Frequently Asked Security Questions
What is required to get the system fully installed? What ongoing support is needed?
What will be required after you purchase the DVR/NVR and the cameras? Does the DVR/NVR installation require networking expertise, router configuration, or software installation? Is your own company required to manage the ongoing IT related items such as getting static IP addresses, license keys, configure DDNS or VPNs, disk space, configurations, hardware failures, backups, O/S upgrades and other IT related items? What steps are required to configure your initial cameras and to add new ones? All of this combined overhead costs money – either in terms of hiring experts, or in taking your own time and effort away from you running your business.
Will you need to replace your current cameras to use their system?
Often security camera systems – especially cloud systems, which offer some exciting new features, such as mobile access and alerts, come with a catch: You have to use their cameras. You’ve already made a major investment in camera hardware and wiring; throwing out your current cameras and buying new ones can easily double the cost of the VMS. It’s important to have the maximum choice of cameras within the camera price target you have set. Camera quality and reliability affects the entire system. This keeps you from being locked in both now and in the future. Ask the VMS provider if they support your particular camera brand and type. Do they support Analog cameras? ONVIF IP cameras? Can you mix and match for both analog and digital types?
How will you know if there is system tampering or if a camera fails?
What measures does the vendor have so that if you are away from your businesses, you can get email and SMS alerts for important items including not only activity and motion detection, but also camera malfunction, or system tampering? You are making an investment in this system in part for peace of mind, and that means knowing that you will know if it is not working properly.
What is the additional cost if you need longer recording retention or more cameras?
Traditional DVR and NVR systems typically have a fixed number of cameras they support, and inflexible retention/storage limits. The initial system may fit within your budget, but it is important to find out the additional expense to add another camera or an extra day of storage beyond these limits at a later time.
Do you have a choice of where the video is recorded?
Are you required to do your video recording only on premise? More and more criminals have learned to steal or destroy the DVR/NVR when they steal your property, which undermines the value of the system and adds to the loss you suffer during a theft. Do they offer a secure cloud recording with redundancies to prevent such hardware theft or tampering? On-site only video recording also makes integrating multiple sites more challenging. If the vendor offers cloud recording, do they force it 100%, or do they also allow some on-premise recording as needed, for example to ensure there are no bandwidth issues? Can you move back and forth between the on-premise and cloud recording transparently? There is a cost to being locked in to only one type of video storage as your business grows and evolves.
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