We all need to feel a sense of security. And by far the best way to protect your family and valuable possessions is through a home security camera system.
Modern home security camera systems record activity around your home, with features to detect movement and send alerts of possible intrusion or burglary. Some can be set up for remote access and monitoring. Unlike your human security guard, home security systems never sleep and protect the whole property. You can virtually put eyes to monitor every window and door.
If you’re considering investing in a home security camera system, you likely have many questions. Below we answer the most frequently asked questions about this important home security installation:
#01. How Do Wireless Home Security Cameras Work?
Wireless security cameras use an internet connection or wireless network to transmit video, and even audio, to a viewing or storage device. Most modern systems save footage in the cloud, where they can access and view it on demand.
Wireless home security systems, while susceptible to hacks and poor connectivity, have several benefits over wired systems. They are quick and easy to install. Because of this, you can install a wireless security camera on your own. Wired systems almost always require a skilled and licensed installer.
#02. Do I Need an Alarm Permit to Install a Security System in My Home?
Homeowners aren’t required to have an alarm permit to install a home security system. But, if you’re going to be adding emergency response features on the system, many city authorities require that you have an alarm permit.
Most cities enacted alarm permit laws in response to rising false alarms that distracted and wasted police resources. The problem for a homeowner who proceeds to install an alarm-enhanced security system comes when the system triggers an alarm that turns out to be false. Such a false alarm will attract a fine.
#03. Can Home Security Cameras Be Hacked?
Yes, networked home security camera systems can be hacked, as can any gadget that’s connected to the internet. Hackers can disable the alarm, open doors remotely and enter your property without detection.
In some cases, hackers have streamed private footage from people’s bedrooms live on the internet. If you don’t take precautions and make sure your passwords and login details don’t fall into the wrong hands, there is a real risk both your privacy and security can be compromised.
Here are a few precautions to take to avoid the risk of getting hacked;
- Use usernames and passwords that aren’t easy to guess,
- Change your passwords regularly,
- Secure your wireless network with WPA2, as you would your home wifi,
- If available on your security system’s administrative tools, enable data encryption,
- Avoid using public wifi when accessing your home security system from a remote location.
#04. Can Wireless Home Security Cameras Work Without The Internet?
A wireless security system can work without an internet connection. Though you will lose some functions, most notably remote monitoring and mobile motion detection alerts. In some cases, people will actually choose to turn off the internet connection to shield their networked security system from breaches by hackers or to save on their data.
What you need is a wireless security camera system that uses a Wifi Network Video Recorder. With this system, the cameras connect to each other. The only other piece of hardware you need is the TV with which to monitor the video footage.
AS with wireless IP cameras, these only need an internet connection when setting up. To set up, you will connect them to software on your mobile device via a wifi router. The cameras will then work without the need for internet connection, recording footage on an SD card. You will only ever need an active internet connection when you access the cameras remotely or when the system detects movement and has to send you an alert.
#05. Can Home Security Camera Footage Be Used In Court?
Home security camera footage is accepted in court, but it must pass several tests. The footage will be tested on its authenticity, relevance to the court case, and originality.
The footage must clearly show what happened and that it has a material effect on the matter before the court. It must not show signs that it has been edited or any suspicion that it is a reenactment. With originality, you should be able to provide an original copy of the original. If you make copies, always make sure to keep the original.
#06. What Are The Best Places To Place Security Cameras?
According to statistics, burglars commonly enter your home through your front door, back door, windows, and the garage. As much as 34% of burglaries happen through the front door, 23% through the first-floor window, and 22% through the back door. These will be the best places to put your security cameras.
When using security cameras to monitor your windows, it is advisable to place them near off-street or back windows. For fear of being spotted by passersby, thieves avoid breaking into houses through street-facing windows. So, consider concealed entrances and windows as good places to monitor with cameras.
#07. Do Security Cameras Record All The Time?
Home security cameras can be set up to record continuously or only when they detect motion. Continuous Video Recording and motion-activated systems both have their advantages. The homeowner must decide which one between the two serves their security needs best.
Generally, though, CVR security systems suit homes located in high crime areas where you don’t want to miss anything. However, these raise issues of storage space, especially where you are using local storage. An option with networked systems is to use cloud storage services that have ample capacity.
#08. How Can I Hide The Wires From My Security Camera?
Wired security cameras have their place and benefits. But where you want to monitor your property discreetly without spooking intruders, the wires can give the cameras away. Hiding the wiring can also protect the system from burglars who may want to cut the wiring and deprive the cameras of their power supply, rendering the whole system useless.
To hide and protect the wiring, you can run the cables through the ceiling or under carpets or floorboards. Another option is to paint the wiring the same color as the wall so the cables can blend in and not be easy to pick out, especially at night.
While there is an arguable case for hiding and obscuring the wiring for your home security cameras, there is a counter-argument?
#09. Should I Display Security System Signs On My Property?
Sometimes knowing that a property is monitored with security cameras round the clock is enough deterrent for would-be burglars.Former criminals have said it themselves – that barking dogs and CCTV cameras are the biggest deterrents for burglars as most don’t want to attract attention. So those gate stickers and yard signs can be all it takes to tell a potential burglar to move on.
#10. Is It Illegal To Have A Security Camera Pointed At My neighbors’ house?
In most cities, you can point your security cameras at your neighbor’s house as long as the camera is on your property and your property is in the line of sight from a public space, like a road or park.
That said, how you use the video footage of people filmed while on their property has legal limits. You cannot use it for anything malicious. Also, it is an invasion of privacy to record people while they are inside their houses either through windows or doors. You can find all the answers to your questions about the laws in Ontario for surveillance cameras here.
Jay360 is a top supplier and installer of security cameras and video recording systems for both residential and commercial properties. Contact us for a free quote.