Find the Right Video Surveillance System for your Home or Small Business

cropped-video-camera2-e1410820733915.jpgFind the Right Video Surveillance System for your Home or Small Business

My home was vandalized multiple times while I was travelling frequently for my job.  I finally had enough and decided to purchase and install a home video surveillance system.  I needed a high-definition video surveillance solution that would both record and store video as well as alert me via my smartphone whenever someone goes onto my property and approaches my home.  I wanted an affordable, yet quality home video camera solution that I could install myself for my home. While looking for right video surveillance system for my home, I found out it that is wasn’t as easy and straight forward as I expected.  In fact, I found it to be highly confusing with numerous brands, models, features, and technology choices.  In addition, I couldn’t find good quality centralized information regarding these systems that was brand agnostic.  Information was disparate and residing in various data silos.

Being the frugal nerd that I am, I conducted a ton of research both on and offline and spent a tremendous amount of hours educating myself about the various video surveillance options for my home.  I finally selected a system, completed the install and I am ultimately happy with my home video camera solution.   Several of my friends liked the system and had previously wanted one of their own but ran into the same barrage of confusing information on existing systems out there.  Therefore, I helped them select and install video surveillance systems for their homes.

I decided to create this this website to document my research findings and experience in order to help others that are may be looking for a video surveillance system for their home.  Here is a very simple to use, step-by-step configurator to help you easily find the right video surveillance system for your specific needs.

Step 1: Determine what type recording and playback device you will need (DVR vs. NVR)? 

Security camera system technology has historically been analog signal (DVR).  Fortunately, the technology has advanced to digital signal (NVR) producing a much greater resolution so you can make out faces, license plates etc.  You will find very low cost Digital Video Recorder (DVR) systems out there that are using analog cameras.  I have installed a couple of these systems and do not recommend them.  The picture resolution was horrible and faces or license plates could not be made out even at a close proximity.  I have even tried the highest resolution analog cameras with the best 960H DVR and the picture was not noticeably improvable to the human eye despite marketing positioning that 960H as “bridging the gap to HD”.  Each of the analog DVR systems we installed in homes had to be replaced with NVR systems because the DVR resolution was not adequate.  It wasn’t easy to redo these installs since the cabling is different between analog and digital so it all had to be completely redone.  The projects ended up costing more money in the long run because we tried to save a little money by going with analog. Therefore, I personally only recommend NVR to my friends and family.

  1. Digital NVR
  2. Analog DVR