How do I Choose the Best Outdoor Surveillance System?

Alex Paul

One of the most effective ways of increasing the security of your home is to install an outdoor surveillance system. Not only will this help to identify any potential criminals after the event but it may also deter them in the first place. To choose the best surveillance system for your home consider whether you require a wireless system, cameras and/or a motion detector. Buying equipment that is built to stand-up to weather and other conditions in your area is also something to keep in mind.

Outdoor surveillance systems may help identify any potential criminals in the area.
Outdoor surveillance systems may help identify any potential criminals in the area.

There are two main groups of outdoor surveillance system: wired and wireless. Both have advantages and disadvantages. For example, wired home surveillance systems are usually cheaper to buy and install. Wireless systems, on the other hand, are usually more adaptable and can be placed in more locations. Aside from which type of system, also consider whether cameras are needed. If so, how many will be required to cover all angles of your property.

CCTV should focus on sensitive entrance and exit points.
CCTV should focus on sensitive entrance and exit points.

Along with deciding how many CCTV cameras you require you also need to think about other technology which could be used. For example, if you’re buying an outdoor surveillance system for a vacation home, then some sort of flood or fire detection system may be useful. Motion sensing detectors can also be useful and provide an extra level of security. Other potential features include carbon monoxide detectors, anti-freeze devices and panic buttons.

To increase security levels you can opt for a monitored surveillance system. For a monthly fee, a company will watch your cameras and monitors 24 hours a day. This can be relatively expensive, however.

The location of all the cameras and sensors in an outdoor surveillance system is something that needs to be planned carefully before purchase. Factors such as where the control panel will be placed, how strong the wireless signal will be in different areas of the house and how user friendly a system is should all be taken into account. How durable and reliable a camera is will be especially important for outdoor systems.

Before buying an outdoor surveillance system, it’s usually a good idea to try the system’s keypad and controls in a shop beforehand. This will give you an idea of the features that are available and how easy it is to use. If you get the chance to discuss your home security with an expert then this is also often a good idea.

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Discussion Comments


My insurance company reduced my premium after I installed an outdoor security surveillance system. It will pay for itself within two years thanks to this saving, which is a great side bonus.


@Acracadabra - I understand the way your mother feels as I'm pretty much the same. The biggest advantage of security surveillance systems is the peace of mind you get from them.

I have a regular system right now but am looking to change over. If you're new to this kind of thing you may not figure out the best place for the cameras. With a wireless system you can move them around later, which would be good for a bigger house with lots of blind spots.


I'm researching outdoor surveillance camera systems because there's been half a dozen burglaries in our area recently. Personally I think a decent alarm and a motion light would be fine, but my mother is freaking out!

So now I have to figure out if it is better to recommend a wireless surveillance system or something with fixed cameras. My parent's house is fairly large and also has a big yard. Any ideas?

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