If you’re a homeowner or even a renter looking to protect your home and its residents, you’ve probably thought about security cameras. There’s a lot of information out there about this kind of technology, and while helpful it can be a bit overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve provided this introduction into home security cameras, to cover how you might benefit from having cameras, and the kind of cameras that would suit your needs best.


Why Do I Need Security Cameras?

You might be thinking: why do I need security cameras? It’s a smart question, something that any resident thinking about home security is going to come across. Essentially there are two reasons that you get home security, to monitor the house when you’re there, and to keep an eye on it while you’re away. Let’s break these down.

When You’re Home

You might be surprised just how often you’ll use security cameras in your home once you install them. You can use a security camera to:

  • See who is at your front door, helpful for multiple level houses and for checking who is knocking at odd hours.
  • Check on your babies while they’re asleep, or if they’re not!
  • Monitor areas in your house that are off-limits, like your shed or the pool for younger children, and generally keep an eye on your family.
  • Keep track of elderly family who live with you without constantly barging in on them to check how they’re doing.
  • Figure out what that strange noise is that you heard coming from downstairs without having to get out of bed and check in the middle of the night.

When You’re Not At Home

You might think that the only purpose of security cameras is to catch thieves in the act, but they’re actually useful for a lot more than that. Of course, there’s the security aspect, but home security cameras can also help you to:

  • Have video evidence of a theft and the person behind it to give to police, even for attempted theft.
  • See how your pets are doing when you’re not at home.
  • Check that your kids got home from school, and when they got home.
  • Figure out if your home alarm has been set off because of something serious or whether it’s just a false alarm.
  • Keep track of a nanny or babysitter when you’re not at home, something that provides a sense of security for many parents.
  • Check in on people who are working in or around your home when you aren’t there, such as maintenance, pool workers or gardeners.
  • Observe any individuals acting suspiciously around your house, particularly those loitering or ‘scoping out’ the property.

Types Of Cameras

types of camerasSo now that it’s become pretty obvious why you want to have home security cameras the question to ask is: what kind? There are a massive variety of security cameras on the market, with each serving a different purpose and being suited for a different location.

Fixed, pan and tilt, night vision, motion detection; there are a lot of options. Some cameras will even be multi-purpose, with compound features, so keep that in mind when you’re looking. We’ve brought together a list of the most common security camera types on the market at the moment, so you can see what’s on offer.

Basic (or Fixed): A general-purpose camera that is aimed at one spot and cannot move, change direction or zoom.

Pan and Tile or Pan-Tilt-Zoom: This kind of camera can be adjusted quickly, including changing the direction of the camera or moving in. They can also follow a moving object, depending on the model. You also have the ability to spin and angle up or down thanks to an interior mount, with many security companies allowing you to move the camera remotely from your smartphone or computer.

Wireless: Many of the camera models on the market at the moment are wireless. These cameras connect to your security via an internet connection and are pretty easy to set up. You can customize them and often control them from your computer or smartphone. They’re ideal as they don’t need to be wired in, which makes them more location flexible.

Night Vision: Any camera with night vision capabilities is able to use infrared technology to brighten poorly lit areas and record footage at night. These cameras are best places in areas you want all-around security, or in areas that don’t get much light.

Exterior (or Outdoor): This type of camera is usually equipped with night vision and is also weatherproof allowing you to just set it up and leave it. You’ll need exterior cameras to see what’s happening at your front door, or to see what’s happening out the front or in your back yard.

motion detectorMotion Detection: This is one feature that is incredibly helpful to those with a limited amount of time on their hands. The cameras only start recording, or taking photographs, when they sense movement. This means there isn’t hours of useless footage! Some cameras can also lock onto a moving object and follow it.

Fake: Good for scaring potential burglars away from your home, fake cameras are a very cheap option but in the end they don’t provide the benefits that an actual recording camera can.

Hidden/Covert: Sometimes called Nanny-Cams, these kinds of cameras are hidden in plain sight, usually in a book shelf or centrepiece, and are used to keep an eye on people without them knowing. It’s good for keeping tabs on your kids or on the babysitter.

Dome: Shaped like a dome and usually used indoors, dome cameras often have infrared lighting and are made to be tamper proof. They are almost always pan-tilt-zoom cameras, and thanks to the tinted dome on the camera it’s difficult for people to tell if the camera is actually looking at them.

IP Camera, Netcam or Webcam: A kind of digital video camera that sends and receives data on a computer network or broadband connection. These cameras are generally known as webcams, but Netcam and IP Camera are the terms most often used in relation to security cameras.

Now that you have a good idea of the different camera features that are available on the market, as well as the potential different uses for those security cameras, making your home safe and sound should be much easier.