Should You Get a Home Security Camera System For Your Home?
Here, we look into what is important according to home security camera reviews and why you might want to purchase one.
What is a Home Security Camera System?
Home security cameras are created to capture live footage of events that happen in or around your home. Advancements in technology in the past few decades mean that investing in the best home security camera is no longer an expensive investment and doesn’t involve complicated installations. These days, it is very easy to get your hands on a home security camera without the hassle and without the expensive price tag.
Today, smart security cameras can easily be connected to your smartphone so that you can monitor your home whenever, wherever. The simple plug-in and play feature make even the best home security cameras accessible and easier to use than ever before.
Why Home Security Cameras are Important
There are a number of reasons as to why you should install a home security camera.
Protecting your home from break-ins and theft. This is one of the biggest benefits to installing a home security camera. The best indoor home security camera will typically send an alarm to your smartphone in order to notify you of unexpected activity. The best outdoor home security cameras share this feature with the best indoor home security cameras as well. If you happen to be a victim of a break-in, you can use the recorded footage taken by your camera in aiding the police with capturing the criminal.
Communicate With Your Loved Ones. Not only will your home security camera protect both your home and your valuables, but these devices allow you to check in with your family members while you aren’t home. Whether you wish to communicate with your partner via the two-way voice communication of you’re checking if the kids are doing their homework. Additionally, you can also keep an eye on your four-legged friends if you feel anxious leaving them at home while you’re off to work.
Those that have older parents living on their own will tell you that it’s often a concern leaving them alone for long periods, particularly those that have medical conditions. A home security camera will allow you to check in on them to see how they’re going.
Insurance Benefits. If you own a home having house insurance is usually regarded as a necessity. Having a home security camera installed in your home often means that your insurance provider will offer a discount on your policy. This is because your camera footage provides proof of devastating events such as accidents or burglaries.
As you can see, there are many benefits to owning a home security camera, but how do you know what it is you need to look for?
A Deeper Look into Home Security Camera Features
Firstly, it is important to distinguish whether you need an indoor or outdoor home security camera. This is because you will need to choose the appropriate housing. If you want an outdoor camera, you will need one that has a housing unit which is bug, weather, and dustproof. In saying that, if you decide you need an indoor camera, your housing unit will not need to be as sturdy.
You also need to consider privacy.
‘Privacy expert Kate McMullan, associate at law firm Hogan Lovells, says it’s still unclear what the implications might be for ordinary people. “You have to be very careful about how you process and store the footage you record. In particular, you must let people know that you are using CCTV, for example by putting a sign-up, and not use CCTV in areas where people would normally expect privacy. We’re still not sure how the new rules are going to impact on homeowners in practice, and how strongly this ruling will be enforced.”
If your camera is pointed directly at a neighbor’s property they could also complain that you’re compromising their privacy under the Human Rights Act. If they do, and you can’t resolve it yourselves, it could become a police matter. The ICO says that the majority of complaints they receive are where there is a dispute over CCTV cameras filming a neighbor’s property. If you live in a rented house or flat, you also need to ask your landlord before you install anything.’
The type of housing your home security camera needs depends on what you’re buying. If you are opting for a 360-degree camera, bullet housing likely won’t be the best option.
Another thing that needs consideration is where you will place your home security camera. If it is out in the open, it serves as a deterrent to thieves looking to intrude on your property. On the other hand, if your camera has cables and it is visible, it acts as an invitation for burglars to cut the cords prior to their attempted invasion.
When it comes to resolution you need to think about what you’re trying to capture. If you want to keep your home safe, it will be imperative to get a high-resolution camera. The higher the resolution, the better your quality of the image will be. At the moment, the lowest resolution available is around 420 TVLs, while the highest is approximately 700 TVLs. You’re looking for something leaning to the latter option according to home security camera reviews.
Do you Need Night Vision of Infrared?
This is one of the biggest questions when you consider your night video footage. Maybe you live in an area that is susceptible to a higher crime rate, or you’re worried about leaving your home each time you go on business trips out of the state?
Infrared and night vision allows you to focus on an image in dark or black conditions. This is because they use IR LEDs that are able to detect heat signatures for up to 150 feet away. If you have decided on an outdoor camera it is recommended that you select a model that has infrared LED technology so as to get a better view of the area you’re surveying. To the human eye, infrared is completely invisible.
Think about whether you will be filming during the day, night or even both. Some CCTV cameras are able to record in color during the daytime, however, they don’t have enough light when night falls. As such, they often switch to black and white visuals which can ultimately affect the quality of your footage.
Smart Home Security Cameras
Not unlike most gadgets, security cameras have become much more technologically advanced in the past few decades. They are now able to cover all angles of a room, recognize specific faces, learn from your day-to-day routines and detect all motions.
Wireless camera systems are much simpler to install than their cabled alternatives. Additionally, they’re much cheaper and more flexible. When you install a wireless security camera model, you will be able to position it much further away or in a much higher spot than you would if it had a cord. On top of that, wireless models require fewer tools when it comes to installation which might also save you money.
Remote viewing is almost always on offer when it comes to smart home security cameras. With around 3.5 billion smartphone users around the world, it makes complete sense that these smart models allow users to get a live feed straight to their smartphone or tablet. These are normally compatible with Apple and Android devices and all you need is to have the app installed as well as a wifi, 3G or a 4G internet connection.
To save energy, disk space, as well as money, the latest security camera models will only record footage when they detect even the slightest bit of movement. The cool thing is that the motion detectors found in these smart home security cameras are equipped with passive infrared (PIR) sensors that detect changes in heat. Additionally, you can also program them to record at particular times during the day and save those recordings to your PC.
How to Avoid Hacking
While there is no doubt that there are numerous benefits to connecting your home security camera online, it’s also indisputable that there are hackers lurking everywhere. Obviously, nothing found on your computer or online is 100% safe, and unfortunately, security cameras are also at risk.
Very few security manufacturers have avoided the embarrassment that their cameras had been hacked and controlled by those without authorization.
“Craig Shue, an associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, agrees that the hackers are likely getting Rings users’ account information from third parties (like the details used for an email account or streaming service). Using specialized software, they are then able to recycle those passwords and usernames across multiple devices, including Rings, looking for instances where the login data matches. Motherboard has reported of forums and Discord servers whose users collaborate on such hacking projects.
Shue recommends that users create strong passwords, ensure each is unique across their different accounts and devices, and change them regularly. He also recommends enabling two-step authentication on devices where possible; this adds another step to the authorization process by sending a security code to a registered email or phone number when someone tries to log into an account. Ring also recommends customers change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication.”
By far the best way to protect your home security camera system from such network hacks is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will reroute your internet connection to a server in the location of your choice and therefore masking your IP address.
Investing in a home security camera will be one of the best choices you’ve made in 2020. Not only will they allow you to keep an eye on vulnerable family members at home, but you will also be able to communicate with them as well. Another big benefit is that you will have recorded footage should any thieves attempt to break into your home. Additionally, you will most likely reap the benefits of securing a discount when it comes to your home insurance.
When choosing your home security camera system, be sure to take all the above-mentioned elements into consideration and think about what the primary purpose of your home security camera is.