Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: July 29th, 2020
Guest Post by Taylor Starc
In recent years, the awareness about personal security has increased considerably, and as the crime rates increase around the country, more and more people are opting to install surveillance cameras in their homes.
Though installing a security camera system can be advantageous due to its ease and affordibility, many people don't install surveillance systems because they don't know how to choose the right kind of surveillance cameras for their specific needs.
So let's discuss some important things you need to know before purchasing a surveillance camera system. After reading this guide, you will be able to get the best kind of surveillance cameras according to your requirements.
1. What kind of camera do you need?
There is a wide range of surveillance cameras available in the market, and one of the first things you need to know before you install a security camera system in your home is the kind of camera you should install.
Different kinds of cameras have their specific advantages and flaws, so if you are going to choose the right one, you need to understand what your requirements are. If you are installing indoor cameras, you should go for something like dome cameras, while for outside security you can choose bullet cameras.
You also need to choose between wired and wireless security cameras. For a small home security system with only two or three cameras, you should go for wireless cameras, because they are easier to install and operate. But, if you are installing a large scale surveillance system, then you should definitely use a wired system.
2. Which lens and resolution are suitable?
Once you have determined what kind of security cameras you need, you will have to understand what kind of lens it should have and what resolution is suitable for you. The kind of lens you need will depend upon what you are using the camera for. If you want to monitor a large outdoor area, like a parking lot, you should opt for a wide-angle camera.
On the other hand, if you are using the camera to monitor a room, then a camera with a shorter focal length is required. Similarly, for a long corridor, you will require a lens with a shorter angle and a longer focal length.
As far as resolution is concerned, any modern security cameras system should be able to record HD footage at a minimum of 720p. Most cameras can do this. Still, some security cameras can record at 1080p or even 4K, so before you choose a camera, consult a CCTV video resolution comparison chart. This will allow you to make the right decision.
3. What is your monitoring and storage plan?
Once you have bought the security cameras, you need to decide on a storage and monitoring plan. This also depends upon your specific requirements. For a simple home security system, you don't need to store too much footage. A backup of even a couple of days can be enough for a home security system.
On the other hand, if you are implementing a security system in an office building or a shop, you should consider having a larger backup of footage. For a business environment, you should have at least one week of footage backed up.
There are many different kinds of storage methods that you can employ. Some modern wireless cameras have micro SD storage capabilities, while some use cloud storage. For a larger wired system, you will need to use a DVR.
Cloud storage and local SD backups are best for home security systems, while a DVR with local hard disks is better for a larger business.
4. Where should you install the cameras?
The position in which you install the security cameras is also vitally important. Now, you should know that it would be completely impractical to monitor every inch of your property through security cameras. It would be super expensive, and it will be very hard to monitor all those cameras.
Instead, you should install the cameras at the main locations like entrance and exit points, lounges, lobbies, elevators and corridors. For a simple home security system, one camera covering the front door and the porch, and another covering the backyard is enough.
Also, when you install a wired security camera, make sure that you can easily manage the wires at the installation spot. You should also make sure that the cameras are high enough that they can't be tampered with easily.
5. How many cameras will you need?
Before you implement a security system, you also need to know how many security cameras you are going to need. The number of security cameras again depends a lot on your requirements and the building you are trying to secure. For a small home, two or three cameras are more than enough; even a single camera covering the front door may be enough.
But, if you are implementing a security system for a larger office building which has multiple entry and exit points and multiple floors with elevators and separate staircases going to those floors, you will need a lot of cameras.
The number of cameras you need will affect every aspect of a security system installation, so make the decision carefully and considerably.
6. What will the system cost?
Finally, you also need to consider the cost of the security system. This includes the initial purchase cost, the installation cost, and the monthly or yearly cost you have to pay for the maintenance and monitoring of the cameras.
For a home security system, you can mostly monitor the footage of wireless cameras on your phone, and you only have to pay a small yearly fee for the subscription of the cloud storage. But, for a larger security system with multiple cameras, you may even have to hire a crew to monitor your cameras and maintain security.
All these costs need to be considered when you are deciding whether a security system is financially viable or not.
Taylor Starc is a student of software technology, in his first year at Columbia State University. His obsession with security gadgets and new technologies has made him research more and more on the respective topic. In his free time, he likes to take up writing projects to support his education. He regularly writes blogs at Mammoth Security.