security camera

Should I Install Security Cameras in My Home?

If you’re looking to increase peace of mind, few things compare to being able to see what’s happening in and around your home at any time. Home security cameras allow you to view the live and recorded video, so you’re always in the know.

But with so much information and so many options out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed while shopping for cameras for your home. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you find suitable home security cameras for you.

security camera

Are Home Security Cameras Good for Home Protection?

A home security camera system is an excellent tool for home protection, and it can work both as a deterrent and a recovery tool. Burglars are wary of properties with visible security cameras. Plus, if a crime does occur, security cameras can help gather evidence. From property damage to potentially identifying criminals who break-in, if you capture the action on camera, you’re more likely to be able to remedy it.

If you want to identify cars, people, and other moving objects, it’s worth investing in a camera with super or ultra-high-definition video (2Kor 4K, respectively). This technology uses more pixels in the image, meaning you can zoom in to see more detail on license plates and identify more physical characteristics. An HD or full HD camera won’t get you that type of clarity, especially at night.

Ultimately, home security cameras work best to protect your property when integrated with a home security system. To save their batteries, wireless security cameras only start to record when they detect motion, which means they may not record everything you’d want them to. With a home security system, cameras can be set to start recording as soon as any part of the security system is triggered, such as a contact sensor, a glass-break sensor, or a motion sensor. This makes it more likely the cameras will record everything that’s happening on your property and not just a few seconds of motion that occurred right in front of them.

If you’re looking for a home security camera, then look no further! Security Systems has you covered.

What Are the Privacy Concerns of Home Security Cameras?

Cameras can record video all the time or when they detect motion, which means every time you or someone else walks into your garden or past your video doorbell. Before installing cameras in and around your home, make sure every member of your household knows they’re there and is comfortable with them. Cameras can be hacked, with your footage monitored or even posted to the internet. However, the measures we discuss in How to Keep Your Security Cameras Safe will reduce this risk considerably.

We strongly recommend that you enable any built-in privacy features that the camera offers. For example, cameras can be turned off in the mobile app, or geofencing technology can turn them off automatically when someone in your family with a smartphone is home.

security camera

What Are Some Uses of Home Security Cameras Besides Preventing Burglary?

Today’s home security cameras are multifunctional and can be used for more than just monitoring your property for intruders. Here are just a few other uses for home security cameras:

  • Baby Monitor: Set up an indoor camera in your baby’s room and view a live feed wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection. You’ll need a camera capable of recording 24/7, and it will need to be plugged in, but as long as it has two-way audio and will send alerts on sound or motion, it will work as a reliable monitor.
  • Pet Cam: Indoor and outdoor cameras can be used to keep an eye on your dogs, cats, chicken coop, or bunny hutch. Some cameras can specifically alert you to the noise of a dog barking so you can talk to your pet with a two-way talk feature.
  • Wildlife Cam: Place a battery-powered camera with night vision capabilities at the end of your garden and keep an eye on destructive deer or predatory raccoons, or enjoy the sights and sounds of nocturnal nature on your property.
  • Smart Home Trigger: If you have other smart home devices in your home, your camera can be linked with them to respond automatically. For example, the motion sensor in an outdoor camera can turn bright lights inside if it detects motion in your driveway when you come home.

Why get security cameras?

Before we start, ask yourself this question: do you need a home security camera? Here are some signs a home security camera may be suitable for you:

  • You frequently shop online and have packages delivered to your door.
  • You’re often away from your home for hours at a time.
  • You have multiple entrances to your home.
  • You have valuables inside the home that may be a target for thieves.
  • You have kids or pets you want to keep an eye on.
  • You have exterior features you want to monitor, such as a gate, driveway, or pool.

Each homeowner’s needs may be different, but the peace of mind you gain from having a home security camera is invaluable.

What security camera should I get?

Choosing the right security camera for your needs is essential. There are three common types:

  • Outdoor camera
  • Doorbell camera (also called a video doorbell)
  • Indoor camera

Let’s take a look at each and what you should consider.

Doorbell camera

The doorbell camera is the most popular as it allows you to monitor the most crucial access point to your home. You can also see who’s coming and going when packages are delivered, and some video doorbells allow you to have two-way conversations with guests at your door.

Look for a doorbell camera with these features:

  • A wide and tall viewing angle to see more of your porch. 180-degree width is significant.
  • Ability to stream live and recorded video from your phone
  • Two-way talk functionality
  • Infrared night vision
  • Image quality—look for 1080p or 4k cameras for crisper images
  • Zoom capabilities
  • WiFi connectivity—be sure it will connect with your home’s WiFi setup
  • Aesthetic—does it look nice next to your door?

Outdoor camera

Outdoor cameras provide video coverage around your house. Often, homeowners will install multiple outdoor cameras to ensure every angle of their property is being monitored.

There are many different types of outdoor cameras on the market, from sleek, small outdoor cameras to dome cameras to bulky surveillance cameras. You want to choose an outdoor camera that effectively records video while not detracting from your home’s visual appeal.

Look for an outdoor camera with these features:

  • A wide viewing angle for more excellent coverage of your property
  • Night vision
  • Siren or warning tone
  • Adjustable camera positioning
  • Ability to stream live and recorded video from your phone
  • Two-way talk functionality
  • Image quality—look for 1080p or 4k cameras for crisper images.
  • Ability to adjust recording triggers (for instance, only recording when people are detected, not trees blowing or cars passing)

Indoor camera

Indoor cameras have been around for a long time and have many names, including nursery cameras, nanny cameras, and hidden cameras. These cameras often cost less than an outdoor or doorbell camera, allowing you to place more of them in critical areas of your home.

More than a convenience, indoor cameras allow you to have an extra set of eyes, which is especially valuable if you have kids or pets always on the move.

Look for an indoor camera with these features:

  • A wide viewing angle to cover the room you’re monitoring
  • Night vision
  • Adjustable camera positioning
  • Ability to mount and place as a standalone, as needed
  • Ability to stream live and recorded video from your phone
  • Image quality—look for 1080p cameras for sharper images

Wired vs. wireless cameras

One of the most important considerations is choosing between wired or wireless cameras.

Wired cameras provide added levels of security and more consistent connectivity but can sometimes be difficult to install depending on your home’s wiring and surface materials. Wireless cameras allow for more flexibility in their placement but sometimes suffer from difficulty connecting with your home’s WiFi, leaving you with cameras that frequently go offline.

Wireless cameras are often the way to go due to their greater flexibility, but be sure your WiFi connection is strong and add WiFi extenders or change to a mesh WiFi system if needed.

Security Systems provides expert CCTV installation for your residential or commercial infrastructure.

5 Important Benefits of Home Security Cameras

Not too long ago, having video surveillance equipment installed in your home as a security measure was seen as a drastic, expensive endeavour to take on. Nowadays, with the accessibility and affordability of technology, NOT having some form of video cameras installed seems like an odd decision to make as a homeowner. Advances in technology have allowed for significant advancements (along with substantial reductions in costs) in video camera quality, recording capability and, importantly, affordability.

Home surveillance cameras allow homeowners to view their homes at any given time from virtually any location. Installing these surveillance cameras in your house is a smart move for many reasons, and here we’ve highlighted a few of the most important ones below.

Deterring Criminals

The mere presence of an outdoor camera can deter criminals, but it’s perilous to rely on dummy cameras because seasoned burglars can typically spot them from a mile away. In most cases, thieves will case a home before they rob it, and if they spot cameras installed by a professional alarm system, they will most likely abort the burglary attempt. Also, if you are the victim of a burglary, the cameras will record the incident and help lead to the capture of the criminal and hopefully return your stolen goods. This leads to our next point.

Aiding the Police

If a burglary occurs, your professionally installed security cameras will have recorded the incident in high-definition. Police can use these videos and images to capture the culprit, prevent future crimes and return your items.

Checking in on the Family

Security cameras aren’t limited to the protection of a home. They can also allow you to check in on your kids while you’re at work. Frequently families with a set of working parents find themselves in a predicament when their child gets out of school in the mid-afternoon. With a camera security system, a parent can always check in on their children from work by using the remote monitoring feature of the system.

Don’t forget the pets!

Just as you can check in on your kids using the camera system, you can check on your pets too. Pets are a big part of many peoples’ lives, and it can be stressful to leave them home alone and expensive to pay someone to look after them. With a professionally installed home security camera system, you can check in on how your pets are doing from work.

Insurance Benefits

After a burglary, you’re required to make an insurance claim due to vandalism or theft. This is where your high-definition security camera comes into play. With the footage, you can easily document the incident and validate your insurance claim. Also, a security system can typically lead to discounts on home security of up to 20%.

How much do home security cameras cost?

Home security cameras run from less than $50 to more than $1,000. Selecting the right camera largely depends on what you want it to do. Most cameras perform the same general tasks, so pay attention to the features that matter the most to you.

Like so many other things, you get what you pay for. Saving a few dollars upfront may not save you money in the long run if the camera suffers from connectivity issues, you constantly have to change batteries, or it doesn’t record at a high enough quality for you to use the footage.

Where to place and install home security cameras

Deciding where to place your home security cameras is something you should do before you purchase. Not sure where to install them? Here are some tips:

  • Write a list of the most vulnerable areas around your house. These usually include your front door, garage door, and back door.
  • Determine any other areas you would like to keep an eye on. Some popular places include driveways, the side of the house, the complete backyard, inside the house facing the entryway, and high-traffic areas inside the home.
  • Search for a satellite image of your property on Google Maps. Look at the exterior of your home to identify possible camera locations. Be sure to consider the angle of a camera and how much area it can realistically cover. This can help you determine if you need more than one camera.

Once you’ve purchased your home security cameras, they need to be installed. Indoor cameras are usually plug-and-play or battery-powered, so they are easy to install.

Doorbell cameras require a little bit of technical skill but usually have instructions and can be installed in about an hour. The viewing angle of the doorbell camera you purchase will be a factor in where you install your camera. If your camera has a comprehensive 180-degree view, you can usually install the camera right next to your door.

Outdoor cameras require the most skill and time to install. Outdoor cameras should be installed about 11 feet above the ground and not point toward the sun as much as possible. This allows for a comprehensive view to be captured and is out of the reach of individuals who may want to vandalise or disable the camera. But it’s not so high that it can’t catch important details like faces.

Outdoor cameras have to be powered, so you will need to find a way to provide power to a camera. A PoE solution (Power over Ethernet) is an excellent way to go but will likely still require you to run some wires, and this often involves drilling holes and going into your attic. Getting your WiFi signal to the outdoor camera may also present a challenge.

If installing home security cameras sounds intimidating, many camera providers—including home security companies like Vivint—offer professional installation. We provide professional installation with every complete intelligent home security system, ensuring everything is installed correctly and works together. That means fewer headaches and more peace of mind for you.

Getting the most out of your cameras

Once your cameras are installed, you should be able to take advantage of their streaming and recording capabilities. To get the most out of your cameras, consider the following tips.

  • Make sure you have enough storage space for the video clips. This varies by camera. Some automatically back up footage to the cloud or a hard drive for a certain amount of time. Others store data to a removable storage card. Be sure to download essential clips to your phone or computer regularly, so you don’t lose them over time.
  • Refine settings. Many home security cameras allow you to customise features, like when your camera records and for how long. Having your camera continuously record may not be the best option because you have to sift through so much unimportant footage. Many cameras offer the feature to trigger recording when certain events are detected, like motion, or at a specific time of day.
  • Set up notifications. One of the biggest perks of a smart camera is the ability to be notified of important events rather than constantly checking your camera feed. Set up notifications to your phone to alert you when a new clip is being recorded.
  • Keep your cameras clean. Doorbell cameras and outdoor cameras tend to get coated with thin layers of dust or water over time. Be sure to wipe your camera down with a clean microfiber cloth periodically.

What Are Some Other Ways to Prevent Burglary?

One of the most effective ways to prevent burglary is to install a home security system with door and window sensors and a connection to a monitoring station, so the authorities can be notified even if you’re not there. Less expensive ways to prevent burglary include installing virtual physical security devices such as padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars, and bolts on any accessible entries. “If you have a limited budget, focus on physical security devices, such as a security door brace that prevents a door from being kicked,” says security consultant Another option is to apply transparent security film to windows to make them shatter-resistant.

Light is also a good deterrent. Outdoor lighting, motion-activated or programmed to come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise, can keep your home illuminated and make it harder for a thief to stay out of sight. Keeping your landscaping tidy and trimmed will help remove potential hiding spots.

Maintaining signs of occupancy even when you are gone can help deter potential thieves. Some ways to do this include using automated shades and programmed bright lighting to simulate someone being home and making sure to cancel any newspaper or package deliveries when you’re gone. A loud (although not necessarily large) dog is also a great deterrent.

Keep your vigilance over your home or establishment around the clock with Security Systems’ extensive range of security access control system services.

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