Security camera systems can be beneficial to small businesses by acting as a visual deterrent for shoplifters and thieves, serving as extra eyes over employees, and by keeping a record of the activities going on inside and around the perimeter of the business. Camera systems may even reduce insurance premiums and help with insurance claims by bearing witness to exactly what happened in the event of a slip, fall, or robbery. Security cameras can also benefit a business that operates out of a home, where the owner has a lot of merchandise coming in and out of their residence.
There are so many camera systems on the market, and each has its pros and cons. We’ve rounded up some of the best security cameras for small businesses in 2019.
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 2 SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEM
The Arlo Pro 2 is also our pick for the best home security camera because it offers so much in such a small camera. With full weather sealing, you can use the camera indoors or outdoors. The Arlo Pro 2 can be battery operated using the rechargeable battery, or you can plug it into an outlet indoors. For a small business, the cameras can be plugged in and used for continuous video recording (with a CVR plan).
Each camera also has 1080p resolution, sound detection, motion detection with wide-angle PIR sensors, and three-second look-back that allows you to capture activity a few seconds before a triggered event. Arlo’s base station allows you to have a local backup via external USB drive, and it also includes a siren. You can set the 100-decibel smart siren to go off in response to motion or sound detection, and you can also trigger the alarm remotely. Activity zones let you trigger motion and sound detection in specific indoor areas (when the camera is plugged in), while two-way audio lets you communicate through the cameras’ built-in speakers.
If you decide you want to keep some of the cameras on battery power, you can swap the batteries and charge them separately to keep the cameras constantly running. The Arlo Pro 2 camera system is an ideal solution for boutique-type businesses or for home businesses.
NIGHT OWL C20X EIGHT CHANNEL DVR CAMERA SYSTEM
Small businesses are always worried about their bottom line, and this Night Owl system is relatively affordable given what it provides. You get eight wired cameras, plus a DVR with a 1TB hard drive pre-installed for local storage. There’s also automatic overwrite so the HDD always continues to record.
You can use the cameras indoors or outdoors, and they have 1080p resolution with 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, and you can control the light remotely as well.
This Night Owl system is a CCTV DVR system, 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.
REOLINK EIGHT CHANNEL POE VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM
This Reolink system supports up to eight cameras, with four cameras capable 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, it offers small businesses solid protection and a few bells and whistles at a very reasonable price point.
LOREX 16-CHANNEL 3TB NR9163 NVR SYSTEM
Lorex has a variety of security camera solutions for businesses, and one great option for small businesses is the NR9163. It’s much pricier than some of the other options on this list, but the price might just be worth it considering everything it offers. The NR9163 is an NVR system with 16 built-in power over Ethernet ports. The 3TB system (expandable up to 16TB) is extremely flexible, giving you the option to choose how many cameras you want to include (up to 16).
The resolution is outstanding, recording up to 8MP (3,840 × 2,160) in real time and producing a beautiful 4K picture on your screen (via HDMI or VGA), while remote zoom and a motorized varifocal artificial intelligence lens adjusts itself and optimizes your field of view. Rapid recap allows you to compile a short video summary of the day’s events, while live viewing, playback, snapshots, and recording are available on the app. You can also get notifications when the cameras detect motion.
Setup is easy, as the system automatically detects compatible IP cameras on the network. The Lorex 16-channel NVR system has an IP67-weatherproof rating and an IK10 vandal-proof rating, making it ideal for small brick-and-mortar businesses in cities, or for businesses that see a lot of traffic.
AMAZON CLOUD CAM
The Cloud Cam is designed to be a home security camera, so it includes the features you expect in a home security camera like two-way audio, night vision, person detection, zones, and notifications when it detects motion.
The Cloud Cam allows for up to 10 cameras and 30 days of cloud storage on the highest tier plan ($20 per month). The Cloud Cam can also be also a great choice for home businesses that ship and receive products (like retail websites that work with Amazon) because it works in tandem with Amazon Key. If you live in an eligible city and you have the requirements for Amazon Key set up, you can watch your deliveries happen live or see a clip of them later. You can also get notified when the Cam detects activity at your front door.