The 8 Best Security Cameras for Small Businesses in 2021
Have eyes everywhere with these picks
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The best security cameras give you a balance between video quality, value, durability, and functionality. Some systems require a hardwired connection, while others use wireless connections. Many camera systems record in 1080p HD or even 4K UHD to capture as much detail as possible. If you want 24/7 recording, it's best to choose a system that has built-in infrared lighting or integrated spotlights for recording in dim, dark, or even pitch-black environments. As well, it's important to check if the system you're interested in is rated for indoor, outdoor, or mixed environment use.
Whether your business is downtown or runs out of your basement workshop, there is a security system built for your needs. Here are our top picks.
Best Overall: Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Camera
The Arlo Pro 3 system is one of the best security camera systems on the market. The starter pack includes one to six cameras and a base unit, and each camera can shoot video in 2K with HDR support for clear images. Along with motion detection, the camera has an integrated spotlight that makes night recording much easier. Each camera has a 160-degree viewing angle, as well as a rechargeable battery with up to six months of life on a single charge. The entire system is also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Homekit voice controls.
With the dedicated app, you'll get instant notifications and a direct video and audio feed to assess risks. You can also set up package detection alerts to prevent theft and create custom activity zones to focus on high-traffic areas.
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Best Multi-Camera: Swann 12-Camera Security System
If your business has a large storefront or warehouse with lots of blind spots, the Swann 12-camera security system is perfect for monitoring both indoors and outdoors. With 16 recording channels, you can add up to four extra cameras to monitor a wider area. Each camera records in 1080p HD, detecting details like license plate numbers, logos on clothing, and even facial features. For night recording, each camera can see up to 100 feet while recording in black-and-white and up to 32 feet when recording in color. The cameras are also equipped with built-in spotlights as well as heat and motion detection controls.
A dedicated smartphone or tablet app can set up push notifications and remotely monitor live video feeds. Even more, the security system is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls and Chromecast.
Best 4K: Arlo Ultra 4K UHD Security System
The Arlo Ultra security system records in 4K UHD resolution so that faces, clothing details, and license plate numbers can easily be seen, day or night. You can choose a starting package that includes one to four cameras, as well as a subscription plan that allows you to add up to 56 cameras. Each camera has an integrated spotlight and smart siren that is activated by motion and sound detection or can be triggered remotely via the dedicated app. Each camera also has a noise-canceling microphone and an integrated speaker for 2-way audio.
The lens allows for color night vision, plus automatic zoom and object tracking to focus on people, vehicles, and animals that come into frame. Each camera also features a weather-resistant housing to prevent damage from moisture, dust, and pests.
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Best with Local Storage: Reolink Video Surveillance System
While many video surveillance systems offer cloud storage options, having plenty of local storage is important for preserving video feeds and the ability to offload files for evidence in case of an emergency. The Reolink system comes with a home base with a 2TB hard drive, allowing you to store days worth of video; it can also automatically overwrite previous files for continuous recording.
The system includes four durable cameras that record in 1440p HD for crystal clear video, and it supports a maximum of eight cameras. They also have integrated microphones for audio recording and built-in infrared LEDs, giving you up to 100 feet of night vision. With the dedicated app, you get remote access to video and audio feeds, too.
Best Compact: Panasonic WV-S3131L Dome Camera
The Panasonic dome camera measures just 4.1 inches in diameter and 2 inches tall, so you can easily tuck it into a corner or inconspicuous space. It's capable of recording in 1080p HD at up to 60 frames per second, giving you clear, smooth video. The lens gives you a 108-degree field of view, and the camera has a pivot hinge that allows custom angles. With infrared LEDs, you get up to 49 feet of night vision, and with backlight, fog, and highlight compensation, you'll get great video feeds in almost any lighting or weather condition.
The built-in condenser microphone records clean, clear audio, and smart facial coding reduces bandwidth when capturing faces for better identification. You can also set up motion-activated alerts to assess dangers and alarms.
Best Outdoor: D-Link Vigilance DCS-4605EV
A great outdoor camera, D-Link Vigilance is not only water- and dust-resistant, but it's also designed to prevent tampering and sabotage. Better yet, the domed lens cover helps reduce condensation build-up in high humidity or during temperature changes. The camera can also operate in temperatures ranging from 32 to 104 degrees.
The camera records in 1080p HD and uses wide dynamic range technology to digitally enhance video feeds for better detailing. Built-in infrared LEDs allow recording up to 65 feet, even in pitch black situations. With the included management software, you can also set up motion detection for on-demand recording and control the pan and tilt of the camera.
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Best Indoor: Google Nest Cam IQ
The Google Nest IQ camera is one of the best indoor security cameras available. With the ability to record in 1080p at up to 30 frames per second, you'll get crystal clear video to monitor points-of-sale, entrances and exits, or high traffic areas. It also features automatic zoom and tracking to capture intruders, as well as 2-way audio to scare them off. The built-in infrared LEDs give you up to 20 feet of night vision.
You can connect the Nest IQ to other Nest devices, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands. With the dedicated app, you can also look at a three-hour snapshot history, and with the subscription plans, you can get up to 60 days of snapshots and 10 days of 24/7 recording history.
Best Easy Installation: Ring Stick Up Cam
The Ring Stick Up Cam is designed to be super simple and quick to install. The camera features an adhesive mount that securely attaches to almost any wall, and the swivel hinge allows you to set up a custom angle. It records in 1080p HD for clean, clear video, day or night. The camera is also battery-powered, and you'll get up to 30 days of recording on a single charge.
With the Ring app, you can connect the camera to other Ring devices like video doorbells, as well as access live video feeds and use the 2-way audio. The camera can also be connected to Alexa for hands-free controls and live video monitoring via the Amazon Echo Show or communicate with strangers via Echo and Echo Dot speakers. Even more, the Ring Protect plan is available via subscription, which gives you access to up to 60 days of snapshot history.
Meet the Expert
Taylor Clemons has over three years of experience writing about games and consumer technology. She has written for Lifewire, Digital Trends, TechRadar, and her own publication, Steam Shovelers.