What exactly is the best security camera for the household? What features should I focus on? And is a $30 camera really worth it for security purposes? Well, over the years, we’ve talked about dozens of surveillance cameras that you can find in the market. Today, we’re going to have a different but interesting session as we explorer deeper into home security cameras **exclusively**. We will cover how to choose a security camera system for your home or business monitoring.
Is a $30 Security Camera Good for Home Security?
While we have so many different CCTV systems in the market, not all of the manufacturers care for your wellbeing or that of your family. Many of them are just driven to milk your pockets dry, especially here in the States. Let’s take a security camera for outdoor, for instance, you might decide to pay a fortune hoping to enjoy a platinum experience. But much to your dismay, what you thought was inferior perform pretty much better and at a fraction of the price.
In any case, what we’re trying to say is that you can get a nice wireless security camera at or below $30. You just have to shop around comparing brand to brand and features to feature till you can find the perfect pack for you.
That said, let’s now go over some of the key things if you want to make the most with your home security camera system.
How To Choose A Security Camera System For Your Home
As was just mentioned, there are numerous types of security cameras. Wired Vs Wireless, standalone vs expandable, indoor vs outdoor, NVR vs DVR, plug-in vs battery-powered, and so on. So, you can easily be overwhelmed or end up making the wrong choice.
Anyway, here are various key tips that can help ensure you install the right CCTV in your home.
1. Does Your Home Need a Security Camera?
There are many reasons you might need to install security cameras in your home, but not all of them are crucial. If you live in an apartment, for instance, you don’t need a security camera outside your door if the owner has already installed some for the entire floor. It’s not only nonessential but also some neighbors might feel you’re intruding into their privacy.
However, you could put it inside your house if you want to keep track of everything that goes around when you’re not available. And if you share the flat with your pet or kids, you could even get a security camera with two-way audio. Hence, improving the security (with audio recording) while at the same time keeping in touch with your family while away.
Meanwhile, in a single-family home (also called a stand-alone house), you can have both indoor and outdoor security cameras. This will help you see everything that comes and goes, in which case you can get help faster in the event of a break-in.
Other top 9 benefits of security cameras in the home include:
- Provide peace of mind
- Deter and prevent theft
- Lower the risk of vandalism
- Help catch crime offenders
- Enjoy reduced insurance rates
- Fasten processing of investigation
- Improve your employees productivity
- Protect you against legal claims or fraud
- Reduce or avoid cost for hiring security personnel
2. Will One Security Camera Solve my Problems
Usually, many factors determine how many security cameras you need to effectively monitor your property. However, the two major are the size of your home and the level of security you would want to add.
For many small homes, a single PTZ security camera can cover the whole main entrance as it moves from side-to-side. But if you have enough budget at hand, you could also put more cameras in any other room/ door that you use frequently to enter or exit the house. This includes the basement, garage, and the main hallways on the second floor (if available). A security camera system with DVR or NVR should be more suitable in such a situation as you can have eight or sixteen cameras to one controller.
3. Should I Go Wired or Wireless?
How large did you say your home is? If it’s the average American size (2600 sq. feet), you can use either a wired or wireless security camera system. But if your property is bigger, a wireless signal might be ineffective for the cameras further away from the control unit. So, a wired setup is much suitable as you won’t need to worry about interference.
Ps. The wired connection we’re referring to here is not how the camera gets power, rather the means of sending data to the recording or viewing device. You can have a wired setup using analog BNC coaxial cables or PoE RJ45 cable.
Meanwhile, wireless CCTV relies on WiFi or point-to-point radio frequency to transmit the captured data. So, if your home has a lot of trees or thick solid walls, the signal might not go very far. But for the average or smaller homes, a wireless security camera is pretty much easier to install. So, you necessarily won’t need to hire a professional installer or even drill through walls.
4. What Security Camera Features Do I Need Most?
When choosing a security camera system for home or even business, knowing the camera features and capabilities is very crucial. It’s what will help you decide if a specific model is fit for your situation or not.
The 6 top features to consider when shopping for a good home security camera system are:
Is the CCTV for indoor or outdoor use?
Answering this question will help you decide on the best security camera designs to choose. Of course, either type can fit outside use, but for indoors, you may need to use a decent-looking device that blends with your decoration. Also, a stylish or hidden camera can help you monitor inside your home without being intrusive.
The various CCTV designs that you can use outdoors are bullet, dome, PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom), Box, and Turret. But if you would want to monitor inside the house, you can get a dome, PT (Pan Tilt), bullet, or hidden security cameras.
Please note, a PT (Pan Tilt) camera is a small version PTZ camera that’s specifically for indoor application. It’s usually a standalone plug-in camera that you can operate via WiFi or even use for local recording to an SD card. A good example is Reolink E1 3MP Wireless camera.
Most security cameras use a plug-in wired power to operate, but others rely on batteries and even solar. Each of the three power options has unique advantages that, surprisingly, address the weakness of the other.
For instance, a plug-in security camera allows you to monitor your property throughout for as long as the power grid’s active. Therefore, you never require to think of the batteries getting depleted or having to recharge them.
On the other hand, a battery-operated security camera can be mounted in areas inaccessible to wired power. You could also use it in remote areas without electricity, such as barns, farms, and hunting cabins. But if the mounting spot has no electricity and you’re concerned about replacing or recharging the batteries, a solar-powered security camera might come in handy.
When it comes to video quality, there are three things you have to keep in mind- resolution, zooming, and field of view. If the camera has a low resolution and software-based zoom, magnifying the image will degrade the clarity. The same will result if the resolution is low and the lens has a wider viewing angle.
For general-purpose (home) use, a 1080p HD is pretty much enough, though a 2K or 4K resolution is better for main entrances.
Still, Night vision is part of the picture quality as it controls whether the sensor can see in the darkness or not. So, don’t forget to confirm the range of the infrared LED sensor and that of color night vision (if available).
Storage and recording
Would you like CCTV with a recurring monthly subscription? If the answer is NO, then you need a security camera system that has either free cloud or can store footage locally to a hard drive or SD card. But for the best, you can choose a system that supports both local and cloud storage so that you can have an active option in case one fails.
We can all agree the video surveillance tech we’re having now is far much better than that of the mid-1900s or even two decades ago. For a model, PIR motion detection has become a crucial function if you’d want your security camera to notify you when someone/ something is within. And since the PIR (passive infrared sensor) uses heat to detect movements, you can get reduced false alerts without those from non-living things like leaves, twigs, or wind.
In addition to that, some cameras have advanced algorithms like person detection, facial recognition, package detection, and motion capture zones. Thus, alerting or recording only what matters most to you.
Smart Home Integration
Our best guess is that you have Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant devices in your home. So, it won’t be a bad idea to have a camera that you can add to your smart home ecosystem. It will not only enable you to control all the devices from one controller but also make your home security more fun with voice commands.
Previously, most CCTV systems required you to connect an external speaker and microphone so that you can speak. However, many brands are now integrating a mic and speaker into individual cameras, allowing audio recording and two-way talk function. While some states still limit audio recording, two-way audio has turned into a crucial feature as now one can speak with whoever facing the camera from anywhere, anytime. Moreover, an owner can use the feature to scare away a potential burglar before he burgles or vandalizes.
You may see the video for more details.
Recommended: The 7 Best Security Camera System for Home Use
Here are some of the best CCTV systems that you can get to monitor inside or outside your house.
|Camera Model||Specialty||Video Quality||View on Amazon|
|Amcrest IP-8MP Turret||Best Resolution||4K Ultra-HD||View Full Details|
|Lorex TN81828B8-NVR||Best Night Vision||4K Ultra-HD||View Full Details|
|ZUMIMALL GX1S-HD||Best for Batteries||1080p Full HD||View Full Details|
|Heimvision HM241A||Best for Wireless||1080p Full HD||View Full Details|
|ANNKE SU-M81ZA1-D||Best for Budget||2K Super-HD||View Full Details|
|Google Nest NC1102ES||Best for Apartments||1080p Full HD||View Full Details|
|Reolink RLK8-410B4-M||Best for Suburban Home||2K Super-HD||View Full Details|
At this point, CCTV is no longer for only businesses and institutions but also a basic technology for any home. It consists of an active eye and the sensors that we used to have on the doors and windows. So, you can now know when a person’s on your compound and actually see what she/ he is doing.
In any case, hopefully, our article has covered the basics you were looking to decide on buying a security camera. All the best and happy securing.