It's a very common purchase for people to seek a smart security camera to remotely link them to their home whilst at work. Now the emphasis has shifted, with a lot more people working from home, business owners should consider a surveillance device to deter would-be thieves, protecting valuable equipment crucial for businesses to operate successfully. A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours.   

According to a recent report, police forces are having to carry out extra night patrols in empty city and town centres, as burglars target shops, pubs and other commercial premises during the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, investing in a video security system can save you and your business money – and in more than one way. In addition to preventing loss of property from inside, surveillance cameras also prevent acts of theft and vandalism by outside individuals

However, technology, improved mobile connectivity, apps, and cloud technologies has changed the security market and made it easy for anyone to set up a surveillance ecosystem with easy installation and constant round the clock, cloud monitoring. Plus, you can access footage from anywhere in the world via devices and apps – just in case you have to skip the country!

The best cameras for SMBs

Most good cameras have the much same functionality: excellent video and audio capabilities, remote access and programming, motion and sound detection, and the ability to capture still or video images and audio and save the data to the Cloud. But the burning question is, when you're trying to find a need in a haystack, what will work best for a small to medium sized business?

A robust security camera setup can aid existing security staff, and give business owners peace of mind out of hours

Now you can buy cameras that come packed with features such as integrated night vision, 1080p resolution, microSD card slot for local recording, two-way audio functionality as well as the latest latest 128bit encryption. They also have wide-angle lenses allowing users to see more of their office with a single camera, and some come with free, intelligent AI-Based motion detection. The AI gives users more choices on what is captured by the camera and when they should be alerted. Users can specify what types of motion they would like to detect, such as an intruder as opposed to a dog, an object crossing a defined boundary or into a specific area. They can also define multiple zones, alerting them immediately when movement is detected in particular areas.

Easy installation is crucial

These security cameras should also be easy enough to install and use that you don't need to fork out for expensive expert installation, and many can work with existing CCTV and CCTV DVR systems you may already have set-up. Many of the business security cameras are Wi-Fi enabled and come with their own apps, so you can view footage on your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are in the world.

It means you don't need to pay for a security team to watch the footage at all times (though if you can afford it, that won't hurt), and you can store your videos locally with an NVR on a HD, in the cloud with mydlink or do both with a hybrid NVR/cloud recorder. The apps use Rich Notifications which send a push notification with snapshot to the mobile device the moment activity is detected. Users can react immediately without the need to log into the app by accessing the camera’s live view or calling one of two pre-assigned contacts with a single tap. Any motion-triggered recordings can be saved in the cloud, or locally on a microSD card.

Indoor, Outdoor or both?

Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras

The primary distinction between indoor and outdoor security cameras is the types of external factors each camera has to be able to withstand. While both types of cameras usually come in similar styles and with comparable features, outdoor cameras need to be able to contend with all types of weather and varying light conditions.

Outdoor cameras are also more vulnerable to being tampered with, so they are typically made of more durable materials, like metal, and may be heavier or even housed in a casing in order to discourage easy removal.

Indoor cameras can be smaller, more lightweight and are usually less intrusive than bulkier outdoor cameras. Both indoor and outdoor cameras utilise features like infrared, allowing for clear pictures in low light conditions and easy transitions when there is a sudden change in light-changing automatically from colour images in bright light to black and white when it gets darker.

When doing your research, features to look out for include:

  • Wide angle lens for optimum room view or full view of the front of your property
  • Full HD 1080p at 30fps  
  • ONVIF compatible - Open Network Video Interface Forum - The forum aims to standardize how IP products within the video surveillance industry communicate with each other.
  • Night vision - look at length of the night vision - 5m is about right

Your options will depend on your budget and specific needs, but the above features are a great start when you come to buy.

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Author profile

Paul Routledge Country Manager, UK & Ireland, D-Link

As UKI&I Country Manager for D-Link Europe, Paul is responsible for managing all aspects of the UK and Ireland business unit. This includes setting annual budgets and producing a detailed annual business operating plan, ensuring all processes and resources are in place to achieve and exceed the company targets. Paul guides and monitors the team to ensure the company is delivering on plan and provides regular performance reports to Regional Management teams and the European Board of Directors.

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