The primary purpose of a surveillance system is recording activity and events. Video records of alleged criminal activity can be used as evidence in a court of law to prove or disprove guilt. In a sense a surveillance system is like a witness that is far superior to a human witness because it records exactly what happens and it cannot forget or get confused as a human witness can. A secondary purpose of a surveillance system is to deter criminal activity. For example, criminals that want to rob a particular house and discover that it under surveillance may decide to skip it and pick an easier target. A surveillance system consists of a series of cameras located at strategic points of a home, building or general area that are connected to a central recording unit resembling a typical DVR. The connection to the central recording unit is usually via wires but wireless systems are also available. Generally speaking wire based systems are more reliable than wireless systems but the latter are easier to install.

Two important features to consider when purchasing a surveillance system are image resolution and recording capacity. High resolution video images are clear and crisp so subjects within them can be easily identified. High resolution surveillance video can serve as excellent evidence in court. Low resolution images that are blurry are far less useful. Similarly, it should be obvious that systems with high recording capacity are more advantageous than low capacity systems. A system that is unable to record an important event because of space limitation defeats the key purpose it is intended to serve. Another good feature to have is motion detection capability so the system can be configured to record only when a certain level of activity occurs. This will save recording space by preventing the recording of long periods of inactivity. Over that past few years, the technology of surveillance systems as advanced considerably while prices have decreased which is very good. There is a surveillance system to fit just about any budget these days. So there is no excuse not protect your home or business with a surveillance system.