• By Thal Dixon
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FAQs about Security Cameras for Homes

I often get asked the same questions from people that are curious about putting cameras up in their homes. I am going to answer a few of them here. I will come back and update this post from time to time as people email me questions.

Hi Thal,

Thank you for taking the time to talk about security cameras with me and my husband.

We have some questions:

Question: Do the cameras function during power outages?

Not without a battery backup. We don’t usually include these in our quotes. They are easy to pick up at Home Depot or a Staples. Get something that would be adequate for powering your computer equipment during a power outage.

Question: Is there a monitoring fee/subscription requirement?

No. Not with us. You own the equipment and have your warranty. You can call us for warranty work or service work after the warranty.

Question: Will the system affect our WiFi and/or internet performance (will it slow or bog down performance)?

This depends on the system we install. We usually quote out a TVI system. This will not affect your internet unless you are actively logged into your cameras through your phone or a remote device. The rest of the time, the cameras will not be on your network.

Question: How vulnerable are the cameras to hackers?

Not very. Because everything is hard wired to the recorder the signal is not out in the air. The recorder is what we network and it would require 4 pieces of information. 1. The IP address to your router from the outside 2. A port number that we will assign the machine 3. A username 4. A password. They are quite secure. They are behind your router and hard wired in. There is no way to hack into an individual camera with a TVI system.

Question: Are the cameras motion activated?

The cameras are not motion activated. They are running all of the time. The recorder actually runs the video through an algorithm and determines if their is motion or not by the amount of movement of the pixels in the picture. (This can be changed by settings of sensitivity and area as well.) If the recorder determines that there is motion then it saves the information as a motion event. Recorders can be set up to record all the time, by motion, and by schedule.

Question: Do the cameras have night vision?

Unless we discuss differently, all cameras that I quote out for a home project will have night vision. The most common form of night vision is Infrared or IR. There are IR crystals on the camera that shine out into the darkness like a flashlight. The lens in the camera can pick up that light even though the human eye cannot.

Question: Will the cameras email me if there is motion?

Most camera systems have the ability to do this but I strongly recommend against it. There are too many false alarms. Because of the way camera systems determine motion, you could be getting notifications when it the wind blows a tree too much, when it rains, snows, etc. The motion would be almost continuous along with the alarms notifications to your phone.

Question: What is the price range to get cameras on my home?

Each installation is a custom job but I try to do a package price for homeowners so that they can get an idea of cost. We typically design and install a system that includes 4-5 HD 1080 P cameras, a recorder, monitor, and phone networking for about $2100-$2600. This includes an onsite 1 year warranty.

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION EMAIL IT TO ME AT: DIXONSECURITY@GMAIL.COM