You know you want home security cameras, but you’re not sure which one is going to perfectly fit your needs and budget.
We’re going to make finding the best security camera for you as easy as possible. We did the research and found the best security cameras for 2018—weighing cost, benefit, and features—and we came up with the most important features to look for when selecting your home security cameras.
Keep these important factors in mind when choosing your security cameras.
Security Cameras Are Not Created Equal
At its most basic, security cameras allow you to watch what is going on in your home or yard through recorded or live video. But there’s a lot more to selecting a camera that is right for you.
Some security cameras have alarms, some send you notifications if it detects activity, some are meant for monitoring your nursery, others have two-way audio, and there are some that even act as a home automation pub on top of it all.
We found that the people are more happy with their security cameras when they 1) blend in nicely with their home environment (some cameras you may not even want to be visible), 2) have easy access to view footage from anywhere, and 3) are backed with excellent customer support and device warranty (especially if there is a home monitoring company backing you up).
As an additional note, consider a camera that has face recognition. Face recognition allows the camera to recognize your dog or kids, so you may program it to nix the security alerts during normal activities.
You Want Strong Connectivity
Many home security cameras operate over Wi-Fi, some use Bluetooth, and some work with interactive home automation hubs like Z-Wave. Whichever you choose, you should be confident with how it works. You also need to know how to trouble shoot some of the basic connectivity problems (such as resetting your Wi-Fi network).
Don’t feel comfortable with that? We recommend using a home automation or home security company that can offer technical support.
Most home security cameras today connect with your smartphone. It’s a very interactive and seamless interface that allows you to check in on your home and loved ones anytime no matter where you are.
You Want An Excellent View
You want to have clear footage from your security camera. That means prioritizing the megapixels for screen resolution and your field of view.
1080p is the average resolution for security cameras, but we’d recommend even higher for clearer images. Why? Security cameras often come with a cropping feature (recommended), which crops and enlarges the images on your camera. So, the more megapixels your camera sensors have, the more clear your zoom will be, and the closer you may zoom in to see things more clearly (like a face you don’t recognize).
Your field of view is the degree you can view a room or designated space. The wider your lens can adjust, the more you can see. If you’re looking at covering a larger area, you want a camera with a larger range to view.
You Want Good Storage
Most of the time, cameras do not come with storage space. You will need to save your feed to the cloud or microSD cards. You want storage so that you can save and review footage whenever you may need to.
Most of the time storage in the cloud as a subscription fee, but we would consider it minimal compared to the peace of mind being able to access that footage gives.
You May Want To Consider The Weather
Looking at outdoor security cameras? You want them sturdy, waterproof, weather-resistant, and able to handle extreme temperatures. But if you’re looking at simply installing a camera to use on your doorstep, consider purchasing a doorbell camera.
Purchasing Your Security Camera
Considering these main purchasing points, hopefully you feel comfortable about having your camera priority basics down.
When you’re selecting the cameras with the features you need, you will compare prices. Many of the cameras we would recommend (and the cameras we have installed in our own homes) are around $200 plus whatever subscription for storage space. BUT, if that’s outside your budget, there are plenty of solid, simple cameras you can purchase for $30.
It’s important that you find the security camera with the most features you want, for the budget you’re trying to stay in.
We recommend looking at these PCMag and CNet (excellent tech websites with professional information and reputation) security camera lists.They give a good idea of what professionals in the field are calling the best cameras of 2018. Both lists have a good range of great cameras for most budgets.
You’re Ready. Now What?
You may want to purchase and set up yourself if you’re tech-savvy. Professional help can be nice when it comes to staying in warranty limits, technical support, and hassle-free installation.
Home security companies often offer discounts on their equipment as well as 24/7 home monitoring. We recommend this feature for a strong home security system. The home monitoring does have a monthly cost, but most homeowners are happy to put aside a little in their budget for the peace of mind and security.
Still wondering what the best security camera is for you? Talk to your local security professional. They will help you find the best security camera for your budget.
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