Imagine if there were a way you could keep an eye on your property and stay in contact with your loved ones even when you are away from home. You could make sure that your children and pets are safe while you are at work, and if you head out on a vacation, you could check in periodically on your home and values. All of that is possible with a basic home security camera. These systems are now quite reasonably priced and include all kinds of helpful features such as night vision, activity zones, and fast and easy setup.
If you are thinking about buying a home security camera, but are not sure where to begin in your search for the right product, the comparison table below can get you started.
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|Nest Cam Outdoor|
Still need some more guidance before you pick the best home security camera for your needs? Read on to find out everything you need to know to make a smart purchase.
What is a Home Security Camera?
A home security camera is exactly what you are probably picturing going off of the name. It is a small deice which you set up somewhere discreet in your home (many models include magnetic stands which can adhere nicely to a variety of surfaces) and turn on. It provides you with a streaming feed of what is going on inside your house 24/7. Many cameras provide a wide-angle HD view so that you can watch an entire room. Most also allow you to save a history to the cloud, but some may charge you to access it.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Home Security Camera
How often will you use your home security camera, and what for?
If you are planning only on using your home security camera now and again while you are on a trip, you are going to have very different requirements than you would if you plan to use it every day to keep an eye on children or pets.
What devices will you use for monitoring?
Also make sure that you have thought about which devices you will be using to check on your streaming video feed. Not all security cameras are compatible with all devices and operating systems. You would not want to buy an Android- or iOS-only device to monitor using a smartphone with a Windows-based OS.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Home Security Camera
Video and audio quality
As previously mentioned, many home security cameras nowadays can deliver crystal-clear high definition video. Look for a wide frame of view which can capture an entire room. That way you will not miss anything that is going on. Pay special attention to sound quality as well.
If you are going to be using your home security camera to monitor children or pets, you will find two-way communication a very useful feature. This feature allows you not only to watch and listen, but also to talk. So if you are going to be late coming home from work, you can tell your kids, or if your dog is anxious, you can talk to him to soothe him.
Alerts and sensitivity settings
You can set up most home security cameras now to send out customized alerts to your mobile device based on different triggers that you set. You can also usually adjust sensitivity on these triggers. So say for example you have motion-sensing technology in your home security camera, but you have a couple of large dogs you do not want triggering false alerts. You can adjust sensitivity downward on some systems so that your dogs are less likely to set off false alarms.
Your home security camera will not do a lot of good if you cannot see the footage clearly at night. For true 24/7 video monitoring, you need high-quality night vision.
Quick and easy setup
When you are getting started with a home security camera, the last thing you want to deal with is a complicated and challenging setup process. Look for a camera which you can get up and running and connected online in a matter of minutes. Reading customer reviews will help you to identify cameras with fast installation procedures.
Free cloud storage and/or affordable data plans
This is a very important consideration. Most home security cameras are capable of saving histories to the cloud, usually for up to 30 days. But whether or not you can use the cloud storage and access it for free varies from one manufacturer to the next. In some cases, you may have to pay a monthly fee. In other cases, you may have to sign an annual contract. Still other providers allow you to use cloud storage entirely for free—or store and access several days of data for free, but pay if you want more than that.
What type of plan you need depends on what you plan to use the camera for. If you are just using it to monitor your home a couple times a year on vacation, getting locked into an annual contract would be a waste of money.
Security is an increasing concern with cameras, baby monitors, and other home devices. Some have weaknesses which can be exploited by hackers. Make sure that the home security camera you are thinking of buying lacks backdoor credentials, unencrypted data flows, and other security flaws.
You now know more about home security cameras and some of the most important features you can shop for, as well as important questions to ask yourself about where you plan to install your cameras and how you plan to use them. You should be ready to select the perfect camera to fit your needs. Scroll up to the top of this page to take a closer look at our comparison chart. There you can view features and prices for highly-rated, top-selling home security cameras on Amazon.com.