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How Much Does a Video Surveillance System Cost?

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Are you looking for a little added security for your home or business? Video surveillance systems not only provide peace of mind that your assets and valuables are protected; they also work as a deterrent for would-be thieves or vandals. Perpetrators are far less likely to commit a crime if they know there's a high risk of being caught.

Video surveillance systems are relatively affordable, with basic systems for the home starting at just a few hundred dollars. Generally, you can expect to pay about a total of about $500 to $1,000 per camera for a complete package. That includes installation but not the cost of optional recording devices.

However, simply buying a camera is not enough. There are many accessories and options from which to choose, and it can be tricky to figure out what equipment you need. Read on to find out about the various parts and components to a video surveillance system and how much you can expect to spend on each one.

Video Surveillance System Equipment and Accessories

Aside from just a camera, you'll need power cables and connectors, lenses and at least one monitor for viewing. Unless you have someone to watch the monitor 24 hours a day, you'll also need a DVR or similar device to record your footage. Depending on the surveillance system you select, you may also need a hard drive, modem or small computer system.

There are many options for the cameras themselves. Some of the most popular types include:

  • Bullet-shaped: traditional indoor/outdoor cameras that allow you to see facial features at a distance of up to 35 feet. These are the most popular cameras, and probably what you imagine when you think of video surveillance.
  • Dome-shaped: Indoor cameras protected with a dome-shaped cover. They are sometimes sold in tamper-proof varieties.
  • C-mounted: Primarily indoor cameras that allow you to change the lens to reach distances of more than 35 feet.
  • Infrared: Cameras that can pick up images with little or no light. They are often bullet shaped and can be used indoors or outdoors.
  • Hidden: Cameras that can be concealed in plants, smoke detectors, clocks or other household objects.

It can be confusing to sort through all the types of equipment available, but the video surveillance dealer you select can walk you through all the options and help you settle on a complete surveillance package that includes everything you need.

Video Surveillance System Average Costs

You can buy a pre-packaged kit video surveillance kit on the Internet for $150 to $200 per camera. But the cameras are usually not high quality. You also won't get the benefits of professional installation, service and support. It's usually best to go through a professional dealer who can work within your budget to select the highest quality system for the best price.

Basic cameras generally run $100 to $250 each, while hidden cameras are more expensive at around $200 to $400 each. Most of the time that does not include the price of a lens, which runs $100 to $300 for a fixed variety and upwards of $1,000 if it includes a zoom feature.

DVRs cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for a single channel. However, larger businesses with dozens of cameras will need several channels, which increases the price significantly. You could also opt for a time-lapsed VCR, which is outdated technology but can still be purchased for a few hundred dollars.

Monitors vary widely in price, depending on size and quality. They start at around $150 and range all the way up to several thousand for large, flat panel screens. Protective covers, also called housings, run anywhere from $20 to more than $200.

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