A CCTV system is unparalleled by anything else for home security. There’s no denying it. There is no alternative, and nothing can replace it. If it’s your first time working with these, then there are lots of things to know about for investing in a competent home CCTV system.
For starters, there are various types of cameras available. You should make proper judgment and decide accordingly depending on your purpose and budget. There are also tons of features that CCTV cameras these days offer. You have to be thoroughly clued up about all of these before committing.
Giving you a genuine direction to help you ensure the best CCTV system for your home is the purpose of this article. There are lots of things to know about. So, stick with us till the end for a proper guideline to a professional home CCTV system.
Why Do You Need a CCTV System for Your Home?
Many people can only think of one purpose behind installing a CCTV system for their homes, and that is to catch criminal activities. While that’s the primary purpose, there are other reasons for considering a CCTV system for your home. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons below.
- Crime Deterrent
CCTV is not only fantastic for detecting criminals and criminal activities, but it also acts as a crime deterrent. Especially in premeditated thefts or robbery where the criminals spend a reasonable amount of time reckoning the ins and outs of your house, CCTV cameras can be a repelling force. Thieves can retreat in fear of getting detected and apprehended.
Also, in case of sudden thefts, the first thing criminals tend to look out for CCTV cameras. If you have a CCTV camera or two on your premises, they are highly likely to step back. Prevention is always better, and that’s what the CCTV system does most of the time.
- Identifying Criminals
If anything unfortunate happens on your property, you can still salvage something out of it thanks to the sharp eye of the CCTV camera. You can observe CCTV footage later or on the go depending on your system, to identify thieves or any suspicious individuals on your property.
You can take the help of police to run a cross-match on their database of potential criminals. CCTV cameras these days can take impressive quality pictures. So, in case of a bad neighbourhood, you can identify the thief yourself.
- Safe Monitoring of Property
You won’t have to put yourself at risk to monitor your property. You can do that from the safety of your home. Even if you are away on a family or business trip, you can keep an eye on your house and its surroundings with your smartphone or laptop. Not only can you see the footage, but also you can control, rotate or tilt the camera without going near it.
There are CCTV cameras with a built-in PA system. You can warn potential infiltrators from inside of your house without opening the door and risking yourself. You can also watch out for carnivorous animals that might attack your pets.
- Resolve Insurance Claims
Not many people think of this when purchasing a CCTV system for their home. But proper CCTV footage can be pretty influential in insurance claims. Insurance companies demand concrete evidence to resolve insurance claims in cases of a stolen vehicle, property damage, or any other case of vandalism.
CCTV footage can provide exactly that. You just need to submit the claim as early as possible because CCTV footage doesn’t last forever. Pinpoint the time of the crime, find the footage, and submit it through the proper channel; maybe consult a skilled lawyer, and you are all good.
Types of CCTV Cameras
Knowing the types of CCTV cameras is very important before purchasing. There are lots of different kinds of CCTV cameras, and not all of them are suitable for home usage. Some cameras can provide better security, but a bit overkill considering the price. So here I am going to talk about some different types that are suitable for home security:
- Bullet Cameras
The bullet camera is one of the two most used CCTV cameras that you can see in day-to-day life. It looks exactly like what we think of when we hear the term ‘CCTV camera.’ They are long, cylindrical shaped. The name comes from its cylindrical or bullet-like shape. They are totally exposed and seen from a distance, so naturally, they work as deterrents.
Due to being exposed, they are made durable and water-resistant. Bullet cameras are great for capturing footage at a distance. They are also easy to install, reposition and operate. Bullet cameras are very reasonable, and that’s why they are extensively used in home security and property management.
- Dome Cameras
Dome cameras are shaped like a dome, and that’s what gives their names. Have you ever played the popular first-person tactical shooter Rainbow Six: Siege? If you have, you are familiar with dome cameras by now. Every camera you see in that game is dome cameras. They are less visible than bullet cameras but can also act as a deterrent.
Dome cameras are slightly challenging to install. They have to be installed on the ceiling or flat horizontal surface in an upside-down position. By the same token, this makes them extremely difficult to steal or tamper. Due to its shape, it can provide a 360-degree view but not at the same time.
Any intruder won’t be able to tell which way the camera is looking, so that’s a plus point. They are suitable to use inside your house.
- C-mount Cameras
These cameras look almost the same as bullet cameras in shape. The name comes from the type of lens mount that is used in these cameras. You can change the lens of these types of cameras for covering a longer distance or maybe in case of damage. They are larger than bullet cameras and highly visible.
C-mount cameras are also very durable and can withstand extreme weather. They have an extended range of vision that can be increased. Their durability, coverage, and appearance make them suitable for home security systems. Although they are mainly used in warehouses and industries, you can use them to secure your home too.
- Day-night Cameras
As you’ve already guessed, day-night cameras can capture clear footage regardless of the lighting. They can adapt to variable lighting and weather conditions. Manufacturers use high-end imaging chips in these cameras to achieve this feat. They are durable and can function in glare, direct sunlight, or reflections.
However, one important thing to know is that day-night cameras can’t capture footage in pitch black dark. These types of cameras can only capture video images in low light or standard lighting at nighttime. The name might mislead you, thinking that it can function in total darkness, but that is not true.
- Infrared Cameras
Infrared cameras are the ones that you should get if you want video surveillance round the clock, whether in bright sunlight or pitchy dark. These cameras are usually more expensive than regular cameras. They can be worth the investment if you have something valuable in your property if you live in a high crime area or away from a locality in the middle of nowhere.
Not only in darkness, but infrared cameras can also capture footage in the presence of dust, smoke, or fog that obscures the vision. Infrared cameras use IR filters to adjust between daylight and darkness. They capture black and white images in the nighttime and colour images in the day.
There are other CCTV cameras like PTZ cameras, ANPR cameras, SWIR cameras. But those are not suitable for home-usage. They are used in highly secured places, border areas, etc., which is not our topic today.
Here is a more detailed classification of CCTV cameras that you should check out.
Features You Should Look for in a CCTV System
CCTV cameras these days boast advanced and cutting-edge features that you might’ve never heard of. The features come at a cost, and not all of them are all important. Here are some common and useful features that you should look into when buying a CCTV system:
- Connectivity and Recording
CCTV cameras can be wired or wireless. Which means they are connected to the storage via wire or wirelessly. IP cameras are used almost everywhere. These cameras are wireless, and Wi-Fi connection. They use an NVR or network video recorder, which can be accessed by smartphone or computer remotely over the internet.
You can observe live CCTV footage at any time from anywhere. Analogue cameras record using a digital video recorder or DVR, which is connected by a coaxial cable. You cannot access real-time footage from your phone. You will have to access the hard drive from a computer to see the recordings.
The storage can be either in a hard drive or in the cloud. Cloud storage is more efficient because you won’t have to worry about storage. Cloud storage service is usually provided on a monthly subscription basis, and older footage is removed after a certain period, usually one month.
Using local storage can be challenging because you’ll have to maintain them every month manually. You will also have to worry about the image quality because a high-quality image requires more space.
If you want to use cameras outdoors, they have to be durable and resilient. The cameras can be subjected to extreme weather or tampering by criminals. So, they’ll have to be strong enough to withstand the condition. For outdoor usage, bullet or C-mount cameras are highly recommended.
For using indoors, you can go for dome cameras.
- PA System
A public address system or PA system uses a built-in mic to address anyone outside from inside your home. This is an essential feature because it ensures your safety when you are engaging anyone suspicious outside.
A feature called two-way audio is used in most cameras where you can talk to the person outside. Old analogue cameras only have a speaker system.
There are two types of zooms: optical zoom and digital zoom. Optical zoom uses the lens’s movement to zooming the image, which means the lens moves closer to the object. Digital zoom uses the digital imaging technique to zoom.
Optical zoom is preferable because the image quality remains the same after zooming compared to digital zoom. Optical zoom cameras are also more costly.
Pricing depends on the camera type, features, storage, and installation. Bullet and C-mount cameras are the most affordable ones. I recommend them the most for outdoor usage. Dome cameras are slightly more expensive. You can use them inside your home.
The more features you have, the more the price will increase. Opt-out of any feature that might seem overkill. If you use a hard drive to store footage, you will have to pay no additional cost. Some companies offer subscription-based cloud storage facilities. You can check those too.
The installation charge is something you have to keep in mind because the cost is substantial. An entry-level four-camera setup costs between 400-450 dollars for installation. Eight camera setups cost less in the proportion which is around 700 dollars.
There are many advanced features like geofencing, motion detection, smart home integration, and others. But they are not mandatory and will take a toll on your wallet. You can consider those depending on your budget.
Maintenance of CCTV System
Although a CCTV system does not require any drastic maintenance, some routine checkup from time to time goes a long way. Here is some recommended maintenance for your home CCTV system:
The camera lens is the chief component of a camera to capture images. Any obstruction or malfunction in the lens shall result in blurry images or no image at all. So periodic checkup from time to time is highly recommended.
Make sure that nothing is obstructing its line of sights like tree branches, foliage, or accumulated dust. Birds might make a nest in front of the lens if unattended for too long. So, check out for those as well.
If you are using cloud storage by any provider, then you have nothing to worry about. However, in the case you are storing it on a hard drive on your computer, you may have to check that now and then.
Specific software can be used to remove old footage from the storage after a certain time. If you are not using those, you will have to commit to it manually.
CCTV cameras require a power source. Although they are connected to a separate power line for security purposes, they need electricity to run nonetheless. Wireless cameras run on battery, however. You can use rechargeable batteries or replaceable ones.
If you are using rechargeable batteries, be sure to recharge them regularly. Or, if you have replaceable batteries, monitor the charge level and replace them.
A quality CCTV system can prove to be more than it’s worth at times. It acts as a deterrent to small-time thefts or even fatal crimes. So, knowing the ins and outs of a system before investing can be worthwhile to get the best setup.
In this article, I have explained what you need to set up the best CCTV system for the proper protection of your home and why that’s necessary. I also discussed the types and the features that you should look for. So, I hope this article was helpful and provided you with the information you were looking for. Thanks for stopping by.