Buying a security camera in 2020? Take care of it!

Feelings of anxiety are very normal. Especially when it concerns important possessions, the personal environment or pets. Do you want to keep a closer eye on this? You do this via an app with one or more security cameras. This way you can distance yourself with peace of mind. And keep an eye out from sunny Spain or at home from under the covers. Ideal! If you hear something strange that looks like a burglary or just to check if things are going well at home. Is there movement? Then you will automatically receive a notification.

What do you pay attention to when buying security cameras? This step-by-step plan is about that. Even if you don't understand vague specifications or technical terms. With this step-by-step plan you order the right system within 15 minutes. Security cameras that allow you to view live images via the phone or automatically record in the event of movement. With night vision or without. We discuss all these types of options. Based on 13 years of experience with surveillance cameras.

Record only to protect personal property and not to violate the privacy of people, animals, property. Do you want to record with a hidden camera? Then go to this page about spy cameras.

Security camera with internet connection

In 2020 most security cameras are connected to the internet. You call this an IP camera. Each camera has its own IP address. This makes it possible to log in and take a look anywhere in the world. There are also often different options when it comes to saving video files. It creates a bit of flexibility for the user!

Variants are:

  • WiFi camera. This allows you to connect wirelessly and not to a physical camera. Ideal for in the attic or in a shed. Saves a lot of cables and other hassle.
  • Cloud camera. With this IP camera you use cloud storage such as Dropbox. This means you don't have to take care of storage yourself. Is there a fire? Then the images are simply stored on the internet.

With an IP camera it is possible to monitor the house from anywhere in the world. When buying a security camera, it is important to consider whether you need this camera. The camera must be 100% secured, otherwise someone else can watch with you. Some cameras are unconsciously open to the outside world.

An IP camera often comes with an app. Pay attention to your privacy and keep an eye on what information this app uses.

In addition to live viewing, it is possible to save images with a security camera. This is done with cloud storage, via an SD card or hard drive. Depending on the exact system you choose.

Step 1: Which security cameras do you need?

A question we often get: how many security cameras do I need? A question that is difficult to answer. Since the type of security camera also plays a role. When putting together a system, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kind of network do you have?

Do you work with physical internet cables or separate WiFi points? Is there a strong internet connection or are there weak points where there is little or no internet? During the selection process it is good to take this into account. Are you willing to improve the network? By moving cables or installing extra WiFi points? Then it is advisable to think carefully about this. Thus it is possible to work with a PowerLine Adapter. Where you work with the Power over Ethernet (POE) technique. And an internet connection via the electricity network is possible. This way you can be sure that all security cameras will soon work. And you immediately enjoy razor-sharp images!

  • Do you want to expand the system later?

Check how many channels a recorder has. One security camera can be connected per channel. Both analog and digital systems have a maximum number of cameras to connect. Are you unable to expand an existing system? Then you need an extra system with new channels. It is also possible to choose a security camera without a recorder. This is called a standalone security camera .

  • What do you want to portray indoors?

Inside you visualize your precious possessions. Do you have a pet or children? You can also visualize this with an indoor security camera.

  • What do you want to portray outside?

In an outdoor environment it is nice to have a security camera both in front and behind. Do you miss the picture on the side? Then consider installing extra cameras there as well.

  • Do you want to record images "at night?

To record images at night, it is important to choose a security camera with infrared lighting. These are images in black and white. Due to the high contrast, faces are often easy to recognize. Do you want to record at night with all security cameras? Or just a part? Make this choice when compiling a system.

  • Do you want to record at the front door?

It is also nice to hang a camera at the front door. A door camera or door spy . This creates a sense of security and is ideal when someone is at the front door in the absence. With a door camera you can see who is there and it is possible to speak to someone remotely. Like having a short video call with someone. As is also possible with Skype, Zoom and Facetime.

Step 2: which specifications are important?

It sounds important when we talk about: image resolution, viewing angle or storage capacity. Still, it is good to see this in the right context. Do you need razor-sharp 4K images to see if someone is in the store? Is a storage capacity of 2 terabytes useful if you store the camera images on Dropbox and is a wide viewing angle important when keeping an eye on a small vehicle?

Regarding the image quality of a camera, pay attention:

Resolution

Choose a security camera with the correct resolution. Depending on the way you use a camera, a certain quality is appropriate.

Usually cameras record in HD. This is enough to recognize someone on camera images. When you zoom in digitally, the options are slightly more limited. You quickly run into limits and the image becomes pixelated. The big advantage of HD is the lower storage capacity that this quality requires. In addition, it is easier to stream the images via the internet and the chance of malfunctions is smaller with a weak internet connection. The size of HD cameras is often a lot smaller. Even for hidden cameras it is possible to work with this image resolution.

Do you want to make sure that license plates or faces remain a reader at a distance? Go for higher image quality. More and more often you see Full HD or Ultra HD. Keep in mind that this requires extra storage capacity. And a solid internet connection is required to stream these images. With Full HD or Ultra HD it is possible to keep a view from a distance. This helps to read license plates, digitally zoom in and recognize someone's face from a distance.

HD is more than sufficient for most applications. Do you like to look at sharper images or do you simply need this to guarantee safety? Then go for Full HD or Ultra HD security cameras.

In some cases the resolution is specified in a different way:

Image quality

Resolution

Pixels

Total

HD (High Definition)

720p

1,280 x 720

An estimated 1 million pixels.

Full HD

1080p

1,920 x 1,080

An estimated 2 million pixels.

Ultra HD

4K

3,840 x 2,160

An estimated 8 million pixels.

What does this actually deliver in terms of quality difference? Give it a try and watch a video on YouTube. Here you can see in concrete terms what differences there are when it comes to image quality.

Viewing angle

The viewing or field of view is about how much you see from a lens. The human field of view is approximately 160 degrees. You achieve this with two eyes. With security cameras, this depends on the camera lens. It reaches between 60 and 190 degrees. Do you want to see everything around a security camera? Go for a 360 degree security camera . Sometimes this allows you to picture more with one camera, where four would normally be needed. This is an excellent option, especially in a relatively empty space or outside. There, there are no obstacles in the way of using the full viewing angle.

Night vision

It is a myth that burglars are mainly active at night. In fact, most burglaries take place in daylight. Still, it is nice if there is sufficient visibility at night or in rooms where there is no lighting and daylight. Such as a cellar or garage.

Here you take pictures using night vision. This is called infrared, a technique with which you capture images at night. Infrared lighting is visible with an infrared camera and invisible with the human naked eye. Infrared is often abbreviated as IR. Pay attention to how many meters the night vision reaches and measure how much you need. This differs per security camera.

Storage capacity and data usage

A video requires a lot of storage capacity and data consumption. Especially when it comes to HD, Full HD or Ultra HD. Fortunately, this does not have to impose any restrictions. Storing and sending information is faster and more cost-effective than it has ever been. Calculate yourself which internet connection and storage you need. This way you know exactly what costs are associated with the storage capacity or data usage.

IP cameras basically run via the local network and therefore only consume data or storage capacity when taking pictures or viewing images remotely.

Resolution

Data usage and storage capacity

HD - 720p

Relatively economical: 0.9 GB per hour. *

Full HD: 1080p / 2K

Common for video files: 1.5 GB / 3 GB per hour. *

Ultra HD - 4K

Uses a lot of data and storage: 7.2 GB per hour. *

* This is a guideline to keep in mind. The number of surveillance cameras and technical specifications such as compression also have an influence.

For Full HD in 1080p, approximately 500 GB per security camera is sufficient to record movement. In order to view recorded images, it is important to secure images in time. With most systems, the system will automatically override when all storage capacity has been used. Do you want to see what is happening live? Then there is only data usage when you stream. Do you do this via a WiFi connection or 4G connection? Make sure that the data usage remains within the limits of your provider.

Step 3: how do you install security cameras?

The following is important:

  • The location of a camera with internet connection. Place a wireless camera where the connection is strong enough or where there is a physical internet cable to connect the system. Is there a power cable or do you have a camera with a battery? You also think about this in advance. If necessary, call in an installer to have the cabling concealed professionally.
  • Set up the motion detection of surveillance cameras correctly. Test what works best for you. Actually, you only want to record images when a human or animal is active. Sometimes the system is set too loosely and the system already stores images when a tree or bush moves. Do you have indoor security cameras? Then you usually don't have to adjust anything. Is there enough visibility at night? Test this out when recording at night.
  • Do you have enough security cameras or is expansion necessary? Think carefully about what is in the picture. It would be a shame if you miss a break-in or other criminal activity.

Another question or suggestion to improve this step-by-step plan? Send a message to support@sitcon.nl or call +31 306 303 631 . We love to spar with you and are happy to show you the possibilities.

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