How Does a Security Camera System Work?

security camera system

If you own a home, business, or other piece of property, you’re probably interested in finding ways to protect it from burglars, vandals, and other bad actors. Fortunately for you, a security camera system is just the right tool for the job. Before you add a security camera to your property, though, you’ll need to know a few of the basics. Here’s everything you need to know about security cameras. How they work, the many extra devices that are part of a system, and even how to install them.

How Does a Camera Work?

Security cameras work as part of a complex, interconnected system. Each camera has its own little bit of territory to monitor. The footage they capture is then sent to an external device, typically an NVR or DVR, where it can be stored or sent to a separate storage device. The NVR or DVR can also connect to a monitor if need be. It allows users to watch several camera feeds at once. When set up properly, a security camera system does wonders for your home or business’ safety, so it’s a worthwhile investment.

Types of Security Camera Systems

round modern webcam with shadows background

Broadly speaking, there are two main types of security camera systems: wired and wireless. Whereas wireless cameras are a bit newer, wired cameras have been the industry standard for decades, and are tried-and-true security tools. Their main difference is in the way they transmit data. Wireless cameras connect to a Wi-Fi network and send their data through that network, while wired cameras transmit everything through (you guessed it!) wires.

Both types of systems have their pros and cons. For example, setting up a wired system requires you to consider the location of each wire, so you’ll have to figure out how to keep them from getting in the way. This makes setup a bit more complicated, but it’s nothing unmanageable. Wireless cameras, on the other hand, are far simpler to set up, but they may not be as secure. Since they connect to the internet, they can be hacked, jammed, or otherwise interfered with, compromising the system. While this is unlikely to happen, it is something you need to be prepared for when investing in wireless cameras. Essentially, both types of security cameras are valid choices, so pick whichever one works best for you.

Other Important Elements

Security guard watching CCTV footage at monitor

Of course, wireless CCTV cameras aren’t standalone tools. To get any real use out of them, you’ll need a few companion devices. First of all, you’ll need a security camera hub. The hub allows your security cameras to form a network, rather than having each function as an individual entity. This allows you to coordinate your security efforts much more easily.

Second, you’ll need some sort of storage device. While some wireless CCTV camera models have their own storage via SD cards, not all of them do. Without some form of storage, your CCTV cameras will be able to see everything that’s happening, but they won’t be able to record and save any of it. If your specific model doesn’t support SD card storage, you’ll need to rely on a separate hard drive. 

Because video tends to take up a large amount of storage space, we recommend investing in as large of a hard drive as you can find, with a minimum of two terabytes or so. If a security incident occurs, you can return to your saved recordings to find out what happened, when it happened, and who was responsible, making storage an essential part of any security system.

Finally, you’ll need a monitor. (At least one, but ideally 2-3.) While this is technically an optional element, we feel that it’s an important one nonetheless. By connecting one or multiple monitors to your security camera system, you can see what the cameras are seeing as a live feed. This is especially useful for business owners who can afford to hire a full-time security specialist to watch the feeds. With access to a live feed, you can see anything that occurs right as it’s happening and respond accordingly, rather than running back a recording after the fact.

How do I Install Security Cameras in My House?

woman checking video of security camera system on tab

So, with all the essential information in mind and all the important elements gathered, how do you get it all set up? It may seem intimidating at first, but it’s relatively simple once you get the hang of it. Start by picking a location for each camera, and connect your cameras to power. Then, if you’re using wireless security cameras, connect them to your Wi-Fi network. If you’re going with wired cameras, wire them to your central hub. Then, connect that hub to your monitor(s), power everything on, and you’re all set!

Looking for more great tips, tricks, and products to keep your home and business secure? Feel free to visit our site at DirectNine today!

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