What to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Security Camera
Many factors go into the decision to install a security camera outside your home.
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With so many options for outdoor security cameras available today, here are a few things to consider before purchasing and installing your next security system.
Consider the number of cameras you will need for the surveillance of your property keeping in mind some cameras come with a monthly cloud storage fee.
One to two camera systems can range from $40 to $250. Two to three cameras can cost $80, $290 , $500, and $700. Four to eight cameras can range from $400 or $550 up to $1250.
There are three types of cameras to choose from including Wire-free, Wireless, and Wired.
Wire-free Wi-Fi cameras are the easiest to install using rechargeable batteries that can be charged with a USB cable. Some camera batteries last 6 months while other camera batteries last up to two years. However, they tend to drain quickly in colder weather. You can also add on a solar panel to keep your camera’s battery charged.
Wireless Wi-Fi cameras are easy to install as long as you have a power source close by and a strong Wi-Fi signal.
Wired cameras are a bit more challenging to install since they are hard-wired to both a power source and an ethernet port.
Connecting to Home Network
Most cameras use Wi-Fi to connect to your home network. This enables you to access your cameras from your mobile device or tablet.
You may already have a smart hub in your home such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to connect your smart devices to your home’s network. Check the camera’s compatibility with your smart hub. This may narrow your decision on what camera to purchase. A few other hubs available are Samsung SmartThings and Apple Home Kit.
This refers to the size of the digital image the camera produces in terms of pixels. The more pixels you have, the sharper the image.
720p can give you a fairly sharp picture and doesn’t require a lot of storage capacity. 1080p is the most common resolution and doesn’t require a great deal of storage capacity. 2k & 4k (Ultra HD) cameras are also available but they require a strong network connection and greater storage capacity, resulting in possible cloud storage fees.
Arlo Pro 2
Most cameras typically store the video in cloud storage for seven days before deleting it. If more than a week’s worth of video storage is needed, you may need to subscribe to a cloud storage plan. Some cameras store video locally using a USB thumb drive or micro-SD card. There are cameras that offer both local and cloud storage.
Other Camera Options
Even though most outdoor security camera systems come equipped with these options, a few other things to consider before purchasing are:
Field of View
The camera can view 110, 130, 160, up to a full 180 degrees.
Motion-activated floodlight cameras can add extra security to your system.
Good clear pictures at night are always a good thing.
Camera surveillance in real-time to your mobile device.
This is like an intercom. You can communicate with the person in your camera’s view and hear them as well.
You can sound an alarm from your mobile device.
Alerts to Phone
Motion detected alerts come directly to your mobile device.
Consider your climate. Most cameras can operate in temps ranging from -20° F to 120°F.