Your Guide to Buying an Surveillance Systems

A surveillance system is a requirement for most modern businesses and households. They are an important security measure, which should not be overlooked under any circumstances. Whether you are buying a surveillance system for domestic use or for a commercial facility, the number of choices available on the market complicate decision making. This buyer's guide will help you choose the best surveillance system.

Types Surveillance Systems

Surveillance systems can be classified on the basis of the nature of video recorder they employ:

  • Digital Video Recorders have the following characteristics:

  • Supports analog cameras

  • Has D1 resolution

  • Requires a separate BNC cable to connect to every camera

  • Difficult to upscale

  • Network Video Recorders (NVRs) have the following features:

  • Supports IP cameras,

  • Has HD resolution,

  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch can be used as a power source and also connect to IP cameras,

  • Can connect and transfer data over Wi-Fi,

  • Can be placed at any distance from the video recorder.

  • Hybrid Video Recorders

  • Supports analog and IP cameras.

  • Have all the advantages of NVRs

What Reviewers Have to Say

  • Warranty: Almost all users insist on a suitable warranty. A genuine manufacturer’s warranty is necessary to put your mind at peace with regard to replacing and repairing parts.

  • Brands: After going through thousands of surveillance system reviews, it is clear that you should stick to trusted brands to avoid any disappointment in the future.

Important Features

  • Check the type of cameras: There are two types of cameras that can be connected to a surveillance system:

    • Analog cameras:

      • Comparatively lower resolution, from .5 to 1 Megapixels

      • Compatible with digital video recorders

      • Require a separate power source

    • Internet Protocol (IP) cameras have the following features:

      • 1 to 5-megapixel resolution

      • Mobile notifications

      • Motion sensors and automatic recording

      • One-touch access to law enforcement agencies

      • Compatible with network video recorders

      • Can send data over Wi-Fi

      • IP cameras are obviously more sophisticated and expensive than analog cameras.

  • Decide on the number of cameras required: You may need more than one camera to cover all the rooms or areas that you want to keep under surveillance. Most good surveillance systems include at least four cameras and provide you with the option to add more according to your requirements.

  • Check if you want a hidden camera: You should opt for this kind of camera only if you need to gather information covertly. They are specially designed, sophisticated devices that can be mounted discreetly to avoid detection.

  • Check for visible cameras: Most people install a surveillance system to discourage unscrupulous activities. Visible cameras are most suitable for this purpose. There are at least four main models of visible cameras, amongst them being: box cameras, dome cameras, pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras, and bullet cameras.

  • Determine your use: Cameras designed specifically for outdoor use come with a rugged design to withstand inclement weather conditions. They are relatively more expensive. Some high-end cameras are designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

  • Check the lighting: You should choose a technology suitable for the amount of light available at the site where you want to install the camera. In a poorly lit area, infrared camera systems or night vision cameras would be more appropriate.

  • Check for a video recorder: Many surveillance systems rely on built-in memory cards to store data. However, the available space may not be enough in the long term. A video recorder is an optimum choice for a sophisticated surveillance system. They have built-in hard drives with large storage capacities. They come in several sizes, ranging from personal use recorders that support a single camera, to a much larger size that can support up to 16 cameras. 

Top-Rated Brands

Amcrest manufactures the most advanced remote monitoring and surveillance systems, which are affordable and easy to use. Their quality and reliable design make them a favorite amongst consumers.

Ezviz has distinguished itself with a commitment to excellence in terms of product quality and support. Their products are designed to last.

ANNKE is one of the leading manufacturers of surveillance equipment. Their products combine the best of technology with design.

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