Take a look at the all in one boxed sets and check out the systems you can put together piece by piece. I have a Swann camera system at home. I bought everything seperately because I wanted to get a setup with the fewest compromises. A professional system will cost thousands. You could get a good at home system like the one I have for around $500. In the end I spent around $1000 because I upgraded the camera in the front of my house. I can monitor the cameras from my iphone. I have a 1 TB DVR that I record to and will save nearly a month of video. When you set up the cameras, realize that they are very limited in capability. Position them where they are outside, preferably under overhead cover and out of reach from the ground. You also want to aim the cameras so that they are as close as possible to the target. As already mentioned, they don't have great range. In the end, my set up provides peace of mind to my wife who can see people on our doorstep before going to the door. I've had fun figuring out which dogs in my neighborhood have been crapping in my yard, etc. Overall, I think they are good deterrent but if someone really wants in, they'll get in.