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How to Buy the Right Security Camera System for You

Question number 1: What resolution do you need?

This is the most important question about your surveillance system and the biggest determining factor as to the quality of your system.


Resolution is the difference between a conviction and a blurry image.


Here's the 3 basic types of surveillance systems that home and business users consider (and even higher end ones for military and governments):

Each was taken with the man about 10 feet from the camera. Mouse over each for a description:


Since, resolution is such an important topic. We've created a more thorough explanation of resolution, that covers all your options and has sample videos and pictures with subjects at different distances.

Question number 2. How Much Setup do You Want?

Installing it Yourself will Save about 60% of the Total Cost.

You Can Afford a Beautiful HD System for about the Cost of Installing a Low-Quality One.

Our Vanguard Pro HD Systems


View a Vanguard Pro HD package:

Analog, CVI, TVI, and SDI Systems


Question number 3: Do you need fixed lens, adjustable lens, or PTZ lens cameras?

Fixed Lens cameras have a wide angle lens (with models at 109, 75, and 68 degrees)

Varifocal Lens cameras have adjustable angles and levels of zooms

PTZ cameras are controlled with a joystick


Again, since this is a complicated topic, we've created a thorough explanation of the 4 types of zoom.


Question number 4: Where are you going to mount the camera?

Most beginners think that they want a dome camera instead of a bullet, because they think that a dome camera does something special or different - many people confuse dome cameras and PTZ cameras because of their similar shape.

For the vast majority of our cameras (and just about everyone else's), the only difference between a dome camera and a bullet camera is the body style. You can usually find bullet and dome cameras that have identical specs.

Bullet cameras are easier to install in almost all circumstances. In many situations, dome cameras require you to drill upwards to mount them (as they are most often mounted to the ceiling/soffit) and that's always going to be harder on your body, harder on your eyes as you will get dust or insulation in them, and more difficult to secure than drilling in a screw parallel to the ground in the way that you do with a bullet camera. You also don't have to remove the glass dome to mount a bullet camera, which means you don't ever expose them to humidity, risk getting your fingerprints on the inside of the lens, or forget to fully tighten the glass dome back on again. Believe it or not, but the vast majority of our returns are people who bought a dome camera and realized later how much easier a bullet is to install.

Are you mounting the camera outdoors?

Go with a bullet camera, you may also want a junction box so that you don't have any exposed cable.


but you can also use a dome camera with a wall bracket outdoors.

Hanging from the ceiling / soffit?

A bullet camera can be mounted to hang from these areas as well. They have a elbow joint and a ball-in-socket shoulder joint, which allows them to be positioned almost every direction. You can see this joint easily here:


The only situation where a dome camera is as easy to install as a bullet is when you have drop ceilings, as you can remove the ceiling panel and attach it without having to look and drill upwards.

Question number 5: How are you going to record the cameras?

DVRs

DVRs record analog cameras in standard definition and come in 4, 8, 16, and 32 channel versions.

DVRs connect via BNC Simaese cable (both a coax video cable and a power cable wrapped in one plastic coating).

NVRs

NVRs record IP cameras in HD and come in 4, 8, 16, and 32 channel versions.

NVRs connect via Cat5 Networking cable which both powers the cameras and transmitts the video.

PC Based Recording

Although still used in the largest CCTV installations, Microsoft effectively killed PC recording when it released Windows XP's automatic updates feature. To find out why read our guide on "Who killed PC based recording?"

What features do recorders have?

We can't speak for anyone else's devices, but here's what our DVRs and NVRs can do.

Watch on desktops
Watch on tablets
Watch on phones
Watch on TVs

Email Alerts
Motion Detection
Footage Download
Remote Backup
Online Viewing through a Web Browser
USB Backup
VGA and HDMI Out
Alarm integration (16 channel Vanguard Pro units and larger)
Mac and Windows Desktop Apps for Multi-Site Monitoring
iPad, iPhone, and Android Apps

Question number 6: Who do you trust?

There's a lot of fraud in this industry. We've recently created a guide on the Top 5 most common swindles in the surveillance industry.





Exposing the Surveillance Industry Shortchange:

The Top 5 latest ways that sneaky marketing execs in the surveillance industry get you to throw your money away and get nothing for it.



Here's the advantages you get, by shopping with us.

No Risk Purchasing
30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Free Shipping
As long as you spend $250 or more,
We'll ship it to you free with UPS Ground


Webview
View your system over the internet

SCW's Totally Free Support
100% Free. 100% of the time.

Industry Leading Warranties
3 years for all our Cameras and Recorders!

smartphone apps

iPhone and Android Apps
Watch over your assets from anywhere.



When you are ready to go shopping, use the navigation at the top of the page to find the type of product you need.

NEW! Not sure what you need? Check out these sample floorplans.

Or ask us to build a custom system specifically for you:


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