Best Smart Security Cameras

Last Updated Jun 23, 2020 @ 11:23 pm

A smiling family. A secured home. Nothing would make you feel happier than knowing that your family is safe and always out of harm’s way. You hope that things remain this way. But, as they say, hope is not a strategy.

In a 2019 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, 1.4 million Filipino families experienced common crimes. These include robbery, carnapping, break-ins or physical violence. Break-ins involve forcible entry into a home, through a window, a door, or any other entryway.

It’s then understandable that you’d get worried about the security of your home. You want to ensure that you keep your most precious treasures secured.

Related: Best Home Automation & Smart Home Devices

What are Security Cameras?

Consider one of the smartest home solutions when it comes to safeguarding one’s home—security cameras.

Security cameras permit the monitoring or recording activities in and around an area for various reasons. For instance, parents use security cameras to monitor a sleeping baby and decrease the risk of a dangerous fall from the crib. You may also want to use it to check people who approach the front door. 

Types of Security Cameras

Wondering which security camera you should buy for your home? Consider these five popular types and their benefits to help you select a solution that fits your purpose.

Dome Cameras

Owing its name from its dome-shaped casing, dome cameras deliver complete monitoring of an entire area, due to its 360-degree coverage. It appears relatively discreet, making it difficult to see which way they’re pointing. It can be placed on strategic points to create an air of uncertainty for potential thieves.

Bullet Cameras

These outdoor cameras have better options when it comes to durability and weather resistance. They’re iconic and meant to be highly visible, as it sends a quiet message to passers-by that your home is under surveillance. Their options include infrared night vision, remote pan and tilt control, wireless connectivity, and motion detection, providing an ultimate level of protection.

Motion Detection Cameras 

Compared to “aim and shoot” cameras, motion detectors use image sensors to alert users about any environmental change. It compares pixel records frame by frame and determines if something (or someone) moved. It can be programmed to record or transmit only when there is motion, permitting the owner to do away with unnecessary DVR storage space. It also offers a higher protection level as it alerts when there is suspicious activity. 

Adjustable Cameras

Equipped with motor-driven actuators, adjustable cameras offer the greatest control and coverage as they can shift to an automatic wider capture compared to fixed security system cameras. They also have tilt, remote pan, and zoom controls. 

Wireless Cameras

Wireless cameras minimize installation time and appear much tidier. They’re perfect for areas that require negligible visible and technological disruption, such as museums or churches. Wireless cameras also offer several options, such as indoor, outdoor, fixed, motion-sensing, and more.

Day/Night Cameras

These cameras can withstand the brightness of the sun, and also are sensitive enough to capture footage for low light situations.

Is It Worth Getting Security Cameras?

Ah, yes, the million-peso question: Should you buy one? You should, most especially considering the following:

Effectivity of security cameras

Security cameras prevent criminals from committing crimes. Homes without security cameras are under the mercy of break-ins from thieves. Burglars hesitate when they see a home protected by a camera.

Losses due to break-ins

The SWS survey noted down the statistics, but also consider the devastating emotional consequences brought by break-ins. The trauma inflicted on your family may last forever.

Cost-effective home security system

Peace of mind cannot be bought. But, if you have to put a price tag on it, it might be something like ₱5,000—the average cost of security cameras on the market. Compared to a complete home security system, which ranges from ₱5,000 to ₱500,000, and uncertainty, it would be wise to invest in a home security camera.

What do I need to know before buying?

Study the following before purchasing a security camera:

Resolution

The end-all and be-all of a camera deal. Pixellated or low-quality footage defeats the purpose of having a security camera.

Vantage point

Think about the location and purpose of your camera to see if you need a specific or wider range of view. As mentioned earlier, bullet cameras focus on a small field while dome cameras focus on a wider focus range. Additionally, if you’re setting up a motion detector, check the range of the camera and see if it captures the point of action.

Strong app UX

Aside from the hardware, check out the camera’s app user experience (UX) as well. You’ll be controlling and interacting with your camera primarily through the app, so it’s best to read reviews from other users. See if it flows well without any unnecessary clicks and menus.

Cost

Aside from the main hardware cost, some cameras require a monthly subscription fee for you to access its complete features. Double-check if the product requires additional fees.

Visibility

Consider how your cameras will run and be placed. Wired cameras need to be plugged, while wireless ones run on batteries. When using wired cameras, secure the cords to avoid any potential burglar from cutting them.

Recording storage

Security cameras have three main options for storing videos:

  • Memory cards must either be replaced when they are full or be cleaned out to delete old videos.
  • Hard drives offer larger space, but must also be monitored for storage capacity.
  • Cloud-based storage can keep your videos stowed for a longer time, but might depend on the subscription type you’ll choose.

How many cameras do you need for home security?

The short answer: four—one for the main door, one for the porch (or lawn area), one for the back of the house, and one for the main interior of the home.

However, if you want a more accurate approach, count how many locations you want “eyes” on. The number of cameras depends on your purpose or objective.

Wireless versus wired: What are the pros and cons?

FeatureWirelessWired
ReliabilityProne to interference that decreases their reliability.More reliable, not easily prone wireless signal obstruction.
Supports larger systemsLimited to only four cameras.Can support medium- or large-sized properties, covering four to 16 cameras.
Installation TimeEasy to install; no need to run cables as the cameras just connect to the Wi-Fi network to record or transmit images. Usually requires professionals to install multiple cables.
Power OutagesNot susceptible to power outages, as it runs on batteries.Won’t be able to run if there’s no back-up power generator. 

Best Smart Security Cameras

Neos SmartCam

Neos SmartCam offers bang for your buck. Its 1080p max resolution covers 110-degrees indoor or outdoor wired viewing angle. It also has two-way audio and it can store videos in the cloud (for free!) or through a microSD card. 

Where to buy Neos SmartCam:


Google Nest Cam

One of the top-ranked home security cameras in the market, the sleek Google Nest Cam is best used indoors. It delivers sharp, 1080p videos, top-notch night vision, and sound and motion alerts.

It also has a scheduling feature, allowing you to choose which hours of the day (or night) you want the camera to be on and recording.

Where to buy Google Nest Cam:


Ring Stick Up Cam

This wireless 1080p max resolution camera boasts plenty of features and versatility. It has a 115-degree wide viewing angle and is an outdoor camera. It uses cloud storage with a monthly subscription.

Where to buy Ring Stick Up Cam:


About Bev Lopez

Content specialist for a multinational consulting company. Likes cheese.

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