How to Save Money on Home Video Surveillance

Home video surveillance is a system designed to protect its residents from intruders who encroach on material values, health, or life. The installation and setup of video cameras have a psychological impact, timely alerts the owner and security services about illegal actions by third parties. Below we consider the features of monitoring a house, apartment, or cottage, talk about the tasks, features, and the advantages of cloud storage.

Home surveillance features

A standard home surveillance kit includes video cameras, recording equipment, a power supply, control elements, and connecting cables. With the development of technologies for the protection of a house, cottage, or apartment, more modern protection devices are used – video cameras that can save data in the cloud storage and analyze the received data.

Video surveillance systems provide round-the-clock monitoring and some other features:

  1.   Prompt response to force majeure situations in a house, apartment, or cottage.
  2.   Fine-tune the operating mode. Cameras can work continuously or turn on after a motion sensor, smoke, or alarm.
  3.   The autonomy that does not require configuration and control by the owner.
  4.   Remote control and viewing of information received from surveillance cameras via the Internet.
  5.   Storage of data both in the cloud storage and locally for viewing every other day, week, or month.
  6.   Recognition of persons and informing about a visit to a house or apartment by a specific person.
  7.   Forming of black and white lists, for example, to protect against unwanted guests.
  8.   Setting up different operating modes, etc.

Home video surveillance based on modern technology allows you to control the camera using a mobile phone or tablet from anywhere in the world. The only condition is an Internet connection and access to the system. Such opportunities allow you to keep abreast of what is happening in the house, apartment, or cottage, to respond quickly to what is happening, and in case of hacking and theft, help law enforcement officers find the criminal.

The home surveillance system is easy to install and configure, and its capabilities are enough to protect a house or other object from intruders. To save money, you can use smartphones and tablets as cameras. With their help, you can look after home staff, children, construction workers, or other hired personnel. We will dwell on this issue below.

Define your tasks

When organizing a home video surveillance, it is important to define the tasks that are set during the installation of the system. You must understand what functions the system will perform. We highlight the main options:

  1. Property protection. The task is to quickly identify the attacker with an instant transfer of information to the owner or special bodies (police officers, security companies, etc.). The system can work independently or be supplemented by other devices, for example, motion sensors or alarm.
  2. Entry control. Video cameras are installed at the entrance to the apartment or gate of the house fence to control visitors. The analytical capabilities of modern models allow you to read a person’s face and check it for the presence in white or black lists. You can automate the system to allow access to certain people or, conversely, restrict access to visitors from the blacklist.
  3. Monitor of babysitters, children, pets, or construction workers. The purpose of such video surveillance is remote control via a telephone, tablet, or computer. For such purposes, you can use expensive IP cameras or prefer a simpler solution – use the camera of an existing smartphone or tablet. It is enough to install the equipment in the right place, install the application, and turn on camera mode.
  4. The monitoring of the situation. With the help of video surveillance, you can control the situation in the house, apartment, or cottage during a long trip. Cameras are installed in different areas to control the entrance, rooms, the street, garage, and other facilities. The owner can connect to any of the parts of the video recording. To achieve a goal, modern video systems are used that can transmit information via the Internet.

After defining the task, a decision is made on the choice of equipment for video surveillance. So, to protect the house against intruders, a more complex system is required, which implies the installation of IP cameras in several areas, the use of a recorder, and sensors.

In other cases, you can save and install a simple system using a smartphone and a special application. Such video surveillance allows you to solve the following problems:

  •       monitor children;
  •       monitor pets;
  •       monitor the work of domestic staff;
  •       control the quality of services of repair personnel, equipment connection, etc.
  •       look after the apartment, house, or cottage during the absence.

In many cases, you can use simpler equipment and thereby save money for other purposes.

Equipment selection

The main difficulty in organizing video surveillance is the choice of equipment necessary to solve the tasks. When organizing a video surveillance system, you need to focus on the goals, functions, budget, and technical features of the equipment. Depending on the situation, you may need access to what is happening at the facility, video recording, face recognition, forming white/black lists, and solving other problems. Today there are five options.


Using the DVR, you can monitor the situation and record what is happening. The main feature of the equipment is a small number of frames per second (as a rule, this parameter is 25). During recording, the indicator is divided by the number of cameras installed, which degrades the recording quality. For example, connecting five recorders reduces the frame rate to five.

An important characteristic of the DVR is the resolution, which displays the number of pixels on two sides of the picture. The larger the parameter, the better the picture. The DVR can work independently but due to several restrictions and a high price, it is rarely used for home security.

Video server

A feature of the equipment is the collection and recording of information from analog and digital cameras located around the perimeter of the guarded object. The use of such equipment in the home allows you to get rid of recorders, coaxial cables, and additional screens. The information is collected and transmitted to a separate server.

For connection, analog ports for connecting cameras and an Ethernet port for connecting to the Internet are used. A chip is embedded in the server and camera, which provides video and OS compression to ensure normal operation. If necessary, the stream is processed and transmitted digitally.

Wireless surveillance

A feature of such video surveillance is the complete absence of wires. The main function is performed by wireless video cameras running on Wi-Fi. Equipment can be installed in a house, apartment, on the street, or in a cottage.

Information received from wireless cameras is transmitted to separate equipment or the cloud storage with the possibility of viewing. Access to the system is available from any place and time. The main disadvantages of the system are the high price, limited battery life of security sensors, and the risk of hacking by intruders.

IP video surveillance

In recent years, IP cameras capable of transmitting data using the computer network protocol have been increasingly installed to protect cottages and apartments. A video camera is an independent device that combines the functions of a simple camera and a PC with the ability to switch to IP networks. Such devices have their address on the Web, which allows you to receive data via the Internet.

The structure of the video surveillance system includes an Internet server, e-mail, FTP access, and a signal management device. Modern equipment has additional functions: image analysis, two-way audio communication, control of extraneous sounds, etc. IP cameras are available in black-and-white or color. The first cost less and have high-quality images but transmit incomplete data. They are not able to show the color of the hair or clothes of the attacker.

Mobile phone

To save on video surveillance, you can use the simpler option – the use of a mobile phone or tablet as a camera. Such a system does not require large expenditures, it is convenient to connect, provides remote monitoring of the object. The general algorithm is as follows:

  1.   Installing a special application on a smartphone (for example, Faceter).
  2.   Select a camera mode in the device.
  3.   Fixing the phone in a convenient place with better visibility.

After clicking on the record, the system captures what is happening in the room, transfers the data to the owner, and saves them in the cloud storage. Such house video surveillance provides convenient online monitoring without high costs.

Advantages of cloud storage

With the quality of the Internet, the popularity of cloud video surveillance is growing. Its feature is the recording of the signal and its transmission to a special server (cloud server).

This solution has several advantages:

  1.   Saving money on the purchase of recorders and other additional equipment.
  2.   Gaining access to records at any time when necessary.
  3.   View the camera image online.
  4.   Reliable protection methods that guarantee the protection of confidential data from theft and hacking.
  5.   Uninterrupted operation due to automatic software updates.
  6.   Simple and convenient installation that does not require the involvement of specialists.
  7.   Application for monitoring from smartphone, tablet, or IP camera.

Cloud storage requires a stable Internet connection and a symbolic payment for services. This is a convenient solution for people who want to save money on the purchase of expensive equipment and pay for installation without loosing the functionality of the system.


The idea that home video surveillance is an expensive pleasure, accessible only to wealthy people, has taken hold. With the advent of new technologies, the idea is in the past. Modern surveillance systems allow you to protect a house, apartment, or cottage with the help of simple systems. As an alternative to expensive cameras, an ordinary smartphone with a special application is increasingly being used. Such a system provides reliable protection, remote control, and round-the-clock access to video records.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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