The 7 Best Small Business Security Cameras of 2020
Have eyes everywhere with these picks
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The foot traffic in and out of retail, food or other business establishments can be really heavy, which means it's virtually impossible for one person — or even for several people — to keep a careful eye on everyone and everything at all times. But surveillance cameras can be a big help. Whether you want your customers to know they’re being watched or you’d prefer that your setup was a bit more discreet, there are enough options on the market to find the right one for your needs and business. Our list of the best surveillance cameras to buy for small businesses can help you make a perfect choice.
Best Cloud Storage Offer: NETGEAR Arlo Q
NETGEAR makes a variety of cameras. The Arlo Q is notable for its free cloud storage of your recordings, up to seven days’ worth, 24 hours a day. Perhaps even better, the camera is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and a variety of other voice-command gadgets. If you want to view live video on your tablet or smartphone, just give the Arlo Q the word.
This is an indoor camera with 1080P resolution and true night vision. It allows you to see what’s going on even in pitch dark across a 130-degree viewing field. And it’s discreet — it won’t be the first thing your customers notice when they step into your store. You can mount it either magnetically or with hardware. It offers two-way audio.
Best Camera Package: ZOSI Security Recorder
ZOSI has put together quite a surveillance package for a very reasonable price. It includes a DVR recorder for indoor use and four weatherproof outdoor cameras, too. The recorder supports up to eight channels and will automatically record over old footage, but only if you tell it to. The outdoor cameras are motion-triggered so depending on what they’re watching, they shouldn’t be recording constantly with hours of dead air.
Everything is USB-compatible for easy backup, but you’ll have to purchase an internal hard drive separately. But at this price, the overall cost of the system shouldn’t be prohibitive.
Best Outdoor Camera: Blink XT Outdoor Security System
Blink is a company affiliated with Amazon, and as such, you can bet that it’s backed by the company on all sales from the site. And that’s important when you’re purchasing a security camera system to cover your business inside and out. The XT line is weatherproof, so it’s naturally aimed at those looking for outdoor or warehouse use, but otherwise, it offers all the features and simplicity you’d expect from an Amazon-friendly system.
The device has motion-detecting capabilities, meaning when the sensors are tripped, the cameras will record a short clip of what’s happening and send a notification to your phone via the Blink app. Each camera is powered by two AA batteries and the company promises up to two years of battery life on each, which is quite impressive. It all records in 1080p and stores the footage in the cloud without a monthly charge, which is great for your bottom line. It’s all controlled via the Blink app which is Alexa friendly, and though this set only comes with three cameras, you can connect up to 10 units via the same central Blink module —so the system will work for any size business.
Best Indoor Camera: Canary View Indoor Security Cam
There are so many Wi-Fi cameras on the market right now, and it makes it a bit difficult to navigate the range sometimes — especially considering most of them are advertised for all purposes. Things like baby monitors, pet cams, security systems, and more. The Canary View gets our pick here for your business because it is just so solid and reliable.
First, the recording quality is pretty great with 1080p footage that’s clear and bright. It offers intelligent motion detection, ambient light sensors, a capacitive touch sensor, and more. You can set it to automatically disarm and arm itself based on time of day or the accompanying app. All the video footage it creates and stores on the cloud comes encrypted with AES 256-bit data security, making it perfect for sensitivity in your business. There’s even a privacy mode that lets you automatically shut down the feed (and the microphone) at the touch of your app.
There are also some insurance benefits for some select plans if you use the camera, so be sure to check with your provider if you pull the trigger on this. It works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and you can use the talkback walkie-talkie feature to speak with subjects in front of the camera.
Most Flexible Camera: Zmodo Wireless Security Camera System
Buy one camera or four. Zmodo is flexible that way. They’re wireless and weatherproof, so they work indoors or out.
This system also offers its own Zmodo Cloud Service, although it’s free only for the first month. It might be worth paying for, however, because you can do sign up without committing to an ongoing subscription and it offers special intelligence to reduce the occurrence of false alerts. The viewing angle is in excess of 80 degrees and the cameras can see up to 65 feet in night vision mode. Night vision turns on automatically at dark. You can monitor the cameras’ coverage on either an Android or iOS device or you can use your Internet browser.
Most Discreet Camera: Spy Tec Zetta Z12 Motion Activated Intelligent Camcorder
Spy Tec makes a variety of recording devices, most notably nanny cams, so the company knows a thing or two about circumspect cameras. If you’d rather that the world — or at least your customers and clientele — don’t know you’re watching, this Zetta Z12 model has you covered. It’s just credit-card size lengthwise, small enough to tuck into your hand, but it’s tiny without sacrificing features. You can cover up the entire camera and still record as long as the little pinhole lens isn’t blocked.
Set up the Z12 so that not only motion triggers it, but voice or vibration do as well. This camera won’t record in pitch dark, but it can handle low lighting. You can plug it in or run the battery.
Best Long Distance Camera: Reolink RLC 410 Security Camera
Reolink makes many top quality surveillance devices, but this camera can actually record and surveil what’s going on up to 100 feet away with 36 infrared LEDs. The viewing angle is a significant 80 degrees. You can schedule motion detection, so it doesn’t interfere during normal business hours, and it will send you a motion alert when the detector is activated.
The camera can be positioned indoors or out, and you can set it to run continuously or just when motion triggers it. The RLC 410 requires only one Ethernet cable, no power cord or adapter necessary. Tell the camera what you want it to do via e-mail if you’re not on the premises, or with a smartphone app. This camera is compatible with just about everything — iPhone and Android, Mac and Windows. The system will support up to eight cameras.