Surveillance cameras

The simplest way to think about the types of security cameras is to break them down into two groups: indoor cameras, and outdoor cameras. While each of these groups have different styles of cameras within them, those difference will become apparent when you compare features, so separating them further isn’t necessary. For instance, none of the cameras we talk about in this guide are dome cameras, not because dome cameras are of any lesser quality, but because they simply aren’t necessary for most home security systems.

Both types of cameras are available as standalone units with monitoring apps or as part of a subscription-based home security monitoring system. In this guide we compare the top indoor and outdoor cameras as well as the combinations of cameras available through the top subscription monitoring services.

Important Security Features

Below are some of the important features to keep in mind when comparing home security cameras.

Motion Detection

Cameras with motion detection can send you notifications when the camera observes motion within its field of view. These notifications can alert you to suspicious activity, so you can monitor the situation.

Field of View

Field of View refers to the width of area a camera can record. This is important because it will affect how many cameras you’ll need and where you should place them.

Sound

The sound feature can refer to your camera receiving sound via a microphone, emitting sound via a speaker, or both. Cameras with both can double as an intercom.

Resolution

Resolution defines how clear the image from your camera will be. A clearly visible image is very helpful when trying to identify faces or items in the images your camera records.

WiFi Capability

A camera with WiFi can communicate with your home network wirelessly which can be very handy for installation, but is also less susceptible to being disabled, because it doesn’t have wires which could be cut.

Night Vision

The distance to which your camera can record images in low to no light situations can have a great impact on its effectiveness because often criminal activity can happen at night.

Movement

A camera that can pan and/or tilt may be able to record a larger area than a static camera and therefor reduce the total number of cameras needed to observe a particular area.

Cost

Obviously, if a camera costs so much that you can no longer afford the valuables you’re trying to protect with it, then it doesn’t serve a purpose. Cost is a factor for every purchasing decision.

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