We get a lot of questions about WiFi security cameras and doorbell cams being used as a burglar deterrent. Security is about layers and every little bit helps, but a common misconception is that there is a single silver bullet for all scenarios. That is just not true. In fact, no matter how complex your security system is there remains the possibility of break-ins and home instrusion. The best you can do is be rational, smart and live within your budget to protect your home. After all, we can’t all have private security guards wandering our property. It’s important to put in place security layers that work for you personally.
So let’s think about security cameras for a moment. First of all, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of having a camera streaming video of their home and family to the internet, especially when even folks like Apple and Yahoo can be hacked as we’ve seen recently. Then there is the question of budget. While there are expensive security camera systems available that include their own local recording devices, today most prefer recording to occur in the cloud (that is, your video footage is stored on a remote server). These are less expensive devices up-front, but they do require a monthly fee which can certainly add up over time. Either way, companies are going to make money off of the video footage whether your pay for it up front with your own recorder or incrementally pay a service fee for video to be stored in the cloud. Some security system installers will even go so far as to waive the cost of the cameras entirely, but then charge a higher monthly fee. This is a classic sales tactic that can be quite tantalizing depending on your budget.
A product becoming more popular recently is the doorbell camera. The idea is that when someone rings your doorbell you can answer on your smart-phone and pretend like you’re at home. Since we know burglars prefer unoccupied homes, a burglar would be less likely to break-in to a home that has a doorbell cam. There are a few things to keep in mind though when considering this approach. First of all, the burglar needs to ring the doorbell or at least walk up to the door for you to receive an alert. If the burglar approaches a window or another door without the doorbell cam then you’re out of luck. Also, even if they do approach the front door where you have your camera located, you need to be immediately available to answer the notification that you receive. If you’re on an airplane or in an important meeting then you’re out of luck again. Finally, even if you are available and answer the phone, if it’s at night your attempt at pretending to be home might not be very convincing if your home is pitch black. In this situation, a doorbell cam might work best in tandem with security lights such as BeON (which also responds to the doorbell) to make it appear that you’re at home.
Remember, when considering your preferred security system make sure you choose options that work for you, because everyone is different. With security cameras specifically, it’s important to consider your privacy, your budget and your regular availability to monitor your own home. If you can check those boxes, then a security camera might be right for you.