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How to Build an IP Surveillance System

01 Select Your Brand

The first step in building your surveillance system is to pick your brand. This will help us narrow down your products considerably. Read below to learn more about each brand. Then, when you're ready, go ahead and make your selection.

H-Series

H-Series is where it all began. It's our largest and longest running product line that has stood the test of time. These cameras are great options for just about anyone, whether you're a complete beginner or a surveillance pro. They're powerful cameras with plenty of features, but they're still approachable and easy to manage.

We recommend these products for most installation types, including residential installations, small business installations, and some large corporate installations.

R-Series

We added R-Series to our catalog toward the beginning of 2019, and it was an instant hit with many of our customers. These cameras quickly became some of our best sellers. We brought R-Series on as our beginner and budget-friendly option. These products aredesigned to be simple and cost-effective while maintaining all the basic features that most people will need.

We recommend these cameras primarily for residential installs, although they will also work for certain small business installations, as long as you don't exceed 32 cameras.

Uniview

We took on Uniview products at the beginning of 2020. These are still new products both to us and our customers, but we've been learning a lot about them. Every week I feel like we learn something new about these cameras, which should tell you a lot about this product line. Our Uniview products are our most feature-packed cameras and recorders. We brought this brand into our warehouse with the power user in mind. If you're someone who really likes to tinker with their security products, if you want the most flexibility and control possible, then Uniview is definitely worth a look.

These products are great for large corporate and enterprise installations. But that's not to say you can't use these on small business or residential applications. You absolutely can. Just keep in mind that some of their features are more geared toward larger businesses.


If you're still uncertain about which brand is right for you, click here to read our blog post.

02 How Many Cameras Do You Need?

The first question you need is answer is how many security cameras do you need? The answer to this question is going to give us an idea of how big your system needs to be and what size NVR we need to consider. This is a question that only you can answer. So go ahead and take out a sheet of paper or open up a Google Doc and write down the most important areas for your surveillance. Click here to read our blog post to get a few different ideas.

Got your list? Good! Keep this list handy. We'll be referring to it again as we go through the remaining questions. When you're ready, go ahead and click "I'm Ready!"

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03 Do You Have a Preferred Resolution?

Now we need to figure out which cameras are going to make up the bulk of your system. For the most part, you'll want to use the same camera everywhere. However, you may have some unique circumstances where you'll want to use a different camera to solve a specific problem. We'll get to those specialty cameras later. For now, let's pick our main security camera.

Here's the first question to that end: do you have a resolution preference? Our IP security cameras come in many different resolutions from 2MP (FullHD 1080P), to 4MP, 5MP, 8MP (4K UltraHD), and some even up to 12MP. So for this step, we need to consider if you want a low resolution, a mid-range resolution, or a high resolution.

Low Resolution

These cameras are great for a variety of reasons. These are less expensive than higher resolution cameras. So if you're on a budget, you may way to take a look at some of these cameras.

Keep in mind that a lower resolution cameras means less pixels and a smaller image. This is fine if you're mainly going to be viewing your cameras from your cell phone, or if you really don't need a whole lot of detail.

Mid-Range Resolution

If you are unsure what resolution you want, we recommend staying in the 4 or 5MP range. These cameras produce a much higher-quality image than FullHD 1080p cameras, and they're not as pricey as higher-range 4K models.

High Resolution

Our 4K cameras are fantastic, even if they are a bit pricier than some lower-resolution models. They produce large, crisp, and clear images. So if you're going to be viewing your feeds from a large monitor, or if you just need the most amount of detail possible, these cameras are your best bet.

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03 Do You Have a Preferred Form Factor?

Now that you've settled on a resolution, the only thing left is to select a camera form factor. This consists of the camera's housing type and lens type. Once you know what form factor you're looking for, you'll have a pretty good idea which camera will make up the bulk of your system.

Camera Housing

Cameras come in various housing type, but the three main bodies that we'll focus on here are bullets, turrets, and vandal domes. Read about each below and, when you're ready, go ahead and make your selection.

Bullet

Bullets are fantastic cameras. They have powerful function and excellent image quality, day or night. The problem is, they're usually a bit bulky. And they're pretty easy to manipulate. Someone can come up and grab your camera and easily knock it down or move the lens around.

Vandal Dome

Vandal-resistent dome cameras are super durable with this IK10 vandal proof glass dome. These things are tough and durable, and someone's not going to be able to come along and smash it. These are ideal for situations where vandalism is a concern, or just when you need to install a camera that can easily be reached. The drawback is that sometimes the glass dome can cause reflection, especially at night. The infrared lights can bounce back on the lens, causing a slightly blurry or washed out image.

Turret

Turret cameras really are the best of both worlds when it comes to form factor. It's as compact and tough as a vandal dome, but it has excellent image quality 24/7 like a bullet. If you don't have a particular form factor reference, we recommend choosing the turret.

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Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over

Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over

Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over

03 Do You Have a Preferred Form Factor?

Now that you've settled on a resolution, the only thing left is to select a camera form factor. This consists of the camera's housing type and lens type. Once you know what form factor you're looking for, you'll have a pretty good idea which camera will make up the bulk of your system.

Camera Housing

Cameras come in various housing type, but the three main bodies that we'll focus on here are bullets, turrets, and vandal domes. Read about each below and, when you're ready, go ahead and make your selection.

Bullet

Bullets are fantastic cameras. They have powerful function and excellent image quality, day or night. The problem is, they're usually a bit bulky. And they're pretty easy to manipulate. Someone can come up and grab your camera and easily knock it down or move the lens around.

Vandal Dome

Vandal-resistent dome cameras are super durable with this IK10 vandal proof glass dome. These things are tough and durable, and someone's not going to be able to come along and smash it. These are ideal for situations where vandalism is a concern, or just when you need to install a camera that can easily be reached. The drawback is that sometimes the glass dome can cause reflection, especially at night. The infrared lights can bounce back on the lens, causing a slightly blurry or washed out image.

Turret

Turret cameras really are the best of both worlds when it comes to form factor. It's as compact and tough as a vandal dome, but it has excellent image quality 24/7 like a bullet. If you don't have a particular form factor reference, we recommend choosing the turret.

Go Back
Start Over

Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over

Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over

Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over

03 Do You Have a Preferred Form Factor?

Now that you've settled on a resolution, the only thing left is to select a camera form factor. This consists of the camera's housing type and lens type. Once you know what form factor you're looking for, you'll have a pretty good idea which camera will make up the bulk of your system.

Camera Housing

Cameras come in various housing type, but the three main bodies that we'll focus on here are bullets, turrets, and vandal domes. Read about each below and, when you're ready, go ahead and make your selection.

Bullet

Bullets are fantastic cameras. They have powerful function and excellent image quality, day or night. The problem is, they're usually a bit bulky. And they're pretty easy to manipulate. Someone can come up and grab your camera and easily knock it down or move the lens around.

Vandal Dome

Vandal-resistent dome cameras are super durable with this IK10 vandal proof glass dome. These things are tough and durable, and someone's not going to be able to come along and smash it. These are ideal for situations where vandalism is a concern, or just when you need to install a camera that can easily be reached. The drawback is that sometimes the glass dome can cause reflection, especially at night. The infrared lights can bounce back on the lens, causing a slightly blurry or washed out image.

Turret

Turret cameras really are the best of both worlds when it comes to form factor. It's as compact and tough as a vandal dome, but it has excellent image quality 24/7 like a bullet. If you don't have a particular form factor reference, we recommend choosing the turret.

Go Back
Start Over

Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over

Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over

Lens Type

When it comes to lens types, you can choose a lens that is fixed at a given length or a varifocal lens with zoom capabilities. Go ahead and select your lens type below, which will take you to a category page listing the narrowed-down list of your ideal cameras.

Fixed Lens

Fixed lens cameras have what's called a prime lens, which just means they're fixed at a given focal length. These lenses are usually pretty wide and have a really nice field of view. These cameras are perfect for most situations, unless you know you're going to need to be zooming in on your surveillance footage quite a bit. If you're not sure which lens type you need, we typically recommend fixed lens cameras.

Varifocal Lens

A motorized varifocal lens camera has an optical zoom lens, meaning it's not fixed at a given length. These cameras have a zoome range and a field of view range, so you can adjust your image on the fly. Most zoom lenses are easy to control from the camera's interface or even from your mobile device.

Once you've picked out your camera and you're ready to move on, click the button below. If you still have questions about which camera is right for you, feel free to send us an email and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may still have. Now let's move on to our recorder!

Go Back
Start Over