3 Reasons Every Home Needs Security Cameras: My Favorite 3

If you’re serious about home security you should definitely consider a security camera system.  Here are just a few of their obvious benefits.

  • Deter criminals from entering or vandalizing your home.  A lot of the time, just the threat of being recorded prevents people from doing something illegal.  So having security cameras recording the most likely entry points to your house might just be enough to stop criminals right in their tracks.  You can get at least some of the benefit by just installing a dummy camera, but the benefit of a dummy camera stops there.
  • Document evidence for prosecution and for insurance.  What dummy cameras won’t do for you is actually record a crime.  In a lot of cases, single incidents or theft aren’t investigated thoroughly, but video evidence could be enough to catch the perpetrator or at least justify a real investigation.  Just as importantly, it could also help your case when you file an insurance claim.  Insurance fraud isn’t uncommon and having video evidence of a crime should help you if your insurance company questions your claim.
  • Monitor what goes on around your house.  If you’re a parent, then you know some of the reason why you might like to know what’s going on around your house.  It might be to catch teenagers who try to sneak out.  Or it may be to identify suspicious behavior well before a crime is ever committed.  Either way, knowing what’s going on can give you great peace of mind, especially if you’re out of town.

If you’re looking into security cameras, there are some things you should consider.

What video quality to you want?  Remember, the idea isn’t to produce a high quality film here.  You’re recording for security.  And the higher the video quality that you use, the more space that video will take up on whatever device you use to store video.  That said, higher video quality has some benefits.  Better resolution will make the picture less grainy with makes people and objects easier to identify.  A lot of systems have the ability to select a resolution.  So just keep that in mind as you shop around.

How much video storage do you need?  If you’re planning to shoot in 1080p all day, every day, then you’ll want terabytes of storage space.  But really, you don’t need that.  Lots of systems have motion detection and will only film when they actually detect motion.  That can save you tons of space on storage.  Also, shooting at a lower resolution will make a huge difference.  As far as storage goes, you have a lot of options here.  Some systems will store your video in the cloud, while others will store it on an SD card right in the camera, or on a DVR setup inside the house.  So really you have tons options options for the amount and type of storage for your video.  Remember though, if you plan to use a camera that stores the video on an SD card, you’ll probably be limited to 32 or maybe 64 gb, while a DVR will usually come standard with more like 500 gb with up to 3 tb capability.

Can you see video from your phone and get alerts?  A lot of systems out there now will stream right to your phone.  You can rewind and play back right from the palm of your hand, wherever you are.  Many of these will even send you alerts if there is a lot of activity around your camera.  This can give you a lot of peace of mind, especially when you’re away from home.  If you just want the system to deter criminals and to catch them if they do break in, then this feature may not be that important to you.  If that’s the case, then you might be able to save some money by buying something without this feature.  But if you want the extra peace of mind of knowing what’s happening while you’re away, then if might be worth the extra few bucks.

Night vision? Yes.  You want this.  You can get this on most systems without breaking the bank.  It doesn’t do you any good to film a break-in during the night if all you can see is black.

Do you want sound?  Some systems have microphones to record sound.  Others also have speakers so you can speak into your phone and the camera will play the sound, like an intercom.  This can be a really cool feature, especially if you have indoor cameras and want to be able to talk to your little kids who keep sneaking out of their rooms when they should be going to bed.

Wired or wireless?  That is the question.  Wired systems are a much bigger hassle to install than wireless for obvious reasons.  Depending on how your house is laid out, you might be able to just run wires through your attic and do the whole system in a day.  On the other hand, you may end up having to call an electrician to try to run wires in your walls.  So keep this in mind when you buy a system.  You’ll save quite a bit of money and usually have a lot more video storage capability, but the trade-off is that you have to run wires.

Amcrest 960H

One of the best selling—and relatively inexpensive— wired systems out there right now is the Amcrest 960H Video Security System.  This one comes with 4 cameras and a DVR and 500 gb of storage.

They say that at high resolution this will store up to 6 days of continuous video and up to 30 days if you use the motion detection feature and lower resolution.  These are heavy duty and weather-proof with metal casings.  The downside—you have to run wires.  Still though, if you don’t mind running some wires, a system like this could be a terrific option.

Check out current pricing on Amazon right here.

D-Link Wireless Day/Night

Now, if you want to go wireless then you might be interested in the D-Link Wireless Day/Night HD Outdoor Network Surveillance Camera.  This camera won the editor’s choice award from PC Magazine and is a top seller in wireless security cameras.  It streams your video right to the internet using your WiFi and stores it for later playback.  It also has SD card backup right in the camera.

This one is ridiculously easy to setup since it doesn’t have any wires.  The downside is that you pay a bit more for it.  But D-Link cameras all link to your D-Link login so even if you mix and match cameras, you can get all the video in the same place.

If you’re thinking of going wireless, then you should really look into the D-Link Wireless Day/Night HD Outdoor Surveillance Camera.  You can get current pricing on Amazon right here.

Arlo Smart Home Security Camera

Here’s another wireless system that I think is terrific.  It’s so versatile it’s crazy!  It’s the Arlo Smart Home Security Camera System.  The cameras attach to the mounts magnetically so taking them down and even changing the camera angle is super easy.  You can even buy extra mounts so you can move cameras around at will.

This set comes with a base station that takes all the camera footage and puts it online so it’s available for you on your phone or computer.  This system is really comparable to the Amcrest system above with the added benefit of being completely wireless.  It’s just so easy to setup and use.

Check out its current price on Amazon here.

Security cameras can do a lot for you.  They should help to stop criminals in their tracks before they break in or vandalize your property.  But even if they don’t, they’ll help you get back to business as usual.  And really, they’ll help you have peace of mind, knowing that if something is going on around your home, you’re going to know about it.  And that’s worth a lot all by itself.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is a writer, real estate professional, rental property investor, and home renovation enthusiast based in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Iowa in a self-sufficient household where he learned the skills to do everything from plumbing, drywall, to basic handyman repair for everyday problems. He enjoys sharing his vast experience and his continuous learning with fellow DIY enthusiasts.

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