Home security has always been important, but never more so than now. All of today’s gadgetry is advantageous in terms of the time and effort it saves us, but it’s also a liability because this technology is highly desirable.
Longer working weeks are now the norm, which means children and pets are often left to fend for themselves at home, or maybe they are looked after by friends, family, or neighbors.
The good news is that modern home security devices enable you to keep an eye on your house (or business) remotely, no matter where you are.
The good old nanny cam, originally designed for one very specific purpose, has become a high-tech system that provides peace of mind to parents, who can monitor their home from any Internet-connected computer or smart phone.
And the uses of such technology are endless: management at the office seeing whether employees are working or wasting time; parents making sure their nannies or babysitters aren’t stealing their property; checking up on their doggies to discover any wayward behaviour; and, of course, watching over their children.
Why? Well, you must have heard of the expression, “while the cat’s away the mice will play”?
Your teenager may be helping themselves to the contents of your drink cabinet, or perhaps they’re smoking pot? Or maybe they’re even violating your “no girls in the bedroom” rule?
While we would never recommend spying on your family when it amounts to an invasion of their privacy, there are also perfectly valid security reasons for installing cameras around the house.
For example, you might choose to set up a security camera in your parents’ home – let’s say they’re getting on a bit and you want to make sure they stay safe.
If it’s not possible for you to pop in to see them as often as you’d like, then these systems are an effective and affordable method of putting your mind at rest, and they might even save their lives.
Many different types of camera are available these days, and you don’t always need to pay for professional installation either with some of these products. They’re also cheap enough to let you monitor what’s going on all around your house.
You’ll also find plenty of flexibility, so you can set them up to meet your specific needs. For example, they can detect whether an appliance has been turned on, which is important if one of your family suffers from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t always know what they’re doing (like my grandma, who would turn on the stove in the middle of the night, completely oblivious to the fact she’d done so).
And then there are motion sensors, which will let you know if someone strays outside an area they should be.
If you have pets, you can configure the security system so that they won’t trigger a false alarm, and you can adjust the sensitivity so that insects crawling across a sensor won’t set the system off either.
So, let’s take a look at the different types of home security cameras.
Apart from esthetic preferences (e.g. colour, style), you can choose from a variety of features that will suit almost every possible need (and budget).
There are two main technological choices you need to consider:
- Wired vs. wireless
- Daytime vs. night-vision
Before we delve into these, let’s get something out of the way first…
Fake Home Security Cameras
Yes, these are essentially nothing more than an empty box you stick on your wall. They might look like the real thing, to you, and they even have reasonably convincing warning stickers on them, but they are probably aren’t going to fool a professional thief.
The good news, of course, is that they are a lot cheaper than the real deal, but trying to save a few bucks may end up costing you a lot more if this fake camera doesn’t deter a burglar. As always, you get what you pay for.
Intelligent Video Surveillance Home Security Cameras
Intelligent video surveillance cameras can be used to monitor rooms or areas where people are not meant to be, such as in hospitals. Once they detect movement there, maybe even from an unauthorized person (e.g. they may not be wearing a security tag), they can alert someone to a possible problem.
As the “artificial intelligence” built into these system advances, they may even be capable of facial recognition.
Wide-Angle Home Security Cameras
While many cameras have a fairly narrow focus, sometimes you need to monitor a much larger area, and that’s where wide-angle cameras come into their own. Historically, these have been used in stores for years, and you can identify them by their dome shape, which is crucial to them being able to obtain a distortion-free view over large spaces. (Some of these cameras cover a field that’s over 150 degrees, which is not far off half a circle.)
Wired vs. Wireless Home Security Cameras
Wired home security cameras, as the name implies, send the images to a recorder (often a computer these days) via a cable.
Wireless cameras, on the other hand, transmit the images using wireless technology (e.g. WiFi). This allows you to see what’s going on from any device that can receive that image, such as computers, smart phones, and other specific devices.
The potential disadvantage with going wireless is that other equipment (e.g. microwave ovens, cell phones) can cause interference, resulting in a grainy image. However, as encryption technology improves, this is becoming less of a problem.
Important Factors To Consider When Choosing Home Security Cameras
First and foremost, you need to think carefully about what you want the camera for, where you will need to situate it, and whether wired or wireless would be a better solution.
Also, does it matter whether the camera can be seen?
If you want to mount one outside your house, then it’s not going to be much of a deterrent if the would-be thief can’t see it in the first place.
That means you also need to think about lighting – an outside camera will either need light shining on the area it’s monitoring, or you’ll need one with night-vision capabilities (e.g. infrared), which may increase the cost.
Inside, however, a hidden camera is often a better choice – if your babysitter knows she’s being monitored, it sort of defeats the purpose.
And these days, security cameras come in all shapes and sizes. They can be hidden in everyday household objects such as clocks, teddy bears, pens, to name but a few, and they may be surprisingly small and unobtrusive.
Whatever you decide upon, security cameras are both affordable and effective at helping to keep your home and family as safe as possible.
|NETGEAR VueZone Home Video Monitoring System – 2 Camera Kit (VZSM2700)|