Security Camera Buying Guide

Security-camera-buying-guide

Home is where the heart is, but it contains so much more than that.

Anybody who has ever lived in a house of his own knows that there are many things contained within those four walls (or more, depending on the size of your property) that you can hold in high regard.

Valuables, possessions, personalized collections – these are just some of the materials you keep within close quarters because you don’t want anyone to take them away from you. Your money is safe inside your home, and so are your jewelry, your high powered rifles, your ammunition, and most of the things you have within your vault.

But more importantly, your loved ones all live there. That’s what makes your home so important. In fact, family is what differentiates a house from a home.

And so we could not further stress the fact that your home requires protection. It needs security; it needs defense from outside forces.

These days, you can’t even rely on just one safety tool: you need layers and layers of security. You need a thick line of defense just to deter criminals. You’ll need even more to protect your loved ones from other forms of danger.

If you want to keep your family safe, you will have to invest some money on every single one of these defensive layers.

Now the first line of defense that you will need is a security camera system. This is what we will be discussing today. In fact, you’re in luck because we will be doing a comprehensive exploration of this handy gadget (or gadgets, depending on your home’s needs – which we will discuss in detail later on).

We will discuss plenty of things, including the very definition of a security camera system, how it works, what are the different types, what features you can expect from a model, what popular brands are out there, and how to pick one for your home.

Don’t worry: buying your own security camera is only difficult at first. Once you get to read the entirety of this article, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your previous, clueless self.

With that in mind, let’s begin.

What Is Security Camera and What is It For?

At its simplest, security camera systems are merely a set of high-tech cameras that were specifically designed for monitoring activity that you have no time to take notice of. They’re engineered to keep an eye on your property, so basically, it’s not just the contents of your home that they are protecting – they are also keeping a watchful eye on the home itself.

Having this kind of security in your home gives you some sort of assurance that anything – or anybody – that approaches your property will be recorded and noted. Other than just watching what happens, these machines can also give intruders an effective psychological warning. What kind of criminal would want their every move to be watched by a recording device? It unnerves them and gives them a reason to back down from a plan.

It has been proven that even broken security cameras can prevent crimes from occurring in the establishment they are installed in, simply because the crooks are intimidated by their presence.

But other than that, it can literally help you see what is going on outside of your home, even before anything bad happens. Knowing who is ringing the doorbell before opening the door is another relieving benefit of buying your own security camera.

You can also alert the authorities of a threatening advance or presence before the situation escalates. You will even have evidence to support you in court if the event does blow out of proportion.

Now, we know it could be hard to choose just one security camera system, especially with all the available options out there. But as you read on, you will familiarize yourself with the various techniques people employ when picking out a decent security camera system.

Available as either wired or wireless, multi-camera surveillance systems can be installed virtually anywhere. You can pop a bunch of security cameras all over your home – we’ll see if anyone ever tries to sneak into your house after that.

You can also opt for a minimal installation style, wherein you just place security cameras on the entrance, as well as the walkways and driveways, but since every household is constructed differently, every scenario is unique to each homeowner. Later on we’ll teach you how to assess your home’s needs as well.

Lastly, if anybody ever asks you the difference between an indoor and an outdoor security camera, you can tell them that the outdoor ones usually have a wider viewing angle in order to keep watch over large areas. The features also vary slightly, and we’ll talk about that more later on.

How Security Cameras Work:

In order to have a better understanding of how to choose the proper security camera for your home, we must first talk about how these things actually work.

To say it in simpler terms, security camera systems are installed around a certain area either using wired or wireless technology, in order to monitor and record all forms of activity that happens even when you’re not there to see it.

These machines are hooked up to a central control center, which allows the homeowner to watches and access everything the security camera sees. Recording is possible if the owner desires to access the footage at a later time. Also, these surveillance cameras are typically programmable to record at specific times, for example, when the machine detects motion, or even upon demand.

One topic you should take note of is the difference between analog and network surveillance security cameras.

Analog is the simpler, more massively appealing type of security camera, simply because it is less expensive, but also less sophisticated. These machines rely on closed circuit television, or CCTV surveillance software, wherein they are connected to a DVR or computer monitor. Using transmission cables, the DVR receives the videos taken by the security camera, which it then compresses and stores.

Meanwhile, network surveillance security cameras are a bit more hi-tech. and also equally more expensive. These models are also known as IP security surveillance systems and they have DVR capabilities built into them. This means that the security camera not only captures images and video, it also compresses, converts, and streams the said recording.

Do keep in mind that the network security cameras often come at a high resolution, but they also require a much larger bandwidth and storage for recorded footage. Plan your purchase accordingly.

Security Camera Types:

Other than just being simply divided into two kinds, security camera systems are further split into separate groups, depending on what type of machine they are.

And as outdoor surveillance cameras continue to rise in terms of popularity, more innovative kinds are being introduced every so often. This is good for all of the homeowners searching for the perfect security camera, as they can choose between plenty of different models, and still assess which one will suit their needs best.

For the purposes of this guide, we will focus on the common types first. Here is a short list of all the basic kinds of outdoor security cameras:

Wired Security Cameras – as the name implies, these machines come with delicate wires. This requires professional installation, as the security cameras need to be placed where they can meet necessary outlets. One disadvantage to this type of model is that the wires may not always be easy to hide, so intruders are more likely to spot them. Also, the wires aren’t always resistant to weather conditions and other outdoor vulnerabilities. However, this is a good choice if you want a clearer picture and better streaming than what a wireless one could offer.

Wireless Security Cameras – again, as the name implies, this type comes without wires. This is perfect for avoiding the challenge of outdoor installation, since these cameras are much easier to get up and running. These models rely on batteries instead of directly tapping onto a power source. They are also more subtle, as there are no visible wires. Additionally, relocating the security cameras is a breeze.

Wide-Angle Lens Security Cameras – almost synonymous to the term outdoor security camera system, these ones offer a wider angle in order to provide better surveillance coverage. Therefore, this lessens the number of cameras needed to keep track of every zone of your home. This is perfect for people who own bigger properties. They are ideal for backyard setups, as they can typically cover 104 degrees of movement for up to 40 feet away.

Bullet Security Cameras – these were named after their streamlined, bullet-shape exterior that allows the homeowner to keep a direct and steady eye onto a certain spot.

Dome Security Cameras – very much the opposite of bullet cameras, these are dome-shaped machines that prevent intruders from figuring out which direction the security camera is facing. This can serve as an additional deterrent, especially since crooks won’t be able to avoid the angle in which the camera is recording from.

These models come with a so-called “speed dome” variation, wherein the dome allows the security camera to spin freely and quickly, to capture a broader range of images.

Discreet Security Cameras – last but certainly not the least, these security cameras are much sneakier than their dome and bullet counterparts. Literally disguised as anything other than a security camera, these models lull criminals into a false sense of security in order to provide additional protection to the people inside your home. They can appear as a clock, a plant, an electrical box, etc.

Security Cameras Features:

Manufacturers who create new security cameras are sadly not entirely concerned about your family’s safety. Of course, they also care about the profit they get from selling these machines. And so, it’s not surprising to see a security camera that employs unique features that make it more interesting than the rest of the competition.

Here are only some of the most common features included in various security camera models.

Weather Resistance – Every outdoor security camera needs to have some degree of protection against the weather, as they will remain in place even as a storm rages on. Unfortunately, some cameras are more weather-resistant than the others. Doesn’t matter if it’s rainy, warm, snowy, or windy, these cameras will continue to watch your home and everything inside it.

Also consider buying a security camera that prevents dust, insects, and ultraviolet rays. Despite not being natural weather conditions, these things are still harmful for your security cameras and msut be prevented.

Day/Night Options – some security cameras can adjust to varying degrees of glare, reflections, backlight, and shadows. The Day and Night options allow for these sorts of adjustment.

Black, White, and Color – both options may be available commercially, but it doesn’t mean colored security cameras are any less expensive than their simple black and white counterparts. Of course, when it comes to identifying suspects color makes all the difference. Invest on this feature wisely, as you may find yourself spending less, but for a less efficient machine.

PTZ – this stands for Pan, Tilt, and Zoom. With this feature, you can have an even wider coverage of an already wide area. Ideal for large, outdoor environments, this security camera gives you the ability to move and capture different angles. These models can either be pre-programmed for a scheduled convenience, or manually operated in a remote location.

Infrared – thanks to this feature, your surveillance camera will also be known as a “night vision security camera.” This is great for nighttime outdoor security, since the camera will still distinguish shady and genuinely dark areas using infrared LEDs. Night is also the time when we become less comfortable and more vulnerable to criminal attacks. Choose a model with this feature and you can remain one step ahead of all intruders.

How to Choose One for Your Home

We will not finish this guide without giving you some valuable pointers on how to choose a security camera system for your home.

In order to do this right, you must first assess your home’s needs. Which parts of the house require constant attention? Which are most likely to be broken into? Which driveways and corridors have the least amount of lighting?

If you’re not readily aware of the answers to those questions, you should take a step outside your house and literally walk around it. Take down notes if necessary, what’s important is that you form a solid idea on what kinds of cameras you will need for which areas. Simply keep in mind all of the security camera types and features we’ve mentioned above, and assess which ones will be most helpful in keeping your property safe and under watch.

It is also helpful to take into account your family’s personal security needs. Some of your loved ones may want to keep an eye on whoever steps in front of the door to ring the bell, so you’re going to need a security camera there. Your children might be afraid of hearing strange noises outside of the house at night, so you should purchase a night vision camera that will help assure them that everything is fine.

If you want a hi-tech security camera that you can access via Wi-Fi even when you’re at work, then keep that in mind too as you purchase your own set of security cameras.

Popular Brands of Security Cameras

Despite that simple method, you may still find yourself lost when it comes to choosing the right camera, and so we’ve listed down a few of the most trusted brands that manufacture security cameras.

Do take note that these aren’t the only companies you should trust. It’s just good to have a place to start looking.

Logitech – this is a pretty popular Swiss company that has been around since at least 1981. They have been distributing headsets and webcams as well as security cameras all over the world. For starters, you can check out their Logitech Alert 750i Indoor Master – HD-Quality Security Camera System.

Swann – this Australian-based company has been around for a few decades, and their presence is becoming even more prominent in retailers nowadays. The company prides itself in “Advanced Security Made Easy.” Most of their creations can resist extreme temperatures between 4 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s definitely got good weather resistance. You can try out their Swann FULL HD (1920 x 1080) Security System, 8Ch 2TB DVR with 4 FULL HD 1080P Weatherproof Aluminum Surveillance Cameras, Motion Detection day/night (SWDVK-846004) for reference.

Defender – this manufacturing company is proud of its hassle-free and affordable security cameras that come with lifetime customer support. A lot of their cameras are small so that they can be placed anywhere undetected. If you’re curious, you can try out their Defender PX301-010 Digital Wireless DVR Security System with LCD Monitor, Long Range Night Vision Camera.

Conclusion

Choosing the perfect security camera system for your home can be an overwhelming task. It’s not actually that difficult, only there’s that pressure on every homeowner’s mind that keeps them wary of the things they buy to keep their families safe. Security is one of life’s necessities, and it is needed now more than ever, especially with the continuous rise of criminal activity in various neighborhoods.

But it’s not impossible to have the right set of security cameras placed in all the right places to deter all of the criminals.

By reading this article, you have gained valuable knowledge on how to keep your family secure. Just be sure to do some more research, only this time on specific security cameras, and you should be well on your way towards establishing the first line of your home’s defense.


Five Best Security Cameras in Amazon Best Sellers.

Discover the best Security Cameras in Amazon Best Sellers. Most popular products based on sales. Updated every 12 hours.

Bestseller No. 1
Zmodo Wireless Security Camera System (2 Pack) Smart HD Outdoor WiFi IP Cameras with Night Vision
  • Works with Alexa: Zmodo Wireless Outdoor Camera is compatible with Echo Show for voice control. (Alexa device sold separately). Please check and update your product to the latest device version in order for it to interact with Amazon Alexa.
  • Vivid 720p HD, stunning night vision: You can see crystal clear and detailed images with this high resolution security camera system. See what's happening in the dark with 24 automatic infrared lights. Up to 65ft(20m) night vision.
  • Always stay connected with timely alerts: Never miss a moment, seamlessly stream video with the mobile Zmodo APP or using your Internet browser at user.zmodo.com. Receive intelligent smartphone alerts when motion is detected.
  • IP65 Weatherproof: This weatherproof camera can be placed both indoors and outdoors, with a supported temperature range from -10℃ to 50℃. Protect every inch of your home through every season.
  • Zmodo Cloud Service - All users are eligible for a 1-month free cloud of our 7 day cloud recording plan. With the plan, you can review, save, and share footage at any time, and reduce false alerts with cloud intelligence.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, Works with Alexa
  • Works with Alexa: Ask Alexa to show your front door, kid's room, or anywhere else you have your Wyze Cam
  • 1080p full HD live stream direct to your smartphone day or night with night vision (up to 30 feet away). Works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi)
  • Motion Tagging technology detects and outlines motion in both live stream and playback video modes
  • Motion and sound detection with free rolling 14-day cloud storage. Use the Wyze App (iOS and Android) to manage and share multiple cameras
  • Magnetic base, 6-foot power cable and included adhesive metal plate let you mount your Wyze Cam anywhere - no screws required
SaleBestseller No. 3
YI Home Camera, Security Camera Wireless IP Surveillance Camera with Night Vision Activity Detection Alert Baby Monitor, Remote Monitor with iOS, Android App - Cloud Service Available (2 Pack)
  • DETAILED HD RESOLUTION VIDEO - 1280x720p HD resolution, 111° wide-angle lens to produce bright and crisp images. YI wifi camera provides complete surveillance coverage in high-definition. Digital zoom up to 4x with a simple tap on your phone
  • 24-HOUR MONITOR & REAL-TIME ALERTS - YI Home Camera provides 720p HD videos and enables you to check 24/7. With built-in high accuracy activity detection technology, wireless security camera sends instant alerts to your mobile phone
  • CLEAR NIGHT VISION - Non-invasive 940mm infrared sensor makes clear vision in the dark. Checking on your babies and the elders without disturbing at night, as baby monitor allowing parents to check on baby from their phone
  • TWO-WAY AUDIO - YI Home Camera streams real-time video of your home and family through an immersive screen and high quality two-way audio, allows you to talk with them and see if your pet is sleeping on the couch or scratching furniture while you're away
  • LOCAL and CLOUD STORAGE - Initiate a 2-way real-time conversation remotely with build-in microphone and speaker. Local storage supports up to 32GB Micro SD card besides the live stream, encrypted Secure Cloud Service is also supported(Works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks only)
SaleBestseller No. 4
YI 1080p Home Camera, Indoor IP Security Surveillance System with Night Vision for Home/Office / Baby/Nanny / Pet Monitor with iOS, Android App - Cloud Service Available
  • 24/7 Full HD Recording - F/2.0 aperture, 112 wide-angle lens, 1080p/15fps to capture moments with clear picture. Features two-way audio to allow you to receive and transmit audio from any location with a WiFi connection.
  • Enhanced Night Vision - 8 individual 940nm infrared LED's, which automatically turns on infrared (IR) in low light conditions, allowing you to see clearly in the dark.
  • Activity Alerts - Baby Crying Detection and Motion Detection features use state-of-the-art technology to detect and send notifications to your phone. Activity Alerts (7-day storage in YI Cloud) available free of charge without a microSD memory card or a YI Cloud subscription.
  • YI Home App - Acess your camera with our mobile APP anytime and anywhere. Allows sharing your camera with up to 5 family members or friends, and view multiple cameras on a single account.
  • Cloud Storage - Supports YI Cloud to avoid the risk of losing footage from a microSD memory card, and ensures all recorded video is safe, secure, and protected with the most efficient compression and highest protection of data. Local backup supports up to 32GB Class10 microSD cards with FAT32 format.
Bestseller No. 5
YI 4pc Home Camera, Wi-Fi IP Security Surveillance System with Night Vision for Home, Office, Shop, Baby, Pet Monitor with iOS, Android, PC App - Cloud Service Available
  • Records in 720p HD to capture clear images for your records and use two-way audio to communicate with loved ones, or scare off intruders. The camera uses wireless communication technology, but still needs AC power to keep it working properly.
  • 111° wide-angle lens with 940nm infrared non-invasive sensor and 4x digital zoom. See up to 3 meters in pitch black with the non-invasive infrared night vision.
  • Reliable Wi-Fi connectivity to access your camera with YI Home App. View up to 4 live camera feeds through one screen with YI Home App for PC/Mac.
  • Get one month free trial when you subscribe to YI Cloud, the best anti-theft and cost effective cloud solution. With up to 5 devices on one subscription all your footage is safe from theft and damage. All data traffic between device/App to the server are secured with financial-industry standard encryption.
  • Real-time streaming to your phone & activity alerts when motion is detected. YI Home App allows you to customize your settings according to your preferences: defined activity regions, camera sharing, customize alert schedules, and more. Available for iOS and Android. 12-month warranty included.