Home security systems are essential to keep your house, loved ones, and belongings safe. This industry has seen some significant breakthroughs, and keeping your home secure has never been so simple. But with many options to choose from, it is easy to get confused about the various features that each home security system has to offer.
In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know so that you can choose the best home security camera system for your property.
Types of Home Security Camera Systems
Wired vs. Wireless vs. Completely Wire-Free Home Security Cameras
There are three types of security camera systems. Wired, wireless and wire-free. Here are the pros and cons of each:
Wired Home Security Cameras
As the name implies, wired camera systems require a cable for their power and network connection. Wired cameras come in two types; those that get power through a power cord, and those that offer Power over Ethernet (PoE). Wired camera systems are typically used for larger properties as they can connect more than six cameras.
The most significant advantage to having a wired camera system is the reliability they offer. Since they don’t depend on wireless connectivity, they record great quality video with a steady connection. However, on the flip side, wired security cameras can go down if there is no power, which could be dangerous.
Wired security systems also require a hefty installation process and installation costs. But this is a one-time cost since wired home security camera systems are usually a long-term investment.
Wireless Home Security Cameras
Wireless security cameras differ from wired solutions because they don’t need to be connected to power, or the internet using an ethernet cable. They can send data wirelessly to the cloud, where the data is usually stored.
The advantage of having a wireless home security camera system is that the system is very easy to install because you do not need to deal with a bunch of complex cables. Wireless cameras will seamlessly connect to your WiFi.
Wireless cameras, unlike the wired systems, are limited to smaller connections, typically around six cameras. They are also dependent on your WiFi strength, and so if you live in a home where your bandwidth is constantly low, the video footage might get distorted. The issue of wireless signals can easily be resolved using wifi extenders, or multiple camera hubs.
Completely Wire-Free Home Security Cameras
Completely wire-free cameras are truly wireless cameras. These do not require a cable for power or the internet. Wire-free cameras, like those offered by Deep Sentinel, provide the most convenient and easy-to-install home security solution.
Wire-free cameras are super easy to install. They can be mounted anywhere, just as long as they can reach your homes WiFi signal. With no need to drill holes for cables, the simple installation causes no permanent damage to the walls. Plus, if you are a renter you can remove the entire camera system when you leave, and set it up again in your next home or apartment.
The best part about wire-free home security camera systems is that they work through power outages as well, since they don’t need a power connection (they’re battery powered). They will store all the video footage to a cloud server which you can access from any part of the world at any time.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Camera Systems
Indoor cameras are usually cheaper than outdoor cameras. You can place them in the areas of the house that you want to keep an eye on. It is strongly advised to avoid placing indoor cameras in private spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms. Most indoor cameras can be wall mounted or placed on furniture. But like out camera, you should be sure the camera is located to provide the best view. One inconvenient aspect of indoor cameras is that they usually require a plug-in wired power connection, but that’s easy enough to managed inside the house.
Outdoor security cameras are typically more expensive than indoor cameras, as they need to be waterproof and able to handle extreme temperatures. That said, combining 2 or outdoor cameras can provide virtually 100% coverage of your home. For most people, the outside security camera systems should ideally be wireless since it might be challenging to provide a power and internet connection outside of the house.
Cheap vs. High-End Home Security Camera Systems
If you are wondering how to choose a home security system, the first step is to plan a budget.
While the internet is filled with low-end, low cost home security systems, and frankly you get what you pay for. Inferior systems often deliver inferior video, and do not store or encrypt your footage, making your system susceptible to hacking. For something as important as home security, you should ideally get a high-end security camera system that offers excellent features, captures high-quality footage, and protects your privacy.
The price of your home security system will also depend on your needs. If you have a vastly large property, you can expect costs of up to $2000 (considering you go for a high-quality home security system. For a smaller property, your upfront charges will be significantly lower. Also with DIY home security systems like Deep Sentinel, you can do away with installation fees, but usually, you would require installation costs of around $100-$200 per camera for a hard-wired solution.
Another thing that you will need to consider when planning out your budget is the cloud storage costs. Typically, footage is not stored on the cloud for free, and you will need to have a cloud storage plan that can keep the footage safe.
11 Key Features to Look for When Buying a Home Security Camera System
The home security industry has seen many technological advancements, and the cameras coming in these days offer many unique features. We have listed down the best features available in the market. The list of features below will make your process of choosing the best home security camera system much easier:
- Event-based recording or motion activation is a feature that makes the camera start recording as soon as it detects motion. This is a great way to save power. You can turn these cameras on at night before you go to sleep so that they can record if there is any suspicious activity going on.
- Professional monitoring of your camera feeds takes your home security to another level by having live guards monitor your home. These guards will notify the authorities themselves in the event of a burglary with real-time monitoring.
- Protection zones help you select the screen area on which you need the camera to detect motion. If you have a camera looking out on the street, you don’t want it to detect the movement of every car going by. With monitoring zones, you can conveniently point out the specific sections of the screen where you want the motion to be detected.
- Smartphone alerts are a great way to keep tabs on what is going on at home if you’re out. More and more companies are offering this feature, which sends you a notification if your home security system detected any unusual activity.
- Night vision is also an important feature to have, especially for dark areas without access to floodlights. If you have cameras installed in dark places, burglaries might go undetected if they don’t have night vision; hence, this is a crucial feature.
- High-quality resolution is also essential. Cameras can now record up to 4k video. This can make it very easy to identify burglars or license plates if a theft has occurred.
- Two-way audio is also a key feature to have in a home security system. This way, you can use your voice to send burglars away, and you can also hear what is going on on the other side of the camera.
- Field of view is also something that you should consider when choosing a camera system. It would help if you have a field of view of more than 130 degrees so that you can minimize the number of cameras you need to cover one specific area.
- Smart home integrations are nice to have in a home security system. Having your camera integrated with your smart home and voice assistant makes everything a lot more convenient.
- Cloud video storage is essential to have in a home security system. It makes it very easy to access footage from anywhere. You should try to get a system that offers two-way authentication so that your footage is secure from hackers, and you should also try to minimize the footage stored. The less footage you accumulate, the smaller the storage cost. Hence, motion-detecting cameras might be a good choice.
- Artificial intelligence is another nifty feature to have in a home security system. The AI offered by Deep Sentinel identifies any unusual patterns; for example, it recognizes if someone is watching your house and alerts you to take action.
Is Professional Home Monitoring Worth the Cost?
Professional home monitoring typically costs anywhere from $60-120 per month. With professional monitoring, guards have eyes & ears on your property 24/7. This is an added layer to home security and makes your home much, much safer. If a burglar tries to break into your home, these guards can use two-way audio to prevent that from happening. They can also keep tabs on who is visiting the house.
Guards also alert the authorities immediately if something goes wrong, and the police usually take a much quicker action if guards report a crime. While it is an additional cost, having this add-on gives you much greater peace of mind. Compared to hiring on-premises guards to monitor your house, the virtual guards will do the same job at a much lower cost.
Home Security Camera Installation
Self Installation vs. Professional
Installation is another factor to consider when you are planning to buy a home security camera system. As mentioned earlier, wired camera systems have the highest installation costs, of around $200 per camera. This is because wired cameras require connection to power, as well connection to your internet network. Instead, opting for a high quality, easy to install, DIY home security system will ultimately will save you money.
Security Camera Positioning
Regardless of the type of camera system you select, having the right placement and position for your gear is paramount to its success. This simple guide for security camera positioning around your house lays out the do’s and don’ts of security camera installation and positions.
What is the best home security camera system for you?
The best home security camera system for you depends on your property’s security requirements. If you are low on budget, and need very basic security, you can go for companies like Ring and Wyze with basic self-monitoring features. These security systems provide simple protection but my personal experience is that the video takes so long to load, they can’t do much to help actually deter a crime. Plus, even if the video is instantaneous, they can’t provide protection from crimes like break ins that occur while you are asleep
If you want a top-notch home security system, you should go for higher-end companies like Deep Sentinel, which offer state-of-the-art features ensuring the best security of your home and loved ones, 24/7. Not only do high-end security systems deter a considerable amount of crime, but they also make it very easy for law enforcement to catch thieves and burglars if a crime has actually occurred.