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Top Features to Consider When Choosing a Home Security System

BY Nicole George | Tue Sep 26, 2017

I am frequently asked by  homeowners who are moving into their new homes or are in the market for some home security measures, what features they should look into when choosing a home security system?

The first thing that always pops up on the conversation is like this, should I install some security cameras around my new house? If so where should I be looking for?

Note: Home security system here means security camera systems which includes surveillance cameras and video records (DVR/NVR).

The answer I always give is yes; homeowners should go get some security cameras to keep tabs on your property and your belongings. The question now is should I have someone monitoring my house or monitor the house myself? If I am going down the DIY road, what features should I consider when choosing a home security system?

Today, we share some great insights on what features to look for when choosing a home security system based on our expertise and our years of experience with thousands of homeowners.

High Resolution Matters

Many first-timers could easily ignore this as people would fall into the wrong perception that high-definition HD security cameras could be way pricey. The truth is, however, not quite. Security cameras with HD resolution, like 1080p, 1440p or more could be affordable at $75, such as Reolink RLC-410 HD IP security camera.

HD security camera systems go a long way in protecting your belongings and property. HD security cameras capture more details that come in handy in positive identifications, especially after home break-in or package theft. HD footage helps to identify wondering strangers, handyman, pizza guy, make of strange vehicle, or parked car plate number.

Optical Zoom Comes in Handy

Security camera optical zoom capability is different from that of digital zoom, which won’t blur images when it’s zoomed out. Of course, the optical zoom will be helpful only when the image quality is superior, clear and crisp enough.

Night Vision is a Must

Might vision is a must when it comes to choosing a home security system. Night vision security camera systems enable the camera to capture videos/images even in a low light condition, for example, alley or backyard. Night vision security cameras are packed with infrared LEDs to provide illumination for the surveillance camera to monitor a poorly-lit area.

Of course, it’s always nice to have a motion-activated floodlight on the back or front of the house.

Depending on where you place security cameras, the night vision range could vary. 30 feet or higher vision range do better for home surveillance. Quality night vision security cameras are always embedded with IR cutter filter to balance lighting on the image, together with true or digital wide dynamic range (WDR) to optimize videos/images.

Viewing on Mobile – a Must-Have

Over the years, security cameras advance quickly. Mobile access and remote viewing are increasingly accessible on most of the security cameras. Homeowners can check in and view live videos of their house in or out anywhere they go, at work or on holiday.

Motion alert, Always Good to Have

It’s nice to be in the know when there is an activity occurred on the premises, for example, a delivery man drops off your package on the front door, or a strange guy lurks around the neighborhood.

Even though motion detection doesn’t always work reliably, it’s still a nice-to-have feature when searching a home security camera, especially PIR-packed surveillance cameras like Reolink Argus.

24/7 Monitoring is Better

Keeping an eye on your property around the clock with a home security system won’t miss out any details, especially in an event of unfortunate incident. As many fraught homeowners put this, 24/7 monitoring is better.

Other Features

These basic features should be on the homeowners’ checklist when they look for a home security system. Other advanced features like home automation, pan-tilt-zoom, RTSP, ONVIF support depend on homeowner’ actual surveillance needs.

  • Home automation – security cameras can be integrated with the smart home platforms, such as Alexa speaker, Apple Homekit, Google Home, and IFTTT.
  • Pan-tilt-zoom – PTZ security cameras could rotate horizontally or vertically to point at a different location or patrol areas.
  • RTSP – Security cameras with Real Time Stream Protocol enable users to view video stream on RTSP-enabled software or players, like
  • ONVIF support – ONVIF supported security cameras or systems could work with ONVIF NVRs and allow different ONVIF cameras to communicate with each other.

Other factors homeowners need to consider when choosing a home security system are IP rating (IP 66 is rated as waterproof and weatherproof for outdoor monitoring), audio (picking sound or for 2-way communication), working temperature (especially for extreme cold areas), field of view, and security camera warranty (two year warranty is nice).


It might be overwhelming for first-timers to get a reliable security camera system. For help finding deals on home security systems in your area, check out Allconnect. We’ll help you compare home security providers near you.

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