12 RECOMMENDED FEATURES OF AN OUTDOOR SECURITY CAMERA
Remote Viewing Capability – This feature is important because it allows you to access or monitor your cameras in real-time while you are away as long as there is an Internet connection. In remote monitoring of the cameras, you can use mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, as well as a desktop computer.
Motion Activation or Detection – A camera with motion activation allows you to save on energy costs and video recording space because it is only activated and starts to record videos when a motion is detected. Today, the majority of camera manufacturers are incorporating energy-saving features in the design of their products.
Night Vision – Because the majority of crimes, including petty ones like theft and vandalism, are usually staged at night, it is very important that your outdoor cameras have night vision capabilities for effective monitoring. When choosing cameras with a night vision feature, you should look for models that employ infrared technology. Some models also come with an automatic switch for day-to-night vision, as well as an automatic motion detection system to save on energy costs.
Weatherproof/Vandal Resistance Feature–This feature protects your outdoor cameras against vandals, as well as against natural hazards like snow, dust, hot weather, and rain. To provide additional protection, you can also install a special housing for your outdoor cameras. However, this will add to the overall cost of your installation.
Picture Quality– This feature is very important for surveillance cameras as this will allow you to effectively identify the intruders who will attack your home or business. Good quality footage or videos are also very helpful during a police investigation and can be used as vital evidence during a court trial.
180/360-Degree Field of View – This feature is important because it allows the camera to completely cover the area it monitors without leaving any blind spots. The fisheye or single-lens and multi-lens panoramic Internet protocol (IP) cameras are quickly gaining popularity among users due to this capability. Some camera models have also pan-tilt-and-zoom (PTZ) features that increase their effectiveness.
Connectivity and Power Source– These features are important because they ensure the continuous operation of the cameras. When you have an unstable Wi-Fi signal, the performance of your cameras will be adversely affected. If you experience a frequent electrical outage, your security camera system will be rendered useless.
Video Storage and Subscriptions–A large local video storage capacity is important for a security camera system to ensure that all captured images are securely captured and stored. A better option is to use a cloud storage service due to its virtually unlimited capacity. You can also have the option to use a free subscription service or pay an optional subscription fee for cloud storage.
Facial Recognition Capabilities – With this advanced feature, the cameras will be able to identify or recognize an individual based on his/her facial features.
Third-Party Integration Capabilities – This feature allows the security cameras to work with other brands’ products and services. Cameras with this feature usually have If This, Then That (IFTT) channels. An IFTT is a web and mobile service aimed at connecting different devices and online services to each other to be able to perform more advanced automation activities.
Thermostatic Controls– Cameras that are used outdoors are affected by the weather. High humidity, extreme temperatures and heating and cooling can cause condensation to form on camera lenses, causing cloudiness or rendering them useless. Cameras with thermostatic control features can maintain temperatures that prevent this.
Speaker & Microphone Capabilities– Not all cameras have these features but they add valuable information and function to outdoor security cameras. Microphones and speakers allow for direct communication such as at a front door or to warn away intruders. Additionally, the use of speakers allows personnel monitoring an area to listen for anomalies or noises that may indicate a problem.
The features listed above will allow anyone to make a more informed choice regarding selection of outdoor security camera systems however, there are other factors to consider when preparing a system to protect a home or business. To ensure that your system is up to the task of reliable protection, remember these important steps.
Install sufficient cameras – Make sure that the system has an adequate number of cameras to cover the area of intended surveillance. Many starter systems and DIY kits come with a limited amount of cameras. It’s essential to adequately cover all areas so that no blind spots exist. Experienced burglars know how to exploit unmonitored areas to their advantage. Make sure that none exist.
Proper placement – Correct camera placement is critical. Many beginners or DIY’ers make the mistake of poorly aiming cameras or using the wrong camera type for a certain area. Make sure that the camera selected will cover the intended area of surveillance and that it has the proper movement, angle and range for its application. After installation and at regular maintenance intervals, check camera position and quality of recording.
Regular maintenance – A system that is malfunctioning or broken is of no protection. Schedule and perform regular maintenance on the system to check for battery levels, positioning, cleaning and maintenance.
Lightning protection– you also should keep the outdoor security cameras away from lightening attack, and here is how.
With a little research and keeping these tips in mind, selecting the proper outdoor security cameras will be much less daunting. When in doubt, consult with a security expert or the staff of a reliable online retailer. Get educated, get smart and stay protected.