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- A stand-alone Internet security camera that sends images to your web browser starts around $30-$50, but expect to pay $75-$250 for a useable basic camera, and it can be $300-$1, 000 and up for a high-resolution, durable-construction model. Prices increase depending on the image quality, and features such as color, audio, pan/tilt and e-mail alerts. These cameras work independently from a computer, allowing you to watch real-time images via cell phone or the Internet. Cameras in the low- and medium-price ranges deliver fairly low-quality images and often run on batteries.
- An install-it-yourself closed-circuit television (CCTV) preassembled kit with four cameras starts around 0-0; averages $500-$1, 000 depending on the quality of the components and features such as night vision, remote monitoring; and high-end kits can cost $1, 000-$1, 800 or more with extras such asextra large hard-drive storage capacity. You might require additional cable or other materials to adapt a kit to your specific circumstances.
- Instead of a preassembled kit, some people prefer to buy all the components separately so they can get exactly the system they need (number of cameras, cable lengths, etc.) Cameras are available for around $50-$250 each, depending on type and size; concealed cameras (in smoke detectors, clocks, signs, etc.) can be 0-0; DVRs run $250-$1, 000 or more; and monitor screens start around $100-$500 but can be $500-$4, 500 ; and cables average about - each, depending on length. A Popular Mechanics writer tried out a $300 starter kit with one camera, adding five additional cameras at $230-$250 each for a total cost around $1, 500, then spent $4, 000 on a do-it-yourself installation with multiple high-end cameras and extensive hard-drive storage capacity.
- Hiring a security company to design and install a complete CCTV camera system (including the cost of the equipment) starts around $1, 000-$2, 000 for a small, basic system (1-4 low-end cameras) but a professionally installed system can easily run $2, 000-$9, 000 or more. One advantage of hiring professional installers is that they will help you fine-tune what can be a complex system until it meets your needs.