Security Cameras

By Daley Raffin

Keeping your family safe and secure is one of the most important things we can do at Raffin Electrical. If you’re considering home security cameras, you’ll need to decide between the two main types: wired and wireless.

The term “wireless” refers to how a camera communicates, not how a camera is powered. Wireless cameras communicate over Wi-Fi, whereas wired cameras use wires to transmit their footage. Wireless cameras can be powered by AC power (such as a normal household outlet) or by batteries. When powered by batteries, a wireless camera becomes a wire-free camera.

Here is a simple explanation of the three terms:

  • Wired: connected to a power source and the internet by a cable
  • Wireless: connected to the internet over Wi-Fi, connected to a power source by a cable
  • Wire-free: wireless cameras connected to the internet over Wi-Fi and powered by batteries

What Are Wireless Home Security Cameras?

A wireless home security camera, also known as a Wi-Fi camera, transmits its footage over Wi-Fi and is powered by AC power. This means it must be plugged into an outlet using a power cable. A wireless camera isn’t wire-free; rather, it’s called a wireless camera because it uses wireless internet (Wi-Fi). When a wireless camera is powered by a battery, it becomes a wire-free camera.

Wireless home security cameras generally store their footage on a cloud server, so you can access it from anywhere. Some also can store video on local media, such as a micro SD card in the camera. Wireless cameras are popular because they’re easy to install and it’s simple to view their footage using a smartphone or computer.

Wireless security cameras generally record when they detect motion or sound, but some can be set to record 24/7 if plugged into power. They capture high-resolution video and can record at night if equipped with night vision. They also typically have two-way audio capabilities so you can talk to the person that the camera sees. Finally, some models use machine learning, a technology that allows cameras to do useful things such as alert you when they detect a person or package.

What Are Wired Home Security Cameras?

A wired home security camera system, also known as a DVR (digital video recorder) security system, is a recording device combined with cameras. The number of cameras usually stars at four and can go up to 16. They record 24/7, can be connected to the internet to view remotely, and are hardwired to the internet and to power.

There are two types of wired home security camera systems: traditional DVR systems that use a coaxial cable to power the cameras and record the footage, and newer NVR (networked video recorder) systems, which use ethernet cables to both power the cameras and record video. Both DVRs and NVRs can connect to the internet via an ethernet cable. NVRs are more advanced and capable of recording higher quality video than DVRs. NVRs also can incorporate some features that wireless cameras have, such as two-way talk and person detection.

The cameras that come with a wired home security system draw their power from the DVR or NVR and don’t need to be plugged into an outlet. Most wired systems have an app for viewing footage on your smartphone, but you can also connect a computer monitor to the recording device to view the recordings and real-time feeds.

Here at Raffin Electrical, we prefer to use Wired over Wireless as it is more reliable. Wired security is the most traditional and used primarily on larger properties. Evidenced by their name, wired security, these systems require cables for power, internet connection, and video transmission. The main strength of wired security is reliability. Wired security systems are not susceptible to interference from wireless signals due to the physical connections between the camera, recorder, and router. Speak to one of our Certified Security Camera installers for more information.

Most major security system providers offer both wired and wireless options, so choosing the right provider will be more important than deciding between wireless or wired security.

Before you add any security system, evaluate the current security of your property. The property size and security needs will ultimately determine what system is best. Not sure where to get started?

Security Camera Features

Camera resolution and definition is typically the most important feature for those looking to purchase a new security camera. And as you can imagine, the image resolution options are better than ever. You can find cameras on the market with up to 4k resolution.

There are a few downsides to a higher-resolution camera. One of these being, the higher the resolution, the more space is required to store and manipulate the images produced. Luckily, it generally isn’t that expensive to increase storage availability regardless of where you plan on storing these images. The other potential negative to a higher resolution is that higher resolution cameras typically don’t respond as well to low-light situations as a lower resolution camera. So it is possible to purchase a camera with more resolution than you need, increasing storage costs and decreasing performance.

Clear night vision is one of the most important features of an outdoor security camera. Selecting a camera with infrared (IR) technology will produce the best and brightest image in low light. For the best visibility, we recommend you choose a camera with night visibility of up to 30metres or more.

Depending on how you plan on monitoring your cameras, a mobile app can provide you with a live feed directly on your mobile device.
In general, there are two types of surveillance view apps on the market, proprietary apps, and third-party apps. A proprietary app will only work with the company’s own IP security cameras at no extra cost. Third-party apps are compatible with different brands of cameras and very likely will cost you a monthly fee to use. If you plan on utilizing a third-party app, make sure it is compatible with the cameras you plan on purchasing.

The most modern connection type uses a single Ethernet cable to receive power and transmit video. These types of connection can handle video resolutions of 4K+ surpassing the limits of older style cameras. PoE cameras can allow for more flexible placement options, as they don’t rely on power outlets or wireless signal range limits.

Using a camera with tamper detection capabilities will allow you to receive an email or SMS notification whenever the camera is vandalized or physically attacked, the view becomes obscured, or if the power line is cut to the camera.

Security System Considerations

Now that we’ve gone through the different types of security cameras, here are some other things you will want to keep in mind before you purchase a home security system. Make sure you fully understand the differences in the types of systems available, as well as additional features, to determine what you need. Before selecting a system, we recommend running through this list of considerations beforehand so you will have a better understanding of your needs and goals before you commit to a security system.

  1. Do you have an roof space that is easy to access? or maybe you live on the fourth floor of an apartment building? One of the most important factors to keep in mind before purchasing a security system is your home’s layout. For instance, a home with an accessible roof space makes it easy for outdoor, wired cameras to be installed, whereas a limited access home may require a wireless system to avoid costly labor.Your home’s layout will also play a role in the type of security cameras that
    will provide the best coverage and security of your home.
  2. An important factor in your purchase—and the long-term cost of your security system—is whether you want professional monitoring or self-monitoring. Professional monitoring means having a team of dispatchers monitor your surveillance system 24/7 so they can alert authorities if needed (Mainly used in Commercial sites). Self-monitoring means no monthly fees but requires you – the homeowner – to alert authorities if you receive a notification on your phone following a break-in. To effectively monitor your system, you are required to keep your phone nearby so you can see alerts the moment you receive them.
  3. Know your budget. If your budget allows for it, you can opt for a system that is more robust, more advanced, and has additional features.
  4. Are you wanting smart home integration? Many home security systems can now integrate with other smart devices and can even act as a hub. For example, this integration can include fire alarms and carbon monoxide alerts, providing you with instant access to emergency personnel in an emergency. They can even connect with your smart locks, so when you lock or unlock your door, your alarm will alarm or dis-alarm automatically.
  5. Are you in need of personal security? Many home security systems come equipped with optional technology that could save you in a medical emergency.
  6. Are you a DIY’er with some extra time on your hands? As technology continues to evolve, security systems are progressively becoming easier and easier for an “average Joe” to install. You can even purchase security system starter kits which let you add components and sensors over time.
  7. Make sure you choose a good provider that is near your home. Keep in mind how long the company has been in business and read through third-party verified reviews before selecting a company.
  8. Does your Homeowners Insurance offer a reduction on premiums if you have a surveillance system installed?

Privacy laws

When installing a security camera system you need to ensure your system is positioned correctly and that you do not share footage unless required to by a law enforcement agency. If you are unsure about privacy laws around security cameras, especially camera placement, talk to us at Raffin Electrical.

We understand there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to your security system installation. That’s why, at Raffin Electrical, we work with you to develop a custom solution that’s tailored to your home, budget, and needs. And, while we will provide you with product and system recommendations, we’re simply here to help you choose, install, and configure whichever devices you prefer.

If you have a specific question or require further clarification please feel free to call us at Raffin Electrical on 4168 5518.