How many security cameras do I need?
You’ve decided to secure your home or business by installing a CCTV system. You’ve checked out our NVR Vs DVR ARTICLE to find the best system for you. But you’re unsure how many CCTV cameras you need. Here we will outline a general process you can follow when making this decision. It’s not an easy choice to make, buy too few and you’re not covered; too many and you’ve wasted money.
CCTV recorders work in channels; one channel for every camera in your system. Recorder channels operate in multiples of four, for example: 4, 8, 16 etc. So, if you purchase a 4 Camera CCTV kit with a 4 Channel recorder only to realise you need 5 cameras, you then need to purchase a new 8 channel recorder to fit the one additional camera.
In an ideal world we’d all buy recorders with more channels than we need, just in case. But this can be expensive!
The best deals on CCTV products are often kits, with the cameras and recorder included in one bundle. Our KIT BUILDER allows you to select the exact number of cameras to match your needs. However, often a CCTV kit will most likely come with 2, 4 or 8 cameras with a 4 or 8 channel recorder.
Below we’ve put together some handy tips to help you decide how many cameras you might need for your property:
- A good place to start is to sketch a simple blueprint of your property.
- Decide how many potential entry points there are to your property. You’ll want these covered. For example, a standard property may have a driveway, side entrance and a back garden. That’s 3 areas that will need covering for definite.
- Mark the places on your property best suited to cover the areas you’ve highlighted above.
- Draw an expanding cone shape from the point where you marked your camera. It’s a good idea to check the specifications of the camera’s night vision and viewing angle to get an idea of the area of coverage to expect. You can then base your cone shape on roughly the correct distance and width of your camera’s vision in comparison to your property.
- You should now have at least the potential entry points to the property covered.
- Looking at your blueprint, you will now be able to see any potential blind spots not being picked up by your cameras. You may want to add a camera or two to cover these areas.
- Also, there may be a section of the property not being covered because it isn’t in camera sight of an entry point, but you still want it covered. i.e. an outbuilding or garage.
See the image below for a sketched example of the above guidelines.
This is by no means a full proof guide, everyone’s property shape, size and security needs differ. However, after you’ve done the above, you should have a good idea of how many cameras you might need. From there you can start to shop for your perfect CCTV system.