A home security camera system at home is nowadays essential for the security and safety for the family and property, but it needs to be selected and set-up right- you may not get a second chance.
There are a number of factors to consider before you get to the actual installation of the system:
Purpose of the Home Security Camera System
This seems obvious, but do give it a thought.
Is the purpose only to record an actual break-in, or do you want to use it for remote viewing of what is going on in and around your house. A little further down we will look at locating the cameras, but have this in mind when you do.
Next we shall select the system to use.
There are two fundamentally different ways to go – an IP system or High Definition Analogue system.
A short comparison will show that An IP camera system can provide a much higher picture resolution and it can also provide more features compared to the Analogue High Definition systems.
While an IP system can provide more features – that are more geared towards the professional market, there is a selection of analogue systems that are more than adequate for a Home Security Camera System. We do not need to increase the cost or complicate the system setup just to get features and performance that we do not need.
The IP Camera system can provide multi-megapixel resolution, while the analogue systems, for now, can provide up to two megapixel only. However within the relatively confined area of a home, the performance of the High Definition analogue system is more than sufficient o get the picture quality that you need.
There is also a number of IP-camera kits, that are meant for DIY installations. The features and picture quality is similar to that of the High Definition analogue systems, but the cost is considerably higher. They, however. Provide for the possibility to connect wireless cameras over the in-house wifi network.
There are essentially two High Definition analogue systems to choose from for a Home Security Camera System, AHD (Analogue High Definition) and HD-TVI (High Definition Transport Video Interface). There is a small difference in cost in favour of AHD, but also a small difference in performance in favour if TVI. I believe both are equally well suited for home system.
Location of cameras, camera view
All analogue systems can be installed using a single cable from the DVR to the camera using a coaxial cable with a power cable attached (Coax+DC, Siamese cable). In an IP-kit system the camera may be cabled directly to the NVR using a single Cat5e/Cat6 cable, or wireless over the wifi network and only connected to a wall socket.
The DVR/NVR shall be located where it is not easy to find. The last thing we want is the burglar to take it away!
The location of the cameras may be restricted to what can be achieved with the cabling, but should at least cover:
The gate (front and back) – this camera should be not too obvious for the intruder, we want to catch him unawares. Once he notice a camera he will find ways to avoid it.
Main door, preferably on the outside
Any windows accessible from the ground.
Staircase – this can be a bit sensitive, so select that with some care.
Now, if you want to use the security camera system for monitoring what is going on in and around the house you can add more cameras to do that. BUT, bear in mind that what you view or record may be watched by others. For example you set up your phone to view all cameras and put in an auto log-in. If you lose the camera….
Setting up and recording
Once installed, the system needs to be set-up for recording.
The actual procedure depends very much on the system chosen but there are a few common steps.
Set up the system to retain the recording for, say one month. The duration must be long enough for you to be able to recover the recording even after a long break.
Set up recording to be done ‘on motion’ only. This takes some doing and re-doing before you get it right, but this saves hard disk space and your recording will be retained longer.
There could be locations you want to view, but not necessarily record – in that case don’t record.
Remote viewing, password
You will want to be able to view your system remotely.
In order to do so you need to set up your router to accept incoming traffic, this is normally referred to as port forwarding. If you have a dynamic IP address (like most of us) you also need to get a web address. Read the manual, most manufacturers provide a web address through their system. You can also get a sub-domain from an independent DNS provider.
The system comes with a default user name (typically ‘admin’) and a default password (typically ‘123456’). The first thing you should do after installing is changing these/ Both the user name (if you can) but definitely the password. Change the password once in a while.
If you follow the steps outlined above, you will be able to have your Home Security Camera System up and running – protecting your property and family.