WHAT IS A SECURITY CAMERA
A security camera is a video camera that records people’s activities in order to detect and prevent crime.
Types Of wireless security cameras
1. Arlo Pro 4: Best wire-free camera
The Arlo Pro 4 is our pick for the best wireless security camera because it doesn’t need a power cord and still manages to outperform the competition. Arlo has some of the best smart home compatibility too—it works with Amazon Alexa Google assistant Apple HomeKit, and Samsung,Smartthings.Pros2K video resolution100% wire-free designIndoor/outdoor versatilitySmart home integrationConsHigh pricePaid cloud storage
We think the Arlo Pro 4 is an excellent choice for a battery-powered camera, especially if you want a quick setup, multiple cameras, and outstanding video quality. Its 2K video captures more detail than 1080p outdoor cameras and records clear video any time of day thanks to infrared night vision and a built-in spotlight.
A helpful tutorial in the Arlo app makes it a breeze to set up. And the magnetic wall mount makes it easy to install anywhere. While you have to pay for cloud video storage on the Arlo Pro 4, it’s one of the more affordable subscriptions out there at $2.99 a month.
Arlo 4 fixes the biggest drawback of Arlo Pro 3 in that it no longer requires a base station, which was available only when buying two or more cameras. This makes it a more affordable choice, though it’s still more expensive than the average wireless camera (including some Arlo cameras).
Arlo recently released a more affordable wire-free camera: Arlo Essential Spotlight (about $130). We love that it doesn’t require a base station like older Arlo cameras, and it sports a bright spotlight for color video at night like the Arlo Pro 4.
2. Ring Stick Up Cam Battery: Best outdoor camera
Outdoor pickRing Stick Up Cam BatteryVIEW ON AMAZON
The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery is completely wire-free, so you have a ton of flexibility in where you put it. And it costs around $100, making it one of the most affordable security cameras you can use both indoors and outdoors.ProsNo power cables to wrangleIndoor/outdoor capabilityMotion-activated sensorsAlexa compatibilityConsTedious process to recharge batteryShort battery life
We think the Stick Up Cam Battery is best for people that need a wireless outdoor camera on a budget. Ring also has one of the most competitive cloud storage plans on the market, costing just $3 a month for 60 days of storage. It’s an ideal wireless camera for an Alexa smart home, though we’d like it better if it supported Google Assistant and HomeKit like Arlo does.
We’ve seen reports of short battery life on Ring products (some say it lasts about a month), and recharging the Stick Up Cam is a tedious process since you need to remove the battery each time. While there’s a wired option for this camera—Stick Up Cam Plug-In—you lose the flexibility of installing it anywhere.
You can get a solar panel accessory so you don’t need to remove the battery as often, but it’ll cost you extra.
The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery (about $200) costs twice as much as the Stick Up Cam but has a couple of added benefits. The built-in siren and bright spotlight can help deter unwelcome visitors by sounding an alarm that’s hard to ignore. We also like that the spotlight can double as a path light for getting to and from your car at night.
3. Wyze Cam Pan: Best indoor budget camera
The Wyze Cam Pan can scan an entire room in just three seconds. You can adjust settings with the Pan Scan feature to automatically scan an area to your specifications. This little Wi-Fi camera’s motion tracking is also cool—if a kid or dog runs through the room, the camera will follow all the action. (No more arguments about who broke the lamp.)ProsAffordable price360° coverage with Pan ScanSmart motion trackingFree rolling 14-day cloud storageConsWired power cordHit-and-miss motion alerts
Plus, you can pick up the Wyze Cam Pan for under $40, making it one of the best values in security cameras. We’re especially big fans of Wyze’s free cloud storage that saves small 12-second clips for up to 14 days.
The Wyze Cam Plus paid cloud storage plan allows for full-length video clips and is better for folks wanting better video recording without buying a microSD card. It’s also one of the cheapest plans from any security camera company—costing just $2 a month or $15 for an annual plan.
One of the only things we don’t like is that you need a power cord, which limits placement options.
You can buy the Wyze Outdoor Cam Starter Bundle for about $20 more than the Wyze Cam Pan. The rechargeable battery is great for folks that want a wire-free option that’s more affordable than most other outdoor security cameras.
4. Canary: Best smart home camera
The Canary Pro combines home security features like a siren and environmental sensors with a smart home security camera. And don’t let the small, unobtrusive design fool you. Canary has packed enough security features into this Wi-Fi camera to make it qualify for home insurance discounts from many major insurers. It’s essentially a small security system, right down to a loud siren and quick access to emergency response services.ProsCamera, siren, and climate monitorLearning tech to adjust to your habitsAlexa and Google integrationDirect connection to emergency servicesConsOnly 20-foot range for night visionSubscription required for some featuresBuggy mobile app
We love the Climate Monitor sensors since they allow Canary to track the humidity, temperature, and air quality in your home. This means that the camera can sense if the fireplace isn’t fully out or let you know if someone left the tub running.
If you subscribe to the Canary Premium Service plan (about $10 a month), the camera gains access to 30 days of cloud video storage instead of the single day included with the free plan. You can also download videos and unlock two-way audio, though these are often a free features with other brands. Overall, the premium plan is good but a bit too pricey for the added benefits.
We wish it had a little more power when it comes to night vision—it only sees about 20 feet in the dark. But the rest of its superpowers still make this little camera a strong contender.
5. Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor: High-tech pick
The Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor is awesome when it comes to image, video, and sound quality. Plus, it has person alerts and a built-in Google Assistant so you can use it as a virtual assistant to control your smart home. The built-in Google Assistant is especially helpful—you don’t need to buy as many smart speakers for your home when your security camera can pull double-duty.ProsGreat video qualityCompatibility with Google Assistant, Alexa, and other Nest productsCrystal clear two-way audioQuality design and aestheticConsHigh price pointRequired Nest Aware subscription for coolest features
For some, that may be worth the $300 price tag. But while we like the smart functions and home automation compatibility of the Nest Cam IQ, many of the cameras we looked at offer the same perks at a more reasonable price.
The fact that you can’t use many of the best features (including video recording) unless you sign up for a monthly subscription is a big downer. But at least the monthly subscription is a lot cheaper and gives more storage than in the past. We especially like that you don’t need to pay a separate fee for each camera in your home.
IMPORTANCE OF SECURITY CAMERAS
Security cameras that can catch a thief in the act can be a great tool for protecting your home. But they’re also a gateway for hackers to spy on you because they can access them through the internet. No wonder, then, that in a nationally representative survey conducted by Consumer Reports in previous years, 54 percent of Americans considered loss of privacy a reason not to use smart devices.
News stories about home security cameras getting hacked have become all too common. You may recall a story from previous year that went viral about a California family’s Nest security camera being hacked to play fake warning messages that North Korea launched missiles at the U.S. the family’s 8-year-old son was so scared he hid under the living room rug. It was only after calls to 911 and Nest that the frightened family realized they were victims of a hack.
Benefits of CCTV Cameras in Business – 5 Advantages of CCTV
Here, we run through some of the top benefits that this safety system can bring to businesses of all types, and why it is a great thing to have installed at your business premises.
1. Crime deterrent
It goes without saying that having a CCTV camera installed at your premises will act as a serious deterrent to criminals and anyone carrying out illegal activities. The sight of a CCTV camera infers an air of danger and the presence of the law, deterring anyone planning to carry out a crime from doing so.
2. Monitors activities
CCTV systems are able to keep track of what is happening at the premises where they are installed. By monitoring the activity of workers and visitors at your business’ site, you and your workforce can have total peace of mind about exactly what is going on under your roof.
3. Collect evidence
In the unfortunate event of a crime occurring at your premises, having a CCTV system really does pay dividends as it provides a way of collecting evidence to help ‘suss out’ exactly what happened. Crimes can be solved far more easily with additional evidence from a CCTV camera, helping place times, locations and, most importantly, suspects.
4. Decision Making
When it comes to settling disputes, footage from security cameras can be incredibly important. This applies to both domestic and commercial scenarios. Whether it’s dealing with family disagreements, employee feuds or altercations between staff and customers, by referring to CCTV footage, you’ll know the truth.
5. Keep records
It is always a good idea to keep records of when your staff are coming into and checking out of your site, as well as when deliveries are made or visitors enter the building, so you can ensure everything’s running smoothly.
There are many further reasons why CCTV really is an advantageous installation for any business premises, so why not consider getting cameras installed at your company’s site and give yourself and your staff total peace of mind in the safety of your operations?
Strategies For Hacking Security Cameras
One way security cameras are vulnerable to hacks is through a technique called “credential stuffing.” Hackers use usernames and passwords from other data breaches (that other hackers share online) to gain access to accounts. The combination of large data breaches, such as those at Equifax and Target, and consumers reusing the same passwords reuse or modify the same passwords—make the work easy. In recent years hackers have made the log-in credentials for 82 billion online accounts available on the internet.
This type of hack doesn’t require the breach of a security camera company’s system, so every brand is at risk. “These companies aren’t technically at fault,” says Robert Richter, who leads security and privacy testing for Consumer Reports. “Most companies offer a two-factor authentication system that acts as an extra deterrent against attacks like this. But there is more that these companies could do, like encouraging people to use that added security feature by default.”
How to Protect Yourself
Data breaches and subsequent credential-stuffing attacks won’t be going away anytime soon, but there are simple steps you can take to reduce the chances your security camera will be hacked.
1. Keep your camera’s firmware up to date. Manufacturers that are serious about protecting their cameras will routinely release firmware updates that fix software bugs and patch security vulnerabilities. Some cameras will automatically download and install these updates, while others require that you check for them on your own. (You’ll usually find an update button under the Settings menu in your camera’s app.)
2. Change your camera’s password frequently. In a nationally representative CR survey on data privacy conducted in May 2019, 13 percent of respondents with at least one online account said they used the same password for all of their accounts. That makes it a cinch for hackers to gain access to multiple accounts. Always create a unique password for each account. Here’s the best way:
Do: Use something long and complex—like a random phrase or string of characters—with numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters.
Don’t: Include any personally identifiable information, such as names, birthdates, etc. Hackers can often get this information from public social media profiles, such as those on Facebook and Instagram, and then use it to guess your passwords and gain access to your accounts. You also want to avoid simple, commonly used passwords, such as Simple numbers and names 3. Set up a password manager. generate incredibly strong, random passwords for your digital accounts, securely store and remember them for you, and even automatically insert them into log-in prompts. Many password managers are free to use and available on an array of devices and web browsers.
4. Set up two-factor authentication if your camera offers it. This is an extra layer of security. You opt to have the camera company send you a single-use passcode via a text message, phone call, email, or authentication app that you use in addition to your username and password when you log in to the account. That way, if hackers crack your password, they still won’t be able to access your camera unless they also gain access to your passcode.
Top Cameras With Two-Factor Authentication
Consumer Reports conducts data privacy and security tests on wireless security cameras to help you find models that are as secure as possible. Cameras that include two-factor authentication receive a higher score. Our experts also inspect the user interface and network traffic from each camera and its companion smartphone app to make sure it’s using encryption, adhering to manufacturer policies, and not sharing your data. We evaluate each model’s public documentation (such as privacy policies) to see what claims the manufacturer makes about the way it handles your data.
Below are a few cameras that do well in our data privacy and security tests and offer the extra security of two-factor authentication. They’re listed in alphabetical order by brand.
Amazon Cloud Cam(Key Edition)
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Nest Cam Indoor(NC 1102ES)
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NestCam IQ Indoor(NC3100US
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These type of Cameras when installed will make it difficult for hackers to gain access to your privacy.