How a Monitored Alarm System Works

Despite advancements in security technology, it’s surprising to learn that a significant number of Intruder and Burglar Alarm Systems in Ireland still function as standalone systems. However, such alarms pose a significant drawback – in the event of a burglary while you’re away, the system won’t alert you of the intrusion. Instead, the external siren or bell only serves as an indicator that the business is vacant at that specific time. To mitigate this issue, it’s advisable to consider the benefits of monitored alarm systems for your business.

There are two types of monitored alarm systems available. The first type involves remote monitoring by a third party, while the second type allows for self-monitoring of your own alarm system. For instance, the Hikvision Alarm System is a self-monitored system that can alert you and other designated individuals directly on your phone in the event of an intrusion. On the other hand, remotely monitored alarms involve an Alarm Monitoring Centre that protects your premises around the clock, every day of the year.

What Is Alarm Monitoring?

Alarm monitoring is a security service where a third-party company oversees the protection of your premises around the clock. Leveraging advanced technologies, they receive instant alerts in case of intrusions, enabling swift responses such as contacting the owner or alerting emergency services to ensure safety and security. This service is essential for businesses aiming to enhance their security infrastructure.

How Does Alarm Monitoring Work?

Traditionally alarms were connected to a building’s phone line via a digital communicator. However, this technology had a significant drawback: if the phone line was cut outside the building, the monitoring service would not function.

To avoid this issue, it’s crucial to ensure that your intruder alarm has a GSM/GPRS communicator connected to it. This can be linked to a monitoring station that will alert you and designated individuals if the alarm is activated. Alternatively, you can choose to self-monitor the alarm, in which case it will send a text message to you and others you nominate if triggered. With a GSM installed, you can also check the status of your alarm on your mobile phone and even set or unset it remotely.

It’s highly recommended to include a smoke detector as part of your alarm system to receive immediate notification in the event of activation. All GSM units use a sim card to communicate, so if you opt for a “ready to go” sim card, be sure to top it up regularly.

To see how alarm systems compare against CCTV systems, see our alarm systems vs CCTV systems comparison. During this comparison, you might also delve into the considerations when choosing a CCTV system to ensure you select the most suitable option for your premises.

Monitored Alarm Response

When we talk about monitored alarm response, we mean the quick and organised actions taken by a third-party monitoring centre when your alarm system sends out an alert. Here’s how it generally works:

  1. Getting the Alert: As soon as your alarm goes off, the monitoring centre gets a message.
  2. Checking What Happened: The team at the centre uses tools like CCTV to quickly figure out what caused the alarm to go off.
  3. Taking Action: Depending on what they find, the team might call you to let you know what happened or even contact the police or fire department right away.
  4. Making Sure Everything is Okay: After the immediate response, the monitoring centre will stay in touch to help with any next steps and to make sure everything is back to normal.

This approach means that you have a team of professionals ready to respond at any hour of the day, helping to keep your property safe and giving you peace of mind.

Self-Monitoring Alarm Systems

A self-monitoring alarm system allows you to take full control of your property’s security. Here’s how it operates:

  1. Direct Alerts: In the event of unusual activity or a security breach, the system sends alerts directly to your mobile or another designated device.
  2. Remote Control: Through a dedicated app on your mobile, you can arm or disarm the system, check its status, and even view live feeds from your security cameras, all from wherever you are.
  3. Personalised Response: Receiving the alerts directly enables you to determine the best course of action, be it contacting the authorities or asking a neighbour to check on your property.
  4. Cost-Efficient: A self-monitoring system can be a more affordable option as it eliminates the need for a third-party monitoring service, albeit requiring a more proactive approach.

Opting for this system not only offers more control but also presents a cost-saving alternative. However, it necessitates readiness to respond to alerts promptly, making it a suitable choice for individuals who favour a DIY approach to home security.

What Sensors Do I Need?

Choosing the right sensors for your alarm system is crucial. Common choices include motion detectors, door/window sensors, and glass break detectors. Additionally, environmental sensors for smoke, carbon monoxide, and water leaks can be vital for safety. Tailor your sensor selection to your property’s specific needs to ensure comprehensive protection.

Why every business needs a monitored intruder alarm and fire alarm system

It’s essential for every business to have its intruder alarm monitored by a third-party monitoring station and to connect a fire alarm system, such as Morley IAS, LogiFire, or other Comelit Fire Alarms, to the intruder alarm. This way, if a fire occurs, the monitoring station can alert the relevant parties immediately. For more information on the importance of having a fire alarm, see our post on the subject.

In the past, businesses used landlines and radios to monitor their premises. The radio would periodically send a signal to the monitoring station, serving as a backup to the landline. Nowadays, commercial establishments usually install a GSM/GPRS communicator with their alarm system, and may also have a radio backup. Today, insurance companies typically mandate that commercial premises have a monitored alarm system.

Whether self-monitored or remotely monitored, having CCTV cameras installed at your business premises is a major advantage. Monitoring stations now offer CCTV verification as a service, which is quite cost-effective as an add-on to your intruder alarm monitoring. With CCTV verification, the monitoring station can immediately view the CCTV cameras if the alarm is activated and determine whether a genuine alarm activation has occurred.

If you’re looking for further guidance on choosing an intercom system for your business, you may find our guide helpful.

For further information on a Monitored Alarm Systems you can call us on 01 689 6390 or submit an equiry form here.

Intercom Systems: Making the Right Choice

Undoubtedly, opting for an access control intercom system for your business is a security-related choice. However, given the large range of available options, it can be challenging to determine which one is suitable for you. It’s worth noting that each business has distinct requirements for their intercom systems. What may be effective for you may not be for your neighbouring business. Therefore, when selecting an intercom system, it’s crucial to consider a few essential factors.

Wireless vs. Wired Intercom

The initial aspect to contemplate is whether you require a wired or wireless intercom system. Generally, if you prioritise affordability and effortless installation, a wireless system might be a suitable option for you. If you prioritise security and dependability above all else, then a wired system would be the optimal choice.

Wireless Intercom

Man standing next to a wired intercom system

Although wireless intercom systems are relatively easy to install, they also come with certain drawbacks. Due to their wireless nature, their range is limited and can be impeded by obstructions such as walls and equipment. If you have a spacious property or plan to set up an intercom system at the entrance gate, a wireless option may not suffice. Additionally, they are typically less secure because they use radio signals, which can be potentially vulnerable to radio interference. Other radio transmitters in the vicinity may inadvertently (or intentionally) intercept your intercom’s signal.

Wired Intercom

Wired intercom systems require the use of wires to link each intercom station. If you dislike the appearance of wires on your walls and ceilings, you may have to cut through the wall to run the cables behind it. The optimal period to install a wired system is during the property’s construction phase. Otherwise, it may be a strenuous and costly process.

Compared to wireless systems, wired intercoms are notably more reliable and secure. Since the intercoms are physically connected, the distance between stations is not a concern, they are harder for intruders to penetrate since everything operates on a closed circuit.

How Are Intercom Systems Wired?

Wired intercom systems operate through a network of cables that connect each intercom station within a facility. The installation process involves running wires through the walls and ceilings to establish a closed circuit, which facilitates secure and reliable communication between different stations.

It is ideal to install a wired intercom system during the construction phase of a property to avoid the strenuous and costly process of retrofitting. The wired setup ensures a more secure and dependable system compared to wireless alternatives, as it is not susceptible to radio interference and offers a stable connection irrespective of the distance between the stations.

Are Intercoms Hard-Wired?

Yes, wired intercom systems are hard-wired, meaning that they require physical cables to connect each intercom station. This hard-wired setup forms a closed circuit, making the system more secure and reliable compared to wireless systems. The hard-wired nature of these systems makes them less vulnerable to intrusions and interference from other radio transmitters, providing a secure line for communication.

However, the installation process can be strenuous and potentially costly, especially if not planned during the initial construction phase of the property, as it involves running wires through walls and ceilings.

How Many Wires Are Needed for an Intercom System?

The number of wires needed for a wired intercom system can vary based on the specific requirements of the system, including the number of intercom stations and the features of the system. Generally, a basic wired intercom system would require at least two wires to establish a connection between the stations.

However, more advanced systems with additional functionalities, such as video capabilities or integration with other security systems, might require additional wiring to support these features. It is recommended to consult with a professional installer to determine the exact wiring requirements for your specific intercom system setup, and perhaps even seek advice on how to choose the best CCTV system to complement your intercom setup.

Video vs. Audio-Only Intercom System

Video intercom systems are quickly gaining popularity owing to their superiority in terms of security. It can be challenging to identify the person on the other end of the line based solely on their voice. However, if you can view their face on a monitor, there will be no room for doubt.

Selecting a video intercom system instead of an audio-only one will be more costly. Nonetheless, if you plan to remotely verify visitors via your intercom, a video-enabled system is hard to surpass. Conversely, if you only intend to use your intercom for internal communication within the workplace, an audio-only system may be adequate and save you some money.

Discover additional information about Hikvision’s IP Video Intercom Systems by referring to their brochure.

Gate Entry

Intercom systems provide exceptional access control for your property. You can verify the identity of visitors before granting them access. Some intercom systems even enable you to remotely lock and unlock doors with the push of a button. Additionally, you can use HID cards and other technologies to authenticate visitors or personnel identities.

Moreover, you can add a GSM Audio intercom to a gate entry system, such as FAAC automatic barriers.  This technology utilizes a mobile phone to transmit calls from the external call station to the answering device within your home. You can program a telephone number into the intercom system, enabling the person approaching the gate or door to simply call the number linked with the SIM card to gain entry to the property. Furthermore, some intercoms, such as OpenPath Intercoms, can integrate with various smart building technologies.

Gate Intercom Installation

Installing a gate intercom system enhances property security. The process generally involves the following steps:

  1. Site Assessment: Identifying the optimal location for the intercom system based on the property layout.
  2. System Selection: Choosing between wired and wireless intercom systems based on your specific needs and preferences.
  3. Installation: Setting up the main intercom unit at the gate and additional stations as needed, ensuring proper wiring for wired systems.
  4. Testing: Verifying the system’s functionality through a series of tests post-installation.


Remember to consult with a professional installer to ensure the system meets your security requirements and functions optimally. This concise guide aims to facilitate a smooth and successful gate intercom installation process.

Mobile Accessibility

Numerous systems, including 2N IP Intercoms, provide remote access via your smartphone or tablet. With a video intercom system, you can both hear and see what’s happening in your business from anywhere in the world. If you have an automated security gate entry system, you can even open doors, gates, and garages remotely using your mobile device.

Furthermore, both wired and wireless systems offer remote access options. You may also want to refer to our guide on selecting the best access control system and consider these access control factors for small businesses.

Business Intercom Systems

In a business setting, intercom systems serve not only as a security measure but also as a tool to foster efficient communication. Here are some considerations unique to business environments:

  1. Multi-Department Communication: Facilitate seamless communication between different departments, enhancing operational efficiency.
  2. Visitor Management: Streamline the process of receiving and directing visitors to the appropriate personnel or departments.
  3. Emergency Alerts: Utilize the system for quick dissemination of information in emergency situations, ensuring safety and swift response.

When choosing a business intercom system, prioritize features that cater to the dynamic needs of a corporate environment, enhancing both security and workflow efficiency.

Don’t hesitate to contact our experts today. The MJ Flood Security team will gladly provide free advice and a no-obligation quote tailored to your requirements.

MJ Flood Security’s Collaboration with SALTO

Elevate Access Control with MJ Flood Security and SALTO

MJ Flood Security stands at the forefront of the security industry, offering comprehensive solutions that encompass access control, video surveillance, intruder alarms, and fire safety systems throughout Ireland. With a firm commitment to delivering excellence, we take pride in being an authorised partner and distributor of SALTO Systems in Ireland, collaborating closely to provide tailored access control solutions to our esteemed customers.

Transform Your Access Control:

  • Comprehensive security solutions: Access control, video surveillance, intruder alarms, and fire safety systems.
  • Advanced keyless entry: Convenient and secure access control system without physical keys.
  • Real-time monitoring and analytics: Gain valuable insights into access activities for enhanced security protocols.
  • Tailored solutions for all industries: Customisable offerings to suit unique business requirements.
  • Expertise and collaboration: Work closely with our professionals for seamless integration and support.

At MJ Flood Security, we understand the critical importance of having a robust and effective access control system in place. That’s why our dedicated team offers a range of services that cover the entire lifecycle of access control implementation. From the initial stages of consultancy and system design to seamless installation and ongoing maintenance, we ensure that our clients have a reliable and efficient access control solution tailored to their specific needs.

By harnessing the power of our expertise in security systems and leveraging SALTO’s cutting-edge technology, we bring forth integrated and scalable solutions that address the unique requirements of various industries. Our collaborative efforts enable us to design access control systems that not only enhance security but also provide convenience and flexibility for businesses of all sizes.

Imagine a future where traditional keys become a thing of the past. With our advanced keyless entry solutions, you can bid farewell to the hassle of managing physical keys and embrace a more convenient and secure access control system. Our state-of-the-art technology enables you to control and monitor access to your premises with ease, empowering you with the ability to grant or restrict entry at your fingertips. Experience the freedom and flexibility of keyless access, where authorised individuals can effortlessly move through designated areas while unauthorised access attempts are met with robust security measures.

But that’s just the beginning of the transformation. Our access control solutions extend far beyond keyless entry. Embracing the latest advancements in the field, we offer an array of features and functionalities that redefine access control management. Picture a scenario where you can monitor real-time activities and gain valuable insights into who is entering your premises, when they are entering, and where they are going. Our systems provide comprehensive data and analytics, empowering you with actionable information to enhance security protocols, optimise workflows, and make informed decisions.

With our business security solutions, you have the power to create a seamless and secure environment within your organisation. Whether you operate a small business, a corporate office, a healthcare facility, or an educational institution, our offerings can be tailored to suit your unique requirements.

By partnering with us, you gain access to our expertise and wealth of knowledge in the security industry. Our team of professionals will work closely with you to understand your unique environment, challenges, and goals. We take the time to listen and collaborate, ensuring that the solutions we design are tailor-made to fit seamlessly into your operations.

We invite you to trust in our expertise and embark on a journey of exploration on our website. Here, you will discover the vast array of possibilities that await you, from advanced access control technologies to innovative integration capabilities. As you navigate through our offerings, envision a future where your access control system seamlessly aligns with your organisation’s objectives, enhancing security, streamlining operations, and empowering you to make data-driven decisions.

Request a call back to explore the possibilities of transforming your access control system.

Tips for Choosing the Best CCTV System for Home & Small Business

Ensuring the security of your business necessitates a thorough review of CCTV system options. Our team of experts is dedicated to assisting you in selecting and designing the ideal commercial CCTV system that meets your specific requirements. We strive to find the optimal business security solution for you. In this blog post, we will provide you with four helpful tips for selecting the best CCTV unit for your business.

What Types of Security Cameras Are There?

Selecting the perfect security camera involves considering the specific needs of your property. Generally, there are several types of security cameras to choose from, each designed to suit different environments:

  • Indoor Security Cameras: These are typically small, battery-operated units installed in strategic positions inside your home or business. Many come equipped with motion sensors to record only when suspicious activity is detected.
  • Outdoor Security Cameras: Larger than their indoor counterparts, these cameras are installed on external walls to monitor the surroundings of your property. They often feature night vision for low light situations and can be wired or wireless.
  • Doorbell Cameras: Installed at your front door, these cameras allow you to see and even communicate with whoever comes to your door through an app on your phone, offering a convenient solution for monitoring visitors and receiving deliveries.

Understanding the different types of security cameras available will guide you in making an informed decision when choosing the best CCTV system for your home or small business.

Choosing the Best CCTV Cameras for Home

For home setups, wireless systems stand out for their user-friendliness and easy installation. Opt for cameras with motion sensors and remote monitoring features to enhance security while maintaining convenience. Integration with existing home devices is a plus, facilitating a seamless user experience.

Choosing the Best CCTV System for Small Business

In a small business environment, a comprehensive CCTV system that combines indoor and outdoor cameras is essential. Wired systems offer reliability, ensuring uninterrupted operation. Focus on high-resolution cameras that provide clear images under various lighting conditions, and prioritize easy footage storage and retrieval for efficiency and security.

Tip 1: Differentiate Between Wired & Wireless Units

When setting up your CCTV infrastructure, one of the most critical decisions you will have to make is whether to use wired or wireless units. The perfect CCTV system might include a combination of both wired and wireless components or solely consist of either wireless or wired components. Wired units provide reliability, while wireless units offer flexibility in terms of placement, especially in outdoor areas where there is no access to a power outlet.

Tip 2: Choose CCD Chips

When selecting a CCTV camera for your business, one of the decisions you will need to make is whether to choose CCD chips or CMOS chips. CCD chips are the preferred option as they provide exceptional image quality and sensitivity to light, they tend to be more robust and have a larger size, making them ideal for capturing clear and precise footage. In contrast, CMOS chips generally offer lower quality and result in poorer image clarity.

Aside from selecting the appropriate camera, it is crucial to consider where the footage will be stored. Cloud storage is an excellent option for storing CCTV footage as it enables remote access to the footage and secure offsite storage. For more information, see this post detailing what cloud CCTV is.

Tip 3: Select Between Monochrome & Colour

When deciding between monochrome (black and white) and colour CCTV cameras, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements of the surveillance environment and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Here’s a breakdown of the key factors to consider:

Light sensitivity:

Monochrome cameras tend to perform better in low-light conditions, as they are more sensitive to light and can capture clearer images. Colour cameras, on the other hand, require more light to produce a clear image, so they may not be the best choice for poorly lit environments.

Image detail and recognition:

Colour CCTV cameras provide better image detail and can make it easier to identify specific features, such as clothing or vehicle colours. This can be particularly useful in identifying suspects or tracing incidents. Monochrome cameras, while still providing good image quality, may not offer the same level of detail.


Monochrome cameras are generally less expensive than colour cameras, making them a more cost-effective option for businesses or homeowners with budget constraints. Colour cameras, while providing better image detail, can be more expensive due to their more advanced technology.

Environmental factors:

In some environments, such as factories or areas with high levels of dust or dirt, monochrome cameras may be a better choice, as they are less affected by these environmental factors. Colour cameras may struggle to produce clear images in such environments.

Infrared capabilities:

Many monochrome cameras are equipped with infrared capabilities, allowing them to capture clear images in complete darkness. Some colour cameras also have infrared capabilities, but they often switch to monochrome mode when using infrared, negating the benefit of having a colour camera in those situations.

Aesthetic considerations:

For some users, the aesthetic appeal of a monochrome camera may be preferable, as they may blend in better with the environment, particularly in historic or traditionally designed buildings.
Ultimately, the choice between monochrome and colour CCTV cameras depends on the specific needs of the surveillance environment, as well as factors such as budget, lighting conditions, and desired image detail. It may also be worth considering a combination of both types of cameras to ensure optimal coverage and performance.

The following post offers more information on the benefits of CCTV systems for small businesses.

Tip 4: Consider the Experience of the Installation Team

Prior to investing in a CCTV system, such as Axis CCTV or Avigilon CCTV, it is crucial to engage the services of a skilled installation team. Whether it comes to home or commercial CCTV installation, arrange for them to visit your business premises for an initial consultation, during which you can discuss your requirements.

During this consultation, it might also be beneficial to discuss auxiliary security measures, such as choosing an intercom system, to further enhance the safety of your premises. It could be a good opportunity to understand how alarm monitoring functions can complement your CCTV system for a robust security setup.

Additionally, keep in mind how your CCTV system may impact individuals’ privacy. MJ Flood Security provides CCTV redaction services to assist you in complying with privacy regulations.

For further details, check out our blog posts on intriguing CCTV facts and prevalent CCTV myths.

Where Are the Best Places for My CCTV Security Camera?

Elevated Positions

Placing cameras high ensures a broader coverage range and protects them from accidental or intentional damage. Elevated positions offer a vantage point that can cover a wide area, providing comprehensive surveillance.

Strong Connection Areas

Ensure that the areas you choose for camera installation have a robust wifi connection to facilitate seamless communication between your devices. A strong connection ensures that your security system functions optimally, providing real-time updates without lag.

Clear Angles

When installing your security cameras, it is vital to ensure clear angles that cover potential blind spots. Adjust the cameras to angle downwards, offering a clear view and eliminating areas where intruders can hide.

Common Entry Points

Cover areas that are common entry points for burglars, including front and back doors, and driveways. If you have a balcony, it should also be under surveillance to prevent unauthorized access through it.

Rooms with Valuables

Install cameras in rooms where you store valuables to get an early warning in case of any attempts of theft. Ensuring these areas are well-covered helps in safeguarding your valuable possessions and provides evidence in case of a break-in.

By strategically placing your security cameras in these areas, you enhance the security of your home or small business, ensuring a safe and secure environment. It is always beneficial to consult with a security expert to identify the best spots for camera installation, tailored to your property’s unique layout.

Our experts at MJ Flood Security can assist you in selecting the appropriate CCTV system for your needs. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

What is Cloud CCTV? A Concise Overview

Cloud CCTV, which stands for cloud-based closed-circuit television, is a modern approach to video surveillance that takes advantage of cloud technology. Instead of storing the footage locally on a network video recorder (NVR) or digital video recorder (DVR), Cloud CCTV stores the recordings on an off-site server, offering a range of benefits such as scalability, centralised management, and easier installation compared to traditional CCTV systems.

Users continue to rely on a network of cameras installed at their site, but their recorded footage is securely uploaded to the cloud. This method reduces the cost associated with maintaining and upgrading physical video recorders while also granting access to new features that were previously unavailable. Businesses can improve their security infrastructure and effectively monitor footfall and activity by opting for a cloud-based solution.

What is Cloud CCTV?

Cloud CCTV integrates traditional Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems with cloud technology. Like conventional CCTV, Cloud CCTV involves using a network of cameras at a site to monitor and record activities. The key difference lies in storing and retrieving the recorded footage, which takes place on a remote server instead of a local device or server. This off-site storage method offers several advantages, such as scalability and centralised management.

As the term ‘cloud’ implies, Cloud CCTV footage is uploaded to remote servers via the Internet. In the past, extensive CCTV systems required on-site servers and storage devices for keeping the recorded files. However, with the advent of cloud technology, businesses and individuals can now store their security footage in a more secure and accessible manner.

Cloud-based video surveillance essentially involves streaming the camera footage to remote servers for storage and retrieval. This alternative to traditional physical video recorders, such as Network Video Recorders (NVR) or Digital Video Recorders (DVR) on-site, can help reduce the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading these devices and provide access to new features and capabilities.

For this system to function efficiently, a cloud video surveillance partner must offer support for the cameras to ensure seamless connectivity between the camera and CCTV cloud storage. The ability to store and manage CCTV footage in the cloud has revolutionised the industry, offering users a more efficient and cost-effective option for their security needs, and bringing to light new facts about security cameras.

How Does Cloud CCTV Work?

Cloud CCTV, also known as Cloud-based Video Surveillance, is a modern approach to security that uses internet-connected cameras to capture and transmit footage to remote cloud servers for storage, streaming, and playback. This section explores how Cloud CCTV systems work, focusing on various aspects such as camera setup, data transmission, cloud storage, video streaming, and playback capabilities.

Camera Setup

A Cloud CCTV system’s core is a network of internet protocol (IP) cameras. These cameras connect to the internet, allowing them to transmit captured footage to remote servers. The cameras may be wired or wireless, depending on the specific requirements and infrastructure of the site being monitored. The setup process typically involves proper positioning, networking, and configuration to ensure optimal coverage and connectivity with the cloud infrastructure.

Data Transmission

Once the cameras are set up and operational, they continuously capture video footage and transmit it over the internet to the cloud servers. Cloud CCTV systems use either a wired connection (e.g., Ethernet) or a wireless connection (e.g., Wi-Fi) to facilitate this data transmission. Depending on the system, data transmission may be continuous or triggered by specific events, such as motion detection or alarm activation.

Cloud Storage

As the cameras transmit video footage, the cloud servers receive and store this data on secure remote servers, often owned and maintained by reputable third-party service providers. Unlike traditional CCTV systems that rely on local digital video recorders (DVRs) or network video recorders (NVRs) for storage, Cloud CCTV eliminates the need for on-site storage equipment, potentially reducing maintenance costs and providing greater scalability for expanding camera networks.

Advantages of Cloud CCTV

When choosing a CCTV system, it is important to take into consideration the following advantages of cloud CCTV.

Accessibility and Remote Viewing

One of the main benefits of Cloud CCTV is the ability to access and view footage from anywhere with an internet connection. Administrators can monitor video feeds in real-time or review recorded footage on multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, or computers. This helps improve overall security as potential issues can be spotted and addressed quickly from any location.


Cloud-based CCTV systems offer greater flexibility and scalability compared to traditional systems. As the storage and processing are handled off-site, there is no need for large on-premises equipment or capacity limitations. This means that as businesses grow or their security requirements change, the system can easily be expanded or upgraded without significant downtime or cost.

Easy Setup and Maintenance

Cloud CCTV systems are generally simpler to set up and maintain than traditional ones. As most of the infrastructure is hosted off-site, there is less hardware to install and maintain on-premises. This can lead to reduced installation costs, and any issues that arise can often be resolved remotely, reducing the need for on-site visits and maintenance fees.

Data Security and Encryption

Storing CCTV footage in the cloud adds an extra layer of security compared to traditional local storage options. The data is encrypted and protected from tampering or physical damage, offering a safer and more robust solution for data protection. Additionally, the risk of data loss is significantly reduced as the footage is automatically backed up to the cloud.

Disadvantages of Cloud CCTV

While Cloud CCTV offers many benefits, it also has some disadvantages that users should know before implementing this technology. In this section, we will discuss two main drawbacks of Cloud CCTV:

Reliance on Internet Connection

One significant downside of Cloud CCTV is its reliance on a stable, high-speed internet connection. Since cloud cameras continuously transmit data over the internet, there is a risk that a slow or unstable connection can affect the performance of your CCTV system. This might result in lost footage, delays in live-streaming, or an inability to access the recorded data when needed. For some companies without the appropriate network infrastructure, cloud video solutions may slow down their internet connection.

Monthly Subscription Fees

Another disadvantage of Cloud CCTV is the ongoing cost associated with monthly subscription fees. Unlike traditional CCTV systems that usually require a one-time investment in hardware and installation, Cloud CCTV typically involves monthly or annual fees to maintain access to cloud storage and other cloud-based services. These costs can increase over time, making Cloud CCTV systems more expensive in the long run than traditional surveillance solutions.

Comparing Cloud CCTV to Traditional CCTV

Cloud CCTV and traditional CCTV systems are designed to provide video surveillance for security purposes. However, how they store and manage recorded footage differs significantly, leading to varying benefits and challenges for users.

Traditional CCTV systems capture footage on cameras connected, usually by long cables, to a central recorder on the premises. In contrast, Cloud CCTV records, stores, and retrieves footage from an off-site server. This fundamental difference has several implications:

  • Installation: Cloud-based systems are generally easier to install due to the elimination of extensive cabling.
  • Scalability: Cloud CCTV offers increased scalability as additional cameras and storage can be seamlessly integrated into the existing system.
  • Centralised management: Cloud systems enable users to access and manage footage from multiple sites through a single interface.
  • Storage management: With traditional CCTV, limited physical space can be a concern for on-site storage. Cloud systems overcome this by securely storing data off-site.
  • Proactivity: Cloud CCTV systems can be set up with proactive monitoring features, while traditional CCTV systems are often viewed as reactive.

Regarding security, traditional CCTV hardware may become vulnerable to cyber-attacks as it could be out of date upon arrival, with new vulnerabilities arising over time. Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, benefit from regular updates and more robust security protocols.

CCTV Systems vs Alarm Systems: A Comparative Guide

When considering the security of a home or business, the choice between CCTV systems and alarm systems often arises.

Both types of security solutions serve different purposes and have their own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore the key differences between CCTV and alarm systems, delving into the facts about CTTV cameras and alarm functionalities to help you decide on the best security option for your needs.

CCTV Systems and Alarm Systems: An Overview

CCTV Systems

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems are an integral part of modern security systems. These systems consist of cameras installed in strategic locations to monitor and record activity within a particular area. The recorded footage can later be reviewed by security personnel or law enforcement, and live feeds can be monitored in real-time.

There are various types of CCTV systems, including:

  • Wired systems: connected via cables, they offer high-quality video and are generally reliable.
  • Wireless systems: transmit signals through radio waves, offering flexibility in installation and lower disruption during setup (source).
  • IP systems: transmit video signals over the internet, allowing for remote monitoring and ease of scalability.

While considering the setup for your CCTV systems, it might also be a good time to ponder on the wireless or wired intercom systems, which can be integrated to enhance the security measures further. Additionally, understanding how to choose the best CCTV system for your specific needs can be a crucial step in ensuring the safety of your premises

Typically, alarm systems comprise:

  • Control panels: central hub for managing the system.
  • Sensors: detect activity or intrusion (e.g., window or door sensors, motion sensors)
  • Sirens: produce loud noises to alert occupants and deter intruders.
  • Monitoring services: provide an ongoing connection to a monitoring centre that can respond to alarms by contacting law enforcement or emergency services.

Both CCTV and alarm system components can be integrated into a comprehensive security system to provide optimal protection for a business or private residence. Depending on individual needs and preferences, the choice of security systems and their combinations may vary.

CCTV vs Alarm Systems: Pros and Cons

CCTV Systems Pros and Cons

One of the key advantages of CCTV systems is their ability to provide real-time video footage, which can be valuable for both crime prevention and evidence collection.

Some CCTV systems even offer smart features, like live view and two-way communication, making it convenient for both businesses and homeowners. Additionally, the presence of cameras can act as a deterrent for potential criminals.


  • Real-time video monitoring.
  • Deters potential criminals.
  • Can provide evidence if a crime occurs.
  • Integration with automation systems.

However, CCTV systems can also come with some drawbacks. Wired systems can be challenging to install, and both wired and wireless security cameras can suffer from connectivity or signal issues. Additionally, constant monitoring may raise privacy concerns.


  • Installation challenges for wired systems.
  • Connectivity and signal issues for wireless systems.
  • Privacy concerns.

Alarm Systems Pros and Cons

Alarm systems are designed to detect breaches, motion, or other potential security risks and provide notifications and alerts. Integration with home and business automation systems is common, allowing for remote control and monitoring.


  • Detects security risks and alerts property owners.
  • Remote control and monitoring capabilities.
  • Integration with home and business automation systems.
  • Variety of available sensors (contact, motion, glass-break).

Conversely, alarm systems also have their drawbacks. False alarms can lead to unnecessary panic or calls to emergency services. As with CCTV systems, the installation process for wired systems can be difficult, while wireless security systems may face signal or connectivity issues.


  • Potential for false alarms.
  • Installation challenges for wired systems.
  • Connectivity and signal issues for wireless systems.

Features and Capabilities

Closed-circuit television systems primarily focus on video surveillance, capturing footage of targeted areas for security purposes. They use security cameras that often boast various features, such as:

  • High-resolution imaging for clear and detailed footage.
  • Night vision capabilities for low-light conditions.
  • Motion detection sensors, which trigger recording and alerts when movement is detected.
  • Wide coverage areas for maximum visibility on the property.

CCTV systems are sometimes integrated with smart technology, providing convenient control and remote monitoring from smartphones or tablets. Additional features may include:

  • Two-way audio allowing communication with occupants or intruders through the camera’s built-in speakers and microphone.
  • Video doorbells for enhanced entryway security and visitor identification.
  • Integration with lighting systems to deter intruders and provide better visibility.

While CCTV systems offer visual evidence of events, they usually do not possess built-in alarms or sirens to actively deter intruders.

Alarm systems focus on providing audible and visual alerts in response to intrusion or potential threats. These systems utilise a combination of sensors, detectors, and alarms to create a comprehensive security solution, such as:

  • Door and window sensors that activate when breached.
  • Motion detectors that trigger when movement is detected within the area.
  • Glass break sensors to detect the sound of breaking glass.

Alarm systems often incorporate various sirens, strobes, or lights that activate when the system detects an intrusion. These alerts are designed to scare off intruders, which adds a more proactive element to home or business security.

In addition to intrusion detection, alarm systems may also integrate with heat and smoke detectors or flood sensors to monitor and alert property owners of potential hazards within their property. As a result, alarm systems deter crime and help ensure overall safety.

Both CCTV and alarm systems offer unique strengths, but their combination can provide a more comprehensive security package. By combining video surveillance with sensors and alarms, a hybrid security system offers the ability not only to monitor but actively deter intruders, creating a more robust and secure environment.

Installation and Setup

CCTV systems can be installed using either a DIY approach or by hiring a professional installer. DIY installation of CCTV systems is often more affordable and allows for greater customisation, as you can choose the specific cameras, placement, and features that best suit your needs.

However, setting up a CCTV system on your own can be time-consuming and may require some technical knowledge, particularly when it comes to wiring and connecting the system to a network.

On the other hand, professional installation ensures that the setup is done correctly, allowing your CCTV system to function optimally.

Alarm systems, like CCTV systems, have options for both DIY and professional installation. Many homeowners opt for DIY security systems as they are cost-effective and can be quickly set up using simple tools and instructions.

These systems are often wireless, making installation much easier for the average person. Additionally, DIY alarm systems are usually scalable, allowing for modifications and expansions over time.

Professional installation of alarm systems provides a more thorough and secure setup, with trained technicians handling the wiring, sensors, and control panel configuration.

Monitoring and Control

Monitoring and control are essential aspects of any security system, whether it’s a CCTV system or an alarm system.

Professional Monitoring

Professional monitoring services offer round-the-clock monitoring of your property, ensuring that your security system is always under watchful eyes. When an issue arises, such as an intrusion, the service contacts the necessary authorities immediately. The benefits of professional monitoring include:

  • Peace of mind from knowing a monitoring centre is constantly monitoring your property.
  • Quick response to potential security threats.
  • Expertise in handling emergencies.

However, professional monitoring services often come with monthly fees and may require long-term contracts.


Self-monitoring is an alternative to professional monitoring, enabling business owners and homeowners to monitor their properties using wireless security systems and wireless security cameras. Through a mobile app or web interface, individuals can receive notifications, view live feeds, and access recorded footage stored in cloud storage. For those curious about how alarm monitoring works in a self-monitoring setup, it essentially allows you to be in direct control, receiving immediate alerts to any issues detected by your system. For more information about this, the following post explains what cloud CCTV is.

Advantages of self-monitoring include:

  • No monthly fees or long-term contracts
  • Direct control over surveillance and monitoring
  • Customisable options for notifications and alerts

While self-monitoring can be a cost-effective choice, bear in mind that it places the responsibility of monitoring and reacting to events on the business or homeowner. This may not be the ideal solution for all properties.

In summary, the appropriate monitoring and control method for your security system depends on your personal preferences and situation. Consider factors such as monthly fees, the level of control you desire, and your confidence in managing your security system when deciding between professional monitoring and self-monitoring options.


When deciding between a CCTV system and an alarm system for your home or business, it’s essential to take into account various factors. Both systems offer advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice ultimately depends on individual needs, preferences, and budgets.