Security cameras

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Hi all

Not sure if this is the right place or not but I'm wanting to beef up our home security. In particular I want a camera that videos whoever comes to the front door and another that videos any intruders in the back. Ideally I'd like the film to be stored instantly in the cloud to avoid it being removed and with enough clarity to ID intruders. I hear you can get cameras that track movement and will switch on then and follow motion. I'd also want some strong flood lights with motion sensors too.

Is this all possible? Does anyone have any ideas how to get them and also how much they would cost?

Thanks to anyone who can help
 
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I have put a reasonable amount of research into security cameras recently and started putting together a bit of a system although less from a security perspective but more to be able to check on the dog downstairs when WFH...

I'll try and break a few things down for you because personally I am not a fan of cloud storage options.

There are three types of storage you can get: Cloud, On Camera (SD card) and NVR (local storage solution which could be a recorder or more generic PC/network attached hard drive) and usually some combination of 2 or all 3.

If you are looking for cloud storage only then there are various options. Most require monthly subscriptions for storage and AI features such a person detection. Some will offer a free tier that gives a rolling 7 or 14 days storage.

In the cloud storage space the main players are Google Nest, Amazon Ring and Netgear Arlo.
  • Google Nest
    • Don't offer a spotlight camera
    • Has a Video Doorbell that could cover your front door instead of a spotlight
    • Their cheapest camera starts at £110
    • Offers integration with Google Home and other nest products like the thermostat
    • Requires a subscription for storage starting at £5 per month
    • Doesn't offer any local storage
  • Amazon Ring
    • Has a spotlight camera. Starts at £180
    • Also have various indoor cameras and also a video doorbell.
    • Also requires a subscription I think starts at £2.50 and goes up from there
    • Has minimal Google Home integration but will obviously work a lot better with Alexa
  • Netgear Arlo
    • Wide array of camera systems including spotlights, wireless cams, video doorbells
    • I think their physical cameras are much better than either ring or nest although they have so many different versions now it's hard to keep up
    • Their cost however is much higher I think about £250-350 for their cheapest two camera systems
    • However, this includes a base unit which offers some local storage options
    • They also offer a free subscription tier which I think offers free 7 days subscription but I'm not sure that still exists
    • However, the free subscription doesn't offer any of the extra AI type features like facial recognition
    • Should work with both Google Assistant and Alexa
There is another manufacturer who are sort of in this space:
  • Eufy Cam
    • Offer very similar products to all of the above in video doorbells, spotlight cams
    • They are generally cheaper than their rivals above
    • As with Arlo they offer a base station for local storage however not all of their cameras support it which I didn't like
    • None of their AI features require a subscription.
    • I believe they offer a cloud service but I couldn't find details of it on a very brief search.
    • Part of the reason I didn't go for these it that there are various features I wanted that their support team are apparently "working on" but never seemed to appear
However, I did not like the idea of going down any of the above routes (although I was closest to going with Eufy cam). Ultimately with these cameras their usefulness is entirely tied to the subscriptions because in most cases that is the only way to store recordings. With some of these cameras various features are only available if you pay the subscription fee as well so I would hate to think what would happen in a few years if Amazon or Google etc. decided to stop supporting a particular product. Google have already had a history of this as they changed the way Nest devices could integrate with third party systems to lock everything down which removed a lot of functionality for users who relied on other smart home apps that Google's own. Also nothing is cross compatible so you cannot simply mix and match the best products from different companies and if you want to add to your system in the future you would have to stay with the same manufacturer.

The route I chose to go down was to use cameras that support a local streaming protocol called RTSP and ONVIF. These expose a local stream on your network which you can log in to and view like going to a web page. The brand I have gone for is Reolink (they are pretty cheap and always on a lightning deal on Amazon) but there are plenty of others. These support an SD card for local storage but also crucially RTSP so I can eventually hook them up to a home server using some recording software or a Synology NAS (1 camera free and costs about £40 per camera after that) to record everything and I could then back that up to the cloud if I wanted. The other thing is because RTSP is an open standard I could buy cameras from other manufacturers and be able to hook them up to my system. I would say Reolink were perfect for you but they don't currently offer their cloud service in the UK due to not meeting GDPR. However, like I have said I am not a fan of cloud subscriptions for this kind of thing so if you were willing to drop that requirement for storage on an SD card (you can still access your recordings and live stream via and app) I would recommend them.

At the very bottom of the spectrum and if you are particularly sneaky and tech savvy there are Wyze cams which cost about £20 each so are a dirt cheap entry into the security camera world. These aren't technically available in the UK but there are various companies selling the same camera model which is possible to flash the firmware from Wyze on to, which I think gives you some access to their cloud storage options... But that is all starting to get a little ridiculous...

What I discovered and hopefully you can tell from the above that it is a little bit of a minefield. It becomes even more of a minefield if like me you are interested in trying to hook up motion events into a smart home system as well but I will leave that one there or I will be here all night.
 
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In fact the Wyze cam I mentioned can actually be bought from Neos in the UK https://shop.neos.co.uk/products/neos-smartcam (also available form Curry's) and they appear to offer some sort of free cloud service as well as the ability to record to an SD Card. They are very cheap for what they appear to offer but might work.
 
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Really good info above - I went down the NVR route - and keep all the images locally in the house - and it's well hidden. It connects to the broadband router - and I can view remotely at any time. The cameras are set such that I get a warning when there's movement across an imaginary line.

Different cameras have different qualities of night view - many are pretty good in the day time - but mostly people want them at night. Looking at the infra red spec is important based on the area you're trying to cover - some IR lamps only have an extremely short range - so only useful when someone is next to your door - others can see for 100m or more - but can also be blindingly bright if someone is 5m in front of them.

I've got a HIKvision NVR and a range of different branded cameras (including HIKvision) - and am very happy with both the day and the night pictures.

At night are you in pitch black? Or is there still a degree of ambient light from street lamps etc? In absolute true darkness you definitely need a good IR lamp - if some ambient lighting there are now cameras that can provide colour pictures in the middle of the night if there's a little ambient light.

Our local council has decided that many street lights will now be turned off after midnight - so here you can see one of my rear cameras - one with street lights on and one in total pitch black (although you can see lights in the distance still on)

EE2AEE01-3FB3-4D51-B92A-19D3F803BF91.jpeg
7B62941F-CD46-4456-BA2E-68F757F9F558.jpeg
 
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I have put a reasonable amount of research into security cameras recently and started putting together a bit of a system although less from a security perspective but more to be able to check on the dog downstairs when WFH...

I'll try and break a few things down for you because personally I am not a fan of cloud storage options.

There are three types of storage you can get: Cloud, On Camera (SD card) and NVR (local storage solution which could be a recorder or more generic PC/network attached hard drive) and usually some combination of 2 or all 3.

If you are looking for cloud storage only then there are various options. Most require monthly subscriptions for storage and AI features such a person detection. Some will offer a free tier that gives a rolling 7 or 14 days storage.

In the cloud storage space the main players are Google Nest, Amazon Ring and Netgear Arlo.
  • Google Nest
    • Don't offer a spotlight camera
    • Has a Video Doorbell that could cover your front door instead of a spotlight
    • Their cheapest camera starts at £110
    • Offers integration with Google Home and other nest products like the thermostat
    • Requires a subscription for storage starting at £5 per month
    • Doesn't offer any local storage
  • Amazon Ring
    • Has a spotlight camera. Starts at £180
    • Also have various indoor cameras and also a video doorbell.
    • Also requires a subscription I think starts at £2.50 and goes up from there
    • Has minimal Google Home integration but will obviously work a lot better with Alexa
  • Netgear Arlo
    • Wide array of camera systems including spotlights, wireless cams, video doorbells
    • I think their physical cameras are much better than either ring or nest although they have so many different versions now it's hard to keep up
    • Their cost however is much higher I think about £250-350 for their cheapest two camera systems
    • However, this includes a base unit which offers some local storage options
    • They also offer a free subscription tier which I think offers free 7 days subscription but I'm not sure that still exists
    • However, the free subscription doesn't offer any of the extra AI type features like facial recognition
    • Should work with both Google Assistant and Alexa
There is another manufacturer who are sort of in this space:
  • Eufy Cam
    • Offer very similar products to all of the above in video doorbells, spotlight cams
    • They are generally cheaper than their rivals above
    • As with Arlo they offer a base station for local storage however not all of their cameras support it which I didn't like
    • None of their AI features require a subscription.
    • I believe they offer a cloud service but I couldn't find details of it on a very brief search.
    • Part of the reason I didn't go for these it that there are various features I wanted that their support team are apparently "working on" but never seemed to appear
However, I did not like the idea of going down any of the above routes (although I was closest to going with Eufy cam). Ultimately with these cameras their usefulness is entirely tied to the subscriptions because in most cases that is the only way to store recordings. With some of these cameras various features are only available if you pay the subscription fee as well so I would hate to think what would happen in a few years if Amazon or Google etc. decided to stop supporting a particular product. Google have already had a history of this as they changed the way Nest devices could integrate with third party systems to lock everything down which removed a lot of functionality for users who relied on other smart home apps that Google's own. Also nothing is cross compatible so you cannot simply mix and match the best products from different companies and if you want to add to your system in the future you would have to stay with the same manufacturer.

The route I chose to go down was to use cameras that support a local streaming protocol called RTSP and ONVIF. These expose a local stream on your network which you can log in to and view like going to a web page. The brand I have gone for is Reolink (they are pretty cheap and always on a lightning deal on Amazon) but there are plenty of others. These support an SD card for local storage but also crucially RTSP so I can eventually hook them up to a home server using some recording software or a Synology NAS (1 camera free and costs about £40 per camera after that) to record everything and I could then back that up to the cloud if I wanted. The other thing is because RTSP is an open standard I could buy cameras from other manufacturers and be able to hook them up to my system. I would say Reolink were perfect for you but they don't currently offer their cloud service in the UK due to not meeting GDPR. However, like I have said I am not a fan of cloud subscriptions for this kind of thing so if you were willing to drop that requirement for storage on an SD card (you can still access your recordings and live stream via and app) I would recommend them.

At the very bottom of the spectrum and if you are particularly sneaky and tech savvy there are Wyze cams which cost about £20 each so are a dirt cheap entry into the security camera world. These aren't technically available in the UK but there are various companies selling the same camera model which is possible to flash the firmware from Wyze on to, which I think gives you some access to their cloud storage options... But that is all starting to get a little ridiculous...

What I discovered and hopefully you can tell from the above that it is a little bit of a minefield. It becomes even more of a minefield if like me you are interested in trying to hook up motion events into a smart home system as well but I will leave that one there or I will be here all night.

That is a great response. Thank you so much. I was wondering if I'd get anything and you've just summed it up very nicely. Much appreciated. That was really helpful.

The reason I'm keen on cloud is because I would want to have evidence of being burgled or attacked or my property damaged to present to the police and if perpetrators saw the camera they might well removed the hard drive or SD card therefore taking the evidence with them. ( There is a reason for my apparent paranoia which I will not divulge here if you don't mind ) I'd prefer that once they had done whatever they came to do, there would be no way of them interfering with the evidence, hence my idea of the cloud.

It would seem therefore, that I'm left with the 4 choices you mentioned. I would discount Eufy as I want rock solid reliability and I'd happily pay any of the prices you mention in that list you mention. I also want excellent image quality and so I'm leaning towards the Netgear Arlo option. I believe Netgear to be a solid company and as you say their image quality is best, I'm tempted to go with products from them and pay a subscription.

Now, I need one set up for the front door and one for the back.

For the front I'd be happy with a floodlight or doorbell camera with it's own light source and limited range so I guess there's a lot of options in the list you mentioned.

Neither is well lit though clearly the back is a much larger darker space and needs more oomph to the system. As far as the back is concerned, I have seen night vision cameras and they are not good enough quality and so I'd be looking for either using a camera with great floodlighting or else using a camera alongside other motion activated floodlights. I'd instinctively go for the second option if it was feasible because I can buy pretty powerful floodlights - more powerful than on any of these cameras which would have the double effect of deterence and also would brighten the whole area up nicely enough for the camera to do an excellent job. At least that's my theory. Is it possible?
 
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Thank you @cymruchris

I have a penchant for the cloud though for the reasons I mentioned. I really need good image quality for identification and the night vision probably isn't good enough. Would any camera just keep recording and I had a set of lights which went on, with movement, assume it was daylight and give the good image quality I need?

In fact do all these cameras record 24/7 or are they activated by movement or does it depend on which setting you use and you set them to do either?
 
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A lot of good information above.

I have gone with ring and do prefer their interface/app.

However the wifi modules in their camera are not very good.

So depends on how good your router/ wifi connection are as to how quickly you get the alerts.

I have a flood light at the front and one at the back, and have a spot light camera at the front door. I did not like the ring bell option as the spot light does everything that the bell does in terms of alerts and also has a small light built in. You can speak to the person at the camera and sound an alarm from your phone.

The main reason for going with ring was so that apart from power I would not have to run any wires.

I already had security lights at the front and back so that was an easy swap. The one at the door can be plugged into a standard three pin socket.

The subscription is £25 for one device or £80 for 2 or more. This covers damage and theft whilst you pay the subscription.
 
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That is a great response. Thank you so much. I was wondering if I'd get anything and you've just summed it up very nicely. Much appreciated. That was really helpful.

The reason I'm keen on cloud is because I would want to have evidence of being burgled or attacked or my property damaged to present to the police and if perpetrators saw the camera they might well removed the hard drive or SD card therefore taking the evidence with them. ( There is a reason for my apparent paranoia which I will not divulge here if you don't mind ) I'd prefer that once they had done whatever they came to do, there would be no way of them interfering with the evidence, hence my idea of the cloud.

It would seem therefore, that I'm left with the 4 choices you mentioned. I would discount Eufy as I want rock solid reliability and I'd happily pay any of the prices you mention in that list you mention. I also want excellent image quality and so I'm leaning towards the Netgear Arlo option. I believe Netgear to be a solid company and as you say their image quality is best, I'm tempted to go with products from them and pay a subscription.

Now, I need one set up for the front door and one for the back.

For the front I'd be happy with a floodlight or doorbell camera with it's own light source and limited range so I guess there's a lot of options in the list you mentioned.

Neither is well lit though clearly the back is a much larger darker space and needs more oomph to the system. As far as the back is concerned, I have seen night vision cameras and they are not good enough quality and so I'd be looking for either using a camera with great floodlighting or else using a camera alongside other motion activated floodlights. I'd instinctively go for the second option if it was feasible because I can buy pretty powerful floodlights - more powerful than on any of these cameras which would have the double effect of deterence and also would brighten the whole area up nicely enough for the camera to do an excellent job. At least that's my theory. Is it possible?
Actually I would say that if you want ultimate reliability in that sort of situation you probably don't want a cloud only solution. If they don't have internal storage a suitably motivated thief wanted to, they could cut the power to your property and then your entire security system is out not recording. Or they could just break your camera if it is outside the property. I don't know what the latency is but if you know the camera is there and are willing to steal an SD card then they could probably find a way to break your camera.

If money is no object what you really want is a system with POE cameras properly fixed to a wall. That is power over ethernet so they aren't plugged directly to the mains and aren't running over wifi but connected to an ethernet cable. You connect these to an NVR system or a computer running software such as Blue Iris. If you are running a PC with Blue Iris you could set this to backup to the cloud regularly and you can also set it up for example to email yourself a picture the instant a motion is detected. You also hook your nvr or blue iris PC up to a UPS backup battery so they aren't affected at least in the short term in a power outage.

If you are looking for an option which is just a deterrent then I think pretty much any option presented will be OK. The highest end Arlo are probably the best option and I think they do colour night vision. But also the higher end arlo systems like that for 2 cameras you're probably looking at over £500 plus subscription costs. If you want ultimate security, redundancy, image quality and flexibility on storage solutions (ie all 3 in one go) you want a wired system hooked up to a UPS with a couple of battery powered cameras for good measure. For a two camera system (or even adding an extra camera e.g. covering your front door door from inside) you could probably put something together that is a lot more effective than the high end Arlo for a fraction of the cost of the system and a couple of year's subscription.

Also if you have motion sensing lights turning on, that will likely very briefly knock out your camera. I have noticed with mine switching from night vision (which is actually pretty good with the IR lamp turned on) to daylight when the light turns on you get a brief moment where the entire sensor is completely blown before it switches mode. I imagine most are similar in that regard as no camera will switch instantly and it's kind of the point of night vision that it works when it's dark.
 
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So Kev, would you say I should put up separate motion activated security lights at the back ( which is pitch black and fairly large though the only bit I need illuminated is the 30 ft x 30 ft patch beyond my house wall )and let the cameras record and they will assume it's daylight? I', guessing the lights on cameras wouldn't be up to scratch here and the night vision would be useless for ID purposes
 
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What if your broadband router goes down? ISP’s have a habit of updating things in the middle of the night sometimes - and your internet goes off for a few minutes - it’d be a coincidence - but what if....... local storage is a much better option - and the nvr can go anywhere - even up the attic if you have one. It doesn’t have to sit on the kitchen table with a big red arrow pointing at it :)

If you want the best quality - local storage is best. There are options to upload to the cloud from your nvr as well - and although I looked at those services - I decided I was happy enough with local storage in a hidden place.
 
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Actually I would say that if you want ultimate reliability in that sort of situation you probably don't want a cloud only solution. If they don't have internal storage a suitably motivated thief wanted to, they could cut the power to your property and then your entire security system is out not recording. Or they could just break your camera if it is outside the property. I don't know what the latency is but if you know the camera is there and are willing to steal an SD card then they could probably find a way to break your camera.

If money is no object what you really want is a system with POE cameras properly fixed to a wall. That is power over ethernet so they aren't plugged directly to the mains and aren't running over wifi but connected to an ethernet cable. You connect these to an NVR system or a computer running software such as Blue Iris. If you are running a PC with Blue Iris you could set this to backup to the cloud regularly and you can also set it up for example to email yourself a picture the instant a motion is detected. You also hook your nvr or blue iris PC up to a UPS backup battery so they aren't affected at least in the short term in a power outage.

If you are looking for an option which is just a deterrent then I think pretty much any option presented will be OK. The highest end Arlo are probably the best option and I think they do colour night vision. But also the higher end arlo systems like that for 2 cameras you're probably looking at over £500 plus subscription costs. If you want ultimate security, redundancy, image quality and flexibility on storage solutions (ie all 3 in one go) you want a wired system hooked up to a UPS with a couple of battery powered cameras for good measure. For a two camera system (or even adding an extra camera e.g. covering your front door door from inside) you could probably put something together that is a lot more effective than the high end Arlo for a fraction of the cost of the system and a couple of year's subscription.

Also if you have motion sensing lights turning on, that will likely very briefly knock out your camera. I have noticed with mine switching from night vision (which is actually pretty good with the IR lamp turned on) to daylight when the light turns on you get a brief moment where the entire sensor is completely blown before it switches mode. I imagine most are similar in that regard as no camera will switch instantly and it's kind of the point of night vision that it works when it's dark.

All righty. I will take your superior knowledge on board. I'm likely to be dealing folk who will have a go and take out a camera if they see one. The Blue Iris thing is way more than I intended. My thoughts were by the time they took out a camera, I'd have a video on the cloud of them running up to it before it breaks. I'd then be able to ID them. I doubt they'd take out all the power to the house either. I'm not clear why the cloud is inferior in that case.

I'm finding it a bit hard to believe that if I got a night vision camera such as the Arlo that it would be good enough to ID thieves if they ran in pitch black at the camera to destroy it. Am I wrong? I notice Arlo don't actually show this sort of demo on their site so .....

Maybe I'm overcomplicating it and as you say I should just go with the deterrent but unless there's a definite advantage to the SD card only I'd still be inclined to go with the cloud and SD backup. Am I missing something? Please do say if I am. Genuinely I'm a bit puzzled.
 
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Though I'm taking cymuchris's points here.

All right, if I went for that id need to cable it up to the attic etc but which NVR system and cameras would you all recommend. Bear in mind the back is pitch black and I mean black. I'd need a floodlight camera I guess
 
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Thank you @cymruchris

I have a penchant for the cloud though for the reasons I mentioned. I really need good image quality for identification and the night vision probably isn't good enough. Would any camera just keep recording and I had a set of lights which went on, with movement, assume it was daylight and give the good image quality I need?

In fact do all these cameras record 24/7 or are they activated by movement or does it depend on which setting you use and you set them to do either?

Cameras switch between IR and daylight when the light levels change - at the moment of changeover - there can be a couple of seconds of blindness as the camera reacts to the newly introduced floodlight and swaps to daylight mode - some cameras are quicker than others at changing over and back again when the light goes off.

It depends on your intentions - if you're wanting to encourage people to leave - a light is useful - if you're only interested in capturing images of people on your property - don't use a light - and stick with just infra red.
 
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Though I'm taking cymuchris's points here.

All right, if I went for that id need to cable it up to the attic etc but which NVR system and cameras would you all recommend. Bear in mind the back is pitch black and I mean black. I'd need a floodlight camera I guess
If you have a reasonable technical mind - then the HIKvision NVR's are easy to set up with a decent app. If you got a POE NVR - then you only have to run one cable to each camera that includes its power supply - so there's no need to have to put cameras near power sockets - or have cameras plugged in all over the place. You can get a POE NVR for four cameras for under a hundred pounds at the budget end. POE NVR's with eight camera connections with a few more features can be had for under £200. You'd then need a drive in there - about £45 for a branded surveillance drive - then a roll of cable - some network plugs - a tool to crimp them together - and your own choice of POE IP cameras - and off you go.
 
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Having had a VERY quick look around I'm wondering if a couple of Arlo Pro 3s might do the trick for me and I could also stick a cheap security light with motion sensor in the back as well.

What do you reckon?
 
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All righty. I will take your superior knowledge on board. I'm likely to be dealing folk who will have a go and take out a camera if they see one. The Blue Iris thing is way more than I intended. My thoughts were by the time they took out a camera, I'd have a video on the cloud of them running up to it before it breaks. I'd then be able to ID them. I doubt they'd take out all the power to the house either. I'm not clear why the cloud is inferior in that case.

I'm finding it a bit hard to believe that if I got a night vision camera such as the Arlo that it would be good enough to ID thieves if they ran in pitch black at the camera to destroy it. Am I wrong? I notice Arlo don't actually show this sort of demo on their site so .....

Maybe I'm overcomplicating it and as you say I should just go with the deterrent but unless there's a definite advantage to the SD card only I'd still be inclined to go with the cloud and SD backup. Am I missing something? Please do say if I am. Genuinely I'm a bit puzzled.
Like everything here someone comes along asking for a point and shoot camera recommendation and ultimately someone will recommend them a 100MP Medium Format GFX...

You're right there isn't an advantage to SD card only. The only advantage is when you get into having all the levels of redundancy really.

It might be that you can hook the base station of the Arlo up to a UPS (they can be had fairly cheaply like £50-60) and I think that might be enough to keep the cameras recording to the base station which could be hidden inside your property (UPS might also work on your router and keep you online in a power outage I don't know). That's probably a lot more secure than Ring and Nest which I think would require an internet connection to record. But also I would probably want to put a camera or two inside my property. Someone walking past casing your house could spot the camera, know in advance where it is placed and try to avoid it or take it out (shining a bright light at it even) before they can be recorded. Unless they've been in your property they wouldn't have advance knowledge of where your indoor cameras are so would likely be recorded before they can take it out.

I think you'd actually be surprised how good the night vision on cameras are, The images cymruchris posted look good to me and I think if there were a person near that night vision image you'd be able to make them out quite clearly. It's also worth noting that Hikvision like he has are supposed to be one of the best manufacturers. Much like with photography cameras a lot of manufacturers tout 4K as being high quality but in reality a lower res with a better sensor will probably give a better image and Hikvision are supposed to have decent sensors. I'll see if I can get a shot of myself burgling my living room in the pitch black tomorrow...
 
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So Kev, would you say I should put up separate motion activated security lights at the back ( which is pitch black and fairly large though the only bit I need illuminated is the 30 ft x 30 ft patch beyond my house wall )and let the cameras record and they will assume it's daylight? I', guessing the lights on cameras wouldn't be up to scratch here and the night vision would be useless for ID purposes
The ring flood light has a built in flood light so no need for extra light.

If you have the option of cabling the nvr option with Poe camera is the best option, you may also need a security light but they do record in IR mode in the dark, the ring camera does the same.

We have had a number of breaking around us over the last few months, people just use a hoodie and a face mask to cover their face, so yes a cctv camera is deterrent but it does not stop them.
 
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Good points about circumventing the cameras. How about just settting up some security lights in the back with or without motion sensors and then having cameras indoors on the window sills pointing at the garden. That way they would be discreet and less vulnerable to simply being stolen or broken. Would the filming through glass and placement make this impractical ?
 
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Good points about circumventing the cameras. How about just settting up some security lights in the back with or without motion sensors and then having cameras indoors on the window sills pointing at the garden. That way they would be discreet and less vulnerable to simply being stolen or broken. Would the filming through glass and placement make this impractical ?
You would have issues through the glass at night when the ir light kicks in.

I did that for a while with the neos cam as it was cheap to buy.
 
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Agree. I have a camera pointing through the window and you have to turn off the IR light because it reflects against the glass. The night vision still works but isn't as clear.

I think you are right to want outdoor cameras. They would be a good deterrent in most, opportunistic cases probably where an indoor camera would not be. The indoor camera would give you that bit more piece of mind in the event of someone actually breaking in and being able to catch them.

Slightly off topic for this but in terms of security have you considered your doors and windows if you are able? Could be worth speaking to a good local locksmith? For example the gearbox failed on my door lock so I got a locksmith out to replace it. I asked him what would happen if I lost my keys while out of the house and the doors are double locked. He said the only route in would be to smash the window and angle grind the door from the inside.... Depending on how remote you are thieves are less likely to want to smash as it makes noise so perhaps worth looking into securing your points of entry if possible? Also anything you do to slow them down in the event they did try to get in would give your cameras more of a chance to catch something.
 
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I'm likely to be dealing folk who will have a go and take out a camera if they see one.

Might be worth getting a second system - a relatively cheap one whose main purpose is sacrificial. The scrotes can see a couple of cameras so either try to avoid them or remove them while your main, far more discrete system goes (hopefully) unnoticed and ignored.
 
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You can of course go 'vandal proof' in your camera selection - but also consider carefully where you mount the cameras - think about rain and sun/strong backlights - don't get too much sky in your image - don't let the lens get exposed to too much rain (who can see anything through a blurry wet lens?

Also spiders have a habit of setting up home in front of cameras - so make sure they are reachable with the end of a long brush to swipe them off.
 
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Right. Reading all of the above again and having a look on the internet, I've concluded the following.

TBH the whole RTSP thing is beyond me and I use a mac anyway which might complicate things a bit so I'm really having to look at Nest, Ring or Arlo options which seem a bit more plug n' play.

I don't fancy the Reolink with only the SD card in the camera itself but I don't understand enough to get it to record elsewhere, so it comes down to the first three mentioned.

Am I right in assuming that

1. I'd need a light of some sort for my back garden as it is pitch black with no street lighting at all? In other words something like the Arlo cameras night vision wouldn't be adequate.
2. The camera needs to be outside

If so I could use an ordinary ( non IR ) security light and one of the above cameras. Both would only operate when detecting motion because the only way I can get cloud is via a subscription and it wouldn't be 24/7 recording anyway

So it looks like an Arlo or ring either relying on it's inbuilt spotlight or with an external light is the way forward

Have I got there would you say?
 
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The ring flood light has a light built in and is currently on offer at Amazon.

So all you need is power to the light and wifi.
 
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Similar there is an Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight. The standard Arlo Pro 3 cameras also have a built in spotlight.
 
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Right. Reading all of the above again and having a look on the internet, I've concluded the following.

TBH the whole RTSP thing is beyond me and I use a mac anyway which might complicate things a bit so I'm really having to look at Nest, Ring or Arlo options which seem a bit more plug n' play.

I don't fancy the Reolink with only the SD card in the camera itself but I don't understand enough to get it to record elsewhere, so it comes down to the first three mentioned.

Am I right in assuming that

1. I'd need a light of some sort for my back garden as it is pitch black with no street lighting at all? In other words something like the Arlo cameras night vision wouldn't be adequate.
2. The camera needs to be outside

If so I could use an ordinary ( non IR ) security light and one of the above cameras. Both would only operate when detecting motion because the only way I can get cloud is via a subscription and it wouldn't be 24/7 recording anyway

So it looks like an Arlo or ring either relying on it's inbuilt spotlight or with an external light is the way forward

Have I got there would you say?
It's not what I'd do - but what I'd do isn't the same as what everyone else does - the important thing is that you go for the option that you think best fits your budget and performance expectations :) You'll certainly get images - there's no doubt about that - and probably reasonable ones - but it still won't beat an NVR and picking the right camera for each job. At times like this -balancing cost with performance - I'd still go for performance - but that's me! There are a multitude of cameras designed for NVR's that all have specific characteristics and features for different scenarios - the 'one size fits all approach' of the Nest Ring and Arlo options will give more average results as they're designed to tick every box a little bit, rather than a few specific boxes for a particular area that needs covering. If your expectations are that you'll get average pictures at night - then you're on the right lines - if you're expecting crystal clear images of the whole garden when you zoom in at midnight in the pitch black of night, you might feel disappointed.

I forgot to mention that CCTV cameras also have a shutter speed like our own cameras - and in the dark - some cameras slow down that shutter speed to get a better night time picture. Of course you know what happens when you slow down a shutter speed and something moves right?
 
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I get what you're saying Chris and I'm guessing Mikey is along with you on it. I would love to go for the better option but would I not need a dedicated computer to act as a server and software to run it? I honestly wouldn't know where to start. I do have an old 2012 mac mini doing nothing at the moment but that's it and I'm not sure it's going to do the trick. I can't really afford to buy a computer just for this purpose so really the things I'm looking at seem to be the only option for me.

Would I need a computer with Blue Iris software, then cable it up with ethernet cable and connect cameras to it.

OR

How about this

If I bought this what would I get in return? I'm guessing it doesn't depend on wifi so is more reliable but would it be better at night? Would it give better pictures? What other equipment would I need?
 

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Definitely no cameras through windows - the IR reflections will blind them at night...
It depends what you want to do. I have used Neos cams and currently TP-link Tapo through double glazed windows at night. The camera has to be pressed against and perpendicular to the glass and night vision turned off. In a fairly well illuminated area the picture is very good. Mine are more for convenience than security though.
 

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We have eufy cameras. 3 in total. They sync to a homebase and you have the option of uploading to the cloud if you want, although we don’t. I think you can record to an external source too.
They are motion activated with human recognition and you can put names to faces it records if it’s a regular visitor.
They have night vision too.

We are happy with them, they do occasionally not sync to the homebase, but I think that’s our dodgy internet rather than the cameras themselves.

This is the back garden cam. The back garden is pure darkness. Even though it doesn't look it. You can't see anything when stood there. The camera works very well in low light.

Screenshot_20210409-124827_EufySecurity.jpg
 
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Take a look at Amazon Blink cameras. I use them simply because they're battery powered and provided they're in range of their (indoor) hub you can put them anywhere.

One anti-theft/vandalism option with security cameras, regardless of type, is to ensure that their fov overlaps, so camera 1 can 'see' camera 2, cam 2 can 'see' cam 1, etc, and they are also 'protected' by movement activated lighting, or good fixed lighting, so unless the bandit is really intent on destroying all your cameras he will be caught on at least one of them.
 
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Actually sorry to throw another option at you but if you are a Mac (and even better are an iPhone or iPad user) you might want to look into Apple HomeKit Secure Video. It's another cloud storage option but it's a bit more of an open standard so you can mix and match cameras from different manufactuers. It looks as though Arlo cameras work with it and so do the Eufy cameras (and with Eufy it completely bypasses their own cloud service I think which is probably good to avoid). You could mix and match more expensive cameras indoors and cheaper outdoors. Also the subscription is a generic iCloud one I believe so you could pay for 2TB or storage to also backup photos and documents etc. A bit more useful than the bog standard camera subscriptions. However, I don't know a lot about HomeKit secure video but it's Apple so it's probably fairly slick.
 
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Lots of good info and experience here though, like others, I went for local storage 24/7 on about a 3 months refresh cycle on my Synology NAS. I just use cheap IP igeek cameras from amazon but there are lots of others. They are wireless but I had too much trouble with signal extenders so I wired them via ethernet snd Powerline.

Amazing - have worked without a hitch using Synology surveillance app. I guess you can access your NAS remotely if you want but I block it for security.

Motion detection is hit and miss hence the cams run continuously although detection events are flagged and you can tab through to see what’s happened.

Night vision IR in b+W is also good and clear enough for ID.

The cams I use record audio as well which I have found useful.

It all started when we set up just one cam so we could check on our chickens but we extended it to a security system over time.
 
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I haven't read all this because I'm in a hurry, but I have a ring camera, have had it for 2.5 years and it has been faultless. I have a spotlight cam, which has two LED lights that come on when motion is detected. There is also a floodlight cam, with two larger lights. Although they appear pricey, Amazon periodically does discounts where they will chop a fair bit off. Everything is uploaded to the cloud and I get a ping on my mobile - again I've had no issues. The strange thing is that people don't spot it. Partly because it is above the door and people don't look up, and partly because they assume it is a motion detecting light, not a camera.

I'd say make sure you get a hard-wired one. The battery ones are supposed to last for several months, but I've seen reviews saying they went flat and people didn't notice. Also placing it up high is worth doing. (I avoided the doorbell) In addition to the camera - it has a microphone / speaker. You can talk to people at the door, and you can set off a siren.
 
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I'm feeling very confused. @greyowl you solution seems really good to me but I have no idea how to use an NAS ( honestly, I don't know what it is ) and I don't know if I just have an NAS on it's own or with a computer and ........

@bumfluff I admit I don't know much about homekit but I do have an iphone, ipad, iMac and 2 mac minis and an Apple TV,, so I'm guessing I could get it working somehow. This sounds pretty promising. Again I don't know anything about it so I'd need to find out. Do you recommend staying with the eufy and Arlo cameras with it or are other brands better if I'm breaking free from their systems?
 
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I get what you're saying Chris and I'm guessing Mikey is along with you on it. I would love to go for the better option but would I not need a dedicated computer to act as a server and software to run it? I honestly wouldn't know where to start. I do have an old 2012 mac mini doing nothing at the moment but that's it and I'm not sure it's going to do the trick. I can't really afford to buy a computer just for this purpose so really the things I'm looking at seem to be the only option for me.
This might also be useful for others considering a system. It's not far off plug and play to get it up and running. Some adjustments with more knowledge can help - but essentially you'd be up and running in no time.

The NVR is your dedicated computer - 4 Channel POE just over £100 (Hard drive extra)

Screenshot 2021-04-09 131013.png

Budget end 8 channel NVR: £80 (hard drive extra)

Screenshot 2021-04-09 131042.png

8 Channel POE NVR with better resolution and features: (Hard drive extra)

Screenshot 2021-04-09 132114.png


Lots of other NVR's available.

Cameras can be dome:


Screenshot 2021-04-09 131143.png

Or bullet:

Screenshot 2021-04-09 131221.png

Note the lenses - 2.8mm or 4mm are the most popular - 2.8 being the widest view.


Some cable:

Screenshot 2021-04-09 131236.png

Some connectors

Screenshot 2021-04-09 131254.png

A tool to crimp:

Screenshot 2021-04-09 131318.png

Surveillance specific hard drives:

Screenshot 2021-04-09 131418.png

A tool to strip your cables ready to crimp:

Screenshot 2021-04-09 131944.png
 
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I'm feeling very confused. @greyowl you solution seems really good to me but I have no idea how to use an NAS ( honestly, I don't know what it is ) and I don't know if I just have an NAS on it's own or with a computer and ........

@bumfluff I admit I don't know much about homekit but I do have an iphone, ipad, iMac and 2 mac minis and an Apple TV,, so I'm guessing I could get it working somehow. This sounds pretty promising. Again I don't know anything about it so I'd need to find out. Do you recommend staying with the eufy and Arlo cameras with it or are other brands better if I'm breaking free from their systems?
https://www.the-ambient.com/guides/apple-homekit-secure-video-explainer-1814 A bit of a guide. There appear to be plenty of options with HomeKit, probably more to come. It doesn't say Arlo on that list but I'm fairly sure at least some of their products support it. There are also a lot of standards that a product needs to meet to be certified for use with HomeKit so I imagine there are some advantages to going that route. If you have lots of Apple Kit anyway, short of going for the option that Chris has posted above it's probably the most versatile. As soon as you want to stray away from Apple it then becomes the least versatile option out there (classic Apple). There are some pretty good communities on Reddit on this subject. I would suggest some research over there. Avoid IPcamtalk forum like the plague.
 
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I'm feeling very confused. @greyowl you solution seems really good to me but I have no idea how to use an NAS ( honestly, I don't know what it is ) and I don't know if I just have an NAS on it's own or with a computer and ........
Sorry for the shorthand.

A NAS is a network attached storage in other words a set of external hard disk drives and an computer controller wired to ones router ( usually )

They are typically used to provide local file storage for ones computers, backups and also they are often used to store music and video files that can be accessed on a computer, laptop and smart TV.

They are not cheap - maybe £300-450 for a two disc unit and, to be honest, I only have one because of the business I run or ran from home.

They do seem popular for general home use these days - often by photographers - and so I mentioned this option in case you had one where it becomes a fairly simple and cheap way to record camera footage.

Definitely not necessary though - cloud storage and traditional surveillance video recorders etc. will do the job.
 
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Thank you very much indeed, @cymruchris that is extraordinarily helpful and I calculate it gives me a two camera system for around £550 I'd say and I'm certain it would be the most effective option of all the ones we've discussed. I'm very tempted to go down that route but then the cabling would be a bit of a chore, particularly the drilling holes in the walls for the cameras. I could manage it for the front but our floors are concrete and I'd need to give quite a bit of thought as to routing to get to the back ( or vice versa )

The Apple path is quick and easy at the moment so I'm also tempted by that.

I will give this some thought over the next day or two but I'm extremely grateful to you for your helpful posts.
 
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https://www.the-ambient.com/guides/apple-homekit-secure-video-explainer-1814 A bit of a guide. There appear to be plenty of options with HomeKit, probably more to come. It doesn't say Arlo on that list but I'm fairly sure at least some of their products support it. There are also a lot of standards that a product needs to meet to be certified for use with HomeKit so I imagine there are some advantages to going that route. If you have lots of Apple Kit anyway, short of going for the option that Chris has posted above it's probably the most versatile. As soon as you want to stray away from Apple it then becomes the least versatile option out there (classic Apple). There are some pretty good communities on Reddit on this subject. I would suggest some research over there. Avoid IPcamtalk forum like the plague.
Thank you. I would happily go with someting other than Arlo if it was good IQ and did the job. I''m tempted by Chris' stuff but not sure if I'm up to the challenge of the cabling etc.
 
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