Set up your own home security camera system with a wireless IP (internet protocol) camera.
Keep tabs on your home no matter where you are.
If your home security budget is limited or you just want to confirm it’s the neighbour’s dog that’s messing up your lawn, then the DIY approach with wireless IP (internet protocol) cameras could be ideal.
The idea is that you monitor the camera. Most have motion detection that alerts you if the camera senses anything. Many wireless IP cameras require you to subscribe to a paid cloud storage service (generally, this is where most of your footage will be stored). A downside is these types of cameras aren’t likely to lower your home insurance premiums, as most insurers require a security system to be professionally installed and monitored.
When the camera detects motion, it alerts you by email or a notification sent to your smartphone. Most let you view a live feed from an app or through the internet. Some let you remotely pan and tilt the camera. All of the 16 wireless IP cameras we tested could be remotely viewed using Android and iOS devices while 12 could be accessed through a website.
Wireless IP cameras can be bought individually or in a kit. Kits vary in content, so make sure it has everything you want. They’ll usually have multiple cameras, window and door sensors, separate motion detectors and a hub for controlling and monitoring the sensors.
Setting up remote access was easy for all cameras. The camera will have instructions on what type of connection you need to connect it for the first time and directions on connecting to your home WiFi. We didn’t find connecting the cameras to WiFi too technical and many could be done directly through a smartphone.
All the tested cameras with cloud storage required signing up for an account and most had an ongoing subscription cost.
Tip: Try 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.
Once everything’s working, accessing the camera is easy. Just open the app or website to start viewing your camera.
For more information on keeping your data and devices safe, check out Keeping safe on the internet.