Protecting your business has never felt more personal once you have experienced a break in or fire.
Your desire to protect your business assets and operations with security surveillance technology (cameras, access control and sensors) probably
will go from a WANT to a NECESSITY very quickly and especially if you experienced any loss or interruption to your business.
Going through a gut wrenching experience of making a police report this kind and hearing from the police that there is nothing they can do for you and you should file a copy of the report with your insurance claim to recover anything, you quickly came to the realization that it is all up to your to protect your business.
At this point you maybe mad, scared or downright ready to throw in the towel. You realize that you are ABSOLUTELY correct! Unfortunately crime always feels like to be on the rise, and the only choices one has have been hire a security company with manned guards or security surveillance technology (cameras, access control and sensors).
Security video cameras can provide you a 24/7 observation and noticeable presence that criminals can fear especially if you leverage newer digital IP PoE based cameras with intelligent software.
That said – if you are ready to make a decision to install a surveillance security solution you now are ready to begin
searching references and the Internet to educate yourself on all the options available.
Keep in mind a few key points.
1) The is no single source that will provide you with all the answers to your questions.
2) There are thousands of companies good and bad that will try to present and sell you parts & pieces and bundled solutions.
If it sounds too good to be true – stay away and wait until you understand your needs first, including budget and more importantly value in saving you time, grief and automates functionality correctly.
3) It can take hours of research and to start to determine your needs. This should be a solution that will grow, change over time and should be flexible enough to do so without costing you to replace frequently.
You can easily get overwhelmed with information.
To help you in your research, here is our take on some basic questions you need to be able to answer for yourself.
What do I need to protect and what is the best way to do that?
This should be your primary question that you need to be able to answer and remember through the process.
Costs may jump into your mind, but you need to put that aside completely and understand the value in what your trying to protect.
No, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a solution, nor do you need to buy a cheap Asian video monitoring kit from a warehouse store. You always get what you pay for so things like quality, product support, installation, troubleshooting, Internet connection access, wiring and use all eat into your time and will cost you way more then you expect if your not fully aware or plan accordingly.
Start off with the perspective of what you want to protect, the value of having to replace it if it gets stolen or destroyed. You have lots of decent choices in video surveillance and access control / perimeter security that will get refined as you answer more of the following questions.
A serious key feature that everyone misses as it is new – it the false deployment distance limits for digital IP and PoE based devices. This paradigm was recently shifted for older analog copper or coax based devices being replaced with LAN based ones. Analog installers had lots of freedom in distance because of analog signal and DC electrical power signals. The goof and falsehood that exists today came from LAN engineering Ethernet cable distance limits that are built into digital IP and PoE based devices. In early 2000, a company by the name Enable-IT Inc. invented Ethernet and PoE extension products that break this LAN and PoE distance barrier by over 20x further – thus allowing you to put your digital IP and PoE based devices where you need to and not where your limited to. This will save your project hundreds if not tens of thousands of dollars in deployment and maintenance costs.
Can I use wireless / WiFi enabled devices?
Yes you certainly can, however it is highly NON-Recommended as there is a another falsehood in the term wireless security. It doesn’t exist regardless of the encryption scheme – your still streaming your packets in the public that can be scanned, unencrypted, spoofed, cloned and hacked into. On top of that unacceptable premises wireless devices do not have a consistent stream or link quality due to other radio interference (intentional sabotage or accidental). Weather will affect wireless signal quality as well and if using for video streaming, the central WiFi receiving Access point / bridge can get overloaded if you expand. Wireless has other issues such as physical barriers like walls, trees, lack of free or congested WiFi channels. Electrical power lines and cellphone towers can interfere with your picture, as can motors and pumps on electrical circuits nearby. And let’s not forget the fact you still need to hardwire all of the wireless equipment to power and your LAN. You will always get much better quality video with a hardwired connection.
Should I use a battery backup and for what equipment?
Don’t let this be a weak link in your solution. We highly recommend that you at least protect all primary devices in your solution with at least 30 min of runtime from an Uninterruptible Power Supply/s. This would be your access controls, major video surveillance cameras and the central NVR/DVR. If you use a cloud based solution such as a VIAAS cloud solution, you will want to make sure your Internet router and LAN connections are covered by at least 30 min of backup power.
Can one style or type of IP camera fit for every location?
Every property is different and will have challenges for determining what type of security device is best for the coverage you need.
Three things you will need to consider are:
a) What needs to be collected – (Video surveillance / Access control / Detection sensor).
b) What locations for placement of the security device and it’s hardwired LAN cable.
c) What distance from your power source are each of the security devices.
The good news is that you only need to be concerned about a) What needs to be collected. You should be able to easily run a LAN Ethernet cable to every single IP based security device and getting power to the device on the same LAN Ethernet cable can be accomplished easily up to over 3,000 feet away from your power source.
To narrow down the billions of IP based security devices out there you will need to break down the categories. Perimeter security detection sensors are not as numerous and should be easier to choose to get out of the way first. Next Access control devices would be for securing doors, windows, hatches, etc. And finally IP Cameras – that come in many styles and configurations. Keep in mind that there is no single type of IP camera that is right for every scenario.
You will easily get overwhelmed searching the Internet for these and we highly recommend instead researching and finding reputable video security surveillance integrators that can provide advice and competitive quotes.
Be aware thought that most of them are unaware of PoE Extenders that allow for simple plug and go installation of IP PoE cameras and other security devices up to 3,000 feet over Ethernet LAN wiring. They may try to tell you that you need an electrician to install expensive power outlets everywhere – Educate them.
On a PoE IP camera should I use fixed lenses or varifocal ones?
Most IP cameras sold today are verifocal and give you great flexibility through your software to control easily or setup automatic zones with different sensitivity. Typically it depends on the camera location for filed of vision and the setup preference of the installer. Fixed lenses can give you a very sharp picture, but you have no ability to adjust how the camera focuses. You can point the camera in a different directions, but what you see through the camera is what you get. Varifocal lenses give you the ability to manually adjust the zoom and focus on the camera to get the view you need. So not only can you move it with your hand to aim it at a different area, but you can also change how wide and far it sees. This can be worth a lot if you are trying to cover wide areas far away, or you aren’t positive exactly what you need to focus on.