If you’re looking to improve the safety and security of your home or business space, security cameras are a great piece of technology to consider. These cameras are no longer only used for security and surveillance of the contents of your home or business. They are now also used to monitor your kids or pets when you’re not at home.
As crime rates continue to be on the rise in North America, these devices can help you feel safer as you can always know what is happening in your home or business. If you want to invest in your safety, this article will cover all of the relevant aspects you should consider when looking to buy one of these handy devices.
- Security cameras help you monitor your home or business by recording what happens in a specific area. Their use also works as a deterrent to criminals as well as capturing video evidence of such activity.
- Security cameras can be classified by the type of signal they transmit, by the way, they store and record videos and by their physical design.
- Since these can be complicated devices, it is always important to consider the factors that affect their quality before making a purchase. Some of these aspects include: image quality, night vision, tilt and rotation angles.
Ranking: The best security cameras on the U.S. market
In today’s world, speed and convenience have become very important in commerce. In the United States, online shopping is almost as popular as going to a physical store. This new-age shopping revolution also includes security cameras. In this section, we present to you the top 5 security cameras you can purchase from the comfort of your own home.
No.1: KAMTRON — Home Wireless Security Camera
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Stay connected 24/7 with a 360 degree HD panoramic with the KAMTROM home camera monitor. With this security camera, you’re able to watch over your home in full HD with horizontal and 10-degree vertical rotation. The super IR LED night vision lets you see what’s happening around the clock, without any light pollution. The smart motion detection alerts with 2-way audio.
The corresponding app alerts with snapshots and because to record the live feed to your mobile device when motion is detected. This wireless camera has the ability to connect to the cloud will save any and all data you desire. You can download and share your video freely without having to worry about losing a memory card. It has a local storage that captures motion and sound with an SD card of up to 128 GB. It uses financial encryption to ensure the information between the user and servers cannot be read or forged by a third party.
No. 2: YI — Outdoor Security Camera
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This wireless, waterproof security camera has full HD video quality with high-resolution images; 1080P resolution. It has a 110-degree lens and universal ball mounts that delivers clarity in every direction. It is completely weather resistant; so you can use this camera either indoors or outdoors. The motion-activated alerts will notify the application on your phone whenever movements are detected.
It incorporates first-class night vision via 12 infrared LED beads that provide a night time viewing distance of up to 50 feet, ensuring excellent low light performance. This camera has two-way audio and 360-degree noise-canceling hypersensitive microphones that eliminated excess environmental noise for the best sound quality. It allows you to communicate with friends and family and contains a deterrent alarm that wards off unwanted guests. You can try IY cloud with a 1-month free trial. It provides that highest level of data protection and saves you from the worry of keeping and storing and SD card.
No. 3: Ring — Floodlight Motion-Activated Camera
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Amazon’s top choice security camera, this motion-activated camera by Ring lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet, and PC. Although a bit higher in price, this camera incorporates the newest technology to provide the highest level of security. For only $30 more, you can include the Echo Dot within your purchase. It works with Alexa to launch real-time video with your voice and sends alerts as soon as motion is detected.
The floodlight motion-activated camera monitors your home in 1080HD video with infrared night vision and live viewing. It includes built-in ultra-bright floodlights and a siren to keep intruders and burglars away. This camera has a sleek, modern design and is offered in both white and black. Included is a lifetime theft protection warranty. If your camera gets stolen, Ring will replace it for free.
No.4: YI — Dome Security Camera
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YI has created a security camera that contains many of the quality features and characteristics this company is known best for, but at a more reasonable price. This security camera has 1080p high-definition, a 112-degree wide-angle glass lens combined with a 345 horizontal and 115 vertical rotation range to create complete coverage. The advanced night vision with 8 built-in 940 nm infrared LED beads to extend the viewing distance to 3 meters in pitch black dark with no light pollution.
There is a responsive and advanced microphone with a built-in anti-noise filter for a clear 2-way audio experience. The intercom mode allows one party to talk and listen at a time. Hands-free mode allows both parties to talk and listen freely for maximum communication. With this camera you can receive real-time activity alerts while you’re outside the home; 10-second motion tracking records and centers the moving object. YI has a user-friendly and intuitive app that allows you to customize the settings of your security camera.
No. 5: RUNAAC — Wireless Security Camera
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Say goodbye to drilling with the innovative magnetic mounting design of this wireless security camera made by RUNACC. Simply attach the mounting bracket to the camera and stick the 3M glue on the back of the bracket, then fix the home camera on the wall wherever you want. Built into the camera is a large-capacity rechargeable battery that allows it to function without electricity. Low power consumption makes Wifi IP cameras work longer and without the worry of thieves cutting off power.
This security camera incorporates a full HD infrared night vision that allows you to see clearly even throughout the night. The night vision camera will automatically send the alarm to your android or ios phone when movement is detected. Its 2-way audio function allows you to hear clearly and even speak directly to whatever stranger is in front of your house. The wire-free connection allows you to quickly connect to multiple mobile phones at the same time through wifi (2.4G), allowing remote control from wherever you are.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about security cameras
Because these products will determine the safety of your home and business, deciding on which camera to opt for is not a decision that should be taken lightly. These items are meant to keep your home, business, kids and/or pets safe, so making a well-informed decision will be very key to having peace of mind. To facilitate your search, in this next section we make sure to answer the most frequently asked question by American consumers.
What are security cameras exactly?
Security cameras are mounted video cameras used for the purpose of surveillance, as part of closed-circuit television. These devices are made to record the happenings of a specific location. Their primary purpose is to detect any criminal or harmful acts to either prevent crime or record physical evidence of criminal activity.
Due to the growing crime rates in the United States, surveillance cameras have become important tools for those who wish to protect their home or business. Security cameras can provide you with peace of mind, by allowing you to know that your home or business is safe when you’re not there.
How do security cameras work?
There are many things to consider when looking at how these devices work. Depending on the type of camera, the type of recording (permanent or only when detecting movement) and the way in which the video recording is stored will define how each device works.
In general, all security or surveillance cameras work by recording and sending the image to a recording apparatus and then to a viewing mechanism such as a television, monitor, computer (analog cameras or digital cameras with a recorder) or directly to a mobile device or tablet (IP cameras).
What types of security cameras are there?
There are two distinct types of security cameras available in the U.S. market today; analog and digital/IP. Continue reading as we go over the most relevant differences between these two types of technology.
- Older type of surveillance cameras, it previously measured resolution in lines, new models, however, measure in pixels.
- They come at a lower price point at the expense of image quality.
- The image output is in analog format (alternating current signal).
- Coaxial cabling is required for installation and operation, as well as a video storage system.
- They require cables for each function; one cable for audio, one cable for sound and one cable for power, which can increase the cost of installation.
- They usually use a DVR (digital video recorder).
Digital or IP cameras
- Created with the intention of viewing the images over the Internet via a local or wireless network.
- They can operate wirelessly or via coaxial cable/twisted pair cable (UTP).
- They offer more possibilities when viewing, such as zooming in, facial recognition and motion detection.
- They usually store footage in an SD memory card or a cloud service. An NVR (Network Video Recorder) can also be used.
- They provide much higher image resolution as they usually offer high definition (HD) or 4K video recording.
- Easy installation, wireless operation and when using cables, usually only one cable for power, video, audio, and control is required.
Security cameras can also be classified by their design or shape as explained in the following table:
|Dome||The most popular model to be used in homes or small businesses. They have a “dome” shape with a lens in the center. Those with night vision will have infrared LEDs built around the lens.|
|Bullet||They are elongated in design and are also popular for the home or small businesses. They are suitable for outdoor use. Their lens is located in the center and they offer infrared LEDs to monitor during the night.|
|Box||They are also slightly elongated, but rectangular in shape since the box and lens are separated. They are usually used by larger businesses or government organizations. In some cases, you must select the lens it uses.|
|PTZ||The acronym stands for “Pan” (rotate horizontally), “Tilt” (rotate vertically) and “Zoom” (look closer at the subject). They are controlled remotely by a control center or device applications. They are cameras intended for professional use such as in department stores, prisons, parks, and airports.|
What video storage and recording methods do surveillance cameras have?
There are 3 different methods of video storage used by security cameras today. As mentioned before, this will also depend on whether the camera is analog or digital, which directly affects the available recording capabilities.
|Digital Video Recorder (DVR)|| Used to record images from an analog security system.
Requires coaxial cable to connect the camera to the video storage unit and from there, send the images to a monitoring location.
Converts an analog signal to a digital signal.
In some cases, it is possible to connect a DVR system to the Internet to monitor the camera remotely.
|Network Video Recorder (NVR)|| Connects to the digital or IP camera via a network or twisted-pair cable.
Recommended method if the camera does not have an SD memory card slot.
Signal conversion is not required.
Connected to the Internet to allow remote monitoring.
|SD Memory Card|| Used only by digital security cameras.
Typical security cameras support 64GB to 120GB SD cards.
The recording remains inside the camera which requires the memory to be cleared once full.
Very practical as no additional wiring or video storage system is required.
It is possible to store the recording in a cloud service, either private or hosted cloud such as AWS (Amazon Web Services).
Who are security cameras recommended for?
Security cameras are recommended as a basic and invaluable device for companies and businesses if you as the owner or manager cannot always be present. With these devices, you can monitor customers and employees to identify possible theft or illicit activity at any time.
However, security cameras are not only limited to monitoring and recording the activity of your business. Nowadays, the use of surveillance cameras domestically is becoming more popular. Helping keep our homes and loved ones safe from theft and criminal activity. Today, there are simple, low-cost security cameras that are great for domestic use.
Aside from helping you watch over the contents of your business or home, surveillance cameras are also great if you want to keep an eye out on your young children or pets while you’re not home. With some models, you can even monitor an area from a mobile or tablet. Some newer pieces of technology also allow you to interact with your children or pets while you’re away.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of security cameras?
It’s easy to think that installing a security camera can only bring have benefits. Nonetheless, this may not always be the case. Keep in mind that much of the success of installing a security camera will depend on your expectations and on how you use the piece of tech. The following table will explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of security cameras.
You may have thought that the function of a security camera is simply to detect movement, record and send some kind of alert. Technological advances have changed the way these devices perform, allowing for functions that go much further than this. To make the best purchase, review the following criteria before making your final purchase:
- Alerts and applications
- Facial recognition
- Resolution and night vision
- Viewing, tilt and rotation angles
- Storage method
- Motion sensors
- Two-way audio
Alerts and applications
It will be crucial that the security camera you choose can send you alerts to your phone or other devices when it detects abnormal behaviors of movements. This will allow you to check-in only when something is actually happening, instead of having to perform constant surveillance. Some security cameras include an application to monitor and control the camera from your mobile phone, tablet or computer.
The advantage of a specialized application is that you can watch a live feed from anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection. Moreover, certain applications allow you to perform real-time actions like stop or activate recording or changing the direction of the camera lens to have a better view of what is happening in the area.
On the U.S. market today, you can find surveillance cameras that have facial recognition software. Through this advanced software, the security camera is able to analyze and compare video segments to identify the physical or facial features of a person, and with this, their identity.
The facial recognition software allows alarms to be disabled if the security camera recognizes that the person is a known or approved individual for the location, which decreases unnecessary alerts. On the other hand, if the system is unable to identify the person, an alert will be triggered immediately.
Resolution and night vision
With the advances in technology in terms of image resolution and quality of the recording, you can now find cameras that record in full HD or 4k resolution. We should not that the better the resolution, the easier it will be to recognize intruders and see exactly what’s happening in the recording.
Keep in mind that the video resolution may be lowered when files are uploaded to the cloud. This step usually reduces video quality to 720 pixels in order to save space and decrease file transfer times.
Since most crime happens at night, we suggest whatever camera you choose has night vision. Some models will automatically switch to this mode when they are unable to detect enough light to record, while with other models you can pre-set the night vision mode to start with a timer.
Viewing, tilt and rotation angles
Panning, tilting and zooming (PTZ) capabilities will determine how many different angles you can shoot and how accurately you can record the happening of a specific location. The level of PTZ will vary from model to model as some cameras have a much wider viewing angles than others, — make sure to review the viewing range of each camera.
If your camera can rotate and zoom, you can cover a larger area by directing the camera specifically in the direction you want to see. The surveillance cameras that work with a tailored application are much better since they allow you to control these movements in real-time and remotely from your personal device.
We would suggest that you opt for a model with a viewing angle of at least 130°, with the ability to rotate up to 80°. With these viewing abilities and range of movement, you will be able to have a viewing scope of almost 360°, which will allow you to have total control over the location that is under surveillance.
One advantage of local storage, whether on a memory card or separate storage device, is that the resolution of the recordings will not be altered. However, the main disadvantage of this type of storage is that if someone steals the actual device, you won’t be able to retrieve the recording.
Another feature that is considered of the utmost importance when buying a security camera is that it has motion sensor technology. With motion sensors, if someone has broken into your home or business, you can be notified and tune into the footage immediately. Devices of more refined technology will offer features that reduce the number of false alarms.
For example, some of the more sophisticated security camera models will be able to differentiate between people, animals or cars before triggering the motion sensor. The level of sophistication of the motion sensor will depend on the price of the device, as well as the sensitivity of the sensor itself.
Last but not least is an additional feature that only the most professional security cameras have. Although the main function of surveillance cameras is to record images, it is certainly better if you can also record audio. A security camera with audio capabilities will enable you to see and hear absolutely everything that’s going on.
In addition, security cameras that have the ability to record sounds may also have the ability to emit sounds through a small built-in speaker. This can be useful for communicating with the room to deter or intimidate an intruder.
By purchasing a security camera you will be investing in the security of your home, business, your children’s wellbeing or your pet’s safety when you are not present. Security cameras have become much more affordable in recent decades, which means they are no longer meant to be used exclusively by big companies or those with a lot of money.
If buying a security camera is within your means, we recommend that you invest in this tech to give you peace of mind as well as potentially saving you a lot of money and grief from unwanted intrusions and illicit activities in your home or business. As a business owner, you will not only be able to monitor your business premises, but your employees and customers will feel more secure and protected.
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(Source of featured image: Leenanuruksa: 27825618/ 123rf.com)