My home security system was installed roughly five years ago. It’s from one of the largest home security cameras in the country. The salesman sold me on one of their home security company video surveillance cameras. Seemed like a good idea but that was five years ago. Today, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of home security company video surveillance cameras.
What’s Being Offered Today
Home security companies offer a wide array of cameras. They have indoor and outdoor cameras. They even sell and install cameras that a consumer can buy themselves. In some cases, you will see re-branded doorbell cameras or even the brand name. These cameras are often sold at a discount and it’s tied into a longer term security agreement.
Video surveillance cameras are also available for integration into a home security system. The camera shown in the photo that accompanies this article is what a security can provide. It’s a battery-powered camera using a pair of lithium AA batteries. Each time there’s an alarm event, this camera snaps a photo. The photo is transmitted to the security company server. That photo is sent to the homeowner via text and email. It can also be viewed from the security company’s app.
The Problem with Basic Video Surveillance Cameras
There are several issues with these video surveillance cameras provided by the security companies. First, the camera takes a single photo of the event. That’s terrific if the intruder was looking directly at the camera but most likely, that won’t be the case. While I guess a single photo is better than none, a video stream is more useful.
Secondly, it’s a lousy camera. Not sure what the granularity is, but it’s difficult to see any meaningful facial detail.
Seemed like a good idea five years ago. Not so much now.
A Better Way
Is there a better way? Of course.
Since the original security system was installed, home security cameras have come a very long way. Fortunately, I don’t depend upon that security system for much. There are multiple more contemporary and useful home security cameras positioned throughout my home. These cameras take continuous video and record video at 1080p so facial recognition is easy. These videos are loaded to the cloud as they occur so if the intruder takes the camera, that video has already been recorded to the cloud for later retrieval.
There are lots of good cameras that can augment a good home security system. We have written about the Arlo Pro on our site. Great wireless cameras that record to the cloud with an awesome free cloud plan. Another good inexpensive candidate for home monitoring is the Yi Dome Home Security Camera. This camera is inexpensive and spins around to capture video around the room. A decent cloud plan will capture short video clips of an intruder.
The other worthy consideration to supplement a home security system is the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. If the intruder comes to the front door, this video camera will capture the action and send the video to the cloud.
Save your money and don’t buy video surveillance cameras from your home security company. You will be better served by any of the home security cameras we just mentioned. You will receive higher quality video and a stream sent to the cloud that will be more useful than the single photo taken from the security company’s camera. You’ll also likely save some money. Never missing an opportunity to charge more money, home security companies will embed the cost of that camera into a higher installation charge or monthly fee.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).