There is a lot to consider when buying an outdoor security camera. It can be difficult to decide which features you need, so here are some important questions you need to run through.
Wired or battery: Wired cameras usually require some drilling to install, must be within range of an electrical outlet and will turn off if the power does, but they should never be charged. If you buy battery-powered security cameras, the installation is easier and you can choose the places you want. They usually run for several months before charging and will warn you when the battery is low, but that means you have to remove the battery or sometimes the entire camera to recharge it, which typically takes a few hours. It is worth noting that you can buy solar panels to power some battery powered cameras now, giving you the best of both worlds.
Video quality: You may be tempted to go with the video in the highest resolution you can, but that is not always the best idea. You can see more detail in a 4K video, but it requires much more bandwidth to stream and more storage space to record than Full HD or 2K resolution. People with limited Wi-Fi should be careful. You will generally have a wide field of view so the camera takes more, but this can cause a curved fisheye effect in the corners and some cameras are better than others at correcting for distortion. An important feature, especially if your camera is facing mixed lighting with a bit of shadow and direct sunlight (or a street lamp), is HDR support, as it can prevent bright areas from blowing out or dark areas from losing detail.
Connection: Most security cameras connect to your Wi-Fi router on the 2.4 GHz band. Depending on where you intend to install them, you may appreciate the support of the 5 GHz band, which allows the power to load faster. Some systems, such as the EufyCam 2 Pro, come with a hub that can act as a Wi-Fi range extender. Remember that you should not install a security camera somewhere without a strong Wi-Fi signal.
Subscription model: Most security camera manufacturers offer a subscription service that provides cloud storage for video recording. It is not always as optional as it seems. Some manufacturers gather in smart features such as person registration or activity zones, which makes a subscription crucial to getting the most out of its cameras. Always think about the subscription cost and make sure you are aware of what is included before you buy.
Local or cloud storage: If you do not want to sign up for a subscription service and upload video clips to the cloud, make sure your selected camera offers local storage. Some security cameras have MicroSD card slots, while others record video to a hub device inside your home. A few manufacturers offer free limited cloud storage, but you can usually expect to pay somewhere around $ 3 to $ 6 per night. Month in 30 days storage space for a single camera. For multiple cameras, a longer shooting period, or continuous shooting, you pay between $ 10 and $ 15 per shot. Month. There are usually discounts if you pay annually.
Location is important: Remember that a visible security camera has a strong deterrent effect. You do not want to hide your cameras. Also, make sure that the view does not look into the neighbor’s window. Most cameras offer customizable zones to filter recording or motion detection for areas of the camera frame. If you are buying a battery-powered camera, keep in mind that you will need to charge it periodically so that something is available. The ideal location for security cameras is about seven feet above the ground and angled slightly downward.
False positives: Unless you want your phone to ping every time your cat wanders out onto the porch, or when the neighbor’s dog runs through your yard, consider a security camera that can detect people and filter alerts.
Night vision and spotlights: Outdoor security cameras generally have infrared night vision, but low light performance varies greatly. You always lose some details when the light level is low. Most night vision modes produce monochrome footage. Some manufacturers offer color night vision, although it is often colored by software and may look strange. We prefer spotlights as they allow the camera to record better quality footage, and the light acts as a further deterrent to any uninvited guest, but they are not suitable for every situation and drain batteries faster if they are not wired.
Theft of cameras: Worried about camera theft? Choose a camera that does not have built-in storage space. You may also want to consider a protective cage and screw mounting rather than a magnetic bracket. Some manufacturers have camera theft replacement policies, especially if you have a subscription, but they usually require you to file a police report and have exceptions. Check the policy thoroughly before you buy.