10 Tips From The Security Experts On Setting Up Your Home Security Cameras

Setting up a security camera system for your home can be a great way of discouraging break-ins, but it’s equally good for monitoring a baby or keeping track of who’s raiding the kitchen after dark. There are some ground rules you should follow whenever you’re setting up a new camera system, so here’s a bit of light reading for you.

Security camera image via Shutterstock

We talked to Netgear, maker of the Arlo wireless security camera, and a couple of different Australian home security installers, to get the low-down on the best tips for installing your new home security networking gear. We’ve aggregated the answers, so here are 10 things to keep in mind when you’re buying and setting up a new home security system of any brand.

Setup And Placement

Security camera image via Shutterstock

Move Your Cameras Around If You Need To

Netgear’s Arlo wireless cameras can be moved around with ease. Sleeping baby? Place one over the cot. Going away for the weekend? Move the camera to the front door. In each kit you get double the amount of magnetic mounts (the two-cam kit has four mounts). Place the mounts in different discreet locations around your house, and you can easily move your camera as required. The cameras have a flat base so can also sit on book shelves or side tables.

Use Monitoring Software To Name Your Cameras Appropriately

Since you’ll have multiple security cameras set up, they’ll be in different parts of your house. Avoid confusion by naming each camera. Log in to your account or camera monitoring software, find the appropriate menu, and then click on the camera of your choice. Give each camera a unique name that reflects its location — for example, you might have a camera at the back door or in the baby’s room. This will make your system even easier to manage and view.

Place Your Cameras A Long Way Away, If You Need To

You can place most wireless security cameras up to 100 metres away from your home network base station, either inside or out. In a typical home, that means it doesn’t matter where your cameras go. And it’s why a wireless security system is perfect for watching yards, sheds, and other far-flung indoor or outdoor locations. You’ll also be able to buy kits for outdoor mounting to trees or ceiling mounts for inside.

Usage And Monitoring

Security camera image via Shutterstock

There’s A Best Practice For Aiming Cameras For Tracking Motion

Maximize your security camera’s motion detection — we’ve found that placing your cameras about seven feet high and pointed slightly down produces the best detection results.

Cameras that can track motion will do a better job when they’re up high, angled down over a wide field of view. Motion tracking is usually especially good at the edge of a camera’s frame where it’ll notice a big difference.

Tweak Your Software To Operate Correctly

Fine tune your security camera’s performance with modes & rules — you can customise Arlo so it works just the way you want it to. Create “Modes” for different situations and set “Rules” that tell Arlo what to do in each Mode. For example, you can set up “Away” that activates motion detection and auto alerts while “Home and Awake” shuts them off to avoid false alarms when everyone’s home. This will also help with your battery life on each camera.

Share Your Cameras Over The ‘Net

If you have a decent security camera, and it’s connected to your home network, then it’s also connected to the Internet. You may as well put the two together, right? Viewing your cameras from the Internet on a Web-connected PC at work or on holiday gives you a bit of extra peace of mind.

Netgear’s Arlo lets you share live video over the internet with family and friends. Your “guests” can simply watch your camera views, or you can give them access to camera controls. Or download and save any recordings for viewing and sharing later.

Maintenance And Software

Security camera image via Shutterstock

Save Power By Switching Cameras Off When You Don’t Need Them

Optimize your battery life for each camera by setting up the appropriate modes and rules for your motion detection scheduling. For example, you don’t need it on when everyone’s home.

There’s no point running the security cameras inside your house if you’re at home, especially if they’re wireless — they’ll just be watching you move around. This can also be a little unsettling for visitors and amorous couples. Set timers or a software switch to disable them whenever you don’t need them.

Make Best Use Of Any Included Software Or Apps

Security cameras aren’t any good unless they’re saving footage somewhere. If you have good ‘net, upload data to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive regularly — this also stops theives from stealing the network hard drive your security cameras record to in the first place.

Whether you’re using a smartphone, tablet or computer, there’ll be a way that you can best monitor your home security system. On a smartphone, for example, you can receive push notifications when movement is detected, or send emails to any of your devices — so a click or two is all you’ll ever need to check in at home.

Subscribe To An Online Monitoring Service To Check In On The Go

Any security camera worth its salt will be able to broadcast online and let you track exactly what’s going on in your home and wherever you’re monitoring.

All Arlo kits come with a basic subscription plan that includes support for up to five cameras, seven days of cloud recording and up to 1GB of cloud storage. Upgrade anytime to Premier or Elite Service Plan, and you’ll enjoy more support for more cameras (up to 15 cameras & 3 base stations) up to 60 days of cloud recording, plus other great features.

Talk To The People Who Know Best

Unless your security camera system is entirely plug and play, chances are you’ll need an expert to do at least some of the heavy lifting. We know exactly what we’re doing — we’ve installed cabling and hardware before, and we understand the software side of things better as well. It never hurts to ask for help.

Arlo offers an online community of fellow users sharing great camera advice and security ideas. Join the conversation today and explore all the possibilities. Like Arlo itself, it’s easy to do — just log in using your Arlo credentials and start talking.

Got any tips of your own or any questions about setting up home security cameras, or any tips about home security or network video cameras in general? Let us know in the comments field below.

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