“Do Security Cameras Have Audio?” — 6 Common Questions About Surveillance Systems

We receive a lot of questions about video security tools. Here are some of the most common questions we see (and our best answers) about security cameras, their features, and their installation.
Do Security Cameras Have Audio

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Let’s start our list by looking at one of the most common security and surveillance questions we receive:

1. Do Security Cameras Have Audio?

For modern security cameras, the answer is typically “Yes.” This is true for both indoor and outdoor security cameras. Today’s cameras can have built-in microphones sensitive enough to pick up very detailed noises within their monitoring zones. That audio, along with the video feed, can be stored on a recording device or sent to cloud storage. IP cameras are internet-enabled, and usually offer audio along with video for viewing on any cloud-connected device.

Some security cameras also offer two-way audio, where you can talk with someone through the camera. 

2. Can Security Cameras Legally Record Audio?

Can Security Cameras Legally Record Audio

Rules for audio surveillance vary from state-to-state. However, federal wiretap laws generally govern the rules for audio, which are more stringent than recording video. 

Typically for public recording of an audio encounter, the rules say at least one person must be notified that they’re being recorded. Some states require that all parties must be notified before a recording occurs. Other states say it’s enough to allow signage to alert people that they are being recorded. 

To be certain, check what the rules are in your area with an attorney .

3. Do I Have to Post a Sign for Video Surveillance? 

Do I Have to Post a Sign for Video Surveillance?

You don’t always need to put a sign out if you’re going to use a video camera in a public business.

The general rule of thumb is you can record video surveillance in any area of your business, except for the places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Don’t videotape employees in the shower, bathroom, or any other private place. Hotels can’t surveil you in your room for this reason. Changing rooms at the gym are also off-limits.

Generally speaking, it’s okay to place hidden cameras around your business and record visitors without their consent. With that said, every state is different and the laws can change, so check on laws in your local jurisdiction to understand the rules.

4. How Much Does a Video Surveillance System Cost? 

Best Questions to Ask When Considering Video Surveillance

From a budgeting perspective, there are three primary costs that make up the investment:

  • Security hardware (that is, the actual cameras)
  • Installation or activation labor
  • Alarm monitoring 

A business could pay anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more for professional security hardware. On average, it’s somewhere in the middle of that range. However, the pricing depends on the type of camera features you elect. 

Installation and activation fees vary widely depending on whether you are hard wiring the cameras into the business or using solar to power the system. If you’re hard-wiring, the cost depends on the size of your facility. 

Solar-powered cameras eliminate hefty installation and labor fees that can cost $500 and up for many business systems. Furthermore, IP-security cameras can connect through the wireless network to send video through the internet. The alternative is hard-wired cameras that record to a DVR or other device. 

Finally, alarm monitoring services vary and typically are paid monthly or via an annual fee. Live video monitoring adds an important element to your security protocols. Many business owners say this pays for itself in peace of mind. 

5. How Can I Extend the Range of a Wireless Camera?

How Can I Extend the Range of a Wireless Camera?

  • Line of Sight. Limit the number of obstructions between the camera and the receiver. The strength of your signal depends on the building materials and objects the signal needs to pass through as it travels.
  • Positioning the Antennas. If the camera has them,try to point the high-gain antennas in one direction to boost the signal. 
  • Kill the Competition. Competing signals from other cameras or receivers can also interfere with the signal. 

Getting the best signal from your business security cameras typically requires professional installation from a security firm like Pro-Vigil. It’s the only way to maximize the strength of your investment.

6. How Can I Remotely View Security Cameras Using the Internet?

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In order to remotely view cameras online, your security provider must offer some form of IP camera hosting. The steps necessary to do this vary by the type of devices you’re using, unless you use a program built for any device – like Pro-Vigil’s mobile app

Many wireless systems have remote viewing options today. Even better, AI-enabled cameras can be programmed to text or email alerts if specific parameters occur, such as a trespasser or a door alarm. The internet has enabled all of these solutions, giving business owners an advantage over the criminals that intend to harm their properties.

If you’re considering commercial security, Pro-Vigil is standing by to answer any questions you might have. Start the conversation by clicking here.

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