Whether you want a wireless WiFi home security system or just a WiFi home security system, there is an extra layer of security knowing that something is on the lookout for you even when you’re not paying attention.
Don’t know who rang your doorbell? Check the doorbell camera. Don’t know if your package has arrived? Check the camera. Don’t know who is making all that racket next door? Sigh and check the camera again. But first, you have to know how to install a home security system before you can make your life less stressful. You’d be surprised how simple some cameras have come to, especially without all the clunky, large equipment, enough wires to decorate a Christmas tree and/or all the excessive tools needed.
Sometimes all it takes is a memory card, a screwdriver, a step stool and you’re done. For Wi-Fi surveillance cameras, you’ll have to download the app to keep tabs, but the labor can be minimal if you’re patient enough. Let’s find out.
How to Install a Home Security System – A Complete Guide
Types of home security systems
There are five main home security systems. One of the more common but dated versions is an electric current alarm system, which is usually connected to all doors and windows. When any of them are opened, a beeping noise is heard to notify you that there is an unwanted guest.
A hardwired alarm system works in collaboration with a landline phone. Newer ones allow you to connect your smartphone as a backup. It runs through walls and under floors, and is usually turned on and off by a control panel.
With the help of radio frequency transmitters, a wireless alarm system can operate like a hardwired alarm system—just without the wires. If you live in a home with pets or kids or nosy neighbors who may likely trip over wires, or chew and play with them, you should lean toward wireless alarm systems. But make sure this wireless system really has no wires, including a plug that needs an outlet.
An unmonitored alarm system can be wireless or not wireless. However, it also depends on you (or a neighbor) being the sole person to monitor any funny business going on instead of a professional company. If you happen to have your phone off or your neighbor isn’t home, you may be too little too late to catch someone in the act.
Monitored home alarm systems (commonly connected to the first two cameras) allow professionals to contact the home any time the alarm is triggered. The usual way to confirm a non-emergency is to recite a special password. If you forget your alarm password as much as some people lose email address passwords, this may not be the best option though.
Tools and Materials required for Installation
The tools needed for a home security system largely depend on what kind of camera is used. Wireless outdoor cameras, especially in multi-unit buildings, can cost several hundred dollars to install.For example, say the camera is supposed to be installed at the front of the building but the station leads all the way to the basement. Expect to spend $500 or more simply to install that one camera. The older the camera, the more you’ll pay for labor, so this may be one of a few types of technology where you really should chase the most up-to-date versions. The product may be more expensive, but you’ll make up for it when it comes to labor.
Wireless digital cameras can be as simple as screwing in a wooden deck mount, lifting the antennas, downloading the app and voila! You’re all set. Keep in mind that professional technicians tend to become impatient with WiFi cameras though. While many of them have an excellent connection and can work within a few minutes, others can extremely moody and shut down every time there is a weather concern. Snow, icy, rainy or windy, some WiFi cameras disconnect so much that it may make you want to get a more traditional and older version. The decision is yours.
Key components of a security system
The video (and audio, if your camera has a sound option) signal connects to the Internet to notify your phone of anything out of sorts. (It also gives you a full view of whatever area you’re trying to monitor.) They usually have built-in speakers and microphones (for cameras with two-way talking), a lens, a power button and a slot for memory cards. For rechargeable wireless cameras, there is an area to plug the camera in via USB cord.
Things that could go wrong
Before you purchase a cloud storage agreement for your camera, see how well it works with just a memory card. You may find yourself not really needing to pay a set of monthly dollars to keep tabs on your home. If an SD card and smartphone alerts work for you, save yourself the funds. Quite a few wireless WiFi home security system cameras will even take screenshots in addition to video, so you can get a clear shot of anyone near your door.
Pay very close attention to night vision though. If you need this camera more for evenings than days, you definitely need to make sure that the night distance is clear enough for you to see what’s going on. Additionally, be careful with light bulbs. Night bulbs can flash into the camera and create a blurred view of anything coming near the door, steps and/or the yard. It’s a bit like someone flashing a flashlight your way. You can sorta see, but it will not be the same clear day view you’re used to. If you don’t know how much night vision or day vision you need, measure it yourself. You will thank yourself later.
Before you buy a home security system, ask about labor first. You may find that even your dream camera can cost you a pretty penny to cost and maintain. It’s one of the primary reasons that so many people switch from monitored to unmonitored alarms, and why people choose their smartphones or neighbors as their second pair of eyes. Once you’ve done a price check on maintenance and installation, then you can start looking at cameras that work best for your security needs.
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