Thinking about augmenting your security system with a household camera or two to keep watch? Security camera installation used to be a painful process, but the task has improved considerably in recent years.
Here are several facts to help you plan your camera installation and management before you make a purchasing decision.
Security Camera Installation Facts
1. DIY Installation is Easier than Ever Before
DIY projects save money, right? But they can look very intimidating when you have a security camera installation in front of you. Even proficient homeowners may not know where to begin. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways you can save on a professional installation by tackling the project yourself. Many of these facts offer details on the DIY approach. Keep in mind that modern security systems typically allow you to build and customize your system the way you want, so you can choose whatever number and style of cameras work best in your home.
Modern setup processes also favor the do-it-yourselfer, with excellent integration with common Windows or Mac computer systems, automatic configuration, and easy-to-understand interfaces. The software side rarely presents a problem. On the physical side of installation, security camera kits typically give you whatever you need.
2. Wireless Cameras Help You Skip the Wiring Process
Wiring used to be the worst part of security camera installation. It required electrical work, digging around in crawlspaces, and even some minor renovation to ensure that cables ran from the camera to designated monitoring stations or computers. Today, home security systems focus more on wireless solutions, which removes the whole cable issue entirely.
Most major brands, from Logitech and FrontPoint to Protect America and ADT, offer wireless cameras that operate via handy batteries and wireless network connections. After all, who doesn’t have Wi-Fi in their house these days? The result is a camera that only needs a few well-placed screws to install in the right corner — or sometimes just a peel-and-stick option for the lightest cameras.
3. IP Cameras Are Your Best Modern Bet
Older cameras used RG59 industry cables to connect to monitoring systems, but if you are shopping for a household security camera these days you should look for an IP (Internet Protocol) camera instead. These cameras are designed to interface with computers to transmit images over the Internet. They offer a number of handy features, such as the ability to record video footage onto external hard drives, or allow users to log into websites remotely and view cameras (and even adjust camera position through web commands).
Wireless cameras tend to be IP cameras by default. The point here is that cameras can now connect directly to your computer software, instead of to a central security system panel.
4. You Can Go Big – or Small
If you want, you can order multiple types of cameras to install throughout your home – although you might want to get some professional advice for a system so large. Feel free to choose one of the modern cameras with HD-quality, full-color imaging that allows you to see exactly what is going on with crystal clarity. On the other hand, you can also purchase a single, tiny camera like NetGear’s VueZone to set up a small, unobtrusive camera in a single place for simple wireless monitoring. The choice is entirely yours.
5. No Matter the Location or Conditions, There’s a Camera for You
Traditionally, the best spot for a security camera is high up in a corner where it can spot everything with minimal effort. But with so many camera types on the market, you don’t really need to worry about finding the perfect spot for the camera — just find a spot that makes sense.
With dome, swivel, dual, and rotating cameras all available, you can find a version to meet your tight-spot needs. The same is true of conditions. Plenty of cameras offer infrared filters that allow them to operate in the dark or at night as well as in the light.
6. Indoor and Outdoor Cameras Both Have Advantages
Explore both indoor and outdoor options for your security needs. Security camera installation outdoors requires a sturdier, more weather-resistant device that will probably need cables. However, it can also give you an eye on anyone sneaking around outside your home or knocking on your door.
Indoor cameras are more useful for tracking thieves that have already broken in (bad news) or keeping tabs on people you have already allowed in your home. There is no best place for a camera, it all depends on what you want.
7. Mobile Compatibility Can Help, But it Can Also Cost You
The big trend in security cameras is the ability to manage them from smartphones or tablets. This can be handy when you are on a trip or when you are using the camera as part of a broader home automation system. However, mobile automation could also add some dollar signs onto your purchase. Are smartphone capabilities that important to you?
Consider your needs carefully, and check out all of your options before making a final decision on your security camera installation.
Photo credit: lydia_shiningbrightly