16 Jan 2017

Just Because You Can Buy a Security Camera at Your Local Big Box Store Does Not Mean You are a Security Expert

Buying a guitar doesn’t make you Jimmy Page. Buying a camera doesn’t make you Ansel Adams. And buying a security camera does not make you a security expert. When it comes to security cameras, there are a plethora of different options on the market. There are advertisements on television, products in the news and options at your local big box or department store. So what is the difference? What sets professionally installed security cameras apart from one sold in the big box chain store or vice versa?

Let’s check out what’s good about these different solutions.

DIY Surveillance Camera Kits:

These systems do have their positive aspects including options, convenience, simplicity and price. These systems come in a multitude of different options. You are able to purchase wired camera kits, wireless camera kits, with/without infrared for visibility in the dark, indoor/outdoor solutions, remote viewing, and even, in some cases, the option for a monitoring service. The convenience of purchasing from retail stores is what makes them so popular. You can pick up your milk, eggs, shampoo and stop for your home security system while you’re at it. Another benefit of these types of systems is the simplicity of installation and use. They are accompanied by instructions for installation and operation requiring little to no outside help. The major selling factor may be the price. Averaging between $200–$600, this price point may come in significantly under that of a professionally installed system.

Professionally Installed Surveillance Systems:

Professional surveillance systems come with benefits that may be overlooked or under considered. These include numerous options, a high build quality, a tailored design, professional and clean install and increased security. A surveillance system installed by a security professional will at very least have all the options of a DIY kit, typically going well above what they offer including increased picture clarity, further visibility with infrared, indoor/outdoor and vandal resistant housing, stronger wireless signal, remote viewing, options for future upgrades and a professional monitoring service. When choosing a security professional to install your system, keep in mind that their reputation is on the line. Therefore, they will select an option that not only is tailored to your specific needs (factoring in your network capacity for integration, unforeseen obstacles in the install, optimal viewing position, and knowledge of options that may not have been considered), but more attention is given to the products used and their overall quality. Using a security professional generally insures a warranty-driven quality of install which provides clean, tucked away wiring, assurance that the products installed will function fully for their intended purpose and if not, will be repaired or replaced. The professional can also take further steps to secure your security system. Living in a world where we want to be connected almost guarantees that you will want remote viewing capabilities from your smart device or a computer away from home. Not all applications or devices are created equally and advanced understanding of programming a DVR or NVR may be required to make sure your privacy is not compromised. Recently one manufacturer had as many as 1 million devices compromised as the result of hacking or insufficient security protocol according to Security Sales & Integration. (www.securitysales.com/article/hacked_security_cameras_

So as you can see, you may be able to obtain your basic surveillance needs if all you need is a consumer system but is this an area where potentially compromising the quality is worth the money saved? Are you confident in the security, quality and longevity provided by what you purchased as a kit? Reputable security professionals will provide a free quote, so when in doubt, ask. Invite them to assess the situation at hand and weigh how you feel at the end of the day.