Security cameras: Why you need to look past appearance alone

Cameras installed outside a building should be able to withstand the ravages of the weather — rain, wind, and dust. PHOTO | FILE

Long thought to be a security gadget for homes in the leafy suburbs and high-security installations, surveillance cameras have become essential tools for solving the security calculus. As camera technology advances, their prices have tanked, making them more affordable. Getting the right cameras for your home requires more than just their physical appeal.

You need to look out for a few critical features before you buy a security camera. Do you want a wired or a wireless camera? The wired cameras have a cable, the ventricle running from the camera to the recording unit — say digital video recorder (DVR) . The cable also supplies the camera with electric power to keep it running.

For the wireless cameras, the connection is dependent on Wi-Fi. The camera cannot be too far from the modem that supplies Wi-Fi, otherwise, it will not record. Wireless cameras are powered by batteries; hence the batteries must be checked and replaced from time to time.

Video storage is a crucial consideration. Think about how you would like the cameras to store their footage. If you want to keep the footage on a DVR in the house, then a cabled camera is your option. DVR storage has one downside, if thieves break into the house and take away the DVR, they will have also carted away the footage.

Alternatively, cordless security cameras can store their recording in the cloud through a Wi-Fi connection. Saving the video in the cloud is particularly useful as you can access the recording from anywhere through the internet. If burglars smash the cameras, they can’t take away the footage; it’s saved online.

Camera resolution

Remember that cameras installed outside a building should be able to withstand the ravages of the weather — rain, wind, and dust. They should be studier than those for indoor installation.

In addition, the night vision feature is an important consideration for cameras that would be installed outside or in dark places. Without the night vision feature, it would be hard to decipher the grainy images recorded at night.

Lastly, think about the camera resolution – that is, how clear you want the recorded images to be. Full HD cameras (those with 1080p resolution) offer you a clear picture, but if you are future-focused, go for 4K resolution cameras: Such cameras capture four times better resolution.

Here is a bonus — while thinking about surveillance cameras for your home or business, don’t forget your video doorbell. A video-enabled doorbell lets you see the person pressing the bell at our gate, but they can’t see you.

Through the pinhole camera on the bell, you can have two-way communication with your visitor before you open for them. If the doorbell video is Wi-Fi connected, you can receive alerts on your phone when someone rings your doorbell, regardless of whether you are in the house or away.