Best CCTV cameras

CCTV cameras offer your business round-the-clock protection and can deter potential intruders. Learn more and compare options here

No longer only for protecting large commercial properties or monitoring public areas, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras offer easy and accessible video surveillance for small businesses too.

Do you need a way of monitoring activity on your business premises even when you’re not there? Maybe you’re looking for a security system that can be accessed remotely, or want to send a visual deterrent to would-be intruders. Whatever your reason, CCTV cameras may offer an solution for your start-up’s security needs.

We’ve compiled a guide to the best CCTV cameras for small business. We looked at key elements, such as price and ease of use, along with flexibility and how easily it can be connected to other methods of business security, like alarm systems.

5 of the best CCTV cameras, profiled in this article, are:

You can skip to the section that’s most relevant for you, or scroll down to read the complete guide in order.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to compare quotes now, fill in the form at the top of the page.

What’s on this page?

  1. Best for home businesses
  2. Best for flexibility
  3. Best for outdoor use
  4. Best for complete security systems
  5. Best for scalability

Product name Best for
Arlo Pro Best for home businesses
Canary Flex Best for flexibility
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Best for outdoor use
Secom Best for complete security systems
Swann 8 Channel 5MP Super HD DVR Security System Best for scalability

Best CCTV cameras


Arlo Pro

The Arlo Pro stands out due to its multiple features and sleek design, as well as its accessibility – both financially and practically. So what does it offer?

Offering a wireless connection, the Arlo Pro is an HD camera that’s powered by rechargeable batteries. It’s also weatherproof – so you can use it indoors or outdoors – and has automatic night vision mode.

With a built-in siren and two-way audio, it offers additional security features to help protect a small commercial premises or home-based business, for example.

There’s an accompanying app available, and it has cloud storage too, meaning it can be accessed remotely. Overall, the Arlo Pro is easy to set up and use.

The Arlo Pro is best for home businesses because it’s affordable and easy to use.

While the Arlo Pro is ideal for smaller spaces, bigger businesses wanting more extensive surveillance may need to choose another type of camera.

Positives Negatives
  1. The accompanying app and cloud storage make it accessible remotely
  2. Weatherproof camera can be used internally or externally
  3. Additional security features available (built-in siren and two-way audio)
  4. Powered by rechargeable batteries
  1. Less suitable for big spaces or businesses requiring more extensive functionality
  2. The sleek design might not stand out enough for businesses that want more overt security systems

canary flex


Canary Flex

The Canary Flex is a smart security camera as it can work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Its small, compact design makes it ideal if you’re looking for a camera that doesn’t stand out and can blend in easily with your business’ design and layout.

Offering an HD camera with night vision mode, you can record your premises around the clock. Plus, its rechargeable batteries allow it to work without a wire on a single charge.

If you opt for membership, you can access the two-way Canary Talk feature to communicate with those in the area the camera is recording. An app is available too.

As the name suggests, the Canary Flex is best for flexibility. It can be used indoors or outdoors, as well as with or without a wire, at any time of day, in a wall-mounted or freestanding position.

However, a subscription is needed to access the full suite of features.

Positives Negatives
  1. Flexible features allow you to choose where and how to use the camera
  2. Space-saving design
  3. Smart compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  4. App available
  1. Need to subscribe to access the full range of functions
  2. Its design might not suit businesses that are looking for a strong visual deterrent

nest cam iq outdoor


Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Designed specifically for outdoor use, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera is a weatherproof camera that can record in a range of conditions. Its IP66 rating means that it can withstand dust and low pressure water jets.

What is an IP rating?

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings refer to the effectiveness of the sealing on electrical enclosures – essentially, how well they can keep external objects, such as water or dirt, out.

IP is followed by two digits, which inform you of the level of protection against intrusion and moisture, respectively.

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has the ability to detect a person up to 50 metres from the camera. It can send a photo alert to your phone, meaning you know what’s going on at your premises immediately.

As a wireless camera with a hidden power cord, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera offers discreet surveillance. In addition, it has a 4K sensor and intelligent imaging, providing high quality recordings. An app and cloud storage are also available.

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is best for outdoor use thanks to its robust design.

However, it doesn’t come with all the necessary parts – to connect the camera to an outdoor power point, you’ll need to use the weatherproof power adaptor, which is available to buy separately.

Positives Negatives
  1. Weatherproof design made for outdoor use
  2. Photo alerts can be sent directly to your phone
  3. Enhanced HD image quality
  4. An app and cloud storage are available
  1. Weatherproof adaptor not included with the camera
  2. A subscription service is required to maximise the camera’s functions

secom


Secom

Secom is a leading UK security company and National Security Inspectorate (NSI) Gold approved, meaning it’s been checked and meets the highest standards for alarm and security system installations.

It also offers business alarms, so you could get full security protection from one company. So what does it offer?

Secom offers a choice of packages including CCTV and IP cameras. There’s also the option to have a bespoke system designed for your business.

Offering video analytics to enhance camera surveillance, security cameras from Secom could be particularly ideal for larger premises or growing businesses, who may have more complex requirements.

Secom can provide advice about cameras, including the type, location, storage and light levels necessary for your business specifically.

Secom is best for complete security systems as it offers alarm systems as well as security cameras.

However, as Secom cameras need to be installed professionally, if you’re a small business owner that’s looking for a security camera you can fit yourself easily and quickly, another option may be more suitable.

Positives Negatives
  1. CCTV cameras and alarm systems available from the same provider
  2. Bespoke systems can be designed
  3. Video analytics are available to enhance the surveillance
  4. NSI Gold approved
  1. It’s not possible to fit Secom security cameras yourself
  2. You’ll need to allow the time for the installation process to happen

Swann 8 Channel 5MP Super HD DVR Security System


Swann 8 Channel 5MP Super HD DVR Security System

Offering four thermal sensing cameras and a digital video recorder (DVR), the Swann 8 Channel 5MP Super HD DVR Security System is ideal for businesses looking to survey a larger area, especially as it has the capacity to add an extra four cameras.

It uses a wired connection, so it’s particularly suitable if your business doesn’t have the strongest internet signal to run wireless cameras, or if you’re constructing your premises and so can install the wires easily.

The cameras can be used internally or externally, and have night vision function up to 30 metres, so it provides flexibility.

What makes this Swann CCTV kit stand out is its ability to connect with Google Assistant, meaning you can operate it using voice commands. It can also connect with Dropbox, allowing you to access data remotely.

However, due to its features-packed design, it’s offered at a higher price point than some of the others on our list.

With four cameras and capacity to add more, the Swann 8 Channel 5MP Super HD DVR Security System is best for scalability.

Positives Negatives
  1. Smart connections with Google Assistant and Dropbox
  2. Scalable design can be increased from four to eight cameras
  3. The cameras can be used both indoors and outdoors
  4. Thermal sensing and HD features
  1. Higher price point
  2. The wired design might be too limiting for some businesses

FAQs

Here we outline some key questions that you may have about CCTV cameras.

1. What are the benefits of CCTV camera kits?

Whether you need to cover a wider area or prefer not to rely solely on internet connectivity, CCTV camera kits can offer your business a number of benefits. These include:

  • Multiple cameras can record footage from a wider range of angles
  • Many CCTV camera kits have the capacity to increase the number of cameras that can be connected to the system
  • Footage can be saved to a hard drive, which can have 1+ terabyte (TB) capacity
  • CCTV cameras need to be installed so can be fitted in hard-to-reach areas
  • Offer a scalable security solution
  • May be installed by a professional or yourself

2. How to choose CCTV cameras for home businesses

If you’re looking specifically for CCTV cameras that can be used in a business that you run from your home, there are some key points to consider. Potential factors that may affect your decision-making process are:

  • Easy installation – if you’re looking to set up one camera outside of a workshop or garage, for example, then it’s likely you’ll be able to do this yourself, so you’ll want it to be easy and quick to do
  • Remote access – whether it’s through an app or cloud storage, if you’re away from your home (and so your business too), it’s likely you’ll want to be able to access and view footage from wherever you are
  • Design style – as the cameras will be monitoring a business that’s also in a residential setting, you may need to decide which type of design will be most suitable: a compact, discreet design that blends into the background or a bigger, stronger design that stands out

3. Why are HD CCTV cameras necessary?

Although there are many features to look out for when selecting CCTV cameras for your business, high definition (HD) image quality is key. It offers:

  • Clearer, more defined image quality recording
  • More details can be picked up e.g. number plates, facial features
  • Higher resolutions that are likely to make better quality images and recordings

What are the different types of CCTV cameras?

When selecting the best CCTV cameras for your small business, there are a range of options to choose from. Here, we provide information about some of the most common types.

Wireless CCTV cameras

Security cameras offer connection either as wired (cables) or wireless (wifi).

When you’re just starting your own business or you’re in the early stages of its operations, a security camera that you can install, use and monitor independently is probably your best option.

Allowing you to protect your property and act as a deterrent to potential intruders, an IP camera that works with a wireless internet connection offers an ideal surveillance solution for start-ups.

This key decision between wired or wireless means you should think about which type of device, and installation, will match your business’ needs the most.

You should think about the cost – balance the initial higher outlay for a wireless system against the expense of labour hire to fit a wired system.

Alternatively, consider the price of improving your business internet, or any other necessary tech updates, to run a security system wirelessly.

Consider the disruption – if you’re looking for a quick fix to boost your security, then a DIY wireless camera can be up and running quickly. Whereas the wait for an engineer to install a wired system could be longer, as well as the actual disruption to your business while the fit is taking place.

Next, how important is visual design to your business? A wired system will need holes to be drilled. If you’re already operating, a wireless camera could be the way to go to avoid unnecessary additional fixes and repairs.

However, if your business premises is still in the fit-out stage, then you could incorporate cables into the design process more easily.

Yet it may be something else that makes the decision for you – internet signal strength. A wireless CCTV camera system will require a reliable connection. Depending on your location, an adequate connection may not be possible, meaning wired cameras are the only option.

If your site already has wifi capability, then be sure to check that you’ve got the strongest and fastest connection possible to run a wifi CCTV camera. If not, then it could be worthwhile to upgrade your business broadband package.

Wireless cameras

  • Internet protocol (IP) cameras are digital and connected to the internet
  • Check your internet connection before installing a wireless camera
  • Connect to a wifi network and can be accessed via a compatible device
  • Access the camera from anywhere in the world with an internet connection
  • Store data on the cloud or a micro SD card (a portable chip)
  • No need for professional installation
  • Apps used to accompany device and perform tasks e.g. change view, set alerts
  • Some may offer additional features e.g. a regular/security light


Dummy CCTV camera

What are the benefits?

If you’re most interested in using surveillance cameras as a way of deterring potential intruders, you may consider using a dummy CCTV camera.

These look very similar to working security cameras, with wall-mounted and dome options often available, except they don’t actually record.

Some models come with flashing LED lights, motion sensors or wiring boxes to make them seem even more realistic. As you may expect, they tend to be cheaper than their functioning counterparts.

Fake CCTV cameras could be used to test where to put real cameras, and offer businesses on a budget a way of deterring intruders. Also, as they’re often battery powered and non-functional, you don’t have to worry about drilling holes or other work that may be required to set up a working camera system.

What are the challenges?

However, one of the main pitfalls of fake CCTV cameras is that no footage is captured. This means that you’re likely to need to have other methods of protecting your premises in place too – such as an alarm system.

Plus, as dummy CCTV cameras still have to be fitted or set up to look like they’re working, you still have to set aside the time and costs to do this.


Outdoor CCTV cameras

If you’re looking to monitor external areas specifically, then you should think about outdoor cameras that are specially made to offer external surveillance. As if external video surveillance is key for your business, you’ll need to keep location a top priority to find the best outdoor CCTV cameras for your business. Where will the devices be fitted, and how far do they capture footage?

Similarly, outdoor CCTV cameras need to be able to work in all weather conditions, and with minimal maintenance. Additional features may include spotlights and other types of lighting to make it even more of a deterrent.

In addition, for external camera surveillance to be effective, whichever outdoor camera you choose must have night vision, as you’ll want it to be able to record and capture footage day and night. They should also be strong enough to withstand any tampering.

Like other types of security cameras, those used outdoors can either be wired or wireless – which you choose will depend on your particular business’ requirements, however essentially it’s about how flexible you want the security system to be.

Outdoor cameras

  • Designed specifically for external use
  • Weatherproof materials suitable for a range of climates
  • Can include anti-tamper features
  • May be wall-mounted
  • Common shapes include dome and bullet options
  • Night vision is necessary
  • Spotlights and other lights may be included on some devices


What are the next steps?

We’ve covered the different types of CCTV systems available, as well as which factors to take into consideration when choosing the best security cameras for your small business.

Think about finding the best CCTV camera within your budget and, consider how the cameras can be a part of your wider business security system by reading our page on intruder alarms.

Or, you can speak to experts – Startups can help with this. Fill in the form at the top of the page to compare quotes for business security now.