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Surveillance Systems

Safeguard Your Video Surveillance System

While video surveillance systems protect us from potential intruders and dangers, without the proper safeguards, these systems can fall victim to hackers. In order to maintain the integrity of your video surveillance system and keep the cybercriminals at bay, you may want to consider following these tips to protect your surveillance system.

Choose Branded Video Cameras
If you invest in cameras that are not branded, you may not receive the necessary updates and security patches that often come with branded security cameras. This means that your non-branded cameras will remain susceptible to vulnerabilities and exploits. Play it safe and purchase branded cameras known for quality cyber security and be sure to routinely check for patches and updates.

Protect Your Surveillance Network
A major vulnerability of surveillance systems lies in open IP cameras. With these IP cameras located across your property and connected to your network, anyone can disconnect your cameras and connect a laptop or device and gain access to your entire network. To prevent this, lock down the MAC addresses that can connect to the network, allowing only your cameras to connect to your surveillance systems.

Setup VLANs
Never put your surveillance cameras on the same network as your workstation. Keep your security camera network isolated via VLANs and only allow the video recorders to communicate with the cameras.

Change The Default Camera Password
This seems like a no-brainer, however, it must be said. The default password is often readily available on the company’s website, thus, it is advised to change the default password to a strong one that you can remember.

Keep Separate Logins For Access & Admin Privileges
Along the same lines, you want to keep separate logins when it comes to access and administrative privileges. That way only the appropriate employees can gain access to the admin privileges, such as updating firmware or obtaining streaming video.

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Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock of affordable CCTV security cameras and video surveillance systems. To request a site survey or free quote, please call 888-203-6294.

Maintenance Tips For Your Security Camera System

Keeping your security camera system in good condition and running sufficiently is very important. A routine system maintenance schedule will ensure you are getting the most out of your system. Here are some smart practices to consider when it comes to maintaining your security system.

  • Semi-Annual Inspections

You want to inspect both your indoor and outdoor cameras for any signs of corrosion and replace any connectors that show signs as this can cause your equipment to short out. Power supplies should be inspected to ensure that your system hasn’t lost power due to tampering, burn out, natural disasters or other unexpected events. If you have a UPS, make sure the battery is fully charged and does not show any warning lights.

  • Clean Camera Lenses

Check your security cameras lenses for dust, smudges, water spots and other elements. A dirty lens can render your camera useless because the video and image quality will be compromised.

  • Check Security Camera Positioning

Evaluate your camera positioning and adjust accordingly based on your current surveillance needs. You also want to ensure your cameras have not become loose as this can interfere with recording quality. Jiggle the area to make sure there are no vibrations – tighten and adjust as necessary.

  • Replace Malfunctioning Cameras & Parts

If you notice a decline in the performance of your security cameras, it is wise to replace them before they become completely useless. While you are inspecting your system, take note of any issues that need to be addressed (ex. broken parts). It is recommended that you purchase replacement parts or accessories from the same manufacturer or a trusted seller to ensure you are purchasing real parts. These usually have warranties and are less likely to deteriorate prematurely.

  • Landscaping

Make sure your outdoor cameras still have a clear view. Be sure to trim all vines, bushes, trees, and other foliage around the cameras to prevent obstructions. In addition, you should make sure any animals (ex. birds, squirrels, bees) have not made a home near your cameras.

  • Check Housing & Weatherproof Function

Although you enclose your cameras in weatherproof housing, you must make sure that the housing has not been compromised. Open the camera housing to check for water, condensation or dirt, to confirm that your housing is still protecting your equipment. Furthermore, too much sunlight or water exposure can damage your cameras, thus protecting your cameras with an encasing or small shed is advised (especially if your cameras are not designed to withstand these elements).

  • Check Cable Connections

When your security cameras stop working properly, more often than not, it comes down to loose connections or worn out cables. Examine all of your cable connections, including those connected to your security cameras, DVR, and monitor, for any cables that show signs of wear and tear. Address any potential issues to ensure your cables and equipment are securely connected and receiving power.

  • Save The Manual

When you purchase and install equipment, you should receive a manual – store this in a safe and accessible place. You can refer to your manual to troubleshoot any issues before calling a professional (which can save you money in the long run).

Keeping your security system up and running protects your investment, your property, and you. Aside from your own semi-annual inspections, you may want to have a professional evaluate your system annually. This can help maintain the integrity of your system and they can advise you on possible upgrades or share helpful tips.

If you’re looking for affordable security cameras and surveillance equipment, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. Browse our selection online or inquire about site surveys, installation services, or request a free quote by calling 888-203-6294 today! You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Tips For Improving Your Home Security System

Home security camera systems help home owners protect their property and loved ones. They provide an extra set of eyes to monitor your home whether you are at home or away. Because of the financial investment, it is important to ensure that everything is working properly.

There are many ways in which you can optimize your surveillance cameras to get the most out of your security system. Here are a few smart security tips to improve your system.

Use Motion Detection
A security camera that is recording everything all the time sounds good in theory, but will require a large amount of memory and power. It will also be more difficult to sort through the mundane footage to find what you are looking for.

Thanks to motion detection, your camera does not have to record all the time. Motion detection enables your camera to start recording when activity in the field of view triggers the sensor. This means you will not need to worry about running out of storage space and makes it easier to sort through your recordings.

Consider Location
Choosing the right location for your security cameras is crucial. Be sure to adjust the angle of your camera to maximize your field of view and ensure that obstructions, such as trees or bushes, do not block the camera’s view.

Other Home Security Solutions
Although security cameras are important, they cannot do everything. Pairing your security camera system with a high quality and reliable alarm system can increase your home security overall and may even help with insurance discounts.

Multiple Cameras
While an outdoor security camera is common, often times, one camera is not enough. If there’s only one security camera present, it’s likely that burglars will work around that. You want your security cameras to monitor high traffic areas and points of entry (ex. front door, back door, first floor windows). That way, you get more comprehensive video surveillance should you become a target for home invasion.

Proper Maintenance
You can’t just set it and forget it when it comes to your surveillance system. Keeping your cameras clean and any potential obstructions at bay will help maintain the performance and effectiveness of your system. Skipping routine maintenance checks may cause your cameras to miss important moments.

Do you have any other home security tips? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a great selection of affordable security cameras and CCTV surveillance camera systems, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For more information about our installation services or to request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294.

The Benefits Of PTZ Cameras

Looking back, Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras have come a long way. As technology as has advanced, PTZ cameras have decreased in size and weight while offering even better features and functions.

These high-quality PTZ cameras are ideal for monitoring large, open spaces both indoors and outdoors. Some examples include casino, malls, airports, and stadiums, where effective and efficient surveillance is necessary.

As with any security system, selecting the right PTZ camera system comes down to individual security needs. Here are some important features to consider when choosing PTZ cameras.

Video Analytics
Now nearly all PTZ systems are equipped with video analytics which provide numerous benefits:

  • Directional Behaviors – notify operators or active cameras when someone or something moves against the designated flow of traffic (ex. someone trying to walk into an exit path).
  • Abandoned Object Behaviors – enables video system to alert security personnel when an object (ex. backpack, box, or briefcase) is set down and left unattended.
  • License Plate Recognition, Facial Detection, Perimeter Detection & related analytics.
  • Tripwire Behavior – activates a camera or triggers an alarm or other operations when a person or object moves into a restricted area.

Auto-Tracking
Arguably one of the most valuable features of PTZ cameras, auto-tracking controls the PTZ actions of a camera to automatically track (keep in field of view) an object in motion. This can be triggered manually or automatically by defined rules. Once a rule is triggered, the camera automatically zooms in and tracks the defined target.

Advanced Video Compression
The H.265 compression standard enables much higher compression ratios with lower bandwidth and storage requirements than before, providing higher resolution images and deeper systems integration. However, optimized implementations of the H.265 codec are emerging, like the Smart H.265+. In comparison to the standard h.265 video compression, Smart H.265+ reduces bit rate and storage requirements by up to 30 percent.

High-Definition Video Over Coax
Legacy coax systems can be easily upgraded to HD video using existing analog infrastructure thanks to HD video over coax. With this option, there is no latency in system responsiveness and no video compression, so the images maintain a high level of detail without stretching or distortion. In addition, there is no need to install a separate cable to control PTZ since coaxial cable allows for bidirectional data transfer. Overall, this is a cost-effective way to upgrade PTZ cameras.

Infrared (IR) Illumination
With PTZ cameras, IR illumination is applied as needed. There is usually an array of three distinct areas of infrared illuminators – each with a different angle of dispersion for the IR light: wide angle, telephoto, and interim angle.

As an example, when an operator optically zooms in from wide angle to telephoto, IR illuminator LEDs will turn on and off to provide the appropriate illumination. And when the camera is in zoom mode, it adjusts the IR illumination so that the system is not flooding the entire 120-degree view. These automatic modifications illuminate the area in view, producing better video and reducing the amount of power required.

Video Quality Expectations

Zoom Factor vs. Focal Length – Keep in mind that a higher zoom factor does not always provide a better video image. The focal length of the lens will provide a better indication of what is appropriate for an application.

Plastic vs. Glass – Remember not all lower domes (the protective housing at the bottom of a PTZ camera) are the same. While most manufacturers use a plastic lower globe to protect the camera and optics, this can offer a lower degree of optical clarity. As the camera pans up toward the horizon, it begins to view through the globe in areas where it has the least uniformity (where most optical distortions can occur).

Glass lower globes (or a flat piece of glass, as provided by some companies) are more optically pure and consistent in comparison. These glass coverings enable dome systems to feature higher resolution sensors and longer optical zooms thanks to their clear and consistent nature.

Some modified lower dome designs allow for above-the-horizon viewing – ideal for those who need to monitor rough terrain or scenes on different planes of view.

Thinking about installing a PTZ system on your property? We carry a great collection of quality PTZ security cameras. Browse our stock online or call 888-203-6294 to request a site survey, free quote, or inquire about our installation services. Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Common Outdoor Security Camera Issues

Outdoor security cameras act as your first line of defense against potential burglars. The presence of outdoor security cameras alone can act as a deterrent and they can provide you with evidence should anything happen. Because they are placed outdoors, these security cameras are susceptible to possible dangers which may compromise your security system. Here are a few outdoor security camera risks and how to safeguard your security equipment.

Vandalism & Theft
Unfortunately, to cover their tracks and eliminate possible evidence, thieves may resort to vandalism and theft.

In order to protect your equipment, you will want to choose vandal-proof security cameras or CCTV cameras with metal housings or covers. These not only make it harder for them to be stolen, but they also help to keep your security camera clean.

You should also consider the placement of your security cameras. Installing outdoor security cameras where they are visible yet out of reach will help to maximize their effectiveness and reduce the risk of damage.

Lighting & Thunderstorm
Though it may seem highly unlikely, there’s still a chance your security equipment may get struck by lightning, especially in areas where thunderstorms are common.

Because metal can be highly conductive, avoid mounting your cameras to a metal. Also, be sure that your CCTV or PoE security system is grounded properly. This can minimize damage by redirecting the lightning current into the earth ground.

In addition, employing lightning surge protectors prevents voltage spikes by blocking voltage that exceeds specific thresholds and instead directing the excess into the outlet’s ground line.

Should the thunderstorm result in power outage, UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supplies) units will provide reliable backup power. They will even work if you unplug all system, cable, modem and antenna connections during a thunderstorm.

Hackers
Hacking is a big concern for network IP cameras, as hackers can possibly jam the operating device or decrypt your safety code.

In these cases, you will want to boost your network security with WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) security protocol. You should also change your passwords frequently and make your passphrase complicated.

Firmware
In addition, updating firmware regularly for your IP security cameras is key. Some may be hesitant to perform this task as it can be inconvenient, however, these updates often contain patches for recently found loopholes or vulnerabilities that may threaten your system.

Be sure to update your firmware every few months, or check the product website to ensure you are using the latest firmware version. Also, remember to read the information carefully before upgrading.

Spider Webs or Bugs
If you employ IR security cameras outdoors and under eaves, they are likely to attract nocturnal bugs and insects that are naturally drawn to lights. Unfortunately, bugs and spider webs can compromise image quality and may even trigger false alarms from motion sensor cameras.

These issues can be combated with regular cleaning and maintenance of your outdoor security cameras. Using natural insect repellents (ex. citrus, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint) are reported as very effective in keeping spiders away. In addition, you may use spider repellents, contact sprays, aerosol sprays and web eliminators around the camera (not directly on the lens for obvious reasons). Lastly, if you reduce the motion-detection sensibility accordingly, you will reduce false alarms.

Extreme Weather Conditions
You may worry about the performance of your security cameras if you live in areas that experience extreme and inclement weather conditions (ex. freezing winters, sweltering hot summers). Luckily, security cameras come with an IP (ingress protection) rating that determines their ability to sustain harsh weather. For example, an outdoor security camera with IP rating 66 is also known as completely water-proof (can withstand solid matter and liquid, such as dust and rainwater respectively).

Reflection Of Lights
Beware of pointing your outdoor security cameras at reflective surfaces (ex. ponds of water, glass panels, car windows) as it will cause lens glare and obstruct viewing.

To avoid this, place front door and back door security cameras outside and out of reach. Also, adjust your camera field of view to shy away from potentially reflective surfaces.

Fogging, Clouding, Or Condensation
While security cameras are often assembled to be sealed-up and air-tight to prevent moisture seeping into the lens, sudden changes in temperature may cause fogging.

This issue is common in the early morning and will sometimes go away on its own. If the problem persists, you may want to consider placing a packet of silica gel inside the housing case. Also, regularly wiping the outer lens covers with a micro-fiber cloth will help protect your cameras.

How do you maintain your outdoor surveillance system? Share your tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

To shop our selection of outdoor security cameras, CCTV cameras, IP surveillance systems, and more, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. Looking for a free quote? Call 888-203-6294 today!

Surveillance System Storage

Security cameras play a major role in home security. Aside from deadbolt locks and alarms, security cameras can provide video footage of incidents and alert you as needed. Of course, the quality of the security camera and surveillance footage is important, and the proper video storage has a direct impact on this.

When it comes to video surveillance storage, there are basically two options – local and cloud. Evaluating their differences can help you narrow down your security system options.

Local Storage
Local video storage saves your footage locally – usually via microSD cards. Security cameras that offer local storage have built-in microSD slots that can typically handle anywhere from 16GB to 128GB. These cards may be included in your purchase or you may have to purchase them separately.

Once the microSD card is properly inserted in the security camera, you may then set your preferences in the accompanying mobile app for video storage. You may choose event-based recording, which only saves clips when motion or sound is detected, or continuous recording, which records everything around the clock.

When the card is full, you may continue recording (by overwriting the previous footage), or stop recording and manage footage manually. You can usually view saved clips in the app, but you may also removed the microSD card and stick it into a card reader or card adapter if you would like to save videos to your computer.

Those who are concerned about privacy often prefer this option, as you are in charge of managing your videos. In addition, your video surveillance footage is easily accessible without having to pay a monthly fee (which is common with cloud storage).

Cloud Storage
Much like smartphones store photos and other data on “the cloud,” security companies seem to be following suit with video surveillance footage. Rather than purchasing additional parts and manually managing your videos, you can opt for cloud storage.

Your event-based or continuous recordings are sent off to remote servers and you are charged a monthly fee based on the service provider and the type and amount of surveillance footage you store.

These subscription-based cloud storage services are generally more convenient than dealing with microSD cards, however, you do not have control over these remote servers. Thus, outages can cause major issues, such as delays in accessing your saved videos. And for the privacy-conscious, you might always wonder who has access to your footage.

Local Vs. Cloud
It really just comes down to your own needs and preference. Local storage gives you more control while cloud storage provides more convenience. If you really can’t decide on one or the other, there are hybrid options on the market that offer a mix of both.

Along with other factors, video surveillance storage is important when deciding on a security camera system. If you need any help choosing a security camera system, or simply want to view some cost-effective quality CCTV surveillance cameras and systems, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294. Our representatives are happy to answer questions and provide you with a free quote.

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Security Camera Image Sensors: CCD Vs. CMOS

Choosing the best security camera system can be based on many factors. When it comes to the individual security cameras, the quality of images and video captured is largely dependent on the image sensor.

The image sensor (also known as the “eye”) determines the imaging capability and performance of your security camera. Their duty is to convert an optical image into an electrical signal, and is either a charge-coupled device (CCD) or a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensor.

To better understand which type of image sensor will work best for your security camera needs, we will take a look at the differences between CCD and CMOS.

What Is A CCD Image Sensor?
CCD’s receive light and convert it to electrons, then carry the electrons to a specific area across the chip to be processed. The conversion of analog light signals into digital pixels takes place in the chip without distortion. The special manufacturing process of CCD’s produces high-quality sensors in terms of fidelity and light sensitivity.

What Is A CMOS Image Sensor?
The CMOS sensor came from the MOS active pixel image sensor which emerged in the 1960s. Since then, its design and function has greatly improved, containing integrated circuitry and arrays of pixel sensors. Unlike the CCD, CMOS sensors process the elections at the same place that it receives the light, thus making it faster and smaller. The CMOS is able to do so because it has multiple transistors at each pixel, offering flexibility because each pixel is treated individually.

CCD vs. CMOS
Now that we have covered the basics, we can compare the strengths and weaknesses of CCD and CMOS cameras.

  • CCD cameras provide high-quality images with low noise (grain), whereas CMOS cameras are more susceptible to noise. CMOS cameras often need more light to create a low noise image at proper exposure.
  • CCD cameras possess better light sensitivity than CMOS cameras, since the CMOS sensors have more transistors next to each pixel, which may interfere with the amount of light that reaches the photodiode (where the picture is processed).
  • CMOS sensors consume less power since the processes are confined to a smaller area. CCD sensors consume as much as 100 times more than CMOS.
  • CMOS chips require a simple and traditional manufacturing process (same as creating microchips) making them easier to produce and much more affordable than CCD. As mentioned, CCD sensors require a special manufacturing process which makes them more expensive.

Common Applications
In these common applications, one camera outshines the other.

  • Because of their superior light sensitivity and large effective imaging area, CCD cameras are better suited for low light conditions than CMOS cameras.
  • Since the CMOS image sensor is compact, CMOS cameras are better for hidden or covert surveillance.
  • Choose CMOS cameras for high-frame speed video shooting since the CMOS image sensor has a very fast processing speed (thanks to its ability to directly convert photoelectric signal to digital signal).

Which type of security cameras do you prefer? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

To shop our stock of security cameras and surveillance equipment, including CMOS cameras and CCD cameras, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. If you are located in Southern California and would like to schedule a site survey or request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294.

Transitioning From Analog Security Cameras To IP Surveillance

Upgrading your analog security cameras to IP security cameras has plenty of benefits, including improved image quality and advanced features. Most IP surveillance systems can make use of existing network infrastructure that is in good condition, decreasing costs for installation. Whether you are looking to upgrade because your analog system is reaching end-of-life for support or because your needs have changed, an IP surveillance system is a smart decision.

Now, the actual task of transitioning from analog to IP security cameras should not be taken lightly. You want to be sure that you take all things into consideration to ensure that you choose the right IP video surveillance system and that it performs sufficiently. Here are a few aspects you should not overlook:

Goals & Challenges
If you are looking to achieve ROI, you must fully understand how your IP security system will be used. Operational goals and potential challenges should be determined beforehand. Think about what types of cameras and how much resolution you need, as well as how long the footage needs to be stored and which areas need coverage. Proper planning is crucial to the success of your security system.

Budgets
No one wants to pay an arm and a leg for a mediocre surveillance system. If done correctly, you don’t need to. By defining a security budget, you can find the right cameras and video management software (VMS) to fulfill your needs and achieve your goals.

Time
As much as a quick transition sounds ideal, it is not always feasible. Understand that a proper transition will take some time, and it may be in your best interest to plan a phased migration. This will help to accommodate budget availability and operational disruptions. Prioritize which area needs immediate attention and begin there.

Storage
Going from analog to IP improves video quality, but also requires more storage. Advanced VMS can help to effectively optimize your network resources and bandwidth consumption, thus decreasing networking and storage costs over time.

Staffing
A new IP video system may need additional staffing, so you should think about this and how you will train the new and existing staff. This will impact both overall costs and ROI of your system, and may affect cameras and software selection. For example, casinos require live monitoring around the clock while parking lot surveillance may use video analytics to alert security personnel of incidents or events that need attention.

Integration
Numerous third-party integrations can help to increase the efficiency of your system as well as manage costs. While most current systems have an IP-based interface for integration, leading suppliers also have a wide range of integrations which are tested and ready to apply. These can offer functionality, automation, and other enhancements to solve project needs.

Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is of utmost importance, especially these days. If not addressed properly, going from analog to IP opens up your system, and any indirectly connected networks, to endless vulnerabilities. Be sure to discuss your specific network safeguards, policies, and strategies with your installer. Also, enlist a new IP security system that provides the appropriate cybersecurity architecture, software, devices, and policies.

Licensing
Pay attention to licensing requirements and Software Upgrade Plans (SUPs) or Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that come with most VMS systems. These cover everything from higher tiers of support to future upgrades. For example, third-party cameras may require a license for each IP address, and these licensing requirements can add additional costs.

Environmental Conditions
These include extreme heat or cold, humidity, corrosion, and high dust levels, along with ambient light levels, existing power sources, and network infrastructure. All of these can impact which security cameras and VMS equipment are necessary for you.

Redundancy
Because your security system should be operational and accessible at all times, it is important plan provisions for redundancy and back up for primary resources in case they fail. For most systems, simple RAID-5 or -6 redundancy in storage is sufficient. However, you should also consider budgeting for “failover” recorders and other server hardware, and have spare cameras on hand in case of failure.

It is only a matter of time until IP surveillance is the norm and analog security cameras are a thing of the past. But when the day comes, it is ever important to understand your security needs and what you expect from your IP surveillance system. Even a small mistake or misstep along the way can compromise your system.

Have you upgraded to an IP security camera system? Share your stories with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You can shop our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to inquire about our products, installation services, or request a free quote!

Home Security Mistakes & Tips

Making mistakes when it comes to your home security can compromise your safety, leaving you vulnerable to burglary and theft. When choosing the best home security system for you, avoid making these common security mistakes and ensure that you properly safeguard your home and loved ones.

Mistake: Buying The Wrong Home Security Systems.
There is no “wrong” home security system, however, what works for one person may not work for you. This is precisely why there are various types of security systems on the market.

In order to choose the best system for you, do your research. You want to look at different reviews from reputable sources. Search the security system you are eyeing, or the type of system you’re looking for. In addition to reviews, pay attention to any complaints from real buyers that you may come across. There may be legitimate issues that you should know about before making a purchase.

Also, these are some important features you should consider when shopping for a security system:

  • Remote monitoring
  • Real-time notifications
  • 911 & emergency services
  • Input capacity
  • Ease of installation

Lastly, to help you make the right decision, and possibly save you time, you should speak with a security professional. With expert knowledge and experience under their belt, a security professional will have a better idea of which type of security will best suit your needs.

Mistake: Not Testing Your Configurations.
It is rare that one home security system is enough for all your home security needs. For added protection, some components to consider may include:

  • Indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Motion sensors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Glass break detectors
  • Door and window sensors
  • Freeze sensors
  • Water sensors
  • Driveway sensors

Of course, these are just some of the many components you may or may not want to add to your system. Whether you have one security camera or 20 different cameras and sensors, you should test all of them to ensure proper configuration and performance. For example, you may not know that your camera is poorly positioned or that your alarm system was not properly activated.

Try simulating a break-in with a friend, family member, or your pet to determine the capabilities of your home security system. Most criminals are seasoned vets so they probably know how to bypass one of more components of your system, thus having more aspects can help to ensure they are stopped.

Mistake: Lack Of/Poor Maintenance Of Home Security System.
Your security system should be maintained on a regular basis, whether it’s weekly, monthly, semi-annually or annually – do what’s best for what you need. Maintenance can involve various things such as updating software, changing batteries, changing faulty or defective parts, and more.

Professional Maintenance
Professional maintenance can be done annually or semi-annually. You may want to check if your vendor offers any maintenance packages in the service contract. If they don’t, you can enlist the services from a home security inspection company.

The services typically consist of the following:

  • Repair or replace broken parts of your home security system
  • Test the control panel and all other components of your home security system
  • Check that signals are sent to and received by the monitoring center

Professional maintenance ensures that there’s no guesswork in handling, fixing or replacing faulty components of your system.

DIY Maintenance
Your DIY checklist should include:

  • Check/change exterior lighting to ensure clearer pictures or videos for your surveillance cameras
  • Simulate intrusion to check if motion sensors will detect it or trigger the right alarm
  • Test your control panel if it has a test model but if your system includes remote monitoring (which it should), inform the monitoring team to avoid starting a false alarm
  • The National Fire Alarm Code requires annual inspection of residential household fire systems, but you can press the test button of your smoke detector to see if it’s functioning properly from time to time

Keep these tips in mind in order to avoid these critical mistakes when shopping for a home security system.

If you’re looking for quality CCTV surveillance systems and security cameras for smart prices, feel free to browse our stock online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to speak with an expert today! Find the latest news and updates on our Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest pages.

CCTV Home Security Camera Systems

For the best home or business security, it’s important to choose the right CCTV security cameras. With the wide selection of security cameras to choose from, the task can seem daunting. To help ease some of the stress, here are a few things you should focus on when shopping for the perfect CCTV security system.

  • Cheap ≠ Cost-Effective

You always want to invest in good quality, but sometimes the ideal option falls a little bit out of your price range. That doesn’t mean you should just go the cheap route as this can end up costing you more in the long run. Remember, more often than not, you get what you pay for. Look for reputable security companies that offer a range of options from solid brand names (ex. Hikvision, Dahua, Axis) and pay attention to warranty offerings (reputable brands usually offer up to 3 years).

  • What Do You Need To Record?

Consider what you need to record in order to narrow down which specific camera functions you require. From fixed position to a range of angles, and up to 360-degree range, there’s a security camera for that. Also consider the location of your camera and the environment as there are a variety of cameras that can accommodate as well.

  • Lenses Explained

Don’t understand the lens size of wide angle degree for CCTV cameras? We’ve got you covered. The rule of thumb is that for each millimeter of lens size that is how far away in meters the camera will be able to view its subject (focal length). The degree of the wide angle lens will determine the field of vision and shorten the focal length as the angle gets wider.

For example, let’s say you have a camera with 60-degree wide angle, 4mm lens. This camera will be able to effectively identify a human target at up to 4 meters, but will not have enough range to view a neighbor’s property to the left or right.

  • Storage & Data

When it comes to storage and data, it will depend on the security camera and how long you will need to store your footage. IP cameras can connect to your network and enable real-time notifications as well as send data to your provider’s control center.

HD security cameras require better bandwidth and internet connection and may consume lots of data when accessed via mobile devices. They also require higher levels of storage to maintain their high resolution and quality.

  • Analog Vs. HD Vs. IP?

The quality of images you need from your security cameras will often determine the type you choose. Analog cameras offer low-resolution images, and thus, decreased storage demands. HD cameras can record higher resolution images and are suitable for identifying numbers and characters. They also retain quality when digitally zoomed in. While basic analog cameras may be more affordable, if you’re looking for higher quality footage, you may want to opt for high definition or IP cameras instead.

  • Positioning

If you have the best security cameras in poor locations and positions, what good are they really? Think about your property overall and begin by covering the perimeter. By securing the perimeter, you can get an early warning of any suspicious activity, allowing you to act accordingly and in a timely fashion. Also, having your security cameras in plain view but out of reach can be an effective deterrent.

  • Lighting Situations

Typically, CCTV surveillance cameras can record color during the day and revert to black and white recording at night. You can supplement your day and night cameras with motion sensor lights, which will allow for sufficient lighting for better images when motion is detected. Low light cameras are another option and may not need supplemental lighting.

  • Consider All Costs

When shopping for a CCTV system, you are not just buying cameras. Keep in mind the cost of other necessary items such as recorders, cables, connectors, an uninterrupted power supply, as well as the cost of labor, installation, and possible service provider fees.

  • Advice From Security Professionals

Seeking advice from a security professional will give you better insight as they can assess your property and provide the best solutions to suit your needs. Here at SecurityCamExpert, we can provide site surveys and free quotes, along with quality equipment and professional installation. Feel free to contact us 888-203-6294.

You can browse our selection of quality CCTV surveillance cameras and equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

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