Home security camera options
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.