Plug and Play Home Security: The Lowdown on Smart CCTV
By John Barry
Mar 07, 2019
The benefits of CCTV and intruder alarms cannot be over-sung. Not only do they act as a deterrent, they also offer considerable protection together with valuable evidence should a prosecution become necessary.
There are few people who wouldn’t agree, but it has to be said that when it comes to getting around to installing a CCTV and alarm system, traditionally the homeowner has been put off by the prospect of an expensive and complex installation and set-up process. But happily not anymore because, thanks to advances in technology, it is now possible to set up a complete smart Wi-Fi security system, often without the need for a drill, a screwdriver or very much time or effort at all. In fact, some modern plug and play CCTV systems can be set up in under 15 minutes.
The new connected smart CCTV camera systems of today seamlessly sync to a smartphone, making it possible to keep tabs on your property around the clock, regardless of where you are. These cameras record footage; they detect fires and they sound alarms, and some of the more sophisticated models can even distinguish between friend or foe, recognising regular residents and even pets so that the alarm is only sounded when someone or something unidentified comes into view.
Smart CCTV camera systems offer the additional benefit of portability. So if you move home, your security system can move with you.
There is a lot to like about the modern plug and play CCTV home security system. But what to consider before you make your purchase? Let’s take a look at the key things to think about.
Outdoor or indoor?
The majority of smart CCTV systems offer both outdoor and indoor devices. It is usually more cost effective to opt for a multi-camera bundle, but if you want to start small and then build up, it’s really simple to keeping adding cameras. All the video from all devices, and the notifications that alert you to what’s happening, can be accessed from one central app, by as many people as you give rights to.
When it comes to external cameras, you’re going to need to apply a bit more consideration installation wise. Some of them will be battery operated; however others rely upon a power source. This means thinking about cabling, as well as proximity to a Wi-Fi router or wireless hub. Also be sure to check that any cameras you earmark for outdoor use are weatherproof, and think about night vision too for recording after dark. In addition look at zone setting functionality; this will allow you to set the zones that trigger recording, so that you can avoid it being set off by passers-by.
It is the indoor cameras that offer full portability. Because these ones are on show, you’ll probably want them to blend in with your décor, so design will be an important consideration.
Capturing and storing footage
Most smart CCTV cameras allow you to see what’s going on in real time via a smartphone app. The top models record continuously, highlighting footage when something actually occurs, such as the detection of sound or motion.
Some models work on the basis of familiar face recognition and pet detection. This is an extremely useful feature that avoids the triggering of alerts and recording during times when everyone is at home. Other systems are able to recognise who is at home simply by how close their mobile phone is.
When it comes to storing recorded footage, you will need to give this some serious consideration. Most offer SD card or USB drive storage alongside cloud backups, but capacity will vary, so be aware of what you are buying.
Look at the storage capacity together with the size and duration of individual captures, as well as the length of time that backup files are stored. Some cameras allow continuous viewing and recording of footage around the clock, whilst others will only show and record triggered events from the past 24 hours. Some systems will charge an ongoing monthly subscription fee of around £40 per month to store extensive video capture.
Smart home compatibility
It is well worth checking whether the camera you have your eye on is compatible with your smart home device. Some will work in conjunction with the Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod for example.
So, if you want to link up your home security with your connected home so that you have everything working in complete sync, then you will need to pay attention to compatibility.
Home security systems from Barry Bros Security
At Barry Bros Security we have watched the evolution of home security systems over the past six decades. We embrace new technology and all the benefits it offers, but will always continue to advise our customers on the basis of what is best for their individual needs.
If you are considering the purchase of a smart home CCTV system, you are welcome to contact us for the personalised advice you need to ensure you are fully informed and happy with what you are buying before you proceed.