What to look for when buying a home security camera system?

There are a ton of factors to consider when buying a security camera to set up an effective home security system. Protecting yourself and your family deserves the utmost attention so its important to stay aware of the market. Criminals gain intelligence almost as rapidly as technology progresses so you need to stay ahead of the game. Knowing what to look for in security cameras will get you that much closer to the perfect system for you. Mindset is key when figuring out how to buy a security camera system. Thinking like someone whose after your precious items if often the first step.

  • Do you need to see whats going on inside or outside?
  • How about making sure your home is safe while you are away?
  • Do you want to prevent unwanted intruders from getting into the entrances?
  • Where are your most precious valuables located?
  • How early do you want to know about any untoward action in your vicinity?

All these questions and more should go into your thinking when designing your home security system. An effective setup covers multiple angles with the proper features for the right areas so you can feel safe.

Key Features to look for in a Home Camera System


The first thing to note is you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on buying a security camera. You can find cameras as low as $20 that can cover an area decently well. You will have to keep in mind though that spending more can improve your overall system. The higher-priced cameras often come with multiple cameras or apps that allow you to link cameras together. With possible needs for the interior and exterior, it’s important to keep in mind where you need the most efficiency. It’s totally possible to cover a house with under $100 though aiming under $200 is much easier to do effectively.


Your resolution is going to decide how clear your footage is so you’d like to get this number as high as possible. Luckily in the modern age buying a security camera with under 1080p resolution is a rarity. This stands for 1920 x 1080 and should give you really clear visuals. Most security cameras will allow you to change your resolution to 720 or 480p as well. This will lower the quality of the visuals but should help preserve battery life.

Viewing Angle

Your viewing angle is where you’ll find a lot of value, especially in the lower end hidden cameras. You can find cameras with angles from 60 degrees wide all the way to 360 degrees. Though anything over 180 will often be mounted in the ceiling like a lightbulb. You can often tell a bit about the camera viewing angle by the size of the lens. Pinhole cameras give you around 60 while the majority of cameras with over 3 mm lens have at least 100-degree viewing angles.

Battery Life

Wireless hidden cameras are all the rage so battery life has risen as a prominent topic for what to look for in security cameras. The smaller the camera the shorter the battery life is a decent way to guess. The better way to guess though is to look at the price. Higher-priced cameras generally last a lot longer. Your lower end cameras often last for between one and two hours. On the other hand, as you start going up you can find cameras that last days, years, and even indefinitely depending on their power source.


There are typically two ways the security cameras store footage through WiFi and memory cards. The majority of hidden cameras use some form of SD card to store their footage. Each model is different when it comes to maximum storage with models differing between 32 GB 64 GB 128GB and other variations. WiFi enables cameras to also stream footage through their app to your phone or computer. As a sidebar from WiFi, you can also find cameras that utilize cloud storage.

Motion Detection

Tracking with motion detection is a key feature in preserving your battery life and also making sure you aren’t endlessly searching through footage. Motion detectors allow cameras to only capture footage when motion is detected. Different cameras will have different sensitivity settings to help you fine-tune your captures. Cameras can often differ on how quickly they record after movement. When buying a security camera this can be the deciding factor in whether you catch a culprit or just catch the exiting blur.

Night Vision

Most dangerous situations happen at night so night vision is also worth looking out for. The majority of security cameras have some form of night vision but visible depth can differ. 5 meters is the low-end while 30 is really solid. You can even find ones that deliver full-color visuals at night. In between there, Starlite Night Vision will give you superb clarity at night.

Recording Time

Often only handicapped by the storage and battery life there are still things to look for. Mainly you want to look out for settings that are relevant to you. Checking for 12 hours, 24 hours, timed, and remote recording will make sure you’re satisfied with your capabilities.

Other Features

Home security cameras can have other less common features though audio also belongs here. While not always essential being able to hear footage, make personalized warnings, and speak to the trespasser often come along with audio functionality. You also might find different alerts and alarms as well.


What are the best home security cameras?

This will depend on the customer as everyone has a different need when buying a security camera. Theoretically, though the best home security cameras have an easy to use interface. They also have extremely long battery lives and the ability to hide in plain sight. They want huge storage and crystal clear night vision. The ability to communicate through audio along with motion detection alerts would also be important. Finally, you’d want a nice high resolution and a wide-angle view.

How many cameras do you need for home security?

Generally, you want to cover every entrance and any area where you store most of your valuables. Pets, elderly, and kids can also warrant more protection to make sure they’re doing ok. It shouldn’t be hard to feel well protected with only three cameras for an average house.