• Video surveillance systems for small businesses are critical not to lose money to robbery or employee fraud
  • Unlike cloud storage, the business surveillance systems do not require a monthly storage fee and more secure
  • We tested and reviewed over 23 commercial NVRs to identify the best business NVR surveillance systems
  • We also explore where you should install cameras in your business, how much it costs to have it

Our Pick

Best Business NVR

Samsung Wisenet SNK-D85121BF X 8 Cameras

Best Business NVR

Great build quality NVR; strong security by default; includes 16 waterproof wide-angle cameras with great temperature operating range [more details]

$1,029.99 on Amazon

Why Every Business Owner Should Install a Surveillance System?

The importance of having video surveillance cameras in any business enterprise is hard to argue. It probably has the highest return on the investment in the security category as it can not only save you money but also improve customer service.

There are a number of main reasons why these systems are a must-have in every business premises.

1. Crime Prevention / Law Enforcement

Did you know that businesses on average lose more than $337 per shoplifting incident? Now, imagine the loss a business can incur in case of several shoplifting incidences.

Installing surveillance cameras at various strategic points on your business premises significantly prevents crimes such as theft and malicious property destruction. On top of that, in case a person actually steals from you, you’ll have evidence to show to the police.

Other times, an employee may fake an injury and sue you (the employer) for money. You can use the footage from your security camera to prove your innocence.

2. Improve Accountability Of Your Employees

Are you receiving complaints of employees mistreating other employees? Probably, you have tried enforcing many regulations against this ruthless behavior without results. Having video surveillance minimizes incidences of workplace violence, disputes, and sexual harassment.

3. Monitoring Productivity

 Naturally, when someone is being watched, they tend to maintain their best behavior. This is also true for employees.

Managers do not need to spend hours moving around to supervise their workers. All this can be done at the comfort of their seats. Also, they can also easily pinpoint inefficient employees. This saves time and translates to more income for your business.

4. Reduce Your Insurance Premiums

Investing in a good commercial surveillance video system may actually reduce your insurance premiums. Reduced risk of theft and property destruction means you are less likely to make any claims to your insurance firm.

5. Monitoring Traffic Patterns.

Installing camera systems at all entry points helps to monitor all people visiting your premises. It is very easy to identify suspicious visitors or uninvited guests.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Surveillance System?

The cost of running a surveillance system is determined by several factors. The most obvious one is the size of your building. Large buildings require cameras with high resolution and a wider field of view. These are more expensive. Other factors include:

  • Hardware: The biggest bracket of costs will be for hardware. You will need to buy
    • $100 each: The quality of the video feeds can be as good as your surveillance cameras. We have a number of good articles to understand this better (probably starting with security camera guide). In brief, we recommend to always use PoE, the resolution at least 1080p and RTSP enabled. See our review of the best RTSP cameras
    • c. $200: A quality network switch will not only make the management of your office network easy but also ensure that it is secure using virtual networks. Read more in our guide to the best managed switches
    • up to $400: NVRs (Network Video Recorders) will ensure that you can record and review the surveillance camera feed from your shop
  • Installation Price: If you want to install a security system without incurring any installation cost, then you go for a DIY wireless system. They cost you nothing but your time. Wired systems are more complicated and will need professional help to install. The cost of installation is roughly about $1500. But, this cost is highly dependent on the type of system and the number of cameras being installed.
  • Monitoring: Hiring a security service is a bit expensive but guarantees 24-hour monitoring.

How To Choose A Video Surveillance System For Your Business

It is now crystal clear why installing a good surveillance system is beneficial to your business. However, before finding the perfect choice of a security system for your business, you will need to answer a few questions.

Where Do You Want To Install Your Cameras?

The answer to this question depends on your areas of interest. Do you want to monitor only the outdoors or indoors as well?

What Is The Preferred Storage Capacity Of Your Perfect System?

When shopping for a security system, you’ll need to choose between a DVR (digital video recorder) and an NVR (network video recorder). The two are different.

 DVR systems store videos in a local drive while NVR stores videos on cloud storage. Additionally, most NRV systems have larger storage capacities than DVR.

What Is Your Budget?

Have a set budget for your preferred security system. This is crucial because these systems are available in various price ranges. Systems from reputable manufacturers will cost more.

Additional Features: Motion Sensors, Audio Surveillance, The resolution, And Night Vision

An ideal security system should have motion sensors. These only allow recording when motion is detected thus reducing power consumption and data storage requirements.

On the flip side, some cameras with motion sensors don’t begin recording fast enough and may miss out on likely intruders. Also, ensure that the system you choose has a decent resolution and quality night vision abilities.

Are you looking to monitor the conversations of likely intruders? Systems with audio capabilities are only a few dollars above cameras without microphones.

However, there are states that require two-party consent before recording any conversations. Thus, first, consult with concerned legal authorities before installing these types.

Best Places To Install Security Cameras

As a general rule, place cameras in places where intruders will see them. They are less likely to try to break into your house.

It is recommended that cameras are placed nine feet above the ground. At this height, the camera can capture a clear image and is also high enough for protection against malicious damage. Use multiple cameras. This helps to cover blind spots.

Below is a list of the best areas to place your security cameras.

  • Entrance – Intruders are most likely to enter a building using the main entrance of a building. Thus, ensure that the entrance camera can record all people approaching or standing by the entrance.
  • Reception – You can easily point out suspicious activities by likely intruders at the reception area.
  • Car Park – Parking lots are often hotspots for suspicious activities and crimes. Installing security cameras is the best way to curb these activities.
  • High-Security Areas (Server Rooms Etc) – All high-security areas that are restricted to only authorized personnel should be a prime location for installing security cameras. Cameras are the most certain way of monitoring these areas to ensure that no unauthorized person accesses them.
  • Office Supply and Store Room(s) – Security cameras at storerooms (and other rooms where the office supply is stored) ensure that employees are not tempted to steal from you.
  • Customer Interaction points – Thieves and other intruders love to hide in clouds, and, all customer interaction points are preferred points.
  • Warehouses – Monitoring activities in your warehouse using security cameras that are visible from a distance discourage thieves from trying to break in.
  • Loading Docks – Another area where thieves love to target is the loading docks. This is because when left unmonitored thieves can easily steal tonnes of goods in transit.
  • Secluded Areas – Any area that is rarely used is also a likely entry point of intruders. This includes places such as backyards and backdoors.

Most Popular Brands Of Business NVRs And Camera Systems

Here is a review of the most popular security systems brands.

  • LaView – Since 2013, LaView has maintained top position as a leading producer in DIY surveillance systems for home and business use. Their cameras are easy to set up, and they give clear images. You can access video recordings anywhere through an app on your phone. However, their convenience often makes them a bit pricier than their counterparts.
  • GW – This is yet another well-known producer of security camera systems. For anyone looking to monitor and secure their property anywhere, at any time, then this is a good choice. It gives clear, wide-view images both day and night. You do not need any extra cable for each camera. Just plug the camera and its ready to go.
  • Lorex – Founded by Bernard Klein in Ontario, Canada, Lorex is now on the forefront in both consumer-grade and commercial use security camera systems. Their cameras offer weatherproof cameras that have the ability to see clear images even at night that are meters away.
  • Samsung – Although mostly known for its smartphones, is also top of the line in the manufacture of security systems. Their cameras can be customized to every user’s needs. Some are cheaper and smaller, while expensive versions have better features including high-resolution night vision.

Best Business Surveillance System: GW Security 16CH 4K NVR - 16 x HD 1920P 5.0 Cameras

Amazon Reviews:
  • Supports up to 32 cameras
  • 5.0 Megapixel
  • Pre-installed Hard Drive
  • Built-in 2.8~12 mm lens
  • Widescreen viewing on a smartphone app
  • Free lifetime technical support

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Supports up to 32 cameras depending on the selected package
  • Cameras have a high resolution and are designed to produce clear images even with uneven light conditions
  • Set up is easy
  • You can remotely view live recordings on your smartphone
  • The zoom feature allows you to set the preferred angle of view

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Poor User Interface

Looking for a quality security system for your business? You can never go wrong with the GW Security system. All its features are a notch higher than any other standard surveillance system. And luckily, it is made with businesses of every size in mind.

There are a whopping eight packages to select from. These range from the basic 2 camera system to a 32 camera system.

The 2 camera system supports up to eight cameras and has a 1TB pre-installed hard drive. On the other hand, the 32 channel system is more advanced and supports up to 32 cameras. And, it comes with an 8TB pre-installed hard drive.

 An outstanding feature of all the eight packages is the customizable motion detection setting. You can set up your preferred perimeter zone. The system can also be configured to distinguish plants from people.

As if that’s not enough, you can set this security system to use multiple responses (such as app notification, sending emails, and turning on alarms) all at once. All its recordings are crisp clear and its night vision is excellent.

However, as expected with a system with so much to offer, its price is a little higher. Some customers have complained about the loud noise by the fan. But, for most, this is not a major issue and the overall performance of the camera is excellent.

 If you are working within a tight budget, the Samsung security system is a more affordable option. You’ll still enjoy the customizable motion detection feature, remote viewing, and night vision. On the flip side, this one can only support up to 16 cameras and its hard drive is only 2TB.

An even cheaper option available is the LAView security system. You’ll get 8 weather-resistant cameras that have the same functionality as the GW. But, the storage provided is lower and your video recordings are only stored for 10 days.

Best Business NVR for small business: Samsung Wisenet SNK-D85121BF 16 Channel 4MP Super HD PoE NVR Video Security System

Amazon Reviews:
  • Supports up to 16 cameras
  • 2TB pre-installed hard drive
  • Weather-resistant cameras with a rating of IP66
  • 105° wide-angle view
  • 4 Megapixels
  • Remote viewing
  • Customizable motion detection capabilities
  • Long-range night vision

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Cameras are weatherproof and can withstand both hot and cold weather (-22°F to 122°F)
  • The wide-angle view enables you to have a wider view of your premises
  • Has a night vision of up to 130 feet
  • 2TB hard drive offer sample storage space for your recordings
  • Motion sensors can be customized to detect motion at set specific areas

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • The mobile app could be better

If you are looking for a system that is not as expensive as the GW Security Camera Systembut still as efficient, then this DVR video security system is a great option. It is a 16 channel system that comes with a preinstalled 2TB hard drive to store very many hours of recordings. And, you can remotely view these videos anywhere, anytime.

The cameras are weatherproof and work well in both summers and winters. You’ll also enjoy better quality audio and video recordings as compared to other systems within this price range.

Unlike the GW, you will need to log in using a unique, strong password to operate the system. However, this Samsung security system supports a maximum of 16 cameras.

If your business is bigger, you can consider the GW Security Camera System as it supports up to 32 cameras and offers more storage space. The images at night are also clearer.

Business owners who may not be ready to spend that amount on this model can go for the LAView security system. Its cameras are also weatherproof and support motion detection setting. However, their resolution is lower and the night vision is not as good.

Best Cheap Commercial CCTV: LaView 8 Channel 5MP Business Security Cameras System 1TB

Amazon Reviews:
  • Pre-installed 1TB hard drive
  • 5 megapixel
  • 8-channel security camera
  • Weather-resistant with a rating of IP67
  • Has an advanced motion detection system

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Comes with free internal storage to store all your recording
  • Motion detection system sends push notifications directly to your phone
  • Can automatically switch from color night vision to black and white IR night vision when lighting is poor

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Only stores 10 days of video

If you are looking for a cheap commercial CCTV for basic security needs of your business, consider this product by LaView. With 5 MP cameras, you’ll get awesome images during the day and fairly good views at night.

Unlike the GW and the Samsung security systems, this model shows images in black and white. If you want colored images at night, you’ll have to manually set this feature.

The system is also very easy to use. However, unlike the other two models, set up is a bit time-consuming and the storage capacity is quite low. Any recordings older than 10 days are deleted.

Overall, the LaView 8 performs better than any other systems within the same price range.

Best Hybrid NVR for business: HDView 24CH Security Camera System

Amazon Reviews:
  • Supports 24 cameras: 16 Ch DVR and 8 CH NVR
  • 5 Megapixel cameras
  • Allows remote control
  • Built-in 1TB hard drive
  • 8 x 2.4mp 1080p security dome cameras
  • Cameras are weatherproof

WHAT WE LIKED

  • The camera gives clear images both day and night
  • Has both NVR and DVR camera system
  • User-friendly interface

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • The memory could have been larger

Are you looking to expand your current analog system to include latest IP cameras? Consider getting this hybrid security system. It will enable you to keep your analog security system while still enjoying modern controls using digital recording systems.

The advantage of the dual-stream system is that recordings are stored on local storage and also on a cloud network. When local storage fails, you can find your recordings safely backed up on cloud storage (and vice versa).

The HDView 24CHsystem has 16 channel DVR recorder and 8 channel 5MP IP cameras. Thus, you can customize this system to your preferences. Many customers who have purchased this system particularly love the fact that unlike other models, setting up this system is a breeze and using it is very easy.

This hybrid security system is a mix of the GW, LAView, and the Samsung security systems. Its cameras are weather-resistant, have a high resolution and can be remotely controlled just like with the Samsung model. But, the storage capacity is the same as that of the Laview system.

Can I Use Consumer-Grade Surveillance Systems For Commercial Use?

Are you a small business owner wondering whether you can use the security system at your home for your business premises?

Yes, you can, but we strongly advise against it.

This is mainly due to two reasons, (a) consumer-grade security systems have lower security standards and would not protect your business as well as commercial grade ones (b) they also have more suitable hardware for business use especially around upgrades and have larger storage capacities. They are made from durable materials and include many additional features. This makes them very reliable for your business security needs.