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Choosing the Best Security Cameras for Your Home

As technology has advanced, home security cameras have made protecting your property with video surveillance both affordable and effective. Increasingly, both indoor and outdoor security cameras have become important features in a home security system. Because most burglaries occur between 10 am and 3 pm when you’re usually at work or away from home, security cameras can play a vital role in keeping an eye on your house even when you can’t.

Choosing a home security camera to compliment your residential security system can seem like a daunting task. There are many different types of security cameras as well as critical features that should be part of your decision-making process. Let’s break down what you should look for in a security camera and the benefits of incorporating video surveillance into your home security system.


Let’s start our conversation with the most important factor that will determine the kind of camera you’ll want to invest in- location, location, location.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Where you intend to install the home security camera will determine what type of cameras you should use. Outdoor cameras are made of durable materials with designs that make them weather resistant. They also tend to have a wider viewing angle and accommodate difficult lighting conditions. Indoor cameras are usually lighter and less expensive but have more options for 360-degree coverage, motion detection, and the ability to focus on smaller areas.

PTZ or Adjustable Angle

PTZ stands for pan/tilt/zoom, and that’s exactly what these cameras do best. These cameras are fitted with actuators and specialize in adjusting for a wider viewing angle, offering 360-degree views as well as zoom functionality that enables a closer look at details.

Things to Consider in a Home Security Camera

Before you decide which kind of home security camera you need or which features are important to you, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Because, while cameras are an important component of a home security system, they should also work in tandem with other security measures to protect your home.


Think carefully about the role the camera will play in your home security. Are you just conducting surveillance, or do you want a security camera that is reactive and can be accessed on a smartphone?


The camera you choose will depend first and foremost on the location inside or outside of the home, but there are other spacing concerns to consider like the viewing angle and how many cameras you might need to cover the entire area.


Do you need a camera that is unobtrusive and blends naturally with your home’s décor? One of the advantages to wireless cameras is that they are easier to hide and can become a seamless part of your home’s surroundings.


Consider the lighting in the area you’ll be using the security camera in. Features like night vision with higher resolution will provide great picture quality, even in the darkest areas inside and outside of your home.

Features of Home Security Cameras

The features you need in a home security camera depend on the location of the camera and what you intend to watch.  Whether it’s a doorbell camera that detects motion and sends alerts to your smartphone or an indoor camera that helps you keep an eye on your pet, look for features that match the functionality you need.

Motion Detection

Some cameras come equipped with motion sensors that records video from the camera when movement or activity is detected. This feature has several advantages, including optimizing how much video you’ll have to store and sending an alert to your smartphone .

Wireless Security Cameras

Many of the modern home security cameras offer wireless connectivity. The camera’s video footage is sent over your WIFI and stored online so that homeowners can view them instantly or later.

Cloud Storage

As we mentioned previously, most modern home security cameras store recorded video footage in “the cloud,” or digital storage spaces accessible online. You’ll want to investigate how much video storage space is available, how long the video is stored for, and what the quality of video is when it is sent to cloud storage.

Field of View

A camera’s viewing angle, called the field of view, will ultimately determine how many cameras you need to cover an area. Choose one with a wide or narrower field of view depending on the size of the space you’re watching.

Sound Capabilities

Some cameras enable you to hear audio along with video and others are equipped with microphones and speakers that allow you to engage in two-way conversations. This is a feature found most frequently in doorbell cameras.

Night Vision

Many outdoor and indoor cameras have night vision that allows the camera to record in low lighting situations. This capability can play a large role in how effective your camera is catching an intruder at night.

High Definition (HD)

Gone are the days of grainy, black and white video footage. Modern-day home security cameras have ever improving resolutions and the ability to see in color and zoom in for a close-up of details in the bright, sharp definition of HD.

Home Automation Compatibility

Home security cameras can be integrated with many of the modern-day home hubs like Alexa, allowing you to control your security system with voice commands. If you already manage much of your home’s automation through another device, you’ll want to ensure your home security camera is compatible with that.


Home security cameras can take a little extra bandwidth, especially ones that record high-resolution video. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got the internet speed to support these devices.


Once you have a home security camera, you’ll also want to think about who is monitoring the footage and alerting authorities of potential intruders or emergency situations. Homeowners can have the option of having central station operators view live video or still images which add an additional layer of protection.


The number of cameras you buy and the spaces you decide are necessary to monitor will also depend on the amount you have to invest in a home security camera. If you have a limited budget, focus on entrances and the main living areas of your home.

Benefits of a Home Security Camera

Integrating cameras into your home security system can have some obvious benefits, but there are also a few advantages that you may not have considered.

Protect Your Home

The primary reason to install a home security camera is to protect your home. And in some cases, security measures like cameras can serve as deterrents for those looking to break in. Nearly 2/3 of thieves report looking for an easier target when discovering the home is equipped with a security system.

Early Detection

Cameras can be part of a detection system not only for intruders but also for other hazards like fire. After a sensor is tripped, video footage can help you verify the danger and alert authorities.

Keep an Eye on the Family

Having a home security camera enables you to monitor and, in some cases, interact with family members while you’re away. That includes pets, who might spend a majority of the day home alone. It can provide peace of mind and a direct visual connection to confirm the things and people you care about are safe and sound.

Save on Insurance

Homes equipped with home security systems, including cameras, can save you money on your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Video footage can help resolve claims and cut down on the time involved in verifying stolen items.

Catch Criminals

Surveillance is particularly useful for spotting criminals in the act. A home security camera can help police identify intruders, determine how they gained access, and hopefully, recover your stolen property.

Security Cameras from American Alarm

At American Alarm, we understand that home security cameras are an important part of protecting your property and deterring potential intruders. And in the aftermath of an incident, home security camera systems can be instrumental in helping to identify criminals and assisting police.

Here are just a few of the features the home security video cameras we install provide to homeowners:

  • View live footage from HD cameras on a mobile app
  • Central Station monitors video alarms
  • Receive video clips to your smartphone
  • Review weeks of recorded video from cloud storage
  • Email video clips
  • Manage cameras and detection zones
  • View cameras and live footage online

American Alarm offers various kinds of home security cameras to meet your needs, including popular video doorbell cameras that detect motion, send alerts to your smartphone, and let homeowners view live stream and recorded clips.

As with most of our home security services, our video camera systems are backed up by a full-service UL Central Monitoring Station that is a nationally recognized leader in the security industry. American Alarm invests in the latest software, hardware, automation, and infrastructure technology so that we’re always online and ready to help.


History and Reputation

Owned and operated by the Beale family continuously since 1958, we have grown into a large, full-service security solutions provider with an excellent reputation. We service all of Southern California and beyond.

Commitment to Clients

We owe our longevity to our loyal clients. Our mantra is “treat every client as if they are our only client”. Because of this goal, we strive to exceed client expectations in every facet of our work.

Local Provider

We are your neighbor, which drives us to provide you with prompt service and security. We are familiar with the neighborhoods you live and work in because we are part of your community.

Superior Technology

Our UL central monitoring station is equipped with top-tier hardware, software, redundant dual coast communications, and is recognized as a leader in the security industry.

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