Security cameras have come a long way since their inception and have become a popular and indispensable part of home and business security. With the rapid advancements in technology, the security camera market is now overflowing with options, each offering a wide range of features. However, not all cameras and features are created equal, and choosing the right security camera or the right system can be a daunting task. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the top 10 features to look for in security cameras and NVRs to help make the decision-making process a little easier.
A very important factor to consider when choosing a security camera is, without a doubt, the video quality. You want to ensure that the footage captured is clear, detailed, and sharp. Look for cameras that offer 4K/8MP video quality, as this will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t miss a thing. 2K/4MP resolution is the lowest you want to go if you want a relatively high definition image, as they tend to be a little cheaper.
Night vision capabilities are essential for security cameras, especially for those who want to keep an eye on their property even in low light conditions. A camera with great night vision capabilities, such as Starlight or Full Color night vision, will give you the ability to see everything clearly even in complete darkness. Learn more about the different night vision technologies here!
Motion Detection/Smart Motion Detection
Motion Detection is a great feature that alerts you of any movement in the camera’s field of view. This is particularly useful for catching criminals since Motion Detection can be configured to give you a notification to your phone. Another useful feature is being able to set your system to only record on motion detection, so you don’t have to sort through hours of unnecessary footage. We highly recommend searching for cameras with SMD, or Smart Motion Detection as these cameras are capable of recognizing Humans and Vehicles, filtering out events like trees moving in the wind, animals, and other unnecessary clips, giving you even more accurate notifications and much more efficient utilization of your HDD or MicroSD storage consumption!
Remote access is a feature that allows you to access your security cameras from anywhere, using just your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or home computer. This makes it easy to keep an eye on your property, even when you’re away from home. Many cloud based services will charge a monthly or annual fee to access your system remotely. Unlike the others, our MontavueGo2.0 mobile apps and MontavueGo Desktop applications are entirely free to download and use. No hidden fees. Ever.
Two-Way Audio/Active Deterrence
Two-Way Audio is a very useful feature that lets you communicate with anyone in the camera’s field of view, using just your smartphone or tablet. This is a great way to warn off intruders or talk to visitors at your front door, without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. Active Deterrence utilized Two-Way Audio and AI features, Active Deterrence cameras has Smart Motion Detection and IVS Tripwires which can be configured to sound an alarm and flashing lights when Humans or Vehicles are detected. These features can be configured on a schedule so you can have them only active during the night. Actual security cameras with these features are much better than your traditional doorbell cameras, as they are much harder to mess with, they give a better, clearer image, and with Active Deterrence cameras you can scare off intruders without any effort. More information on Two-Way Audio here!
Go Wired, Not Wireless
There are definitely pros and cons to either option. However, wired systems are going to be your most secure and most reliable option for your security system. Since wired security systems have direct connections from camera to NVR, you can rest assured that your system will record even if it is completely offline, whether done intentionally for added security or to ensure your footage will never be interrupted. Wireless systems are much easier to install, however they are more prone to security risks, they can use a ton of bandwidth on your local internet, and if you have a power outage it can be a major pain reconnecting all of your cameras. Initial installation for a wired system can be a pain, however once it is up and properly installed it is ultimately the better option. Optionally, if you want to ensure your wired system is as reliable as possible, consider plugging it into a dedicated UPS battery bank and surge protector!
Local Storage, Not Cloud
Local storage lets you store your security camera footage on a physical device, such as Hard Drives for NVRs, and MicroSD cards for stand alone cameras. This is the best option if you don’t want to rely on the cloud, or if you want to store your footage offline for added security. Local storage is also much faster to access, when your footage is stored locally there is no need to wait for your footage to load when you are accessing your system directly. Cloud storage typically has a monthly or annual subscription which can get pretty expensive over time. Depending on how much footage you need, you can get an appropriate size Surveillance Grade HDD and save a ton of money in the long run.
Weather resistance is an absolutely necessary feature that every security camera should have. Look for IP66 or IP67, both are great for all types of weather, IP66 is rated to withstand high jets of water, and IP67 is considered waterproof and able to be fully submerged in water. Harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and high winds are inevitable. If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, make sure that the camera you choose is weather resistant, at very least IP66. All of Montagues security cameras (except for one fisheye camera) are rated either IP66 or IP67
Vandal Domes, or Vandal-Proof Dome cameras are designed to resist physical damage and tampering, making them ideal for high-traffic areas, outdoor environments, and anywhere that is at risk for vandalism. With their impact-resistant domes and sturdy housing, these cameras offer reliable and long-lasting protection. Montavue sells Vandal Dome Cameras rated at IK10, the highest level of protection against impact. By providing clear and high-quality footage, vandal-proof dome cameras ensure that any incidents are captured. In short, these cameras are a smart and durable choice for anyone looking to secure their property.
ONVIF is a feature that allows your security system or camera to work with other brands that are also ONVIF compliant. This is a great feature for those who don’t want to replace their entire system, but need to upgrade at least a few cameras to something new and improved. Keep in mind, ONVIF Compliance only really promises necessary features such as Live View, Playback/Search, and Storage. Each brand has its own special features that other brands may not have programmed into their systems. For example, a newer Montavue camera’s AI features may not work on an older Lorex NVR simply because that older system may not support AI.
It’s important to consider the price and what you are getting for the security system you choose. There are many cameras available at different price points, so It’s also important to not go too cheap on cameras. It's best to consider the features you need, the durability, the warranty, and anything that might either stand out to you, or be a deal breaker. Montavue offers security systems with industry leading technology and are very competitive in price. Our systems also come with a free 2 year warranty.
Choosing the right one can seem like a daunting task, but by keeping these features in mind, you can find a camera that meets your needs and fits your budget. Choosing the right security camera that fits your needs is a game changer for your home or business security. With a wide range of options available, there’s no better time to invest in a high-quality security camera and take the first step in securing your property.