A business, even small, contains vital documents and assets that are in the target of many criminal aims. Small shops face the same dread of shrinking inventory due to customers or staff thieves. Since it’s almost impossible to manage break-ins, intruders, and burglaries; small business security camera system exposes its potential advantage.

An installed surveillance system can deter any unauthorized access. But small business security system use is different from a home surveillance system. Keep on reading to find the best surveillance system for small business today.

What includes in a small business surveillance system?

small business security camera system

Unlike private houses, a business office or retail store are larger in scale. That means the place requires more parts to join the surveillance duty. There are three components present in a best security camera system for small business:

  • CCTV cameras
  • Cables
  • DVR or NVR
  • Router
  • One or more monitors
  • A mouse
  • Surveillance signs

Depends on how big the place is, you need a correlative number of CCTVs to setup. A small business or retail store can pair with a set of 8 to 16 security cameras to view the whole area. You can walk around to determine the vulnerable spots. A screen display is a must to acknowledge your observation.

How the security camera system works?

Like most surveillance camera system, the eyes of your business present your observance.

With a NVR/DVR system, you will wire all the cameras into one receiving head and stream multiple channels recording from the cameras onto the display.

While working, a NVR/DVR system saves footage into a built-in hard drive. This physical can be replaced once it gets full.

Where in the small business to place security cameras?

It is legal to set up a surveillance system for small business only if you let your employees know about the presence of the devices.

The purpose of installing cameras should be nothing beyond preventing risk for the company’s sake. Thus, the best position should point to fragile spots where the business’s valuables gathered. Those can include:

  • Entrance
  • Exit
  • Working area
  • Reception desk
  • Warehouse
  • Parking lot

For small shops like a grocery store, convenient store, gas station, small diner, clothing store or any merchandise layout, you need retail security cameras to direct the cams where you can watch both staff and guests in and out.

Apart from where people come and go, other places can be:

  • Cash register
  • Sale floor
  • Inventory

There are restricted areas you can’t place the camera unless you’re granted permission. Those are toilets, changing room, or any private highlight.

How much should you pay for the best small business security camera system?

Commercial places demand a higher sense of security. A few units of cameras may not cover all the risk area. Anyone who tends to commit the crime has one’s way to figure out the blind spots. Therefore, you want to make sure to have your eyes all over.

A standard set up for a small business should go from 8 to 16 channels. The investment in such a network may cost around $800 to $2,000. It can get more expensive if you purchase more add-on. Nonetheless, the price range is quite affordable to most companies.

NVR cameras systems usually cost a bit more than hardwired ones. Although the network itself is a one-time investment, cable-free cameras need a recurrent storage plan to keep your footage.

Small business surveillance system buying advice

Surveillance solution for small business and retail store have some slight differences from the one for home use. There are some factors to consider for buying whether for storefront watching or expanding the system. Check them out.

Video resolution

It’s nerve-breaking to look at too blurry pictures to identify who stole cash in the locker. There is no use of poor resolution footage that you can’t even look at the objects. That means you need at least HD quality to get sharp enough images.

There still exist many old-fashioned cameras with VGA photo standard of 480p which is a joke to all criminal commitment. You should definitely stay away from this resolution.

High-Definition from 720p is the minimum that gives acceptable video quality. High-end cameras can reach to ultra HD with a resolution up to 4K. The further you go, the more you pay. Just make sure you are able to view what goes around your small business clearly.

Frame rate

Many people skip this criterion without knowing it is one of the crucial factors. Higher frame rate allows smoother video. You don’t want to see behind the present. Frame rate that reaches up to 30 frames per seconds guarantees a “real life” streaming.

Skimping this rate gives you nothing but choppy footage.

Storage plan

It’s always helpful to keep the old videos for some time before discarding. Many of our readers admitted that they keep the footage at least one month to preserve any emergency retrieving.

In our experience, a 24-hour camera system of 8 cameras with constant data transfer at 25 frames per second for full hd 1080p can stay in a 6 TB hard drive for 15 days.

small business security camera system - NVR and DVR Hard Drive Calculator
NVR and DVR Hard Drive Calculator

To compensate for the storing period, you may think about getting two external physical drives of 6 TB, or one 12 TB drive. This is where your money should go.

How about cloud storage ?

Virtue storing plans require a recurring subscription fee. A remote server will save your footage and let you access them in a predetermined time.

Cloud-based storage offers the superior storage volume incorporate with the plan you buy. Another benefit is it gives you remote access to the archives from anywhere.

However, the large bandwidth consumed by the video uploader can slow down your network. Luckily, you can schedule the task when it’s not in a busy time.


Some spots are not always under bright light. Those can be the alleyways, stock room or basement.

Chances are you will place a few cameras in these areas. Well-Functioned lighting allows the devices to see even in dark conditions.

Cameras that work in the dark rooms usually switch on the infrared LEDs when it gets dimmed. This feature is also known as “night vision.”

The IR LEDs are only capable of giving Black and White images, but its clear view in the dark is the valuable point.

Businesses like warehouses and construction sites are plum targets to burgle. It is best to invest a high-performance color night vision to protect your assets.


The bustling atmosphere in the office rooms or shops may not an ideal place to pick up the sound. But having this feature adds an advantage to your security system.

There are also the two-way audio devices let you talk to people on the recording head.

Retail Store Security Cameras: Pan-Tilt-Zoom Camera

It doesn’t make any sense for a vendor that sells stuff on one counter to have 8 units of cameras around him. Or what if you just need one camera to point at the cash register? In this case, a single security camera suffices the purpose.

On the market, some cameras pan tilt zoom ultra wide include many position. But obviously, beside the tilting advantage, it leaves times for thieves to get in action.

short video from ptz camera of retail security system

You need various cameras when you must watch over the place. Any vulnerable spot is worth the attention. Nevertheless, choosing which to go with is up to you.

The best small business security camera system 2019 updated reviews

Admittedly, choosing a proper surveillance network is no easy job.

We’ve brought many products into test, real-time testifying and inspecting to be able to conclude the top devices.

With all the proud of the hard work, we are here to present the top 5 camera systems that fit small business of all preferences.

1) Amcrest 4K 8CH Security Camera System w/ 4K NVR, (8) x 4K (8-Megapixel) IP67 Weatherproof Bullet & Dome POE IP Cameras (3840×2160), 2.8mm Angle Lens, Pre-Installed 4TB HDD, 98ft Nightvision (Black)

  • Amcrest’s NV4108E-HS NVR supports hard drives up to 6 Terabytes (Hard Drive Not Included), while Featuring 8CH Recording, the Latest H.265 Video Compression, Playback & Live View in Up to 8MP Resolution @ Real-Time 30fps. Includes 4 x 8MP (4K) IP PoE Outdoor Bullet Cameras & 4 x 8MP (4K) IP PoE Outdoor Dome Cameras (3840x2160P) @15fps. Includes 8 x Ethernet Cables (4 x 60ft, 4 x 100ft).
  • EXPERIENCE ULTRA HD 4K – Observe high-quality footage with a Sony IMX274 Starvis Sensor progressive scanning image sensor, Ambarella S3L33M Chipset and UltraHD 4K 8M- resolution (3840×2160). A super-wide 112° viewing angle allows you to see more detail and cover more ground to keep more of what you love safe. Power Over Ethernet (POE) for easy installation (POE injector or switch required; Not Included, sold separately)
  • Plug & Play setup, Easy to configure, access and control. Scan QR Code on NVR from “Amcrest View” app to instantly access live viewing and playback. Connects to and manages all the POE IP cameras on your network directly through their ethernet cables for ultimate ease and convenience in a home security system.
  • Blazing throughput of 80Mbps enables you to watch things happen as they happen: real-time, highly reliable HD video without loss or delay. Conveniently packaged with extras such as USB mouse, network cable, and quick start guide with user manual and CD.
  • Advanced H.265 compression technology lets you save on storage space which allows for longer recording times. H.265 technology compresses your video without sacrificing any of the UltraHD video quality. Includes USB backup feature for peace of mind. All systems CE & FCC certified with UL compliant power supplies. Guaranteed for a Full Year from purchase with US Support and US Warranty offered exclusively by Amcrest.

2) LaView 12 1080P IP Camera Security System 16 CH 1080P IP PoE NVR w/3TB HDD & 6 IP Bullet, 6 IP Dome 2MP Camera

  • 1080p recording: Experiencing high-definition and uncompressed videos at 1080p and 30fps gives you an optimal look at and around your house.
  • High-quality image: Thanks to the WDR and DNR intelligent features, you can control your video footage for the best lighting, contrast, and clarity. Also, the Wide Dynamic Range technology allows you to watch clearly in the contrast lighting condition.
  • Plug-and-play design: The built-in PoE help you install the system using a single Cat5 cable. This brings no struggle with wires, which means you can save the valuable time running your own business. The effortless setup also allows you to begin recording sooner.
  • IR LEDs night vision: There is no chance for any break-in with the help of 30 built-in IR LEDs. They can view more than 100 feet in the darkness and catch up everything at night.
  • Cloud-based storage or 2TB hard drive: The Cloud-based storage keeps your footage online and allows you to access your videos from anywhere. However, if you prefer an offline storage solution, then the 2TB Western Digital hard drive will be enough.
  • Free LaView App: The app works on both Android and iOS devices, which means you can watch live and playback the footage right on your Samsung, Apple, or another device.

LaView is a high-quality security surveillance system for small business or retail, which produces HD images and videos to help you monitor in total darkness. Besides, the whole installation is simplified with the built-in PoE ports within the NVR.

3) ONWOTE 16 Channel 5MP Audio PoE Surveillance System, 16CH 5MP H.265 NVR 4TB HDD with 12 Outdoor 5 Megapixels 1944P HD Surveillance IP PoE Cameras, 100ft IR, Remote Monitoring System

This expandable 5MP 2592* 1944P HD outdoor video audio Power-over-Ethernet security surveillance system comes with an 16 channel 5MP 2592* 1944P HD PoE NVR, 12x 5MP 2592* 1944P HD PoE video audio surveillance cameras, 4TB hard drive pre-installed, and 12 60ft network cables. This plug and play security system features Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, a single network cable run between your NVR and each IP camera provides both power, video and audio transmission, allowing you to position your cameras anywhere without the need for a nearby power outlet. The 12 PoE weatherproof cameras see up to 100ft in the darkness. Built-in microphone, the cameras’ audio range up to 15ft. Come with 6x 60ft and 6x 100ft network cables, the most optimum cable length based on most customers’ needs, allowing you cover a single house or store easily.

Industrial Grade NVR Video Recorder

  • Support 16 CH 5MP / 4MP / 3MP / 1080P / 960P / 720P IP input
  • 16 CH RJ45 PoE IEEE802.3af adopted, plug-and-play
  • Adopt standard H.265 high profile compression format to get high-quality video at much lower bit rate
  • Intuitive and user-friendly Graphic User Interface ( GUI ), Windows style operation by mouse
  • Multi-mode recording: manual/ time/ motion/ sensor; 16CH simultaneous playback.
  • Time slice, event , tag search and backup via USB, network and so on
  • Support remote access via IE or CMS : preview, playback, backup, PTZ and configuration
  • Dual stream technology for local storage with high definition, remote network transmission and remote surveillance with mobile device; multi-user online simultaneously
  • Support PTZ preset and auto cruise, up to 255 presets and 8 cruises(the cameras included in the kit are fixed lens cameras, but not ptz cameras)
  • Support QR Code scanning by mobile phone and PAD with iOS and Android OS

Packing List

  • 1x 16 Channel 5MP 2592* 1944P HD Video Audio PoE NVR
  • 1x 4TB Hard Drive (Pre-installed in the NVR)
  • 12x 5MP 2592* 1944P HD Outdoor Video Audio PoE Cameras
  • 1x 48V 3.75A Power Adapter for PoE NVR
  • 6x 60ft CAT5 Ethernet Cable for Cameras
  • 6x 100ft CAT5 Ethernet Cable for Cameras
  • 12x Camera Screw Pack for Mounting
  • 12x Cable Waterproof Lid for Mounting
  • 12x Mounting Hole Template for Cameras
  • 1x 3ft Network Cable for Internet Connection
  • 1x Mouse
  • 1x Quick User Guide
  • Tips: You need a HD TV or PC Monitor with HDMI port to view and do settings for NVR on screen, the HDMI cable is not included.

4) Revo America Ultra 16CH 4K H.265 NVR, 4 TB Surveillance Grade HDD, Remote Access

  • 1080p streaming and 4K HDMI: Bullet cameras are designed to record videos at 1080p, which is simply enough for daytime. During the nighttime, there is 100’ night vision for good view in the dark. When you want to watch your videos offline, you have no difficulty to output them on a 4K TV.
  • 4TB hard drive: The system comes with 16 channel NVR, so it needs a lot of space for video storage. And 4TB of hard drive is, obviously, a great deal.
  • Recorder software updates and camera software upgrade: Updating your recorder software is meant to no hassle via Cloud platform. Camera software upgrade brings direct downloads via Cloud service through the NVR interface.
  • Alert notifications: The system can monitor its own health status and then notify you of any possible malfunction.
  • Live watching, searching, and playback: Are all available with the REVO ULTRA App, where you can take control of the whole world via your iOS or Android devices.
  • Snap setup: Can be done with PoE and one single Cat5e cable without any complicated setup process.
  • Weather-resistance: Are specially built for the outdoors when they can handle the high temperatures (140F) or cold weather (-31F).

The installation for Revo America Ultra is pretty easy to do as long as you have the PoE and a single Cat5e cable. Also, the cable housing is waterproof so that it can protect any connection between your camera and the cable.

5) EZVIZ FULL HD 1080p Surveillance System, 16 Weatherproof HD Security Cameras, 16 Channel 3TB DVR Storage, 100ft Night Vision, Customizable Motion Detection

  • Complete home surveillance kit: View and record your business’s images with more than 16 camera channels. It also comes with one 3TB hard drive, which allows you to set up any of the DVR or NVR recorder.
  • Live viewing from anywhere and anytime: Is now available with the EZVIZ App. It lets you view all of the cameras in one single place. Make sure to check in on the home or business as long as you’ve got an Internet connection.
  • Highly customizable motion detection: Help spot any movement and change in the area, and then record them all before sending the important notifications straight to your smart devices. The detected area would be customized right from the DVR to reduce any wrong alert.
  • IP66 waterproof: Are capable of working the severe temperatures outside (from -40F to 140F). They also feature the multi-layer security and video encryption so that your files are protected.
  • Lifetime technology support: comes with a non-charged 12-month warranty. All experts would be often available to chat with you. For upgrades, click the 1-button system whenever you find the updates released.
  • Durable cameras with night vision capability: Still lets you enjoy the clearer images no matter if it’s raining, sunny, snowing, or when you’re in total darkness.
  • Reduce false alarms: This feature only allows the important alerts to be sent to your devices. In other words, it will focus on the crucial regions of the frame, and ignore some busy places such as streets or sidewalks.

Unlike some other CCTV cameras, the EZVIZ security surveillance system can reduce the false alarms. It means only the important alerts are sent to you via the smartphones or PC. For its motion detection, it’s already set directly from your NVR or DVR with a monitor attached to the box.

Security model

While safety for your business is an essential part, some of your money will spend on here.

Many businesses separate a room for surveillance duty.

This is where you or an employed watcher will observe events in the live stream.

That requires one or more monitors to view all channels.

Environmental withstand

Weather vandalism is one thing you want to care about.

For cameras that stand outside, it should equip weatherproof characteristics to resist rain, humidity, snow, temperature and any natural interfere.

Without the ability to withstand the outside environment, the cameras won’t be about to record quality footage.

Hired or paid system

Think about your budget and the endurance of your business.

A full camera system may place a huge financial burden on you. Not to mention you’re not sure about managing the place for long.

Renting security cameras is one solution. With a considerable amount of money, you can get an appealing deal to rent high-end commercial grade IP surveillance system. Coming with that is a team for installing and maintenance.

But think twice before you apply the idea to action.

First, signing the contract means you will minus a great expenditure on your gross profit at the end of the month.

Renting fee can be equal half of the price for a new set of cameras, but it comes back the next month.

Doing some simple math, you can see a one-time payment CCTV is more beneficial.

Secondly, your footages are not under your full control. That exposes a great threat to your privacy and the potential risks of leaking data.

Using a security system may not be a thing for non-savvy. It takes time to get accustomed to configuring, setting up and put the system in use effectively.

Finally, either renting or purchasing, you need a setup team to help to install the system. Unless you are a pro geek who can figure things out, you can lend a hand from the customer support.

Privacy issues

CCTV cameras may put pressure on your staff and customers.

Though installing the security recorder is for the sake of your store, it may involve several legal violations if you are careless.

But since there is NO particular prohibition against surveillance cameras in the workplace in America, you’re free to set up the system respectively to the privacy of others.

However, the law may differ by states. The best idea is you will expose the presence of the cameras or stick signs to acknowledge people.


1. DVR and NVR cameras in the workplace. Which is better?

A: This question concerns many factors mostly relate to your preference and budget. Either type has its best to offer as well as the drawbacks. But why not pick a hybrid system where you can take advantage of both?

2. Is frame rate important?

A: Frame rate influences directly on the quality of the videos. With a low frame rate, you will experience fewer frames comprised leading to lagging images.

For small business usage, the recommended frame rate should range from 25 to 30 FPS (Frame per second).

3. What are the least features I need from a security camera system?

A: You don’t want to spend a bundle to get a bulk system that stands to scare people.

You need your cameras to record at high resolution. It should be able to stream live videos to your surveillance room so that you can grasp anything that happens out of your sight.

One more must-have feature is the night vision which enables observing in night shift.

Put your business under safety today

There is no denying for a protecting intention over your company and shop.

Installing a small business security camera system is now the smartest method to add a layer of guarding to your company.

But before jumping into any camera order, consider the need first.

Since choosing a distance watching system may take you some time to get the right one, but it’s just worth the effort.

Following our comprehensive guide and suggestions above, you should be able to select the most idyllic surveillance solution for your business.