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2015 Archives

December 21, 2015

Wireless-Systems-Blog-Image-Option2-12-21-15.jpgThe convenience of a wireless system is tempting when you are purchasing a video surveillance system -you have more flexibility in where you install cameras, and can limit the number of cables you need to run by connecting to the cameras using wifi internet. But do you know how this technology works, and what situations it is best suited for?

When it comes to wireless surveillance systems, you are really talking about two different types of technology: wifi cameras, and point-to-point wireless linking.

Wifi Cameras

All-in-one wifi cameras are popular with homeowners and small businesses. These cameras are small, affordable, and easy to use. They should only be used in small systems though, because having too many wifi cameras on one network could overwhelm your bandwidth.

These cameras will have basic features, so if you need a specific feature or advanced functionality your options will be limited. It should also be noted that very few cameras are battery operated - even a wifi camera still needs to be plugged in to get power.

Point-to-point Wireless

If you need to install multiple cameras over a large area, and require specific or advanced features, a wireless point-to-point system is a much better option. This type of system allows you to turn an IP system into a wireless system by linking cameras with wireless antennas.

These systems use powerful antennas to connect over large distances (although they should have line of sight ideally), such as connecting surveillance systems in multiple buildings on a college campus or a retail store and its parking garage. The wireless antenna connected to the cameras will communicate with the base station, connecting it to your NVR or VMS.

The cameras in these systems also require power, and are not batter operated.

Learn more about wireless video surveillance technology.

December 18, 2015

Remote-Monitoring-Blog-Image-12-17-15.jpgOne of the most important benefits of modern IP video surveillance systems is the flexibility in video management - using the power of the internet you can log into your system and see surveillance video at any time whether you are at work or not.

Remote monitoring allows you to monitor and manage your surveillance system from a computer anywhere with an internet connection using port forwarding (learn how to set up port forwarding). A mobile app, on the other hand, allows you to log into your system using a smart phone.

There are mobile apps for remotely managing your video surveillance system for both iPhone and Android systems. In addition, several leading manufacturers have mobile apps, including:

While specific features will vary between remote and mobile applications and manufacturer, in general you will be able to view live and recorded video and manage alerts. This gives managers and security staff greatly increased flexibility in how and when they respond to issues back at work if they are off-site for other projects, get notifications late at night or on the weekends, or on vacation.

Learn more about mobile and remote monitoring.

December 14, 2015

Bank-of-New-Hampshire-Case-Study-Blog-Image-12-10-15.jpgThe Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in New England is a premier concert venue with regular crowds on over 8,000 for shows all summer long. With large crowds comes the need for an improved video surveillance system, so Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion upgraded to an HD IP video surveillance system. By replacing their old CCTV system the security staff has drastically cut the response time to crowd incidents and increased the number of investigations by local law enforcement.

The area covered by the new surveillance system is large, but by monitoring live cameras in the control room, security personnel can monitor all areas at once:

  • Multiple parking lots
  • Overnight camping spots
  • VIP lounges
  • Tailgating areas
  • Vendor/merchandise areas
  • Two concert stages

The largest benefit of the new surveillance system is how easy it is to identify and export video if an incident happens. With the old CCTV system the security crew had to physically access each camera to download video which could take hours. Their new system takes just minutes to export files onto a USB stick to hand over to law enforcement.

Between the easier system management and the upgrade to high definition video, an essential part of identifying suspicious people in the videos, within six months the police had already launched a dozen investigations with more pending.

Read the full Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion case study.

November 24, 2015

VideoSurveillance-The-Martian-Movie-Blog-Image-11-20-15.jpgIf you saw the extremely popular movie The Martian this fall, did you happen to spot the cameos by Mobotix cameras?

The Martian follows astronaut Mark Watney as he attempts to survive being left behind on Mars by working with the supplies he has and a background as a botanist, along with mission control at NASA and his fellow crewmembers onboard the Hermes spaceship.

It's during those scenes on the Hermes spaceship that we see two Mobotix cameras - the M25 360 degree panoramic camera (as seen above), and the dual-sensor M15 camera.

These surveillance cameras allow crewmembers and mission control to monitor actives on the spaceship and spot issues as soon as they happen. Down here on Earth both of these cameras are just as useful - with IP66-rated outdoor housing and HD resolution, Mobotix cameras are used by businesses in every industry.

Shop all Mobotix surveillance cameras.

November 19, 2015

Guide-To-Increased-Security-Blog-Image-11-18-15.jpgThe newest whitepaper is now available from - introducing Solutions by Role: A Quick Guide to Increased Security. This comprehensive overview looks into video surveillance system management from the perspective of five positions within an organization:

  • Small business owner
  • IT director
  • General manager
  • Security director
  • Construction project manager

Each section looks at the security challenges faced by businesses, the ways in which modern video surveillance systems can help improve security and business operations, and a list of frequently asked questions.

Download the free whitepaper today.

November 12, 2015

License-Plate-Recognition-Image-10-12-15.jpgLicense plate recognition, or LPR, is an incredibly useful software feature that allows you to track traffic, control entry into your business, find stolen vehicles, and much more. But do you know how LPR works and when to use it?

License plate recognition software is based on a database - your camera captures video of the license plate numbers and then either stores it for later use, or compares it to an existing database. For example:

  • Secured & gated entrances, such as military bases or permit-based parking garages, will automatically compare each approaching vehicle's license plate to a database of authorized personnel, and only open the gates if that license plate number is on the list
  • Parking enforcement officials can record cars as they enter and park, giving them a video to refer to if cars go over the time limit or attempt in and out parking
  • Police and other law officials can review local traffic videos to search for the license plates of stolen vehicles or suspected cars in other crimes

To record these videos, however, you'll need a specialized system and camera setup. This includes:

  • Video management software with advanced options for license plate recognition
  • Cameras installed in locations that are at the right height to record license plates
  • Low speed limits for oncoming traffic, so the camera has long enough to focus on each car as it approaches
  • Proper lighting, either external or built-in IRs, to combat harsh overhead lighting in parking garages or dark shadows in underground structures

LPR is available on a wide range of video management software, including industry leading Milestone. Their Milestone XProtect LPR software includes database searching, filtering, and sorting, along with alarms if your system detects an unknown or blacklisted license plate.

Learn more about license plate recognition.

November 5, 2015

Construction-Project-Manager-Image-10-5-15.jpgConstruction sites face a wide range of challenges, from heavy machinery that needs to be handled carefully to material loss from theft and vandalism. As Construction Project Manager you'll need to secure your employees, materials, and site - and is here to help.

Why should you consider installing or upgrading a site surveillance system?

  • Video can be used to increase worker safety & reduce injuries
  • Surveillance can deter equipment & material theft
  • Prevent vandalism & trespassing
  • Reduce liability for your company by increasing safety

When it comes to the surveillance systems themselves, you will have many choices. Modern IP-based systems are flexible and easily customized, so you can create a system that is best suited for your site. You should look for:

  • HD resolution
  • Wireless systems
  • Mobile & remote monitoring

One solution that is popular with construction sites are temporary security towers. These mobile systems come with all the equipment you need, and the cameras and lights come attached to towers so you can install them without modifying your existing structures.

Are you a construction project manager looking to learn more? Read our full page on video surveillance systems for construction.

October 28, 2015

Bad-Examples-of-HD-Surveillance.jpgHigh definition resolution is quickly becoming the go-to standard in video surveillance systems; HD cameras record larger, more detailed videos compared to non-HD models, allowing you to more easily recognize suspicious activity.

But HD won't matter if your system has other problems that render HD irrelevant. Some reasons your system might be struggling:

  • Extreme top-down angle - Your camera may have great resolution, but an extreme top-down angle won't allow you to recognize anyone
  • Field of view too wide - HD cameras are great at capturing details, but a field of view that's too wide wont' allow you to focus in on the important areas
  • Insects & dirt on the camera - IR lights allow you to record at night, but they also attract bugs that can block your view.

Do any of these problems seem familiar? Right now we're offering a free 20 minute system evaluation, performed by our surveillance experts, to help you identify problems and solutions.

See all 9 reasons you need more than HD.

October 8, 2015

Tech-Surveillance-Camera-Blog-Image-9-24-15.jpgVideo compression is an essential part of recording and saving security camera footage, because it compresses the raw files into a smaller format. This allows you to store more videos on your hard drive. There are three types of video compression:

  • H.264 compression - This is the best, most efficient way to compress your video files. It compresses the files by evaluating small groups of images together and removing duplicates.
  • MJPEG compression - This format works by evaluating each frame of the video and compressing it. This is also referred to as motion JPEG, because it treats each frame as an individual JPEG image.
  • MPEG4 compression - This is the oldest format, and is not commonly used. It has largely been replaced by H.264 compression.

What makes video compression an important part of your surveillance is the ability to compress files - this maximizes your hard drive space so you can store more videos for longer periods of time before your hard drive is full.

Large video files become a problem when you record extremely long videos, or high quality HD videos. A 30 second video your camera automatically records on motion won't be very large, but a 10 minute video of a break-in at your store will. Additionally, a video recorded at 5MP and a full 30 FPS will be helpful in identifying suspects in a video, but also be a very large file.

Learn more about video compression.

September 22, 2015

Healthy-Surveillance-System-Blog-Image-9-29-15.jpgAfter you've purchased and installed your video surveillance system, the important steps of on-going maintenance of the system begins.

It may be tempting to assume everything is fine and won't need a lot monitoring, but we highly recommend that you follow these basic steps to keep your system healthy and performing well - it's better to prevent an outage than realize the system was down after a crime has been committed.

Daily tasks should focus on ensuring your equipment is powered up and connected:

  • Checking your server's power, if you use one
  • Checking the connection and feed of ALL your cameras

Weekly tasks should focus on updates and exports:

  • Running Windows system updates
  • Running a full virus and malware scan
  • Exporting any requested videos

Monthly tasks should focus on your system's settings:

  • Running firmware upgrades
  • Checking all motion detection settings
  • Update your system's security, including removing old users and changing passwords

Yearly tasks should focus on the health of your system's equipment:

  • HHD defrag and RAM scan
  • RAID health check, if you're using a RAID setup

Want to learn more about keeping your system healthy? Contact our surveillance experts today.

September 17, 2015

WDR-Blog-Image-9-17-15.jpgWide dynamic range, or WDR, is an essential tool for getting clear, balanced videos without over- or underexposed sections. If your business has a large window, bright lights but dim hallways, or covered areas like parking garages that are extremely dark compared to the garage entrances and exits, WDR is something you should use.

What WDR does to help your videos remain clear even when you have dark and bright areas is to balance the lighting of both extremes into one consistent level throughout the image.

For example, a retail store may have a large window front that makes up a large portion of one wall; when someone walks in front of the window they will appear extremely dark compared to the window, and a standard camera may not record any recognizable features. With WDR, the lighting would be balanced so the window and person are both clear.

How does WDR work? WDR is actually made up of several features and factors. First, cameras with WDR have advanced light sensors that are more sensitive than standard surveillance cameras. This allows the camera to record better in a range of lighting, including low-light.

Second, the camera or its software will balance the lighting. This can actually happen in one of two ways. With tone mapping, the camera or the software will automatically brighten or darken areas. This is the standard method most surveillance cameras will use.

The other way is to record several versions of the exact same video at different exposure levels. Those overexposed and underexposed videos, along with the normal video, are then combined and the final video you see is the combined image. This type of WDR is only available on higher level professional cameras, however, because it requires an extremely fast light sensor.

Learn more about WDR on our technology section.

September 30, 2015

Earlier this month, merged with Camguard, a California-based provider of managed video surveillance services.

Please reference the press release for additional details.

We are very excited about the additional services and capabilities we can now offer as a combined company!

For our clients and partners, we will continue to work with you as we always have and will continue to operate from Portland, OR.

In the coming weeks and months we will begin to rollout new remote video monitoring services, actively monitored "camera towers," and full-service security integration.

Please contact us if you have any questions or want to know more!

September 10, 2015

IT-Directors-Blog-Image-9-10-15.jpgIT departments are increasingly taking responsibility for the researching, purchasing, and managing of video surveillance systems. Before your team tackles this new project, do you know the three challenges most IT departments face and how to prevent them?

A joint study by Axis Communications and ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) found three common challenges IT departments face when managing a surveillance system: searching for video files in archived footage, managing the volume of data, and the impact of an IP system on their network's bandwidth. Read the research brief from Axis and ESG.

The best way to manage the impact of a surveillance system on your bandwidth will depend on your system's design. The best option is to separate your system's video and data traffic onto a different LAN or VLAN from the rest of your business. Additionally, your network should be gigabit or 10gig speeds. If that's not an option, or the system is still slow, take a look at these settings:

Our security experts can help evaluate your system and suggest ways to improve bandwidth performance. Want to learn more about IT challenges, or get expert advice on managing data and security? Download our free IT Guide to Video Surveillance.

September 3, 2015

Constructioin-Blog-Image2-8-27-15.jpgWith hard-to-secure work sites, high rates of metal theft, dangerous machinery that could cause accidents, and exposure to weather, construction sites are a challenging location for security and video surveillance. But with some flexibility and a custom-built system specific to your site, it is possible to secure your site and protect your workers.

The benefits of installing a surveillance system on your construction site include: theft prevention, remote monitoring, and increased worker safety.

An especially popular feature is remote and mobile monitoring, which allows you to check the cameras from anywhere with a smart phone, tablet, or computer. You can also text or email alerts if the camera captures motion or other suspicious activity during non-work hours, allowing you to respond faster to issues.

Wireless systems are a great option for construction sites, because of their minimal wiring - you'll only need to power the cameras, which will then be wirelessly connected to your NVR. This also makes it easier for you to move cameras as your site changes throughout construction.

Learn more about using video surveillance on your construction site.

August 31, 2015

Old-CCTV-Blog-Image-8-31-15.jpgIf you want to upgrade to an IP system, but don't want to lose all your CCTV cameras, a video encoder is just the equipment you need. These devices are used to connect a CCTV, or analog, camera into a NVR so you can have a hybrid analog/IP video surveillance system.

Video encoders come in two different styles: standalone devices, and rackmount servers. The difference is in how many cameras you need to connect - devices range from 1 channel to 16 channels, while a server can support dozens of cameras. This allows you to select the type and size of encoder you need.

This type of combined system is useful in several different situations. If your company invested heavily in CCTV cameras and many of them still work well, but you want to move to a modern IP system, a video encoder allows you to keep the CCTV cameras that still work while replacing the other cameras with IP versions. Additionally, if you cannot afford to upgrade your entire system at once, the encoder makes it possible to upgrade cameras as your budget allows.

But how does the encoder actually work? Instead of plugging your CCTV camera into a DVR, you plug it into the video encoder. The encoder converts your camera's analog signals into digital. That encoder is then connected to your NVR, and your system will treat it like any other IP camera. You can even use a video encoder with PTZ cameras!

Because IP systems don't require expensive cabling, this means you can design a system that is more flexible and responsive to your needs. Video encoders are a valuable part of many surveillance systems, so contact our experts to see if it's the right solution for you.

Shop all video encoders.

August 20, 2015

Case-Study-Blog-Image-8-20-15.jpgSecurity is a huge concern for business owners in every industry, but do you know where to start? If you're looking for inspiration on how to use and mange a new surveillance system, we've pulled together some customer success stories from our years of experience to help!

Our Case Studies page highlights 15 customers in a wide range of industries, from retail, construction, manufacturing, education, and more.

Each case study highlights an issue the business faced, and how we designed a surveillance system to meet their unique needs. You'll also get details on the products, and insights into different system management styles, from owners who want to stay connected whenever they leave the office to researchers who only review off-hours footage.

Also available as free PDF downloads, reviewing case studies is a great start to identifying the reasons you want a surveillance system. When you're ready, contact our experts for a free quote.

Learn more about our customer success stories.

August 26, 2015

IT-Guide-To-Video-Surveillance-8-26-15.jpgIn a first-of-its kind whitepaper, VideoSurveillance has authored an 18 page guide to video surveillance systems for Information Technology professionals. Whether your department has been asked to design a system from scratch, to improve a current system, or take over data management, this guide has the information you need.

We cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Where to start if you've inherited a system
  • Design tips & common mistakes to avoid
  • How to avoid overwhelming your network's bandwidth
  • Keeping your network secure with an IP system
  • Steps for ongoing system maintenance
  • Planning for future system expansion

IT departments commonly cite three challenges when managing a video surveillance system: how to search through and archive data, how to control the quickly growing amount of data your system can collect, and how to mitigate the impact on network bandwidth.

We'll ask you many questions to help you think through the design, implementation, and management process, using knowledge gained from years working with surveillance systems. You'll learn how to avoid the most common mistakes, how to keep your network secure while utilizing the benefits of IP systems, what to think about when creating your upgrade plan, and more.

Download this comprehensive, FREE guide today!

August 24, 2015

Scholarship-Image.jpgCongratulations to all the students who entered this year's college scholarship - we had some amazing essays, and great ideas! However, only one student could win the $1,000 scholarship and this year's winner is Melissa from Pennsylvania State University.

Melissa's essay, "Video Surveillance: Revolutionizing the Future of College Campus Security" touched on her work as a graduate student strong Homeland Security, focusing on the challenges of 24/7 security.

This was the third year for the scholarship, which awards $1,000 for college tuition to an incoming college freshman or current university student. While the 2015 scholarship is now closed, check back soon for updates on the 2016 scholarship.

August 14, 2015


What exactly is tamper detection? Read below to have a better understanding of this built-in feature:

The tamper detection feature is designed to alert you when the camera's recording function has been affected. For example, if an intruder attempts to spray paint the camera lens or deliberately moves it, the camera will send you a notification, alerting you to the fact that your camera has been tampered with. The automatic tamper alerts let you stay connected to your system even when you're not on-site.

  • The camera is moved or pushed around (keep in mind, that it might be moved by a falling branch or a gust of wind)
  • An intruder tries to cut the power to the camera
  • The camera is covered with spray paint, disabling the recording function
  • An item or a piece of fabric is draped over the camera lens in an attempt to prevent recording
  • The camera focus is obscured, resulting in a blurry image

The good news is that tamper detection is available from many leading IP camera manufacturers including Optica, Axis, and Vivotek. Make sure to enable this camera feature immediately for increased peace of mind when you're away from your office or building.

August 11, 2015

How-to-Choose-a-Lens-8-11-15.jpgWhen researching video surveillance cameras, you will quickly realize that the lens a camera has is incredibly important for the type of video you want. When it comes to choosing the type of camera lens you want, do you know the most important factors to look at?

There are generally three types of lenses - normal, wide angle, and telephoto. A normal lens (one that isn't wide angle or telephoto) captures video that looks similar to what you would see looking at the scene.

A wide angle lens can capture a larger view of the same scene, a great option for when you want your surveillance camera to monitor general activity in a large area like a parking lot. A wide angle lens can't capture fine details, however, because it's not designed to focus in on small or close-up objects. One specialized type of wide-angle cameras is fisheye or panoramic.

For a close-up video, you'll want a telephoto lens. A telephoto lens is a long-focus lens, and will be able to focus on one specific area; this allows it to capture something, say a license plate, from a distance but will not provide an over-all view of the parking lot.

Another lens option to pay attention to are remote focus lenses - this will allow you to automatically focus the camera lens without physically adjusting it.

So how do you know what type of lens to choose? Before purchasing the camera, decide what you want to do with it. If you want a camera that can provide a view of the entire parking lot, you know to only look at wide angle cameras. If you want to capture fine details from a distance, limit your search to telephoto lens cameras. This will help you focus on only the cameras that will meet your surveillance goals.

August 6, 2015

Constructioin-Blog-Image1-8-6-15.jpgSecurity on a construction job site can be a difficult task - vandalism is common, theft of materials is a growing concern, and the outdoor nature makes it hard to restrict access. Utilizing an outdoor video surveillance system can make it easier for you to manage your site's security while reducing workplace accidents and theft.

Your construction site will require specialized equipment, but working with an experienced surveillance partner can help you build the best system for your needs. Outdoor cameras can weather extreme temperatures, rain, and the dust from construction.

If you're worried about damage to the cameras (either from vandals or equipment), vandal-proof cameras have specialized domes that can withstand sharp blows and hits. Many of these cameras also have tamper alarms, which can notify you of an attack when you're off-site.

When installing your surveillance cameras, pay attention to two specific areas - the perimeter of the site, and the area you store tools and materials. Securing these spaces make it easier for you to monitor activity at the site after hours so you can respond quickly to trespassing, vandalism, or theft.

Remote monitoring makes it incredibly easy to stay connected to your job site. Available for Android and Apple smart phones and tablets, these apps allow you to see a live feed from your cameras, review recorded video, and manage alerts. This ability to monitor your job site at any time, from anywhere, can help deter theft and reduce workplace accidents.

Learn more about video surveillance for building site security.

July 20, 2015

System-Bandwidth-Blog-Image-7-20-15.jpgIP-based surveillance systems give you incredible flexibility, but they can also have a negative impact on your bandwidth if you don't manage the system properly. How can you get all the benefits of IP without slowing down your network? By having different settings for live previews and saved files!

There are three areas you should focus on to reduce the bandwidth impact. First, take a look at your video compression settings. Your camera will probably give you several compression formats to choose from. You can have different settings for each type of compression, allowing you to find the best way to compress files into the smallest size (without a loss of quality) to minimize bandwidth impact when sending them.

You should also look at your camera's resolution settings. Higher resolution requites more bandwidth because the video files are larger, so make sure your resolution is set to match what you need from your system and no higher. You can also have two different resolution settings - stream live camera previews in a low resolution, but save your files at the higher resolution.

Finally, your camera's frames per second (FPS) can have an impact on file size and bandwidth. Similar to having two settings for resolution, you can also set up the live video to have fewer frames per second with the video file is at the full FPS.

If you are worried about the impact your surveillance system may be having on your bandwidth, or you aren't sure how to change these settings, contact us today for expert advice.

July 7, 2015

Property-Management-Blog-Option2-7-7-15.jpgCommercial property buildings can host a wide range of businesses, from the small coffee shop in the lobby to a multi-story financial institution and every sized business between. How can you keep them all secure, with such a wide range of needs?

Modern video surveillance systems have a range of features that allow you to monitor and respond to issues as they happen, keeping your building and tenants safe.

Remote monitoring using video surveillance apps keep you connected from anywhere - you can log into the system to view live camera feeds, review alerts, and manage your system. This is especially helpful if your property has a wide range of businesses with different hours so you need to be on-call around the clock.

And if you want a smarter surveillance system? Video management software is now available with a wide range of video analytics to help you set up motion detection, run facial recognition, count people for traffic monitoring and management, and send you alerts when issues are identified.

Surveillance cameras also come in a range of styles and features, allowing you to select the cameras that best fit your needs. Choose from HD and megapixel resolution for detailed video, day/night cameras for 24/7 security, tamper detection, and more.

Learn more about video surveillance for commercial property management.

July 23, 2015

Equipment-Rental-Blog-Image-7-23-15.jpgConstruction and agriculture machinery is large and expensive, and not everyone who needs the equipment occasionally can afford to purchase and store it. Equipment rental businesses make it easy to access this equipment as needed, but how can you secure your business and products?

Video surveillance systems are extremely common and popular in retail businesses. Although it may be more difficult for a thief to steal a tractor versus a sweater, all retail businesses need to be aware of the damages from thieves. A surveillance camera can monitor your business around the clock, even when you are out of the office.

Additionally, a surveillance system can be used to monitor customer interactions, track money handling at the cash register, and ensure all your staff and customers are following safety standards around the equipment.

Learn more about video surveillance for equipment rental security.

July 31, 2015


Because a surveillance system runs intensive management software, and has to store large amounts of data, the hard drives you choose for your surveillance system are very important. While you cannot eliminate the chances of a hardware malfunction or failure, selecting hardware designed for professional video surveillance applications is your best option for the best system performance.

Traditional hard drives have spinning discs, while a solid state drive (SSD) uses different technology to remove the spinning parts. Because it has no moving parts, a SSD is believed to last longer; this is still relatively new technology, however, and has not been extensively tested in video surveillance systems.

Whichever style you choose, always look for professional-level hard drives. Some manufacturers will also have "surveillance-grade" or "server-rated" hard drives.

How much HHD space do you need? That depends on your system and how long you want to store data. It is always best to have too much space versus too little, so you won't lose important video files due to a lack of space. Speak with surveillance specialists with experience designing systems and can walk you through the decision process.

One thing we highly recommend for professional surveillance systems is a RAID (redundant array of independent disks) setup. This will help prevent the loss of important data if part of your system fails.

Want to learn more about designing your surveillance system? Contact us today!

July 28, 2015

Electric-Substation-Blog-Image-7-28-15.jpg has a lonstanding history helping facilities within the critical infrastructure market deploy high-resolution IP camera systems along their perimeters. Examples of ritical infrastructure projects that have worked with include electrical utilities and electrical substations.

Heightened security efforts are key to keeping critical infrastructure businesses protected against trespassers, theft, and vandalism. In addition, security cameras help ensure safety protocols are followed and that a live and recorded view of the facility is accessible 24-7 on a remote or mobile device. By monitoring the facility on a smartphone or tablet, manager(s) can catch incidents which might hinder operations. Most importantly, an IP video surveillance system will help reduce the threat of safety breaches.

Whether you represent a electrical power company or an electric substation, you can count on the critical infrastructure specialists at to design a professional security camera system customized to your facility's unique needs. Easily minimize threats and maximize building safety with strategically placed video surveillance cameras.

July 17, 2015


If you own an RV or boat dealership, then you know how critical it is to protect your lot against theft, vandalism, and trespassers. specailizes in helping boat dealers and RV dealerships heighten their security efforts with custom-designed security camera solutions. Designed with precision, our custom video surveillance systems provide a wealth of benefits to ensure your lot is well guarded and monitored around the clock, 24-7.

Pioneering advances in security camera technology have made it possible to capture video in full HD resolution, which gives business owners the ability to record exceptionally clean and detailed images of their property. highly recommends HD security camera systems for boat dealers and RV lots, since these types of businesses usually take up a vast area and require high-quality recorded images. Full HD video resolution is a sure-fire way to ensure that suspcious characters are recognizeable in images; the sterling quality of 1080p resolution certainly trumps analog video in terms of noise, detail and clarity.

Ready to learn more about how a custom video surveillance system can improve security for your RV or boat business? Take a look at our RV & boat dealership industry page!

July 8, 2015

Cannabis-Industry-Blog-Image-7-2-15.jpg has helped marijuana dispensaries, producers, retailers, wholesalers, and processors protect their facilities with customized HD video surveillance systems. These facilities are required to meet stringent state regulations in order to obtain and keep their license to sell their product. Among these regulations include installing and maintaining a video surveillance system to monitor operations 24-7. is extremely knowledgeable in marijuana compliance laws, and will design a security camera system that not only meets compliance but provides a host of other benefits to ensure you, as the owner, are well protected against internal and external theft.

With a security camera system you will:

- Save time: With a security system, you can tap into your cameras from your smartphone device anytime and anywhere. This allows you to monitor live and recorded video and react faster to any potential problems.

- Better manage your marijuana business: You'll be able to identify places for improvement and institute changes by evaluating grow, production, or retail practices that slow business down. You can monitor crops to ensure they meet the highest standards in security, pinpoint unnecessary or poor growing practices, and even keep track of customer traffic.

- Improve loss prevention efforts: Deter would-be criminals from breaking into your facility & prevent employee theft by spotting dishonest employees. You'll obtain evidentiary video for any instances of theft, and decrease yearly losses by recovering stolen assets. An HD video surveillance system is capable of capturing identifying details of suspicious characters so you can make a positive identification.

Ready to learn more? has devoted an entire page to the medical marijuana industry, where you'll learn more about the day-to-day threats that cannabis facilities face.

June 30, 2015

This blog post will walk you through installing and configuring your Ubiquiti antennas to establish a wireless link. Wireless surveillance systems are key to extending your security into areas a traditionally wired system can't go, including large campuses and remote buildings.

Before you install any wireless equipment, we recommend bench testing the connection between the Ubiquiti antennas - a mistake will result in having to un-mount the remote antenna to reconnect it locally.

Step One: Wiring the Components

The first step to setting up your wireless system is to wire the components so that all parts of the system receive power and network connectivity.

All Ubiquiti antennas require a separate power supply, and cannot work off of standard PoE devices. The power supply needs to be connected to a standard power socket, and have two ports for Ethernet cables. The ports are labeled PoE and LAN.

The PoE port will always be wired directly to the Main port on the Ubiquiti device. If the Ubiquiti device has a secondary port, do not wire the PoE to that port because it will not correctly power the device.

The LAN port on the power supply needs to be wired into your network, or to a switch powering the camera. The LAN port cannot be wired directly to a PoE camera, as it will not provide enough power for the camera to function.

Step Two: Setup Units as Broadcaster & Receiver

Once you have wired the units you need to setup one unit as a broadcaster and one unite as a receiver.

To begin, log into the Ubiquiti unit. The default IP address is The default username is ubnt, and password is ubnt.

Once you have logged into the unit, click on the wireless tab.


In the wireless tab, you will need to change a few settings.

First, you need to select the wireless mode. Select Access Point for the unit that will act as the broadcasted, and Station for the unit that will act as the receiver.


Always check the WDS (Transparent Bridge Mode) box.


You will always need to set a SSID that will be used by both antennas to communication. The SSID has to be identical on both antennas. We recommend hiding the SSID so no other devices can see the network connection.


The last setting you'll need to change is to make the link secure, an important set to creating the link between units.

We recommend WPA2 for the security setting. Use a long, hard to guess WPA Preshared Key. If you do not secure your wireless link, anyone with a wireless device will be able to connect to your network.


Once all of these setting changes have been made, click Change at the bottom of the screen. A message will pop up saying that the configuration contains changes and asking if you want to apply these changes. Click Apply.

Step Three: Secure Your Network

Select the Network tab at the top of the screen.

On this screen, set the antennas to a static IP address that will be reachable by your network. We do not recommend setting the antennas to DHCP, as communication between the antennas can be interrupted.

Next, select the System tab. Here, you will want to change the username and password of the devices to make your wireless connection secure.

To change the password, click on the key icon next to Administrator Username. Enter in the current password, and then enter in your new password.


Once you have changed username and password, click Change at the bottom of the screen, and select Apply when prompted. Repeat steps two and three as needed for every Ubiquiti device on your network.

The devices will reset to accommodate all of the setting changes you made. Once they are back online, and both antennas have been setup, check the connection between devices. First connect the Access Point to your network, and then connect the station to the PoE side (leave the LAN side blank).

The back of the units will light up with red, yellow, and green bars if the connection is good. Once these light up, the connection is good and you can mount the Ubiquiti antennas to access your remote cameras.

June 25, 2015


Self storage businesses are spread all over the country, serving a wide range of customers from college students storing items during the summer break to homeowners who need to downsize. With customers coming and going from their unit, a huge array of items under your protection, and business layouts that resemble a maze, how can you secure your grounds?

Try installing a video surveillance system! A flexible system can include as many cameras as you need, allowing you to secure every corridor and parking lot. And with remote and mobile viewing, you can manage your system and monitor the business from any location - even when you're off-site at home or on vacation.

A surveillance system can also help you deal with claims of theft or damage to property. This will help your customers feel more secure, and allow you to share evidentiary video of the crime for police investigations. Your customers are often leaving prized possessions with you, so this peace of mind is invaluable in retaining and gaining business.

You can learn more in our Self Storage Industry Solutions page.

June 23, 2015

Parking lots are a key area to monitor, and shouldn't be overlooked. If you run a business or oversee a facility where there's a parking lot, then it's important to keep tabs on what vehicles enter and exit the parking lot in case there's an accident, vandalism, or even car theft.

Another benefit of parking lot video surveillance is that it can help identify vehicles that do not pay their parking fees if there's a charge to utilize the parking lot. High-definition video surveillance systems are especially recommended because of their ability to see clear detail that makes license recognition possible.

Parking lot monitoring is also critical to ensuring the safety of your patrons or employees, who do not have access to their vehicles while they're away. In case a car is broken into or a vehicle hits another without stopping, you'll have the tools to review footage and see which car was responsible for the crime or issue.

Also, employees and/or patrons will put more trust into your business for employing parking lot surveillance, as it will make them feel more at ease when they leave their vehicles in your lot. So, increase safety, identify suspicious vehicles, and capture evidence by investing in a parking lot video surveillance system.


June 11, 2015

Motion detection is an important tool for securing your business or building. It alerts you when someone is on your property that isn't authorized. Understanding how this technology helps you set up better motion detection regions and alerts, but do you actually know how motion detection works?

To understand motion detection, you first need to understand how a camera works. Inside the camera is an image sensor, which the camera lens directs light to - when light hits the image sensor each individual pixel records how much light it's getting. That pattern of light and dark areas on the pixels becomes the complete video image you see. You can read a more in-depth explanation of image sensors here.

When you set up motion detection, you select a region or area to monitor, say a doorway. The way it works is to compare sequential images from your video and if enough of the pixels have changed between those frames, the camera software determines something moved and sends you an alert.

How "enough" change is determined depends on the sensitivity level or percentage level settings you put on your motion detection.

The sensitivity level looks at the changing light/dark levels in the pixels. Higher sensitivity will pick up on more changes while lower sensitivity will require a large level of change, such as the lights going on in a dark room, to set off the alerts. Percentage, on the other hand, looks to the percentage of pixels that have registered a change. If you are monitoring a door, setting the percentage at 50% will alert you when something large walks into the room, such as a person, but ignore something smaller.

Getting the best balance in your motion detection settings to prevent too many false alerts may take some time. While setting up your camera you can test the motion detection by having someone walk in the motion detection region and adjust the settings as needed. It may take some time, but the effort is well worth it when you're notified of a break-in at your store or vandals prowling the parking lot.


June 11, 2015

Here at we often stress the importance of video surveillance systems in helping stores capture shoplifters and other criminals. Last week a Portland, Oregon store owner was able to do just that, capturing a shoplifter on camera.

Sarah Bibb owns Folly, a clothing boutique in Portland. After noticing an empty hanger, Bibb reviewed her store's surveillance video and found clear video of the theft happening. Bibb contacted police and then, hoping that someone would recognize the woman, shared the video on Facebook. You can see the original post on Bibb's Facebook page.

Friends of the woman recognized her in the video and brought her back to the store to return the clothing, where she was arrested. Read more on KOIN 6 News, who were on the scene when the arrest happened.

So why did Bibb's surveillance system work so well in this case? While Bibb is not a customer, here are several things we can tell she did right:

  • There were multiple cameras installed in the store, including one that provided an overview of the entire floor to monitor customers as they move between displays
  • Another camera was installed with a clear view of the door, making it easy to track every customer who entered the store and document those times
  • A camera next to the door was installed facing customers as they exit at a height for facial recognition
  • The camera's resolution provided clear video for police, and Bibb's Facebook followers, to identify the woman
  • Bibb immediately reviewed the surveillance video when she realized a crime had happened, making it easier to sift through the video files to find the relevant clip


June 10, 2015

If you're thinking of switching from analog to IP video, or are investing in a video surveillance system for the first time, it's important to know what equipment you'll need to deploy your new IP cameras. IP video provides a scalable solution for your long-term security needs so you can expand upon the number of security cameras in the future. offers pre-configured IP security camera systems with everything you need to get started. We can also customize an IP camera system for you if you have special requirements. Our IP security camera systems are assembled to include the IP cameras you need, a network video recorder, and the necessary power supplies to get your system up and running.

Power-over-Ethernet, which is ever-present in the IP camera era, allows you to power your cameras with a single Ethernet cord. This, in turn, simplifies the installation process and makes it easier to install your cameras in more remote locations.

Our video surveillance systems include a network video recorder to view, record, and manage your IP cameras. Most NVRs today feature free mobile surveillance apps to give you instant access to your cameras when you're not onsite. With a secure internet connection, you'll be able to tap into your IP camera system from virtually anywhere. For existing CCTV systems, you'll need a video encoder to convert your system over to IP (digital) video.


June 4, 2015

Graduation season is in full swing, but it's also the time for graduating high school seniors to focus on the upcoming start of college. Has the student in your life applied for the scholarship yet?

This is your third year running a scholarship program, and we love the opportunity it gives to interact with bright, young motivated students. Open to graduating high school seniors and students enrolled in undergrad and graduate college programs, this scholarship will award $1,000 to help one student with tuition this fall.

To enter, applicants must write a 250-300 word essay answering the question "How would you use video surveillance to make a school campus safer?"

This is a great opportunity, so share this scholarship to help a student afford college. See full scholarship details.


June 2, 2015

Mobotix's mobile app enables you to view your Mobotix video surveillance system remotely from a smartphone or tablet. The free app, included with any Mobotix camera or system with a firmware of or higher, delivers multiple features to maximize your viewing experience. Read more about this cutting-edge app below.

High-resolution images: Users can expect high-resolution footage of their Mobotix camera system. You'll be able to view ultra-clear live and recorded video wherever you go.

Numerous search functions: Quickly browse through specific footage to find exactly what you're looking for -- the search functions allow you to find events even in continuous recording mode.

Convenient Playback: The app gives you the ability to play back external MxPEG videos.

Control Several Cameras: With the Mobotix Mobile App, you can control and view several cameras at once.

Event alerts: Receive alerts directly on your mobile device or tablet thanks to Event Alerts, a function that notifies you if your camera is tampered with or an alarm is triggered.

Control Image Settings: Easily adjust images to optimize visibility. Control image settings such as brightness and contrast.


May 14, 2015

Mobotix is a leading IP camera manufacturer, known for their unique and innovative designs. We've recently added some more Mobotix cameras to our store, to help ensure there's a camera available for every application!

Many industries, including retail and banking, need an easy way to monitor their entire store or shop. A megapixel hemispheric camera, with its wide angle of view, can capture an entire room. The new Mobotix Q25 camera features 5MP resolution, complete 360 degree panoramic view, and several customizable options. Choose from indoor or outdoor models, and two lenses for a camera built for your store's layout.

If you need to mount the camera on a wall but still want a complete wall-to-wall view, consider the Mobotix i25. This camera also features 5MP resolution, but the unique design makes it easy to mount on the walls of your building.

For a camera that's truly customizable, the Mobotix D25 dome camera has six lens options! They range from telephoto to super wide angle, day or night, so you can confidently secure your building.

Shop all Mobotix products.


May 28, 2015

This blog will walk you through adding an ONVIF-compliant PTZ camera to Milestone software. The process can take some time, so please review all the steps before beginning.

When you add a PTZ camera to Milestone, it will not automatically recognize that the camera has PTZ capabilities. To enable the PTZ controls, open up your XProtect Management Application.

Once the application is open, right click on the hardware device that you want to enable PTZ controls, and click on properties.


Once the properties screen has opened, click on the PTZ Device menu.

To enable PTZ controls you need to check the box for Connected Cameras have Pan/Tilt/Zoom capabilities.


Once that is selected, change the PTZ type on the first field, COM1, to Absolute. Then change the camera type to Movable. Click OK to save these settings. When you open your Smart Client you will be able to move the PTZ camera remotely.


Please note, however, that enabling a camera as PTZ with Milestone will not give a fixed camera PTZ capabilities, the camera must be a PTZ model.

If you have any questions, or run into problems, please call technical support at 866-945-6806 or email us at

May 27, 2015

If you are experiencing a rather slow performance in Milestone Smart Client, the streaming quality may be set too high for the number of cameras you have displayed. When you add more than eight cameras on the screen, the size of the images is small enough that trying to display them in full resolution and frame rate slows down the system.

This blog post will walk you through several settings you can change to improve system performance.

To begin, open up Smart Client and click on Setup in the top right corner.


On the left side of the page, scroll down until you find the Properties section of the menu:


Start by selecting the camera feed you want to change by clicking on the ellipsis button.


When the menu opens, expand the Server root menu by clicking the arrow next to it. Then expand the Camera root menu, and then click on the camera you want to change. In this example, you are changing the settings for Camera 1.


The first setting to change is Image Quality. The default selection is Full; however you can improve performance by reducing this toHigh with no discernable loss of quality.


Second, you can reduce the Frame Rate from Unlimited to Medium.

It is possible that you may actually see an increase in frame rate by changing this setting, as the system is no longer overwhelmed by displaying so many videos at top frame rate.


While making these changes, make sure you do not change the Keep when Maximized setting. You want this to remain unchecked, so when you maximize a camera it will display the video with full settings.


Once these changse have been made, you should see an improvement in the performance of your Milestone system.

May 21, 2015

A major benefit of IP surveillance systems in the flexibility you have to add new cameras as your security needs change. But if you've added new cameras to your system, you will need to update your Milestone license to accommodate the new cameras.

The easiest way to update your account is to activate your license online. To being, open the Milestone XProtect Management Application. Click on the File menu.

Updating Your Milestone License 1.jpg

Select the Activate License Online option.

Updating Your Milestone License 2.jpg

A screen will pop up, prompting you to enter your Milestone user name and password.

Updating Your Milestone License 3.jpg

After you have entered this information and logged into your system, click the Activate button. Your account will automatically be updated with the new camera licenses you purchased.

If you have any questions, or run into problems, please call technical support at 866-945-6806 or email us at

May 7, 2015

If you want to use surveillance video for license plate reading, facial recognition, or evidence of a crime, you'll want a camera with high definition. But with such a wide range of cameras available, how do you know which one is right for you?

Analog cameras have been used in surveillance systems for over 30 years. The surveillance industry is moving away from CCTV and toward IP, but many businesses are still using analog systems. If you want to continue using your analog equipment but want the HD resolution of newer cameras, you'll want to switch to HD analog cameras.

HD analog cameras measure resolution in pixels instead of TVL, which older cameras use. Benefits of HD analog include lower costs than IP cameras and easy installation like any other CCTV camera. Learn more about HD analog.

IP cameras are the newest development in surveillance, coming into popularity in the last few years. These cameras use your network to connect to your system and share data. This allows the system to grow and change with better flexibility - less reliance on cables and power outlets gives you more control over where cameras are placed.

IP cameras are more expensive than their analog counterparts, but include advanced features not available with older technology. Learn more about HD resolution.


May 20, 2015 has just added a trove of new and exciting security cameras to its online store, including cameras from trusted manufacturers like Axis, Vivotek, and Mobotix. The new Axis cameras include the P1365, P1365-E, P5624-E, P5635-E, and the new Axis IP Video Store Station. The P1365 & P1365-E are two powerful fixed box IP surveillance cameras offered by Axis, both with 1080p HD video resolutioin. The P1365-E camera is built for arctic weather conditions, allowing it to thrive in temperatures between -40 F and 122 F. The P5624-E and P5635-E are high-performance PTZ IP surveillance cameras with 720p HD and 1080p HD resolution, respectively. Both are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, and each comes with wide dynamic range to balance out poor to difficult lighting scenarios. The Axis IP Video Store Station is an innovative camera system for entryways, enabling 2-way communication for high-security environments. The IP video store station is outdoor-ready and delivers 720p HD resolution.

We've also added a heavy-duty Vivotek IP camera to our store: the Vivotek IB338-HR bullet camera with an embedded PoE extender. This camera makes power distribution in outdoor or indoor environments simplifed as it includes an embedded PoE extender for covering distances up to 300 meters (or just over 984 feet). The IB338-HR delivers 1 MP resolution. Finally, we've got a noteworthy Mobotix camera to brag about: the Mobotix C25 hemispheric camera, specifically built for suspended ceilings. The hemispheric camera has a diameter of just 4.7 inches, making it small in size and virtually undetectable to passersby. It also weighs just 200 grams. Below, we've featured the C25 hemispheric camera:


May 11, 2015

Optica cameras are now more affordable than ever!

Looking for a high-definition IP camera to safeguard your property or business? highly recommends Optica's sleek line of HD cameras, all packed with premium features to boost overall security. Optica features mini domes, domes, bullets, mini bullets, and even a powerful 18x zoom PTZ camera for large applications such as malls or parking lots. What makes Optica so unique?

HD Video Resolution

All Optica network cameras come with HD video resolution to produce clear, incredibly detailed images that make the act of identifying much easier -- and possible. Forget grainy images; Optica's cameras capture remarkably sharp video to give you the power as a business owner to see everyone who steps foot onto your property. Optica cameras come in both 720p and 1080p HD video resolution.

Wide Dynamic Range

Undoubtedly, wide dynamic range is an underrated security camera features but extremely important, nevertheless. All Optica IP cameras are outfitted with wide dynamic range (WDR) to help lessen the overexposure effect of awkward or difficult lighting scenarios such as near windows. With WDR, it's much easier to get a clearer view of a scene, enhancing the quality of your video evidence.

Tamper Detection

Tamper detection is an excellent feature to have on any video surveillance camera. The Optica line of cameras all come with tamper detection to let you know if someone is trying to obstruct or cover up your security camera. This includes a change in the lens focus or a change in the camera view. Often times if tampering is detected, it means there may be a crime in the process. Criminals will often try to cover up cameras or move them in order to not be seen. You'll receive an alert should the camera detect that it is being tampered with.

Vertical View Mode

What's the vertical view mode feature? Good question, but the good news is that every Optica camera boasts this unique feature. In simplified language, vertical view mode maximizes the amount of camera resolution available for vertically-aligned scenes such as aisles in retail stores, hallways in offices, train cabins, parking lot entrances, and more.

Interested in learning more? The good news is Optica cameras come with even more features that shouldn't be missed out on. To see our full line of Optica cameras visit our Optica Camera Page.


April 30, 2015

This is the last of three posts that will walk you throught the process of setting up port forwarding with Milestone software.

Go back to Step One.

Go back to Step Two.

To access your router, enter the IP address into your web browser of choice. If you do not know the IP address you can find it by opening your start menu and searching for "cmd" to open the command prompt menu.


Once the command prompt opens, enter the command "ipconfig" and hit enter. The information for your router will be listed under Default Gateway.


Now that you have your IP address, enter it into your preferred web browser. This will pull up your router, which will ask you for the username and password.

If you do not know your username and password, it is sometimes printed on the bottom of your router. Otherwise you will need to contact your internet service provided.

After you have logged in, go the section of your router's menu that has the port forwarding information. The following example uses a Netgear Genie router. If your router is different, try the Firewall menu, Advanced menu, or Applications and Gaming section.

In this example, we want the Advanced menu.

C3.jpgOnce in the menu, click on Advanced Setup, then Port Forwarding/Port Triggering.


In the Port Forwarding menu, click the button to Add Custom Service.


We are opening the ports that Milestone is already using--80 internal, 8080 external for Smart Client access, and 8081/8082 for mobile access. Most port forwarding sections have the following information, and you will just add the correct information in the boxes to enable port forwarding.


The service name can be anything you want but we recommend keeping it simple, such as Smart Client when setting up the 8080, Mobile for 8081, and Secure Mobile for 8082.


You want to always select TCP/UDP for the Service Type, unless this is specifically noted in the device you are trying to port forward.


For External Starting and Ending Port, you will need to set up three separate rules, one for each external port. This means a rule for the 8080 port where the external starting and ending port are set to 8080. Repeat this for ports 8081 and 8082.


When setting up the rule for the 8080 port, make sure to uncheck the box for "Use the same port range for internal port." For the 8081 and 8082 rules, you should leave this box checked.


For the 8080 rule, you will want to manually enter the internal starting and ending port. Both should be 80.


Last, you need to enter the Internal IP Address of your Milestone server.


If you do not know this information, it can be found using the same "ipconfig" command you ran earlier.


Once you have all the fields filled out, you need to apply the rule. Once all three rules are set and applied, your port forwarding should be working.

April 30, 2015

This is the second of three posts that will walk you throught the process of setting up port forwarding with Milestone software.

Go back to Step One.

Go to Step Three.

To check on your mobile devices, you will need to open the Windows System Tray located in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Right click on the icon highlighted here:


This will open a new menu. Click on the Show/Edit Port Numbers option.


By default the port numbers will be 80801 (port) and 80802 (secured port). If this is correct, click OK and continue to the next step. If not, change them to the correct port numbers.


Next, you need to change the settings in your router to allow the data through--by default your router will not allow this data to be sent, for security purposes.

April 30, 2015

This is the first of three posts that will walk you throught the process of setting up port forwarding with Milestone software.

Go to Step Two.

Go to Step Three.

First, open your Milestone Management Client. Once it is open, click on the Server Access menu on the left-hand side of the screen.


This will open a new menu. The first field is in this menu is Sever Name. This can be anything you want--if you choose to leave it as Server, this will not impact your remote access.


The second field is Location Port. By default this is 80, and we strongly recommend leaving this at port 80.


The third field is Internet Access. This box needs to be checked if you want to remotely access your system.


The fourth field is Internet Address. This is your remote IP address. To find that, you can go to and the number displayed at the top of the page will be your internet address.


The fifth field is Internet Port. We recommend using 8080, as this will fit sequentially with the other ports that need to be forwarded.


The sixth field is Maximum Number of Clients. This is the maximum number of outside connections that can simultaneously be opened to your server. For Milestone Essential, this number is capped at five.


Once you have set each of these fields up, your Milestone server is configured to send out data to remote Smart Clients.

April 30, 2015

When shopping for a new or updated video surveillance system, it's important to consider whether or not vandal-proof (also referred to as a "vandal resistant") security cameras will benefit your installation. features a broad range of vandal-proof surveillance cameras outfitted with exceptionally heavy-duty enclosures to withstand physical mistreatment such as blows from objects.

If your surveillance application is susceptible to vandalism or other damage, then we recommend investing in a vandal-proof system. Here are three preemptive measures you can take if you haven't already purchased a vandal-proof system:

Check cabling: Make sure to have the camera's cable is out of sight and unreachable by someone walking near or directly in its path. All cabling should be concealed by a wall or ceiling to prevent someone from trying to disconnect the camera.

Mounting: If possible, the camera should be flush-mounted into a ceiling or wall to make it less vulnerable to an attack. This type of installation makes it so that the camera is not entirely exposed. As a result, it's less of a target to someone who's looking to break or dismantle it. A hanging or pendant mount will make it easier for someone to attack the camera.

Out-of-Reach Placement: Surveillance cameras should be installed on surfaces that are out of arm's reach. Consider placement on high ceilings and walls when installing your system.

Speak to one of our system specialists now to learn more about vandal-resistant cameras. We have several indoor and outdoor options available depending on the needs of your business. Don't wait -- invest in a vandal system today.

April 30, 2015 has worked with industry professionals of all backgrounds, including but not limited to facility managers, IT supervisors, small business owners, and Security Directors, among other professions. We're pleased to announce that we now feature Solutions by Role pages on our website to provide professionals with specific information on security regarding their day-to-day roles. Our veteran security integrators can deliver a custom video surveillance solution for your application and create an overall safer facility for your employees or members.

See our Solutions by Role pages now, and expect more to come in the near future!

April 30, 2015

Typically, mini (or often referred to as covert) video surveillance cameras are meant to blend in with their surroundings and prevent bystanders from noticing their presence. They're very helpful if there's a problem or a situation that needs constant monitoring, but for one reason or another, you as the owner of the camera do not want attention called to it.

For example, if you suspect an employee is stealing in a particular area of an office or store, you might consider installing a mini surveillance camera in the vicinity to catch the person in the act. If the camera is there and noticeable, i.e. it's not a mini camera, then the person who may have stolen before might stop suddenly and you will not have the evidence you need to prosecute the individual.

Mini or covert security cameras come in all shapes and sizes, and some are even disguised as other objects such as smoke detectors. Whether you're trying to monitor for illegal activity or simply don't want your cameras to stand out then a mini camera might be the best option for your application. Remember to consider the features they offer such as night and day functionality, HD video resolution, resistance against vandalism, and wide dynamic range. showcases a wide variety of mini and covert cameras to meet the needs of applications in search of extremely small video surveillance cameras. To see our full selection, visit our page here and learn about their features and advantages. .

April 23, 2015

A major benefit of modern surveillance systems is the ability to remotely monitor your cameras and manage alerts without being on site. Used in every industry, this important feature gives managers the flexibility to check in on their business from a computer, smart phone, or tablet.

When would you want to use remote monitoring? Here are some of the most common applications:

  • During the hours your business is closed, including nights and weekends
  • When you're on vacation or away from the store for an extended period
  • When you get an alert of activity and want to see live video
  • To ensure employees follow safety precautions even when a manager isn't on site
  • To review recorded video of an accident when you're off site

Being able to remotely log into the surveillance systems allows you to react faster to any accidents, custom issues, and safety problems.

Most camera, NVR, and VMS manufactures make smart phone apps for iPhone and Android so you can log into your system at any time. While the features will vary by manufacturer, in general these apps allow you to stream live video to your phone or tablet, review recorded videos, and manage camera and system settings. This gives you the convenience of system management without the need to physically be at your surveillance system every time you need to check in.

Learn more about remote and mobile monitoring, including an overview of apps for Axis, Optica, Milestone, and more.


April 2, 2015

When looking at video surveillance cameras, you've probably noticed that outdoor cameras get a rating such as IP66 or IP65. You may know that this means the camera is protected from dust and water, but the rating system is much more detailed than that.

To begin, IP stands for Ingress Protection. This is an international standard for measuring what, and how much, a camera is protected from. An IP rating is made up of two numbers - the first number measures the camera's protect from dust, the second measures the protection from liquids.


The rating for dust goes from zero to six, and the higher the number the more protection:

0. No protection

1. Protection from solid objects over 50mm

2. Protection from solid objects over 12mm

3. Protection from solid objects over 2.5mm

4. Protection from solid objects over 1mm

5. Limited protection from dust

6. Complete protection from dust

The rating for liquid protection goes from zero to eight:

0. No protection

1. Protection from dripping vertical water

2. Protection from sprays of water, tilted up to 15 degrees vertically

3. Protection from sprays of water, tilted up to 60 degrees vertically

4. Protection from water sprays from all directions

5. Protection from low pressure jets of water from all directions

6. Protection from strong jets of water from all directions

7. Protected from temporary immersion in water

8. Protected from long-term immersion in water

So if you see a camera with an IP65 rating, you can know it's completely protected from dust and can withstand low-pressure bursts of water. This means the camera would be great for installing outside where it is exposed to the weather and elements.

Shop our store for all outdoor cameras.

April 16, 2015

If your business is looking to improve operations and increase profits, have you thought about using a video surveillance system? While traditionally used to deter crime, those same cameras can be used to monitor employee safety, improve quality control, and more.

In the newest whitepaper from we look into the many ways video surveillance can be used to help your business run better. With both industry-specific information and results-oriented suggestions, this free whitepaper helps you identify areas of improvement.

Do you own a retail store? We'll show you how a surveillance system and video software can help optimize your store layout, monitor customer flow and dwell time, and track store patterns to create better work schedules.

Or perhaps you run a manufacturing plant. Using surveillance video you could catch dangerous behavior before an accident happens, increasing workplace safety. Surveillance cameras can also be used for product testing in areas a human could not go because of temperature, materials, or location, improving your quality control.

The whitepaper also looks at hospitality, construction, restaurants, and food processing plants with ways to increase safety, reduce liability, and improve customer satisfaction. Video surveillance cameras can be used for more than just security, and will show you how.

Download our free Operations Management whitepaper.


April 9, 2015

A recent accident at a local Portland, OR game store has highlighted the importance of video surveillance systems. Red Caste Games was hit by a suspected drunk driver earlier this month, and the entire thing was caught by the store's surveillance cameras.

In the video you can see the moments leading up to the accident, the driver running away, and the extent of the damage to the store. Read more about the accident on Red Castle Game's website.

While no business owner wants to think this will happen to his or her store, recommends always being prepared. This includes installing a surveillance system to capture all accidents, crimes, and suspicious behavior to protect your business. This video highlights several things your business should look for in a surveillance system:

  • High definition resolution, for clear video even with fast moving objects
  • Wide angle of view, to capture as much of the scene as possible
  • Camera locations that can monitor the cash register & store entrances

In addition, surveillance video can be essential proof of a crime or damages when pursing legal charges or filing an insurance claim.

To learn more, or get a personalized video surveillance system recommendation from our experts, contact today.

March 26, 2015

Power over Ethernet (also known as PoE) is an easy way to provide your cameras both power and network connection using a single cable. This sounds easy and convenient, but do you know how it really works?

IP cameras wired for PoE have a specialized power switch, which can use the power sent over an Ethernet cord to power the camera while providing network connection. A non-PoE camera would simple get the network connection from the same cable, and require an additional power cord.

How can this help with installation? Running only one cable makes your system less complicated, and gives you more flexibility in camera placement. You won't be limited by the nearest power outlet, or deal with the added cost of installing new outlets closer to your camera location.

Learn more about the benefits of PoE.

March 19, 2015

An IP video surveillance system is made from several standard components. While the specific cameras or software may change, your system will almost always include:

  • One or more IP surveillance cameras
  • Video management software
  • NVR, or other storage device

You should also receive all power cables, Cat5 Ethernet cables, and power supplies for your equipment. You may choose to add wireless antennas for long-distance surveillance on large campuses or advanced third-party analytics software, but all of that will build off the basic system.

When you are researching your IP system options, keep in mind two key features you may want to prioritize:

  • High definition resolution
  • Remote & mobile access from a smart phone or tablet

HD resolution is quickly become the standard in IP cameras, with most featuring 720p or 1080p resolution. With HD cameras you can monitor a larger area with fewer cameras because the video is wider, and you can see details more clearly than with a standard camera.

Remote and mobile access is essential if you want to stay connected to you surveillance system when you're out of the office. You can set up email or text alerts to be notified when your cameras detect something and instantly log into the system from your phone to view live or recorded video.

Shop our store for IP video surveillance systems, or contact our IP video experts today for a personalized system recommendation.


April 7, 2015 is proud to have run two successful scholarship programs in 2013 and 2014, and now is excited to announce that we're doing it again this year! Our $1,000 scholarship fund is focused on campus safety, and asks high school seniors and college students -- How would you use surveillance cameras to make a school campus safer? Students can answer this question in a 250-300 word essay, and submit it through our scholarship landing page.

The deadline is August 1, 2015. We encourage all seniors and college students (including those working towards their Master's degree) to apply! Campus safety is so important these days -- share your input with us by applying to win a $1,000 school scholarship!

For more details, visit our scholarship page:


March 24, 2015

If you're considering adding an audio component to your video surveillance system, you'll want to carefully research the audio surveillance laws in your state to avoid potential lawsuits and/or criminal charges. Recording conversations can be a violation of privacy, so it's crucial to not only research -- but also understand your state's laws.

Let's take a look at Oregon's laws, where is located. In Oregon, all parties (or persons) must be informed of and consent to being recorded in a private conversation before a recording can take place. However, conversations occurring in the public sphere, i.e. in a park or walking on the street can technically be picked up on video without the need for consent because of the limited expectation of privacy in these places.

For a summary of each state's audio recording laws, see the following guide:

Be sure to also speak with an attorney in your state about any lingering questions you have concerning audio recording. States where audio surveillance is permitted often require signs informing all parties that their conversations are being recorded. Here's an example of an audio recording notice:


March 16, 2015

Despite what some might believe, an IP-based security camera system is actually quite affordable and has the potential to provide a hefty return on investment if used to its fullest.

The cost of cabling CCTV cameras (also called "analog") can be 2-3 times more expensive than the cost of installing IP cameras. How is that possible? Consider this fact: CCTV camera systems require two separate cables, one for powering the cameras and the other for sending video signals. This lends to the increase in installation costs.

IP camera systems on the other hand only require an Ethernet cable to send and receive data. In other words, this creates a simplified installation since the Ethernet cable provides both power and network connectivity. No need to hire certified electricians when installing your system -- IP cameras can be installed in-house by someone with basic networking experience.

What's more, an IP camera system is scalable, allowing you to easily grow the number of IP cameras over time without worrying about additional installation costs or technical limitations.

At we're all about designing custom IP security camera systems for our customers. We respect your budget requirements, and do our best to not only provide cost-effective IP cameras, but a system you can depend on for years to come.


March 10, 2015

Dome cameras are ideal if you don't want your camera to stand out to employees, customers, or visitors. They're considerably less noticeable than bullet and box cameras, especially if flush-mounted or drop-mounted. This particular style entails a fixed or PTZ camera installed inside a dome enclosure, giving it a discreet and unassuming appearance.

How do you know if dome cameras are right for your project? Ask yourself a few questions to help determine if dome cameras are a good fit. Here are some example questions to ask yourself--if you find yourself saying "No" to all of them, then you definitely want to check out our selection of dome cameras.

1. Do I want my customers to see the camera(s) immediately? If you have employees, a better question might be: Do you want your employees to be distracted by the camera(s)?

2. Do I want the camera to have a prominent appearance?

3. Do I prefer bold or low-profile camera styles?

If you do decide to purchase a dome camera, we recommend a camera with a varifocal lens to adjust the camera's field of view as needed. A fixed lens will limit the field of view to a particular area depending on where and how the camera is positioned.

Also worth noting is that dome cameras offer both weather-proof and vandal-resistant enclosures. If you're looking for an outdoor camera, you'll want a weather-proof dome camera. Vandal-resistant domes are perfect for high-security environments as they ensure the camera remains protected against physical abuse.

Browse through our vast selection of cutting-edge dome cameras.


March 20, 2015

While you may be more familiar with the term DVR (digital video recorder), a main component of CCTV analog systems, NVRs and DVRs have different uses and are not the same thing.

Both a NVR and DVR are used to record and store video files from a security camera. Network video recorders (NVRs), however, are used with IP systems. NVRs are designed to work with the digital file format new IP cameras use to send and record video. A NVR, like the Milestone Husky M30, comes preloaded with video management software to help you manage and view your system.


A DVR, on the other hand, is older technology designed for use with CCTV analog surveillance systems. DVRs also come with system management software, and allow you to view your cameras. DVRs won't work with IP cameras, so you won't be able to easily add an IP camera without upgrading other parts of your system too.


As many organizations upgrade older CCTV systems with IP products, you can transition to hybrid products that work with both IP and analog cameras. A hybrid NVR, like the Milestone Husky M30 Hybrid, can connect to both IP and analog cameras, giving you all the benefits of an IP system without the cost of replacing every single camera.

You also have the option of using a video encoder instead of a hybrid NVR. Video encoders take the signal from analog cameras and turn them into the digital format used by a NVR so you can connect analog cameras to an IP system.

What type of technology is best for your system? Contact us today and we'll help you understand the options and recommend the best system for your surveillance needs.

March 12, 2015

When designing a video surveillance system, are you taking into account the outdoor spaces you should monitor? If your business has a parking lot, borders an alley way, or has outdoor seating, it is important to secure those areas as well as the indoor spaces. But you don't want to use a normal indoor surveillance camera to do it.

Surveillance cameras placed outdoors have to endure a wide range of conditions that an indoor camera is protected from. This can include potential water damage from rain, snow, or hail, damage from dust and debris picked up by the wind, or condensation from fog. Specialized outdoor cameras come in durable housing that protects a camera's sensitive electrical equipment.

Outdoor cameras come in a wide range of styles, so you will have just as much flexibility designing your outdoor system. This includes bullet cameras like the Optica B204 IP camera, domes like the Optica DV204M IP camera, and even PTZ cameras like the Optica P218Z PTZ IP camera.

Shop our wide selection of outdoor surveillance cameras, or contact us today to design a custom outdoor system.


March 11, 2015

A unique video was recently released by the Oregon Metro department. Using day/night cameras, scientists created a time lapse video showing beavers building a dam. Watch the video here.

This video shows the behaviors of the beavers and other animals in the wetland, which was previously hard to monitor. Beavers are most active at night, making it hard for humans to watch them; a camera with nighttime recording gives a clear view otherwise not available to researchers. This unique video captures beavers and nutria working together, with a special appearance by a rare bird.

This kind of information will help researchers at Metro create better-informed programs for wetland management and wildlife protection. You can learn more about the video and the Metro department on their website. works with wildlife organizations around the world to help scientists gain new access to animal behavior. Using around-the-clock monitoring, PDXWildlife, in conjunction with the San Diego and Oregon Zoos, tracked panda breeding behaviors to help grow the endangered Giant Panda population.

Download our free case study to read a complete overview of this unique video surveillance application.

February 27, 2015

Cameras need light to record video, so how can your record at night? IR illuminators, either built-in like with the Axis M1144-L camera or as addition equipment you can mount near the cameras, provide infrared light that is invisible to the human eye but bright enough for a camera to see.

At night your camera records in black and white because it does not have enough light to record clear colors, but that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice clear video. In the sample video below, recorded with the Axis M1144-L, IR illuminators allow you to clearly see the man as he moves around the store taking merchandise and cash.

If you want to protect your business around the clock, day/night cameras are equipped to record in any lighting. Shop our wide range of day/night cameras, from PTZ to HD domes, or contact our experts today to get a personalized camera recommendation.

February 26, 2015

When shopping for a new or updated video surveillance system, it's important to consider whether or not vandal-proof (also referred to as a "vandal resistant") security cameras will benefit your installation. features a broad range of vandal-proof surveillance cameras outfitted with exceptionally heavy-duty enclosures to withstand physical mistreatment such as blows from objects.

If your surveillance application is susceptible to vandalism or other damage, then we recommend investing in a vandal-proof system. Here are three preemptive measures you can take if you haven't already purchased a vandal-proof system:

Check cabling: Make sure to have the camera's cable is out of sight and unreachable by someone walking near or directly in its path. All cabling should be concealed by a wall or ceiling to prevent someone from trying to disconnect the camera.

Mounting: If possible, the camera should be flush-mounted into a ceiling or wall to make it less vulnerable to an attack. This type of installation makes it so that the camera is not entirely exposed. As a result, it's less of a target to someone who's looking to break or dismantle it. A hanging or pendant mount will make it easier for someone to attack the camera.

Out-of-Reach Placement: Surveillance cameras should be installed on surfaces that are out of arm's reach. Consider placement on high ceilings and walls when installing your system.

Speak to one of our system specialists now to learn more about vandal-resistant cameras. We have several indoor and outdoor options available depending on the needs of your business. Don't wait -- invest in a vandal system today.

February 26, 2015

Milestone has garnered a reputation as a game-changer in video management software for delivering modern features for IP and hybrid IP-CCTV video surveillance systems. At you can find a wide selection of Milestone XProtect software and servers to meet your security needs. What makes Milestone XProtect video management software so unique? Let's take a look at some of the software's key features:

Three Viewing Clients: Milestone offers three viewing clients to allow users to access their video surveillance systems from virtually any location on a mobile device, laptop or tablet. All free with Milestone software, the Smart, Mobile, and Web client make the experience of monitoring, recording, and managing that much more convenient.

Easy Evidence Search & Share: With Milestone it's effortless to locate and review video evidence thanks to video search tools. Finding quality evidence of an incident can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack but not with Milestone -- the software gives the user the ability to quickly navigate through recorded video. You can also export video evidence with a media player, email, and MMS.

True Integration Capability: Milestone is by far one of the most versatile video management software platforms available today, allowing the user to add on other security solutions as needed, including new cameras, third-party software applications, video analytics, and access control.

Automatic Configuration Wizards: One of the advantages of Milestone XProtect software is quick set-up. Milestone XProtect software boasts automatic configuration wizards and camera detection to make it easy to get your video surveillance system up and running in no time. The camera discovery tool swiftly configures any new surveillance cameras that are added to the system.

Interactive Maps: The interactive map feature from Milestone gives you the ability to see through several camera views for a complete picture of a facility or space. The map also provides a full view of your camera installation. Depending on what XProtect software edition you have, Milestone features both single- and multi-layer maps for comprehensive visual overviews.

For a full list of Milestone products offered by see

As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, we provide free site security audits to help us determine the best surveillance solution for your application.


February 23, 2015

A complete video surveillance system comes with everything you need in one package, ensuring that all the equipment will work together right out of the box. We've added two new systems to the featuring professional Optica cameras and the Milestone Husky NVR with Milestone XProtect software.

The Milestone Husky M10 4 Camera System includes both indoor and outdoor Optica cameras, ideal for securing the entrances and exits of a small business or office. The Outdoor B122 mini bullet camera and D122 dome camera both come standard with 720p HD resolution and day/night recording for 24/7 surveillance.

Milestone's Husky M10 comes with 1tb of storage space, and is preloaded with Milestone XProtect video management software. This allows you to view live video, watch recorded video, and manage your system from one place. And with free mobile apps, you can stay connected from anywhere using your smart phone or tablet.


Do you need more than four cameras for a larger office or business space? We also offer a Milestone Husky M10 8 Camera System that includes four each of the Optica B122 and D122 IP cameras. This system also comes with 1tb of storage space and Milestone XProtect software.


Not quite right? If neither of these systems meets your surveillance needs, contact us today to create a custom system just for you!

February 19, 2015

Installing an IP camera may sound daunting, but two Axis cameras recently added to the store come with user-friendly installation tools to make the process easy.

The Axis Q1653 fixed network camera features 1080p HD resolution, and can record at up to 60 fps for clear video even with fast moving traffic or objects. With WDR and an IR-cut filter, you can confidently record video any time of the day.


To make installation easy, this camera has five important features. Power over Ethernet uses a single cord to supply power and network connectivity. Leveling assistant guides and automatic image rotation helps your videos have the correct orientation, while the focus assistant keeps the images looking sharp. And if you want to use your system for facial recognition, the pixel counter will help ensure that objects will take up enough pixels to be useful.

If your system needs to secure a location that requires a durable camera, the Axis W8414-LVS camera has a water-proof housing that conceals ligatures to prevent the camera or its parts from being used for harm. With two-way audio and built-in IR illuminators, this camera is designed for use in schools, hospitals, and prisons.


For easy installation, this camera has three important features. Power over Ethernet for single-cable installation, along with remote focus and zoom and a pixel counter.

February 16, 2015 has cemented working relationships with medical marijuana dispensaries in several states, demonstrating its ability to design powerful security solutions in highly regulated environments. We've written an article on some of the major benefits that surveillance brings to processors, retailers, and wholesalers operating within the industry, which you can read on the MJ News Network, a blog produced by the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA). The article highlights some of the latest advancements in surveillance technology, including high-definition resolution and remote and mobile monitoring. A modern-day video surveillance system allows dispensary owners and managers to keep an eye on their grow operations when off-site for continual peace of mind. You can read the full article at:


January 20, 2015

We're at it once again, offering security advice to a wide array of industry professionals like those within the agriculture market and farm equipment segment. is excited to announce that we recently had an article published in the Winter 2015 issue of Ag Innovator magazine. Our article, focused on warehouse security, provides clear-cut examples of what preemptive measures managers can take to fight off theft and prevent inefficient business practices. We've provided a snapshot of the article below, courtesy of Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association. For a free, no-obligation security audit of your warehouse or factory, give us a call today at (866) 656-7118. Our project consultants are available to answer your questions and provide helpful information.

Ag Innovator Article by Ellen Arndt

January 13, 2015

Surveillance systems are often used to deter theft and vandalism, but your system can do so much more when it comes to protecting manufacturing plants.

If safety is a top concern because of the materials or machines used in your facility, surveillance systems allow you to monitor workers to ensure everyone follows the safety protocols. If a workplace accident does happen, video footage can help identify what went wrong, why, and how to prevent it in the future.

Surveillance video monitoring is also useful for improving workplace efficiency. By reviewing recorded videos you may see potential areas of change to increase productivity and reduce wait times.

Learn more about surveillance for manufacturing plants.


January 12, 2015 is honored to have partnered with some of the most reputable companies out there. In our latest case study, read how our project consultants designed a powerful IP video surveillance solution for Portland Roasting Coffee, a widely known purveyor of gourmet coffee in the Pacific Northwest. Portland Roasting formerly had a CCTV security camera system installed in its manufacturing facility before approaching our team. Knowing it was time to upgrade, Portland Roasting put its full faith in us to implement a HD IP surveillance system for better coverage and video detail. You can read the full case study here.


January 5, 2015

Will your new video surveillance system include complicated or large-scale components? If you need help configuring or installing the system, our System Integration Services can help.

System integration services from include configuring your NVR, video management software, and IP cameras to work together and with other security systems you may have. While most of the integration and configuration steps can be done our lab prior to shipping, or remotely once installed at your site, local integration partners are available as needed if you experience problems.

In addition, our system integration experts have experience with CCTV to IP migration, mobile and remote viewing and system management, wireless system design, and more.

Learn more about System Integration, or contact an expert today.

January 2, 2015

Our seasoned team of IP video specialists are available to provide a comprehensive security evaluation of your facility or surveillance project at no charge simply by calling or emailing us now. When you get in touch with us, we will take a close look at the layout and scope of your project to determine your most vulnerable areas and optimal locations for camera placement. Our site security audits are not limited to small or large enterprises - we work with facilities, buildings, and land lots of all sizes. Be sure to take advantage of this complimentary service now. Our security audits entail:

-Comprehensive review of your current security systems and equipment
-Remote walk through of your facility using blueprints/plans via digital photos, sketches, and online satellite imagery
-Discussion of security concerns and goals for your project

In some metro cities, is able to provide on-site security assessments. Please speak with one of our project consultants to learn more.

Have Questions? Get Answers. Our security integrators are standing by to make sure your surveillance solution is the best for your business. Contact an expert today! Get Help