Are you looking to install a new camera security system to protect your personal and business property and perhaps prevent a crime before it happens? Well, if that’s the case, allow us to welcome you to the world of security cameras and video surveillance systems.
In this article, we’ll discuss the security system installation process and everything that it might entail. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Security systems comprise of a few basic components, which include security cameras, cabling and wiring required for data and power transmission, and a network video record recorder. Additionally, you’ll need physical storage to store all the surveillance footage.
And while all of this might sound complex — and it can be — surveillance doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s what you need to know about the components.
Security cameras are the most crucial component of your security system, as they’re charged with recording everything that happens on and around your property (depending on the setup). The recorded footage is transmitted to video recorders that store it or show it on displays and smartphones.
Your choice of cameras is determined by your specific requirements, budget, and use case. Ask yourself whether 1080p resolution is sufficient, and do you need cameras with night vision capabilities? What about the field of vision, or would you need a PTZ camera? You should focus on these factors when deciding which security cameras to use in your security system.
Cabling and wiring mostly depend on your camera choice. For example, most commercial security cameras require structured cabling and wiring for power delivery to the camera and footage data transmission to the server or Network Video Recorder. When it comes to performance, there’s nothing better than a surveillance system running on an adequate wiring architecture.
Most modern systems use IP cameras, which use Cat5E and Cat6 ethernet cables, which can transfer a large amount of footage data at very high speeds and often over distances of up to 300ft. Of course, greater distances can be easily achieved, but they require the use of Ethernet and Power Switches which can also power IP cameras.
Wireless cameras are the third option which, while convenient and easy to install, still require a power source. Additionally, they aren’t as reliable as previously mentioned types due to potential signal losses, which puts the camera out of commission. Admittedly, the manufacturers compensate for these shortcomings with batteries, ample internal storage, and cloud capabilities.
Video recorders usually come in two forms: DVRs and NVRs. DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder, and it’s usually a part of older systems that still use coaxial cables. NVRs are used in IP camera systems; as more modern devices, they typically allow you to record and store videos on hard drives, snap images, and transmit them to your PC or smartphone for live and recorded viewing.
The size of the video footage storage would actually depend on the size of your security system and several other factors, like whether you’re continuously recording or if your recording is triggered by the cameras’ motion sensors. Generally speaking, a 12-camera system with continuous recording would require at least 8TB of storage to archive 30 days’ worth of 1080p footage.
Cloud storage is usually more oriented towards home systems, and as such, they offer lower archival capabilities. Additionally, most of them have subscription-based cloud storage, which could end up costing you more than a one-time security system installation done by a professional service.
Well, the installation process actually depends on the type of security system you want to implement. Most homeowners who want to see their front door can get by with a single wireless dome security camera or a smart-enabled device, such as Ring Doorbell Elite.
These types of devices can be installed by the homeowners themselves, the retailer that sold them the hardware (they usually offer installation services), or a local company that does CCTV installations.
For larger installations on personal and small business properties, IP camera systems usually offer the most in terms of price and performance. For larger enterprises and businesses where surveillance is paramount, PTZ cameras — which can also connect via the Cat5e or Cat6 ethernet cable — are the best choice, backed up with plenty of storage.
Unfortunately, full-scale systems, like domestic or business installations, require structured wiring, which is best left to professional services.
Security systems are complex, and the installation process might vary significantly depending on the scale of your CCTV system. For example, wireless cameras usually just rely on a power source, while IP CCTV systems require structured wiring, which might imply contractual work.