Before making any major purchase or investments, business owners and chief operators usually weigh both the pros and cons not just of the technical specs, but also the long term costs, AND operational benefits.
Most NVRs/DVRs have a realistic half-life of about 3 years, and cameras usually get replaced every 5 years. Depending on where your business is in that cycle, you may be looking to replace a single element or your entire system. Here are five things you should take into account.
Some models still use on-site recording systems that store footage on DVRs or NVRs. This security method has become rather outdated in terms of efficiency and security, with great risk associated with the single-point-of-failure and complicated cabling for cameras. Other systems have begun to rely entirely on cloud storage, which can cause blank spots during service out-tages, or clog up your bandwidth.
The best scalable option on the market today are hybrid-cloud storage models that store footage both in a cloud and on the camera unit itself eliminating the failure points of both the cloud and NVR/DVR options. This model has been favored by enterprises, hospitals, and schools—all for good reason. If, for example, a security issue arises on campus, the use of a hybrid school security camera system allows security officials to go through footage within seconds and act immediately — without having to sit in a separate room rewinding and scavenging through footage.
A hybrid cloud system allows for instant remote access, but also provides a backup storage method should it be needed. For this reason and many more, businesses, campuses, enterprises, and larger establishments prefer these security systems that combine on-site and cloud-based storage.
There can be various vulnerabilities found in security systems. This is especially true if these systems are connected to the internet. While you want features such as cloud storage for your footage, you need to make sure the company you invest in takes their cybersecurity seriously.
You can find out about a company’s cybersecurity efforts by asking the right questions and doing some research. Ask the vendor if their video is fully encrypted both while idle and during transmission. Also, ask if other customers have had issues with security and how the company handled them.\
When making an investment in technology, it’s crucial that you have access to technical support in the event of a malfunction. A good security camera company provides you with 24/7 support and stays readily available to help with even the most minor concerns.
You should also have the contact information of a local service professional who the company recommends, in case you face issues you can’t handle on your own. In fact, some security system companies void their warranties if an unauthorized person works on the system. So, it’s important to get this situated before you buy.
Security cameras aren’t much use if the video footage is grainy or blurry. If your system includes outside cameras or installations in dim areas, you’ll need to find out how clear the system’s night vision is.
Aside from that, you’ll also want to make sure it’s a high-definition system so that you have little chance of your footage becoming pixelated. This can happen in recordings of fast-moving objects or in low light settings, but high-definition cameras should consistently produce high-quality, clear footage.
Cloud-based systems are notorious for bandwidth consumption, but this is actually a very easy and inexpensive fix. It’s important to find out how much data your system will use and to speak with your internet service provider about options for covering it. Bandwidth and storage are actually fairly affordable, but you’ll need to get this worked out before the system is installed.
Commercial security is nothing to take lightly. And with the many advances in technology, there’s no reason your business shouldn’t be equipped with top-of-the-line surveillance. Choose your products wisely and be sure not to base the decision solely on price.