By Robert Ogle
At the risk of a bad pun, it’s easy to see how a wireless home security camera system can help keep your home protected from burglars and other security risks. It gives you eyes on your home around the clock, using your smartphone, tablet or computer. That’s important, because burglars prefer to work when no one’s watching.
Professional-grade surveillance camera systems used to be available only to businesses or people with money to spare. That’s no longer the case. High-end features like 4K, night vision, automatic zoom, motion activation, encrypted sensors, and recognition algorithms are now part of the best home security camera systems, and they’re more affordable than ever.
Help keep burglars at bay
If you want to learn the impact of video cameras as a burglary deterrent, just ask a burglar. That’s what researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte did during a survey of 422 incarcerated burglars regarding their motivations and decision-making.
Nearly 60 percent said they would consider the presence of a surveillance camera system when choosing a target. More than 40 percent said they would avoid homes with wireless home security cameras entirely.
The best outdoor home security cameras can serve as an effective deterrent before a break-in occurs. And even if a burglar does decide to enter, the best indoor home security cameras can provide a clear enough image to help identify the intruder – and possibly provide evidence for police.
Stay away from danger
When you hear a loud noise in the middle of the night, whether it’s inside or outside the home, the last thing you want to do is play amateur detective. It’s much easier – and safer – to stay put, grab your smartphone, and get live footage from a motion-activated security camera.
If it’s an intruder, you can call police (or activate your professionally monitored home security system) and wait until help arrives. Home security systems with both indoor and outdoor video cameras can make all the difference between a simple break-in or a major confrontation with a burglar.
See who’s at the door
A favorite tactic of burglars is knocking on the door, then breaking in if no one answers. That’s why video doorbells are rapidly gaining importance as part of the best home security camera solutions.
It’s simple: The doorbell rings, you get a notification to your phone, open the security app, and see and talk to anyone at the door. You’ve got the upper hand, since you might not even be at home – but they don’t know the difference. Either way, you can tell them to move along.
A video doorbell also helps to avoid bothersome neighbors, unwelcome salespeople, and even the guy who always wants to borrow your lawnmower.
Keep track of the kids
Once school lets out for the summer, it can be a real chore to make sure that your kids are OK at home, especially if they’re alone. The best indoor wireless home security cameras let you talk or listen to whoever’s there.
Indoor video cameras let you:
- Get an instant alert if an intruder tries to enter while the kids are home alone.
- Check in anytime to see what the kids are doing – or not doing, in the case of daily chores.
- Track who’s coming and going, whether it’s your kids or their friends.
If you have a housekeeper or babysitter, indoor video is a great way to make sure that everything’s going according to plan. However, make sure you’re in compliance with state and local laws that prohibit the unauthorized use of cameras in private places.
Time for a pet-cam break
One of the best-kept workplace secrets is how often employees take a few minutes to check on dogs, cats or other pets. Whether you’ve got indoor or outdoor video security cameras, it’s good to see what they’re up to – whether it’s sleeping in the sun, digging in the backyard, or getting comfortable on a couch that’s normally forbidden.
Wireless home security cameras take on added importance if you’re away from home. For example, cats are famous for being easy to leave alone for extended periods, with easy access to water, food, and the litter box. But it’s nice to know you can check up on them, just in case.
Watch for unwanted critters
Anybody who has ever cleaned up an early morning mess in the backyard understands that some animals aren’t welcome. For example, raccoons, possums, and other nighttime visitors aren’t shy about pawing through the garbage. Motion-activated security cameras can help solve that problem.
You can check recorded footage (courtesy of a night vision camera and automatic zoom) from outdoor video cameras to get a better look at what happened. The solution can be as easy as patching a hole in the fence, or locking down the garbage can.
Peace of mind
By now, you’ve probably noticed a thread that runs throughout all the advantages of home security systems with video. Whether it’s checking a loud noise in the backyard or keeping an eye on the kids, you feel more at ease knowing that all it takes is a swipe of the cellphone to see what’s going on.
But technology has taken us far beyond simple video. For example, new video technology uses sophisticated algorithms to let cameras differentiate between a family member and an intruder. They can automatically zoom in on a face if necessary, which is especially helpful with high-resolution images.
So if you’re trying to decide whether to include a cost-effective surveillance camera system as part of your home security, the question isn’t really “why.” The question is actually “why not?”
Robert Ogle is a writer and editor with seven years of experience in the home security industry. He currently is Senior Copywriter at Brinks Home Security and was formerly editor of Security Nation magazine for the Electronic Security Association. Robert also focuses on smart-home technology trends, as well as the impact of disruptive innovation. Connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/robertogle/.