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The best security camera systems for small businesses

While you may not want to think about theft or damage to your business, it’s crucial to catch theft and damage if it happens. But there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Our guide to the best security camera systems for small businesses helps you pick the system that fits your budget and your business.

If you’re interested in a security camera for your home, check out our articles on the best home security cameras, the best outdoor security cameras, and the best wireless security cameras.

Arlo Pro 3 Security Camera System

The Arlo Pro 3 Security Camera System with two cams.

Arlo offers business plans that range in price from $13 to $50 per month, and these plans include between 14 and 60 days of recording history. The lowest tier plan covers up to 16 cameras, while the highest tier plan covers up to 60 cameras. However, a lot of small businesses can probably get by with one of the regular Arlo Smart plans. The Arlo Smart Premier plan is $10 per month, and it covers up to five cameras and provides up to 30 days of cloud video recording. The premier plan also provides package detection, cloud activity zones, and person, vehicle, and animal detection. The higher-level Arlo smart plans offer up to video 4K video quality (compared to 1080p for the business plans).

Arlo has several different camera options that vary in terms of their price and features. For a small business, we like the Arlo Pro 3. With full weather sealing, you can use the camera indoors or outdoors. The Arlo Pro 3 has a wire-free design with a magnetic base and charging cable for easy installation.

The Arlo Pro 3 camera includes a spotlight that can activate in response to motion, or you can trigger the spotlight manually. The Arlo 3 has color night vision, a smart siren, a 160-degree wide viewing angle, and clear two-way audio that lets you speak back and forth with patrons.

Night Owl 4K 4-Cam Camera System

The Night Owl 4K 4-Cam Camera System and DVR.

Small businesses are always worried about their bottom line, and this Night Owl system is relatively affordable, given all it provides. You get four wired 4K cameras that can work indoors or outdoors, plus a DVR with a 1TB hard drive pre-installed for local storage. The system can also be expanded up to 12 cameras for surveying a larger area.

The cams also have night vision (up to 100 feet), color boost technology to enhance the picture, and human detection to reduce false alerts. Each camera also has a motion-activated spotlight for enhanced security. Two-step verification measures also keep the video feeds secure when the cams are in use.

Keep in mind, the Night Owl security system works via CCTV DVR, and the DVR can operate without the internet. However, you need the internet for the remote access features (no monthly fees for remote viewing). The Night Owl system is a good option for small retail or service businesses, and a particularly good option for a security kiosk where the receiver can be hooked up to a TV for easy live surveillance.

Reolink Eight Channel PoE Video Surveillance System

The Reolink Eight Channel PoE Video Surveillance System.

This Reolink system supports up to eight channels, with four cameras capable of simultaneous playback. The NVR comes with a 2TB pre-installed HDD, and you can install an external hard drive for additional storage.

Each 4MP camera has night vision with a range of up to 100 feet, a built-in microphone, 1440p resolution, and motion detection with zones. You can remotely watch security footage through your Android device, iOS device, PC, or Mac.

Although this system isn’t the most advanced on the market, the Reolink Video Surveillance System offers small businesses solid protection and a few bells and whistles at a very reasonable price point.

Swann 8-cam security system

The Swann 8-cam security system and DVR.

If you’re looking for a more robust DVR system, this Swann option starts off with eight durable indoor/outdoor 1080p cams, which have sturdy mounts and can easily be angled to focus on a specific direction. Each cam has a 90-degree viewing angle, night vision support up to 100 feet, and a warning light. Heat and motion sensors can automatically trigger recordings and alerts for the system, so it doesn’t need constant monitoring. Like other DVR systems, this is a great option for security rooms, retail stores, and similar locations.

The DVR on the Swann system includes a 1TB hard drive for video storage, and allows linking to Dropbox to send clips to the cloud as well. It’s also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands and smart devices like the Echo Show series or Google Chromecast, offering a variety of ways to view videos and live feeds.

Blink Indoor Camera System

The Blink Indoor Camera System with five cameras.

If you want a super cheap option, the Blink Indoor system is worth a look, since you can usually find a five-camera system for under $300. The cameras are wire-free and run on 2 AA lithium batteries, which are supposed to last for about two years before they need to be replaced. In addition to cloud storage, the system also offers features like infrared night vision and two-way audio. The camera does include motion detection, so when the unit senses motion, the device will alert you. You can sign up for cloud storage on an unlimited number of cameras for $10 per month. The subscription plan also lets you share videos, receive discounts on future purchases, and get other features like live-view recording.  Plus, with the Blink Sync Module 2, you can save events locally.

With that many options, any small business can customize their security system and place cameras where they feel they need them the most. Blink also offers outdoor cameras for monitoring the outside of your property. The Blink Indoor system is designed for indoor use only.

Research and Buying Tips

Where do security cameras go in a small business?

For your safety and the safety of employees and customers, it’s a good idea to place cameras at entrance and exit points, as well as locations where money changes hands or where money is counted, like cash registers and safes. Additionally, some business owners like to have cameras covering outdoor areas.

What’s the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras?

Surveillance and security cameras are both used to watch over specific spaces, but surveillance cameras involve more of a passive approach, while security cameras take more of an active approach.

A person may monitor a surveillance camera, and the camera may record footage that can be watched later. Security cameras are better for real-time monitoring without someone constantly watching, as they have features like motion alerts that provide real-time feedback.

What should I look for in a security camera system for my business?

You’ll probably want a security camera system–one that includes enough cameras to cover all of the areas for which you need coverage. You’ll also want a camera system that provides good video quality, good night vision, clear two-way audio, motion detection with alerts, package detection for deliveries, and enough recording history (at an affordable cost).

Some camera systems require a subscription plan. Make sure the plan includes all of the features you need within your price range. Sometimes, the cameras won’t cost as much up front, but the subscription plan will be much more expensive. Before investing in a camera system, look at what features come with it out of the box versus which features you have to pay a monthly fee for.

Are security camera systems worth it?

Yes. Security camera systems can provide peace of mind, but they can also promote safety for customers, employees, and business owners. They may even help lower insurance costs in some cases.

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