Author Topic: Home Security Camera System?  (Read 6143 times)

Milkshake

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Home Security Camera System?
« on: June 21, 2018, 08:20:40 AM »
We recently moved to a new location, and despite being labelled a "good" neighborhood by locals and other research prior to moving here, we've had a couple odd incidents recently that seem to be escalating.

First, we had someone go through our recycling bin, and leave most of it on the grass (you could tell it was laid out, not a racoon or something). Weird, but whatever.

Then I forgot to lock my car one night, came out the next morning and the door was slightly ajar and EVERY compartment was open, stuff strewn about everywhere, nothing stolen.

Finally last night, the rear door to our mailbox was open, and of the 3 things my wife mailed, only the check she was mailing was taken. The rest was left and, with the rain, was sopping wet.

It seems to me that this is some kind of opportunistic petty thief, or someone messing with the new neighbors, but I figure if one is ever going to get a camera system, the best time is probably before anything major is stolen. I'm especially worried about if we ever get a package delivered.

So my question, anyone use a security camera system? Is it worth it? I was looking at something like this:https://www.amazon.com/Security-ZONE-Channel-Surveillance-Outdoor/dp/B0773M977R/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1529590602&sr=8-4&keywords=security+camera+1080p+poe

But $400 seems like a lot for a "maybe" situation... Any advice is appreciated!

Sibley

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 09:00:17 AM »
Well, at least 2 of those you can pretty easily prevent. Lock your car doors and get a locking mailbox.

I am considering getting a couple cameras outside, but for different reasons. I have an interesting neighbor and she's caused problems for other people in the neighborhood for years. Of course, I'm right next to her! I haven't done the research yet, but it is on my list. She's been leaving me alone so far, which is good.

Milkshake

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 09:17:23 AM »
That's true. Of course, the mailbox has to be unlocked for the mailman I suppose, unless USPS has a program like the TSA has for luggage locks. I'm more concerned about packages we receive being left on the doorstep. It's not very often that we order things online, but sometimes family ships us things.

Our next door neighbors have a lot of traffic at their house, all different hours and different cars every few days. They usually don't stay long. The internet says this is the number one sign of a drug dealer, which wouldn't surprise me. Coupled with that, I could see it being the visitors that are causing some of these issues, more than the neighbors themselves. If they were dealing, they wouldn't want neighbors paying extra attention to them.

Maybe step 1 would be to ask some other neighbors if they ever have strange things like this happening to them too. There's always a little peace of mind that comes with a monitored property though.

Proud Foot

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 09:27:56 AM »
All the locking mailboxes I have seen have a slot for the mailman to put mail into it. The only thing would be you sending anything you would need to either take it to a post office or drop it in a mail drop.

With your neighbors I would definitely get a camera of some sort. In my opinion a security camera is one of those things you spend money on that may not, and may never, seem worth it but can become invaluable in an instant.

robartsd

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 09:48:58 AM »
In my opinion a security camera is one of those things you spend money on that may not, and may never, seem worth it but can become invaluable in an instant.
If it works as a deterrent it may be worth it without you knowing that it was.

The only locked mailboxes that USPS unlocks are the multi-household boxes. Individual locking mailboxes are for receiving mail only.

I'd start getting to know the neighbors and find out if they've had similar problems and how they've resolved them.

Milkshake

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 11:28:24 AM »
Good suggestions all around.

If I were to get a system, does anyone have thoughts or suggestions on the type, price, or personal experience with one?

Lookilu

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2018, 01:28:10 PM »
DH and I put in cameras after one of our neighbors turned out to be 'interesting' last year. (He tried to break into a neighbor's house late one night. Neighbors were home; 'interesting' neighbor was naked and definitely under the influence.)
We went with the Arlo Pro setup from Costco. Super easy to set up and flawless performance so far.

AZDude

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2018, 02:08:55 PM »
Sure sounds like a homeless person or drug addled couch surfer. They are in every neighborhood. Lock your doors. Keep your car in the garage if possible. Dont put stuff in the mailbox the day/night before. Or even just drop it off at a public mailbox/the post office.

Chances are that once the thief wears out his/her welcome, (s)he will move on to a new neighborhood.

GizmoTX

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2018, 03:08:42 PM »
We stopped putting outgoing mail in a residential mailbox several decades ago due to mail theft. Locate a convenient dropbox. Pay online & opt for paperless billing whenever possible. Our last house had a locked mailbox to receive mail & small parcels; there's a tamper-proof flap behind a conventional mailbox pull that the mail goes thru & we retrieved the mail from a locked compartment at the bottom. We recently moved to a different city with a POS conventional rural style mailbox; we just ordered a locking mailbox to replace it. It's less expensive than renting a P.O. box, which many places won't mail to, & saves us the trip. I like that it appears as just a conventional mailbox but behind the usual pull door there's a locking compartment with mail slot & tamper proof flap below it. This is at a rent house; when the house we're building is finished, we'll install a much bigger column locking mailbox there that can also accept small packages.

Locking your car will help but windows can still be smashed; place anything visible in the trunk or keep it inside your house. A garage is preferable.

We've been using SimpliSafe for the last year & find it to be a great affordable system that is really easy to install yourself. You pick just the sensors & modules you want. We recently relocated it to our rental house -- it's all wireless & the components use 3M removable tape to attach. Monitoring is optional & available for about $14/month, no contract required. Entry/exit is logged by access code & we gave the landlord a different code from ours. You can include outside or inside cameras as well.

It's also helpful to install a motion sensitive device and/or one that turns on in the dark on outside floodlights.

misshathaway

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2018, 06:10:20 AM »
All the locking mailboxes I have seen have a slot for the mailman to put mail into it. The only thing would be you sending anything you would need to either take it to a post office or drop it in a mail drop.

I had one with a lock and a slot for about a year. The mail people hated it b/c big mail won't fit. You can't stop all junk mail bigger than the slot and sometimes real mail is bigger than the slot. Lots of passive aggressive stuff would happen to the big mail. Finally I gave up and got a non-lock mailbox. Maybe OP's mail people will be more tolerant.

Reason for the lock was that somebody was going through my mail. But after a year with the lock I guess they didn't notice that the new box had no lock. I know I am getting all my mail now because of the new USPS program that lets you see photos of what was delivered.

Milkshake

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2018, 07:02:28 AM »
I forgot that USPS is doing that new image program, that's not a bad idea to sign up for.

@Lookilu - I looked at the Arlo Pro at Costco, I was worried about it being wireless, and either slowing down during heavy internet usage, or the batteries dying after a short period of time. How often do you charge the batteries?

katsiki

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2018, 07:12:31 AM »
I have had good luck with "EZVIZ" cameras.  Can be found on amazon.  Amazing quality and easy to setup.  Also integrates with Amazon Alexa if that interests you.

MrDelane

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2018, 07:28:54 AM »
We have Arlo cameras at our house and have been very happy with them.
It can take you a few weeks to dial in the setup for optimal battery life and coverage.  The more the cameras are triggered the less the battery will last.

Our batteries last anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months right now (with the front door camera needing the most switching, because it catches some of the street, so cars will often trigger the cam).

We don't leave mail in our mailbox - anything being sent out gets dropped off at the post office.  We make certain to lock our cars if they are ever left outside, and we have any packages delivered to my work.

You may also want to look into nextdoor.com.  If you're not familiar with it, it's basically a community forum setup per neighborhood.  It can be annoying, depending on your neighbors, but it is a very useful resource for keeping up with crimes and activities going on in your neighborhood.

Milkshake

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2018, 07:51:27 AM »
Oh that's much better battery life than I expected. I also hadn't thought about delivering packages to work, that's a great idea. I'll ask around and see if they are ok with that.

Thanks for all the suggestions/advice so far everyone!

Lookilu

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2018, 09:09:20 AM »
I forgot that USPS is doing that new image program, that's not a bad idea to sign up for.

@Lookilu - I looked at the Arlo Pro at Costco, I was worried about it being wireless, and either slowing down during heavy internet usage, or the batteries dying after a short period of time. How often do you charge the batteries?

We charge the batteries about once a month, usually while we're working around the house/doing some yard work. Recharging takes about an hour. An added bonus is the 'accidental' nature footage of the sparrows that are nesting near one of the cameras. :)

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2018, 09:20:35 AM »
Sure, spend the money if you want. I think it's a good idea, but we don't have one ourselves.

I just do my best to always ensure everything is locked up before I leave the house. I don't mail anything to anyone ever, as I do everything online. On the off chance I do (maybe once a year), I just drop it off in a mailbox in front of a grocery store.

All the above maybe takes 30 seconds per evening and luckily I haven't had any issues.

Oh, and one more thing, we use our garage for vehicle parking, not for storage. If you have that ability, I highly suggest you do that, even if it means getting rid of junk.

pjm123a

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2018, 10:18:01 AM »
After having my trailer stolen, I installed a system. I use amcrest cameras. They are IP addressable and connect over your network to your computer. Your computer stores the video. There is no need for a dedicated recorder. Assuming you already have the computer and a TCP/IP network all you need is the cameras. There are models that connect via direct ethernet (including POE - power over ethernet) and WIFI. The cameras can be had for as low as $60 or $70 (depends on features, resolution, etc). What is nice about this is you can start with one camera and add more as or if you need them. Wanna store more video? Get a bigger hard drive for your computer. No need to mess with the cameras or a dedicated recorder.

FINate

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2018, 10:32:11 AM »
I just ordered a couple of Ring camera+security light combo units. Not cheap, but had what I'm looking for.

Did not want to run wires to the detached garage where these will be located. These connect via WiFi but are wired for power. The garage has power so I can easily install a junction box and never have to worry about charging batteries (e.g. Arlo).

I was planning on installing security flood lights regardless since these are generally a good deterrent, so figured why not install them together. Also handy for accessing these areas at night. Besides, the image quality on IR night cameras is usually pretty poor.

The Ring app makes it possible to configure motion zones for the camera+light, and set the sensitivity, so hope to be able to avoid having raccoons and other small critters from setting it off.

Will probably add the wired Ring doorbell+camera to the mix in the future.

Haven't installed it yet so can't say for sure how well it all works, but looks good on paper.

EDIT: Also putting up a couple of conspicuous "you're on camera" signs. Again, just making my property slightly less attractive as a target.

Milkshake

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2018, 11:32:49 AM »
Again, just making my property slightly less attractive as a target.

This is my main goal too, stopping the opportunist thieves. If someone goes Italian Job on my house there's nothing I can do about it. I just want to make the a-holes think twice about risking it.

I have a motion activated light that came with the house on the back, but I can't get it to work reliably.

We do have a garage, it was full of tools and debris from remodeling prior to moving in. We did spend the night after the car incident cleaning out/organizing the garage enough to put our cars in. I hadn't done it at the time because now it's all kind of jumbled, but I'll redo it properly with shelves eventually.

I would much rather spend $400 on VTSAX, but I keep coming back to the thought that if I'm ever going to get them, it might as well be before a theft, not after. And recently I got rid of a 2016 car with a $465 car payment and got a 2011 paid cash, so maybe this month's "car payment" can be a camera system.

dcozad999

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2018, 12:58:27 PM »
I have had good luck with "EZVIZ" cameras.  Can be found on amazon.  Amazing quality and easy to setup.  Also integrates with Amazon Alexa if that interests you.


Which EZVIZ system did you go with?

jpdx

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2018, 01:53:51 AM »
I have a Foscam but cannot recommend it. The web-based software interface is poor, documentation is in broken English, and the camera often saves video clips that are 0KB and not viewable.

hops

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2018, 06:38:33 AM »
There's in-depth discussion of various models that are currently on sale for Black Friday here:

https://slickdeals.net/f/12200566-security-camera-security-camera-system-black-friday-cyber-week-2018-master-list

I'd been skeptical of inexpensive porch cams in the past, but several times in recent months I've seen victims of theft (porch pirates or car break-ins) post footage to Nextdoor that swiftly resulted in arrests. So many thieves don't bother covering their faces (or in one case, an identifying tattoo).

katsiki

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2018, 12:07:58 PM »
I have had good luck with "EZVIZ" cameras.  Can be found on amazon.  Amazing quality and easy to setup.  Also integrates with Amazon Alexa if that interests you.


Which EZVIZ system did you go with?

Sorry @dcozad999 I missed your question until now...  If you're still in the market, I bought a couple of the EZVIZ Mini O cameras.  They are still chugging away happily.

use2betrix

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2018, 10:13:57 PM »
Good timing on the thread, we’ve been looking for cameras as well.

We had break ins at our apartment complex last week. Then this week we get an email from management stating that “the fire department is coming through the complex for 3 days next week for fire inspections, please cage animals and turn off alarms.”

If that’s not an advertisement for thieves I don’t know what is. Pretty amazed really. I already went to the office and said we don’t have a kennel for our 85 lb German Shepherd. She asked if he’s aggressive.. I said “no, but he is protective of our home should anyone come in while we aren’t there, or even if we are there and we don’t introduce them.”

Needless to say - we’ll have a sign on our door if we’re gone and they’ll call us to set up a time for inspection. No one will be entering our breaking in with our dog present. Just get concerned while we’re gone with him (camping at this beach this weekend for example)!

Milkshake

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2018, 11:19:23 AM »
I ended up going with this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BGTYY4G/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Except the version I got was 8 channel, 4 cameras, no hard drive (can't find the link for it now). Then I bought my own 4TB SATA 3.5" HDD and plugged it into the NVR (super easy to do).

Our autumn was too short for me to get all 4 cameras up, but I have two currently hooked up. The software is not the most user friendly, but it's not that hard to figure out. Works with or without internet hookup. I connected it to internet so I can see the cameras on my phone. I haven't had any problems there either.

Total cost was ~$250 for the 4 camera system+HDD. One thing I don't love is the 1080p camera cannot make out a license plate if it is more than about 25ft away. Also, I wish the front door camera was a wider angle dome camera instead of a bullet camera. Night vision is fine, roughly 50-60ft range.

My cameras are clearly visible, so as to act as a deterrent, and the front door one (protected from all sides) is able to observe the back of the other one, so no camera vandalism will go unseen.

TL;DR: I would buy this system again. The price and functionality are what I was looking for, and except for a few minor flaws, it works perfectly. I've had it operating for about 3 months now.

BlueHouse

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2018, 07:48:49 AM »
I've tried a few and worked in depth with our local police department (DC has a camera rebate program that pays $500 for two exterior cameras). 

I first bought Arlo and I think the system is excellent and the 7-day free storage was long enough for my needs.  The problem I had though was that I live in a high-foot-traffic area, so the motion activation was constant, which ran the batteries down so fast.  If I didn't live in an area with constant motion, I would have stayed with Arlo.  The software is very good and easy to use.  The video footage is stored in the cloud with 7 days free storage. (you can pay for longer storage)

I finally bought HIKVision cameras through my security company and it included an NVR stored at my home.  It cost well over the $500 rebate, but I thought it was the best solution for me. 
Pros:  no monthly bill for storing video.  Wired system so no wi-fi interference. 
Cons:  dependent on electricity. Expensive.  Software sucks -- and I mean it sucks bad.  And it will probably never get better. 

If I had to do it over again, I would have waited a year until Nest came out with a good outdoor solution (which they now have).  Then I could control and adjust as needed and the software is easy to use.  And I would pay the small amount yearly to store the video on their cloud.

If you are in a suburban or rural area, I would look at the nest cameras or the camera + floodlight option.  They're easy to install and easy to change.  I'm now stuck with old technology that had the best night vision at the time but no longer does.  But it is prohibitively expensive to upgrade.   

WinningIt

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2018, 02:28:53 AM »
Arlo can be good in monitoring, their videos are clear and it's got the two way audio. You can easily speak to whoever's on the other side. It can't really stop burglars in doing their thing thing though it might scare them off. The only thing I don't like much about it is the battery life. We can now feel it's slowly draining.

dcozad999

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2018, 10:32:51 AM »
I've tried a few and worked in depth with our local police department (DC has a camera rebate program that pays $500 for two exterior cameras). 

I first bought Arlo and I think the system is excellent and the 7-day free storage was long enough for my needs.  The problem I had though was that I live in a high-foot-traffic area, so the motion activation was constant, which ran the batteries down so fast.  If I didn't live in an area with constant motion, I would have stayed with Arlo.  The software is very good and easy to use.  The video footage is stored in the cloud with 7 days free storage. (you can pay for longer storage)

I finally bought HIKVision cameras through my security company and it included an NVR stored at my home.  It cost well over the $500 rebate, but I thought it was the best solution for me. 
Pros:  no monthly bill for storing video.  Wired system so no wi-fi interference. 
Cons:  dependent on electricity. Expensive.  Software sucks -- and I mean it sucks bad.  And it will probably never get better. 

If I had to do it over again, I would have waited a year until Nest came out with a good outdoor solution (which they now have).  Then I could control and adjust as needed and the software is easy to use.  And I would pay the small amount yearly to store the video on their cloud.

If you are in a suburban or rural area, I would look at the nest cameras or the camera + floodlight option.  They're easy to install and easy to change.  I'm now stuck with old technology that had the best night vision at the time but no longer does.  But it is prohibitively expensive to upgrade.   


The problem with Nest is that it just is not viable if your internet plan has a monthly limit. Mine has a 1 Terabyte limit, and the research I've done shows that one camera uploads about 500GB per month.  So with just 2 cameras you are over the limit.

hops

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2018, 11:38:05 AM »
We've been experimenting with Blink XT cameras. They are no substitute for a wired, continuously recording surveillance system, but our current needs are very basic.

The cameras were carefully positioned so they mostly look directly at the house. One picks up a sliver of the street but our sensitivity settings are such that normal traffic doesn't set it off. Blink is currently beta-testing a zoning feature and if that's successful we could block off the street entirely.

As a result of our positioning we received only one false alert in one week of usage. That's with four exterior cameras. Judging by user reviews at various websites, including Blink's community forum, our experience has been unusual in that we've barely had to adjust settings. Others have spent weeks fiddling with theirs. In warmer weather months, when the neighborhood's busier, we might have to revisit them.

Creating an arming/disarming schedule was easy; we disable monitoring during times we know there will be a lot of activity (i.e., our dog) in camera zones. That should extend battery life. Also on the plus side, setup and installation were a breeze. It should be easy to add sync modules if you need more for storage or coverage reasons.

Minuses: Amazon has acquired Blink and could scrap support for it in the future. Despite the strength of our wi-fi and the very small size of our house, we'll probably purchase a $20 range extender to give one of the cameras a boost if we decide to stick with them. Some users on Blink's forum found workaround ways of monitoring their cameras on their computer browsers (a method currently unsupported by the company). Blink itself only supports monitoring via the mobile app, which is fairly limited in its features.

Even though our experience has been positive so far, I don't think a completely wireless outdoor system is the best solution for most people.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 12:04:05 PM by hops »

misshathaway

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2018, 06:07:52 AM »
We've been experimenting with Blink XT cameras. They are no substitute for a wired, continuously recording surveillance system, but our current needs are very basic.

The cameras were carefully positioned so they mostly look directly at the house. One picks up a sliver of the street but our sensitivity settings are such that normal traffic doesn't set it off. Blink is currently beta-testing a zoning feature and if that's successful we could block off the street entirely.

As a result of our positioning we received only one false alert in one week of usage. That's with four exterior cameras. Judging by user reviews at various websites, including Blink's community forum, our experience has been unusual in that we've barely had to adjust settings. Others have spent weeks fiddling with theirs. In warmer weather months, when the neighborhood's busier, we might have to revisit them.

Creating an arming/disarming schedule was easy; we disable monitoring during times we know there will be a lot of activity (i.e., our dog) in camera zones. That should extend battery life. Also on the plus side, setup and installation were a breeze. It should be easy to add sync modules if you need more for storage or coverage reasons.

Minuses: Amazon has acquired Blink and could scrap support for it in the future. Despite the strength of our wi-fi and the very small size of our house, we'll probably purchase a $20 range extender to give one of the cameras a boost if we decide to stick with them. Some users on Blink's forum found workaround ways of monitoring their cameras on their computer browsers (a method currently unsupported by the company). Blink itself only supports monitoring via the mobile app, which is fairly limited in its features.

Even though our experience has been positive so far, I don't think a completely wireless outdoor system is the best solution for most people.

I'm looking at Blink too. How far up did you position them so that you could get at them to change the battery but so an intruder could not get at them? Mutually exclusive?

hops

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2018, 06:57:39 AM »
I'm looking at Blink too. How far up did you position them so that you could get at them to change the battery but so an intruder could not get at them? Mutually exclusive?

Most of ours are soffit-mounted on a ranch-style home, so we don't have to climb too far up a ladder to reach them. One was placed a few feet higher since we think it's the one a thief would be most likely to try to smash. Blink recommends mounting at least seven feet from the ground both to increase the camera's view and make it harder to knock it out of the way or tamper with it/steal it. We also tried to choose discreet positions so the cameras are unlikely to be noticed until they've already captured an image.

rubybeth

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2018, 07:39:26 AM »
Arlo can be good in monitoring, their videos are clear and it's got the two way audio. You can easily speak to whoever's on the other side. It can't really stop burglars in doing their thing thing though it might scare them off. The only thing I don't like much about it is the battery life. We can now feel it's slowly draining.

My family likes these Arlo cameras, too.

hops

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2018, 10:16:21 AM »
Almost a month out, we're sufficiently satisfied with our Blink setup to keep it. A couple times we've gotten alerts when a bird dances around a camera, which we expect to happen with much greater frequency in nicer weather. Other than that we've picked up exactly what we hoped to, and were even able to help reunite someone with their lost dog as a result of the camera.

The activity zones beta testing feature is not quite as helpful as I'd hoped; currently, the blocks you can activate or deactivate are slightly too large to give us precise control over the feature.

HipGnosis

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2018, 12:50:43 PM »
The Wyze cameras are an awesome value.
1080p full HD live stream direct to your smartphone day or night with night vision (up to 30 feet away).
Works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (but not 5GHz Wi-Fi)
Motion Tagging technology detects and outlines motion in both live stream and playback video modes.
Motion and sound detection with notification options
free rolling 14-day cloud storage.
Use the Wyze App (iOS and Android) to manage and share multiple cameras.
Works with Alexa
Amazon sells Frienda Weather Resistant Cover with Security Wall Mount for them

SnackDog

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2018, 02:07:49 PM »
Where we live the crooks are too stupid to be deterred by cameras, as demonstrated by all the nonsense people around us have recorded, so there is not much value in having them.

HipGnosis

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2018, 12:07:30 PM »
Where we live the crooks are too stupid to be deterred by cameras, as demonstrated by all the nonsense people around us have recorded, so there is not much value in having them.
The value is being able to ID the theif, get your property back or sue for reparation of damages and possibly a conviction for the crime.

robartsd

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #36 on: December 27, 2018, 08:39:12 AM »
Where we live the crooks are too stupid to be deterred by cameras, as demonstrated by all the nonsense people around us have recorded, so there is not much value in having them.
The value is being able to ID the theif, get your property back or sue for reparation of damages and possibly a conviction for the crime.
Perhaps the legal system is poor enough that cameras are ineffective and the thieves are smart enough to know this.

SnackDog

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2018, 08:59:04 AM »
You need to look at many combined probabilities including -
- your house is burgled - 5%
- the cameras are working - 90%
- they capture a useful image - 20%
- the police are willing to investigate a property crime - 75%
- the police find someone matching the person on the camera - 20%
- the DA has enough evidence and charges are pressed - 50%
 - a conviction occurs - 50%

This works out to a 0.3% (1 in 300) chance the camera turns out to be useful, assuming your intention is to use it to catch and convict a burglar.

sonya

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2018, 05:33:57 PM »
I bought a high tech looking decent sized camera on ebay for twenty bucks. It doesn't work, but it looks badass. The research I did said a blinking light was a dead giveaway for a fake cam, btw. It sits up high on the front of the house and I love it.


iris lily

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2018, 09:20:30 AM »
You need to look at many combined probabilities including -
- your house is burgled - 5%
- the cameras are working - 90%
- they capture a useful image - 20%
- the police are willing to investigate a property crime - 75%
- the police find someone matching the person on the camera - 20%
- the DA has enough evidence and charges are pressed - 50%
 - a conviction occurs - 50%

This works out to a 0.3% (1 in 300) chance the camera turns out to be useful, assuming your intention is to use it to catch and convict a burglar.

Yes to much of this, yet, in my urban core high crime area, I think the cameras are a decent investment because they are coming down  in price so much.

Cameras are just one tool in the crime fighting toolbox. We are experiencing dailey package thievery,  and the perps are wise to cameras so they wear hoodies and non-distinguishing clothing, yet they do not understand that we are well commected thru Nextdoor and videos of their activity are shared amount hundreds of people.

The police here do occasionally ask for footage from home cameras.

I would say Nextdoor is as good of a crime fighting piece of technology as a camera. Many people cant stand the constant whining about crime on Nextdoor, but I like to k ow what is going on, we have a persistent panhandler arpund here, a woman who wears a distinguishing pink “Obama” baseball cap. She is persistsnt and rude, but I didnt know she had actually assaulted someone u til I posted about her on Nextdoor.. Now I will call cops the moment she steps onto private property. There are several r
Ing videos of her antics.



ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2020, 06:33:55 AM »
What is the forum's attitude towards traditional security systems (i.e., window and door monitoring)?  I'm not really worried about cameras, because generally, someone who is out stealing is not worth suing.  I just want a huge alarm to go off if someone breaks in.

Any thoughts on these?

BlueHouse

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2020, 09:17:14 AM »
What is the forum's attitude towards traditional security systems (i.e., window and door monitoring)?  I'm not really worried about cameras, because generally, someone who is out stealing is not worth suing.  I just want a huge alarm to go off if someone breaks in.

Any thoughts on these?

I feel safe with my security system.  Window/door sensors/ live monitoring / security cameras outside / dog cameras inside . 
The worst feeling to me is when you're home alone and you think you heard a noise but you're not sure what it was.  Or the dog starts barking its head off for no reason and acts like there's someone upstairs.  So for me, I just turn on the alarm an feel safe knowing that if someone were already in the house, they couldn't get past the motion sensor without me hearing and they couldn't murder me then get away with it without tripping an alarm.  Honestly, it just helps me sleep better.  Also, I'm much safer from accidentlally shooting myself because before I had alarms, if there was any possibility that someone might be in the house, I would creep around with a loaded gun looking behind shower curtains and bookcases.  Now I just fall asleep.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2020, 09:19:13 AM »
I have had multiple Arlo systems - I agree with most of the comments here.  Good coverage, good quality, good motion management and I personally believe they are a visual deterrent.  The newer systems have an audible alarm and two way communication as well.  We also integrated the Arlo Flood Lights - they blast a pretty powerful flood light to deter people away from our front porch, garage and back of the house.  They are really nice when it is just you walking around at night as well.  And if you want to get tricky you change the color of the lights or have them strobe if you have an impromptu dance party in your driveway.  The only downside is there is annual subscription of $99 for recording or managing more than 3 cameras (I think it is three) and the cameras aren't cheap but can now be found at Costco.  We don't use them for "identifying criminals for legal proceedings" but it alerts us wherever we are that there is someone on our property.  All can be integrated with Alexa

For those looking at an Alarm system - after looking at 25+ systems we went with Simplisafe and we could not be happier.  If anyone is interested in a referral for simplisafe PM me - we both get a free month of monitoring.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 09:27:10 AM by WSUCoug1994 »

wellactually

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2020, 09:26:57 AM »
We just bought and hooked up Simplisafe at the end of the year. It cost us $218 upfront with the basic system plus some extra sensors. We got a free camera with it and my husband sold it on his work intranet for $75 (the company had given free simplisafe systems to a bunch of people in a giveaway at the holiday party, so it was the perfect market!). So our net cost was $143. Now we pay $15/month with no contract.

I'm happy with it. We live in a safe area, but our entire town deals with middle-of-the-day break-ins. Our friend recently had his sliding glass door shattered. Nothing was taken, so the police told him it was probably someone looking for money or pills. I'm also happy with the improvements simplisafe made to upgrade their cybersecurity and fix the past vulnerability they had.

We really try to limit our online ordering because of our environmental values, so I don't worry much about package thieves.

hops

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2020, 09:46:51 AM »
What is the forum's attitude towards traditional security systems (i.e., window and door monitoring)?  I'm not really worried about cameras, because generally, someone who is out stealing is not worth suing.  I just want a huge alarm to go off if someone breaks in.

Any thoughts on these?

Whether or not it's worth it for you will depend on all kinds of factors. Do you only want something loud enough to scare off intruders (in which case GE makes very cheap, loud alarms) or do you also want the authorities to be summoned? Are you fine chancing it with a wi-fi only system or do you want something hardwired or with cellular backup? Note that skilled burglars won't necessarily flee at the sound of an alarm since they can work very quickly.

For us, living in a safe area and not owning much worth stealing, we started by looking into what kind of discount we'd get on our homeowners insurance for installing a home monitoring system. Some people report a huge savings but ours would've been minimal (around $50 per year if we purchased central monitoring, $25 if we self-monitored).

An overzealous watchdog reports to us at home, so the main issue was getting alerts when we're gone. For that we put cheap sensors on our doors and windows that send us text alerts. Those can be paired with alarms using various home automation hubs, or smart speakers, if you're so inclined. You can also get connected devices that will alert you to water leaks in the home, freezing temperatures, smoke or carbon monoxide. Those all concern me much more than break-ins.

Taking extra steps to secure your doors is cheap and easy (the right kind of deadbolt, long screws in strike plates, door reinforcement hardware, etc.) regardless of whether you pursue monitoring. There are also films you can apply to windows to make them harder to break.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2020, 05:27:41 AM »
The Ring security system seems like a good, cheap option. I especially like that you can install and then pay no monthly fees.

Anybody else tried this?

hops

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2020, 09:15:20 AM »
A good source for reviews and comparisons of DIY security systems is Security Baron, which is run by an attorney who also makes in-depth YouTube demos. Here's his take on Ring vs. Abode, which is frequently on sale and generally highly rated:

https://securitybaron.com/system-reviews/abode-vs-ring-alarm-review/

If you're going to self-monitor and are indifferent to their recent controversies, Ring will probably suit you fine. If you want glass break sensors, Simplisafe has that capability and Ring currently doesn't. Simplisafe also offers amazing deals sometimes on refurbished units.

We returned Ring after a week because it ultimately felt overpriced for what we wanted (primarily door and water leak monitoring). But my brother's happy with his setup.

wellactually

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2020, 11:09:09 AM »
I did not want anything connected to my wifi and was more concerned with the hacking vulnerabilities than package thieves. So that’s why I didn’t consider anything ring or similar.

spartana

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2020, 03:44:49 PM »
PTF mostly. I don't have home Wi-Fi and would like a system that I can just monitor the outside directly from inside while at home (to see what the darn pesky racoons and stalker are up to). I looked at a Swann camera system from from Lowes and a Cobra from Harbor Freight Tools. Both came wired or wireless and could be viewed live via your TV (some came with small monitors) or via an DVR. Any thoughts?

ETA just saw this was an old thread but still like to hear ideas. Especially in.the wake of Wi-Fi systems being hacked lately.  TIA
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 10:35:20 PM by spartana »

hops

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Re: Home Security Camera System?
« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2020, 10:33:58 AM »
spartana, I'm going to PM you a resource that might help.