Buying a security camera, especially for outdoor use, can take a lot more work than you’d expect. Apart from the wide range of choices, there are also tons of factors you have to consider to make sure you only get your hands on the best one for your home.
If this is your first time to buy an outdoor security camera or you just want to make sure you are making the right purchasing decision, here are the most important things you need to consider.
A lot of homeowners, especially those who are on a tight budget, look for outdoor security cameras that are affordable and cheap. If you are one of these people, don’t expect too much from your camera. Although they can get the job done, most of them lack the features that can fully protect your home.
A low price point, most of the time, reflects low performance, average features and weak components. As a result, you might end up completely replacing the camera you’ve just set up and that can mean extra expenses.
When selecting your outdoor camera, you don’t necessarily have to buy an expensive one. Just make sure to pick one that can give you your money’s worth without compromising your security.
2. Camera Type
If you are looking for something that’s practical, choose box cameras. They are the most commonly used and they feature interchangeable lenses. For a less bulky option, pick a dome camera. This type is easier to set up and mount in different locations.
For better security, however, you can invest in cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ). Cameras belonging to this category often come with monitoring options. Some of them feature online storage where you can keep your recordings. One good example is Netgear’s Arlo Weatherproof Home Security Cameras.
3. Number of Cameras
Because the exterior of your home is bigger that its interior, you may need to invest in several cameras. You need to have one to watch over your backdoor, front gate, attic, rooftop and other parts of your home that are weak. If your budget doesn’t permit buying multiple cameras, pick one that features a wide field of vision.
4. Night Vision
Night vision isn’t just an extra feature you should be looking for in a camera; it’s actually a necessity, especially if you are frequently out of the house. Choose an outdoor camera that can produce quality videos even in the dark. Some cameras, particularly the lower end ones, tend to give out grainy and pixelated videos.
5. Subscription Fees
A lot of companies sell their cameras at an affordable price. However, the catch with these cameras is that they’ll require expensive subscription fees before you can unlock their advanced features. In the end, you’ll essentially be paying more than their upfront price.
When considering a camera’s cost, be sure to be thorough in asking about its fees. Ask how much it will actually cost, including its installation, monitoring and subscription fees.
If the camera proves to be expensive, try to look for another company that features as much functionality in its camera without the high price tag.
Although a security camera is essentially created to help keep your home secure, it can also be one of your home’s weakest spots. With the way technology works these days and how clever hackers got, it’s relatively easy for them to creep into your network and steal your valuable information.
Before buying a camera, always check its encryption. Make sure that the camera will allow you to change its default password and name to further strengthen its ability to resist hacking.
For outdoor cameras, it’s recommended that you go wireless when it comes to sending and receiving video signals. This is one good way to make sure that burglars and intruders won’t have any way to put your camera on downtime- unless it doesn’t have batteries.
Battery-operated outdoor cameras are great if you consider how easy they are to set up and mount. They require no wires which means they are less likely to catch attention. One downside, however, is the number of times you have to take them down to recharge.
If you are like most people who prefer to be able to control things even from afar, choosing a camera that can connect with an app and the rest of your smart devices at home is your best choice. In addition to convenience, choosing these features can help your camera meet your future needs, too.
Take, for example, your current place. If you live in a small place, one or two cameras might be enough. However, once you move to a bigger property, you may need to add more units. You need to ensure that your existing cameras are compatible with other brands in case you need to add both indoor and outdoor cameras.
Being passionate about spreading security awareness, Rose Cabrera spends most of her time writing safety tips and doing reviews of the best security systems. When not working, you can find her happily baking in her kitchen.