Every school administrator deserves the security and peace of mind of a school-wide surveillance system to watch over the institution when teachers, students and staff aren’t around. If you have a school-wide network already set up, it’s actually not that hard to add cameras to keep any eye on the grounds, classrooms and hallways. Any of these five sets of surveillance cameras let you be in two places: At home enjoying dinner or a movie while watching what’s going on at school.
ANNKE 4 MEGAPIXEL HD POE
The latest in surveillance is Annke’s 4 Megapixel HD PoE security camera. It’s not only small and unobtrusive, but the Anke camera delivers high-resolution images. For schools with the right wired network, the camera system can be powered by an Ethernet cable, simplifying installation and making it easier to hide the camera. Based on H264+ compression, the HD camera doesn’t use a lot of networking bandwidth, allowing a school to set up many of these cameras without upgrading its network. The cameras can be located indoors or outdoors and you can call up any recorded video remotely on a phone or tablet, wherever you are. With four cameras and a central recording system – enough for a smalls school – the Annke security system costs $537.
NOMAD HD MINI
If you have a place that lacks networking, like the sports fields or a parking lot, Rapid Vision’s Nomad HD Mini can still keep an eye on things. That’s because rather than IP networking, it sends its video not over WiFi or a wired LAN, but through the mobile 3G or 4G phone network. It creates HD video yet is small and can be mounted on existing poles or structures. The camera provides a 360-degree view while sending high-quality images in everything from bright sunlight to nighttime scenes.
Sometimes you want your cameras to hide in plain sight so as to not tip off vandals or thieves that they’re being caught in the act. That’s where Weldex’s Clock camera and Exit sign cameras fit in. They’re cleverly disguised as ordinary everyday objects that every school has but both have ¼-inch imaging targets inside and feature automatic white balance and gain control for excellent imaging. Each has the choice of a 3.6- or 5-mm lens, but lack the ability to create HD video.
If you’re experiencing uninvited guests late at night, Samsung’s SDC-9441BC camera can catch them in the act, night or day. With the ability to create full HD video, the camera has a wide 100-degree field of view as well as the ability to see as far as 80-feet into the dark. You won’t get grainy black and white footage because the SDC-9441BC has a 3-D noise filter that delivers sharp video under a wide variety of lighting conditions. It’s small, can be set up outdoors and costs $100.
FOSCAM Fl 9821P
In terms of pure value, Foscam’s $60 Fl 9821P is a winner. It’s small, sees in the dark and can either record intruders locally with an SD card or stream it over WiFi to a server. On the downside, the Foascam device tops out at 1,280 by 720 resolution rather than full HD imaging. With a speaker and microphone you can configure it by telling it commands or even use it as an intercom, such as at a remote entrance. The camera has motion detection built-in and can see in the dark as far as 24 feet away so it can catch a vandal in the act. Even though it’s budget-priced, the camera includes phone apps for alerts and remote viewing of the camera sees.