Regardless of whether you are looking to install security surveillance in to your home or business, you will need to know the difference between standalone DVR packages and PC-based DVR packages. A surveillance system consists of surveillance cameras that feed into a recorder. Previously, camera images would be recorded onto video tapes, however, today we use DVR technology. But what package is best for your needs? Let’s do a comparison between the two.
Before we get into the pros and cons of both packages, let’s have a look at how both systems work. A basic understanding of each system works will help you understand the pros and cons of each. Standalone units have been around a lot longer than PC-based units. Furthermore, PC-based DVR technology is still fairly new.
A standalone system looks a lot like a DVD player or an old VCR with all their components encased in one cabinet. This includes the CPU, IC chips, and power supplies. Everything you need to have to operate the unit is located in one cabinet.
A PC-based system looks a lot like a tower computer unit. Similar to your PC, the system’s hard drive, LAN board, motherboard, and video card are all located in the computer tower. There is also a DVD-writer to burn your security video images to and a card that records security images.
Pros of Standalone systems
- It uses tried and true technology that has a proven track record over many years.
- Because the technology is older, they aren’t as expensive as PC-based units.
- You can feed your security video with a TV output.
- The units are smaller, quieter and are easier to conceal.
- It has an embedded software system which means they don’t required daily software updates and aren’t vulnerable to hacking or computer viruses.
Pros of PC-based systems
- Because it is PC-based, there is the same flexibility available to add and remove components as you do with your own computer.
- These units are more user-oriented than standalone systems
- They have more features that users can interact with.
- PC-based systems work with analog and digital/IP cameras.
- It works with Point-of-Sale and cash registers for greater retail protection.
- It has more power and greater memory thus allowing the user to store larger amounts of footage.
Cons of Standalone systems
- They aren’t upgradeable
- Everything is tied into the one motherboard.
- If one component fails then you will most likely have to replace the entire unit.
- It has limited storage capacity.
- It isn’t easily integrated with other technology.
- The standalone units are connected to one camera system.
Cons of PC-based sytems
- These units are vulnerable to hacks including security breaches and viruses.
- The units are more expensive.
- These units are run off computer-based software which requires regular updating and protection from Internet threats.
- The units are usually larger and more bulky.
- The PC-based units are vulnerable to software and hardware conflicts as they are made up of interchangeable parts.
What Package Best Suits Your Needs?
Now that you know the differences, as well as the pros and cons of each unit, let’s talk about which package is better for your security needs. First of all, you need to work out what it is that you are securing and how much flexibility you require within your system.
If you are adding video surveillance to your home security system, you can easily get by with a standalone DVR security package. If you are living a standard size house, you will probably only need minimal camera coverage feeding in to a single monitor. Two to four security cameras would suffice in monitoring your outdoor area while feeding the pictures into your home office.
The big advantage of having a standalone system for home security is its cost and simplicity. They are more affordable than PC-based systems and require less know-how and maintenance. This security package is ideal for those who want to secure their personal space.
In saying that, if you are a business owner, you will probably want to invest in a PC-based system. It allows for more cameras, more footage recording space, and are easily upgradeable as your business grows. They can also be tailored to any specific need you might have. This security system allows for multiple user accounts, so your IT staff can keep the software up to date, and your security staff can monitor your business space. This keeps the technical side of the system running smoothly and the security side looked after by the right people.
Whether it’s your home or business that you are securing, you want to make sure that you have the best surveillance installed so that your assets are kept secure away from any intruders.