How to Compare Remote Video Surveillance Solutions
Commercial remote video surveillance solutions can provide an excellent layer of security for your business. But most small businesses use their cameras as a reactive tool: after an incident occurs, the security recordings are used for investigation and evidence.
Modern remote video surveillance systems let you take a more active role in your business security. Mobile applications can be installed on mobile devices to inform the user when there's a security alert. Furthermore, these apps enable the user to monitor their cameras from anywhere at any time, freeing them from having to pay someone to monitor their facilities or at the very least allowing them to take a more hands on approach to security.
By alerting you when there's a problem, no matter where you are, these systems can help you head off trouble before it starts.
What to look for in a remote video surveillance solution
Like any CCTV system, a remote video surveillance system needs remote security cameras, wiring, and a recording device - typically a digital video recorder (DVR). In a system designed to support remote access, the DVR usually provides that remote access capability, although it may require additional hardware.
Here are some important questions to ask when evaluating remote video surveillance solutions:
- Can you remotely watch both live feeds and recorded video?
- Does the system keep recording while you're reviewing old footage
- Is there sufficient security included to prevent unauthorized viewers?
- Can the system be set to record only when it detects motion?
- What types of alerts are available? (Some remote surveillance systems can send a text message or call your cell phone if power goes out or a remote security camera is disconnected.)
- Does it support wireless components? (Wireless video surveillance can increase security by removing the weak link - wires that can be cut.)
Choosing a dealer is essential
The overall success of a remote video monitoring system can hinge on the expertise of the installers who set it up. A top notch installation requires understanding of lighting, optics, wiring, security, and more. In other words, your experience connecting your home TV to the DVD player doesn't mean you should set up your business' video surveillance system!
As with most business purchases, there are several key factors to look for when choosing a video surveillance vendor:
- Experience- Experience in the industry is a significant indicator of a vendor's reliability and long-term stability. Specific experience with businesses of your size and in your industry is also desirable: large warehouses may present problems that a vendor who specializes in small retail shops may not be prepared to address. Make sure they're done remote video surveillance work, as well.
- Installation- Qualified installers won't take a one-size-fits all approach to your installation: they'll analyze your needs and make sure you get a system that is customized to your location and business needs. They'll also be able to tackle any issues with wireless video surveillance devices.
- Demonstrations- Nothing will give you a better sense of how well a video surveillance system achieves your goals than seeing it in action. Some vendors conduct on-site demos, which gives you the added advantage of being able to see how the hardware looks in your location. Others will invite you to try the system in their office or set up an online demo.
A remote solution is not the cheapest solution, but you are paying for the convenience. Most remotely viewable systems do not come with their own remote monitors; or at least monitors one can use at home, on the road, or anywhere outside of a 300 foot radius of their facilities. Be aware you will have to have a smartphone or tablet to become truly mobile. There are more than a few operating systems operating on these devices, so make sure your solution comes with tech support, just in case.
Pricing on these kits can run from $75 (for two cameras and a wireless receiver, no DVR or monitor) to $2,000 for four cameras, DVR, and software (app). So needless to say there is some wriggle room for those needing a solid solution on a budget.Ready to Compare Video Surveillance Systems Price Quotes?