Whether seeking some additional security for a home or business, people around the world are cancelling their subscriptions with security firms and opting for do-it-yourself security systems. The market now features a plethora of security cameras — all ranging in special features, shapes, sizes, and costs. While there are now certainly more options for consumers, this also means that the decision-making process is a bit tougher. That is why this best security system guide will be helpful in addressing what to look for when you make a security camera purchase for your business or home.

Internet Protocol (IP) cameras

These could be considered the old-school style security cameras and have been on the market since the late 1990s.

What To Look For In A Security Camera For Your Home Or Business
What To Look For In A Security Camera For Your Home Or Business

This type of digital video camera is most commonly used for surveillance and operates by sending and receiving data through a computer network and the Internet. While IP cameras do have their merits, and are great for basic security operations, they most likely need a tech savvy person to be able to fully understand and operate their web interfaces. If you are looking for simplicity, it may be a better idea to choose a more modern security camera.

New generation security cameras

The past couple of years have seen in an increase in both the number of surveillance cameras on the market, as well as the advanced features that they offer. Many of these new models offer simple setup instructions and are easy to use. Many of them offer live streaming HD video and can back up the video feed to cloud storage. Unique features include facial recognition, sirens, temperature and air quality sensors, smart phone app compatibility, and even features that allow the camera to zoom in on figures when they enter the frame. Prices generally range from about $50 up to around $400 for some of the more advanced models.

Ask yourself some questions

In order to find the perfect security camera for your home or business it’s best to consider a few questions about your future camera:

  • What will it be used for? Will you be using the security camera in a specific room, to monitor your business 24/7, or just to surveill your home while travelling or out of town?

Certain cameras offer 180-degree fish-eye lenses, providing a large field of view. Other, more basic cameras only offer fields of view that are about 100-degrees. Many security cameras can provide alerts via text message or app notification when something unusual is picked up by the camera — perfect if you’re worried about intruders while you’re on vacation.

  • What is your budget? How many cameras are needed and how much will you be willing to spend?

While you can find a security camera at nearly every price nowadays, most cost between $150-300 (in addition to cloud storage fees and monthly subscription costs).

  • Do you need something that produces high-resolution video feed? Or would something more basic suffice? Will you be saving the video footage? If so, you may have to decide between storing the information on the cloud or locally by using a USB drive.

Some cameras provide constant streaming of live feed, allowing users to check their home and business whenever they want — while others record and save clips when motion or light changes are sensed. The quality of the video varies also, with some cameras providing 720 or 1080p HD quality and other more basic cameras only providing 640×480 VGA video quality.

  • Does the camera need to be able to function outdoors?

Sound alerts, weather resistant parts, and night vision are great features if you’re looking for an outdoor camera.

  • Are there any other specific features you’re looking for in a security camera?

Some features available today include facial recognition features, voice-control, built-in sirens, camouflage design, thermostats and carbon monoxide detectors — providing something for every home or business.

Each camera will offer a different answer to each of these questions and making the right decision will involve finding a security camera suitable to your specific needs and budget. There is an array of cameras available online, as well as in electronic stores. By determining all of the specific needs that your security camera will address, you will have a better idea of what to look for. As you can see, there are many unique features that security cameras offer for a relatively affordable cost — now you should be able to determine what you need and find a suitable security camera for your home or business.

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Joanna Sommer is the Senior Editor for InformedMag and is passionate about security and tech. She has been working in the home safety and security field for 5 years. Joanna loves to travel and enjoys going to hot yoga and Barre classes. She is dedicated to creating articles that both educate and help people make an informed purchasing decision.