Private Investigations and Personal Security/Surveillance System



There has been an issue outside my apartment with vandals and I'd like to get a surveillance system set up. The landlords won't do anything about it. I didn't know if permission was required but I asked anyway and they're okay with it. I'll have to probably do make-shift placement of cameras though, perhaps on my window sills and aiming outside, as I shouldn't drill mounts in walls for installing cameras.

I'd like to set up a system for both indoor and outdoor security, with decent cameras capable of decent day/night video, the option of 24/7 recording, and remote monitoring via secured internet. I'm undecided on wired versus wireless.

My computer runs Linux, so I don't know how that would factor in. I might get a Mac ("iPad") computer at some point if that'll help. I'm guessing I might need an entirely independent surveillance system.

I did some research on home security/surveillance systems and the two brands that kept coming up were Swann and Lorex.

Would you have any recommendations for systems to consider?

If I have to I can budget in close to $1,000 but I'd like to cap the price off at around $500, and the lower the price (while maintaining decent quality) the better.

Here are some options that I've come across from my research:

From Lorex -
Live SD9 Indoor/Outdoor Digital Wireless Security System
LIVE Wireless Surveillance System
4-Channel Surveillance System
Edge Series Video Surveillance System
Edge+ 4 Channel 4 Camera Surveillance System
Edge+ Series 4-Channel Wireless Surveillance System

And from Swann -
Security Recorder Kit
All-in-One Monitoring and Recording System

Thank you for any kind of input that you provide! It's greatly appreciated.

There are hundreds of options for surveillance cameras these days. Wireless are just as effective as the wired and much easier to put in. Even less expensive systems are offering very good quality you can order many of these on line that are capable of recording directly to a hard drive or dvr. DVR is usually the easier way to go unless you have a large hard drive capable of storing a lot of video. If you can dedicate a computer to the storage it is easier to review and edit the video footage. Just make sure you get cameras that have good low level light capability, usually requiring led's.  

Private Investigations and Personal Security

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Chris Cantrell


Most investigation related questions including General Investigations, Surveillance, Undercover work, Accident Investigations, Missing persons, Evidence related questions and person security/protection questions. I do not prefer to answer domestic related questions such as divorce or child custody but I would be glad to review them.


Former Law Enforcement officer, Narcotics Agent, Investigator and Chief of Police Licensed Private Investigator and VP Alabama Private Investigator's Association Private Investigator Instructor

APIA Alabama Association of Private Investigators (Vice President) Alabama Narcotics Officers Association AARS - Alabama Association of Rescue Squads NASAR – National Association of Search & Rescue National Association of Investigative Specialist

Author - Professional’s Guide to Auto Repossession. Published 1997 by Thomas Publications Author – “Badges….we don’t need no stinkin’ badges” published in Professional Repossessor Magazine. Guest speaker 2001 ASAFS “Alternative, Alternate Light Source

MLPI Managing the Lost Person Incident Urban SAR Operations Certified Accident Investigator Rappelling Instructor Certification Injured/Officer Down Rescue Course Physical Surveillance School Introduction to Highway/Rural Drug Investigation Undercover Operations & Risk Management Undercover Violence Transitioning from State to Federal Prosecution PTSD in Undercover Operations Audio Recovery of Undercover Cases Clan Lab, Meth Addiction & Booby Trap Familiarization Officer Safety, High Risk Event Planning – Level 1 Forensics and Domestic Violence Training Introduction to Clandestine Lab Investigations Certification Police Management Level 1 Dealing effectively with the External Environment Diversity, Understanding People and Cultures Managing for Effectiveness Ethics Rave/Club Drugs Seminar Controlled FORCE Instructor certification Patrol Officers Response to Street Narcotics Kinesic Interview and Interrogation Evidence Technician Course

Awards and Honors
Rescuer of the Year 2006 – AARS Rescuer of the Quarter – 4th Qtr 2006 2003 American Heart Association – “Cardiac Arrest Warrant” 2003 Adamsville Police Department - Fugitive Apprehension Certificate 2003 Sipsey Volunteer Fire & Rescue – Certificate of Appreciation 2002 Adamsville Police Department - Fugitive Apprehension Certificate 2002 Sipsey Volunteer Fire & Rescue – Certificate of Appreciation 1997 NAIS PI Convention Speaker Award

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