Home security camera options
What type of cameras should you use to keep your home safe, how do they work and what will they cost you?
Security cameras play an essential role in keeping your home safe and secure. Not only does their presence often deter potential intruders, but they can also be used to help police identify criminals and retrieve stolen goods. The cameras can be used for home and business surveillance, locally and remotely. These cameras normally include a 67-degree view angle lens and SD card slot for continuous or motion detection recording. As such, they are gaining popularity as one of the go-to crime-fighting tools. But what type of cameras should you use, how do they work and what will they cost you?
There are now cameras that send data over a wireless Wi-Fi network. Not only can the cameras be monitored, but they also offer motion detection recording for PC or Network Video Recorder (NVR).
Gerhard Smit from Wireless Camera shares some advice.
What camera options are available on the market?
Gerhard advises that homeowners can choose from analogue or digital cameras. "Old-technology analogue cameras are wired with coax cable and record video data to a digital video recorder (DVR). Some DVR’s allow for network connectivity. The camera is a dumb camera - just for image, the DVR does all the work," says Gerhard.
According to Gerhard, digital cameras - or IP cameras - connect to your network with network cable or Wi-Fi. These are intelligent cameras, with the camera itself doing the thinking.
You can even get camera models with SD card slots that store the data from the camera, but if the camera does not include an SD card slot, a PC on the network or network video recorder (NVR) can also be used to record data.
IP cameras vary in specifications such as image quality, lens sizes, voice, data storage and alarm options. All the functions and software are managed by the camera like a small computer. When it comes to digital cameras, homeowners can connect their Wi-Fi IP camera via Wi-Fi directly to their smart phones.
How does a wireless camera work?
The most important point to consider about wireless cameras is that they are not all cordless, advises Gerhard. He says most come with a power supply that connects to a wall socket. While a battery will serve as a power source for completely wireless cameras, it may still require an external power cable for larger batteries and solar options, as ultimately, the capacity of the battery will determine the working time of the camera.
There are three frequencies used to transfer wireless data. Wireless 2.4G cameras and Wi-Fi 2.4G or 5.8G cameras.
Wireless 2.4G cameras send data to a monitor and allow for a maximum of three cameras and one monitor on the wireless system. These are mostly used for wireless video intercom systems, but do not allow for internet live streaming or remote monitoring.
The Wi-Fi 2.4G or 5.8G IP cameras send data over a wireless Wi-Fi network. Not only can the cameras be monitored, but they also offer motion detection recording for PC or Network Video Recorder (NVR).
Wi-Fi cameras can also be connected to an Ethernet network, which connects to the internet and offers live remote monitoring. These cameras can also be used with a network cable as an additional option and are therefore more advanced than analogue cameras, and the price can vary from model to model. Wireless Wi-Fi IP cameras are priced at around R1 500 for an entry-level security camera using an APP.
When it comes to digital cameras, homeowners can connect their Wi-Fi IP camera via Wi-Fi directly to their smart phones. In comparison, an analogue camera requires a DVR, Hard disk Drive, Network connection, Wi-Fi router and special software to monitor one camera on your smart phone using Wi-Fi. An IP camera may cost more but requires less equipment to work over Wi-Fi. The average budget to install a security system on your property will be approximately 1% of the value of your property. This type of budget will allow for a good solution to protect your property.
What advantages do wireless cameras offer?
Installing wireless cameras that send data over a Wi-Fi network is advantageous as you don’t have to install data cables. Truly wireless cameras can be moved around the premises to cover various protection zones - today it could be in your workshop, tomorrow in a store room.
How to get the most out of your security system?
To get the best out of a camera system, homeowners need to test the systems, sometimes on a weekly or fortnightly basis, to ensure that it functions well. This is for your own protection at the end of the day, so it’s important that you know your security system well, so that you can fix any errors or setup problems yourself.
How to keep your home safe?
Gerhard says the most important thing to do is to take a good look at your surrounding area and take a mental picture of your environment like the trees, lawn, fence and garden. Intruders will normally investigate their target property prior to entering uninvited, so they may leave markers or foot prints where they jumped the fence or entered the property.
Gerhard says if you see a piece of plastic stuck in a tree, remove it immediately. These type of markers are used to communicate. If you notice unknown footprints or changes in your environment, install a security measure to get a pre-alarm warning.
Adapted from article on property24.