Business CCTV systems – they can make all the difference to your security and insurance claim, but which is the best one to go for? Here are our top 10 business security cameras.
Shoplifting offences alone have increased by over seven per cent since 2015, thanks in part to the higher £200 threshold for pursuing criminals (if it’s less than £200 that’s been stolen, they’ll be dealt with by post).
Theft, abuse and vandalism make life extremely difficult for small business owners, and surveillance is sadly a must, especially if you need to follow up with the police. If shoplifting is a specific problem for you, our guide to preventing shoplifting might be handy.
Theft insurance cover is also something we can help with, from what to look for in a business insurance policy to specific insurance covers such as stock insurance and tools insurance. It's worth noting that theft insurance won’t typically cover shoplifting, as you’ll need to show evidence of a break-in.
Whether you’re concerned about a shop, home office or an outdoor business, an easy-to-use security camera can set your mind at ease. With higher quality footage than ever before, companion apps included as standard and options to suit every budget, all you need to do is narrow your list.
The model names aren’t always the most intuitive and the terminology can get a bit dense, but to keep your business secure, you’ll be looking at an internet protocol (IP) or closed circuit television (CCTV) camera.
Both start recording as soon as they detect sound or motion and will usually keep you up to speed with a phone alert. The main difference is that an IP camera gathers data and sends you images through the Internet, whereas CCTV will use a local recording device.
When doing your research, features to look out for include:
Your options will depend on your budget and speicific needs – for example, you may need an outdoor-only camera, or night vision may be a priority. On a basic level we’d recommend at least 720 pixels for analogue cameras and 1080 pixels for more modern systems.
We’ve rounded up our 10 best security cameras for business, based on their features, set-up, video quality and – all-important – value for money. We’ve also delved into the small business security camera system reviews on three of the UK’s biggest online retailers – Argos, Currys PC World and Amazon – to get the consumer verdict.
In no particular order, here’s the Simply Business top small business security camera system round-up for 2019.
A great all-rounder, this indoor IP camera is a high-flyer on lots of the 2019 lists. The Arlo brand range also scores high with Argos customers, earning 5/5 stars on average in the reviews. These cameras are neat, compact and won’t be an eyesore on your shop counter.
Arlo’s offer to its customers is ‘your world, just a tap away’ and the big focus here is on a super-slick companion app, with all your footage neatly stored in the Cloud, for free, for up to seven days. During that time you can view, download and share your footage, and ugrade if you need to for longer storage options.
The seven-day free Cloud storage plan is generous, but you’ll need to be on the ball to save permanent footage.
The Amazon reviews also come in at 3.5/5, with most problems focusing on stability.
The weatherproof option in Google’s Nest range, this outdoor IP camera has impressed across the board this year with its cutting-edge companion app. It'll store up to 30 days of footage in the Cloud (as part of a separate subscription) and can also tell the difference between a person and an object.
The Nest Cam scores 8.8 out of 10 on Currys PC World customer reviews, with an extra high rating for its design and app experience.
To access the full list of features, you’ll need to subscribe to the Nest Aware service, which ranges from £4 to £24 a month for the 30-day video history.
D-Link are a respected, established brand, producing cameras for over 30 years and winning all sorts of awards along the way. The DCS-2530L model is an indoor IP camera, and boasts a 180-degree view of the room (the Arlo Q and Nest Cam, for example, give you 130 degrees).
This is a cost-effective surveillance option, coming in at around £65, depending where you’re buying. The mircoSD card might sound clunky compared to the Cloud options used by other brands, but it does mean you have access to all your footage without having to subscribe.
This is a cheaper camera, so be prepared for a flimsier design. The app and set-up experience is also lacking compared to other smart options on the market.
If you’re looking for an indoor/outdoor IP camera system, the Logi Circle 2 could be just right. The video quality here is excellent, it can connect to your phone using Bluetooth, and the base also doubles as a charger, if you’re not connected to the mains.
Set up for the Logi Circle 2 is designed to be easy, with an installation wizard and lots of options for wired or wireless.
Again, it'll probably come down to storage. You only get 24 hours of free Cloud storage here – beyond that you’ll need to add a Circle Safe subscription plan. These go up to £7.99/month for the single camera premium plan, which will give you 31 days of Cloud storage.
This indoor/outdoor camera from customer-favourites Swann comes in high on the Argos reviews at 100 per cent recommended, and a decent 4.1/5 on Amazon. You can go for up to eight channel viewing here, and six cameras, depending on your package.
You’re not looking at a slick little desk camera here, and the DVR-4580 comes with a big hard drive. But for that reason, you’re not signing up to a subscription for extra storage – everything will be stored internally, ready for you to upload when you need to.
There’s a newer version available and options with even bigger hard drives, but this model currently scores best on the reviews.
This is definitely a bigger, more traditional model and comes with chunky wires, trickier installation and a hard drive to get used to. The viewing angle is also lower, at 90 degrees.
This is an indoor IP camera that packs a punch for its lower price tag – you can get it for under £100 right now and it features great picture quality, multiple storage options (from MicroSD to Cloud service) and a 110-degree viewing angle.
Flexibility and value for money are the main pulls with this camera system. You’re paying less, but the picture quality is superb, and you can choose between storing footage locally on the MicroSD card or going for a Cloud-based plan.
There are some complaints around the Zoom quality, but at this price point it’s expected. On normal settings, the picture quality is this camera’s best feature. There are also a few concerns around web portal.
If aesthetics are important and you’re looking for something sleek, the indoor Hive View camera is hard to beat. It can be set up pretty much anywhere in your business (wall, shelf, magnetic) and scores well with Argos customers at 4.7/5 stars (depending on the colour you go for).
It’s a beautiful device, backed up by a high customer score across Argos, Amazon and Currys PC World.
There are several reviews out there calling this camera out as overpriced, with better options on the market for less money. The premium price is absolutely down to the design on this one, so possibly a good option for a non-intrusive gadget that boasts less battery life.
This indoor/outdoor camera option comes in right at the top of Amazon’s reviews, scoring an impressive 4.9/5 stars. It can support up to eight cameras and is praised by customers for its robust functioning.
An easy set-up, with ‘pre-paired’ cameras, means you can pretty much plug in and go with this CCTV system. Customers are also pleased with the quality of kit, including well-made screws and accessories to ensure everything stays put.
The one less-than-perfect Amazon review calls up the length of the power cables, so if you’re trying to spread out your camera placement you might need a couple of extensions.
This product is much-loved, despite its clunky design next to some of the other options on this list.
This camera takes second place with Amazon customer reviews and is one of the most affordable options on the market, at under £50. The Victure outdoor security camera gives you lots of functionality, a 110-degree lens view and durability.
Amazon customer ratings give this modest camera an impressive 4.8/5 stars. The image quality at this price point is a major plus, with easy set-up also doing it lots of favours.
The 110-degree lens view is more restrictive than some of the options we’ve covered above. So you’ll get a smaller piece of the action in your footage, but for a lot less money.
If something does go wrong with your product or set-up, there are a few quibbles around the brand website and contact details, too.
This option is top of the list with Argos customers, boasting 4.7/5 stars and a 98 per cent recommend rate across hundreds of reviews. It’s a different option and steps up your outdoor security a notch, as the first HD security camera with built-in floodlights, two-way talk and a siren alarm.
You’ll need to get this installed by a qualified electrician, but once it’s up, it takes outdoor security to the next level. Footage storage plans start at £2.50/month with the Ring Protect subscription and you’ll get a 30-day trial.
It’s a bigger investment, and you may not need the heftier features (there’s a 110-decibel siren system to contend with). Customer drawbacks are around price and the need for fast WiFi.
But if you’re looking to keep an eye on a large outdoor premises and want the bells and whistles, this could be a game-changer.
So there you have it, our top 10 security cameras for business.
Have you bought any of these, or is there a camera you think should be in this list? Let us know in the comments.
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