Burglaries, break-ins and employee theft can be real headaches for you as small store owners.
With security camera systems for your small business, you will be able to protect your properties better and even catch the intruders and thieves in the act.
So, how to choose the best security cameras for small business that fit your needs?
Here's a shortcut for you: a detailed guide with top factors to consider when buying commercial video surveillance systems for 2020, editor's top pick and methods to DIY wireless security systems for small stores.
If you are a newbie to security camera systems for small business, it is important for you to know their different parts and figure out what to look for before buying. If you are not, skip to part 2 and find our top pick with detailed reviews.
Part 1. Different Parts of Security Systems for Small Business
A security camera system for small business mainly includes three basic parts: multiple CCTV cameras, a DVR or NVR and a monitor. With the chart below, you will be able to understand better about each part of a commercial CCTV system.
|What's Included in a Security Camera System for Small Business|
|Security cameras||Video recorder||Monitor|
|Analog cameras, PoE IP cameras, WiFi security cameras or battery-powered security cameras||SD card, DVRs/ NVRs, FTP server, Cloud, NAS||TV, Computer monitors|
|Capture images & record videos||Store footages & manage security cameras (DVRs/NVRs only)||Deliver real-time images|
Note that most vendors don't sell monitors in their CCTV camera systems sets. If you are planning to install security camera systems for your small shops, you may purchase a monitor or TV on your own.
Part 2. Choosing the Best Security Camera Systems for Small Shops
To make wise choices on the best security camera systems for small business, you may take the following guide into account.
Step 1. Figure out which type of small store security systems you need.
A retail security report (PDF file) shows that two major sources of retail inventory shrinkage are employee theft and customer theft. And for small stores, spots that are of high risk of losing inventory include cash registers, doors and windows of your warehouses.
To protect your property, you may set up security camera systems for your small business at the risky spots to tackle with and prevent both internal and external theft. Just walk around your property and confirm how many security cameras you will need to apply.
Also, it is recommended to figure out the network and cables in your stores, restaurants or companies. If you prefer easier configuration, a whole set of CCTV systems with NVRs will be your ideal options.
In case of blind areas and spots that are hard to route cables, you as small business owners may choose wireless security cameras for small stores like Reolink Argus 2. Such standalone IP cameras are more flexible to use since they don't need any adapters and cables to receive power supply.
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Moreover, these battery-powered security cameras are smaller in shape which makes the best hidden security cameras for small business. By using multiple wire-free IP cameras together, you are able to DIY a WiFi security system for your own small stores.
Step 2. Plan your budget for small shop security camera systems.
With basic research on your stores, you may have a basic understanding of the security systems for small business that you are going to install.
Below is a price list of small stores security camera systems. Also, you may check this post out for more price info.
|DVR Security System||$99 – $800|
|NVR Security System||$120 – $1300|
|4 Channel Security Camera System||$120 – $800|
|8 Channel Security Camera System||$215 – $1500|
|16 Channel Security Camera System||$400 – $2000|
|32 Channel Security Camera System||$700 – $3000|
|Wide Angle Security Camera||$20 – $300|
|PTZ Security Camera||$70 – $600|
As the chart shows, 16-channel and 32-channel security camera systems for small offices are less affordable. In fact, there are two cheaper options that can cover large areas as well: wide angle security cameras or PTZ security cameras.
Wide angle cameras with fixed lens enjoy fields of view of 80°-180° while PTZ security cameras with pan-and-tilt enjoy 360° fields of view, leaving no blind areas.
Step 3. Take a closer look at the customer service.
When choosing security systems, many may barely care about customer services. However, these services are of vital importance for your small stores.
Some top-rated security camera brands offer comprehensive services include money back guarantee within certain days, a long warranty period and also responsive customer support. With such services, you won't have to be worried if there are any glitches on your small business surveillance systems.
In this section, we will test one of 2020's best security camera systems for small business, Reolink RLK8-410B4, and offer the corresponding reviews for your reference. If you have any new ideas about the reviews, feel free to share them in the comment below!
What's Included in This Security Camera System for Small Business
This security system for small stores includes an 8-channel PoE NVR, 4 RLC-410 PoE security cameras and a series of network cables and a power adapter for NVR. Every part is neatly packed in the box as the infographic shows.
Detailed Reviews of Best CCTV Camera Systems for Small Business
Below is a detailed review on Reolink RLK8-410B4 based on its image quality, configuration, storage capacity and other aspects that you care about the most.
|Price||$439.99 (4MP version)/$479.99 (5MP version)|
|Resolution||Super HD 4MP/5MP|
|Night vision||Up to 100 feet|
|Security Camera Usage||Both indoor & outdoor (IP66)|
|Storage capacity||Pre-installed 2TB HDD for 24/7 recording|
|Intelligent alerts||Email photos or 30-second videos, push notifications, NVR buzzer|
|Working Temperature||Standard*: -10°C~ + 45°C (14°F~113°F) for the NVR & -10°C ~+55°C (14°F~131°F) for the security cameras|
|Configuration||Plug & play|
|App & Client||Reolink Mobile App & Client|
|Customer Service||30-day money back guarantee, 2-year limited warranty & 24/7 responsive customer support|
*Note: In fact, small store security systems can operate in much higher and lower temperatures than the standard one. Check this post for a clear explanation & clever tips to make your systems survive the extreme cold weather.
Pros: This security camera systems for small business offer high-quality video performance for both day and night. The large storage capacity, easy configuration and reliable App and Client also make it a great contender among its counterparts.
Cons: It is a wired system and only works with security cameras from the same brands.
Verdict: With the affordable price and the desirable features like the extra clear videos and the easy configuration, this CCTV camera system is very recommendable to you who are looking for small shop security solutions.
8-Channel PoE Security System
4 pcs 5MP/4MP Security Cameras; 2TB HDD 8-Channel NVR for 24/7 Reliable Recording; Plug & Play; 2 Network Solutions.
Here is a video sample shared by a Reolink user, showing two suspected fuel thieves caught in the act with the IP camera system.
Several top media also launch overall reviews on this small business security camera system for 2020. For your reference, we have cited some of their views below:
"The Reolink NVR is a surprisingly good CCTV kit for the money. You get a no-frills NVR which does the basics right, 4 good quality IP cameras, an easy setup process, and the benefit of free firmware updates for life. We especially liked the high quality videos the cameras can produce.
"I have to say that we've been pleasantly surprised at how well this system functions and what this system offers. Beyond this, there is a warranty, support, and the contents of the package include everything you need to get started and last a long time with this security system. I definitely recommend the REOLINK RLK8-410B4 Security System.
How to Set Up the Reolink RLK8-410B4 Security System
Step 1. Choose places to install security cameras and figure out the network and cables in your stores.
Step 2. Install security cameras and install the NVR at the central point of those cameras.
If you do not want drill holes on the wall, learn how to run cables in advance!
Step 3. Connect security cameras to the NVR and connect the NVR to power.
Step 4. Connect the NVR to a monitor screen.
Then all the CCTV footage will be recorded to the NVR automatically. Also, by adding your security cameras to Reolink's application, you are able to access the security systems for small business remotely for live viewing and video playback.
Aside from selecting the best security camera systems for small business, you may also take a closer look at the following factors listed below to learn how to get more out of the video surveillance systems installed at your offices.
Factor 1. Renting or Buying Security Camera Systems for Small Business
The cost of the best security camera systems for small stores may place a large financial burden on you.
A solution is to rent security camera systems from reliable vendors. They offer you appealing deals on the commercial grade IP camera systems that they agent and also installation and maintenance service.
It sounds great but you need to think twice for the four reasons listed below:
#1. Signing a contract to rent a security camera system for small business will be a great expenditure in the long run. For example, a 4-channel IP camera system is priced from $120 to $800 while the renting fees can be over $50 per month.
With a simple calculation, you will realize that buying CCTV systems without monthly fees & contracts is a better solution.
#2. Buying security camera systems for small shops means that you monitor stores on your own. However, if you rent one, you are exposing the footage to vendors with potential risks of videos leak and invasion of privacy.
#3. After buying a set of security camera systems for small stores without installation services, you may find it hard to ask other renting vendors to only install devices you have bought.
#4. Many security camera brands provide free firmware upgrade support and good customer service. But some renting vendors may charge extra fees for the upgrade and maintenance.
Factor 2. Team Up with Your Neighborhood
When making decisions to buy the best business security cameras or not, you can talk to your neighbors or landlords first. Maybe they are considering the same thing as well!
By composing a DIY security camera system for small business with your neighbors, you are able to reduce the financial burdens and unite others to secure your stores together.
Factor 3. Consider Privacy Issues When Using Security Systems for Your Small Stores
Though WiFi security camera systems for small business come with multiple benefits like decreasing shoplifting, they may also bring extra stress on both employees and customers and even legal issues to you.
To avoid such side effects and privacy violation, it is better for you to install wireless security systems for small business in public places, such as front doors, hallways and the other entrances rather than in break rooms.
Takeaway: Check here to learn if it is legal to install security camera systems for small offices.
Some of you may encounter issues on security camera systems for your small business like the frame rate, bandwidth and power consumption. Below are some of the possible questions and solutions.
Question 1: Which Frame Rate of CCTV Camera Systems for Small Business Should I Choose?
Frame rate refers to how much frames are comprised in one second, which is called FPS (frames per second) as well. Higher FPS means that more details are recorded in videos. Most common frame rates available are 25, 30 and 60 FPS.
Generally speaking, security camera systems with 25 or 30 FPS are enough for average small business usage.
Question 2: Can I Run Security Camera Systems for Small Business over My Primary Network?
You may worry that security camera systems for your stores will slow down the network and bring troubles to your daily work.
In fact, even without network, security camera systems for small business will capture images and record to the DVR or NVR as well.
Such systems take up bandwidth only when you access them for live viewing on your PC or mobile APP. That is to say, security systems don't take up much bandwidth in daily usage.
Question 3: Will Security Camera System for Small Shops Consume Much Power?
Speaking of power consumption, it is mostly related to the number of security cameras and video recorders that you are using.
If the systems are to monitor large areas, they will indeed consume more electricity. For average WiFi video surveillance systems for small business, they won't consume much power to work.