Before you decide to purchase your camera to protect your home, a little research is needed. This is to ensure that you purchase the right camera with the appropriate viewing angle and capturing what you need on your property. Here are three key aspects you need to do both before buying and installing a camera.
1. The position of your cameras
This is a must-do to ensure you get the most out of your camera feed.
Location. Focus on all possible entrances to your home. If you need to visualise this better, draw it out. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece or drawn to scale. This needs to tell you where your windows and doors are and of any other point, you should have monitored. This includes the side gates and garage. At a minimum, you should always have one camera placed out the front door. If the camera doesn't capture everything you need, consider using multiple cameras to capture the entire area. The below image includes the main areas where your cameras should be focussing on. Don't forget to include the front and back yards in your camera's range of view.
Preparation. Once you have found the right location for your camera, the next step is to prepare it. Remove obstructions and trim back any leaves and branches to maximise the viewing angle for the camera. You don't want to see only half of your feed because you didn't trim the branches back further enough. Mount your camera at a height that is out of reach from thieves, this also removes the opportunity for anyone to tamper with it. Lastly, check that the site for mounting your camera is sturdy. This means checking that the timber beam or brick wall is in good condition and won't crumble or fall away.
Review. Now that your camera is installed, check it has a good view. This includes ensuring the camera doesn’t point to the ground. Most importantly, ensure that it is within good range of your wifi signal/router. Having a poor signal leads to lags in transmission and can produce pixellated feeds to your smartphone app.
2. Hardwired v Wireless
This next step can be easy or tricky depending on what you are looking for in your camera and camera feed. Without getting into too much detail, here we'll cover off the basics between the two.
In short, hardwired cameras require cabling for power, internet connection and video feed. Hardwired cameras provide more stability to their transmissions as they are less susceptible to interference from wireless signals due to the physical connection to the internet router. Wired cameras are also a great choice for comprehensive surveillance, such as on a large property where a large number of cameras are needed. Another reason to opt for wired cameras is if you are looking to record every hour of the day (continuously), rather than when motion is detected. Due to the need for wires, this type of camera is not portable, so once it's wired in, that is it. Installation of hardwired cameras can be tricky and messy if not done correctly, so we strongly recommend you get the professionals to take care of this job.
Wireless cameras, on the other hand, are often designed to be completely DIY. This is because of the lack of wires required to get them to operate, this also means it is completely dependent on the strength of your internet signal. As a result, you can experience connectivity issues to your camera when there is weak or no wifi signal. However, wireless cameras are a great option if you are looking to simply record only motion-based events, rather than a continuous record of the day. As this form takes up less memory, the feed can usually be saved directly onto the camera via a memory card or by a cloud based storage. The best aspect of using wireless cameras is that they are completely portable. So if you are not happy with the view you are getting from your camera, you can always pull it down and place it in a different position on the wall.
There are two types of lighting that you need to consider, the sunlight during the day and the use of outdoor lighting at night. Both which can impact on the quality of your camera feed. Let's begin with direct sunlight. Check your chosen spot doesn't receive the glare from direct sunlight. Otherwise what you end up seeing is just a sun glare feed for most of the day and potentially miss out on some important footage. So consider placing this undercover or you may want to play around with the angle so you can still get a good view, minus the sunspots.
The next sort of lighting that you need to take into consideration is your outdoor lights, whether this is spotlights or floodlights. Most cameras these days come with some sort of night vision. If it doesn't, then you need to place them close enough to the light in order to capture a decent image. However, if your camera does have night vision, then by placing them too close to the light fixture, can cause the image quality to decrease.
Now you’re all set up and running. The next step is simply ongoing maintenance. This means keeping the camera lens free of dirt, fingerprints, cobwebs and anything else that may impede on providing you with the best possible feed.