While CCTV systems have been a mainstay of commercial security for decades now, cameras are a relatively new addition to the home security market.
Home security cameras enable you to check up on your property while you’re on holiday, keep an eye on tradespeople or delivery people, check in on kids or pets while you’re not around and more.
There are plenty of reasons to consider updating your security system to include home security cameras. But there’s also plenty you should know before you consider doing it.
So, let’s have a look at some of the different options when it comes to security cameras.
How they work
Whether wired or wireless, home security cameras connect to your home internet and allow you to access the real time camera footage from your computer, smartphone or other device.Whether you’re inside your house or in another country, you can see what’s happening throughout your home quickly and easily.
Besides being able to access the real-time camera footage, the cameras will also record and store the footage on a memory card or upload the footage to the cloud or a device of your choice.
Domestic security cameras are available in a range of different styles and designs, from small portable cameras you can move around the home to heavy-duty fixed security cameras suitable for outdoor and nighttime use.
Most home security cameras have motion sensor functionality. These systems can be set to activate and take still pictures or video when motion has been detected. Depending on your personal settings, these systems can automatically contact you (via SMS or email) with a motion-detection alert.
Higher quality camera systems will also feature battery backup, which means cutting the power to your home will not deactivate your cameras.
Quick and easy to install
Until recently, security cameras have not been a major part of home security systems in Melbourne. The cost of the cameras, the need for physical monitoring and the complexities of wiring the system made them largely impractical for home use.
But with the advent of cheap digital cameras and ubiquitous wireless internet, home security cameras are now practical and easy to install.
For the basic portable indoors cameras, installation can be as simple as hooking the camera up to your home wireless and downloading an app to your phone,tablet or computer.
The higher end systems may involve professional installation as they will have to be wall or ceiling mounted, connected to mains power and hooked into your internet and perhaps your existing security system.
Factors to consider
If you’re thinking about home security cameras, there are a number of factors to consider. Depending on what your security requirements are, these factors may be more or less important to your home system.
Higher resolution cameras will give you a clearer picture over longer distances, but will be more expensive, require more bandwidth and will affect upload speeds.
For some applications, like front door intercom cameras, you may need a camera with a microphone and speaker. This option could also be useful if you’re using your camera system for child supervision.
The higher end cameras will have infrared LED systems to pick up images in low-light situations. Night vision image quality can vary greatly from camera to camera.If night vision is a key feature for your system, doing some thorough research is recommended.
There are a few things to consider here. While your wired security cameras are usually connected to mains power, a battery backup may be optional to keep them working in case of power outages. If you’re looking at portable battery powered wireless cameras, then you need to consider how much work they will be doing and what kind of battery life they have. These cameras aren’t designed for all-day use, but rather sporadic motion-triggered operation. Use in high-traffic areas will constantly trigger them and run the batteries down quite quickly. For best results, you should try to position these cameras where they have access to mains power, rather than running them off battery.
Some cameras will save all footage directly onto a memory card in the device, while others will automatically upload footage to the cloud. Memory card systems will have less storage capacity, but don’t rely on internet to upload and save the footage. Cloud storage systems will have a much larger storage capacity but have a heavier reliance on your internet connection.
Some camera systems allow the user to zoom, pan, tilt and direct the cameras via a remote control system. This expands the field of vision, but will also make the camera system more expensive and, for battery operated systems, will shorten battery life.
Some camera systems will simply record whenever the security system is activated, while others will only record when the motion detection is activated. For battery operated systems or systems will small storage capacity, motion detection is recommended as it significantly lowers camera usage.
For homes with pets, however, a motion detection system may not be practical.
Some systems can be customised to send emergency or movement alerts via text or email.
Third-party security company monitoring is also available for you home camera system. This provides extra peace of mind, but it comes at a cost.
Accessing the footage
Ideally, you’ll want to access your security system via smartphone or tablet apps. However, it’s also valuable to be able to access the camera footage via a web browser from a computer that isn’t part of your network.
If you’re looking to set up a premium home security system in Melbourne, it’s definitely worth considering home security cameras.