Last updated: June 18, 2020

Security cameras are one of the technological devices that you should consider if you’re thinking of ways to improve the safety of your house or business. Security cameras are no longer only used for security and surveillance of your home or business contents, but they are also used to take care of your pets or children when you are not at home.

Insecurity has increased in Australia in recent years, so the need to buy these types of devices to feel safer and to be in constant observation of our home or business is necessary. The following article will cover the most important factors you should know if you are thinking of acquiring a security camera.

Key Facts

  • Security cameras are devices designed to record and monitor a certain area with the aim of improving security to either the home or business. They also help to deter criminal acts as well as capture video evidence of any unwanted activity.
  • There are various types of security cameras that can be classified by the signal they transmit, by the way they store or record videos and by their physical design.
  • These devices are complicated devices, therefore the factors that affect the quality of the product are very important to consider before purchasing. Some of these factors are: image quality, night vision, tilt and rotation angles.

Ranking: The best security cameras on the Australian market

In a world where  speed and convenience have taken on greater importance in commerce, online shopping is almost as popular as going directly to the store to buy something. The security cameras market has not been left out of this new-age shopping revolution. Here is a list of the most popular models in Australia that you can buy online.

No. 1: JOOAN Home Security Camera

This small and modern home security camera is Amazon’s Choice product thanks to its intuitive features yet economical price. With a built-in infrared camera that enables you to view up to 10 metres in darkness under night vision mode, you’ll be able to monitor movements in your house at any hour of the day or night. This security camera is easy to setup and operate with its user-friendly app for iPhone & Android.

This fantastic home security camera features a push-to-talk button and built-in microphone that allows you to communicate with kids, elderly family members and even pets when you’re out and about. With a price tag of just $60 with free delivery, this is great purchase to improve your home security.

No. 2: Outdoor WiFi IP Security Camera 1080P – GENBOLT

Genbolt is one of the most recognised brands of security cameras across North America, Europe, Australasia & Asia for use as home, school or office security. With the Genbolt Outdoor WiFi IP Security Camera you can say goodbye to complicated settings and set up this camera in under 1 minutes. This security camera can be configured to record 24/7 or only record after triggering the record function via the app.

The new and improved WiFi technology features a longer transmission distance than the normal WiFi camera to enable cameras to be placed further away if required, such as in a warehouse or supermarket. The stable signal connection ensures constant network connection and this camera has been successfully tested with the Australian networks Telstra, Optus and TPG.

No. 3: Arlo Pro – 2 Camera System

Introducing the Arlo Pro security system that takes the worrying out of life with its 100% wireless indoor/outdoor home monitoring system that eliminates the need for cords or electrical outlets. The Arlo Pro uses rechargeable batteries that can be swapped in a flash to minimise camera downtime and help you stay protected.

The Arlo Pro features motion and sound-activated alerts and a 100+ decibel siren. With the possibility of cloud based video recording, all the footage from this camera will be kept nice and safe to be viewed at any time. The Arlo Pro is available in a 1, 2, 3 or 4 camera system with the ability to add on further cameras in the future if required.

No. 4: EASYTONE Home Security Camera

The Easytone Home Security Camera is a low-cost security camera that may be suitable to those families looking to try out their first security camera. The camera features a built in microphone and speaker that lets you listen and talk to your family members remotely just like a video chat. It is a wide-angle camera that can pan 350° and tilt 100°, to allow you to see almost every corner of the room.

The motion detection and intelligent alerts can provide real-time push notifications and send captured images to your smart phone while you’re away. The wireless features of the camera offer total convenience with remote access that is compatible with iPhone, Android, Apple and Windows computers.

No. 5: WiFi Camera Outdoor – SV3C

Want to know what’s happening when you’re not home? The SV3C WiFi camera will alert you via your mobile phone or send snapshots to your email when motion is detected at your home. The WiFi camera supports an SD card of up to 128GB of space, which is more than enough to keep recordings of your home whilst you are away on holidays.

This WiFi camera is equipped with a 36 piece infra-red LED light to monitor the inside or outside of your home clearly and easily whether it’s day or night. The full aluminium case means the bullet style camera is strong enough to withstand rough weather such as strong storms or cyclones.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about security cameras

Buying a security camera should not be a decision taken lightly, as you are placing a lot of confidence in these products. You will be putting the security of your home, your business, your children or your pets, in the hands of these devices, so a well researched purchase is important. In the following section we answer some of the most frequently asked questions by Australian consumers.

Men with cam

With a security camera you can have peace of mind that your home or business guarded at all times. (Source: Ian-Allenden: 46129053/ 123rf.com)

What are security cameras?

Security cameras are video surveillance devices that have been designed to record the activities of people in a particular place. Their primary purpose is to detect any criminal or harmful acts and either prevent the crime or record physical evidence of the criminal activity.

Due to the growing insecurity in almost all countries, including Australia, security cameras have become a crucial ally for those who wish to protect their home or business. Security cameras can provide you with the peace of mind that your home or business is safe and secure at times when you are away for the location.

Dean WilsonMonash University

“I think surveillance, privacy and the social impacts of surveillance are going to remain enormous questions for us as a society”.

How do security cameras work?

There are many factors that determine how each camera works. Depending on the type of camera, the moment of recording (permanent or only when detecting movement) and the way in which the video recording is stored will define how each device works.

In general, all security or surveillance cameras work by recording and sending the image to a recording device and then to a device such as a television, monitor, computer (analog cameras or digital cameras with a recorder) or directly to a mobile device or tablet (IP cameras).

Man looking at security cam

We recommend that you invest in a security camera to give you the peace of mind of knowing that your children, home and pets are safe. (Source: Kaspars-Grinvalds: 72779313/ 123rf.com)

What video storage and recording methods are there for security cameras?

There are 3 different methods of video storage used by security cameras. As mentioned before, this also depends on whether the camera is analog or digital as this will directly affect the recording capabilities available.

Storage method Features
Digital Video Recorder (DVR) Used to record images from an analog security system.
Requires coaxial cable to connect the camera to the video storage unit and from there, send the images to a monitoring location.
Converts an analog signal to a digital signal.
In some cases it is possible to connect a DVR system to the Internet to monitor the camera remotely
Network Video Recorder (NVR) Connects to the digital or IP camera via a network or twisted-pair cable.
Recommended method if the camera does not have an SD memory card slot.
Signal conversion is not required.
Connected to the Internet to allow remote monitoring
SD Memory Card Used only by digital security cameras.
Typical security cameras support 64GB to 120GB SD cards.
Recording remains inside the camera which requires the memory to be cleared once full.
Very practical as no additional wiring or video storage system is required.
It is possible to store the recording in a cloud service, either private or hosted cloud such as AWS (Amazon Web Services)

For whom is it recommended to purchase a security camera?

Security cameras are recommended as a basic and invaluable device for companies and businesses if you as the owner or manager cannot always be present. With these devices you can monitor customers and employees to identify possible theft at any time.

However, security cameras are not only limited to monitoring and recording the activity of your business. Nowadays, security cameras are also very useful to be used domestically, as our homes are not exempt from the growing risk of theft or home invasion. There are simple, low-cost security cameras that are suitable for home use.

Fell safe at home with security camaras

Security cameras continue to be recommended as a basic security device for businesses and homes. (Source: Andriy Popov: 54598319/ 123rf.com)

In addition to keeping an eye on your home contents, security cameras are also perfect if you have very young children or pets and you would like to monitor them from your mobile or tablet. With some innovative models, you can even talk through the device to communicate with your children or pets when you are away from the house.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of security cameras?

You may think that buying a security camera will only provide advantages to the home or business. However this is not always the case and much of the success of security cameras will depend on how you use these devices and your expectations. The following table will explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of security cameras.

Advantages
  • Peace of mind that you can have your home or business monitored at any time, from any location
  • Can prevent theft or other types of crimes such as vandalism
  • Can lead to successful prosecution by being able to recognise individuals who commit crimes
  • Powerful deterrent system as the presence of cameras can intimidate intruders or thieves
  • Provide the ability to monitor the location through various devices
Disadvantages
  • Can reduce the level of privacy depending on where the cameras are placed
  • The surveillance system can be beaten and does not ensure total effectiveness
  • They are not systems that prevent crimes as their function is to monitor and deter

Shopping Criteria

You may have thought that the function of a security camera is simply to detect movement, record and send some kind of alert. Technological advances have changed the way these devices perform these functions to be far more than this. We suggest reviewing the following shopping criteria before purchasing a new security camera:

Alerts and applications

It is very important that the security camera that you are considering can send alerts to your phone or device when it detects an anomaly or movements. This function allows you to monitor the place of interest only when something is happening, rather than performing permanent surveillance.

Some security cameras include an application to monitor and control the camera from your mobile phone, tablet or computer. The advantage of a specialised application is that you can watch a live feed from anywhere that you have an Internet connection. In addition, with certain applications you can perform functions such as stop recording, activate recording or change the direction of the camera lens.

Facial recognition

On the market today, it is possible to find some security cameras that offer facial recognition software. Through this advanced software, the security camera is able to analyse and compare video segments to identify the physical or facial features of a person, and with this, their identity.

The facial recognition software allows alarms to be disabled if the security camera recognises that the persons is a known or approved individual for the location, which decreases unnecessary alerts. On the contrary, if the system is unable to identify the person, an alert will be triggered immediately.

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Did you know that the first CCTV system was designed by German engineer Walter Bruch in 1942 and was used for monitoring V2 missiles during World War II?

Resolution and night vision

With the advances in technology in terms of image resolution and recording, you can find some cameras that have the ability to record full HD or 4k. You should keep in mind that the better the resolution, the easier it will be to recognise intruders and see exactly what your camera is recording.

The resolution of the camera may reduce when uploading files to the cloud, which usually reduces video quality to 720 pixels in order to save space and reduce file transfer times.

As for night vision, we suggest that any camera you’re thinking of acquiring has this function, as most intruders operate at night. Some models will automatically switch to this mode when they are unable to detect enough light while on other models you can pre-set the night vision mode of the camera via a timer.

Technician with cam

Security cameras are devices designed to record and monitor a specific area. (Source: Wattanaphob-Kappago: 84828418/ 123rf.com)

Viewing, tilt and rotation angles

Panning, tilting and zooming (PTZ) will determine how many different angles and how accurately you can record a specific location. The level of PTZ will vary from model to model as some cameras have a much wider viewing angle than others, so it is important to review the viewing range of each camera.

If your camera can rotate and zoom, you can cover a larger area by directing the camera specifically in the direction you want to see. The security cameras that have an application for this operation are much better because you will be able to control these movements remotely from your personal devices.

We recommend that the viewing angle of your camera should be at least 130°, and can rotate up to 80°. With these viewing abilities and ranges of movement, you will be able to have a viewing scope of almost 360°, to enable complete control over the location under surveillance.

Storage method

One advantage of local storage, whether via a memory card or storage device, is that the resolution of the recordings is not reduced. However the disadvantage of this is that if someone steals the actual camera, you won’t be able to retrieve the recording.

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If you use cloud storage, you have the advantage that you will not lose the recordings no matter what an intruder does to your camera as cloud storage is seperate from the physical device.

Motion sensors

Another feature that you should consider as fundamental in the acquisition of a security camera is motion sensor technology. With motion sensors you can be notified and review the camera instantly if someone has broken into your home or business.

Some of the more sophisticated security camera models will be able to differentiate between people, animals or cars when triggering the motion sensor. The level of sophistication of the motion sensor will depend on the price, as well as the sensitivity of the sensor. The advantage is that with a highly sophisticated motion sensor system, you will not receive unnecessary alerts.

Two-way audio

Last but not least is an additional feature that only the most professional security cameras have. Although their main function is to record images, it is certainly better if you can also record audio. A security camera with audio capabilities will enable you to see and hear absolutely everything that’s going on.

In addition, security cameras that have the ability to record sounds may also have the ability to emit sounds through a small built-in speaker. This can be useful for communicating to deter or intimidate an intruder.

Summary

By purchasing a security camera you will be investing in the security of your home, business, your children’s wellbeing or your pets safety when you are not present. Due to the drastically reduced price of security cameras, they are no longer exclusive to big companies or those with a lot of money.

If you have the possibility to purchase a security camera, we recommend that you invest in one of them to give you the peace of mind as well as potentially saving you a lot of money from the theft of your household belongings. As a business owner you will not only be able to monitor your business premises, but your employees and customers will feel more secure and protected.

If this guide has been useful to you, you can leave us a comment or share it on your social networks or with a friend who may be interested in purchasing a security camera.

(Source of featured image: Leenanuruksa: 27825618/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Brett is a keen observer of the latest technology trends and knows his way around the industry because he runs an electronics store. He writes about it in his spare time and wants to help others learn more about the technology industry.