If you are here and have come this far, it is because you surely need to secure your home by installing a great security camera. But today’s market is littered with a lot of security camera varieties, and they all claim to be the best.
But it may be that you go and get any video surveillance system without really looking to your needs, and in the end, is nothing that you first expected. It has happened to me.
How can you actually go and choose simply the right camera that best suits your particular situation?
In a brief, simple and straightforward way, I want to explain to you how can you make a good decision.
To make the right choice, it will be best if you consider the next points:
- Know what you are looking for
- Understand the different characteristics of a camera (lens, night vision power, image quality, etc.)
- What benefits you will really get if you manage to install the appropriate security camera
1) Knowing what security camera you are actually looking for
Security cameras really are a critical piece of our protection system. Before installing video surveillance cameras, the first thing you probably should ask yourself are these three questions:
Do I want to buy security cameras for indoor or outdoor?
Before buying any security equipment, it is essential to consider whether you will install the cameras, as there are two big possibilities: indoors or outdoors. In each one of these cases, the specifications and needs vary.
- For the inside: In this case, it is possible to get a greater variety of options, and also cheaper as interior cameras do not require as many protection systems against elements as exterior ones. It is important to choose a discreet or small model unless you want to make everyone know that you installed them, if this is your case, then you can opt for a more striking model.
- For the outside: It is important not to skimp on expenses when you are considering going to buy any number of cameras for the exterior, and it is essential to verify that the model to choose has an IP65 or IP66 certificate since this validation helps you to be sure that the model will be able to withstand changes in the weather, and will also be more resistant to certain acts of vandalism
Wire-free or wired security camera?
The next aspect that you should consider before buying a home security camera is which kind of network are you going to be using and, of course, the power supply to where you will connect all of your security cameras. This knowledge will determine if you should buy a wired camera or the wireless option.
If for you or your situation it is convenient or not a problem to set network cable in the places where you will do the cameras’ installation, both to connect them to a network and at the electrical power level, you can calmly consider purchasing a POE wired camera.
On the other hand, if the place where you are going to install it has WiFi network coverage and has a power source nearby, you could opt for WiFi or a wired camera as you consider convenient.
Finally, if you have a WiFi network but you don’t count on an electrical supply where you are considering installing the camera, then you can go sure and look for a battery-powered security camera that has a WiFi connection. This will definitely help you avoid having to make complicated connections for the installation.
In conclusion, in wired cameras, which are the most common, we will have to research the type of cables used during installation. This must have an adequate level of protection and information transmission capacity.
For their part, wireless cameras have the advantage that they can be installed anywhere without the need to extend wiring throughout the property, which could affect aesthetics.
Is it necessary to have backup batteries?
As with critical IT facilities, a battery-powered security camera can be the best available, which will allow the security cameras to continue to operate smoothly if there’s a power outage.
2) Understanding the main features of security cameras
When you search for the word security camera in google, you will get thousands of options, each with different specifications. But only a few are the ones that will fit what you need.
What is the main thing you should look for and understand?
- Alert function & 2-way audio
- Recognize video resolution
- Lens’ angle of view
- Night vision power
- Storage methods
Alert function & 2-way-audio
Today’s cameras used to increase home security can include quite valuable features, such as sending alerts and the ability to record and play sounds. In the alert function case, they use the internet to send a notification to authorized persons’ devices if any suspicious activity occurs at home. Once this alert is received, you can take the measures you consider necessary, including notifying the authorities.
Now, in the case of those cameras that incorporate 2-way audio in their characteristics. These devices include both a microphone and a speaker. This allows the recording of video and sounds and also lets you speak through them if necessary.
The second thing that you really should evaluate is the image quality of your home security camera. The best quality you can find on the market today is 33 MegaPixels (8K), and the worst is just 176 x 120 pixels. These last types of cameras are mainly analog and are in disuse.
You can digitally zoom a frame or video at higher image resolution without having a considerable quality loss. For example, if you enlarge to a full HD image, you will be lucky to see something in detail. However, you will have excellent quality if you do it from an 8 MP (4K) camera.
One detail to keep in mind is that the higher the resolution, the more space the recordings occupy, whether on a recorder or an SD card. For this reason, it is crucial to assess the recording quality, the amount of time, memory capacity, etc.
Third, you have to look at something fundamental: the angle of view. What is the field of view? The entire area that the camera lens has access to and therefore will reflect on the image. This is extremely important. Depending on what we want to record, we will be interested in a very wide or narrower angle of view.
For example: If the camera will be pointing at limited space, such as a corridor, a more closed angle view camera, such as 45 degrees, would suffice.
Open spaces: If the home camera will be monitoring the front garden of the home, a room, or any other larger space, with a camera that has a 120 degrees angle vision lens, it is possible to cover a large amount of space without the need to install more cameras.
Another of the essential details of surveillance cameras is their ability to see in the dark. At this point, you usually won’t have a problem at all. First of all, read in the description if the camera has night vision or not. In the case of having night vision, you have to look at how many meters this vision reaches.
Cameras with night vision have infrared LEDs of greater or lesser power that illuminate the dark. Our eye cannot see it, but the camera lens can. Therefore, the higher the power, the more distance.
A good way to calculate the infrared power you need in your new camera is to measure the approximate distance you want to illuminate. Then, you should check the camera description to see if it fits or if you will need to keep looking.
It is essential to think about the following: where are all the recordings going to be stored? For how long do I want to keep them? Well, if I’m not mistaken there are three main options, with their advantages and disadvantages:
- Video storage in a DVR or NVR video recorder: The calculation that you can make is as follows: 1Tb of hard disk for four cameras at 2MP gives to store approximately 20 days. It can vary greatly, depending on the recorder’s video compression and the amount of movement the surveillance cameras receive.
- Save the video from the IP Camera in a MicroSD: If you choose this option, you must take several factors into account: the size of the MicroSD memory and the amount of recording time. Many IP cameras have a maximum supported memory, let’s say 128GB. Depending on the location of the camera, quality, etc. We may reach the limit of that capacity in a relatively short time. Therefore, the best thing you can do is configure it so that you can save as much memory as possible. For example, setting a specific time to record, start cameras manually, or only when motion is detected.
- Use cloud storage: Following the constant increase in surveillance cameras’ quality, the demand for cloud storage has increased. Having a 2TB hard drive is not the same as needing a 500TB hard drive. For these needs, there is cloud storage. The operation is the same as if you try to access a video recorder remotely, but without having it physically. This service is usually paid. Although it could be somehow expensive, you can completely forget about maintenance, security, and storage.
Other relevant specifications
The main characteristics are those mentioned above. Normally, taking these aspects into account, you can choose a security camera that fits what you need at all times. But to make sure it might be appropriate to look at other minor details:
- 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi connection (usually 2.4G)
- Microphone to hear what happens
- Loudspeaker to be able to speak from the phone
- Motorized camera
- Smart people tracking
- If it is a battery-powered security camera and how long does it charge?
- Wall, ceiling, or shelf mounting
- Possibility of using with Google Assistant or Alexa
- App for Android, iOS, PC, or Mac
All of these are additional details that may or may not be essential, depending on what you may need or what you want it for.
3) What benefits will you get with a proper home security camera?
Home robberies have multiplied in recent years. Having a good security system is not a luxury, it is a necessity that any homeowner has. Thieves have set their sights on houses because they are at an easy steal and quick money.
The cameras don’t sleep, and neither do the recordings. A security camera is designed and prepared to constantly record (even at night) what is in front of you.
Although every home security camera system comes with instructions and user guides, it is always best to turn to professionals. At Arenti, we offer you quality devices at the best prices and adapted to your needs. Our team is ready to help you choose the best option and guide you every step of the way, from purchase to installation of the systems.