Home se­cu­rity cam­era op­tions

Lesotho Times - - Property -

SE­CU­RITY cam­eras play an im­por­tant role in keep­ing your home safe. Not only does their pres­ence of­ten de­ter po­ten­tial in­trud­ers, but they can also be used to help po­lice iden­tify crim­i­nals and re­trieve stolen goods. As such, they are gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity as one of the go-to crime­fight­ing tools. But what type of cam­eras should you use, how do they work and what will they cost you?

Ger­hard Smit from Wire­less Cam­era shares some ad­vice…

1. What cam­era op­tions are avail­able on the mar­ket? Ac­cord­ing to Ger­hard, home­own­ers can choose from ana­logue or dig­i­tal cam­eras.

He says old-tech­nol­ogy ana­logue cam­eras are wired with coax ca­ble and record video data to a dig­i­tal video recorder (DVR). He says some DVR’S al­low for net­work con­nec­tiv­ity.

The cam­era is a dumb cam­era, just for im­age, the DVR does all the work.

Ger­hard says dig­i­tal cam­eras or IP cam­eras con­nect to your net­work with net­work ca­ble or Wi-fi.

He says IP cam­eras are in­tel­li­gent cam­eras, with the cam­era do­ing the think­ing. Home­own­ers can also get cam­era op­tions with SD card slots that store the data from the cam­era. Ger­hard says 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.

2. How does a wire­less cam­era work? Ac­cord­ing to Ger­hard, the most im­por­tant point to con­sider about wire­less cam­eras is that they are not all cord­less. He says most come with a power sup­ply that con­nects to a wall socket.

Ger­hard says a bat­tery will serve as a power source for com­pletely wire­less cam­eras, but may still re­quire an ex­ter­nal power ca­ble for larger bat­ter­ies and so­lar op­tions. He says 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.

Wi-fi IP cam­eras can also be used with a net­work ca­ble as an ad­di­tional op­tion. They are there­fore more ad­vanced than ana­logue cam­eras, and vary quite a bit in price.

Ger­hard says when it comes to dig­i­tal cam­eras, home­own­ers can con­nect their Wi-fi IP cam­era via Wi-fi di­rectly to their smart phones. He says 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 be a lit­tle more costly, but re­quire less equip­ment to work over Wi-fi.

3. What ad­van­tages do wire­less cam­eras of­fer? Ac­cord­ing to Ger­hard, in­stalling wire­less cam­eras that send data over a Wi-fi net­work is ad­van­ta­geous as you don’t have to in­stall data cables.

He says home­own­ers do not have to worry about light­ning, as cables trans­fer light­ing strikes to all ca­ble con­nected de­vices.

In ad­di­tion to this, Ger­hard says 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.

4. How do wire­less cam­eras fair in terms of cost and main­te­nance? Ger­hard says wire­less Wi-fi IP cam­eras are priced at around R1 500 for an en­try-level se­cu­rity cam­era us­ing an APP.

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.

Ger­hard says ide­ally, 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.

Ger­hard says when it comes to cam­era main­te­nance, sim­ply clean­ing the cam­era’s lens and dust­ing it ev­ery now and then will keep the im­age clear.

5. How to get the most out of your se­cu­rity sys­tem? Ac­cord­ing to Ger­hard, an alarm or se­cu­rity cam­era sys­tem is like a baby. He says it can­not just be in­stalled and left alone to work con­tin­u­ously.

To get the best out of a cam­era sys­tem, home­own­ers need to be test the sys­tems, some­times on a weekly or fort­nightly ba­sis, to en­sure that it func­tions well. He says 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. 6. How to keep your home safe? Ger­hard says the most im­por­tant thing to do is to take a good look at your sur­round­ing area. He says to make 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.

Se­cu­rity cam­eras play an im­por­tant role in keep­ing your home safe.

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