How to Choose a Home Video Surveillance System

When choosing a system for home video surveillance, consumers have a lot of choices. Hopefully, you’ll feel better able to choose your system after reading the following information.

Systems With a Monthly Fee

The easiest to install are the doorbell cameras from companies like Ring, but unfortunately, they also come with a monthly fee. They are entirely wireless since they use rechargeable battery packs and connect to your home’s wifi. They can give you an excellent view of your front door, and they also sell other models, such as:


  • Indoor cameras
  • Outdoor cameras
  • Outdoor cameras with lights

All their models can also operate with an AC power transformer using between 8-24 VAC. The cameras link to the Ring app that works on both Apple and Android operating systems.

ADT and other companies also offer similar cameras with a monthly fee that includes video storage and even professional monitoring. You can easily install them yourself or have a professional do it for you.


Home DVR Systems

My personal favorite, stand-alone home DVRs, offer excellent picture quality on a stable platform. HD-TVI systems are now available in resolutions as high as 4k (8 megapixels) with the latest IP video compression codecs, and you can install them with your choice of cable. While IP cameras may offer a superior image and better configuration, analog cameras excel at the following:


  • Better low light visibility
  • Last longer
  • More stable

Most DVRs also accept a limited amount of IP cameras, so you can always add them later. While you can plug them directly into the DVR, they will connect to the DVR as long as they’re on the same network.


Home NVR Systems

IP cameras and Network Video Recorders are competitively priced with DVRs. Though the equipment may be more expensive, you save on a power supply, baluns, and some complexity in the wiring.

If you go for a home NVR or DVR system, you get better quality equipment without a monthly fee. Almost every system has its own app that allows you to view the cameras remotely. While you won’t get professional monitoring, you can always check it yourself and review the video at home. You can also connect your NVR/DVR to your TV set and view the cameras that way.