Thanks Penny for writing in and asking about Security Cameras. Unfortunately this is a topic that books could be written on, but I will do my best to cover the basics in this article.
The general homeowner does not need the most expensive/high tech system. The first thing you need to do is determine your needs.
1- How many cameras do you need? Example: front door, back door and driveway would be three cameras.
2- Do you need night vision? I would recommend that all cameras have night vision.
3- Do you need WiFi? That is mostly preference. Personally, I think this is a feature that people don’t really use after the first few months.
4- What type of video backup do you need? For a homeowner installing one camera near the front door, a camera with a SD card should work fine. If you're installing multiple cameras, you’ll want a system with a main box that records from all cameras.
5- Do you need indoor or outdoor cameras? Many systems come with outdoor cameras that look good enough to put indoors. This leaves you with options.
6- Tech support: Unless you're an IT tech, be sure you buy something with good and unlimited tech support. There is a good chance you’ll be taking advantage of it.
7- Wired or wireless cameras? Anything wireless has a chance to get interference at times. Wired requires more work to install, but is more reliable. If you're not in a super high crime area, a wireless system will work fine for most homes.
Looking at all the options on the security systems today will overwhelm most anyone. Most of these options are things you’ll never use. So be realistic about what your needs are and look for something to fit those needs. If it has options outside your needs, take that as a bonus. Look for the simplest recording and playback features. Example: do you really need camera adjustment for a camera at a front door? If not, ignore those features you don’t need, they’ll only confuse you more.
I found the “Defeway 1080N” on Amazon to totally suit my needs. It costs $140 with a hard drive. It has a few features I will never use, but it appears to be simple to install (though wired) and use. Once I get it and install it, I will write an update to this article.
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