Security cameras are an affordable home security solution that requires minimal maintenance after the initial installation.
These systems can help you to monitor activity on your property without exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
Furthermore, CCTV cameras make it more likely to catch perps in the unfortunate event of a break-in.
We will cover everything you need to know about types of cameras, planning security camera placement, integrating security solutions to your cameras, and much more.
Types Of Security Cameras To Consider
Indoor security cameras are designed for the home's interior.
These cameras connect to a central recording device via an ethernet cable or coaxial cable.
The central recording device stores information that the security cameras pick up.
Traditional indoor cameras are of the fixed-lens variety.
They focus on one area of the home, usually the place with the most valuables.
Today, dome cameras are more or less standard for indoor use.
This option offers a 360-degree view of the area and is a more secure option than the latter type.
Outdoor cameras are typically enclosed in a weather-resistant frame to protect the unit from the elements.
The cameras are specifically designed to cover wide areas.
These cameras also apply more advanced technology to adjust to the varying outdoor light conditions.
Infrared or night vision is relatively standard for these types of cameras.
Outdoor cameras are also connected to a central recording device that stores the footage.
Motion Detector Cameras
Standard indoor and outdoor security cameras record footage 24/7.
Motion detectors are motion-activated, meaning that they only record if they sense movement.
Most of these models rely on Passive Infrared (PIR) or Active Ultrasonic technology to detect motion.
Passive Infrared systems detect an influx in infrared energy, usually in the form of heat released by warm-blooded animals such as humans.
Most cameras can be adjusted to ignore slight changes in infrared energy, so it doesn't pick up pests such as rats or squirrels, pets, and other non-threats.
Active Ultrasonic systems put out inaudible ultrasonic sound waves constantly.
The camera turns on automatically if the waves deflect off a barrier such as a human.
We talked about fixed-lens cameras that focus on a specific part of the home.
Adjustable cameras are similar, except that they move automatically at pre-set intervals to cover a wider area.
Most of these cameras also have zoom capability and can be controlled remotely.
Adjustable cameras have a motor that moves the camera in different directions.
Cameras With Wireless Technology
Increased internet connectivity has given rise to wireless cameras.
As the name suggests, they do not have a wire leading to a central recording device.
Instead, the system transmits footage in real-time to cloud-based storage via the internet.
You can view live footage or recorded footage from any location with an internet connection.
These units aren't completely 'wireless' since they still need to be connected to an electrical outlet.
Some models are battery-powered (rechargeable batteries) while others can be hooked up to a solar panel.
Wireless cameras are also called IP cameras or Wi-Fi cameras.
Security Cameras Integrated With A Security System
You may be worried that CCTV is a passive security solution that only captures a crime in progress.
Thanks to modern technology, wireless security cameras can be integrated with home security systems such as an alarm.
Many security companies also link to your cameras over the internet.
This connection allows the security company to detect a breach as soon as it happens and respond appropriately.
Additionally, your security company may have a dedicated app where you can monitor unusual activity or receive alerts in real-time in case of a break-in.
You will typically get the security cameras and alarm system installed by the security company.
Most off-the-shelf cameras, especially the analogue kind, do not integrate with other security systems like alarms.
6 Tips: Where Should Home Security Cameras Be Placed?
The whole idea behind security cameras is to cover as wide an area as possible.
More importantly, it would be best if you covered areas where intruders are most likely to gain access.
This is where proper camera placement comes in.
Indoor Security Camera Placement
1. Living Room And/Or Entertainment Room
The living room or entertainment room is a sure target for burglars.
These rooms house expensive gadgets like flatscreen TVs, gaming consoles, home theatre systems, and so on.
Make sure that you have wide coverage of these rooms.
A dome camera is ideal and will capture the entire room.
2. Hallways & Staircase
Perps will want to rummage through the house, especially if they are sure that you won't be home for a while.
Ideally, place a camera in the hallway leading to the master bedroom.
Staircase and hallway cameras will also help you to determine which rooms the intruder entered.
3. Master Bedroom
Burglars know that your master bedroom is a treasure trove.
This is where most people store jewellery, cash, firearms, and other valuables.
A security camera here will not only help to identify the perp but will also show you exactly what has been taken.
You can have an adjustable camera or a fixed-lens camera pointed towards where you think a burglar will rummage through.
Outdoor Security Camera Placement
4. Front & Back Doors
You definitely need to cover the main entrances to your home.
Most burglars prefer to enter through the front door if possible, or through auxiliary entrances such as a back or side door.
Position the camera about two meters off the ground.
This height ensures that you can capture what's going on at the door but also high enough so that the intruder can't easily break it.
Also, angle the camera slightly towards the ground so that you can easily capture the burglar's face.
5. First-Floor Windows
Burglars are also happy to climb through first-floor windows.
Position the camera such that it covers that entire side of the house.
It may not be practical to install a camera at every single window.
Also, clear any bushes or long branches that may obstruct the camera view.
Finally, a prowler can gain access to the main house through the garage.
They may also be interested in your car or its contents.
Avoid pointing the camera directly at the door.
The outside light will blur the camera's view as soon as the prowler opens the garage door.
Point the camera slightly downwards for the best effect.
You might also consider hiding the camera out of view.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What Is Better, Wired Or Wireless Security Cameras?
If you are looking for reliability, go for wired security cameras.
The cameras record throughout without interruptions or lag.
Wireless cameras are great if you are renting or planning to relocate the cameras at a later date.
You need a strong and reliable internet connection for wireless cameras to be viable.
2) What Is The Range Of A Security Camera?
The average range of an outdoor security camera is roughly 150 meters as long as there is a direct line of sight.
Indoor cameras typically have a shorter range, usually about 45 meters.
3) Should Security Cameras Be visible?
It is all up to you. Visible security cameras are likely to deter would-be burglars who would rather find a softer target.
On the other hand, a perp may damage the camera if they spot it.
A security camera protective cage will give you the best of both worlds.
The intruder will be painfully aware that they are being watched with no obvious way of destroying or disabling the camera.
4) How Many Outdoor Security Cameras Do I Need?
Most residential homes can do with 3-4 cameras.
One camera at the front door, another at the back door, and a third for any separate buildings such as a shed or detached garage.
You may also want to consider an extra camera for your first-floor windows.
5) What Is The Best Resolution For Outdoor Security Cameras?
The best resolution for outdoor security cameras is 4K or Ultra HD.
However, you will need a powerful internet connection and plenty of cloud storage space.
1080p is a good enough alternative and is the most popular option.
Consider getting a camera with night vision, preferably in full colour.
Ideally, the outdoor camera should have a night vision range of at least 8-10 meters.
As a final thought, the new technology doesn't always mean better results.
Wired cameras may be cumbersome to install, but they are super reliable.
Wireless cameras are convenient, but they require plenty of cloud storage space (that you may have to pay for) and won't work if you have a weak or no Wi-Fi signal.
Take your time to consider all the options all the while keeping your unique security camera requirements in mind.