Security cameras? Here’s what you should be thinking about

South Africa’s most recent crime stats from the South African Police Service show that robberies at residences increased by 7.6% in Q1 of this year, compared to the same period in 2020. It was the crime with the fifth highest increase from January to March. 1

“As we know, security is a key area of importance for homeowners the world over, but particularly in a country like South Africa,” says Ghassan Azzi, Africa Sales Director at Western Digital. “This latest rise in house burglaries further emphasises the necessity of protecting your home to keep your belongings and loved ones safe.”

There are a few options when looking at making your home more safe, but one of the most sophisticated tools is security cameras. They can alert you to an unwanted presence on your property, serve as a deterrent to potential burglars, and also help in identifying suspects. 

The great thing about security cameras is that they can suit most budgets and needs. If you have a larger property and a good budget, then you can afford to invest in more cameras of excellent quality. Similarly, if your space is smaller and you have a limited budget, or if you are just looking for one or two cameras for key areas in your home, then there is still a wide range of options for you to choose from. 

Where to put the cameras and how to install them 

Before you purchase your cameras, you should first decide what areas of your home you need these devices to monitor. Having cameras outside your home is a crucial consideration, so that you can be alerted to the presence of burglars before they have entered your house. A good place for setting up these cameras is outside your house close to entry and exit points, such as gates or doors, or even windows that could be a soft target. Azzi advises, “This means you need to ensure that you purchase a durable security camera, which is waterproof and can withstand the heat of South African summers and the cold snaps in winter.” 

When it comes to inside your home, think about focusing on large common areas or garages where many of your valuables are kept. 

Regarding installation of the security cameras, once again it depends on your budget (if you want to call in a security company who can also advise on camera placement), but also on your general technical know-how. That being said, many camera manufacturers have helpful installation videos online and there are also many videos available from others who have done this DIY job. Just make sure the sources are credible.

Thinking about the storage of your footage

Another important element to consider in terms of security cameras in your home is storage of the video. “When it comes to home security, people are usually focused mainly on the specs of the camera and the installation,” notes Azzi. “Very seldom do they think about where all the footage is going to be stored, and how well it will be stored.”

1.       SA Crime Statistics

Surveillance footage can be stored on the cloud or on devices such as hard drives and memory cards, depending on the camera’s specs. It’s vital that this storage is purpose-built, explains Azzi. “It needs to be designed for recording continuously. A typical desktop drive, for example, is not specifically designed for storing videos from security cameras. A surveillance drive, on the other hand, is designed and tested in surveillance environments and purpose-built to continuously write and read data, so that you can view the footage whenever you need to, in real-time or post recording.” 

Homeowners also need to bear in mind that the capacity of the storage required – i.e. whether you decide to buy 8TB or 18 TB – is important.1 “The higher the resolution of your footage, the higher the capacity storage you will need,” says Azzi. “Most security cameras record at 720dpi or 1080 dpi, but some can reach up to a 4K quality.” 

Choosing the resolution of your cameras also depends on how much money you are looking to spend, and factors such as lighting conditions and camera placement. You may want to get some cameras with a very high resolution and opt for a lower resolution for others. Usually, however, 720 dpi or 1080 dpi is a high enough resolution for most areas in your home.

The WD Purple™ Family helps to look after your home 

The WD Purple Family is a line of drives exclusively created for the demands of home video surveillance systems that operate 24/7. There are hard drive and microSD™ card options with HDD capacities of up to 18TB.2 WD Purple drives are endurance focused for the intense task of always-on, high-definition recording and are designed for harsh environments. 

AllFrame™ technology in WD Purple HDDs helps reduce frame loss and ensure high quality video playback, while their exclusive IntelliSeek™ technology keeps power consumption low so ambient noise and vibrations are at a minimum.

“Thinking about the storage solution for your security cameras is a key factor in truly securing your home. If you don’t have the right storage for your camera, then you can’t really rely on the security and are potentially left at risk,” concludes Azzi.

WD Purple, AllFrame and IntelliSeek are registered trademarks or trademarks of Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Product specifications subject to change without notice. Pictures shown may vary from actual products. 

2.       As used for storage capacity, 1GB = 1 billion bytes and 1TB = one trillion bytes. Actual user capacity may be less depending on operating environment.

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