As crime rises in neighborhoods throughout the country, home security cameras can be your extra pair of eyes inside and outside your home. Just the presence of a home security camera can deter criminals. This assertion is backed up by a study of incarcerated burglars done by the University of North Carolina, Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology which showed that most burglars consider whether there are cameras when deciding which home to target. In addition to acting as a deterrent to crime, cameras can help keep watch over babies, childcare providers, and pets.
Kinds of cameras:
Indoor Cameras, which cost around $100, should be placed on the ground level of your home, avoiding private areas like bathrooms or bedrooms. Most indoor cameras require Wi-Fi or an internet connection, except a few that connect and record directly to a DVR or NVR.
Outdoor Cameras: Outdoor cameras cost about double and come with weather-resistant cases so that they can withstand major temperature ranges. Check the IP rating to determine how durable the camera is. Unlike indoor cameras, outdoor cameras are more likely to be wireless — meaning they’re powered by batteries and connect to Wi-F.
Factors to consider:
1. How is the video quality?
Identifying important details such as license plates or faces is only possible with a detailed, clear camera. The most important feature on this front is HDR. Cameras with HDR take the video signal from the camera and brighten up the dark areas, while ensuring the bright areas are not difficult to see. Many cameras have a night vision mode using infrared LEDs to illuminate the area immediately in front of them. Just a few LEDS may work to light up a medium-sized indoor room, but for larger rooms and outdoor spaces, you will need multiple LEDs. A floodlight camera, which pairs bright white flood lights with cameras, may be just the thing to keep thieves away.
2. Does it detect noise or movement?
Choose a smart camera with sensors that detect noise or movement around and then issue an alert to the monitoring user. You can control and monitor them through an app on your smartphone. It also gives you access to useful features like two-way audio, smart home controls, and sharing camera access with your household. Most CCTV camera systems also capture sounds and voices of people, apart from images and videos.
3. Is it wired or unwired?
With a battery, you will be free of stringing power cables during installation, but you will still need to recharge it to keep your camera running. Batteries are nice to have in an outdoor camera, but a wired camera may be easier to manage. It can be hard to remember to change the batteries on time.
4. Do I need a security system?
A security system can boost your camera’s abilities by allowing it to work with security sensors and professional monitoring. It also costs more, including, generally, a monthly monitoring fee. As nice as a system may seem, it may be too big of an investment for some.
5. What kind of storage do I need?
A security camera is practically useless without recorded history. Local storage keeps your footage on your camera without sending any data over the Internet, making it more affordable and safer from cyber threats. However, you’ll be limited to the amount of storage on your microSD card. Another possibility is cloud storage, which saves your videos on a remote server. Some cameras record specific events based on the camera’s motion detection, while others offer continuous recording to capture everything. But in this case, if your camera goes offline, nothing will be recorded to the cloud.
Some top picks for security cameras:
Best Indoor camera: The Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 captures 2K-resolution video day and night with a 125-degree field of view. It is clear enough to accurately distinguish people and pets, as well as the sound of a baby crying. You can capture and store 2K-resolution video locally on a microSD card, which also includes the option of 1080p continuous recording, or you can record video onto a networked hard drive. There are paid subscriptions to the Eufy Cloud service ($3 per month or $30 per year per camera).
Best Outdoor camera: The Arlo Pro 4 brings together video performance, specialized alerts, and easy installation. You have to subscribe to Arlo Secure (starting at $5 per month) to record clips and distinguish between people, pets, packages, and vehicles. However, it delivers clear 2K video day and night—including color video. The Pro 4 can record up to five minutes of continuous motion, though if the camera runs often, it can quickly drain the battery. The Arlo Pro 4 also offers a 24/7 recording option at a higher subscription fee.
Best DIY Security System: Smart DIY security systems are usually easy to install and allow you to pay for a monitoring plan only when you want it. According to Wirecutter, Ring offers the Ring Alarm Pro, which includes a built-in Eero Wi-Fi 6 router, so you can replace your standard router, depending on your service, or create a mesh network to improve your Wi-Fi’s speed for security cameras and other smart-home devices around the house. It also creates a cellular backup web connection when your power or internet goes down. It has multiple features such as door and window sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and several types of hardwired and battery-operated doorbells and cameras.