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

  • Four security cameras positioned above a rectangular device

    Number of Cameras

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

  • Blue box for a security camera showing its audio and video capabilities

    Audio & Video

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

  • Split screen cut in half horizontally showing the difference in black and white acuity

    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.

  • Security camera installed near door of a white nursery

    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.

  • Security camera on a snowy deck railing

    Location

    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.

  • Split screen cut in half vertically showing the difference in security camera footage between daytime and nighttime

    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.

  • Security camera and installation hardware

    Power Source

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

  • The back of a rectangular device showing various hardware hookups

    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.

  • Person holding a smartphone

    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.

Security camera showing an angle of 75 degrees and how much of a room that shows

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.

A man adjusting a security camera on an outdoor railing

Install

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.

House deck with one view showing 720 pixels and the other showing it in 1080 pixels

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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