Choosing the best home surveillance camera is as easy as defining the area you wish to observe and why you want to place it under surveillance. One of the first questions to consider is whether you want the camera to monitor areas inside or outside of your home — or both. The second thing to consider is whether a wired or wireless system will be best for you.
One home surveillance camera usually can be used to monitor a single area, but this depends on the size of the area. If you need to monitor multiple locations, however, you will need to buy a system that coordinates multiple cameras. After you decide on the number of cameras you need, consider whether you want the security system to be visible or hidden.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both wired or wireless security camera systems. Wired security cameras, for example, are more difficult to conceal because of the wiring. The images captured by wired security cameras tend to be clearer and more reliable, however. A wireless camera tends to be less stable, because other devices, such as cordless phones, could interfere with its signal.
Unless you are adept at electronics, you should have a professional install your wired home surveillance camera. A security monitoring service, for example, might also be able to install cameras. These companies also understand the legalities surrounding a home surveillance camera system and can make sure that your system is operating under the law.
A wireless camera is much easier to install, but its images sometimes can be seen by others if the wireless transmission is intercepted by other devices. This in itself can be a security problem if others can monitor activities at your home. A way to avoid this is to ensure that the video camera's signal is encrypted so it cannot be intercepted.
If you want your camera system to be visible, a large camera is best. If a hidden camera is the best option for your purposes, you probably can find as small as you can imagine. The purpose of a small, hidden camera can be defeated by laws, however. In some areas, signs must be posted that tell people that they are under surveillance.
You also will need to determine whether you simply want a home surveillance camera to provide a live feed or you want to record everything the camera sees. A common option for recording is to have the video fed and saved digitally to a computer system. Another option — and the cheapest — is to install a dummy camera that is not connected to anything. This often is used as a crime deterrent. Of course, if someone does break into your home or commits some other crime, it will be more difficult to prove without a video recording of the event.