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How to choose the right security camera system for your needs

Several factors must be considered when choosing the system and the security cameras that will directly meet your expectations according to the use you want to make of them. We break down for you how to make the right choices. You need to consider several criteria such as; the ease of use of the device, the different qualities of image and sound resolutions, the extent of motion detection, the transmission of alerts, the confidentiality of data and their security, cameras with batteries or with wires, etc

Here are the criteria to find the surveillance camera that is right for you.

  1. You must first establish the situation that interests you for each place or space to be covered; criminals are prowling the neighborhood, there are intruders in your yard, do you want to follow your teenagers or keep an eye on an animal when you go out? here is certainly a surveillance camera system to meet your expectations.
  2. Once done, you need to understand the environment you have to deal with to install the right type of device; the space is indoor or outdoor, with or without night vision, is motion detection necessary, alarms, with batteries or with wires, and so on.
  3. Most cameras are connected to your Wi-Fi network. You can view live or delayed camera footage wherever you are, as long as you have Internet access.
  4. An alert is sent to your mobile as soon as there is a movement detected by one of the surveillance cameras. The system only records when motion is detected. You can access the video footage stored online and download it at your convenience. A monthly subscription is required and several packages are available. There is no charge normally to view the live videos.
  5. Multiple cameras offer the ability to simultaneously record video online and to a SD memory card or USB flash drive for offline viewing. The two-way audio system that is available on some cameras allows communication with a person in front of the device. The device is simple to install but you must configure the camera for the protection of your data and privacy.

Choose the right type of camera

Depending on where you want to install your monitoring device, you have the choice of three systems that all meet different needs; the indoor camera, the outdoor camera and the smart doorbell.

This camera is not made to withstand bad weather and therefore, cheaper to buy. You can monitor what’s going on at home and the two-way audio system lets you communicate with your family at all times.

Designed to withstand the rigors of the climate, this type of camera can be useful near your swimming pool, in the garage or in the garden. Although the systems are available with a connection using wires, we recommend for this type of use a battery-powered camera in order to have more options and flexibility when installing the device.

This device is designed for outdoor use and withstands bad weather. This doorbell with video allows you to see in real time who is ringing at your door. With this device, you can communicate directly with this person, receive alerts and record what is happening in front of your door.

It is essential to determine your needs before making the purchase. Finding the right camera depends on several factors that will influence your choice. If, for example, the doorbell that is already in place uses wiring then it is better to install a camera of the same type.

Most indoor cameras will be hooked up to your home’s electrical network. You need the services of a good electrician to do this job. It is easier and less expensive to install wireless cameras and place them wherever you want without the hassle of wiring. 

Battery-powered devices can last between three and six months depending on usage. You need to check the charge level and replace them if necessary.

Cameras that have infrared light, allow motion detection and video recording despite the darkness. They detect incidents both day and night. Most outdoor models have a light that turns on when motion is detected which can scare off intruders and get a color recording. The cameras do not record anything if they are not connected to the Internet. 

Cameras with SD memory card may do this automatically after you adjust the settings for this feature. Infrared recordings are useful for seeing what is happening at night but do not always offer good image quality.

Image and recording quality is important for a security camera. A higher resolution offers more clarity with better details 4k systems. On the other hand, the standard HD 1080p resolution is more suitable for data transmission and device mobility

The microphones and speakers of smart doorbells provide the best sound quality without lag during conversation compared to other types of these devices.

Someone with bad intentions could access your videos by intercepting communications between your camera and the cloud where your videos are stored. This is why you must protect your system with a password, preferably complex, to optimize your security. Default settings are acceptable on most devices as long as automatic updates are performed with proper passwords.

 It’s important to set up your user account’s security and privacy features such as two-step authentication and also, which devices can access your recordings.

Cameras and smart doorbells installed outdoors need to be able to withstand dust and water as well as the extreme temperature swings of our climate. Typically, devices can withstand temperatures ranging from -20°C to 45°C. 

Some models could operate at a minimum of -30°C and a maximum of 60°C. Cameras display the IP65 protection index. This standard means that the device has total protection against dust and protection against water jets.

As soon as your security camera detects a movement, you will receive an alert with a screenshot that shows you what is happening in front of the camera and tells you the time of the event. By clicking on the notification, you have access to the live recording or to the captured image depending on your device.

Whether you are at home or not, the smart doorbell allows you to see in real time who comes
to your door and communicate with the person being filmed. 

The detected events are grouped together in an online video library. The place and time are clearly indicated.

Your storage options

How to choose the right storage option? Several mobile applications allows you to view your recordings for free. On the other hand, some offer you paid packages

For some devices, you can view the live video capture for free from the app provided for your smartphone. Monthly plans are available for advanced features such as delayed viewing of recordings and motion detection. The plans offer very convenient options for storing videos that you can access from the mobile application or from a computer.

Without subscribing to a package, you can watch the recordings for free within a limited time of a few hours, or even up to 24 hours depending on the model. The cameras offer packages that give more access time to the videos. 

Some cameras are equipped with an SD memory card (128 or 256 GB). You will be able to view the recorded videos if the Internet is down. When full, this card erases old videos to make room for new recordings. 

Some models offer the option of storing new recordings on a USB key. An alert from the application is sent when the USB key is at full capacity. You will need to delete old videos to free up space or use a new USB key.

You can save by using cameras that use RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) or ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum). Some cameras offer these options which are less easy to configure but they allow you to send the video stream directly to your computer for viewing and save it on your digital recorder.

The monthly cost of the plans vary from $4 to $20 depending on the brand of the device, the number of cameras you have installed and the type of plan you have chosen. For example, the basic plan may offer you to receive notifications, view, save and share videos for up to 60 days for $5 per month per camera or $15 for all. 

A basic plan can cost $4 monthly per device and can include 30 days of HD resolution video backup as well as detection of packages, people, vehicles and animals. A $20 per month plan will get you recordings for an unlimited number of cameras up to 4K (ultra HD) resolution.

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