Years ago, people viewed home security systems as an unnecessary hassle. Now, they've become the first line of defense against possible home invaders. Whether you're concerned about your family's well-being or want to secure your valuables – home security devices are the way to go.
Home Security Devices & Features
Not too long ago, security alarms were the best option in terms of residential safety. Now, individuals have their pick of the lot as far as security devices are concerned. From wireless technology to smart home hubs, home security is an entirely different ball game. The following are some of the more sought after security devices:
Security cameras are one of the most popular gadgets when it comes to home security, and it's easy to see why. Indoor security cams offer you a view of what's going on inside your residence via live feeds or recorded content. Conversely, outdoor security cameras help you monitor the grounds around your residence as a preventative measure.
Internal and External Sirens
A security siren does exactly what its name suggests. When a siren is in work mode, it's armed to go off whenever activity is detected. You can find various types of sirens on the market – some are meant to be installed indoors, while others can be placed externally. Presently, however, sirens are generally a part of a security system that's connected to a smart hub through wireless technology.
Central Hub & Storage
The central hub is an essential part of an alarm system and can be likened to its brain. While sensors help detect activity and communicate with the central hub wires or radio frequencies – it is the central hub that controls and monitors all the sensors, sounds the alarm, and communicates the relevant events to you, generally through a phone app. Central hubs may also feature a storage capacity to record events and keep track of notifications.
Some home security systems come equipped with an alarm keypad because it's required for setting up the system and arming/disarming the panel. However, some users may install an alarm keypad to secure the entryway(s) of their house. These keypads mostly supplement the overall alarm system and also conveniently provide a type of secondary on-site access point for managing it.
A panic alarm allows its user to send out a silent call for help in emergency situations. These types of alarms typically have two components – a panic button and a communication system.
The panic button is the device that a user will activate when the need arises, and for that reason, panic buttons are placed in easily reached locations that aren't visible to all.
Door & Window Contacts
Door and window contacts (or sensors) make use of magnetic fields to track movement near the sensors. When the magnetic field is disturbed by the opening of a door or window, the sensors send a signal to the alarm panel. Door and window contacts can be an excellent form of surveillance in a home security system – both as protection and a preventative measure.
Remote monitoring offers an extra layer of protection when it comes to home security. The process makes use of your internet to send images that your security cams are collecting to an external monitoring site. The brilliant part is, these external monitoring stations can respond to any suspicious activity at your premises without losing time.
Security Camera Guides & Comparisons
Types Of Security Cameras
Indoor Security Cameras
Indoor cameras are designed with the intent of covering the scenes inside your home, and because of this, they generally offer a wide range of view.
However, if you want to step up your indoor security, you can opt for PTZ cameras that provide an unparalleled 360-degree view of their surroundings. Investing in PTZ cameras also means that a single camera will be enough to cover any given area of your home.
Doorbell Security Cameras
Doorbell cameras (also known as video doorbells) are fast becoming a trend because of their versatility. This security device functions as a doorbell and a security camera. Video doorbells are fitted with a WiFi-friendly smart device and have recording capability. They also feature motion detectors and a speaker that you can use to converse with whoever is at your doorstep.
Bullet Security Cameras
Bullet cameras get their name because of their barrel-shaped construction. Unlike doorbell cameras, bullet cameras are a kind of visual deterrent and can be installed indoors as well as outdoors. This type of security camera is particularly famous for its ability to capture long-range images and the fact that its construction makes it impervious to extreme temperatures and glares.
Turret Security Cameras
Turret cameras can be recognized by their distinct eye-ball or spliced sphere shape. As a matter of fact, turret cameras are rapidly replacing bullet cameras because they can be easily adjusted and don't have any reflection issues. This type of security cam is usually preferred for outdoor areas such as driveways or backyards because they offer excellent night vision – both infrared and EXIR technology.
Dome Security Cameras
Dome cameras are renowned for their ability to offer users a panoramic view of their settings due to a moveable lens. These cameras also provide brilliant picture quality in low-light settings thanks to their dome-shaped construction. Another advantage of dome cameras is that their outer shell protects them from damage from any external elements. However, dome cameras are usually preferred for outdoor use.
PTZ Security Cameras
A pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera offers users the advantages of pan, tilt, and zoom functions. A PTZ's movement can either be controlled via a joystick via manual manipulation or a pre-set pattern through software. A PTZ camera has a wide range of coverage because it can swivel right and left. Apart from that, it can also provide an extended vertical optical range and a zoom range of up to 18x.
Believe it or not, SD cards are an option for storing data from security cams, as long as your camera supports SD cards. Although, despite being reasonable-priced, SD cards aren't exceedingly popular as a storage option due to their capacity. Additionally, SD cards aren't a viable option when it comes to outdoor cameras due to their inability to withstand harsh conditions.
Wireless Streaming & Local Storage
Users with internet protocol (IP) security cameras that record footage 24-hours a day prefer a local storage option. That's because the HD cameras tend to eat up a lot of bandwidth and can strain your internet connection.
However, one disadvantage of local storage is that your data may be vulnerable because all of it is stored in one place. For this reason, many prefer to combine local and remote storage options so that the recorded data has a backup.
Wireless Streaming & Cloud Storage
On the whole, most cloud providers do not offer direct uploads from security cameras. However, thankfully there are a few camera manufacturing companies that have started providing their cloud storage solutions for a few of their security cams.
If you're planning on setting up a security camera surveillance system, you can opt for such camera manufacturers to enjoy the benefits of easy installation and storage set up. Although, this particular option generally requires users to purchase top-tier plans to enjoy the full benefits of the manufacturing company's cloud storage solution.
Ethernet & Local Storage (DVR / NVR)
Essentially, both DVRs and NVRs can be utilized for video recording. However, both devices process data differently. A Digital Video Recorder (or DVR) processes the video data at the recorder. Whereas, Network Video Recorders (NVRs) process data at the camera and then store it in the recorder. That's also why analog cameras use DVR systems, and IP cameras use NVR.
The crucial bit to remember is that both these options should only be explored where multiple cameras are involved because they're costly and complex to set up.
If you're hunting for an outdoor security camera and don't want to deal with wiring, then your best bet is a security camera that comes equipped with replaceable batteries. The biggest advantage of this power option is that the camera is extremely mobile – meaning you can place anywhere you choose.
One of the most popular choices in this field is the Arlo Go security cam that features 720p HD resolution with WiFi capacity. And, it's powered by CR123 batteries.
Security cameras with rechargeable batteries are another first-rate option for individuals looking for a no-fuss alternative. And, the best part is there are various selections available when it comes to rechargeable security cams – ranging from lithium batteries and mAh batteries that can be powered up via adapters or solar panels.
AC plug or plugged in security cameras get their power supply from your sockets (through adapters) like most electrical appliances. Generally, most security cameras that run on this power option run on 12 voltages. However, a few 12V cameras may require a specific AMP.
Plugged in security cameras are economical, despite opinions to the contrary. The amount of power they use to function is minimal, and their power adapters are quite durable.
Power over Ethernet
Power over Ethernet (or PoE) cameras use a network cable for network connection and power. The two types of PoE are PoE+ and standard PoE. Most IP cameras make use of standard PoE, which can send up to 15 watts of electricity. Conversely, PoE+ is featured in the more powerful security cam options that need around 30 watts of electricity.
Benefits Of Security Cameras
Thus far, we've gone over the various technical aspects of security cameras in this guide. But, now it's time to focus on what you stand to gain from investing in this type of security device. The following advantages may help you make up your mind about adding a powerful security camera to your home security set up.
Be it your family or valuables; security cameras can help you protect them both. There's no telling when a law and order situation can get of hand. However, if your home is being monitored by security cameras – it'll certainly add to your peace of mind.
Moreover, security cameras also offer you the benefit of remote monitoring, which can be crucial when it comes to response time from the authorities.
Deter Break-ins & Assist Police in Apprehending Criminals
Security cameras are functional on multiple levels. They're not only capable of monitoring events, but their storage capacity can help identify the culprits of an invasion. Apart from that, security cams are also a visual deterrent, which means having a camera outside your home may reduce the likelihood of a forced entry.
Monitor Vulnerable Family Members & Pets
You can also use a security camera to keep an eye on the more vulnerable members of your family, such as an ill or aged pet or a toddler. Additionally, you can use your camera's live feed on your phone to watch over your family no matter where you are or to alert members who are home to impending dangers.
Decrease Insurance Premiums
With your home safeguarded by the protection of a security cam, you can even avail of the benefits of reduced insurance premiums by at least 6-10%. That's because insurance companies are more likely to offer you discounts when you have a strong security set up in place. The simple math is, the better your security system is, the lower your insurance premiums may be.
Peace of Mind
The fact of the matter is that we're all worried about the safety of our home when we leave it for whatever reason. The stress of not knowing how your family may fare in your absence can take a toll, especially if there are precious heirlooms involved.
Apart from the monetary and protection aspect, security cameras can promote more peace and tranquility in your life due to the satisfaction of knowing your home is secure.
Studies show that the presence of security cams can reduce the occurrence of crime by more than 50%. That alone should be enough incentive for the security conscious to invest in them.
Although, do keep your specific requirements in mind when you're thinking about installing security cameras. This will ensure that any camera you pick will seamlessly blend into your life without too much stress.