those that know exactly the area they want to monitor, and not just a wide area, should utilize this style of camera, as they can be mounted easily and then left to do their thing – monitoring. Bullet cameras are great for indoor and outdoor usage, and you shouldn’t be wary of where you place.

While it’s out in the open and the potential culprit can see this camera, it can also act as a placeholder for security, as they’ll get scared that there are cameras. Being the most affordable CCTV cameras, they are also quite universal in their usage.

Beyond being inexpensive, they’re one of the easiest to install and begin using. There are some that also comes with night vision of sorts while being able to be mounted anywhere, whether it’s on a ceiling or wall.

Because of the utilization of the sun visor on bullet camera systems, you won’t have to worry about glare getting in the way of monitoring the potentially harmful activity that’s going on in your residence or in your commercial facility.

 

– Dome camera

dome camera no brand

Besides a bullet camera, you may have seen a dome camera the most. They’re quite common in a variety of facilities, and are typically mounted on the ceiling. Whether you’ve seen them at the local supermarket, or another facility, you’re able to remotely control these to zoom, pan, and tilt, depending on the model you’ve chosen.

There are plenty of advantages to using a dome camera over a bullet camera, and one of them is that you’re able to move it from the safety of your security monitoring area.

Whether it’s from your phone or an office where you have security setup, you’ll be able to take a closer look at someone – potentially criminal activity – without putting yourself in the danger entirely. There are a ton of other reasons that you should utilize dome cameras, some of which the diversity and variety that dome cameras have.

While they’re generally dome, they do come in a variety of sizes and various shapes. Also known as an IP dome camera, or a type of analog dome camera, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the IR night vision, and even the zooming, panning, and tilting features we just spoke of.

Of course, these aren’t the only features you can make the most of, as there are thermal sensors, and motion sensors that you can utilize with these styles of cameras. While they have mobile, moveable, and fixed domes, the housing on the outside (the actual dome) is easy to blend into the surroundings of the user.

Being practical in application, as well as practical in terms of security on your premises, you’re also able to view the area in a wide angle view, as they can be used as a panoramic style of surveillance camera. Many of them are quite low profile, allowing the idea of a camera to slip into the back of the mind of a criminal – ensuring that you’re catching them on camera.

The more discreet, the better, as they won’t even notice “big brother” is watching their every criminal move.

Last but not least, the installation of a dome camera is quite simple, and you won’t have to call in a professional – although it’s an option for those who REALLY don’t understand or have time.

Dome cameras aren’t wired either, and you won’t have to deal with wiring as they utilize batteries.

Efficient and low in terms of battery utilization, you won’t have to replace the batteries for quite some time, and you won’t need an electrician to come in.

 

– Live streaming cameras

live streaming camera

While generally speaking, you can have a security camera and watch it live from your seat in your home, but if you’re someone who wants to be able to output this live stream somewhere, you’ll want to make usage of a live streaming camera.

Whether you’re monitoring your friends or broadcasting your party, this is more so not a style of security camera, and more a style of “let’s broadcast to people”. While they aren’t meant to store hundreds of hours of content that you can look back on, you’re able to utilize this style of camera for more fun, non-criminal activity purposes.

Beyond this, they are much more discreet than your average security camera, so if you want to keep an eye on things remotely while you’re on vacation or work, you’ll want to invest in the style of camera.

 

– Hidden cameras 

hidden camera scale

Well, we’ve covered the basic security cameras for commercial businesses or those who want to seriously monitor their home (or mansion), there comes a time where we inevitably talk about the hidden cameras.

Whether you’re trying to catch someone that’s not up to any good of any sort, and you don’t want them to know they’re watched – whether illegal in your state or not – hidden cameras exist for you to utilize.

Most of these cameras have the appearance of another practical item, so that they don’t look like a hidden camera, and that they aren’t at risk of being found somewhere when the potential culprit is snooping. Some of these cameras look like practical objects like an iPhone charger, a plant, or something else.

 

– Wireless cameras

wireless camera without brand

Last but not least, if you want something that’s wireless and wireless only, you’ll want a plug and play style that we’re about to discuss.

While many styles of security cameras are wireless, there are a specific set of security cameras that are directly wireless to ensure that they can be integrated into normal areas of the home. You won’t have to risk not catching anyone because you weren’t able to place the camera in that area.

Wireless cameras are able to be utilized much easier, and have better placement than those that are not or those that have to be mounted and wired through the wall.


The Best Security Cameras Reviews

Amcrest 2-megapixel 8CH Network PoE Security System

Amcrest 2-megapixel 8CH package

Next on our list is a hefty security system from the manufacturer Amcrest. Boasting a ton of features, you’re not going to be able to keep your socks on after hearing what this system has to offer. Features of the aforementioned security system includes the forth coming:

  • Various size package options, styles of camera
  • Supports up to 6 terabytes, simultaneously manages and records
  • 2-megapixel, 30 frames per second, real-time
  • Ambarella chipset
  • Supports any ONVIF compliant IP camera
  • Plug and play setup

 

The Breakdown of the Features

The Amcrest 8-channel NVR is capable of supporting hard drives that are up to 6 terabytes, an incredibly massive amount of storage for those that require a constant string of footage being recorded.

Previously this was noted as 1 terabyte, but now you’re capable of recording 5 times more than the previous. Beyond this, you’re able to manage and record footage simultaneously, without having to stop what you’re doing and put recording on hold.

You won’t have to miss out on those moments. As if this wasn’t enough to get you to purchase, it also comes with a 2-megapixel camera that is capable of recording 30 frames per second – you won’t have any choppy or laggy-ness that could make you miss out on the most important parts of the footage.

You’re able to watch your footage in real time, thanks to the HD video quality that doesn’t have any delay of any sorts. When you have this reliable option, you won’t have to miss the culprit and can inform police accordingly – catching them with their pants down!

Beyond this, there’s a USB backup feature for those that want a bit of peace of mind. There’s a full domestic warranty that expires a year after the purchase date, and lifetime support is included automatically.

The Advantages of the Product

For those that are interested, there is motion detection, as well as dual core processing so the quality of the video playback, whether real time or seen afterward, isn’t laggy, and you can provide advanced features.

The dual processor also ensures that there are no stutters or gaps in the footage that you’re seeing, and you’re able to use with one of the ONVIF compliant IP cameras. The aforementioned include the following types (and more): Dahua, and Foscam.

The Disadvantages of the Product

There aren’t too many disadvantages to this security system, as you’re able to record simultaneously as you manage, view without lag, reap the benefits of motion detection sensors, and that much more.

If you’re looking for something that is inexpensive and is pretty basic in features, you’ll have to go with a lower end option, but we think this is worth the splurge if you’re truly interested in capturing what’s going on around your home or business.

 

RLK8-410B4 ReoLink Security System

rlk8-410b4 main features reolink

Buy on Reolink.com

First on our list is an incredible security system that boasts a ton of features and is great for those that want professional care and security over their home without paying a company for continuous security. Features of the aforementioned system include the forth coming specifications:

  • 1440p high-definition
  • 2-terabyte built in hard disk drive
  • PoE – Power Over Ethernet
  • Plug and Play
  • 4-megapixel, super HD display, clearer than standard definition
  • Motion detection sensoring, external hard drive usage available

 

The Breakdown of the Features

Providing crisp and clear quality, the ReoLink security system is one for the books. Offering quite a bit in a small package, you’re going to be able to watch and record tons of footage if you’re interested.

Beyond this, the plug and play option allows the newbies to not have to suffer through some long installation of sorts. If you’re wondering about motion detection aspects, you’ll be happy to know that there are options and settings within this system that allows you to do so.

If you want an external hard drive because the 2tb HDD that’s pre-installed isn’t enough, you can expand with an external that is up to 4 terabytes – incredible!

The Advantages of the Product

A huge advantage to owning this security system is that you never need a power adapter of a sort, and the IP camera is fantastic in quality and clarity.

The aforementioned product also comes with a number of items to help you get started with your security kit. Some of these include network cables, screws, cameras, channel station, and much more.

The above mentioned security system is also capable of recording and monitoring 24/7, as it comes pre-installed with a 2-terabyte hard drive for continuous recording. If you want to hook this up to your phone, you’re able to get the app and receive push notifications about activity that the security system has detected.

You’re able to see, save and upload images that you’ve captured from your phone, as well as videos. Beyond this, there’s a warning for you to receive via a buzzer that makes an alert sound – all right to your phone! You don’t have to worry yourself unless your home or business is truly in trouble.

Buy on Reolink.com

The Disadvantages of the Product

There aren’t really any disadvantages, but if you’re someone that’s going to need to record constantly, and doesn’t have time to watch footage that doesn’t have anything in it, you may want to look at the motion detection only options that come equipped with this security system.

Those that want to make the most out of their security system and want the most out of the storage space should utilize motion detection sensors so that you’re only watching when there’s something there for sure.

 

Zmodo PKD-DK4216 H.264

Zmodo PKD-DK4216 H.264 package

Next on our list is another reliable security system from a manufacturer that goes by the name of Zmodo. Featuring funky looking cameras and a ton of features for the “on the go” user, some of these specifications include the forthcoming:

  • 264 compression technology
  • Made viewable to those on smartphones and Internet
  • TV monitoring, BC output, PC monitoring – VGA output
  • 500GB hard drive installed
  • Support guide included

 

The Breakdown of the Features

Wanting something that allows you to view as you want or need to, rather than having you sit there the entire time watching?

Thanks to the implementation of the ZModo’s footage over the Internet, you’re able to view your own home security over your smartphone or Internet – even those that are on 3G.

Besides this, there are four different night vision cameras included, and even a 500GB hard drive that comes included. You can monitor wherever your heart desires – whether on a PC or a TV. The compression technology within this system includes H.264 compression technology, and there’s also a BNC and VGA output included within this set.

The Advantages of the Product

One of the better advantages of this product is that you’re able to use it on a phone that has slower speeds like a 3G smartphone. You don’t have to worry about choppiness or lagging due to a faster product on a slower phone.

Beyond this, you’re going to love the ability to have four cameras that each has night vision. A cheaper product in price doesn’t mean a cheaper product in quality or performance.

 

The Disadvantages of the Product

There aren’t too many disadvantages, but for those that need continuous footage and always, you’ll want to look towards finding a larger hard drive whether you find an external or one that’s a primary. There are only 500GB within this, and it’s not much for those that want continuous recording.

Those that don’t want to swap out for different storage options often will have to look somewhere to find a suitable backup option. Regardless, the performance of this Zmodo set is great, and if you’re someone that doesn’t record a ton and continuously, 500GB will suffice just fine.

 

LaView 1080P IP 4 

LaView 1080P IP 4 package

Next up on the list of reliable security systems is a system that’s manufactured by LaView. Boasting a ton of popular specifications, if you want something affordable that will save the safety of your home or business, look no further. Features include the forth coming:

  • Plug and play, built-in Power Over Ethernet
  • Watch the cameras in full 1080P with 30 IR LEDs
  • Free mobile app that you can watch your footage at anywhere you want
  • Features wide dynamic range
  • 3D DNR for spec removal in night vision, sharper images and playback

 

The Breakdown of the Features

Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this security system: you’re going to be able to monitor beautiful and crisp 6-megapixel quality at a 1080p resolution, while reaping the benefits of the dome style of security camera.

There are cables included and even plug and play ease of use options for those that aren’t too tech savvy. You’re able to watch your video footage in night vision that allows for seeing up to 100 feet away from each camera.

 

The Advantages of the Product

One of our favorite advantages of this security system is that you’re able to remove specs in night vision that aren’t clear. In doing so, you can rule out a variety of things if something happens and when you’re monitoring; although, we don’t suggest trying to use this for reliable ghost footage to those ghost hunters out there looking to create YouTube videos.

Beyond this, there’s a great mobile app so that you can watch where you want, whether you’re on a phone, tablet, Mac or PC. Included in the contents of this package is a cat5 cable, four different cameras, a 2terabyte hard disk drive, and more.

 

The Disadvantages of the Product

If you’re not a fan of the dome camera, and want something else, you may not want this security system as the aforementioned system comes with not one, but four dome cameras.

Although, we have to say that the plug and play aspect of this security system is phenomenal for those that aren’t super tech savvy, but want something reliable.

 

GW Security Inc. 8CH NVR 

GW Security Inc. 8CH NVR package

Last on our list is a reliable security system set from GW Security that boasts quite a few features and a high-resolution viewing experience. Some of these features include:

  • 2 bullet and 2 dome cameras
  • PoE IP Camera
  • 5-megapixel, 1920p resolution
  • Weatherproof, varifocal zoom

 

The Breakdown of the Features

Featuring varifocal zoom on the weatherproof IP cameras, you’re able to utilize the crisp and clear images that support any ONVIF IP cameras.

Beyond this, you’re able to install simple and with ease, without stressing yourself out. There’s also a 2 terabyte hard drive included, as well as a warranty that lasts a year with lifetime support.

 

The Advantages of the Product

An advantage of this product is the quality itself – being higher than many on this list. With 5-megapixels and a 1920p quality, you’re able to have crisp and clear images sent right back to you.

Beyond this, you’re able to choose from a 2 camera set, or something as high as 24 cameras for those that have a lot of ground to cover.

 

The Disadvantages of the Product

If you’re not a fan of dome cameras or bullet cameras and want a system that has one style of camera, you’re thankfully able to choose that in the checkout options. You’re able to choose strictly bullet, or a combination of both when you purchase.

 

The Final Verdict – Our Personal Choice

It’s that time where we send you off with a “good luck” in hopes you find the best security cameras for your needs.

If you’re still stuck on what you should get, and have no clue, you should try the Amcrest 2-megapixel Network Power Over Ethernet Video Security System.

With a ton of features boasted, and an incomparable quality, you’re going to be receiving the highest home security system (or commercial business security system) that the market has to offer. Between weatherproof IP cameras, night vision for up to 98 feet, and a pre-installed HDD that features 1 terabyte of space, you’re going to have everything you need to get started; all for a great price, too!

 

Security Cameras F.A.Q.

There are a ton of questions you may have unanswered, and thankfully, we’ll try to know as many out of the park as we can. First things first:

Do all security systems come with sound?

Unfortunately, not all do, but there are some that come with one way sound, and two-way sound depending on your usage.

If you’re trying to find a camera that captures the outside audio, and doesn’t act as a 2-way, you’ll want one that just has one-way audio.

If you’re looking for something that has 2-way audio, you’re probably looking for a different kind of camera that lets you monitor who’s asking to get into a gated area.

There are some cheaper options that don’t have audio at all, and there are some that have a microphone built into the actual camera as if they are a webcam of sorts.

What network features should I look for?

Before taking the plunge and purchasing a security system, you’ll want to ensure that you’re looking for a security system that has the whole package.

There are systems that come featured with a ton of cameras, an HDD or DVR of sorts, a control system, and more. There are other features that you should ultimately look for, which include the following:

 

  • Playback from multiple cameras
  • A remote that’s wireless
  • Android and Apple compatible for remote monitoring and remote control – literally
  • Alerts for motion detection whether to your email or sent as a text message
  • Privacy masking for sensitive areas of the home – like a bathroom, locker room, etc.

 

The more features you want, the more likely you are to spend a bit more. Get ready to splurge if you want the highest of the high, and the latest technology, as unfortunately, privacy and stability doesn’t come cheap.