Outdoor Camera Security System (10 Acres!)

A trailer park owner had a whodunit on their hands. Non-residents were coming onto the property and dumping their trash in the park dumpsters. The park owner needed a camera security system with facial recognition and frame identification to cover the whole park. How was that possible without cable Internet? Here’s how we did it…

Choosing the Right Camera Security System: Cloud Versus On-Premise

There were quite a few questions right out of the gate for this project, but we started with these two. 

  • How to establish connectivity across a 10-acre, 130 unit park?
  • How to process and store footage from every surveillance camera? 

If you have already read our resources on Building-Wide Wi-Fi and Business Surveillance Camera Systems, then you might already have some ideas about the system we would devise for them. If you have not and want a deeper look into the technologies available for projects like these, then we definitely recommend those two articles. We would love for you to check them out.

Establishing Connectivity with Business Class Internet

Our first action was a call to the area Internet provider to see if they could actually connect to the park address. Yes they could, with a robust business-line access package. 

This last factor was absolutely crucial to how we would proceed with the project because there is actually quite a significant difference between residential and business Internet that most people do not know about. 

Have you experienced any outages or severe latencies in your Internet connectivity since Covid? If you have not then count yourself lucky. Although Internet Service Providers have done a fantastic job at keeping the Internet functional, there have been a few bumps in the road for families and work-from-home professionals. 

It’s all in how they provision Internet services. When they provision residential service, you have nodes of around 100 homes, and they look at average bandwidth usage at any given time of day and multiply it by that many homes. Then they set aside that computed usage, hour by hour. When everyone started working from home, the average usage skyrocketed in many neighborhoods, those nodes bumped up against the maximum provisioned bandwidth, leading to reduced connection speeds for many. 

Comcast business class actually sets aside a dedicated amount of bandwidth – whatever your contract reads. So if you have 350 Mbps, then they will reserve the full amount for your business at all times. It is the best way to make sure you will always have a given amount of bandwidth to play with.

Wireless Mesh to Connect 10 Acres

With the Internet service question answered we were almost certain a wireless mesh network would be the best choice. For a project dispersed across so much outdoors space, mesh is unbeatable for the cost and ease of installation and maintenance. 

Cloud or Premise?

With the connection and network established we could now make an educated choice about how to process, store, and delete camera footage. We calculated the data needs of the business cameras and found that we could easily send that data to the cloud. 

When cloud is an option it is often the best option these days. For three reasons: 

  1. Cutting-edge software
  2. Simplified maintenance
  3. Reduced total cost of ownership

This particular client needed advanced analytics. They needed to sort residents from non-residents, and they needed to be able to quickly identify footage that would show non-residents near dumpsters, so that they wouldn’t need to sort through days of footage across 20+ cameras manually. No one has the time for that anymore.

You can buy NVR software licenses, but 9 times out of 10 the cloud solution will be less expensive overall, while including updates. For cutting-edge technologies like AI-driven image search, you can expect significant performance boosts on a well-developed cloud product. This means that over time cloud software will perform more effectively than premise-based systems. 

Still it is always necessary to know what you’re buying and its competition. We ultimately recommended a cloud NVR product that met their needs perfectly.

Success! Camera Security System Installation

Once the new business-grade Internet was connected, we installed the Wi-Fi mesh network. The park had light poles evenly distributed over its 10 acre property. These were ideal locations for our outdoor mesh routers and gateways.

Outdoor Wi-Fi Cameras

Ultimately we chose a type of camera that fit their needs. In this case, the cost per camera was higher than premise-based systems, but looking at total cost including NVR, installation, and maintenance, cloud was the best value for them. 

Networking the cameras was the quickest segment of the whole project. The device allowed you to scan the qr code on each camera to add it to the cloud software instance, and bandwidth requirements were very small. 

They were amazed at how quickly the cameras started rolling.

New Service Amenity for Park Residents

The bandwidth requirements of the cameras were so minimal that it allowed plenty of room for residential Internet. On our recommendation they have set up an additional service amenity, so that residents can access the Wi-Fi network for a small surcharge. It’s just another perk of the project that helps to counteract the costs and maintain efficiency.

Call Convergence for Security Camera Installation

At Convergence Solutions, we guide companies through the convergence of communications systems — of voice, video and data networks, and also of personal and work lives — to provide more efficient and enriching ways of doing business. Incorporated in 2005, our work has focused on upgrading businesses and office spaces with modern telephony, Internet connectivity, and security.

We would be happy to help you plan and install your next business security camera system.

David J. Binkowski

I have worked with Convergence Solutions on several projects over the past 15 years.  They are always extremely professional, knowledgeable and quick to respond to any issues.  Highly recommend!

David J. Binkowski
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

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