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How to choose a home security camera

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Home security cameras are a great way to protect and monitor your home.


Cameras can provide peace of mind by monitoring both indoor and outdoor areas, helping you keep an eye on unattended children or tracking unannounced visitors. They can also deter criminals who might be planning on damaging or stealing your property, especially when you are away from home. 


Here's a guide to choosing a home security camera that is perfect for your needs. Let us know if you have any questions, and we'd be happy to assist.

Determine your security needs  


There are now multiple types of home security cameras available in the market, including wireless systems that are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and flexibility.  


A single wireless camera can cost less than $50 and is perfect for monitoring a single area of your home, like your front door. However, high-end cameras that need professional installation or those that are designed to monitor multiple areas, like your house and backyard, could cost more than $1000. It all depends on what you need.  Home security cameras can monitor indoor and outdoor areasHome security cameras can monitor indoor and outdoor areas


Thinking about why you need a home security camera and what you want to monitor goes a long way in determining the type and number of cameras you need.  


For example, if you only want to monitor the driveway, then you will need a single camera. If you want to monitor your whole house, then you might need three or four cameras. Most people begin by monitoring the front, back and side areas of their house. These cover most entry points into their home, and they can always add more cameras later. 


If you are living in a unit, we recommend installing a single camera over the front door.  


An important consideration when considering wired devices is access to power points. If you do not have accessible power points you will need to engage a licensed electrician. 


Different types of home security cameras


Once you have determined why you need video surveillance in your home and which areas you want to monitor, it is easy to shortlist the features you need in a home security camera. 


Below is a summary of the different types of cameras, features and what to consider before purchasing.


Wired home security cameras with local storage drive   


What: These cameras are wired directly into a recording device, like a hard drive. You can use your computer monitor to view the footage. Some models offer cloud backups that come with a fee. Most cameras use a single ethernet cable for power, audio and video.   


Why: Since these cameras do not rely on Wi-Fi to transmit recordings, chances of losing video signal are low. They are also harder to steal as they are typically attached to your home’s walls. As the captured footage is stored locally, there is no additional fee for storage. However, these cameras usually cost more as you will need to buy a set of cameras with a recording unit. 


Things to note: You will also need to run all the wires through your roof and connect them directly to the recording unit. Viewing of footage may be restricted to a monitor. However, some brands do have an app available for mobile devices.Home security camera system with hard driveHome security camera system with hard drive 


Level of skill required for installation: Intermediate. You will need to run all the wires through the roof, then down a wall and through an outlet to connect to the recording device. These cameras are more suited for larger or rural homes with poor Wi-Fi coverage or users who want a reliable system with local storage and low maintenance.   


Wired home security cameras with cloud or internal storage  


What: Wired cameras with cloud storage units record and transmit all captured data to a cloud base server, instead of using a local hard drive. They connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Internal storage models typically come with a Secure Digital (SD) card, and they save all captured data in that card. The recordings are usually viewed through a paid mobile app. These cameras also need power and can be connected to a standard power point.   


Why: They are easy to install and are affordable. Since there are no data wires, these cameras can also be easily moved to another location. They also offer more flexibility for renters, who can take them when they move to another location. They are also easy to maintain and can be taken down and inspected as needed. Plus, since the data is stored in the cloud and not stored on a local device, captured recordings cannot be destroyed.  Wired home security cameraWired home security camera


Things to note: These cameras are largely dependant on your home’s Wi-Fi signal. Most brands will charge a subscription fee for data storage. You will also need a mobile device such as a phone or tablet to access and manage your recordings. And you might need to engage the services of an electrician to install power points in suitable locations.    


Level of skill required for installation: Beginner. If they have suitable power points nearby, most people can set these cameras up within an hour as there are no other wires to connect. 


Wireless home security cameras  


What: These are powered by rechargeable batteries. The units are generally bigger due to the battery and can be positioned outdoors. Typically, wireless cameras can upload captured data to the cloud. Some models also come with an SD card for storage. 

Why: These cameras provide the best user flexibility. They can be placed anywhere, such as at the front door, attached to a tree or a caravan.  


Things to note: You will typically need to recharge the battery every few months. If you forget to recharge, the unit will not work. Some brands come with mini solar panels to charge the cameras. Unfortunately, these cameras are also easy to steal as they are not permanently fixed into any structure.   

Wireless home security cameraWireless home security camera


Level of skill required for installation: Beginner. All you need is to charge the battery and connect the camera to the app. 


How to set up smart home security 

Experienced Workshop member Adam has shared a detailed guide on how to set up smart security for your home. Check out this guide and let us know if you have any questions.

Need more help?

The Bunnings Workshop community is here to assist if you need a hand with selecting a new home security camera, or with using and maintaining one. Just hit the Start a discussion button and let us know what you need.


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