One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at SystemLinks is whether security cameras are superior to doorbell camera systems. We can emphatically answer yes! However, you may think we are understandably biased, being a CCTV security camera and access control sales and installation company. So, this month we are sharing seven ways home security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras for keeping your home and family safe.
Customizable Field of View
One of the biggest reasons security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras is the ability to change the camera’s field of view to capture more of what is going on around your property. Whereas doorbell cameras such as Ring have a fixed viewing range, security cameras are customizable to capture what you need where you need it.
Do you really need to capture video and receive notifications whenever your neighbor passes your home while walking their dog? Or are you concerned, as most homeowners are, with activities that actually occur on your property?
Home security cameras typically come with higher resolution than video doorbells. The most common resolution for home security cameras in the market includes 2MP (1080p), 4MP (1440p), 5MP (1920p) and 8MP (4K/2160p).
Doorbell cameras currently max out at 1080p resolution, with some as low as 480p. A higher resolution generally means a sharper image. Home security cameras can capture more detailed footage, making it easier to identify people, objects and events.
Night Vision Capabilities
Most criminals prefer to act under cover of darkness. While doorbell cameras may have night vision, the capabilities are minimal compared to home security cameras.
For instance, most home security cameras have infrared sensors that allow them to see even in total darkness. The night vision range of home security cameras can be anywhere from 10 to 100 feet, depending on the model. Most doorbell cameras provide night vision up to 30 feet.
Additionally, home security cameras usually come with adjustable night vision settings, allowing you to customize the camera’s performance, avoid light flares, and provide better security for you and your family.
Adaptive AI Detection
Motion detection is another area where security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras.
Imagine being in an important work meeting with your phone alerting you whenever a cat crosses your lawn. The word “distracting” does not even begin to describe interruptions.
However, modern security cameras are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that recognizes and learns to ignore the non-threatening movement. This is especially helpful on residential streets with heavy traffic, outdoor pets like cats or other everyday neighborhood activities.
Home security cameras can provide you with the comfort of viewing your entire property from an app on your smartphone, but with greater customization options and notifications.
Security Cameras Can Provide Quality Plus Quantity
Like most things in life, when choosing between home security cameras installed by a professional and doorbell cameras installed by the average DIYer, you get what you pay for.
Security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras because of the quality of the equipment, available features, and the ease with which you can add additional cameras to your existing security plan.
Home Security Cameras Are Less Susceptible to Tampering
Another way home security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras is that they are less susceptible to tampering because of the equipment’s options for placement, hard-wiring, and durability.
Related: Best Ways to Protect Your Home Security Camera from Hackers
On the other hand, doorbell cameras are relatively easy to tamper with because they are easy to access. Intruders can tamper with doorbell cameras by physically removing them or disconnecting the power source. They can also disable the camera by blocking its view or accessing its settings.
Additionally, criminals can hack your camera using your WiFi, tricking you into letting in a stranger by showing you a video of someone you know.
Ownership of Equipment and Videos
The final reason why security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras is ownership. With security cameras, you own the cameras, the DVR, and most importantly, the videos.
Most doorbell camera companies require a monthly or yearly subscription to record and keep video footage for later viewing. Even then, there is a time limit on how long you have to access the videos (typically around 60 days). You are out of luck if you need that data after those 60 days.
Conversely, by installing a CCTV system that sends video footage to your own DVR, you can choose how much or how little video data you want to keep and exactly how long you want to keep it. If you want to keep the recording of your spouse slipping on the ice to show at family gatherings 15 years from now, you can. The only limitation to how much video footage you can keep is the size of the expandable hard drive on your DVR.
You Might Like: Using Security Video as Legal Evidence: What You Need to Know
With System Links, Home Security Cameras Are More Affordable Than You Think
One of the main reasons many Southern Colorado homeowners choose doorbell cameras with DIY installation is that they think professionally-installed home security cameras are out of their budget.
At System Links, however, we believe that every homeowner, every Southern Colorado family, deserves to feel safe and secure in their home. We have camera packages that include installation at reasonable prices. And every installation we do comes with three years of free basic service calls, a warranty unprecedented in the security camera and access control industry.
Call today to schedule your free, in-home security consultation and quote. We look forward to working with you toward a more secure future!
When we answer the phone at SystemLinks, we often hear the question, “how much will an access control system cost me?” Many variables are involved with installing access control systems – the system itself and the number of doors or access points, for starters – but that doesn’t mean your budget and options are unattainable.
The following is a summary of the average costs per door for some of the most popular types of access control systems:
Traditional, Physical Keys and Locks
Traditional lock and key solutions may be the most affordable solution for access control, but more and more Southern Colorado businesses are exploring other options. Why?
When an employee leaves the company, physical keys are often lost or forgotten, resulting in a substantial cost for rekeying locks and replacing keys. In such a situation, it is critical to maintain a secure environment and replace door locks or rekey locks.
For an experienced locksmith, cutting a new key should take less than two minutes, and replacement keys will vary in price from $2 for a simple key to $70 for a coded one. If you rekey your doors, you will spend between $500 and $2400 on them.
Changing the lock is more time-consuming and costly, and you will still need new keys. Furthermore, you’ll have to pay even more if you need an emergency or after-hours service.
Keypad Access Control
On average, access control system costs for keypads range from $500 to over $1,500 per door. Keypad entry systems install quickly, but the wiring in your building will ultimately determine how long it takes. In most cases, the installation of hardware on the exterior of the building is required.
One drawback to keypad-enabled access control is that hacking the keypad is relatively easy for an experienced intruder. In fact, even a novice can hack a keypad by watching videos on YouTube.
Additionally, while changing the code on a keypad is relatively easy, the system administrator must be physically present. Another hidden cost with keypads is that when you change the code, everyone accessing the building must remember it, which often results in lockouts and support calls.
Key Card and Key Fob Access Control System Cost
Access control system cost for key cards and key fob entry ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per door. In addition to the hard costs of readers, panels, wiring networks, and training, $3 to $10 is added per card or $5 to $50 per key fob.
Key cards and fobs generally require more installation time than keypad entry systems but are quicker to install than biometric systems. You must install some hardware outside the building for this entry system to work. Because getting a card or key fob to the user requires an on-site presence (or mailing them out), adding and removing users will require physical contact with the user.
If a network is available on-site, remote management is available for many entry systems. However, to manage the system, many installers charge a service fee from $10 to $100 per door per month. And to have the latest features, you will need to upgrade your software annually.
When a key card or key fob is lost, the property manager must remove the lost fob and manually add a new one to the system. The time it takes the property manager to administer the system is an estimated 15 minutes per tenant per year. Managing a system with 500 employees or residents every year would cost an additional $2,500.
Intercom (Buzzer) Access Control Systems
There are various price points when it comes to intercom systems for access control. A basic buzzer system is typically $750 per door, and integrated video storage and access control system costs can reach up to $10,000 per door.
The installation will take at least 4 hours per intercom, depending on how complex the wiring is in your building, and an administrator must actively manage the system. Adding or deleting a new user can take as much as 15 minutes, and the more sophisticated systems might come with hefty monthly support fees.
Biometric Access Control Systems
Rather than using physical key cards, key fobs, keypads, or traditional locks and keys for access control, many businesses invest in biometric systems that authenticate users by scanning their fingerprints, handprints, hand geometry, iris patterns, and facial features.
Because of the increased security available, biometric access control systems cost one of the most expensive out there, at $2,500 to $10,000 per door. In addition to your electronic locking hardware, you must install a biometric scanner, a network connection, and computer hardware and software, all of which increase the access control system cost.
Installation of biometric hardware should take about 1 to 2 hours per door, but setting up the software and connecting it to the network may take several hours. As with most other technologies, hardware will need to be installed on the exterior of the building.
While biometric access control is one of the most secure systems available, they have drawbacks. The systems are vulnerable to false positives (allowing someone in who should not be) or false negatives (keeping someone out who should be allowed in).
Smartphone-Enabled Access Control
One of the most cost-efficient access control systems, and one that we are excited about at System Links Colorado, is smartphone-enabled access control.
The cost of installing smartphone access control systems depends on the manufacturer and the type of access. An existing electronic door lock can be wired to a smartphone reader or a commercial smart lock.
If your smartphone reader uses NFC, outdoor installation may be necessary. If it uses WiFi, ZigBee, or Z Wave, you will require the support of a large-scale network. The cost for these types of smartphone-enabled access control ranges from around $500 per door to over $10,000,
However, emerging technology from manufacturers like VIZPin, which uses Bluetooth, allows Southern Colorado businesses to avoid a significant financial outlay and retain high levels of control of their building access and assets.
VIZpin’s Bluetooth access door controller with an integrated Bluetooth reader can be installed in seconds and does not require any hardware installation outside the structure. The prices start at $299 per door.
That is an access control system cost most businesses can live with!
The Best Way to Know How Much Installing An Access Control System Costs is to Request a Free Quote
In this article, we have provided rough estimates of per-door costs for access control systems. However, the best way to find out your cost and ensure you select the proper access control system installation for your Southern Colorado business is to request a free quote from System Links.
We will start by scheduling a free, on-site security assessment, where we learn about your business, your assets, and your security needs. Then, we will prepare a custom quote with the best options. We stand by our quotes, so you never need to worry about hidden costs or fees.
Get started today by speaking with one of our security and service advisors.
Another holiday season is upon us, and whether you are staying home or traveling, you are likely interested in holiday home security tips to keep you and your loved ones thoroughly enjoying the festivities.
As your safe haven, home security is likely a concern year-round. But alongside the pleasant traditions that accompany the holiday season, home burglaries also increase during the holidays. Taking simple precautions can significantly enhance your home’s safety and security during the holidays and throughout the year.
The idea that keeping your lights on can deter burglaries should be no surprise. Thieves are less likely to break into well-lit homes. Start by replacing bulbs in your outdoor lamps and make sure sensors on solar lights are not obstructed during the day so they can have a strong glow throughout the night. If your yard is very dark, consider installing motion-sensor lighting to deter criminals from approaching your home.
Indoors, install timers on lamps and TVs, or consider converting your home into a smart home, where your smartphone controls the lighting.
Lock Your Doors and Windows
Locking doors and windows is an obvious security measure for all homeowners. We include this reminder for holiday home security because the holidays increase activities and visits from friends and family. Remembering to lock your doors and windows after deliveries or coming into the home with your hands full can be a challenge. Prioritize this simple step, and your holiday home security will increase exponentially.
Another of our holiday home security tips is to avoid hiding a spare house key under a rock, window ledge, or flower pot near the door. If you are afraid of locking yourself out of your home or want to leave a key for a visiting family member, a better idea is to leave the key with a trusted neighbor, or if that’s not possible, move it to a location away from the door. Better yet, upgrade your door handle and lock to a smart lock. These modern innovations make keys obsolete and can make your home more secure.
Enlist the Help of Your Neighbors
Home burglaries affect more than just the individual homeowner. Everyone in the neighborhood has a vested interest in keeping crime away from their homes. Introduce yourself to your neighbors, and develop an acquaintance that can benefit you both by keeping an eye on each other’s property. If you are traveling this season, see if they are willing to keep your house looking ‘lived in’ by getting the mail, parking in your driveway occasionally, or clearing the snow off your walkway.
Be Careful With Your Garbage
You may not have thought about this holiday home security tip, but your trash could invite thieves to break into your home. Think about it. If you are a criminal looking for a good target, are you more likely to hit the home where you cannot see what they got for Christmas or the home that places boxes from Apple, Samsung, or other high-ticket items on the curb next to their garbage can?
The best idea is to break down your boxes, put them in opaque trash bags, and then place the bags inside the garbage can.
Take a Tip From Santa
Old St. Nick may have it right by dropping off gifts on Christmas Eve. A Christmas tree positioned in front of a window is a beautiful sight. However, placing your tree where a trespasser can easily see beautifully wrapped presents may provide all the temptation needed to mark your house as an easy target. Move your tree to a less visible spot and delay putting presents out until Christmas Eve, just as Santa does.
One of the most significant issues for holiday home security is package delivery. The convenience and economic benefits of online shopping are indisputable. Unfortunately, you are not the only one who has noticed. So-called porch pirates relish in the knowledge that in any given neighborhood, half of the homeowners use online shopping to complete their holiday to-do lists. So what can be done to lessen the odds of your home being the target of porch pirates?
Being home to accept all deliveries is generally not an option for most busy homeowners in Colorado Springs. Consider changing your delivery locations to your office, Amazon Hubs, or a trusted friend or neighbor who is home and can hold onto your packages until you can retrieve them. If these not are viable options, just being aware of your projected deliveries and collecting them from your doorstep as soon as possible can keep you from falling victim to criminals looking for an easy score.
Save Your Social Media Posts
A holiday home security tip that many need to remember is to refrain from publishing your travel plans and pictures on social media until after you return home. The excitement of seeing new places or reconnecting with friends and family is undeniable, and you should take all the pictures your phone or SD card can hold! But immediately posting these memories on social media can alert criminals that you are gone and your home is ripe for plundering.
Instead, stay in the moment and keep your posts to a minimum.
Increase Holiday Home Security with Surveillance Cameras
Time and time again, statistics have shown that installing security cameras is one of the most effective ways to prevent theft and vandalism. Criminals are less likely to target your home or business if they know there is a possibility of El Paso County prosecutors using security video as legal evidence to seek their conviction. The possible score is not worth the risk.
Are You Ready to Amp Up Your Holiday Home Security?
If ensuring holiday home security is on the top of your to-do list, there is good reason to contact a fully licensed and insured professional home security camera installer rather than going the DIY route.
Professional installers know where to install home security cameras and can ensure they are correctly calibrated to capture vulnerable areas where criminals can sneak in. Too often, DIYers find out too late that the camera meant to capture activity at their doorstep points to the sky or that the recordings are out of focus.
System Links has the experience, cameras, and know-how you need to secure your home year-round. Contact us today to schedule your free security assessment and receive your free security camera installation quote.
As industry leaders in access control and asset security, System Links is always on the lookout for cutting-edge technologies, and one of the trends we have been watching is the emergence of smartphone-enabled access control systems. But what exactly is smartphone-enabled access control, how does it differ from token-based systems, and why is this technology the future of access control?
What is Smartphone-Enabled Access Control?
By smartphone-enabled access control, we mean allowing access to a secure location based on the connection of a smartphone (and not a physical token or a biometric device). Typically, you grant this access the same way your phone connects to your car, Alexa, or other smartphone-enabled devices – via Bluetooth.
Smartphone As An Alternative To Token-Based Access Control
Smartphone-enabled access control is an alternative to the more traditional token-based access control systems where employees need to use physical proximity cards or fobs to enter secure areas such as the workplace or office buildings. Smartphone-enabled access control systems authenticate users through an app or software installed on the smartphone.
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Why Using Smartphones Is The Next Step For Access Control
Allowing entry with a smartphone, the most widely used device in the world, is the next logical step for the security of a building, room, or system. Why? For four main reasons:
Smartphones Eliminate the Need for Tokens
One of the biggest challenges to Colorado businesses that utilize traditional access control systems is their employees. Even the best employees can share, lose, or be victims of theft. And worse yet, employees are often not anxious to reveal their indiscretions to their employers, leaving the security of the building and the business at risk.
Some businesses have gone another route for access control and utilize keypads for entry. However, this system is fraught with issues as well. First, forgetful employees may need to write down the code, and the note can be easily lost. Second, sharing codes between employees and visitors is even easier than sharing a keycard.
Switching to smartphone-enabled systems eliminates the above potential security risks. Very few individuals share their phones with others, and most individuals carry their phones with them at all times.
Easy Integration with Current Access Control Systems
One of the things that we love about smartphone-enabled access control is how easily these systems are to integrate into a business. Companies with access control via traditional tokens can smoothly integrate smartphone technology into their existing systems. This can be a valuable consideration for companies desiring to transition into a modern access control system gradually.
Convenience of Software Upgrades vs. Hardware Upgrades
Any Southern Colorado business owner with experience in traditional access control systems knows that the initial cost of installation and maintenance of the included hardware can be inconvenient and costly.
On the other hand, smartphone-enabled access control has comparatively low installation costs, and most maintenance is as easy as updating software or an app on your phone.
Granting and Revoking Credentials With the Swipe of Your Finger
A considerable advantage of smartphone-enabled access control is the ease with which administrators can grant and revoke user access. With a simple swipe of the finger, a new employee can access all business areas relevant to their position. Conversely, employees who are no longer part of the company can have their permissions quickly revoked by the same simple swipe of the administrator.
Additionally, business owners and managers can permit access during specific times and receive alerts when employees attempt entry at unauthorized times. Again, all of this is done efficiently through your smartphone.
Smartphone-Enabled Access Control is the Future of Security
As with many other sectors, the security camera and access control industry is shifting into new territories. Modern access control has come a long way since the days of tokens and keypads. We have moved from being a hardware-centric industry to a software-driven industry. This shift paves the way for innovations and growth opportunities.
Smartphone-enabled access control systems are one emerging trend that System Links is proud to promote in Southern Colorado. This exciting technology is not only cutting-edge but also provides a cost-effective solution for local businesses seeking to protect their assets through asset control.
If you want to learn more about smartphone-based security for your home or business, please contact us to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to being your guide to the future of security!
Speak with one of our security camera and access control specialists today!
Why are installing security cameras for large rural properties an absolute must for the many families and individuals who call these remote areas home?
If you live on a remote property, chances are you already know the answer to that question. From safety and security, asset protection to keeping an eye on crops, livestock and more, installing security cameras for large rural properties makes sense.
Keep reading for more information on how a surveillance system can benefit your property and cutting-edge features to consider including in your system.
Why Invest in Security Cameras for Large Rural Properties?
Safety and Security
While small urban properties and suburban dwellings often rely on their tight-knit communities to help keep them safe from potential threats, large rural properties tend to be much more isolated from assistance. This makes securing your sprawling estate with effective video surveillance systems an essential part of any security plan.
Like their suburban counterparts, rural properties benefit from security cameras throughout the property, including barns, outbuildings, equipment storage areas and the property’s perimeter.
Many large estates on the Front Range rely on gates to control access. The perfect complement to these access control systems is a security camera system that provides intercom capability and license plate recognition.
Monitoring of Crops and Livestock
Installing security cameras for large rural properties is especially beneficial for ranching or farming estates. Imagine the time saved by pulling up a live feed from your pasture to see where your livestock is grazing today or monitoring the irrigation of your crops while working on other vital operational tasks.
Additionally, surveillance cameras placed in barns can keep you alert and ready for birthing during foaling and calving seasons and can also catch that sneaky fox raiding your chicken coop.
Weather and Emergency Disaster Preparedness
If there is one certainty of Colorado living, it is that the weather can and will change at any moment. Surveillance cameras can prepare property owners for weather events, so they can take precautions before the weather comes into contact with valuable assets or structures. And most importantly, knowing a weather event is coming can allow property owners to get themselves and their beloved animals to safety.
Colorado is immune to many of the natural disasters other parts of the country struggle with, but one area that is always of concern here is the danger of wildfires.
When the Black Forest Fire started in June 2013, many residents were unaware of how quickly wildfires jump and spread in dry conditions.
Mandatory evacuations forced many Colorado Springs residents to flee without knowing if they would ever see their homes intact again. Seconds and minutes count in these emergencies, and live feeds from security cameras can provide those extra moments that save lives.
Additionally, property owners who installed security cameras on their properties large rural properties could monitor the fire’s progress and reduce the anxiety of not knowing if their home was (literally) in the line of fire.
Choosing Security Cameras for Large Rural Properties
Modern security camera systems provide cutting-edge technology that protects people, animals and assets. Some of the features to consider when choosing security cameras for large rural properties include the following:
Field of View
Choose cameras with long-range capabilities and place them correctly to maximize their field of view. Even the best long-range cameras are ineffective if they capture mainly the sky and no pasture.
How high of definition you need depends on the application. Many farm and ranch owners opt for the highest definition in areas with ingress and egress from their property, barns, equipment storage areas, and utility sheds.
Night-Vision and Thermal Imaging
Since most security events happen under cover of darkness, consider investing in cameras with night-vision and thermal imaging capabilities. Never again will you be caught unawares by an intruder in the middle of the night.
Related: Advantages of Installing Thermal Imaging Cameras for Access Control
Motion Detection and Monitoring
One of the most significant benefits of modern security cameras for large rural properties is the ability to detect and monitor motion throughout your property. The cameras can be programmed to detect motion as small as a mouse or as broad as a moose. The settings are customizable to the needs of your estate.
Once the motion parameters are set, a CCTV camera system can automatically mark the exact time of a motion event, so you do not have to watch hours of recorded video to see what is happening.
Push notifications are invaluable in maintaining the security of your large property. Knowing when outsiders are approaching your property before their arrival allows you time to decide if and how you want to grant access.
2-Way Radio Communication
Many security camera systems now come equipped with 2-way radio, so you can communicate with visitors at the gate or alert your spouse when dinner is almost ready, so they can start coming in from the ‘south forty.’
Which security camera system is suitable for your estate will depend on the size of your property, how you intend to use the system, and of course, your budget.
If you are considering security cameras for your sizable rural property, you are in the right place. System Links is Southern Colorado’s leader in CCTV installation and access control systems.
Call us today to schedule your free, on-site needs assessment. This one simple step will result in a reliable free quote, with no surprises once the installation is complete.