A camera based security system can provide an extra layer of safety for your business or home. Even preventing one incident can likely pay for the cost of a system. There there are many options when choosing a video security system, and keeping the price affordable can be tough. Video security system installation costs average from $650 to over $3000 and there are many choices that could impact you later. Camera type (bullet, dome, 4k, nightvision), camera location (indoor, outdoor), wiring (interior, exterior), video storage space (local, cloud), security monitoring are just some of the considerations. Camect works with many professional installers and home security enthusiasts and we have compiled some of their tips for helping you get the most value for your money over the long term.
1. Choose You Own IP Camera that Uses Open Standards
Being able to choose your own camera allows you to choose from many different camera features. Hi-definition 4k, PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom), better night vision, or other features gives you much more versatility for your security system. But the ability to choose also allows you to select camera that are priced reasonably. Security camera prices can range from $30 to over $500 depending on the brand, features, and quality. Choosing IP (Internet Protocol) cameras that support open standards like ONVIF or RTSP can make sure that you are not locked in to a proprietary camera systems. Being able to choose from many IP camera brands allows you to find great deals and get the features that you are looking for.
2. Use POE (Power Over Ethernet) When You Can
POE (Power Over Ethernet) allows you to power the camera and transfer video over one cable. This can reduce costs by minimizing the installation complexity that can incur from adding in separate power supply cables for each camera. POE cables can also be purchased in pre-cut lengths to save time and effort if you decide to install yourself.
In some cases you may have to use Wifi cameras if its not practical to run POE cable to the area. However, Wifi cameras still need to be powered. Wifi cameras also use up internet bandwidth that can cost if you have limitations in your area
3. Use a Smart Camera Hub That is Open to Multiple Camera Brands
A smart camera hub is a computer that can connect to all your cameras, store video, and use artificial intelligence to analyze the video. Hubs can save money by allowing you to connect to multiple camera brands and uses open standards. This versatility ensures you are not locked in to high priced upgrades. Most Smart camera hubs also do not rely on cloud services to store your video. Using cloud services for video storage can get expensive. Additionally some smart camera hubs can be purchased without a subscription. This costs a bit more upfront, but saves you from paying monthly subscription fees.
4. Don’t Get Locked into A Proprietary Cloud Security Camera System
Almost all cloud security camera systems are closed systems. That means you have to buy components, additional features, and upgrades directly from that provider. This can limit your options and get costly if you want to expand your system. These systems may have low introductory prices for an initial setup, but many charge on a per camera basis (some up to $30 per month per camera). If you add more cameras then the costs add up quickly. Additional features like 4K or secure monitoring may also cost more which ads to your monthly expenses.
5. Find a Trusted Professional Installer
A trusted professional security installer can help you select the right equipment and keep the installation affordable. Security systems installed by professionals can be robust enough to last for many years which will save you expenses later. A reliable system installed right the first time can provide much more value for your money than a system that has to be repaired later.
6. Or… Install it Yourself
Installing security systems can also be done yourself. If you are handy with a drill and are ok fishing cables through spaces you can install the cable systems, attach the cameras, and connect the camera hub. You can check out some security camera installation videos to see some other DIY installations.