Home security cameras systems are relatively easy to install and usually, it's not necessary to have a contract with a security company which charges you a monthly fee to have everything up and running.
In this article, I explain the basic differences between home security systems so you can better understand and choose the right one for you.
Just visit your local store to get your kit (see some recommendation later).
How to choose a security camera system for your home (technology and types of cameras)
OK, the first thing you need to decide is which type of cameras you need for your home, so let's dive in into some details that you need to consider before purchasing a security camera system kit.
Indoor or outdoor installation?
The security cameras can be installed inside your house to monitor any indoor activity or they can protect the outdoor areas such as your front door, backyard and entry points that can lead into your house.
When choosing the type of cameras you must consider if they need to have weather protection and purchase the ones with the appropriate ingress protection rating which avoid water and dust get into the device.
Before purchasing a security camera just look for the IP rate information, there's a universal standard that tells you how good is the protection as follow:
IP65 - This means your camera is water-resistant but it's not recommended to have it in an outdoor installation where it can be exposed to the rain. You can install the camera indoor or on areas with not direct rain.
IP66 - This means your camera is protected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water and also against dust. This type of protection is enough for outdoor installation, so make sure you have it in your security camera kit.
IP67 - If you need to emerge your security camera under water that's the kind of protection you need, but usually, that's not the case unless you have some crazy idea of having your camera up to 1 meter under water for about a half hour, but that's an exceptional case and you need to have extra precaution with installation, power, etc.
You need to look for such information in your security camera kit. Sometimes it's not possible to find such IP rating information in the camera box or manual, so look for the outdoor installation indication or ask the vendor about the ingress protection.
See the example below the EZVIZ Outdoor security camera specs on Amazon, as you can see there's the information about IP66 Weatherproof.
Some manufacturers also use the NEMA standard (instead of IP rating), if you need an outdoor security camera, look for the NEMA 4 that is equivalent to the IP66.
Analog or IP technology ?
That's also a very important decision you have to make before purchasing your security camera system, so let's talk about those technologies.
I will not get into the specifics about the differences between analog and IP systems since this topic is very extensive. Just in case you want to learn more, please read the article: What are the IP camera advantages? (over analog systems).
Before choosing a security camera system installation you only need to know some basic things about the analog and IP technology, here's a quick summary:
Analog security camera
An analog security camera generates analog signals that are sent to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for digital conversion and recording. This type of camera uses a coaxial cable which is also known as coax cable. (see the picture below).
The picture shows an analog security camera using a coaxial cable to send the signal to a Digital Video Recorder note that at first, the signal it's analog and later it becomes digital, there's also a power supply for the camera.
IP security camera
A digital security camera generates a digital signals that are sent to a Network Video Recorder (NVR) for recording. This type of camera uses a UTP cable which is also known as network cable. (see the picture below).
The picture shows an IP camera using a UTP cable to send signals to a Network Video Recorder (NVR), there's no need for signals conversion since the IP camera already generates digital signal. There's also a power supply for the camera.
It's also possible to have the IP camera recording into a micro SD card or directly to a server on the Internet (cloud recording), all depends on the security camera model you are purchasing. You can also use the PoE standard to send power directly to the camera using the UTP cable (see the picture below).
PoE stands for Power Over Ethernet and it's a popular way of sending power to a network device. If you are interested in learning more about this technology, please read the article: PoE switch for IP cameras.
See the picture below with an example of a PoE Home Security Camera System kit with 4 IP cameras and a Network Video Recorder.
This kit has 4 IP PoE cameras and an NVR that comes with a 2TB internal Hard Drive for internal recording, usually it's possible to record for 30 days.
If you don't want to have a local Network Video Recorder (NVR) just purchase a security camera system that can record the video into a micro SD card or send the video stream to a cloud server (see the picture below).
See the picture below with an example of a Cloud Storage Security Camera System.
This type of IP camera can record directly to a cloud service that is offered by the manufacturer, usually, there's a Free option that allows for a period of time.
Wired or wireless security camera system?
When purchasing IP security cameras it's possible to choose a wired or wireless systems, in the previous examples you saw some of the wired ones with and without the option PoE standard. Now let's take a look at a wireless system.
This is an example of a wireless security camera system that can record in the cloud. This type of system is very easy to install and setup.
People usually prefer to install a wireless security camera system because it's easy to get it working fast without the hassle of running cables everywhere.
I hope this article can help you to decide which system is better for you.
Want to learn more ?
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Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 15+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.