Security Cameras, a Good Idea…. or Creepy?
When someone first mentioned that I should have a security camera I immediately dismissed it as a creepy. I thought my guests would be bothered by it. To my surprise, not a single guest has mentioned it. One guest did make an attempt to sneak extra guests in and out of the property out of view of the camera but that is another funny story and I will save it for another time.
There are several reasons why you should have a security camera…the first obviously being for security! In any circumstance its good to know what’s going on outside of your front door and who is coming and going but even more so in a remote area. When you don’t have close neighbors and a lot of traffic in front of your house having ‘eyes’ there for you is comforting. Its also a deterrent for someone who might consider being an uninvited guest in your property.
When I was making my decision, as I do with most decisions, I made a list of pros and cons of installing a security camera.
Security Another Expense
Safety for me and my guests Hassel to install
I can see how is coming and going Creepy
I have proof if rules are not followed Still seems creepy
See when repair guy, cleaning crew Again, creepy
come and go
Avoid the ‘Creepy’ and Don’t Break the Law
I know its probably obvious but I have to say it….security cameras are only for the outdoors. DO NOT PUT A CAMERA IN SIDE OF YOUR PROPERTY. This is against the law in most places and super obnoxious everywhere.
I place my camera so it is aiming at the parking area and I can see who is entering the front door area. It gives me enough of a view to have a good idea what is happening in the front of the house and all the way up to the door.
I also think a camera should not be put in a hot tub or pool area. I know that some people will disagree with me but I just know that when I’m relaxing by the pool or in a hot tub I do not want to wonder is some creep/perv/slimeball (you can fill in your own blank) is watching me.
I want my guests to be able to relax and enjoy, not worry about whether they are on candid camera. I also recommend that you put something in your welcome book to let them know that you do have a security camera…for their security of course… and let them know where it is.
2 Basic Types of Security Systems
Wired vs. Wireless
Wired security systems are hardwired to the home, inside and/or in outside. This installation is usually more expensive and requires professional installation in most cases. Also, with a wired system you will not experience signal interference and your system is less likely to be hacked into.
Wireless cameras are user-friendly, simple to operate and easy to install. These are home automation systems that users love for the simple interface and ability to control everything remotely. The remote access control makes me feel like a technology super-hero and believe me I am a technology super-zero! I love being able to log in and see if my guests have arrived or to see how much snow we have and if my snow removal crew is staying on top of it. I also get on it just because I want to watch the snow fall or see the mountains.
However, there is definitely a downside to the wireless cameras. The wireless connection will suffer from signal interruption from time to time and they can be hacked if you don’t take precautions. Wireless security systems also provide audio and video recording of significantly higher quality than wired models. Each type of security camera has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. To me the audio is not important; I don’t need to hear anything I just want a basic image of what is happening outside my door.
Below are some of the options I considered when I was shopping for a security camera. I ended up going with the Lorex wireless and I am thrilled with it. It is basically a plug and go system. I have had it for 2 years now and I have not had a problem yet. I was concerned because my property has some pretty extreme weather. We have gotten to negative 22 degrees so far this year but it hasn’t seemed to cause a problem. The only issue I have is due to my property being remote and not having great or even good internet reception. Even with the interruptions I am still glad I have it.
Wireless Outdoor Camera: Foscam FI9803P
This Foscam camera has one of the easiest connection setups. All you do is scan the camera’s QR code with your smartphone and it is connected. You have the option as to how you’d like to store your video footage: on a hard drive or using the Foscam Cloud service for remote storage. The camera is weatherproof making it a great fit for the outdoors.
•Sends email alerts •Says it’s “wireless” but you do need cords
•App for Android and iOS •No monitor included
•Easy setup process •Price & Tech Specs
•Record footage to the hard drive or the cloud
•Great picture quality
•Good customer support
•1 Year Warranty
•Night Vision Up To 65 Feet
•70° Viewing Angle
8 Channel Camera Package: Best Vision Systems SK-DVR-DIY
This 8 channel surveillance system from Best Vision includes everything you need. No need to buy cords or a DVR, this is all included as well as other bonus items like a mouse and a remote. However it comes with four cameras so if you are wanting to maximize the space you’ll have to buy an additional four. This package is very affordable and great step up from having no security.
•500GB hard drive •Instructions could be more clear
•View remotely on smartphone or web browser
•Easy to use
Price & Tech Specs
•1 Year Warranty
•Night Vision Up To 65 Feet
4 Channel Camera Package: Zmodo PKD-DK4216
This is a great 4 channel camera package for homeowners and businesses. The cameras can be used inside or outside so you can keep tabs on all areas. Footage is kept on the hard drive and when there is an “incident” it is categorized so all you have to do is search for the date and time range to find it.
•Can be used indoors and outdoors •No monitor included•App
•500GB hard drive pre-installed •Not the best distance for night vision
•Great video quality
Price & Tech Specs
•2 Year Warranty
•Night Vision Up To 30 Feet
This is an Indoor/Outdoor SUPER HIGH DEFINITION 3 Megapixel Infrared Bullet Camera with Night Vision. 1080p High Definition Video in both the day and night. The built in infrared illuminators enable this camera to see up to 100 Feet
in 100% complete darkness! The standard 3.6mm captures wide angle view (approximately 90 degrees).
This camera comes with software to install on your PC for Remote Internet and Cell Phone Viewing. Each camera comes with Free IP Software for your PC, Cell Phone, and Tablet for Remote Internet Viewing. The software includes features such as motion detection, 24/7 recording, scheduled recording, digital snapshots, and more. You will be able to view your cameras on the Internet, Cell, Pads, and many other Internet Enabled Devices.
This IP Cameras has what is referred to as Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE is a technology that integrates power and video into a standard CAT5 data wire (Ethernet cable). In other words, you do not need to have extra power outlets for the cameras. Power and video is delivered through one CAT5 wire, making installation simple, clean, and easy.
•1/3″ 3 Megapixel Progressive Scan Aptina CMOS Image Sensor
•High Performance Ambarella Series DSP
•H.264 And MJPEG Dual-Stream Encoding
•3.6mm Fixed Lens
•30m Max IR LED Distance
•DWDR, HLC, BLC
•IP66 Weather Proof Ingress Protection
•12vDC / PoE (802.3af)
•Access via Web Browser, CMS (PSS) & SmartPhone (G4SS)
LaView IP 1080P HD
100 ft Night Vision Built-in PoE 4 Cameras 4 Channel NVR Security Camera System with 1TB and 4 of 2MP Bullet Cam Surveillance.
About $499 at Walmart
LaView’s 4-Channel 1080P IP System is premium quality IP surveillance in an affordable package. With auto-adjusted high definition video recording, a pre-installed Western Digital surveillance drive, full power over ethernet (POE) setup, motion detection and more, you have all you need to protect your property like a professional. This durable, multi-faceted surveillance kit allows for both indoor and outdoor camera installation and switches to 100ft night vision in the dark. Easily accessible remote viewing app, available free for iPhone, Android, Mac and PC.
Lorex 4-Channel Security Camera System with Wireless Cameras
Stay connected to your property from anywhere in the world with this wireless security system from Lorex by FLIR. This system contains our renowned LH030 ECO Blackbox 3 DVR (Digital Video Recorder) and four weatherproof wireless security cameras. There is no need to run video cables with wireless cameras – simply plug them in and they will be ready to go. The intuitive interface with simple icons allows for easy and efficient security DVR programming. This system can also be accessed remotely thanks to our Stratus Connectivity app, which allows you to instantly connect to your system over the internet using a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac.
960H DVR supports up to four cameras
4 CAMERAS Four wireless security cameras
135FT NIGHT VISION Maximum night vision range
500GB HARD DRIVE
Maximum capacity 1 x 4TB hard drive
AvertX PRO Series Camera System
The AvertX PRO Series Camera System is equipped with an 16 channel NVR, (4) 2MP HD310 low profile dome cameras with Spectrum Vision and (4) 4MP HD40D mini bullet cameras. The AvertX PRO Series NVR will record and display top quality video at up to Ultra HD 4K or 8 MP resolutions. Higher resolution gives you the ability to enlarge an image and see critical details at a greater distance than before. The AvertX 4MP HD40D mini bullet cameras capture video at 2560 x 1440. Spectrum Vision True WDR allow you to see both very dark and very light areas of a scene at the same time perfect for locations with shadows or large glass doors or windows. AvertX cameras and recorders are put through the same stringent tests for durability and reliability as professional equipment to ensure peak performance and extended reliability. AvertX products are supported by our US-based PRO Team and backed by a standard two-year warranty.
•Powerful network video recorder (NVR) record 5MP video at up to 30 images per second and 4K ultra HD (8MP) cameras at industry standard rate of 15 images per second on all channels
•8TB commercial surveillance grade internal storage included, upgradable to 12TB
•4MP indoor/outdoor HD40D mini bullet cameras for tight spaces with 93° wide angle lens
•2MP indoor/outdoor HD310 low profile dome cameras with spectrum vision true WDR and black paintable snap-on cover
•Spectrum vision true WDR (wide dynamic range) compensates for uneven light conditions caused by shadows, obstructions, back light and inconsistent lighting
•Onboard microSD card slot in cameras for redundant video backup
•Integrated PoE switch in the NVR provides enough power for a variety of camera types including pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) and heated extreme cold
•Remote viewing on internet explorer, Apple computers with native app, android and Apple tablets or Smartphone with free AvertX GO app
•AvertX connect for easy remote device set up and account tools for accessing multiple NVRs remotely to view video
•Powerful surveillance tools motion detection with email alert, scheduling, recorded video search, multiple camera view
•IR night vision
•Add up to 12TB external storage using the two USB 3.0 connections
•Flexible NVR placement NVR is a manageable size (W 17.25 in. x H 3.75 in. x D 9.63 in.) and is rack mountable (2U)
•Waterproof camera connectors to simplify and lower cost of installation
•Includes 100 ft. Cat5e Ethernet cables with waterproof connectors for all camera connections, IR remote control, USB mouse, 6 ft. HDMI cable, 6 ft. Cat5e cable, camera mounting hardware
•AvertX Pro team factory phone support for the life of your system
•2 year manufacturer warranty
Masione Dummy Security Camera Flashing Light Fake Infrared LED CCTV Surveillance
Less than $10
Fake dummy camera with built in flashing light. It looks extremely realistic with the fake lens in real camera housing. Its a cheap and effective way to deter criminals. It take 2 AAA batteries and its easy to install.
As you can see there are a lot to choose from. Just think about what you want out of it before you decide. For me, it was easy. I didn’t want
to spend a whole lot, it needed to be easy to install and operate and I wanted remote live access. As you see the wired system is a lot more sophisticated but for me that was overkill.
I’d love to hear if you have other recommendations of what has worked for you and your thoughts regarding having a security camera. Please leave a comment.