Choosing the Best Surveillance System

Deciding to invest in an outdoor surveillance system is a big decision that can seem more complicated once people start shopping. There are many different camera options to choose from. It is important to keep a few things in mind when choosing a system.

All of the options for surveillance cameras are a good thing. It means it is very easy to protect the home, business, or personal possessions. More people are choosing to install private security networks on the premises to deter theft, monitor employee conduct, and stay aware of what is happening on the property.

Cameras are available for every kind of need and budget. This gives people the freedom to view video footage from both on premises monitors or remotely over the internet. Before buying cameras, people only need to ask themselves a few basic questions.

After deciding where to install a security camera, see if the area has bright or low light. The overall light level of the area that is going to be filmed has a definite impact on the choice of camera. If video surveillance is in a bright, well lite area, then there are many camera options. The ample light makes it easy for any security camera to capture clear footage.

If the area being filmed has dim lighting, then it requires some extra shopping around. Not every video surveillance camera has the capacity to film in low light areas. A camera needs to have a light sensitivity rating of one lux or below.

A camera will be labeled as a day or night camera. It may also list the low light compatibility among the specifications. Day and night video cameras will provide the most flexibility because they will consistently monitor a given space, even if light levels continually fluctuate.

Indoor and outdoor environments differ in lighting conditions and will also have weather considerations. The indoor is obviously climate controlled with heating, air conditioning, and humidity control. Outdoor areas, however, have very different environments depending on the location.

Weather and pollutants, including wind, rain, UV rays, and contaminants, will ruin indoor security cameras. If filming outdoors is needed, then a tougher outdoor grade camera is required. Even though most indoor cameras cannot be outside, outdoor cameras can be used for both indoor and outdoor surveillance.

Decide whether or not the security camera will be hardwired. Wired surveillance cameras will be a more solid and secure video signal since they transmit via cable and not through the air. However, wired cameras need more money and effort to be installed because of the wiring that needs to be run through the walls. People need to hire an installer or take a lot of time to install cable.

Wireless cameras can be placed anywhere with ease. There is no worry about having to run a new cable or patching into existing cables. Signal security is becoming less of an issue. There are many great and constantly improving encryption protocols, such as Wi-Fi Protected Access, or WPAs. There is also Temporal Key Integral Protocol, or TKIP, for encryption.

People also need to decide if they want their cameras fixed on one specific location or for the camera to have the ability to look around. If people only need to focus on a certain section of a room, entrance, or parking lot, then a standard format fixed camera will work well.

If people want the ability to have the camera swivel and zoom to follow action or cover wider areas, then a Pan-Tilt-Zoom, or PTZ surveillance camera is the best option. PTZs are designed to freely move their lenses back and forth horizontally, vertically, and adjust lens focus.

All of this can be done on command as needed, but there are also PTZ cameras that can be programmed to automatically pan, tilt, and zoom wherever movement is detected. People should also decide on how the surveillance video will be viewed.