Things to Consider When Choosing Cameras for Home Security Systems
Choosing Cameras for Home Security Systems
It can be very beneficial to include security cameras as part of a home security system. Just seeing these cameras might make it less likely that a criminal will target your house and, if there is an issue, the footage may be helpful for the police in apprehending or prosecuting the criminal. Some types of cameras may also be beneficial for other purposes, such as monitoring the activities of children, elderly family members or babysitters. Taking a number of factors into consideration will make it easier to determine the best home security camera systems for your purposes.
Wired Vs. Wireless
Each type of system has its own pros and cons. With a wired camera system, it’s more difficult to install the cameras, as wire needs to be run between them and the power source. Video is typically recorded on a DVR or NVR. The video is very high quality, however, and there isn’t any interference from nearby wireless signals. With a wireless system, on the other hand, the cameras are easier to move around because they don’t need to be wired to a video recording device and can communicate with the alarm system without being wired to it. They may still need to be connected to a power source, however, and they need to be in range of the wireless signal. This means they often need to be placed near outlets, which can limit placement, or need special wiring like wired cameras to connect them to the power source. Some experts can hack into the feed and make it so you don’t see it when using a wireless system. The benefit of video from a wireless system is that the footage can automatically be sent to a phone or computer and can be stored online to check at a convenient time without worrying about the space on a tape running out.
Fixed or Moving Cameras
The most basic cameras point at one spot and don’t move. This may make them a bit more limited in their functioning than cameras that can pan, tilt or zoom in order to follow an object in motion. Some security companies have systems that make it so you can use a moving camera to follow action by controlling the camera with your cell phone. However, these movable cameras, called PTZ cameras, tend to be less durable than fixed cameras and may miss something by being pointed in the wrong direction at the wrong time. It may be better to have multiple fixed cameras pointed in different directions.
Benefits of Motion-Activated Cameras
When looking for home security camera systems, opt for one with motion detection. This means that the camera only records when it senses movement. That way you can easily check the footage and see what happened while you were away without having to deal with a lot of footage where nothing happens. Some of these systems can even notify you on your smartphone when the camera is activated so you can check out what’s happening and decide whether it’s necessary to call the police. Having a thief caught on camera in the process of breaking in will make the police response much quicker than simply having a security alarm going off.
Consider an IP Camera
Also called a webcam or netcam, these are the types of cameras that can send footage over a broadband or network connection. This is what you need if you want to be able to check the footage from away from home on a computer or cellphone rather than having to wait and go over the video at home. These cameras also tend to have a much better picture quality than the traditional analog cameras. This means it may actually be able to get a better view of what is going on by zooming in while watching the footage, which typically isn’t the case with analog footage.
Night Vision Benefits
Both outdoor and indoor cameras may benefit from having night vision capabilities, otherwise, it may be more difficult to monitor areas that aren’t well-lit once it gets dark. Most burglaries are actually committed during the daytime hours when people are more likely to be away from home, but this isn’t always the case. Having motion-activated lighting systems located on all approaches to the house may make it so night vision cameras aren’t necessary outdoors, however, and may also increase the potential deterrence factor, as criminals prefer to remain unnoticed and lights suddenly going on are pretty noticeable. Just check to see how far the night vision capabilities extend, as some only go for about 15 feet while others can go 65 feet or more.
Number and Placement of Cameras
Before making any decisions, it’s a good idea to figure out where the cameras are going to be placed and how many you need. This will affect the decision of the camera that’s being purchased. Commonly used camera locations include any area where an intruder would have to walk to reach other rooms in the house, such as hallways, entryways, and the main living area, as well as at each of the doors of the house. Since burglars often go to the master bedroom first to look for valuables, it’s a good idea to put a camera here as well. People who are using their cameras to monitor kids or elderly people will also want cameras in the other bedrooms and the kids’ playrooms. Make sure that the camera is pointing so people walk past it, as this is what sets off motion detectors. These motion detectors aren’t as likely to activate if someone is walking directly toward them.