Security Camera Buying Guide
Purchasing Security Cameras
Consider the following when shopping for surveillance cameras:
- The latest security cameras do more than record footage. For example, a WiFi camera with a microphone can send an alert to your mobile when a smoke alarm is activated in your home.
- Think about where you will position your home security cameras when purchasing. If you want to monitor your garden, for example, make sure you purchase weatherproof cameras.
- Smart home security systems with sensors can be set to notify you when changes are detected. Look out for models that can alert you to irregularities with push notifications, emails or text messages so you can react in real-time.
Types of Security Cameras
If you want to monitor a specific section of your home or business, then a standalone IP camera or WiFi security camera could be all you need. They are available with a wide range of features so be sure to do your research before making a purchase.
- Standalone security cameras are available in wired and wireless models. Wireless cameras, particularly battery-operated ones, offer unparalleled flexibility so you can position them wherever they are needed.
- Standalone security cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your pet through the day or a baby through the night. For round the clock operation, be sure to opt for a model with night vision.
- Standalone cameras are available with a range of integration features that enable you to better protect your home. For example, some cameras can be paired with door tags that send an alert to your mobile when the door is opened.
If you need a security camera system to cover the entirety of a property, then you are best advised opting for a CCTV kit with multiple cameras.
- Like standalone security cameras, CCTV systems are available in wired and wireless varieties. The latter are undoubtedly easier to set up and install.
- However, wired CCTV systems tend to store footage on a DVR. This means your home security is not dependent on your network so you will always be covered even if the connection is lost.
- Choose a CCTV system with the right number of cameras for your property. Note that many Smart home security systems can be added to over time so you can spread the cost.
Security kits combine home security cameras with other sensors to give you even greater piece of mind that your home or place of business is secure.
- Security kits are available for outdoor, indoor and universal use. Be sure to give careful consideration to the areas you want to cover before making a purchase.
- Security kits also feature the likes of window and door sensors that inform you if any access points to your home have been opened. If your cameras are positioned correctly, you should be able to use your mobile devices to view live footage.
- Opting for a kit with a Smart switch will enable you to turn on lights and appliances via a mobile app so you can deter any intruder that has made his or her way into your home.
App-Connected Security Cameras
App-connected security cameras allow you to set up and control your system through an app on compatible mobile devices. Some systems also offer a desktop app so you can interact with your cameras through your PC or laptop.
- App-connected security cameras allow you to view live footage from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Some apps enable you to view footage that has been previously recorded so you can easily find evidence if ever it is needed.
- Some app-connected systems allow you to control camera functions remotely. For example, certain cameras enable you to zoom in and out so you can gather all the information you need.
- Push notifications are as close to constant surveillance as you can get without watching the feed 24/7. Many app-connected cameras can be set to alert you to movement or sound by sending uncomplicated alerts to your devices.
Security Cameras Features
Features to Look Out For
Home security cameras are available with a range of functions and features that can help you monitor your property with greater ease. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Two-way talk features allow you to both hear what is going on where the camera is located and communicate with anyone that is there so you can use your mobile devices to remotely confront intruders or comfort anxious pets.
- Motion sensors save on storage space by only recording when movement is detected. They also enable your home security system to notify you when something out of the ordinary happens so you don’t have to constantly monitor the footage.
- Integrated systems with facial recognition give you greater control over your set up. Not only can they tell you who came into a room and when, they also allow you to filter out unnecessary alerts by setting friends and family as trusted visitors.
Security Camera Resolution
Camera resolution dictates the quality of the footage that can be recorded. While clarity and detail are important, they should not be your sole consideration when choosing surveillance cameras.
- Entry-level cameras offer VGA resolution. The advantage of such lower resolution is that operation will not place any strain on your home network. However, footage recorded may not be clear enough to gain convictions.
- High definition footage (720p) should be considered the jump off point for most users. Footage will be clear enough for practically all uses and operation is unlikely to negatively affect your home network.
- Full HD security cameras (1080p) capture outstanding detail. However, such high resolutions can place a strain on your home network and prevent your other devices from gaining unimpeded access to the Internet.
Home security cameras store footage in a variety of ways, some of which are better suited to a particular kind of use than others. Be aware of the following when making your choice.
- Security cameras that record onto SD cards or flash drives are great for quickly accessing footage. However, due to the size limitations of this type of storage, footage needs to be managed on a semi-regular basis.
- DVR storage is ideal for multiple camera systems. DVRs can store large amounts of footage and are not dependent on networks so you won’t have to worry about connection issues or make decisions about the footage on a regular basis.
- Many Smart cameras save footage direct to the Cloud. This is hugely convenient and means you can access footage from anywhere. However, this type of storage can run into problems if your home network experiences connection issues.
Security cameras can be a great help when it comes to ensuring the safety of your home, belongings and family. However, there are rules about their use that must be adhered to.
- Footage of security incidents recorded on your surveillance cameras should never be shared unless you are asked to do so by a law enforcement agency.
- Your cameras should only ever be directed at your own property.
- If you are in any doubt over the rules and regulations surrounding surveillance systems, contact the Attorney General’s Department in your state or territory.
Home Security Accessories
Extend the reach of your surveillance system by adding cameras to the network. Be sure to opt for security cameras that are compatible with your existing system.
Ensure your home network offers the most robust connection possible by upgrading your router. Choose from a host of technology and enjoy an Internet connection you can trust.
Increase the scope of your home security system with easy-to-install sensors that can track changes in room temperature and tell you when doors or windows have been opened.