How To Choose Home Security Cameras – The Complete Guide

Are you thinking of options that provide home security? Security cameras are an excellent place to start. It is okay if you get confused in the world of home security systems. There are several acronyms - CCTV, DVR, NVR, WIFI, and a range of devices. Do not worry! We are here to help you. Read on to know more about home security cameras in detail.
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Since there are multiple factors to be considered when choosing a security camera, we have created an easy guide that will simply walk you through the process. Let us begin. 

Types of Home Security Cameras

The classification is made based on three factors. They include:

  1. By location: This implies the location of their installation – home/business
  2. By power: This is related to the way in which the cameras are powered
  3. By connectivity: If they require Wi-Fi, cellular, landline, or battery backup
  4. By way of recording footage
  5. By their shape

By Location

Most people have their needs listed out. and this makes the selection process a whole lot easier. In case you are looking to set up security cameras in your apartment, indoor cameras work best for you. If you plan to set them up in your office/business premises, you need to look at outdoor cameras and video doorbells. 

Indoor Cameras

Indoor cameras are most likely to be plugged in. We recommend getting an indoor security camera system that comes with cellular backup. This way they can remain on and keep recording even when there is a lapse in the power supply. Just avoid bedrooms and other private areas but cover every other place that is central to your house. 

Outdoor cameras

Outdoor cameras can be expensive compared to indoor cameras since they come with inbuilt weather-resistant features and a wide temperature range. Be it rain, hail, or snow, they can be durable. These cameras are most likely to be wireless, unlike the indoor ones. 

Video Doorbells

These are another type of outdoor cameras, explicitly used for front doors. They come as a replacement to the existing doorbell set up at the place. The video doorbells can allow people to see and talk to their visitors remotely. This is made possible through a mobile application or a smart home device. 

By Power

Wired Cameras

Wired cameras usually include the indoor camera setup. Wired cameras are advantageous in the aspect that you will never have to replace their batteries. They only need to be plugged in or wired along with all the other connections in your house. However, there is a downside to their dependency on external power. That is why we recommend cellular or landline backup to keep them on even when there is a power cut. 

Wireless cameras

These are much easier to install when compared to the wired cameras. However, battery life must be taken into consideration here. While some cameras come with rechargeable batteries, the rest need to be replaced with new ones, now and then. Some cameras are also designed in a way that they obtain the necessary power from the sun. 

By Connectivity

Digital/IP cameras

These require Wi-Fi connectivity for their functioning, which implies that they can support live streaming and motion-activated notifications. They also have an app that can control the camera remotely. 

Analog cameras

You need not worry if you do not have Wi-Fi at the location you plan to install security cameras. There are still some cameras that can function without Wi-Fi support, and they record onto a hard drive or a micro-SD card. Although you cannot live stream the footage, you can still watch it by connecting the storage device to a computer. 

By Recording

Digital Video Recorders

These are analog cameras that can function without Wi-Fi but are generally wired systems. The camera is connected to a hard drive by a coaxial cable. 

Network Video Recorders

Most of the VNRs need Wi-Fi for their active working. They are available in both wired and wireless formats.  

By Shape

Bullet Cameras

These are great in securing good coverage, and you can place them in room corners. 

Dome cameras

They can be harder to install compared to the bullet camera, but their benefit is that they cannot be stolen. Also, they provide a much wider field of view than a regular camera due to their spherical design. 

Pan/tilt/zoom cameras

These cameras are especially useful when you need total coverage of the area.  

Box

More popular during the 1800s and 1900s, they come in the shape of a box. 

Hidden cameras

The term is self explanatory. These are designed to look like other objects like pens, teddy bears, etc. 

Features to look for in a security camera

Once you have made up your mind about what kind of camera you need for your home, it is also crucial to focus on the features a security camera system should possess. Consider the following questions:

  1. Is the camera plugged in or wireless? If wireless, what is the battery life? Rechargeable or the replaceable kind? Is any solar charging facility available? 
  2. Did you check its IP rating and temperature range to know its durability?  An IP rating of at least 65 is common for outdoor cameras. 
  3. What is the resolution of the video quality provided by the camera? 1080p/720p/4K?
  4. How does the camera zoom in? Some zoom in optically while other cameras move in the direction of the object. Optical zoom is preferred as it provides videos of high resolution. 
  5. What is the field of view? It at least needs to be 120 degrees, with 180 being the maximum limit. 
  6. Does the camera show what is going on in the night? Does it support night vision? How? Does it show black and white footage or colored footage? 
  7. What about storage and recording? Storage could either be local or on the cloud. Generally, cameras with both cloud and local storage facilities are preferred. If one of the methods fails, the other can be used for backup. 
  8. Does it integrate with other home assistants like Alexa and Google? 
  9. Does it detect motion? Does it send notifications if it identifies a person moving? 
  10. Can access to the video footage be provided to more than one person? 

Summing up

Home security cameras can be useful for a multitude of purposes, and having them at your house will only add to the feeling of safety and security. Use our guide to understand and choose the right camera for your needs!

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