Everything you need to know if you want to set up a security camera system in your home.
Professional security camera systems usually come at a hefty price. If your home security budget is limited, a DIY approach using wireless IP (internet protocol) cameras might suit you.
A downside is that these cameras aren’t likely to lower your home insurance premiums, as most insurers require a security system to be professionally installed and monitored. Many IP cameras also require you to subscribe to a paid cloud storage service where your footage is stored.
Wireless IP cameras connect to your home WiFi network or through Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT), a radio technology which cordless phones often use. Some can also be physically connected by ethernet cable.
IP cameras are the evolution of CCTV (closed-circuit television). Where CCTV operates on a closed network with cameras wired directly to monitors, IP cameras use WiFi to transfer video and photos to cloud storage. Most can also store recordings locally on a microSD card.
When the camera detects motion, it alerts you by email or a notification sent to your smartphone. You can view a live feed from an app on an Android or iOS device, and most also provide access through a website. Some let you remotely pan and tilt the camera.
Wireless IP cameras can be bought individually or in a kit. Kits vary in content, so make sure the one you buy has everything you want. They’ll usually have multiple cameras, window and door sensors, separate motion detectors and a control hub.
Most of the time, all you need to install a wireless IP camera is a wireless router, a ladder and a drill.
Tip: Try using the app and web access before you mount the camera. It’s much easier to fix problems when the camera isn’t two metres up the wall.
Since you’re sending images of your home over the internet, it’s important to ensure everything is as secure as possible.
For more information on keeping your data and devices safe, check out our article about online privacy.