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Commercial security camera systems: Premium video solutions

April 5, 2024

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Your comprehensive guide for exploring the latest in commercial security cameras and systems in 2024

When acquiring equipment for a new business, high quality commercial security cameras and commercial security camera installations are often the first components that are sought after. In essence, a commercial security camera setup, also known as a business security system or commercial CCTV system, comprises a collection of video security cameras, recording devices, and software. Its purpose is to empower commercial entities and help businesses monitor and record video footage effectively. Keeping focus on the entire commercial security camera system will result in both a higher level of security and a greater return on your security camera system investment.

In this article, we explain the concept of commercial security camera systems, what goes into them, and why you need one. We also go through a real-life use case on building a commercial security camera system based on a restaurant floor plan.

See how Solink can help you build a powerful commercial security camera system for your sites

A cctv camera in a warehouse.

Why do you need a commercial security camera system?

In today’s landscape, commercial security camera systems have shifted from being a luxury to an essential. They constitute a vital component of a robust security strategy, granting business operators a comprehensive overview of activities transpiring across their premises or dispersed sites.

Here are just a few of the things you can expect to get out of your commercial security system:

Reducing inventory shrinkage

Well placed cameras and a strong video analytics platform give you the ability to scan a full day worth of video footage in minutes. This can help you find inventory shrinkage in all of its forms, from employee theft at the POS to shoplifting, organized retail crime (ORC), and inventory not showing up or leaving out the loading dock.

The ability to remote video monitor

Remote video monitoring offers significant value add. Being able to monitor all of your locations from the corporate head office, or even your home, means better control on the day-to-day operations of all your sites. Some companies take remote video monitoring to the next level, often referred to as remote guarding. This is where you replace on-site security guards with your video surveillance system. This often improves the overall security level of your enterprise while dramatically reducing the costs.

Enhanced safety and event documenting

An integrated and monitored commercial security camera system will help protect you from a lot more than violent events. By auditing for company and regulatory compliance, you can make sure emergency exits are clear, wet floor signs are out to prevent slip-and-falls, and visitors aren’t entering restricted areas. In the event that something does happen on your premises with a security system in place it’s easy to recount what exactly happened and report on it if necessary. This is especially easy with Solinks video dashboard and the softwares ability to clip and send, which you can explore here.

Optimizing operations

Efficient business optimization relies on meticulous tracking of operations. From utilizing heat maps to enhance store layout and merchandise placement for increased revenue, to ensuring proactive employee engagement with patrons, staying informed about your business activities facilitates seamless optimization processes.

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What are the components of a commercial security camera system?

There are four main components of a commercial security camera system: 


  • Commercial security cameras 
  • Data storage
  • Cloud connectivity
  • Video analytics

This list is very specific to the commercial security camera system components. These are the barebones requirements to secure your commercial enterprise. However, this can also be a part of your loss prevention system, which includes many of the other pieces of hardware you might expect to see, such as your POS, RFID tags and gates, and so on.

Commercial security cameras

security camera illustrations in row

Security cameras are the hardware and the basis of the system. Most commercial sites require some form of video security. These include sites such as retail stores, offices, university and college campuses, warehouses, restaurants and so on. However, if you stop at simply buying security cameras, then you are left with underutilized and incomplete security infrastructure. Modern security systems encompass more than just hardware; the sophisticated software behind the cameras plays a pivotal role in enhancing security capabilities. These software solutions offer features such as motion detection, remote access, and advanced analytics, transforming raw footage into actionable insights for proactive security measures. This is truly what Solink specializes in when it comes to commercial security camera integration.

Solink laptop mockup
Discover the difference Solink software makes with your commercial security cameras

Data storage

Some cameras have data storage in them, but it is usually limited. Other cameras store directly to the cloud, which are known as cloud-based security camera systems, which are great if you have the bandwidth and a good connection with zero downtime.


Most systems use either a DVR (digital video recorder) or NVR (network video recorder) system to function as your data storage device.


These systems can be customized to meet the specific video retention needs of your commercial business. Whether you need 15, 30, 90, or more days of onsite video storage, Solink can accommodate all of your requirements.

Cloud connectivity

Cloud-based video security adds functionality to your commercial security camera system. When opting for a cloud-hosted camera system for business, a standout advantage lies in the ability to manage the building surveillance system remotely, offering unparalleled flexibility and convenience. Also, the scalability inherent in a cloud-hosted solution means it can adapt to the evolving needs of your enterprise. 

For example, Solink automatically updates all of the software on our systems. In addition, Solink runs automated security camera health checks to tell you if your cameras have gone offline or are blocked in some way. These are just two of the functions that make Solink one of the best cloud-based video surveillance systems.


Video analytics platform

Video analytics is when computers automatically watch video footage to find and recognize things happening in a certain place or time, ideally right away. This is critical in a modern commercial camera system in order to save you time and keep track of all events pertinent to security. Security cameras are a great source of data that can be utilized for more than just monitoring.

Collecting and storing but not putting into action video data can make every business decision more difficult. Here are just some of the ways Solink’s video analytics platform could help you.

Security related:

  • Matching video clips to high-risk transactions (voids, cash refunds, high discounts, zero-dollar transactions, and no-sale till opens) by integrating security cameras with your POS. Solink doesn’t require a text inserter box to do this.
  • Using motion search to see all activity in an area to quickly track down an event.
  • Using the Solink Video Alarms Monitoring Service to create time-based perimeter defenses, protecting your property when you aren’t there.
  • Receiving proactive alerts when specific transactions, items, or criteria are met with Threshold Notifications.
  • Being notified when someone enters a restricted area.

Non-security related:

To see how Solink can help you get the most out of your security cameras, request a demo today.

Solink helps you filter events that happen within your commercial business

Learn how easy it is to uncover suspicious cash handling in our self-guided tour.

Solink’s video analytics and surveillance for businesses makes it easy to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment.

Schedule a 30-minute product demo with our experts

What are the main types of commercial security cameras?

Analog cameras

Analog cameras can sometimes be considered old technology when compared to newer IP cameras. For example, analog security cameras are usually capped to standard definition (SD) video quality. Standard definition is lower quality and has a pixel height of only 480p. However, they tend to be reliable and have been the mainstay of video security for decades. Solink is absolutely able to work with most analog as well as Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, so there’s no need to upgrade your entire commercial security camera infrastructure to work with its platform. 

Solink integrates with analog camera's

TVI cameras

Transport video interface (TVI) is a way of transmitting analog video over a coaxial cable. It is one of several technologies that can push analog cameras into high definition (HD). In addition to higher definition recordings, TVI provides a longer wired transmission range. Standard analog security cameras (sometimes called composite video baseband signal (CVBS)) have a maximum wired transmission range of 300 ft. However, some of the newer technologies, including TVI, increase the transmission range up to 900 ft.

IP cameras

Internet protocol cameras (IP cameras) are controlled using an IP network and transmit data digitally. By using the IP networking standards, some IP cameras can work without needing any local storage. However, regulations may require you to keep storage on premise regardless. Furthermore, Internet bandwidth is not always perfectly stable, so having a cloud with local storage solution is more reliable. IP cameras can connect to a network in two main ways: WiFi or a power over Ethernet (PoE) cable. PoE cables provide both power and network access for transmission and reception. If WiFi is chosen, then the cameras will still need to be powered, either using a battery or being plugged in through an adapter.

Wireless cameras

Wireless commercial security cameras transmit the video feed wirelessly. They still require power. Although there are battery- or solar-powered commercial security cameras, they tend to only be used where electricity is impractical. Both digital and analog commercial security cameras can be wireless. Wireless analog cameras connect to the network using an RF signal. Note that RF signals are less reliable than WiFi because cell phones and other nearby devices can interfere with the signal.

Bullet cameras

Bullet cameras are some of the most common commercial security cameras on the market. They are small and get their name from their shape. Their small size and easy installation make them particularly versatile. You can find them indoors and outdoors, and they are usually less noticeable than larger security cameras (e.g., the turret security cameras discussed next). However, their shape makes them less robust to vandalism than dome cameras (see below). See more about bullet vs. turret cameras here.

A white cctv camera on a black background.

Turret cameras

Turret security cameras have a ball-and-socket design. Within the “turret”, the ball-like camera can be positioned to look at different angles. This makes their installation and re-positioning flexible. However, once installed, you’ll need to physically reposition the camera to get a new field of view.

Hikvision ip dvr ddr ddr ddr ddr ddr.

Dome cameras

Dome cameras are cameras covered with a dome. This obscures the direction they are facing, which can make employees and customers less sure what is or is not in the camera’s field of view. Their shape and the dome protection make them more resistant to vandalism. However, as with many of the other cameras on this list, it has a fixed viewing angle that cannot be changed remotely. See more about dome cameras vs. bullet cameras here.

A white cctv camera on a black background.

PTZ cameras

PTZ stands for pan, tilt, zoom, and that’s basically what they can do. PTZ security cameras can be controlled remotely to pan across a larger area or zoom in on something in particular. This added functionality usually comes with a higher price tag. However, you might be able to offset the added cost per camera by using fewer cameras in total.

Protect your business with a PTZ (Pan, tilt, and zoom) camera

360 degree cameras (fisheye cameras)

360 cameras or sometimes known as fisheye cameras can be considered the next step in the evolution of commercial security cameras. While PTZ cameras improve on the base turret cameras by allowing the user to change the viewing angle remotely, fisheye cameras go even further by giving the user a complete 360° by 180° view all of the time. This makes them great options for monitoring large open areas, such as a school cafeteria or gymnasium360 degree cameras get their nickname of fisheye cameras due to the distorted image shown. Learn more about PTZ cameras vs. 360 cameras here.

A white dome camera on a black background.

Using modern gaming technology, Solink stretches out this view to give you an immersive look at what is happening at your site.

Here’s the 360 camera at work within Solink:

View all angles of your restaurant with a 360 degree camera
Solink helps you filter events that happen within your commercial business

Learn how easy it is to uncover suspicious cash handling in our self-guided tour.

Solink’s video analytics and surveillance for businesses makes it easy to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment.

Schedule a 30-minute product demo with our experts

Commercial security camera complexities

Commercial security camera systems are complex. There are a lot of decisions to be made on the components. Here’s a list of common comparison points in regards to the security camera systems:

WiFi vs. Ethernet

The first thing to remember when comparing WiFi vs. Ethernet is that this only means a camera is wireless vs. wired for data transmission. WiFi cameras still require energy to work, and that energy usually comes from being plugged into a socket.

Solink compare's the difference between wifi vs. ethernet

However, PoE (power over Ethernet) provides energy and transmission in a single Cat 5 Ethernet cable. That means that WiFi and PoE security cameras both usually still have one wired connection, the only exception being battery WiFi cameras.

WiFi, although resilient to noise, can’t match Ethernet’s speed, reliability, or security. Its range is limited, typically up to 50 ft, with signal weakening beyond. Ethernet cables for IP cameras offer reliable transmission over 300 ft, making them a superior choice for extended distances.


DVR (Digital video recorder) and NVR (Network video recorder) systems are complex, and whichever you choose, it is likely the main backbone of your commercial security camera system. For that reason, we dedicate a whole article to DVR vs. NVR systems that you can read here.

Solink compares the differences between NVR vs. DVR

The difference between DVR and NVR lies in how they handle video data. DVRs receive raw data directly from analog cameras. This data is then processed within the DVR before being recorded. On the other hand, NVRs receive a processed video signal directly from IP cameras, which means the camera itself handles the processing before transmitting the data to the NVR for recording.

Think of DVRs like a chef who receives raw ingredients (raw data from analog cameras) and then cooks and prepares the meal (processes the data) before serving it to the guests (recording it). In contrast, NVRs are like a server at a restaurant who receives already-prepared dishes (processed video signals from IP cameras) from the kitchen (the camera), and then serves them directly to the customers (records them).


Local storage vs. cloud storage

The choice of local storage vs. cloud storage is often answered with “both.” In that case, you’d have local storage with cloud backup storage. This represents an especially secure security system, with data unlikely to be lost in any circumstance. Local storage and cloud storage represent two distinct methods for storing footage captured by security cameras.

Local storage involves storing video data directly on-site, typically within a physical device like a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) or an NVR (Network Video Recorder). This method offers immediate access to footage but may be susceptible to physical damage or theft.

Solink compares the difference between local vs cloud storage

On the other hand, cloud storage entails storing footage remotely on secure servers accessed via the internet. While cloud storage provides added security and accessibility from anywhere, it relies on a stable internet connection and may incur ongoing subscription costs. Understanding the differences between local and cloud storage is crucial for businesses seeking the most suitable solution for their security camera setup.

To see how Solink can help keep you connected to all of your locations remotely, sign up for a demo today.

SD vs. HD vs. 4K

Standard definition (SD), high definition (HD), and 4K refer to the resolution at which your commercial security cameras record footage. The higher the resolution, 4K being highest, the better the image quality will be. Classical analog cameras record in SD, although there are some HD analog security cameras on the market.

Conversely, IP cameras have at least HD and sometimes even 4K resolution.

Solink compares the differences between SD, HD, and 4k commercial camera quality

Resolution at its core is how many pixels are recorded in an image. Here’s a summary of the different resolutions:

  • SD usually refers to resolutions below 720×480 pixels
  • HD usually refers to 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080 pixels.
  • 4K refers to 3840 x 2160 to 4096 x 2160 pixels.

Pixels are little color dots, and more of them mean the dots are closer together and therefore you can see more details. This might lead you to believe that higher resolution is always better. However, there are several other considerations that should be included in your decision-making process.


Bandwidth is basically the speed of your Internet connection. Higher video resolution requires more bandwidth to transmit. Here’s a chart showing the recommended bandwidth levels for different video resolutions:

Video resolutionAverage bandwidth use for simultaneous viewing (at 10 fps) *
720 x 4800.75 Mbps per camera
1280 x 7201.5 Mbps per camera
1920 x 10802 Mbps per camera
3840 x 21608 Mbps per camera
4096 x 216010 Mbps per camera

If you have multiple cameras streaming to the cloud, the amount of bandwidth required for 4K adds up quickly. This is the main reason that Solink simultaneously records multiple resolution streams at once and stores the data locally.

That way you can see the SD stream instantly, and then the HD one with a short buffering delay. Furthermore, you don’t need to send all of your security camera feeds to the cloud at once.

However, you still have access to all of your video remotely, and Solink can easily accommodate higher resolutions.

The dual feed removes the standard quality-for-function tradeoff as you get both fast-loading SD and high-quality HD.

Field of view

A camera’s field of view is the angle width (and height) that it is recording. Commercial security cameras have a wide range of fields of view. They can be as low as 40° for zoomed-in smaller cameras and go up to 360° by 180° for a fisheye security camera. The FOV/resolution combination of your cameras dictates the final quality of the video. With the same resolution, a lower field of view will show more details than a larger angle. For this reason, 360 cameras usually have a much higher resolution than other types of security cameras.

Plug-in cameras vs. battery-powered cameras

Battery-powered security cameras absolutely exist. However, their use cases are generally reserved for areas without local electricity connections. In areas where a security camera can be plugged in and/or where continuous 24/7 video recording is required, charging the battery regularly would cause more trouble than any time saved installing a power cord (or PoE connection).

Solink campares the differences between plug vs battery surveillance camaeras

Battery-powered security cameras that only function when triggered, for example by a motion sensor, can last several months on a single charge depending on the level of motion happening in their field of view, so in remote locations with lower security needs they could be useful.

However, Solink recommends against battery-powered security cameras for most scenarios.

What should you consider before purchasing a commercial security camera system?

There are many decisions that need to be made when building or expanding your commercial security camera system. Let’s look at some of the major ones.

Security camera installation and camera sourcing

Before investing in a commercial security camera system, careful consideration of commercial security camera installation logistics and camera sourcing is paramount. Assessing factors such as site layout, camera placement, and wiring requirements ensures a seamless installation process tailored to the specific needs of the premises. Additionally, selecting the right cameras, taking into account resolution, field of view, and environmental factors, lays the foundation for an effective surveillance solution. By prioritizing installation and camera sourcing considerations upfront, businesses can streamline the implementation of their security infrastructure and maximize its effectiveness in safeguarding their assets.

Many video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) companies will force their customers to purchase a whole new set of security cameras to integrate with their data analytics platform. This is not the case with Solink. We want to have a low startup cost and no-term contracts.

While we can help you procure any type of security camera at a great price and have them installed, we are also compatible with your existing cameras. Furthermore, you are free to source your own cameras, as well as do any installation yourself, use a trusted local installer, or take advantage of our all-in-one service option.

Types of security cameras

First, you need to decide between analog and IP security cameras. For new purchases, IP cameras are the better option. Next, you’ll need to consider the different types of security cameras and their coverage. Finally, some cameras are only recommended for indoor installation, while others can be placed indoors or outdoors.

If you have a freezer, car wash, or other indoor environment that has harsh conditions, you may need security cameras designed with outdoor placement in mind.

Further down in this article we will cover a great example of this via a site plan study. This camera placement use case is for a quick serve restaurant (QSR), but the principles are the same for other retail locations.

Types of security camera data storage

Analog cameras use a DVR, IP cameras use an NVR, and there are hybrid solutions as well. Furthermore, these solutions are on premises, whereas cloud video storage is also an option. The recorder is usually the most expensive part of the system.

Generally, bandwidth will become an issue if you stream footage directly to the cloud, but having a cloud backup of your data is an added level of protection. Cloud video surveillance is quickly becoming the standard because it brings so much value.

Remember, cloud access to Solink’s platform and real-time remote video monitoring are possible regardless of where your video is stored.

Solink discribes how a nvr works with our business security camera system

Amount of security camera data storage

Do you want 30, 60, or 90 days of video retention? Do you need 4K or is HD sufficient? These questions will help you decide on the size of NAS appliance you need for local video storage. Solink can provide solutions no matter the answer.


The video analytics platform provided by Solink is loaded with features, and more features are coming out with each automatic update. Here are the latest features of the Solink platform.

Sift through hours of video in minutes

Solink helps you filter events that happen within your commercial business

Schedule a 30-minute product demo with our experts

Why do you need video analytics as part of a commercial security camera system?

Commercial security cameras can be a big investment. They also provide some of the richest data you can find. Simply put, if you are not using a video analytics platform to search, sort, and see that data, then you aren’t getting the most out of your investment—and you aren’t getting all the information you need to make the best possible decisions.

While loss preventionreduced shrinkage, and improved security for your people, places, and property are obvious benefits, there are less obvious ones too. You can build your commercial security camera system around these core needs, but some of the biggest cost reductions are from reduced liability.

Monitoring your premise with remote video monitoring allows you to make sure that company policies and regulatory requirements are being met. Here are just two examples:

  • Your company policy states that all wet spots need to be mopped up and a wet floor sign be placed. The weather report says rain across the northeast. Solink shows you all the cameras facing front doors at all your locations so you can confirm that wet floor signs are being used. This reduces your liability under potential slip-and-falls. In fact, Veterans of America-Michigan uses Solink to do just that.
  • The labor shortage is making it harder to hire and retain employees. Reduced hours means that some locations are cutting corners. Stockrooms are not being kept as clean as they should be, which has led to some emergency exits being blocked by merchandise. You’ve received some Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines recently and are looking for an efficient way to monitor all of your locations. Solink shows you a folder with all cameras pointing at the emergency exits of your locations so you can scroll through hundreds of sites in minutes every day to confirm those doors are being kept clear.

Solink offers Blocked Exit Detection. With health and safety fines on the rise, Solink uses advanced AI to make sure your emergency doors remain clear. Now, when an employee inadvertently leaves boxes near the exits, you’ll receive an alert. This handy product can save organizations thousands of dollars per year.

What should you consider when choosing a specific type of security camera?

The following are some of the main features to consider when choosing your security camera hardware:

  • Resolution: The resolution of a camera indicates how much detail will be recorded. If you are filming in close range on a small area, then low resolution shouldn’t be a concern. However, higher resolutions are usually recommended for modern video surveillance.
  • Frame rate: The frame rate is the number of frames per second that your camera records. Having a low frame rate (e.g., 5) will severely diminish your ability to track people across your facilities. In addition, depending on the industry in which you operate, you may be required to record with a minimum frame rate. Traditionally, commercial video surveillance systems record at 10 frames per second, as it is a good balance between lower storage needs and good quality.
  • Camera type: Different cameras are best suited for different environments. A bullet or turret camera can record a smaller area than a 360 degree security camera. That makes them best for monitoring a hallway or entrance, while fisheye security cameras are better suited for monitoring an open area, such as a dining hall or a department store section.
  • Indoor/outdoor: Generally speaking, all security cameras can work indoors, but not all are appropriate for outdoor surveillance needs. If you need both indoor and outdoor video surveillance, then you should make sure that any cameras placed outdoors (as well as in harsh environments such as freezers) can function in your local climate.
  • Lighting: Some cameras are designed to operate in the dark. If this is important for you, then consider buying cameras with IR capabilities. Note that, generally speaking, cameras with more IR lights are better at recording at night, but they also tend to be more expensive.
  • Audio: Not all commercial security cameras record audio. If this is something you might need, for example to monitor employee conversations with guests, then be sure to choose cameras that also record audio.

Where should you place your commercial security cameras?

Placing the cameras on your property is a key step in building a strong commercial security system. There are many issues you need to keep in mind when doing this in a restaurant. As mentioned earlier in this article, here is a complete commercial security camera floor plan for a quick service restaurant (QSR) that takes all of these issues into consideration.

Take a look at the commercial security camera floor plan below. Note that, if you click on it, you can see a much higher resolution version.

This plan is for demonstration purposes only, and all sites have unique security requirements.

The following table summarizes the camera type, location, and reason for the coverage. The full reasoning behind this commercial security camera floor plan can be found here.

Outdoor cameras
NumberCamera TypeLocationPurpose
1Turret or bulletDrive thruMonitor drive thru speed of service
2Turret or bulletWalkway/parking lotMonitor slip-and-falls and traffic
3Turret or bulletWalkway/parking lotMonitor slip-and-falls and traffic
4Turret or bulletPatioProtect patrons
5Turret or bulletBackdoor/garbagePerimeter defense
6Turret or bulletDrive thruMonitor drive thru speed of service
Indoor cameras
NumberCamera TypeLocationPurpose
7360LobbyProtect patrons
8DomeDining areaProtect patrons
9DomeDining areaProtect patrons
10DomeTakeout counterMonitor delivery services
11DomePOSMonitor transactions and cash activity
12DomeCook lineMonitor food safety
13360Food prep areaMonitor food safety
14DomeFreezerInventory surveillance
15DomeFreezerInventory surveillance
16DomeOfficeSafe security
17DomeStorage roomInventory surveillance
18DomeOffice entrance/backdoorSafe security and perimeter defense

While a single reason for the placement of each camera is listed in the table, the truth is that all of these cameras are performing multiple functions. Please view the complete report to see just how much value beyond security that your surveillance cameras could be providing. Notice that turret or bullet cameras are used outdoors because they are designed to endure harsh environments.

Indoors, a combination of dome and 360 degree cameras are used. The domes provide a similar field of view to turrets or bullets, but the direction the camera is facing is hidden, which adds a bit more security value. In addition, they are protected from vandals, for example an employee who may want to hide theft or an angry customer. The 360 degree cameras are placed in the most open areas to monitor the whole lobby and kitchen.

To get the most out of your security cameras, you need to connect them to a complete video surveillance ecosystem. That includes Solink’s video analytics.

To find out how Solink gets the most out of your surveillance system, sign up for a demo today.

Solink’s video analytics and surveillance for organizations makes it easy to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment.

Schedule a 30-minute product demo with our experts

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Timothy Warelinked in icon email icon

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.