Recent crime stats from the South African Police Service show that robberies at residences increased by 7.6% in Q1 of this year, compared to the same period in 2020. It was the crime with the fifth-highest increase from January to March. Security continues to be a key area of importance for homeowners the world over, and this latest rise in house burglaries further emphasises the necessity for South Africans to protect theirs home and keep their belongings and loved ones safe.
There are a few options when looking at making your home safer, but one of the most sophisticated tools is security cameras. They can alert you to an unwanted presence on your property, serve as a deterrent to potential burglars, and also help in identifying suspects.
The great thing about security cameras is that they can suit most budgets and needs. If you have a larger property and a good budget, then you can afford to invest in more cameras of excellent quality. Similarly, if your space is smaller, and you have a limited budget, or if you are just looking for one or two cameras for key areas in your home, then there is still a wide range of options for you to choose from.
Where to put the cameras and how to install them
Before you purchase your cameras, you should first decide what areas of your home you require these devices to monitor. Having cameras outside your home is a crucial consideration so that you can be alerted to the presence of burglars before they have entered your house.
A good place for setting up security cameras is outside your house close to the entry and exit points, such as gates or doors, or even windows that could be a soft target. For these outside cameras, it is important to ensure that you purchase a durable security camera, which is waterproof and can withstand the heat of South African summers and the cold snaps in winter.
When it comes to inside your home, think about focusing on large common areas or garages where many of your valuables are kept. Consider investing in cameras with built-in WiFi features that allow you to access a live feed from your smartphone when you are not at home.
Regarding the installation of the security cameras, this depends on your budget. A security company can advise on camera placement and do the installation for you, but this can be a costly affair. Fortunately, these days, many security camera manufacturers have helpful installation videos online to assist consumers in DIY installation.
Which cameras to choose for your needs
Consider which type of cameras and security devices will suit your needs. Ring’s suite of security devices was designed to provide a seamless ring of security in and around your home with easy installation. Products like the wired Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 4, Ring Floodlight Cam Plus, Ring Floodlight Cam Pro and the Ring Plug-In Adapter, can all work together to give you peace of mind that your property is under 24-hour surveillance. Ring’s home security offerings are easy to install and utilise HD cameras that connect to your smartphone via the Ring app.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is a 1080p HD video doorbell with improved video previews and battery life. The device starts recording before you even receive a motion alert with colour Pre-Roll (the first feature of its kind for battery-powered doorbells). With up to 4 extra seconds of colour video, you’ll know what happened before your package was delivered, or other motion was detected. You’ll never miss a detail – day or night.
The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus offers reliable outdoor protection and advanced motion detection, day or night. Designed for larger areas of your home like driveways and gardens, Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus features a remote-activated security siren and LED floodlights for protection when you need it as well as extra visibility at night, while Customisable Motion Zones let you focus your security on the areas of your property that matter most.
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Thinking about the storage of your footage
Another important element to consider in terms of security cameras in your home is the storage of the video. When it comes to home security, people are usually focused mainly on the specs of the camera and the installation. Very seldom do they think about where all the footage is going to be stored, and how well it will be stored.
“Thinking about the storage solution for your security cameras is a key factor in truly securing your home. If you don’t have the right storage for your camera, then you can’t really rely on the security and are potentially left at risk,” explains Ghassan Azzi, Africa Sales Director at Western Digital.
Surveillance footage can be stored on the cloud or on devices such as hard drives and memory cards, depending on the camera’s specs. It’s vital that this storage is purpose-built. It needs to be designed for recording continuously. A typical desktop drive, for example, is not specifically designed for storing videos from security cameras. A surveillance drive, on the other hand, is designed and tested in surveillance environments and purpose-built to continuously write and read data, so that you can view the footage whenever you need to, in real-time or post-recording.
Homeowners also need to bear in mind that the capacity of the storage required – i.e. whether you decide to buy 8TB or 18 TB – is important.1 “The higher the resolution of your footage, the higher the capacity storage you will need,” explains Azzi. “Most security cameras record at 720dpi or 1080 dpi, but some can reach up to a 4K quality.”
Choosing the resolution of your cameras also depends on how much money you are looking to spend, and factors such as lighting conditions and camera placement. You may want to get some cameras with a very high resolution and opt for a lower resolution for others. Usually, however, 720 dpi or 1080 dpi is a high enough resolution for most areas in your home.
The WD Purple family is a line of drives exclusively created for the demands of home video surveillance systems that operate 24/7. There are hard drive and microSD card options with HDD capacities of up to 18TB. WD Purple drives are endurance focused for the intense task of always-on, high-definition recording and are designed for harsh environments. AllFrame technology in WD Purple HDDs helps reduce frame loss and ensure high-quality video playback, while IntelliSeek technology keeps power consumption low so ambient noise and vibrations are at a minimum.
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