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What To Look For When Buying A Home Security Camera System


Home security camera systems used to be a luxury item, something only the rich would have installed in their homes. Now these systems are becoming commonplace. Many alarm companies are actually making them part of their standard packages. That being said, standalone systems are almost always better than those included as part of a standard alarm system.

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How do you pick out your home security camera system? We are going to look at some of the important aspects you need to look for.

Analog Or Digital?

Most security cameras on the market now are digital. They have a digital signal that is sent through the network. If you are buying a brand new system, it is often best to look for one that utilizes digital signals as opposed to traditional analog signals. You get a number of benefits with a digital signal such as better quality and better cables.

Wired Vs. Wireless Security Cameras

Wireless security cameras have started to appear recently from a variety of companies. A majority of wireless security cameras are not truly wireless, they still require you to have a power source. But a power source is a lot easier to setup than running wires for a security camera system. That being said, if you decide to buy a wireless security camera system, you will want to make sure that you purchase a high-quality system.

Typically, wired security camera systems get better quality and have less interference. While you might have to run cables, those cables will make the system more secure. You are not beaming out your camera signals for high tech thieves to find.

How Much Storage Can You Have?

The most basic security camera systems have fixed storage devices. You cannot change the storage and are stuck with the amount of storage you purchased. It is important to make sure your system has enough storage to keep all of the footage you need. Consider how long you want to store the footage, 1 week? 2 weeks? Etc.

A growing number of security camera systems for homes have removable hard drives. You can take out the hard drive and upgrade the size if you find you need to be able to store more data. That means you can also replace the hard drive if it fails.

How Many Cameras?

Not many systems have an unlimited number of cameras that can be connected to them. Those that do are complicated business setups that utilize servers instead of traditional DVR systems. That is overkill for your home. With this in mind, it is important to determine how many cameras you need before you buy your home security camera system. Systems come in many variations of size with most home systems maxing out at 16 cameras.

Different Types Of Cameras

We have written several full-length articles on just the different types of security cameras that are available to you. You want to make sure that you purchase the type of security camera you need for your application. Here are some of the options:

We highly recommend you check out our articles on the different types of cameras to help get a better idea of each type.

Security Camera System Features

Cameras are becoming more and more advanced, the systems that back them are advancing too. You can have any number of features added to your cameras in order to maximize their effectiveness. With that in mind, there are features you need and features you are going to want.

Here are some of the features that you need:

  • Low Light/Night Vision

  • High Definition Quality (At least 720, if not 1080)

  • High Field of View

  • Weatherproof (if outdoors)

Some of the optional features to keep an eye out for are:

  • Point, Tilt, Zoom

  • Remote Viewing (From phone or computer)

  • Ease of Hiding

  • Motion Sensing

  • Sound

  • FLIR Thermal Imaging (Heat-based imaging)

Home security camera systems are often marketed as easy solutions. That is far from the truth. Most of these systems require careful selection and then careful installation. Make sure to do your research before selecting any home security products. You are staking your home on your choice of products.

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