Thank you for reading my ultimate guide to buying the best security cameras for home and welcome to the first post of the series! There are so many security cameras out on the market today, it can get quite confusing when trying to decide which one is best for you. The aim of my ultimate guide is to take you through all the features to look for in a security camera, so that you can be fully informed and make the right decisions when purchasing.
If you’re like me, our families are our number one priority, right? So, we need the right devices suitable for our homes to keep our family safe and secure. This guide will give you exactly what I would look for when researching security camera systems, and hopefully, by the end you will be fully informed and will be able to choose the best security cameras for your home.
Part one of my ultimate guide will look at indoor and outdoor security cameras, plus weatherproofing.
What can I use an indoor camera for?
The answer…there are many uses! The first that comes to mind is simply using an indoor security camera as a monitoring device when you are not home. This could be to keep an eye your home in general for that extra peace of mind. Most systems these days can notify you when they detect movement. Say someone has broken into your home. The security camera will detect this and send you a notification. You can then immediately check the camera via your computer, tablet or smartphone to see what is happening inside your home, then alert the necessary authorities.
Or another use might be to keep an eye on your pets. If you love your pets like a member of the family, then it makes sense to be able to check up on them for two reasons. One, to ensure they are ok. And two, to make sure they are not getting into mischief. Also, you may want to keep an eye on other family members while you are out. Maybe you have your teenage kids at home and they should be doing their homework rather than watching a movie.
Indoor cameras can also be handy while you are at home. For example, keeping an eye on your toddler who is playing in another room. Or even as a baby monitor during the night. As you can see, there are several uses for indoor cameras.
What about outdoor cameras, what can they be used for?
Put simply, outdoor cameras are used to monitor the outside of you home. Using a similar example, if you have an intruder hanging around outside your home, and outdoor camera will detect them before they even enter your home. Also, if outdoor cameras are easily visible, they can act as a deterrent for potential intruders. Once they see you are recording them, they may choose to move on.
Other uses for outdoor cameras can include:
- Keeping an eye on your kids while out in the yard. At my home, I cannot see the kids playing in the backyard from the main living area. Therefore, having an outdoor camera in the backyard means I can make sure my kids are not fighting, or haven’t hurt themselves, from the comfort of my couch.
- Monitoring pets outside. Are your pets prone to escaping your yard? Having a security camera will allow you to catch them in the act early, meaning you hopefully won’t be wandering the streets searching for them for too long.
- Monitoring valuable assets that are outside. Such as cars, caravans, boats, etc.
- Monitoring your front door or patio. Place a camera at your front door so you can see who is knocking prior to answering the door. Maybe you could choose not to answer the door when those annoying door-to-door salespeople come around!
Do I need an indoor or outdoor security camera?
The choice of whether to buy and indoor or outdoor camera really comes down to if you want to monitor the inside, or the outside of your home. Or maybe you want to do both.
Surprisingly, it’s fairly common for individuals to install a security camera after they’ve had an incident, which brings them to feel the need for one. For example, burglary victims may opt to install a security camera system to give them that extra peace of mind that it won’t happen again.
Whether you have experienced an incident or not, you really need to ask yourself, could I use a security camera at my home for any of the uses I mentioned earlier? Then make the decision from there whether an indoor, outdoor, or both, will suit what you are trying to achieve.
Is there really much difference between an indoor and an outdoor camera?
There will be a difference in price. Outdoor security cameras can end up costing you more, since you are paying for a sturdier device suitable for the outdoors. Whatever you do, don’t think to yourself that you’ll save money by purchasing an indoor camera and using it outdoors. Trust me, the camera will not last and then you will be out of pocket for the full purchase price, and you will be without a security camera until you purchase a new one.
If you want an outdoor camera, spend the extra cash and get one with a suitable level of weatherproofing.
Weatherproof security cameras, are they really necessary?
Short answer is, Yes! Like I have touched on already, if you are looking at buying an outdoor camera, then weatherproofing is important. After all, you wouldn’t want to invest in a security camera for it to stop working shortly after. Weatherproof security cameras have greater resilience, and ability to withstand extreme conditions, such as high or low temperatures, humidity, direct sunlight, frost, etc. They can also withstand potential damage caused by water, wind and dampness.
What makes a security-camera weather proof?
How can you make sure that what you’re buying is, in fact, as resistant towards harsh weather conditions as advertised? Well, here’s some of the things to look for that provides that extra protection from the weather.
- Customized Casings:
Perhaps the most important contributor towards weatherproofing a security camera is the special all-weather and waterproof casing. The security-camera is sealed in an encasing usually made of aluminum or sturdy plastic. This seal protects the internal components of the camera from dirt, dust and rain, and also cushions it from impact of heavy objects.
Some outdoor security cameras have a sunshade, which extends over the top edge of the camera. This sunshade provides two crucial benefits: it lessens the glare caused by sunlight outside, and keeps the lens clear during rainy conditions.
- The IP Rating:
The IP rating, which stands for Ingress Protection rating, is a 2-digit number which determines a security-camera’s resilience towards objects or water from entering the enclosure. The first digit represents the encasing’s endurance against solid objects, and ranges from 0-6. 0 would indicate no protection at all, while 6 denotes complete protection, such as against dust. The second digit refers to how resilient the casing is against moisture. In this case, the rating ranges from 0-8, where 0 would indicate to no protection at all, and 8 would indicate that the camera can withstand continuous immersion in water.
Purchasing a camera with say, a rating of IP65 or above, would mean that the security-camera has almost optimal protection against weather conditions and the likes.
Can I weatherproof an indoor security-camera myself, and use it outdoors?
I would say this is a flat out, No. There’s a reason security cameras are built specifically for indoor or outdoor use. Essentially, for a security-camera to withstand the outdoor environment, it must be adequately built to do so. The manufacturer who has spent time and money in research and development for a product that can perform the required job outdoors, why would you test fate by coming up with your own method of weatherproofing.
In addition, the specifications of an indoor camera, for example the lens, are made for indoors. If used outdoors, it would be likely that the camera would provide low quality vision, therefore meaning it would be useless in trying to identify a burglar.
Promise me that you will never try using an indoor camera outside.
Conclusion – Indoor, Outdoor, or both?
To briefly sum up, all it comes down to is what are you trying to achieve. Monitoring the inside of your home, buy an indoor camera. Monitoring the outside of your home, buy an outdoor camera. Simple really. But keep in mind for outdoor cameras the level of weatherproofing required for your location. If you live in an area that is prone to high temperatures or high humidity, or even lots of wet weather or snow, it might be a good idea to buy an outdoor camera with the highest IP rating you can find.
If my budget only allowed me to buy either an indoor or an outdoor camera and my reason was to prevent thefts, then I would choose an outdoor camera. This way, the suspicious activity can be detected before the intruder enters your house, increasing the chances of them being caught. Also, the fact a camera is in sight may deter the intruder in the first place.
However, if I wanted to keep an eye on pets or children inside the home, then obviously, an indoor security camera is the ideal choice.
For the ultimate peace of mind, and if you have the budget for it, then invest in both indoor and outdoor security cameras. There are packages available that include both in the one system providing you with convenience of an all-inclusive system that is ready to go.
If you want help choosing a system that is right for you, please feel free to leave me a comment below. I will be more than happy to help you secure your home and family.