Insights

The best cloud-based video surveillance systems for business (2024)

June 6, 2023

Crime is on the rise. According to the National Retail Federation’s National Retail Security Survey, retail crime amounted to almost $100 billion in 2022, up from $90 billion in 2020. It’s no wonder that businesses are investing in cloud-based video surveillance systems.

However, choosing the wrong cloud-based video surveillance system can be costly. In fact, some of them have been labeled “hostage as a service” companies by IVPM due to the long contract lengths, lack of customer support, and closed architecture.

In this article, we review 15 such systems to help you decide which is the best cloud-based video surveillance solution for business.

See how Solink’s cloud-first video surveillance system can improve the security of your business.

Cloud, AI, and several other terms have been used loosely in recent years to cash in on trends. The fact is that many cloud-based video surveillance systems barely take advantage of cloud technology. To understand this, let’s begin with the basic definition of cloud computing.

Wikipedia defines cloud computing broadly as “the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user.”

This definition is more geared towards companies like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. These services represent an important backbone for all software as a service (SaaS) companies, including video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) companies like Solink.

Narrowing down to a universal definition of cloud video surveillance is, again, not an easy task. Many companies will define any surveillance or security service that is enabled by the cloud as being a cloud-based video surveillance company.

This could mean that simply offering cloud video storage or being able to access your security feeds remotely is enough to be labeled cloud-based video surveillance. However, at Solink, we go further in our definition of cloud-based video surveillance.

The best cloud-based video surveillance systems have the following characteristics:

  • Always on: Cloud computing should enable your local surveillance system to have zero downtime. This includes alerting you to problems with individual security cameras or other connected systems.
  • Always compatible: The cloud is fundamentally an interconnected network of different systems and services. If your video surveillance system does not function within this greater network of services, then is it truly part of the cloud? Solink has a technology agnostic approach to development. The Solink platform can work with most security cameras on the market, as well as all of your other systems, from access control to POS systems, to provide new insights for business management.
  • Always available: Cloud systems should be available at any time of the day, from anywhere. For cloud-based video surveillance systems, this means being able to perform remote monitoring of your premises and any key metrics.
  • Always up to date: Cloud-based video surveillance systems keep themselves up to date with the latest patches. This protects your business from cybersecurity threats, without any user input. It also means a regular flow of new features to drive even more return on investment (ROI).

What are the advantages of a cloud-based video surveillance system?

Cloud-based video surveillance systems bring a lot of value to businesses. In fact, through cost and time savings and the potential to drive more revenue, most businesses find that their cloud-based video surveillance system pays for itself several times over.

Here are some of the ways that cloud-based video surveillance systems drive ROI.

Save and share

Once your video is stored in the cloud, it can be easily shared across your organization or with law enforcement when necessary. All you need to do is send the URL to anyone who needs access to the video clip. The Solink platform does this automatically with a simple save and share system.

Remote monitoring

No matter how many locations are under your management, being able to access your data from anywhere is helpful. For larger organizations, remote monitoring becomes essential. Solink allows you to access your data in real time from anywhere. You can view video footage of what is happening, along with all the data sourced from connected systems.

Everything in one place

Data collection has become a necessary part of business. However, many companies are drowning in their data. They know that it can help make their organization more efficient, but how to interpret and implement data isn’t always simple.

One way to make your data processes easier is to bring as much data as possible into a single platform. Solink’s cloud video security platform does just that. We connect video with data from your other systems to not just improve your security level but also unlock insights about your business.

Furthermore, pairing data with video lets you see what is actually happening as data doesn’t always tell the whole story. For example, exception-based reporting can help you see indications of theft or lost productivity, but only the paired video will tell you why something is amiss.

Proactive monitoring

Cloud video surveillance can unload some of the mental burden of checking up on your business. By utilizing different statistical models, as well as motion search and other camera AI features, Solink can alert you to issues.

Whether you want to know when someone goes into the backroom, a store’s sales level, or the speed of service drops, Solink can notify you of issues before they get out of control.

Threshold Notifications allows you to set limits on all your key performance indicators and then receive an SMS or email notification the moment your core metrics are outside your comfort zone.

Off-site cloud video storage backup

Cloud video storage has some disadvantages. It requires a flawless Internet connection and will consume most of your bandwidth. Cloud video storage can also be prohibitively expensive.

However, utilizing cloud video storage as a backup to your local network storage is a great option. Once placed in a secure cloud storage solution, your videos can be saved indefinitely. Videos accessible in the cloud also enable the next couple benefits of cloud video surveillance.

Solink combines network-attached storage (NAS) with cloud video storage. This hands-off, fully warrantied storage appliance helps reduce costs, improve robustness, and for some industries ensure your security system meets regulatory requirements.

Constant improvements

Traditional security systems are purchased and then don’t change much over their useful life. Cloud video security solutions are constantly improving. For example, Solink recently released Location Management. This feature makes it easy for large organizations to find the individual location or group of locations they wish to audit.

You can track all of the recent updates to the Solink platform here.

Automated security updates

Cybersecurity is an integral part of physical security. One of the biggest disadvantages of going to a non-cloud-based video surveillance solution is that they don’t receive free, automated security updates.

Over time, as hackers discover exploits to these systems, a business’s video feeds and cloud video storage become vulnerable. Solink updates the platform whenever new threats are discovered and operates under the highest security standards.

Health checks

Solink’s cloud video security is always online. Importantly, it makes sure your other systems are also online. One way Solink does this is by telling you when a camera goes offline or is blocked in some way.

Solink performs regular health checks on all of your devices to make sure security vulnerabilities do not arise.

AI capabilities

Making your security camera footage available on the cloud means that you can use new AI capabilities. Many of these features require more computing power than any single laptop could attain. Cloud computing unlocks some of the following features.

A running man icon in a turquoise circle.

Searching through recorded video for motion events is now possible with the advent of AI. This is especially valuable when trying to spot a shoplifter. Simply highlight the shelf where merchandise has gone missing and then see every instance of motion in that area while skipping the hours in between.

Find what your looking for in seconds with motion search from Solink

A white icon with a magnifying glass on it.

Retail and restaurant industries are deeply familiar with discount abuse. Indeed, point of sale (POS) employee theft is a major source of loss. That’s why loss prevention software needs to integrate with POS systems.

POS monitoring gives companies the ability to search through high-risk transactions including employee discounts, voids, cash returns, and no-sale tills opens and then view paired video to see what happened.

Event Search by Solink

Cctv camera icon with a chain on it.

Camera linking

Camera Linking uses advanced AI technology to automatically find overlapping views in your security cameras. That way you can quickly navigate through unknown locations jumping from one camera to the next as you look through the building.

For example, when you find someone shoplifting using motion search, you can then quickly follow the suspect as they move through your store to see what else they take or confirm they didn’t leave the merchandise somewhere else before leaving.

Scalability

Cloud-based video surveillance provides unlimited scalability. Here are three ways that cloud video security scales with your business:

  • Number of sites: The cloud is limitless, so you can easily bring another site online.
  • Number of users: It is easy to add new users, as well as give them a customized level of access to protect certain data from those who do not need to see it.
  • Number of connected systems: The POS is the most common connected system on Solink, but we can connect to many other systems including scheduling software and access control. When you have new systems come online, Solink will work to add them to your custom dashboard.

15 best cloud-based video surveillance systems for business

It’s hard to make a list of the best cloud-based video surveillance systems. There are many out there, and they don’t all cater to the same industries, offer the same experience, or provide the same value.

We’ve taken a mix of the video surveillance as a solution (VSaaS) companies recently rated by IVPM, some early startups, a few cloud-based video surveillance systems for homes that small businesses sometimes use, and one classic network video recorder (NVR) system as a comparison point.

Here are the 15 best cloud-based video surveillance systems for business:

1. Solink

2. Verkada

3. Eagle Eye Networks

4. Rhombus

5. Ivideon

6. Milestone (XProtect)

7. Meraki

8. Avigilon ALTA

9. Genetec Stratocast

10. OpenEye

11. Spot Ai

12. Nest

13. Frontpoint

14. Blink

15. Big Dog

Solink protects your people, profits, and patrons

Solink is a leading cloud-based video surveillance company. With over tens of thousands of sites, Solink has the tools and expertise to monitor businesses of all sizes. With a highly customizable offering, Solink is the ideal choice for organizations in every industry, from retail to restaurants, banks to cannabis, and schools to religious organizations.

Here are some of the main differentiators of Solink’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • An easy-to-use platform that can be learned on the fly and used by various roles across an organization
  • The highest level of network security and data protection
  • No-term contracts that make it a flexible solution for businesses
  • Constantly shipping new features such as Camera Linking, Threshold Notifications, and Location Management
  • Real-time alerts for core metrics and daily digest emails for summaries of all your data
  • Best-in-class mobile experience on both Apple and Android along with Apple TV and web apps
  • 24/7 support via in-app chat, email, or phone, as well as an extensive help center
  • Quick installation and hands-off hardware that is fully managed and maintained by Solink
  • Technology-agnostic platform that works with most security cameras and connected systems
  • Hundreds of integrations, including POS systems, access control, and scheduling software
  • Substantial ROI through time-saving, improved revenue generation, and reduced costs and theft
  • All-in-one solution that can source and install your security cameras
  • Video alarms, with both self-serve and managed options for verification
Verkada logo on a green background.

Verkada

Verkada provides businesses with cloud-based video surveillance solutions that enhance security and monitoring capabilities. Their platform offers management tools, high-definition cameras, and powerful video analytics, ensuring comprehensive surveillance coverage for business environments.

While Verkada’s system brings benefits, organizations should be aware of potential challenges related to camera compatibility with existing infrastructure and the need for proper network bandwidth allocation to ensure optimal performance. Additionally, businesses should consider Verkada’s lack of support for third-party applications including point of sale (POS) systems, which may not meet their specific requirements.

Advantages and disadvantages of Verkada

Here are some of the main differentiators of Verkada’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • All-in-one security providers that sell all of the hardware and software required for a security system
  • Cloud-enabled security system
  • Zero POS integrations and few other integrations
  • Closed system that isn’t compatible with third-party security cameras
  • Less support options and no 24/7 support
  • Mobile app
  • Facial recognition (note that this may have legal implications in some jurisdictions)

Read: Solink vs. Verkada comparison.

Eagle eye networks, inc logo.

Eagle Eye Networks

Eagle Eye Networks (EEN) offers cloud-based video surveillance solutions designed to meet the unique needs of businesses. Their platform offers scalability, remote access, and advanced analytics, enabling organizations to efficiently monitor and protect their premises. However, some users find the platform difficult to use or explain to new team members.

EEN offers data and POS integrations, giving you access to more analytics than Verkada.

Advantages and disadvantages of Eagle Eye Networks

Here are some of the main differentiators of EEN’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • The ability to use natural language (such as “black backpack”) to search videos, although the accuracy still has room for improvement
  • Data and POS integrations
  • Mobile app
  • Some questions about the cost-effectiveness of the solution

Read: Solink vs. Eagle Eye Networks comparison.

Rhombus_Logo

Rhombus

Rhombus provides a cloud-based video surveillance solution tailored for business environments. While Rhombus offers valuable features, businesses should consider the compatibility of their existing camera infrastructure with Rhombus’ system to ensure seamless integration. Rhombus does not offer support for your existing security cameras.

Additionally, Rhombus uses storage on each camera as their local video storage support. This makes their cameras more expensive than many on the open market.

Advantages and disadvantages of Rhombus

Here are some of the main differentiators of Rhombus’ cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Closed camera system that requires you to purchase their cameras
  • Mobile app
  • POS and other data integrations
  • Requires long-term contracts
ivideon-logo

Ivideon

Ivideon offers a cloud-based video surveillance platform that caters to the needs of businesses seeking efficient monitoring and security solutions. Their system enables remote access to live and recorded video footage, centralized camera management, and advanced analytics.

Ivideon also has a working Shopify shop on their website where you can buy all the security hardware you could need, including NVRs, cameras, and cabling.

Advantages and disadvantages of Ivideon

Here are some of the main differentiators of Ivideon’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • All-in-one hardware and software shop
  • Offers hardware sales to the public separate from its subscription business
  • Facial recognition (note that this may have legal implications in some jurisdictions)
  • Sells services such as access control that are related to cloud-based video surveillance
Milestone_XProtect_logo

Milestone (XProtect)

Milestone offers a basic cloud-based video surveillance solution for businesses. Their platform, XProtect, offers some of the key tools demanded by businesses such as data integrations. Milestone also offers a mobile app.

One aspect businesses should consider when adopting Milestone is the scalability of the system to accommodate their surveillance needs as they grow. Additionally, organizations should ensure compatibility with their existing camera infrastructure and network equipment for a smooth integration process.

Advantages and disadvantages of Milestone

Here are some of the main differentiators of Milestones’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Self-serve system for XProtect offered through Amazon AWS
  • No video alarms services
  • Able to use with existing IP security cameras
cisco-meraki-logo

Meraki

Meraki delivers a cloud-based video surveillance solution designed to meet the specific requirements of businesses. Their platform combines high-quality cameras, intelligent analytics, and seamless cloud connectivity to enable organizations to monitor and protect their premises effectively. Meraki is one of several solutions in this list owned by a larger business, in this case Cisco. This leads some businesses to worry about the future development of the platform.

Meraki offers some of the most sought after features in a cloud-based video security solution. For example, they are usually compatible with your existing security cameras. Moreover, they have a mobile app and offer cloud video storage.

Advantages and disadvantages of Meraki

Here are some of the main differentiators of Meraki’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Mobile app
  • Open platform for third-party security cameras
  • Offer data integrations but not POS integrations
Avgilon logo on a green background.

Avigilon ALTA

Avigilon ALTA offers a cloud-based video surveillance solution designed to enhance security and monitoring capabilities for businesses. Their platform is especially designed to work for large sites, such as colleges and universities.

Avigilon ALTA has some of the features needed for businesses in the cloud video management system, for example data integrations, a mobile app, and cloud video storage. However, they lack seamless POS integrations and 24/7 support.

Advantages and disadvantages of Avigilon ALTA

Here are some of the main differentiators of Avigilon ALTA’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Offers video alarms
  • Has data integrations but not POS integrations
  • Mobile app
  • Some questions about the ease of use of the platform

Read: Solink vs. Avigilon comparison.

Genetec-Stratocast-logo

Genetec Stratocast

Genetec Stratocast offers a cloud-based video surveillance solution for businesses. While Genetec Stratocast offers some data integrations, they do not have POS integrations. Furthermore, they offer a mobile app, but the platform itself has not been updated regularly and can seem out of date.

Advantages and disadvantages of Genetec Stratocast

Here are some of the main differentiators of Genetec Stratocast’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Native access control integration allows remotely unlocking and locking doors
  • Mobile app
  • UX/UI is often criticized as hard to use and out of date
Openeye logo on a green background.

OpenEye

OpenEye offers a cloud-based video surveillance solution tailored for businesses. Their platform is considered easy to use and offers cloud video storage. While OpenEye offers many features needed by businesses, they have long-term contracts that reduce the flexibility of companies looking to test the platform. Furthermore, OpenEye does not offer 24/7 support.

Advantages and disadvantages of OpenEye

Here are some of the main differentiators of OpenEye’s cloud-based video surveillance solution

  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Mobile app
  • Data and POS integrations
spot-ai-logo

Spot AI

Spot AI is a cloud-based video surveillance solution that aims to enhance security and monitoring capabilities for businesses. As a relatively new company in the market, Spot AI offers many of the standard cloud-based video security features. However, due to its limited track record, businesses may face some uncertainties when considering Spot AI as their video surveillance provider.

One of the potential drawbacks of Spot AI’s new and unproven status is the lack of extensive customer feedback and case studies. Without a long history of successful implementations, businesses may feel hesitant about the platform’s reliability and performance. Additionally, as a newer company, Spot AI may still be refining its offerings and addressing any unforeseen issues that arise during implementation.

Advantages and disadvantages of Spot AI

Here are some of the main differentiators of Spot AI’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Unproven track record as a very new company
  • Some AI features such as motion detection
  • Sells cameras and NVRs
  • Compatible with most IP cameras, but not necessarily analog cameras
  • Geared towards very small companies with one to few locations and lacking the required features for enterprise customers
The nest logo on a green background.

Nest

Nest provides a cloud-based video surveillance solution primarily designed for residential use. While some small businesses have adopted Nest for their surveillance needs, it’s important to note that the platform may not offer the comprehensive range of features and integrations typically required in business environments.

Nest’s focus on user-friendly operation, compatibility with other smart devices, and intuitive mobile app makes it appealing for residential applications, but businesses seeking advanced analytics, extensive integrations, and enterprise-level scalability may need to consider alternative solutions.

Advantages and disadvantages of Nest for business

Here are some of the main differentiators of Nest’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Easy to use
  • Able to purchase new cameras and other hardware easily from eCommerce and brick and mortar stores
  • Offers cloud video storage
  • Not designed for businesses
  • No POS or data integrations
  • No reporting or data visualization capabilities
frontpoint-logo

Frontpoint

Frontpoint offers a cloud-based video surveillance solution that caters predominantly to residential customers. Although some small businesses have utilized Frontpoint for their security needs, it’s worth considering that the platform may not provide the full range of features and integrations necessary for complex business environments.

Frontpoint’s emphasis on simplicity, ease of use, and DIY installation aligns with residential needs, but businesses requiring advanced analytics, centralized management, and seamless integration with existing systems may need to explore more specialized solutions.

Advantages and disadvantages of Frontpoint for business

Here are some of the main differentiators of Frontpoint’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Easy to use
  • Able to purchase new cameras and other hardware easily from eCommerce and brick and mortar stores
  • Offers cloud video storage
  • Not designed for businesses
  • No POS or data integrations
  • No reporting or data visualization capabilities
blink_logo_smile_blue

Blink is a cloud-based video surveillance solution primarily designed for residential use. While some small businesses have found value in its simplicity and affordability, it’s important to note that Blink may not offer the comprehensive features and integrations required for larger business environments.

Its focus on user-friendly operation and wireless connectivity makes it well-suited for residential applications, but businesses seeking advanced analytics, extensive integrations, and robust scalability may need to explore alternative solutions. Wireless cameras, especially, should be avoided where possible in businesses as camera downtime represents a significant security risk.

Here are some of the main differentiators of Blink’s cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Easy to use
  • Able to purchase new cameras and other hardware easily from eCommerce and brick and mortar stores
  • Offers cloud video storage
  • Not designed for businesses
  • No POS or data integrations
  • No reporting or data visualization capabilities
big-dog-security-logo

Big Dog

Big Dog is an NVR-based video surveillance solution that provides businesses with basic monitoring capabilities. However, it is important to consider some potential limitations of the platform. One of the shortcomings of Big Dog is the lack of regular updates. As technology advances and security threats evolve, it is crucial for surveillance systems to stay up to date with the latest software and firmware enhancements. This is a major reason businesses are upgrading their systems from Big Dog and similar NVR systems to cloud-based video surveillance.

Another area where Big Dog may fall short is in its AI capabilities. While AI has become increasingly important in video surveillance, enabling advanced analytics and automated insights such as event and motion search, Big Dog’s AI capabilities are limited. Without robust AI capabilities, businesses may miss out on valuable insights and actionable information that can enhance security and operational efficiency.

For businesses seeking a more comprehensive and technologically advanced video surveillance solution, it may be advisable to explore cloud-based alternatives that offer regular updates, advanced AI capabilities, and comprehensive cloud functionality such as remote viewing and multi-site management.

Advantages and disadvantages of Big Dog

Here are some of the main differentiators of Big Dog’s non-cloud-based video surveillance solution:

  • Lack of advanced AI capabilities
  • No cloud video storage
  • Rigid system packages
  • No security updates leaves systems vulnerable to hackers

Solink brings together all of the features businesses come to expect in a cloud-based video surveillance solution.

  • Motion and event search helps you find more theft in less time.
  • Video alarms better protect your business at night while massively reducing the risk of false alarm fines.
  • Camera health checks confirm your cameras are online and unoccluded, while security updates protect you from cyberthreats.

To see what makes Solink the best cloud-based video surveillance company, sign up for a demo today.

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Timothy Ware |

Solink stands at the forefront of security solutions, excelling in loss prevention and asset protection for businesses. Our content is rich in industry expertise and crafted to provide actionable insights and innovative strategies. We empower businesses to enhance their security systems, optimize operations, and protect their assets more effectively. Discover how our advanced cloud video management system can transform your security approach.