Security Camera Buying Guide

Security cameras can give you peace of mind, whether you're keeping an eye on children at play, watching to see who's coming to the front door, or making sure everything's fine when you're away. Cameras differ in their suitability, so make sure to choose to the one that will give you the best picture for your needs.

Protect Your Home with a Security Camera

Choosing a security camera means deciding how many you'll need, if you want audio as well as video, if you want the video to be in colour or just black-and-white, and if you want a wired or wireless connection.Knowing what questions to ask means you can find a security camera that suits your needs and gives you the security and peace of mind you're looking for. Find yours today online or in-store.

Selecting a Security Camera

Number of Cameras

Some monitoring systems can accommodate only one or two, while other systems offer further expansion.

Audio & Video

Some camera systems include microphones so you can hear what you're seeing.

Colour or Black & White

Colour pictures are often clearer, but the equipment can be more expensive. Colour cameras might not work in low-light situations.

Wired or Wireless

Wired cameras are fixed in place and must be put in a spot where the wiring won't get in the way. They offer greater assurance of a high-quality picture.Wireless cameras can be moved around easily and can be installed in more places, but other devices (such as cordless phones, baby monitors, and some computer networks) can interfere with signal transmission.


Cameras that monitor outdoor locations require special weatherproof housings and may not be appropriate for extreme temperatures. Those that might be the target of vandalism need extra-tough casings to resist tampering.

Light Source

Steady, reliable light is required for clear images. A camera's LUX rating measures its ability to capture images in the dark. The lower the LUX rating, the less light is required for a clean picture. Unobtrusive monitoring in the dark or near-darkness can be done with infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, but the technology can be expensive.

Power Source

Some cameras and monitors must be plugged into a wall outlet. Others can run on battery power.

Computer Compatibility

Some cameras can be connected to a computer, allowing you to view the images from anywhere using an Internet connection. The required software is usually included with the camera or downloadable from the web.

Recording Capability

Some cameras are meant just for live-streaming, while others are meant for long-term monitoring and may be attached to computers or smartphones.

Good to Know

Wireless systems may include portable cameras that can be moved around without permanent installation. Take care that nothing between the camera and the monitor degrades the signal that is transmitted. Cordless telephones, baby monitors, and some home computer networks may cause interference, so test the best locations for a clear signal.

Installing a Security Camera

Most home security cameras require little wiring, but installation differs according to individual models. Here are the basic steps.

Determine The Distance

Using the manufacturer's instructions, place the camera at a proper distance to focus clearly on the desired area to be monitored. The distance between camera and subject will vary between models.


If you're putting the camera on a wall or structure, mark the location of the mounting bracket, drilling pilot holes if necessary.For wired systems, install the camera and monitor according to the manufacturer's instructions, minimizing visible wiring to prevent vandalism.

Test & Fine Tune

Plug the monitor into a wall outlet, turn it on, and adjust the picture for the best reception.

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