The Best Security Cameras
- The best home security systems compared
- Home security cameras, both CCTV and smart
- Tips for home security
When it comes to home security systems, you want to make sure that you’re choosing the best product. The best home security system has a bearing on how safe you may feel and when it comes to security cameras, there are several types. Traditional CCTV has come a long way and smart security cameras offer the flexibility of modern technology. They each have their benefits, so it’s important to choose one that works for you.
According to Which?, 46% of burglars are deterred by the presence of a CCTV system, which is a significant proportion. Cameras themselves come in different types, including external CCTV and smart systems. This article will look at security cameras in general, including both standard CCTV home security and smart home security systems.
Security cameras can be installed both indoors or outdoors and can film in night and day or be linked to security lighting. Some feature night vision, while others will record with the help of attached beacon lighting. Some home security systems are wireless and require batteries, while traditional ones can be wired and run off mains electricity. A range of options are available to suit your needs.
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CCTV Home Security Systems
These typically have a fixed position and are installed externally. Weatherproof and mains powered, they work on closed circuits to capture a live stream locally on internal storage. They tend to be installed high up to avoid interference and need to be installed for you. A range of options are available, depending on how many cameras you need and what storage capacity you’re looking for. CCTV home security systems can be added to if you require more cameras after installation.
Some of these cameras can communicate with other devices over Wi-Fi, which gives you full control over the system from your smartphone. Some of the best security cameras on the market feature night vision, motion sensors and two-way audio. You can purchase home security systems that are able to automatically zoom in when necessary and feature facial recognition.
Smart Home Security Systems
Considered more of a DIY approach, smart security systems are completely versatile as they can be installed yourself and are completely interactive through Wi-Fi. They can be installed both indoors and outdoors and can be controlled via your smartphone. Multiple smart home security systems can be installed at the same time and be interlinked. A camera can start recording if a contact point is broken, for example. They can effectively work to your needs.
Internal cameras give you more of an idea of what’s going on inside your home, viewable through your smartphone, wherever you may be. External smart cameras also exist, although they usually require batteries to be changed or to be recharged every so often. They’re also more easily moved around. Considered more affordable than standard wired CCTV security cameras, smart home security systems often come in a bundle that gives you everything you need in one package. Saying that, there are some useful features that attract more of a premium.
Best Home Security System: Top Three Smart Cameras
To help you choose the best home security system, we’ve included a list of the top three best selling smart security systems and top three CCTV systems. Home security systems in general are varied in price and in what they offer, so we’ve broken them down into useful comparisons.
Alro Ultra 2
This smart camera records in 4K and has a 6 month battery life. It also records in colour night vision with a motion activated spotlight, featuring auto zoom and tracking. The camera has 180° vision and is weather resistant, with two-way audio. With home security systems, you’re usually able to back up recordings to the cloud and the Arlo Ultra 2 comes with a trial subscription, allowing you to work through live stream and motion alerts via smartphone and local storage.
The Alro Ultra 2 comes in a 2, 3 or 4 camera pack, which ranges from £630 to £990. It has a decent range, which means it can be placed further from the hub without affecting performance and can last up to 12 months on one battery with the upgraded option. It also acts as its own deterrent with an in-built siren and has a rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Arlo Pro 4
The Arlo Pro 4 smart camera records in 2K and also has a 6 month battery life. It records in colour night vision with an integrated spotlight and siren. The weather resistant camera has 160° vision, two-way audio and a rechargeable battery. Smart home security systems are usually wireless, and this one is not different. It features no hub as it connects directly to the Wi-Fi, which means it can back up to the cloud with a free trial of the subscription service. You are also able to plug this camera into the mains, which will offer you local storage and a continual feed if you add a central hub to the mix.
Arlo Pro 4 home security systems come with up to 4 cameras and are usually sold without a hub. They can range from £220-£820. As they connect through Wi-Fi, they can’t be placed too far from the router. The XL version lasts for an extra 6 months, giving you more freedom in recharging.
eufyCam 2 home security systems offer 1080p HD night vision recording with a built-in spotlight and motion detector. They have a 140° field of vision, 12 month battery life and no subscription, meaning you can buy once and enjoy security straight away without any further costs. It’s also weatherproof and has 12GB of memory, which is enough for 3 months’ worth of video storage.
Coming with 2 cameras and 1 central hub, the eufyCam 2 retails at £250. If you’re looking for a cheaper option that you can simply set up yourself and not worry about paying an annual subscription for, this smart camera is ideal.
Arlo Ultra 2
180° angle, motion activated spotlight, auto zoom and tracking
Local (if bought separately)
Arlo Pro 4
160° angle, integrated spotlight and siren
Local (if bought separately)
140° angle, integrated spotlight and motion detection
Colour with spotlight or black and white without
Best Home Security System: Top Three CCTV Systems
Swann 8 Channel
In terms of CCTV, the Swann 8 channel system is hardwired and records at 1080p. Featuring 1TB of storage, it has heat and motion detection, can automatically start recording and is compatible with smart speakers. The cameras are waterproof as they’re external and can even be extended with additional cameras if the initial 4 isn’t enough for your needs. You will receive notifications through your smartphone and can access the cloud storage too.
As home security systems go, this pack of 4 cameras comes in at £300. You will most likely need to get this professionally wired though, which will end up costing you more in installation costs.
The Reolink 5 megapixel CCTV camera set features 8 wired cameras with an 80° viewing angle and 100 feet of night vision. They record over 16 channels with 3TB of local storage. Not to be outdone by other home security systems, these weatherproof outdoor cameras feature motion detection and remote playback via smartphone connectivity. With 24/7 continuous recording on offer, you can access footage locally and remotely, including audio.
This reliable CCTV set will cost around £700. As it comes with 8 cameras, you might need to get this installed professionally, but the beauty of this system is that they work straight away after being plugged in.
SANSCO True 1080p
The best home security systems work with and without internet connection, and this is where the SANSCO set comes in. Connecting to TVs and monitors, this 4 camera set has a 1TB storage and is able to provide loop recording for up to 2 weeks. The cameras themselves record in 1080p and feature motion and face detection as well as night vision. Once the storage has been reached, the system overwrites itself automatically, saving you the trouble of erasing unused footage.
Available as either a 4 or 8 channel set, this CCTV system will cost you around £160-£170. As it’s a smaller system, you might be able to set it up yourself. It also records audio and can be remotely accessed using your smartphone.
Swann 8 Channel
90° angle, heat and motion detection, automatic light
80° angle, motion detection
Thermal, 100 feet
SANSCO True 1080p
Wide angle, motion detection, face detection
Full colour 15-20m
Tips for Home Security
Now that the home security systems have been compared, here are a few extra tips for home security.
Security lighting is important, relying on motion sensors, giving potential burglars nowhere to hide, with or without home security systems installed
Make sure your perimeter is safe, with gates having secure locks and potentially more than one
Install a key safe
Outdoor buildings should be secured with padlocks or chains. Ladders should especially be locked away when not in use
Gravel is a useful deterrent around the outside of the house as it’s noisy to walk on