This post is to help you to decide which CCTV system you would install at your home. CCTV is an acronym for closed-circuit television. These days, CCTV cameras are getting cheap. You can buy a three-camera system under three hundred dollars
You’re not alone in wanting to install a CCTV. Many people are buying smart home security cameras. The marketplace has changed a lot over the last few years. The new, compact systems are a world away from the clunky, hard-wired and expensive systems of yesteryear.
There’s a lot to consider as far as security camera features, specs, ongoing data storage, and internet usage.
Storage and subscriptions
Not all video storage is created equal. There’s cloud storage, which sends your video footage to a remote server, and local storage, which relies on a separate accessory (typically a microSD card that has a dedicated slot on the camera) to hold any footage you’d like to save. These days you have to use their cloud storage to get the full security features. Luckily most come with minimal free data plans, but I recommend that you upgrade to the paid plans.
They can use up a lot of bandwidth and data. Mobile 3g or 4g internet is not recommended. For example, the Nest Cam IQ can use as much as 400GB of data per month—and that’s for just one camera.
One of the main things to consider when buying CCTV ‘s output resolution. We’ve all seen those grainy pictures we can’t tell who is in front of a camera. To prevent this from happening to you go for a high definition video. The CCTV’s I recommend here are all HD which is the best resolution to get.
Early CCTV where wired. These days wireless is a way to go. They are easy to install. Some of the cameras have local storage so you can record to local storage in them. All the ones I recommend are connected to the Internet.
Having the CCTV footage uploaded to the internet is important. Especially if the cameras are stolen during a robbery. You will have the video evidence of the robbery stored safely online.
Recently there was a robbery in Australia where the perpetrators took the cameras, and they then recorded their new location with the pictures of their face and the location. The police were able to arrest them and recoup some of the stolen items. This is one of the reasons I recommend that you get a camera that can store the video on the Internet.
The CCTV I recommend has motion detection, as you don’t want to have look through hours and hours of footage. You want them to record when someone is in front of the camera. Generally these cameras use our use of passive infrared sensor the senses are similar to what you see on automatic norms with a detect motion and then open the door. The range of the sensors is about ten meters and using their adjustment you can stop them from being triggered by small animals. I prefer to have motion detection via the video recording; this allows you to define zones that you want to monitor. For example, if you have a plant near your door the wind moving the plant will not trigger the camera to record.
The advantages of using wireless type cameras are you can get battery-operated ones. Some will give you six months, some even two years of operation on one charge.
My last topic is security. You hear a lot about Internet of Things, (IoT) they are devices in your house that connect to the internet. Firmware updates are more vital than ever, with numerous critical vulnerabilities and backdoors discovered in the past year alone. Keeping firmware updated can mitigate cameras’ exposure to outside threats.
However, updating firmware can be one of the most tedious tasks involved in any surveillance system. It is not always clear what version is latest, what has changed or been fixed, and where to even download it. All the cameras I recommend have their firmware automatically update.
And the last point have a secure password policy, do not use a common password. I also recommend that you use a dedicated email account to manage your CCTV. So that it is separate from your personal account.
The costs, I recommend at least three cameras, front and back door and your home entertainment system. Bellow is the upfront cost and ongoing storage costs, (in no particular order)
Cost of 3 cameras or more
Wyze Cam Pan V2 . $90
Netgear Arlo Pro 2 . $700
Amazon Cloud Cam. $290
Nest Cam IQ. … $900
Logitech Circle 2 … $600
YI 4-PIECE …$90 for four
Blink Home System.. $349 for five
Cloud storage costs
Wyze Cam Pan V2 . FREE 14 days
Netgear Arlo Pro 2 . 30-day $120
Amazon Cloud Cam. 30 days, $240
Nest Cam IQ. … 30 days $360
Logitech Circle 2 … 31 days $180
YI 4-PIECE …30 days $149
Blink Home System.. FREE 2hrs * 2-7 days
So my choice; I would use the Netgear Arlo Pro 2 and Blink. The Blink would be my only choice, but the limited cloud storage means I need to rely on another system.
Here is a summary of the specifications.
WYZE LABS WYZECAM 2 $20
Wyze Cam can support activity zone creation and timelapse features out of the box for $20
Wyze Cam Pan $30 adds 360-degree pan/tilt controls to the budget smart cam
Attractive, well-built budget hardware
Impressively clear day/night imaging
Responsive pan/tilt motor controls
Simple and friendly app
Free cloud and local SD recording
Hit-and-miss motion tracking
Harsh audio quality
Sound alerts lack advertised intelligence
With microSD port on the underside of the device supports up to 32 GB of local storage. Includes 14 days of free cloud storage offers night vision, motion detection, and two-way audio. Motion- and sound-triggered video clips are limited to 12 seconds, which may or may not be enough time to get a good look at someone breaking into your home, so I don’t recommend relying on the Wyzecam if you need a robust security solution.
Firmware is automatically be offered the update when you connect to the camera. So it is possibly automatic.
NETGEAR ARLO PRO 2
$480 (includes two cameras and base station) and solo Arlo Pro 2 camera for $220. There is a four-camera bundle priced at $800.
Also, while a security camera could be stolen by a burglar (potentially taking the incriminating evidence with him), the base station and attached drive could be locked in a secure location.
Arlo is also one of the few security cameras that will work well without any additional subscription. The free plan supports up to five cameras with a week of online video storage. Plus, you can back up video locally via the hub.
I highly recommend this CCTV system. There are cheaper alternatives out there, but I truly have not found another smart camera that offers the same power, versatility, cloud storage, and value as the Netgear Arlo Pro 2.
Advanced scheduling and geofencing controls
7 days of free cloud storage
Optional local backup via USB
Backward compatible with Arlo Pro
Scalable multi-camera plans for businesses
App interface a little convoluted
Includes free seven days of free cloud storage and two USB ports for connecting external hard drives for local backups.
Purchase a 30-day Premiere for up to 10 cameras or 60-day Elite plan for up to 20 cameras, $100 and $149 per year, respectively.
Arlo Wire-Free and Arlo Pro Wire-Free camera firmware updates happen automatically as long as the cameras are connected to a base station, are powered on, and have at least 15% battery.
AMAZON CLOUD CAM
At $119 ($200 for a two-pack or $290 for a three-pack)
The Cloud Cam includes many other must-have features, including two-way audio, night vision, and even push notifications when movement is detected.
Easy to set up
Excellent video quality
Excellent night vision
Handy two-way audio feature
Customizable motion detection
Requires subscription for video clip downloads
Motion detection too sensitive at free tier
The most important of these may be the notifications settings, which allows you to be notified in real time any time the camera detects motion and records a video clip, or in 10-, 30-, 60-, 240-minute increments, as well as daily or never.
Cloud Cam stores up to 24 hours of footage, but you’ll need to subscribe to a premium tier to unlock more storage and a number of vital functions. Basic, Extended and Pro plans boost your storage to 7, 14, and 30 days, for $7, $10 and $20 a month, respectively.
NEST CAM IQ
Good quality day/night imaging
Beautiful hardware design and build
Integrated Google Assistant
Intelligent alerts and smart video highlights
Some smart features require subscription
Nest Cam IQ Indoor offers clean and clear daytime imaging, that’s certainly a cut above many competitors
There’s a host of intelligent features to enjoy, such as facial recognition, automatic close-ups, user-defined activity zones, smart clips and time-lapse video creation. Frustratingly, these features are locked behind the Nest Aware subscription paywall, priced from $50 per year or $5 per month.
LOGITECH CIRCLE 2
$180 (wired), $200 (wire-free)
Easy to set up
Works with Amazon/Apple/Google hubs
“Day Brief” shows time-lapse of full day
Unique mounting options available
Some features require paid membership
Included mount can be a bit finicky
IR night vision could be better
Basic plan extends that to 14 days for $4 per month, and the Premium plan pushes it to 31 days for either $10 per month or $100 per year. Two versions are available: Home Basic for $7 per month or $70 per year, and Home Premium for $18 per month or $180 per year. The plans offer the same features as the single-camera plans, but support up to five cameras.
Firmware update are pushed out automatically.
Yi HOME CAMERA 2
$90 4 cameras
YI 4pc Home Camera, Wireless IP Security Surveillance System with Night Vision for Home.
Easy setup and installation
Clear HD video quality
Sleek, modern design
130 degree wide angle view
Automatic recording and notifications
No service fees
Limited to an AC power source
Less versatile than previous design
No cloud storage
Each cam includes a motion sensor that can send alerts if they detect any activity, which includes some useful customization of activity regions and camera schedules that avoid false positive alerts. The cameras also offer the popular two-way audio feature and night vision for dark viewing.
7 days 5 cam $66 30 days $149
Normally YI Home camera updates the firmware online via YI Home Camera App, … The camera firmware will be updated automatically.
BLINK HOME SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEM
Blink app lets users see their home or workplace from anywhere in the world by way of the live HD video feed and recorded video clips anytime motion is detected. And because there are no monthly fees to keeping Blink running, customers only have to buy the unit once (systems start a $99 and go up to $349 for a five camera-unit)
Free cloud storage
Images are grainy at night
The default length for video clips is 5 seconds. This is the most energy efficient mode. You can adjust the timing for each camera to record for up to 60 seconds.
Cloud storage is free, but limited storage. The Blink website says you receive 7,200 seconds of storage before new footage records over the old stuff.
Ok if you’re seeking an affordable, no frills, battery powered camera with free cloud storage.
Firmware updates will automatically be sent to your Sync Module and Camera.