• Oztech Sparks Electrical

Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying a Security Camera System

Updated: Apr 22

Purchasing a security camera system is an important decision to make to protect your home and It's increasingly becoming more common for Australian households.

While criminal activity across Sydney has been on the decline since the year 2000, there has been a steady demand for security systems from residential and commercial markets over the subsequent years.

In 2020, it was reported that the number of CCTV cameras in Australia has doubled in the past decade. The figure is estimated to be about one million, with about 300,000 of those in NSW. Over the next four years, the state government plans to increase the number of CCTVs in Parramatta, Liverpool, and Camden by 1000 (Source: Sydney Morning Herald).

We constantly see people making wrong decisions when it comes to purchasing and installing security cameras. This is because most of the time, they don't know what exactly to look for.

We felt obligated to do something about it so YOU can have the upper hand in your search for the best wireless security camera systems in Australia.

Here are the top five most common mistakes people make when buying a security camera system:



Mistake #1: Getting a Wi-Fi or wireless security camera

Between wireless, Wi-Fi, and wired security cameras, a wired security camera is always a lot more reliable, and they maintain a longer lifespan. Wireless and Wi-Fi security cameras are usually purchased only for convenience.

There are a few types of wireless security cameras. The first type is a powered wireless security camera. It needs to be plugged into a power point. It sort of defeats the purpose of being wireless, because it still needs power that runs via cable.

So, you might as well just do it by running a data cable and getting the whole camera system installed properly.

Another type of wireless security camera is a battery-operated security camera. These can be pretty dangerous because they just get screwed in.

They only have a few weeks or about a month or two before their battery needs to be replaced. Also, they're dangerous because anyone can just come up, grab it, run off with it, and that's it. There's no real main safety element to it, and of course, it defeats the purpose of acting as a security device.

Solar security cameras are starting to become a lot more popular. In certain situations in rural properties, it's more cost-efficient to use compared to having to utilise cabling. But you need to take into consideration that these are powered up by the sun's energy. So, when it's cloudy, or when the sun is down, you're not going to have an effective running system.

All in all, wired security cameras are the way to go.


Mistake #2: Purchasing outdated security cameras

Although they might be cheap in stores or online, be careful not to fall into the trap of buying outdated security cameras. What you want is one that has a long lifespan and can do the job properly.

An outdated security camera is something that runs off the old, analogue type of system. It would usually be operating off a coax cable, which is what our antenna-looking cables are, the black RG6 cables. That's where the video footage is transferred through a figure-eight cable, which looks like a speaker cable. That's where the unit, the security camera, is powered up from.

These cables don't have to be run out for our security cameras nowadays. Our security cameras right now are IP security cameras. A sneaky thing some companies out there do when they're advertising their boxes of the IP cameras is writing on the box that they are IP cameras, but it'll be an analogue setup. The way they go about doing this is because it's an IP-rated camera, which means it's rated in terms of weatherproofing.

Just a small pointer of what an IP camera should look like: it would have a small data point or an ethernet point taken to the camera. So all it means is one cable needs to be run out per camera, a Cat5 or a Cat6 data cable, which is exactly what an ethernet cable is that ties into your router.

It brings a whole lot of reliability to the overall camera system. So when choosing your camera system for your home, you want to make sure you're choosing the right one. You want to go for an IP camera system.



Mistake #3: Not choosing a vandal-proof camera

Make sure your security camera system is vandal-proof. Two good scenarios come to mind around this topic.

I remember a post a few months ago on our local community pages on Facebook. A person posted a video recording of an intruder coming into their property. The intruder easily grabbed the camera that was installed on a low-mounted eve, ripped it off, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it, crushing it into pieces. He was able to do this because it's not a vandal-proof security camera. That video built up a lot of fear in the community.

Another good example that comes to mind is a post on a different Facebook community page. Someone also posted a recording of an intruder coming into their property. The intruder saw the camera that was installed and attacked it with a baseball bat, under the impression that it damaged the camera from the inside so it wouldn't record what he was doing. The intruder then broke into the house and attacked the person's property.

The whole time, the intruder thought that the camera was damaged. But the whole time, the camera was still able to record everything and it was able to capture who that person was and the police were able to identify him after.

This is the difference between a vandal-proof and a non-vandal-proof security camera. A vandal-proof security camera is engineered with a hard metal casing around the optical and mechanical lens on the inside.

Ultimately, it gives you peace of mind and it provides a longer guarantee of the protection of your home and your family's safety.


Mistake #4: Assuming that all security cameras do the same thing

A lot of people assume that all security cameras do the same thing. Of course, their primary role is to record footage when an incident occurs or just keep a protective eye over a person's property or a certain area.

But in today's day and age, there are heightened levels of technology out there. A few core functionalities that certain security camera brands feature nowadays are tripwires zones, exclusion zones, facial recognition, and facial detection.

Tripwires are pretty cool. They're usually used when a family goes away on holiday or a house is unattended. A property owner can set up a virtual line drawn on the system, and if it gets triggered by an intruder, a push notification will be sent right away to the user's phone or email.

An exclusion zone works very much the same way. Let's say you have your car parked in your front driveway. You can draw a virtual box around your car and if anyone was to trigger or break that virtual box it will send a push notification or alert to you straight away.

Facial detection and facial recognition are two separate things. Facial recognition is more used for commercial purposes and not every camera system out there is compatible with it.

Facial detection only picks up a person's face when an actual face is picked up. The difference between that and facial recognition is that the latter can do something about it.

If someone was escorted off a commercial property or out of the office, or someone was caught shoplifting, it can alert the user's phone if that particular face shows up and gets recognised by the system.

A lot of the camera systems have different types of functionalities out there that you can leverage off, but just keep in mind don't assume that every camera system is the same.


Mistake #5: Not doing your research

The fifth mistake people usually make is not doing proper research. Most of the time, people just ask their friends or their colleagues about what camera systems they have installed for their house.

Now it could be convenient for the person, but everyone's situation is different. What might be good for one might not tick other boxes for someone else. And what might last for one person may not last for someone else depending on the situation, the environment, and just the technology for that brand.

Of course, doing your research doesn't mean just visiting the websites of particular brands, and seeing how much they talk up their product – that's a given.

Visit forums and community pages, search on Google, and just research what that product is about, including the pros and cons of purchasing that system.

Three things to look out for:

Warranty Periods

Camera systems will usually have about a year or a two-year warranty. A good reliable camera system will have a three or four-year plus warranty.

A good point to bring up with a security camera installer is the warranty. If they're installing these systems for your house, are they going to back that warranty with the products that they're using? Do they have faith, and do they trust the products that they're using?

Of course, a warranty is a big thing because you wanna make sure that the system that you're purchasing and you're entrusting your home security into is going to last you and not going to give you issues.

What do the reviews say?

Another good point to pick out when researching is the customer reviews on the installer and the product. As we mentioned before, there are pros and cons of each product and what their specs are like compared to each other.

According to ASIAL’s Security Licensing Report 2020, Australia now has almost 150,000 individual security licence holders and over 11,000 security firm/ Master Licence holders.

With so many accredited installers, it can be hard to decide where to get the best home security systems. Do your research and check out reviews posted on Google or Facebook, or ask your community for recommendations.

You want to get a reliable product that is correctly installed by a certified electrician.

Is it user-friendly?

Another point people should take into consideration when doing their research is how user-friendly the system is.

Whether you're a tech nerd, a geek, or a middle-aged mum watching "Housewives of Beverly Hills", you want to make sure that the system you're using works on your phone, and works easily. You want to be able to navigate through it efficiently without it being a challenge.

To recap, check out warranty periods, reviews, and how user-friendly it is.


Conclusion

  • Choose a wired security camera.

  • Don't purchase outdated technology.

  • Ensure that the security camera is vandal-proof and durable.

  • Look into the features of the system and determine what your needs are.

  • Research warranty periods, reviews, and user-friendliness.


If you have any questions regarding security camera installations or just questions about existing security cameras you might have installed, make sure to reach out to us via our website, Facebook, or Instagram. Thanks for reading!

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