How to choose your CCTV camera?

Do you want to buy a CCTV camera but don’t know which one to choose? This type of accessory can be an essential asset to strengthen the security of your home. But if you make the wrong choice, the solution may just as well turn out to be completely useless when it matters most.

© Verisure

Between professional installers like Verisure and the multitude of manufacturers who sell security camera kits, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Especially since the solutions to install yourself are often much cheaper than systems installed by professionals.

But are these kits as effective? That’s the whole problem ! Indeed, if you have your security system installed by a professional, a specialist will come to your home and always install the equipment best suited to the configuration of the premises and your requirements. With a self-installation, you can make mistakes – definition, characteristics, compatibility…

And the worst part is that often we discover the big problems precisely at the worst time. There is another aspect to really highlight. The big service that is worth paying more for is remote monitoring and hardware maintenance. However, only solutions like Verisure offer this kind of service.

For DIY kits, you have to manage everything yourself. This may seem acceptable to you. But think carefully: and if you are on the plane just when an intruder enters your home, will someone be able to see him in time and call the police?

And that’s not even talking about the little extra Verisure stuff, like immediately dispatching a security guard to the scene who will keep the door open to your home until you return. This is why before rushing to the cheapest solutions, we strongly recommend that you get an estimate. It’s totally free and does not commit you to anything!

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What is a CCTV camera used for?

For an individual, CCTV cameras add the ability to remotely monitor what is happening at home. The video arrives delayed or live on your smartphone, in addition to being transmitted to a remote monitoring center in the event that it has been installed by a professional.

Home security cameras have several unique features. They generally communicate via WiFi, although wired models (a little more difficult to install) also exist. They are most often battery-powered, except for indoor models which are most often plugged into the mains.

An application allows you to view the video stream at any time – which is generally at least in HD, or even in Full HD. They are triggered by a motion detector and can incorporate, as is often the case, a night vision mode based on infrared LEDs. Many models incorporate an intercom.

The viewing angle is usually wide enough to capture as much as possible from the camera’s perspective.

How is CCTV recording done?

Most often video recordings go to the cloud from the brand of your video surveillance camera. This solution is very practical because it is the brand that manages all the storage and streaming infrastructure that you would otherwise also have to manage yourself.

Some brands like Ring offer to view your video recordings on a scrollable timeline. Recording is generally not constant. It only triggers when motion is detected.

Some models are AI-assisted, so they can distinguish between intruders, trusted people, and other things walking past — so you don’t get bombarded with notifications.

When the recording is provided in the cloud, the brand of your device will generally require you to pay a small subscription. This allows it to finance the storage infrastructure. The advantage is also that you won’t have to worry about legal data retention considerations.

Indeed according to the CNIL you are required to destroy all video recordings in your possession beyond one month. Note that other, simpler systems don’t save anything to the cloud. Instead, the video stream can be recorded directly on a microSD card or be transmitted to a base in which there is storage space.

The problem with local storage is that in the event of a technical incident (faulty card, sabotage, etc.) you will have no way of consulting the recordings. You will also have to strictly manage your recordings to comply with the law, otherwise they will be unusable and may even expose you to prosecution.

What are the top CCTV camera brands in 2022?

The most well-known and reputable brand of CCTV cameras in 2022 is the Arlo brand which is a subsidiary of Verisure. These solutions are generally installed by professionals, but do-it-yourself kits also exist.

Alongside Arlo, there are of course Ring solutions, fully integrated into the Amazon ecosystem. But also the French Netatmo subsidiary of Legrand or even players such as Eufy which offers a wide range of security solutions – even Bosch which offers two models of video surveillance cameras that are quite stylish and above all very popular with customers.

Can any camera be installed anywhere?

Absolutely not. You need to know the characteristics of each of your cameras. There is the question of what they can see day and night (the angle of view, to be verified by testing), but also how they are installed.

Some CCTV cameras can be installed indoors or outdoors, while some models are more specialized for outdoors or indoors. In general, what differentiates them is the resistance to bad weather, but also their specificities.

For example, the best outdoor cameras incorporate a powerful projector that allows them to be effective even in the middle of the night. There is also the question of the connection mode. In some places installing a wired camera is worthwhile, as a crawl space allows you to easily slide the wire through – giving you more peace of mind, less maintenance and a more stable connection.

In others you will have no other solution than to opt for a model with battery. In this case, also check the range of your WiFi network. It must be good where you install the accessory. If necessary, you will also need to review the WiFi coverage of your home.

What are the features to watch out for?

There are especially four points to watch very carefully when choosing your CCTV camera. Does the device have motion detection? Does it deliver alerts to your smartphone? Is the definition at least HD? Does the device have night vision?

Beyond these major issues, some more are worth checking out. The intercom is very useful whether it is to tell your delivery person where to put the package or to communicate with a possible intruder. The cameras can also integrate a powerful siren, as well as floodlights to be sure to capture clear images even at night.

Finally, to reduce the number of unnecessary notifications, some models are equipped with object recognition, or even facial recognition. Netatmo cameras, for example, can notify you when your children come home and alert you if an intrusion is detected.

Which are the errors to avoid ?

Mistake number 1 is to only look at the price when choosing your video surveillance solution. Too many people buy white label cameras that either don’t deliver good enough quality images or don’t trigger when needed. They are also often very insecure and expose you to a real risk of hacking.

The second common mistake is to forget that most of these devices need a good WiFi connection to work. Even in a house that seems well covered, the reception may be insufficient to ensure instantaneous quality transmission. The WiFi receiver of cameras and other security accessories is significantly less powerful than that of your smartphone or computer.

Before opting for security kits, we therefore recommend that you take care of your WiFi network. If you only have an internet box it will not be enough. It is mandatory to install a mesh network with several stations near this equipment to deliver coverage capable of providing sufficient bandwidth. It is also for all these reasons that it is often better advised to call on a professional installer.

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Verdict: don’t hesitate to get quotes before you start.

Choosing the right CCTV camera in order to really secure your home is, as you can see, ultimately not so simple. Fans of this type of solution, certainly less expensive than installation by a professional, take a lot of shortcuts, which can be very frustrating when, for example, everything does not work as expected at the time of a burglary.

There are however many solutions, and with a little rigor and some knowledge it is quite possible to compose a security solution to manage oneself relatively effective. But in addition to saving you all these hassles, calling on a company like Verisure puts the whole issue of your home’s security in good hands. The most essential, in our opinion, for a video surveillance system to be effective, is remote surveillance.

Otherwise, you’ll have to react in the heat of the moment – ​​and even then, if you’re available. Even more expensive than the installation of kits, the Verisure offer remains particularly accessible. To find out more, simply request your free quote:

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How to choose your CCTV camera?

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