Home video surveillance equipment has become more affordable in recent years, leading to many homeowners considering purchasing security cameras to protect their home, their property and, most importantly, their family. When choosing a security camera for your home, there are several key factors to keep in mind.
Outdoor v. Indoor
The first is placement. What are you most concerned about, from a security point of view? High-quality outdoor home surveillance cameras are built to withstand even the most extreme Canadian weather, and are primarily meant to deter or catch home intruders. A noticeable but aesthetically pleasing security camera placed near the front door and driveway can scare off burglars before they even attempt a break-in. Indoor home surveillance cameras, on the other hand, are primarily used for observing people you let inside your home while you are away, including babysitters, house sitters and construction workers. They won’t serve as a deterrent for people outside the home breaking in, but gives you a clearer picture of what’s going on inside your home when you’re not there.
Indoor security cameras also are a great help when and if your alarm system is triggered. When your alarms go off and your monitoring company contacts you, asking if they should call the police, you’ll be able to check the feed from your cameras and determine if someone has broken in or not.
Individual Cameras v. Multi-Room Setups
You also have to determine the size of your security camera system, based on your budget and need. You can get individual cameras to monitor a single area—usually your front door and/or driveway. Whole-house systems help you cover a wider area, both indoors and outdoors. You also have to decide if you want visible indoor security cameras, be they the classic bullet style (which are generally not recommended for residential use) or a more inconspicuous dome style, or hidden or “spy” cameras—hidden cameras allow you to discretely film and record, say, a nanny to ensure that they’re on their best behavior even when not being watched.
There are many different features your security system can have, including the maximum length of recording time, the possibility of motion-activated recording, and so forth. Again, which specific ones you select will depend on your precise needs.
Wireless v. Wired Cameras
Wireless cameras are generally more flexible than their wired counterparts, as you can install them wherever they are needed without worrying about having a wired connection to your box. The only requirement is that they have access to an outlet for power. However, interruptions in your internet service can disrupt your wireless camera feed, especially if the storage unit is not built-in the camera. This could lose hours of valuable recording time. Wired cameras generally require more expertise to be installed, but give you a clearer picture and more reliable service without slowing down your home WiFi or requiring a strong WiFi connection
There are IP cameras, which offer more feature than any other cameras. They’re very reliable, use CAT5/6 wires, and generally have the best technology to use in a clean installation. There are TVI and AHD cameras which are compatible with older, analog cameras—they’re great for upgrading existing analog cameras, as they use the same sort of coaxial cables for wiring. These are the top three types of camera available; you should steer clear from CVI or SDI cameras; they tend to be more expensive and worse, technologically speaking.
Varifocal v. Fixed-Lens
There are a wide variety of lenses to choose from, as well. Varifocal cameras tend to be more expensive, but are more versatile, as you can adjust the focus and angle of the lens from narrow to wide angles. This allows you to adjust the area where your camera is focusing. You can also get fixed lens cameras; these are more economic options, but don’t give you the flexibility to adjust them once they are installed. It should be noted that a properly selected fixed lens camera, set up perfectly for the surveillance area, functions just as well as a more expensive varifocal lens.
You might also want to consider low-light vision or infrared technology to give you that clearer picture even in the dark. Most modern cameras offer one or both of these features. You’ll need to take into consideration the distance your cameras will need to cover to select the model that’s right for you; different cameras have different infrared ranges.
Finally, there’s the issue of resolution. Security cameras can have great high-definition pictures, including 4K, but it comes with an extra price tag attached. For most home owners, a 720P or 1080P camera will provide enough resolution to have a clear image, even after zooming in, for residential use.
There are many different options to be analyzed when you’re searching for the best security camera system for your home. Therefore, we advise you to talk with a professional security company when making your selection. They’ll help walk you through all the myriad options, looking for the best system for your specific circumstance and budget.