If you are looking to make sure your home is as secure as it can be from any residential burglaries, here’s a guide for when you are buying a security camera.
With a lot of choices available for you, it can often be tough to find the ideal home security system that can keep your home and the entire family feeling secure and safe from any untoward incident.
Security cameras come in a lot of types with even a lot more features that make one different and often better than others.
This buying guide will help you identify the best security camera system for your home.
Do You Need a Home Security Camera System?
Every home will have its unique security requirements which can determine if getting a home security system would be the best thing for you to do.
Identifying your requirements for a security system at home will also help you find the ideal security camera and its features that will best fit your needs.
- Do you want to keep your family and loved ones safe when you are all inside your home?
- Do you want to monitor what happens inside and outside your home at all times?
- Do you want to make sure that no intruders can enter your home?
- Do you want to see who’s outside ringing your doorbell without opening the door to a possible intruder?
- Do you have valuables at home you want to secure from theft?
- Do you want to secure your home at times when you are away?
If your answers to these questions are yes, then buying a security camera is an excellent option for you. Security cameras have a lot of applications, and with their different features, some can work best in certain situations than others.
However, home camera systems have one thing in common, and it should give you the confidence that you and your home is safer than ever.
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Questions to Consider Before Buying a Home Security Camera System
Before you buy the hottest home security camera available in the market, there are specific questions you should ask yourself. Security cameras have different features, and they can function differently.
Answering these questions will help you identify what exact equipment you should be getting.
1. Where Are You Going to Use the Security Camera?
The very first thing you have to identify is where you intend to use the home camera system you are going to buy.
Indoor and outdoor cameras can differ in features and functions in which they are going to be most effective.
While both cameras will be useful as a monitoring system, the outdoor cameras, in particular, will require certain features such as being weatherproof.
2. Should You Get a Security Camera or a Surveillance Camera? Is There a Difference?
A lot of people use these terms interchangeably, but when buying a security camera, you should be aware of their slight difference.
Surveillance type of cameras is passive which means it can observe and record whatever was captured in their field of view.
On the other hand, security cameras are active which means aside from watching and recording whatever is happening, and it can provide alerts of unexpected incidents.
3. Can Your Internet Bandwidth Support the Camera?
Home security cameras that can stream videos and send alerts to your either via text or email can use quite a lot of your home network’s data.
The amount of bandwidth that your camera uses will mainly depend on several factors such as image resolution and sound and motion records.
You also have to consider how many cameras you will want in your security system when it comes to deciding if your internet bandwidth can cater to your security camera needs.
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What Type of Security Camera Are You Getting?
By answering some important questions when buying a home security camera system, it gets you one step closer into identifying what makes an ideal security camera for your home.
I remember when I had gone to buy a home security system for my home. I knew I needed one.
I asked myself – what are the best features and will give you a happy experience?
The answer for me wasn’t easy. I had to research online to find out what I needed. I had to ask friends to know what worked for them and didn’t in their home security system. And I had to read up the specifications of many products to get the one I was looking for.
Now, we find out what type of security camera you should go for as there are quite several of them you can choose from depending on your purpose for it as well as your preference.
1. Bullet Cameras
Bullet cameras are relatively common, and you can see this cylindrical camera in a lot of establishments and homes. It can range in sizes from as small as a tube of lipstick too as large as a soda can.
You can mount it on the wall, but this type of security camera is only ideal if you know exactly where you want to get camera coverage.
2. Dome Cameras
Dome cameras are also fairly common, and it is slightly bigger than bullet cameras.
They are mounted on ceilings, and while some can be fixed like bullet cameras, some models have features and functions such as pan and tilt which can offer more camera coverage.
3. Hidden Cameras
If you are installing a camera that would blindside a thief or an intruder into thinking that surveillance cameras do not cover your home, then a hidden security camera is what you should go for.
They can be quite tiny and specifically designed to look like something else and not a camera.
4. Live Streaming Cameras
Live streaming cameras are ideal if you want to have an unmanned or remote monitoring camera system on your home.
It can be placed atop any furniture and will directly feed a signal to your mobile device or computer for live viewing.
5. Wireless Cameras
Wireless cameras have become popular as the plug and play camera options, but they can now be integrated into a home security camera system.
They tend to be the most portable option which allows you to change their position, transporting it from a room to another with ease if needed.
With these different types of security cameras and their differences, you should now be able to identify the right kind of camera for your security purposes.
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Key Features to Look for in a Home Security Camera System
Aside from choosing the best security camera type for your home, some key features differentiate the best security camera from the good or even cheap ones.
Here are some features and functions that should be on the top of your checklist for security camera specifications.
There is no reason for you to have a security system that can’t make up the face of the intruder entering your home because the photo is too grainy. Preferably, you should have a security camera that has the best recording quality.
A resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels should be enough. However, if you are not tight on the budget, then a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels will always be best.
Am I sure you don’t want the images taken to be grainy? Of what use is a security camera if it cannot provide you with clear quality viewing? While buying one, ensure that the camera comes with features of larger resolution with crisp quality of images and videos.
Types like the IP cameras come with excellent camera quality where you can zoom in to whichever specific object or person you want to view. Sometimes, even though the feature of night vision is useful, without a high resolution of the camera, the function goes futile no matter how strong the night vision may be.
Most manufacturers now focus on making IP cameras with the highest resolution for best results. Usually, security cameras have a resolution of 720 p. The better ones have 1080 p, and for the best ones, you can even go up to a higher range.
But for general surveillance or an expansive space, a higher viewing angle will give you the best coverage. A 120 degrees viewing angle should be easy enough to observe every corner of an area.
Thieves are smart. If they see your security camera can only tilt 180 degrees, they can go behind it. Today’s modern security cameras can rotate horizontally and vertically to their maximum angle, also known as Pan and tilt, respectively.
The best ones rotate up to 355° horizontally and up to 90° vertically. The range that the camera covers becomes immensely significant depending on its angle of rotation. If you need to install cameras at your office that would encompass its view on the sizeable three-dimensional space, pan – tilt cameras is what you need. Some cameras can be manually rotated with the help of remotes.
So it is always preferable to go along with your requirements.
It can use memory cards to store video clips and images which is the most affordable option.
It can also use hard drives for recording and storing which can have more memory compared to memory cards but is still limited to the capacity of the hard drive.
Lastly, it can record and feed to the cloud which can be an unlimited storage space.
These camera systems work by itself as they are created to be tremendously advanced. There are very few cameras that have inbuilt storage. The ancient and cheaper ones need to store the images in the DVR with a hard disc.
Since high-resolution cameras take up a lot of space, it must be noted that memory cards with ample storage space should be inserted. Otherwise, if the storage space is small and is full already, the later recording will never be saved and will automatically be lost.
Although these cameras are not waterproof or dustproof, they are very compact and easy to handle at an indoor space. Outdoor cameras are basically for public spaces and larger spaces.
It is essential that you opt for a pan-tilt camera and that which is weather compatible, and made waterproof. If you plan to buy an indoor camera for outdoor use, depending on its image quality, then you must make sure that the camera is made waterproof since indoor cameras are never designed to face weather effects.
Both outdoor and indoor cameras come with audio functions, based on which brand provides for it. The motion and sound sensors in the camera inform the owner about any unusual movement at home.
But such sensors in any outdoor or indoor cameras cost you a lot more for a single piece than a whole set.
The more the number of red lights, the better and clearer its view will be. These lights also help you to detect whether the cameras are in a working status or not.
At the same time, look for the focus lens that can cover a vast range. The higher the field, the more distinct the footage will be. Another factor to note about the lens would be its night vision.
If your camera cannot cover or record any set at night, it is almost of no use because risky incidents often occur then. Night vision plays a shady role in your safety.
These wires connect to a DVR through a coax cable and are anytime reliable more than wireless networks. Wireless cameras are beneficial in a way, as you do not have to undergo the fuss of managing many wires.
They are reliable concerning mobility and scalability since they are easy to install and carry about. Wireless cameras of good brands are quite expensive, yet they do not lose their demand. But a major drawback of a wireless camera would be its power.
Since it does not rely on electricity, it’s battery may not last as long as you would expect. This makes it compulsory on the part of the user to continually check their cameras.
When buying a security camera system, even when you keep these things at the back of your mind, always keep an eye on the products that come along with the cameras.
The complete set is a necessity for its propped functioning.
It is a feature that’s definitely worth considering in a camera.
Whenever there is any untoward incident like a breach in your security system, having a security camera that notifies or alerts you of such an event will always be helpful.
Depending on the camera specs, it may send you a text or an email to alert you of the motion, face, or sound it detects, whether it is unrecognized or known.
However, if you want to put surveillance for a more extensive space, there is no need to put in a camera facing different directions if your security camera has a tilt and swivel function.
A true pan/tilt/swivel security camera would allow you to move its lens or follow a moving object when you watch it on a live feed.
So you have to make sure that you choose the manufacturer that guarantees this will never happen in your home.
A security camera should be able to encrypt internet transmission and can support the latest security protocols.
It will let you turn on or off the camera at certain times whenever you may not need it. Moreover, you can record or modify what the camera detects and when you want to receive as alerts.
Determine which of these features are essential to have in your home security camera system and find one that checks all the boxes.
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Additional Features to Consider in a Home Security Camera System
Aside from the key specs that every great security camera should have, some other features can even make the system more functional and efficient in keeping your home safe and secure.
Check out these features and list down what you want to add in the security camera specs you are going to buy.
1. Motion Detection
Motion detection is definitely a feature worth considering in a home security camera system, especially if you want to monitor when your home is empty.
This kind of camera has built-in sensors that can pick up any movement within the field of view of the camera which then triggers video recording.
Most cameras only capture videos and images. However, some might detect audios which can either be one way or two ways.
One-way audio means your camera can detect sounds, giving you a complete picture of the footage. On the other hand, two-way audio can recognize sounds from the background but will also allow you to speak through the camera.
3. Night Vision
Most residential break-ins happen during the night, and it will always help if, aside from motion detection, your security camera can still clearly capture whatever is in its vantage point with its night vision feature.
It should be able to switch to night vision during low lighting conditions automatically.
Especially if you are getting an outdoor security camera, choosing a piece of equipment that can fight against the usual wear and tear of the outdoor conditions is preferable.
It may be subjected to different weathers or season, and if it is weatherproof, your security camera should be able to stay efficient all year round and for many years to come.back to menu ↑
Fixed security cameras are the more cost-effective choice for a security system at home, but depending on your purpose, a camera that offers some range of motion can be a great choice, especially for larger areas that you want to have surveillance on.
With security cameras installed in your house, you should be confident and worry no more about the security of your home and your family. This security system can keep an eye for you even if you are asleep or out of the house and alert you of any mishap.
Take note, however, that not all security cameras are made equal, and you have to find the best home security camera system that is perfect for your needs. With this guide on buying security camera, you should now be more confident in choosing your home’s ideal equipment.
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