Choosing a Camera Surveillance System for Home
So, you’ve made up your mind: you’re ready to invest in a camera surveillance system for your home. The good news is, today’s market offers a large range of indoor and outdoor security cameras. However, with so many great choices on offer, it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed with choice. That’s why we’re here to help you choose the right CCTV camera for your home.
Benefits of a surveillance system
Having a security camera system for your home comes with many benefits. The obvious one being enhanced security in your household. Your mind will be at peace knowing that you don’t have to spend most of your time worrying about prying eyes.
Knowing that you have a surveillance system in place lets everyone in your family feel safe and protected around the clock. However, what happens when you are away from home? Fortunately, you can enable remote monitoring. That way, you can keep a close eye on your home while you’re not there. As long as you’re connected to the internet, you can watch over your house no matter where you are.
Which areas of your home need protection?
This is something that will help you determine what type of surveillance system that you would exactly need. How many ground-level windows do you have? Is your back door protected? Does any of your rooms need surveillance? All these questions will help you decide on a security cameras system for your home.
Features you need
This depends on a number of things. For one, you would need to decide if you’re going for a cloud storage solution or an on-premise option when it comes to storing your footage. Each choice has its pros and cons. Alternatively, you could opt for a hybrid solution where footage gets stored locally but you also get to access the system remotely on your mobile devices.
You should also consider the build quality of the cameras, particularly if you’re placing any of them outside. Placing your cameras outside leaves them vulnerable to harsh weather conditions.
There are other factors such as resolution, wired/wireless cameras, add on equipment and others.
Type of camera systems
There are two main types of cameras available: Internet Protocol (IP) and analogue cameras. Although both versions offer the same functionality, IP cameras offer more features. As a result, you’ll notice many IP cameras today as opposed to traditional analogue cameras.
There are three storage options: NVR, DVR and hybrid. DVR, or Digital Video Recorder, uses analogue cameras. Network Video Recorders (NVR) utilise IP cameras. Hybrid systems allow you to combine analogue and IP cameras. These are known as Hybrid Video Recorders.
Typically, IP cameras capture sharper footage than analogue cameras. But beyond the resolution of the cameras, you should think about the resolution you need for your feed. Today you’ll find many camera systems that offer 1080p (HD) resolution. Some even provide 4K support. For example, the Q-See CCTV Kit is equipped with 4 cameras 1440p resolution and supports 4K output.
Wireless Cameras vs. Wired Cameras systems
The advantage of going wireless is that gives you flexibility and convenience as you would be dealing with fewer cables. However, there’s also the risk of signal issues. You would need to ensure that you have a stable connection with the camera throughout the day. This won’t be the case with wired cameras.
Pricing differs vastly on the exact requirements for a security cameras system for your home. How many cameras do you need? What’s the footage resolution? Are you opting for any smart features? It could vary from a simple $99 PoE camera to a $1,199 wire-free camera kit.
IP cameras tend to cost more than analogue cameras. But a complete IP camera system is usually more affordable than its analogue system counterpart. Furthermore, an IP camera system is capable of operating with fewer cameras than an analogue system.
One of the biggest limitations of DVRs is that connections are fixed. Once all BNC cables are connected to the DVR you will need to fix an additional DVR if you’re to expand your connections.
An NVR system eliminates this problem as it’s directly connected to a network. Here, the IP cameras are also connected to the same network, most likely via a PoE (Power over Ethernet) switch. This makes scaling more feasible as adding more cameras is a matter of connecting the network.
However, the challenge with NVRs is that compatibility between the device and the cameras aren’t always a guarantee. This means not every IP camera will connect to the NVR. Thereby you need to verify compatibility prior to proceeding.
Getting the installation done
Once you decide what security cameras you need for your home, the next step is installing the setup. Here, you can either hire professionals or do it yourself. If you choose the latter, here’s a brief rundown on what you need to do:
- Gather all the necessary tools: drills and drill bits, fish tape, masking tape, monitor, mouse, keyboard and others
- Decide on a set location for your recorder in the house
- Mark the locations where you need to place your cameras and the cables (if you’re going with a wired connection)
- Use the fish tape to guide the cables through the house to the cameras and the recorder
- Mount everything, connect and setup the interface
Want easy step by step instructions on how to install a security camera? We can help you with that, too.
Do you have to put up signs if you have security cameras?
No, you don’t need to put up a sign if you’re going to be using a camera surveillance system on your property. However, you may wish to put up a sign to discourage criminal activity and to let passers-by know that their activity may be monitored.
Can you point a security camera at your neighbour’s home?
If you’re installing a CCTV system in your home, it is important to use common sense. For example, it is not advisable to set up a camera to record where a neighbour could reasonably expect privacy. Keep in mind that The Privacy Act doesn’t cover a security camera operated by an individual acting in a private capacity, but state or territory laws may apply.
What are the pros and cons of home security cameras?
The main motivations behind installing a security camera system for your home includes discouraging criminal activity and intruders, providing extra security, and ensuring the safety of your family. The cons of home security cameras is that cameras without battery backup may be vulnerable to power outages, and cameras that aren’t properly secured to Wi-Fi networks may be easy targets for hackers.
How long does footage stay on security cameras?
As a general rule, homeowners can expect to keep at least one or two weeks’ worth of footage. However, keep in mind that the amount of time that surveillance footage from your home security camera is kept will depend on the amount of recording space available.