Choosing security cameras isn’t the only important step in implementing video surveillance. The video management software behind the camera must support the functions the user is looking for.
Before we move on to looking at the best video management software, it is crucial to understand the value of having an integrated solution compared with separated cameras and video management software.
Although having separate cameras and video management software allows you to be a bit more flexible, as you can use cameras that you already own, the issue of compatibility and lack of scalability should not be taken lightly. You will need some technical knowledge to pair cameras and VMS and considerable technical knowledge to maintain this pairing bug-free.
Having an integrated hardware and software solution saves you frustration at the beginning of the process as it comes ready to use out-of-the-box and you're spared further frustration in the long-term, as it does not require any maintenance related to compatibility. Moreover, such solutions tend to come with frequent software updates and new features rollouts that you may benefit from in the long run. Integrated solutions also often pair very well with other security-related software solutions like access control or visitor management. If your budget allows it, we would recommend you choose this type of solution but, in case this is not possible, the separated solution will do the job.
The Best Integrated Security Camera Hardware + Software Solutions
Cisco Meraki offers a wide range of video-related solutions for your security. These solutions all have something in common, their top-of-the-market software. Meraki’s software comes with powerful AI-powered video analytics and features that keep track of motion detection and motion search (allowing you to retroactively look at areas on the screen to notice, for example, a missing laptop). These are things that you definitely can’t get with free video analytics software!
All of your cameras are connected to the cloud and each camera comes with more than 500 GB of memory (this saves you money as you don’t need an external NVR). Their firmware is always up-to-date (feature releases, firmware updates, and bug fixes are always pushed automatically and at no additional cost with an active license).
Meraki also integrates with many solutions, including Kisi, to create a comprehensive security solution for your office or studio that includes access control and video surveillance.
Similar to Meraki, Rhombus offers a comprehensive security solution with their cameras. The solution is easy to install and connects the cameras to each other through the cloud. Rhombus comes with a very clean dashboard from which you can monitor in real-time what is happening in your space. With regards to analytics, Rhombus offers useful alerts with filtered footage for movement, faces, sensor events, unusual behavior, and many more things. The price point can be interesting for medium-sized businesses and enterprises alike.
Together with the cloud advantages (including storage of the videos), Rhombus has many innovative features such as unusual behavior detection, face recognition, and license plate recognition. Just like Meraki, in parallel to cameras they also offer environmental sensors.
Rhombus has the advantage of integrating with multiple solutions, including Kisi, to create a complete security infrastructure for your company. This will turn your office into a secure space with cutting-edge technology.
Refer to the list below for the best video surveillance software on the market.
The Best Security Camera Software
Blue Iris is a popular cloud-based video surveillance system that allows anyone to view and control camera feeds remotely. The software is compatible with a huge selection of third-party cameras but is known to run sluggishly with higher-end HD cameras. The full version of Blue Iris does not require any additional licensing for multiple cameras, and it is easy to combine all cameras at one property into a single, interconnected system. The software offers a large amount of video editing and playback options, but some customers have noted there are often time-lapse gaps.
EyeLine Video Management Software is an attractive option for customers looking for a security software option that supports many cameras. EyeLine can monitor and record over 100 camera sources simultaneously. The software allows you to watch the footage in real-time on-site or online with remote login. The motion detection component saves space by only recording footage when something is happening on camera. Some customers have had issues with certain cameras being supported, so it is recommended to stick with USB-connected webcams.
ContaCam software positions itself as being fast, light, and versatile enough to meet any security needs. Setup of cameras is easy, requiring users to simply decide between motion detection or continuous recording, enter a camera name, and configure how long files should be kept. The software offers a daily summary video creation option and is well integrated with technology for license plate recognition. ContaCam is known to have stable performance but occasional difficulties when pairing with IP cameras.
ZoneMinder is a popular option for both home and business security. The software is known to be incredibly easy to set up and works with a wide variety of security cameras. Customers have few negative responses to this software as it is more than just a single piece of software - it’s a whole suite of apps. These applications work together to provide quality business surveillance. ZoneMinder is well designed and makes it easy for any individual to find what they’re looking for quickly.
Ivideon is regarded as the better free IP camera recording software available. The software alerts users appropriately and promptly of any sound or unusual occurrences. The algorithms within the server detect movements as subtle as flickers in lighting fixtures that ordinary surveillance software systems don’t usually pick up. The base software is free, but customers must subscribe to use the cloud service. Additionally, the software tends to operate well, but some customers claim it is a bit basic compared to competitors.
Luxriot Evo is a completely free video management software that is focused on delivering top-performing software as well as customer service. The software features a number of editing options from audio editing to frame accuracy and digital effects and even has the option to stream video directly to YouTube Live. Although the software works with nearly every IP camera, it cannot support more than 10 channels, so it is best for a small office or business.
iSpy is an open-source security program that connects to IP cameras or webcams. The software supports unlimited cameras and allows viewer access on the iSpy website or on individual devices. iSpy also has a text-to-speech component. This allows someone to communicate with visitors via the camera as well as monitor and listen to any microphones. Other functions include notifications when motion is detected or systematic time-lapses and snapshots. iSpy is a trusted video surveillance software, with more than 2 million users worldwide. The software is free to download and use, but accessing cameras remotely requires a paid subscription. Additionally, there are some restrictions in terms of computer compatibility that may require a user to download an older version of the software.
WebcamXP offers versatility that other camera software doesn’t. The software is designed to work well with different types of cameras and offers various streaming modes. It essentially takes an Internet connection and turns it into a security system. WebcamXP can connect to mobile devices and computers and transmit video in real-time or capture stills and short recordings.
Developed by Samsung, SmartViewer is compatible with NVR (network video recorder)and DVR (digital video recorder) cameras and devices. The software supports up to 72 devices and offers multiple viewing options. Although not an entirely free service, SmartViewer allows a user to view favorites and search the data according to the type of event that happened.
Camcloud is a hardware-free cloud-based video surveillance platform providing fast and fail-safe monitoring. The software auto-detects cameras and easily configures each camera for the cloud. The cloud stores all critical footage for up to 90 days and users are able to access and manage their cloud archive through a timeline available on Camcloud’s website and mobile app. Local storage options ensure that even if a camera or site loses internet connectivity, everything will still be captured and can be later reviewed within the cloud.
How to Choose the Best Solution for Your Business
In conclusion, take your time to choose the best video management software for your cameras as it is a decision that you will coexist with for a long time. If your needs are more for the short term (some months), you should definitely keep the price in mind. If you, however, are looking for a long-term, hassle-free solution for your office, make sure you build a security system that is as self-sufficient as possible.
Key aspects to evaluate when it comes to the software are:
- Analytics and reporting
- Cloud storage capacity
- Ease of deployment
- Onboarding and support
- Integration with access control
Are you not sure about which security cameras to choose? Head over here for a comparison of the top 10 brands for business-grade security cameras.
If you want to combine access control with your video security system, you can take a look here.