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.
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.
The Amcrest 960H package gives you four outdoor, weatherproof cameras, but you can also use them inside if you want to. These 4-channel, high definition cameras are state-of-the-art and will give you some impressive control over what you’re filming. Like most outdoor cameras, they’re motion-triggered, but Amcrest also lets you schedule recordings.
They’re equipped with IR-LED night vision, so they can see and record up to 65 feet away, and they’ll continuously record for up to six days without copying over the older footage. They can link with their own DVR or with your Android device, iPhone or iPad, although the 960H is not compatible with Mac. The system comes with a 500 GB hard drive, which is expandable to 3 TB at additional cost, or you can buy cloud storage.
VimTag’s VT-361 is a solely an indoor camera, and it gets a nod here for its stand-alone capabilities. You won’t need a complicated, extensive system for this one to keep an eye on your workplace, making it ideal for smaller stores without a lot of constant, heavy traffic.
It covers a 78-degree field of view and it’s Wi-Fi-enabled to work with a mobile app. It includes motion sensors and will send you an alert if anything goes awry when you’re not on the premises. A Micro SD card holds up to 32 GB storage of old film up, but the card is sold separately.
The VT-361 offers two-way voice capability, which can be a nice touch when an alert is triggered. You can also tilt and pan the camera remotely if necessary, and playback is HD video quality.
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.
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.
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.
The 7 Best Security Cameras to Buy in 2018 for Small Businesses
Have eyes everywhere with these picks
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.