There are many reasons why adding a surveillance camera or two to your home can be a smart investment in terms of home security. Maybe you’re going on an extended vacation, and sure, you asked the neighbors to keep an eye out, but they have their own lives to lead. Maybe you and your housemates work long hours and worry about leaving your home unattended for so long. Maybe you’re just a little anxious. Whatever the reason, security cameras are a great way to feel more safe in your home. Fortunately, there are plenty of options on the market. You don’t want to install a system only to realize after you’ve put all that time and effort that it isn’t doing what you wanted. After all, there’s a broad range – from virtual doormen to CCTV.  So here are some things to consider before you commit.

 

 

To Wire or Not to Wire?

Wireless has the obvious plus of being much easier to install. If you’re looking for the more DIY friendly option, here it is. The drawback to wireless systems is they can be remotely hacked, making them less safe and have poorer image quality. Wired systems, while being a potential pain in the neck, offer more security and clearer video.

Area of Effect

One of the first things you think about when putting cameras around your home is where to literally put them. This can have a huge impact on the kind of camera best suited to meet your safety needs. The two main options in this arena are bullet camera and wide-angle lens.

Bullet cameras, as the name implies, offer a narrower scope. They’re perfect for focusing in on things like doorways, porches, or gates. On the other hand, wide-angle cameras can 

cover over 100 degrees of movement, making them better for those open areas. Further, some cameras stay focused on a fixed point, while others can move – either in pre-programmed patterns or by remote access control. Choose the one that best meets your safety needs.

 

 

 

 

 

Let there be light!

 

… But if there isn’t, there are variety of options that have either infrared or night vision capabilities. Motion-activated lights are also a great option to combine with your camera in areas where there isn’t already illumination.

Weatherproofing

Every Chicagoan knows that our weather can get a little extreme, from polar vortices to those hot and humid summer days that have us all taking shelter in the AC or lazing on the beach. For outdoor cameras, make sure they can handle all the temperature extremes and precipitation that our fair city will throw at them. (Some camera housings are even explosion proof, if that’s something you’re worried 

about.)

Hidden in Plain Sight

There are pros and cons of both hidden and visible cameras. Letting potential burglars know they’re on camera may be a sufficient deterrent. Some people install dummy cameras for just this reason, which are ultimately useless in the case of an executed break in. Or it may just make them choose a different entry point to your home. (Dome cameras are a middle ground as they are very visible, but don’t let the viewer know what they’re recording.)

Also, fun fact, it’s illegal in the state of Illinois to take audio recordings of a person without their knowledge. Be sure to keep your home security devices visual only.