What is a great way to set up video home surveillance these days?

Well, another night of vandalism on my vehicle so it's time to finally set up some home surveillance preferably in my driveway and at night. But I wouldn't mind the potential to record indoors while away. I've been looking and there's so many options. I don't like DVR's because I'm assuming those can just be stolen.

I want something that can be recorded and stored online and also accessible from any computer or phone. I like the services that offer "Push Notifications" to your phone with motion detection. Instead of choppy video I'd prefer something that's halfway decent and can catch something viewable and provide good evidence.

Basically what I'm asking for is personal experience with such services. I don't mind buying the best nightvision cameras preferably wireless. And a good site that can offer what I need.

The video below is kind of what I'm looking for. I don't want to specifically buy Logitech cameras but this is the general idea. Thanks in Advance!!


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1 Answer

  • L
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Step 1: Set a budget.

    We don't know how large of an area needs to be covered. Your car is in the driveway - outdoors - but you show us an example of an indoor camera. We also don't know your skillset in setting such things up or what your home's internet connection is.

    Regarding your comment on DVRs... They can get stolen - if the thief finds it and it is not secured (locked closet, locked cabinet, installed in the attic/ceiling or cabled to the wall-stud. And if you are that paranoid, be sure to add a battery back-up system because all that is needed is for the power to be turned off. This will cause issues for IP network based cameras, too. While you are at it, the battery back up unit should also be on the network router and hub associated with the various security components.

    There are NVRs now for the IP-network cameras, so you can have local storage.

    I chose to go with analog cameras and a DVR that has an ethernet connection to add it to the computer network. The cameras are wired cameras. This way the cameras and the DVR are all on the same battery back up with the router and network switch. Since the DVR is on the network, I can access the DVR (and what the cameras see and what is being recorded) from a computer either locally or remotely using a browser. I can also access the DVR and camera video from a smartphone (iPhone - there are Android clients, too). I use Swann and Lorex for residential installations. In addition to the remote and local access, I have TVs throughout the house - they can connect to normal TV programming, but the DVR's video-out is connected to the TV's AV-in. There are also a couple of TVs that do not receive broadcast TV and are security monitors, only. A couple of these are small, portable TVs that have built-in batteries so if there is a power outage, they can be used to monitor the CCTV.

    I am not aware of any IP-network based security cameras that can provide this flexibility (with the external monitors.

    The decent DVRs can send you email that an alarm has been triggered. An "alarm" can be a motion detection trigger you set up for each camera or you can add contact, motion, pressure or other "alarm" points to the DVR. Be careful with the DVR sending notices - the spam can kill you. When you get the email, access remotely... Swann and Lorex both have services that allow the DVR to send images to their servers if you can't (or won't) set up the remote access. These can also be access from where ever you are with internet access.

    Regarding your comment on "wireless" cameras... From the DVR perspective: The camera needs power (wire #1). If battery backup is needed, then a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is needed. It transmits wireless video to a base station. The base station plugs in to the DVR (wire #2) and needs power (wire #3). With a wired camera, The single cable has two plugs on each end - one for power and one for video. The UPS can be shared by several cameras, the DVR and the the other network items. I use a 1500 amp-hour CyberPower UPS designed to be used by desktop computers. Because the power draw is so low from the cameras, DVR, router and network switch, it can last for MANY hours.

    With an IP network based camera, if wired, you are using CAT5 cabling. If you use Power over Ethernet (if your router or network switch/hub supports this), great. If you go wireless, the camera still needs power and we already addressed this.

    A starter system with 4 beginner cameras and 8 camera ports on the DVR so the system can grow will run about $400-500.


    Add in the cabling labor unless you do it yourself. I have found the $150 (and more) Swann cameras last longer than the less expensive (bundled) ones.


    Figure $1,000 to get started.

    You can add less obvious cameras for inside. I'd make the outside cameras pretty visible - perhaps under the eaves at the roof line. High enough to be out of reach, visible enough to be a deterrent. And having more than one is better...

    And remember (to your point about the DVR getting stolen)... you can always install another DVR elsewhere that takes care of other cameras... if the thief finds one DVR, he may think he's done, but the other DVR is recording away...

    Honestly, your BEST bet to prevent what you reported is to secure your car in the garage with the garage door closed.

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