Outdoor surveillance systems are available with a wide range of features. It’s important to get a surveillance system that has enough features to meet your needs, but you can easily spend a lot more money than you really have to if you buy a system with lots of optional extras that you will never actually use. Carefully consider which you require before buying in order to get the best value for your investment. To help with this process, here are some of the features you can expect to find on an outdoor surveillance system.
Number and Type of Cameras
It should be pretty obvious that the number of cameras included with a surveillance system affects the cost of the system. Before you start shopping for outdoor surveillance cameras, determine how many you really need. You should know exactly where each camera is going to be installed before you start comparing surveillance systems. That way, you will avoid wasting time looking at systems that do not have enough cameras, as well as those that have too many. When purchasing an outdoor surveillance system, you also need to check to see if all of the cameras are robust enough to be used outdoors. Some systems contain a mixture of indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras.
If you don’t want to mess with long cables, be sure to buy a system with wireless security cameras. This type of system will be much easier to set up. However, you should check to see what distance the cameras can be installed from the receiver before you buy. It won’t do you any good to have an outdoor surveillance system that can’t pick up the feed from all of your cameras.
Some cameras are designed to be mounted on the wall, and some on the ceiling. Others are meant to be placed on a desktop or other flat surface. You can also find cameras that have multiple mounting options. These are usually the best choice. That way, if you can’t mount the camera where you planned to for some reason, you are more likely to be able to make it work in another nearby location.
Some outdoor surveillance cameras are video only, and others have sound capability. In some situations you might need sound, but for outdoor surveillance usually only video is required. Burglars try not to make a lot of noise, so you’re not likely to hear much if someone breaks into your home.
Do you want the feed from your outdoor surveillance cameras to be displayed on a television screen or on your computer? Make sure the system you purchase will work with your preferred choice of display. Also, if you buy a system that displays on a TV screen, make sure it is compatible with the VCR or DVD recorder you plan to use to record the video.
The resolution of an outdoor surveillance camera is a measure of the picture quality you will receive on the video feed. The higher the resolution, the clearer your video recordings will be. The price of high-resolution cameras is higher too, so there may be a trade-off between the resolution you really want and what you can afford.
Hard Drive Space
Some surveillance video cameras have built-in hard drives for video storage so you don’t need to use a VCR or DVD recorder to save the feed. If you want to be able to store a large amount of video footage in the camera, you’ll need one with a large hard drive.
You can get outdoor surveillance cameras with night vision if you need to be able to see what is going on in the dark. This is a good idea since many burglars are out at night rather than during the day. Some day/night cameras switch to black and white mode at night in order to make better use of the low light conditions, while others use infrared light for true night vision on after-dark recordings.
Color or Black and White
Black and white surveillance cameras are usually cheaper, but it can be nice to have color. With color surveillance cameras, you can provide a better description of the intruder’s car and clothing to the police.
Although most home security systems hook up to a computer or television monitor for display, sometimes there is a monitor included with the system. In that case, you’ll need to decide whether the included monitor is suitable or not so you don’t end up spending more money to buy a larger or better monitor.
Outdoor surveillance systems can provide peace of mind so you don’t have to worry as much if you are out of town a lot. Regardless of which system you buy, make sure you put up stickers or signs indicating that your home is under surveillance. Sometimes these warnings can be enough to scare off would-be criminals afraid of getting caught.