If you’ve paid attention to security trends over the last several years, you’ll have noticed a sharp increase in home surveillance installations. We can point to a couple different reasons for this. For starters, cameras used to represent a fairly cost-prohibitive security measure. Only certain businesses had the money to install these devices. However, technology increases have actually made cameras more cost-efficient while also making them more effective than ever! Additionally, technology improvements have also had the effect of making surveillance easier than ever to install. This lets us install cameras in homes where we could not have done so in years past. In this post, we share a few ways that you can create home surveillance and experience the valuable security cameras can provide!

First, we’ll explain what installing cameras entails when done in the “traditional” fashion. While we still install completely hardwired camera systems, we can find other means when necessary in today’s day and age. From there, we’ll move on to a couple wifi-based surveillance solutions. These cameras provide efficient cost and minimally-intrusive installation. Finally, we’ll shift our focus to image-capturing devices that you can connect to your alarm. This equipment can greatly enhance the security provided by your existing security system. Now, let’s dive in and see how we install cameras to create traditional surveillance for your property.

Installing a Traditional Surveillance System

Traditionally, installing cameras involves running wiring from a centralized recorder to each camera location. This type of setup allows for a consistent and reliable surveillance experience. Since each camera sends video back to the recorder through a dedicated wire, the video quality stays quite high at all times. For customers who prioritize reliability and high video quality, hardwired cameras represent the best solution. However, installing these cameras does present a few obstacles.

Three spools of power wire

Traditional camera installations require running wire from a recorder to every camera location, which often proves difficult in a house.

For starters, not every home allows us the opportunity to run the wires necessary for this type of system. For example, homes without open basements or attics can prove quite difficult to hardwire for surveillance. Additionally, the labor required to install this wiring can make these systems less than affordable for many homeowners. Finally, some customers do not need the level of quality and durability these systems provide. While some of our customers have major security concerns, some customers desire surveillance for less pressing reasons. These may include checking in on pets or receiving alerts when someone rings their doorbell. For these purposes, we have other home surveillance solutions. Let’s move on by checking in on a couple of these types of home surveillance equipment!

Adding Wifi Cameras

As their name suggests, wifi cameras use your home’s wifi to transmit video. This means that we do not need to wire each camera to a recorder. Instead, most of our wifi camera customers subscribe to cloud-based video storage subscriptions. These subscriptions generally include a month’s worth of storage for motion-based video clips. As an additional option, we do offer wifi-based recorders that offer 24/7 recording. This means that video gets recorded regardless of whether or not your cameras detect motion. However, unlike their hardwired counterparts, all video recording stops when your wifi goes down. For this reason, we only recommend these cameras for customers without major security concerns. With this in mind, let’s check on a couple of options for adding this home surveillance option!

Wifi-Based Smart Cameras

Unlike their hardwired counterparts, smart cameras do not require running wiring to a recorder. As we’ve touched upon earlier, these cameras send video to customers’ smartphones via your home’s wifi network. This cuts down on cost tremendously. While the video quality of these cameras does not match that of hardwired surveillance equipment, this can still provide a good solution for customers looking for video-based security on a budget. Many smart cameras come with unique options as well.

For example, our Alarm.com Smart Cameras can send you live clips upon detecting motion. This feature adds peace of mind for our customers, as they know that nobody will approach their home in their absence without them knowing. As an added feature, these smart cameras can also detect the difference between a vehicle, an animal, and a person. This allows you to create customized alerts. For example, you may want to receive vehicle-enabled notifications, but no alerts for animal-related events. As part of the broad “smart camera” family, we also offer a unique product to help secure your home’s entrances. Let’s take a look at these cameras now!

Video Doorbells

Video doorbells represent perhaps the quickest-growing security product in the market today. These devices, such as our Alarm.com video doorbells, provide a unique level of door security. For starters, they allow you to review both real time and recorded video, just like standard Alarm.com smart cameras. Additionally, they also allow you to have a 2-way conversation with anyone at the door. This allows you to vet visitors to your home without stopping what you are doing. Therefore, door-to-door solicitors or other uninvited guests do not have to interrupt your activities.

We can power these doorbells using your existing doorbell wire if you do have an existing doorbell. However, we also offer a battery-operated version of this product if you do not have a doorbell on your home now! These products offer unique security against “porch pirates” that steal packages, especially during the busy holiday shopping season. The added convenience and security these devices provide make them a great addition to any home’s complete security plan.

A Honeywell video-capturing motion detector

Motion detectors that capture images, such as this model by Honeywell, can help confirm whether your alarm has detected a break-in.

Image-Capturing Security Sensors

A few years back, we created a Guide to How Alarm Systems Work. As part of that post, we discussed how motion detectors communicate with your alarm upon detecting motion within a section of your home. These sensors allow customers to secure large areas with a single security system component. Upon detecting motion, these sensors create an alarm activation, sounding your sirens and potentially creating a police response.

Additionally, some motion detectors provide you the chance to add images to your home security system! Video motion detectors have both infrared motion-detecting and video-capturing capabilities. If these detectors catch motion after you arm your system, they will send a video to our central station to help verify the alarm. Furthermore, you will also receive the video alert for both live and future viewing. This can help you determine how to handle the alarm event in real time. In this manner, video motion detectors combine the security of an alarm contact and a camera in one device.

Finally, our preferred security panel, the QOLSYS IQ Panel 4, even has a built-in camera in the panel itself. In turn, this camera takes photos of anyone who disarms your security system. Therefore, anyone with an alarm code who comes to your home uninvited will have their picture taken and saved for future identification. These alarm-based ways to gather images can help make your security system more effective than ever!

Making Home Surveillance Work for You

We hope that this post helps you understand how home surveillance can help you secure your own home. Moreover, we encourage you to contact us with any questions this post raises for you. We will happily answer any and all security-related inquiries you may have. Furthermore, we also invite you to take advantage of our complimentary site survey program. We offer both new and existing customers free security audits and equipment quotes. While on site, we can help you design a complete home surveillance system to help you keep eyes on your property at all times. Additionally, we can also suggest other security equipment to help you experience greater overall home security. Together, we can create a complete security plan to keep you and your family as safe and secure as possible!