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Should You Consider Adding Wireless Security Cameras to Your Home Security System?

With the technology available today, and the whole home automation that is possible, many people naturally come to the logical conclusion that the ultimate protection for your home and family would be security cameras. That sounds all well and good, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind and consider before making a security camera purchase.

Wireless security cameras

First, cameras are an after-the-fact solution. Almost all of the time when you are viewing events from a camera system, it is after the fact. The events have already transpired because very few people are actually watching the cameras as they are recording the events.

Second, cameras can not help stop a perpetrator in the act of committing a crime. There is no buzzer, siren, or flashing lights that are set off by the camera recording an act. It in no way will prevent a crime from being committed.

Third, most people don’t realize that cameras and camera systems have a limited storage capacity for the recordings. The solution to this problem may be a costly one as you may have to purchase more storage from a cloud storage provider and that can become expensive over time. Cloud based storage solutions can also be compromised by attempted hackers or others with bad intentions.

When a camera system is installed, whether it is professionally installed or as simple as a doorbell camera, the camera is recording events that by the time you see them, they have already transpired. If something happens at your property or to your home, by the time that you look them up using the recording capabilities of your camera system, it can do nothing to help you. Most people do not have the time, or desire to sit and watch their camera feeds constantly. They do not watch the camera feeds until something has happened, and they want to see exactly what transpired in the event.

Some people make the argument that at the very least, they can use the camera footage to identify the perpetrator in a court of law. The answer to that is not necessarily. The quality of the image is important. Most of the common cameras and camera systems that are available the image quality is such that it is not admissible in a court of law. You would need higher end and higher quality image recording capabilities in order to have the images be able to be used to identify a criminal in a court of law. This last fact can be a somewhat shocking reality, but it is the reality nonetheless.  

Cameras cannot stop a perpetrator in the act of committing a crime. 

Unfortunately, if you and your family are in your home when a person with bad intentions arrives at your home, a camera system is not going to be able to do anything to help you in that moment. That is a sad and troubling reality. As I said in the above paragraph, you can see after the fact what transpired, but it cannot alert the authorities or set off any kind of lights or sirens.

A traditional monitored security system has the ability to prevent a crime from taking place. When a criminal with bad intentions attacks your home, most alarm companies whether they are a typical alarm company or a do-it-yourself company, they are going to recommend that at the very least, you need to protect all the of the windows and doors on the first floor and basement of the home. Perpetrators on a more than ninety-nine percent rate attempt to invade a home through a door or window on the first floor.

As I said earlier, most traditional alarm systems will activate once a zone is violated by the perpetrator attempting to break into your home, it sends a signal that can alert the respective authorities, make very loud noises, and have lights blinking.  Some of the devices that can be a part of the system can actually activate your alarm system when the potential criminal is still outside of the premises. Glass break sensors are a great example of this. If a perpetrator breaks a window in a room that is protected by a glass break sensor, this device is a listening device that listens for the sound of breaking glass. The advantage to this is that the alarm is then activated while the perpetrator is still outside of the premises. 

If price is a problem when trying to protect your home, one may try to protect a room using a motion sensor. The difficulty with using motion detectors is that they can be prone to producing false alarms. Pets can sometimes set off motion detectors, and even the dressings around a window can set them off if they are blown by the wind or even a heating or air conditioning system kicking in can cause motion from the drapes to move setting off the motion sensor. To be able to achieve a level of actual security for yourself, your family, and your home, cameras are not the first answer. They can be AN answer, just not the first answer.  

The last argument against the idea of getting cameras is the storage issue for the data.  The typical cameras that we all have seen advertised for use in your home or for your doorbell are good, but they do not have very much storage capacity.  If you were to purchase a traditional security camera system, you will be informed that you will need to purchase some sort of DVR device to record the data. This is not very dissimilar to the DVR that you probably have and use or at least are familiar with for use with your television. These devices have a limited amount of storage capacity. 

You would think that having seemingly a large storage capacity would be more than enough to record the data from the cameras, but you probably don’t realize just how much storage space images on cameras take up. If you have the cameras set on continuously recording, the data will build up quickly. The most logical answer to the storage capacity issue is to use a cloud-based data storage solution. These storage solutions are not very expensive in the short term, but the cost adds up over time. Once you start using the cloud-based data storage solution, it is difficult to get away from using that service, thus the added-up cost over time. I don’t have to tell you that once the cloud-based data storage solution company has you, they will raise the price for their services over time.  

The Bottom Line

Security cameras can be a good addition to meet your security needs, but shouldn’t be viewed as the first solution.  A traditional security system is usually much more efficient and cost--effective way to secure yourself, your family, and your home from a home invader.  There are many wonderful options for a traditional security system. Some are local alarm companies, national alarm companies, and the relatively new do-it-yourself options.  Once you have established this level of security, security cameras become a great addition to be able to record and see for yourself who or what is causing a disturbance.    

Thanks for reading. We hope this article has helped you understand the pros and cons of having cameras as part of your home security system. 

Would you like to learn more? Contact us today to have your questions about home security answered.