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Thread: Home Security

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    29

    Home Security

    Long story short...I thought I lived in a "crime-free" neighborhood. Recently proved otherwise. I'm interested to know what outside-the-house security systems (video doorbells, cameras, etc.) you use and/or recommend. I'm looking at Ring (company) equipment. Looks simple to install and use. NOT impressed with the Ring site's explanation of equipment features/specifications.

    Biggest concern is getting wifi signal to installed cameras. Garage/workshop is detached from the house.

    Is it necessary to use the Ring wifi extender(s), or can other wifi boosting/extending equipment be used?

    Thank you in advance for any comments or suggestions.

    Loran

  2. #2
    I had the whole exterior of my house and property hard wired with cameras hooked to a DVR a number of years ago when I began having problems with a new neighbor.

    Best thing I ever did. It seems wireless options have become more available since. I honestly still like my hard wired system as nobody can hack into it. I also like my dvr as itís so easy to go back and watch stuff when you do have a problem.

    It was not I expensive but it also was not as bad as I thought it might be. I think like 5 cameras ďsmall house and propertyĒ like $5k.

    Best thing I ever did. Just the message the cameras sent was worth the cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Galey View Post
    Long story short...I thought I lived in a "crime-free" neighborhood. Recently proved otherwise. I'm interested to know what outside-the-house security systems (video doorbells, cameras, etc.) you use and/or recommend. I'm looking at Ring (company) equipment. Looks simple to install and use. NOT impressed with the Ring site's explanation of equipment features/specifications.

    Biggest concern is getting wifi signal to installed cameras. Garage/workshop is detached from the house.

    Is it necessary to use the Ring wifi extender(s), or can other wifi boosting/extending equipment be used?

    Thank you in advance for any comments or suggestions.

    Loran

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,878
    I'm very satisfied with my RING security system and the new version recently released looks nice.

    Outside of the primary system unit which can use either WiFI or hard-wired Ethernet to connect to the Internet (with cellular backup standard) the security devices do not use WiFI to communicate with the system unit. Like almost all professional home security products, they use a 4xx mhz frequency. The extenders help with re-broadcasing that signal for units that are farther away from the system unit to deal with distance and/or building materials. I use two extenders...one out in my shop building and one at the farther end of our home from the system unit. The latter likely isn't needed but they are inexpensive. The cameras do use WiFi. Aside from the doorbells/cams, I have one additional camera out in my shop. They have worked flawlessly. But I also have a wireless mesh system for WiFi and have strong coverage over a good portion of our property.

    If you do the doorbell/cams, get an extra battery unless you can take advantage of the solar charging. (we can't because of how our doors are located) I keep the extra battery charged so I can change it out in a doorbell/cam when I get notice that a battery is getting low (I got a notice for our front door this morning) rather than having a unit down during recharging. Note that we had no existing wired/powered doorbells so there's no ability for us to charge via that medium here.

    RING's monitoring service is really affordable. I was paying about $32 a month with my previous security company (who couldn't update my system to work via Ethernet when I dropped our land-line service)...I'm now paying the the equivalent of $8 a month for the same level of monitoring.

    Regarding account security...use a unique password. Pretty much all of the "reported issues" folks have experienced has been because of using the same UN/PW as with other accounts...a compromise "over there" meant that the re-used UN/PW could be used to get into other accounts.

    My shop view...

    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    We've been happy with the Arlo system.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    885
    I'm using Arlo cameras as well. Good system with pros and cons. Pros, very easy to install because battery operated so no hard wiring of power or network. These cams can be placed anywhere very quickly. No wifi issues outside because you plug the arlo base station into your network and it generates its own low powered wifi network that the cameras connect too. That works well. Pro, free cloud storage for a week or so for up to 5 cameras. Note this is not continuous recording but small videos of the motion. Cons, batteries need to be recharged every 4-6 months or so. If your camera is constantly triggering it will drain faster. Con, expensive. Con, the cameras need to wake up when motion is detected, so sometimes they miss the action if the motion occurs quickly or if the motion is directly in front of the camera. This has gotten better with the newer cameras but still sometimes an issue. I've been using wyze cameras inside and really like them because they are $25. Word is wyze are about to release an exterior camera very soon. I will buy some of these as soon as there released to try out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    29
    Guys, thank you for taking the time to reply to the thread.

    Currently looking at benefits and features of Ring and Arlo. I've heard good things about both systems. Daughter's fiance' has the Google Abode system that he really likes....every thing from video cameras to window and door sensors.

    Leaning toward a Ring system with cameras and motion sensing spotlights that also 'alert' the entire Ring system.

    (I think) I've learned a couple things about thieves...
    They hate well lit targets.
    They like weather noise like wind, but especially thunder/lightening. I've had three car burglaries in my 60 years. All three during abnormal weather events. During the last event (3:30 am), I think I heard the guy check our front door, but thought it was wind related, like a small limb blown onto the house. I failed to get up to see what had happened. My bad.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    817
    I had 3 Nest cameras, although my exterior Nest quick working.

    I swapped that out for a Wyze ($22) and have since installed two more.

    They do work off WiFi. I have a repeater out in my external garage, so I have Nest camera for the interior and the replacement Wyze camera for the external.

    The Nest App works on a laptop as well as a smartphone. The Wyze only works with a smartphone.

    I pay a storage fee for the Nest for cloud storage, nothing for the Wyze, but you get minimal playback history because of this. To help with this, each Wyze camera has a 32Gb memory card which gives a lot of playback.

    Both cameras are easy to install and can be accessed remotely from anywhere that has cell service.

    I bought an early model Ring camera, it worked great inside my house, but when I mounted it outside by my front door, I couldn't get WiFi signal to it through the stone facia, even through the router was just inside about 20 feet away.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    264
    Has anyone tried using gamecams/ trail cams with a wee wifi adapter plugged in where the SD card would go?

    I am not running an always on server in the house and would need to to receive data from the trail cams, but the flexibility of pulling a trail cam one out of the house/shop network during hunting season is attractive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    249
    First, think of the perimeter. If you have a front fence with a sidewalk gate, consider installing a magnetic ding dong type signal, so when that gate opens, a ding dong sounds in the home. I use a Fosman system which has an RF range of about 25-50 yards, depending on environmental factors. Its a measley $50. I have 2-3 receivers scattered throughout the house, so even outside, I can hear whether someone entered the gate.

    Second, think of your front yard. Ring type cameras, while fine, have to be re-charged at a rate dependent on usage, so a high traffic area where the camera will activate more frequently will need charging more frequently. I bit the bullet and had IP POE cameras installed, running the wire over the surface to the basement (or crawlspace) thence to an eight camera DVD. This hooks into my home ethernet network, and can be displayed on your desktop or laptop at will.

    Third, I'm not sure there is any beating a Ring doorbell unit at the front door.

    Fourth, assuming they get past the gate, past the lawn, past the door and into the home, I went old school hard wired contact switches for our alarm system. The RF ones do require batteries and simply are not as reliable as copper wire to the alarm panel.

    Finally, I have a large German Shepherd and Black Lab, which announce their presence frequently. Most thieves don't want to mess with dogs and will pick another home.
    Regards,

    Tom

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    1,441
    Blog Entries
    1
    We use Frontpoint here in northern Virginia. But we donít put much store in a security system as crime prevention. Hereís why.

    some years ago, we lived in Overland Park is. We had a system and used it but our cleaning lady kept messing up and causing false alarms. We got a letter from the city that we either had to pay a $300 fine or take a class. We took the class and it was an eye opener for us. This all applies to one city and probably 10 years ago.

    ó we were told that the average police response time to an alarm call in our city was 3 minutes. We were told that the average time a robber spent in a house was 90 seconds.
    ó we were told that in the previous 12 months there were 90,000 alarm calls. Of those, just 4 were legitimate. The rest were false.

    We went home and called our security company. We maintained monitoring but instructed them not to call police for a perimeter alert. They were to call us or a neighbor. They still would call in the event of smoke, heat, CO, or panic. We have since moved and we still have a security system but use the same notification policy.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    209
    Iím old school. I rely on a big dog, Wilson Combat, Smith & Wesson, and Benelli. If they make it past the dog, theyíll wish they hadnít.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    9,155
    I don't understand what security cameras provide. Say a burglar is approaching your house. First, would a camera deter him, or does he just break in anyhow? Second, if he does break in, and the camera does provide a clear picture of his face, then what? Will the police actually try to find somebody based on his photo?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    333
    I have always wondered why folks don't install cameras on their mailbox pointing up and down the street to capture the license plates of the porch pirates. I guess running power out to that point would be one challenge. I see enough videos of porch pirates on the news, where you can see the car not much identifying information, but I would think a picture of the plate would make them easier to track down.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    I don't understand what security cameras provide. Say a burglar is approaching your house. First, would a camera deter him, or does he just break in anyhow? Second, if he does break in, and the camera does provide a clear picture of his face, then what? Will the police actually try to find somebody based on his photo?
    Can't disagree with any of that except to add that one of things we really like is the ability to see what is going on inside or around the house if we are away from the house. For example, if someone comes onto the porch when we aren't there, we get the alert and can see if it's Amazon or someone who isn't supposed to be there. In that case, I could trigger the audible alarm and hopefully scare them off or text a neighbor to see what's going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Stankus View Post
    I have always wondered why folks don't install cameras on their mailbox pointing up and down the street to capture the license plates of the porch pirates. I guess running power out to that point would be one challenge. I see enough videos of porch pirates on the news, where you can see the car not much identifying information, but I would think a picture of the plate would make them easier to track down.
    I've thought about putting an Arlo cam in one of the trees in our front yard specifically for that reason but haven't figured out a way that it wouldn't trigger ALL THE TIME from folks walking down the street, mailman, etc. And then, how it would the area be illuminated at night? The in-camera IR is pretty weak. For something like this, it seems like a hard-wired camera that is constantly recording would be the better choice.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    249
    Jamie, for me the cameras do two things.

    First they are prominently displayed, so the crooks know they are being photographed. Half the time the images are unrecognizable (night) but they donít know that.

    Second, they are useful to me to figure what happened. Our trash bin mysteriously disappeared. What happened? The cameras caught it.
    Regards,

    Tom

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