Choosing the best home CCTV Systems

CCTV systems are the icing on the cake when it comes to home security. Having CCTV installed at home is a relatively new way of protecting your property but it is an effective addition to any good security system.

CCTV is a powerful tool in the fight against vandalism, burglary and threatening behaviour, capturing the perpetrators in action.

A CCTV system comprises cameras, software and wires or a wireless network/internet connection and a viewing or recording device. It is important to get each of these components right to ensure you have the best CCTV system for your needs.

Home CCTV systems

There are different types of CCTV systems to choose from and each one has its own merits. Finding the best CCTV system will depend upon your overall security strategy and why you want to install a CCTV system.

Things to decide include:

  • Would you want a wired or wireless CCTV system?
  • Where do you want the CCTV system and cameras installed?
  • Do you want cameras to be hidden or highly visible?
  • How good a resolution do you need?
  • Is a night vision camera required (especially outdoors)?

How do wired and wireless CCTV systems differ

Wired CCTV systems are usually fairly simple and are typically made up of a camera and an attached monitor. The images captured from the camera are sent directly to a monitor or recording device and tend to be more basic images. The images can be watched directly or in most cases recorded on an analogue device. There is a risk that the wires may become damaged or even cut. However, when the wires are intact the system offers a continuous feed and wired CCTV is generally considered more reliable. Installation can be more intrusive as you may need to drill new holes through walls to feed the wires through.

IP or wireless CCTV systems tend to be more sophisticated and provide higher resolution images using more up to date technology. An IP camera can send and receive data via a computer network or the internet.

The images can be viewed remotely from a wide variety of devices. IP wireless systems are often made up of multiple cameras, giving you a complete picture of what is happening in and around your home.

The reason for installation and location of the cameras is likely to play a part when deciding if a wired or wireless CCTV system is best.

Where to Install Cameras

One of the first questions to be answered is where the cameras should be installed.

If you want to know who is approaching your property before you open the door, a wired outdoor camera should suffice. Unless of course, you are having issues with particularly persistent vandals or burglars, who have been known to cut wires and destroy cameras or you need high-quality images from the system.

If you want to regularly monitor activity outside your property and stop any untoward activity, you will need robust outdoor cameras. These could be wired and images recorded on to an analogue device. Alternatively, a wireless outdoor CCTV system would give you more flexibility and allow you to access images of your property remotely. You would be alerted to any possible issues immediately.

Indoor CCTV cameras will alert you to any intruders in your home and with a wireless CCTV camera system, you are able to monitor images from wherever you are.

Do you want cameras to be hidden or highly visible?

This really depends on how you intend to use CCTV. If you are looking for a deterrent, cameras need to be as visible as possible. Larger cameras positioned in clear view will achieve this.

If you are going to be using cameras to catch persistent burglars or vandals you may wish these to be more discrete. This will help to ensure cameras are not destroyed or circumnavigated. Digital cameras tend to be smaller than their analogue counterparts.

When installing cameras they should be placed where they are easy to clean and maintain.

How good does your image quality need to be?

The higher the CCTV camera resolution the better the image is likely to be. Digital IP systems use the latest technology and are capable of providing the best images. If you are looking to have images which can be used to identify suspects this is a key consideration, as opposed to using the cameras as a deterrent.

Do you need night vision cameras

The image quality from standard cameras reduces as the light fades. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor CCTV system the light sensitivity of the camera(s) is an important consideration. Cameras with full night vision will give you the best results if you are looking to have usable images no matter what time of day or night.

Choosing the best system

The best home CCTV System for you will depend upon the considerations above. When you decide on a CCTV system you should have it installed by a professional company and ensure that all elements including the cameras, software, and receivers are all good quality and compatible with each other.

As a matter of course your CCTV system you should have the capability to record and time stamp any footage captured.

BM Security will be able to discuss with you the best type of CCTV system to complement your existing security system and to meet your needs.