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Security Cameras 101: Features to Look For

When it comes to choosing a home security camera, the number of options can be overwhelming. How do you know which features are important? What type of camera is best for your needs? In this article, we will discuss the basics of home security cameras and the features you should look for when making your selection. We'll also provide some tips on how to get the most out of your security camera system. So whether you're just starting or you're looking to upgrade, we're here to help you choose the right home security cameras for your needs.

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There are two ways a security camera system helps keep your home safe. There's live footage, which allows you to monitor in real-time any situation that might be developing at the moment. Then there's the archive footage that is stored and can be reviewed at a later date if necessary. So video storage is an essential component to be considered when getting a security camera system.

Some cameras rely on local storage, meaning a memory card within the camera that stores the videos. Other security camera systems rely on a cloud-based system so that the camera transmits the footage through the network to be stored. Both have their drawbacks. With local storage, the system's capacity is finite, with cloud-based storage, it relies on Wi-Fi. There are also systems available that work with a hybrid solution, meaning it has both local, and cloud-based storage.

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Wi-Fi/ IP and Batteries

Wi-Fi, wireless, and IP cameras all mean almost the same thing. These are the cameras that use an internet connection rather than an actual wire to transmit videos. That doesn't necessarily mean that they don't need to be plugged in for the device itself to work though. That depends on whether or not it's battery reliant.

IP cameras, which stands for Internet Protocol, are digital video surveillance cameras that transmit data through Wi-Fi. It requires high-speed internet, an ethernet cable, and a router. While you need a computer to set it up, it does work independently from your computer.

Wirefree cameras, not to be confused with wireless, are cameras that need a rechargeable battery to work. It's always important to know if your security camera needs batteries and you should be careful to change them routinely.

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Wired Cameras

Wired cameras rely on, well, wires to transmit the videos they collect. It's a hardwired system that sends the footage to a central storage hub. Plus a power supply, which can use the same wire o a different one. These are great for larger areas that need to be surveilled because they connect via wire instead of relying on a Wi-Fi connection.

Cloud Features

When it comes to cloud-based storage there are many different features. What features to look for depends on your needs, but here are a few ideas:

  • Exporting and sharing videos
  • Cloud library to store important video footage for an undetermined amount of time
  • Cloud-based NVR to allow you to access the footage remotely, so you can check on things wherever you may be
  • An advanced video management system (VMS)

Easy installation

Another feature you may want to look into is a camera that is easily installed. Of course, you can pay a professional to install it for you, but if you choose to do it yourself it won't cost a penny after you purchase the equipment. Many security cameras today are fairly simple to install, they're designed to be as pain-free as possible.

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A wirefree security camera is far more portable than one a wired one. The installation is so easy that anybody could do it. And you can move them to another area or another home if you happen to move, just pick them up and move them. Plus, you have access to review your footage remotely through an app. However, some wirefree security camera systems sacrifice some video quality.

Monthly Fees

These cover monitoring services. That might be a professional 24/7 monitoring service or advanced features for self monitoring. This means that, in case of an emergency, you don't need to worry about calling emergency services. They will be alerted in real time if you need them.

If you choose not to use either professional monitoring or advanced features, you are then responsible for monitoring your system. And, in case of an emergency, it's up to you to call for help.

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Audio and Motion Detection Cameras

If you're worried about storage space for your footage, or battery life, you may want to choose a camera with audio and motion detection. These security cameras work by recording when they detect suspicious activity, rather than working 24/7. You can receive alerts on your phone if something is detected while you're not at home.

There are many options to choose from when buying a security camera. And it can get confusing. Make sure you figure out what works best for you and choose accordingly. There are features that may not be that important to you and others that could be vital. It all depends on the space that you're trying to protect and what you're most comfortable with.

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