On today’s show we’re talking about how easy it is to purchase and configure a remote security camera system that can be monitored from anywhere in the world for the cost of not much more than an internet connection and a couple of hundred dollars per camera.

Security is one of those expenses that will rarely make you money. It can only cost you money, and on the rare occasion, save you from experiencing financial loss.

The most expensive form of security involves having a live person on site, either on a continual, or rotating basis. The problem with live patrols is that you can’t be everywhere all the time. You never know when an incident will occur.

Traditionally, security systems have been proprietary and costly. But the technology has improved significantly and it’s now possible to design systems that deliver campus wide coverage for a reasonable cost.

The traditional criticism of security cameras is that they don’t capture enough detail to clearly identify the people involved in an incident, especially in low light conditions.

The technology has advanced in several ways that have made security cameras a compelling choice for security.

One of the other criticisms is that crooks will intentionally disable cameras if they’re about to commit a crime. But here too, there are advances in technology that can make these tactics easier to catch.

Cameras are offering much higher resolution these days. This is critical when it comes to zeroing in on details in an image.

Today, the images are incredibly clear. More importantly, the software that controls the cameras is becoming smarter. Some software systems will use motion detection to zoom into the area of an image that is changing from one frame to the next. The static portions of an image rarely contain the relevant information about a crime in progress.

The software can trigger alarms based on a variety of events. The newest systems can detect the loss of signal at a camera and signal an alarm based on this. If you design your system so that a given area is covered by more than one camera, then it becomes difficult for a crook to disable a camera without being detected.

The latest software systems incorporate license plate recognition that is as good as the systems used by law enforcement.

When a crime is committed, unless you happened to be observing the cameras at that instant in time, you don’t know what video footage to review. The longer time has passed from the time of the crime to the notification, the harder and more time consuming it is to review the camera footage to deduce what happened.

Motion detection allows all those times when nothing is happening, which is the vast majority of the time to virtually disappear from your review process. The amount of time saved by eliminating the dead time is huge.

Many real estate investors live at a distance from their properties. These systems can remotely monitored over the internet. They have apps for both iPhone and Android that make remote surveillance easy.

We sometimes encounter situations involving employees that require investigation. It might be an employee claiming overtime when in fact they were not on site. It might be a harassment claim by an employee, or perhaps a resident.

These camera systems also record audio. If an assertion is made about an employee or a resident, the audio recording can often resolve the dispute.

Finally, some residents make false claims about a property manager. If there is a recording of everything that happens in the leasing office, the audio and video evidence can often be useful in arguing a claim in front of the landlord tenant board.