The Cloud and Security Cameras. How To Store Your Surveillance Footage.

Cloud Security Cameras

As with everything in life, there are trade-offs when deciding where to store and how to secure your surveillance camera footage. Most options available fall into two main categories: Local Storage and Cloud Storage. In this article, I will walk you through the pros and cons of each and hopefully help in avoiding some pitfalls and misconceptions along the way. Continue reading “The Cloud and Security Cameras. How To Store Your Surveillance Footage.”

Use RTSP to view your Arcdyn security cameras in VLC Media Player

Overview

RTSP is one of the most useful things that an IP camera provides over Analog counterparts. Since the encoding is done at the camera, we can pull the RTSP stream right from the camera. NVR/DVR’s also have an RTSP Stream that can be used for live viewing the streams. This write up will cover both products. An excellent tool for testing and implementing solutions is VLC media player. It is Open Source and free to use.

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Varifocal Dome and Bullet Cameras – When To Use Adjustable Lens IP Cameras

A varifocal lens is an adjustable camera lens with independently adjustable focus and zoom. This is usually done using a pair of knobs or rods located near the lens of the camera. In this article, we will outline when it is beneficial to use a varifocal bullet or dome camera.


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What are Smart Security Cameras and Analytics?

 

What are smart surveillance cameras?

Smart Security cameras are advanced cameras that feature a robust set of configuration tools to help secure your area. These Advanced Analytics have revolutionized traditional surveillance systems with advanced features and alerts. These features are most commonly found in IP security cameras. Different Security cameras will have different features. I am going to cover our Bolt 4k bullet camera and the smart features on that particular camera. Read the Full Article

Do Surveillance Cameras Actually Deter Criminals?

Most security professionals will say that installing surveillance cameras on the outside of your home or business is an effective method of deterring criminals from choosing you as a target. Is this just a marketing pitch to get you to buy cameras, or are there actual statistics to prove this?

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte conducted a study in 2012 that sheds light on the subject and gives us a better understanding of what is going on in a burglar’s mind when selecting a target. The University’s study, titled “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective,” surveyed 422 incarcerated male and female burglars and asked them a number of questions about choosing a target, motivation for burglary, and the question that we will focus on in this article; the effectiveness of alarm and security camera systems. Continue reading “Do Surveillance Cameras Actually Deter Criminals?”

Alarm.com IP Security Camera Vulnerability – Never Fixed After 3 Years

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Originally posted to the /r/homedefense subreddit on Sept 30, 2013 by reddit user ahmadnassri, an exploit that could potentially expose your entire network to hackers has been released to the world. On Jan 10, 2017 ahmadnassri released a full walkthrough on how to hack into an alarm.com system and gain access to an extensive list of private data and devices.

The exploit was achieved by decompiling the JAVA player responsible for streaming live video feeds from the camera system. This gives a would be hacker easy access to alarm.com’s Master Key and in turn your camera system. While this exploit only applies to older models sold by dealers such as Vivint and Frontpoint Security, there are plenty of these models in the wild to cause concern.

The release of yet another security flaw found in security cameras and devices adds to the long list of vulnerabilities found in recent memory. Until the security industry and manufacturers that are creating devices for the Internet of things begins to take network security seriously we will continue to see dangerous exploits found and utilized.

In most cases, changing the default password on your equipment will protect you from an attack, but that unfortunately is not a sure bet when using cheap or poor quality systems. The old adage “you get what you pay for” always turns out to be true and in this case could mean the difference between your security or being a target.

Check out Arcdyn for professional and secure IP security camera systems

What does 1000TVL mean? Avoiding Misleading Resolutions

Don’t Let Misleading Numbers Fool You

If you’ve been researching security cameras for a while, you have probably noticed that some cameras measure resolution using TVL (600TVL, 700TVL, 1000TVL) rather than 720p, 1080p, or Megapixels. This can be confusing and even misleading, which can make it very frustrating to figure out what you need for your home or business. In this article we’re going to break down what all of those numbers actually mean so that you can make an informed decision.

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Should I use Cat6 or Cat5e for my IP Security Cameras?

Overview

A very common question regarding security camera installs is the type of cabling to use. Currently, 2 types of wiring are widely used for IP cameras which are Cat5e and Cat6 twisted pair cabling.

Cat5e

Cat5 Enhanced(cat5e) replaced the traditional Cat5 cable and introduced speeds up to ten times faster than Cat5 cable. Cat5e was considered the standard cable to use in the early 2000’s. It can handle up 1,000 Mbps of bandwidth.

Cat6

Cat6 is slowly replacing the standard cat5e cable and becoming the new norm. Cat6 allows for ten times the amount of bandwidth capable of 10,000 Mbps of bandwidth. It should be noted, though, that after 165 feet Cat6 is only capable of supporting 1,000 Mbps of bandwidth, the same as cat5e

Summary

Both cables are a reliable choice for camera installs. Currently, Cat5e cable is more than enough bandwidth for any IP camera on the market. Almost all IP cameras currently use under a 100/mbps of bandwidth making cat5e a valid choice.

Resolution and Bandwidth Cat5e – Remaining Bandwidth Cat6 – Remaining Bandwidth @ less than 165 feet Cat6 – Remaining Bandwidth @ 165 feet
1080P @ 5/mbps 995/mbps 9,995/mbps 995/mbps
4MP @ 10/mbps 990/mbps 9,990/mbps 990/mbps
4K @ 30/mbps 970/mbps 9,970/mbps 970/mbps

If you are looking to future proof your install, you could use cat6, but if your cable runs are more than 165 feet, you might as well use cat5e because you will be subject to the same bandwidth. If you are looking to go even further into future proofing, you can look into cat6A which is capable of 10,000 Mbps past 165 feet.

5 Benefits of a Security Surveillance System

1. Deter potential theft

Security surveillance is an effective deterrent. Someone casing the neighborhood is more likely to choose the property with no cameras over the property with cameras. Having a surveillance system not only protects your property, but makes the community a safer environment for everyone.

2. Remote Access and live video feed

IP security surveillance systems have the ability to be accessible across multiple platforms. Smartphones, computers, and tablets can view and monitor the area with live video feeds. Depending on the security surveillance system, you may even be able to set up e-mail based motion alerts, so when a subject enters a certain area a notification will be sent to your smart device. Some systems even have the ability for you to open doors remotely and control other house peripherals.

3. Protect your Belongings

One of the more obvious benefits of a security system is that it helps protect your personal assets and valuables. Probably all of us can relate to a friend or someone who has been a victim to of a robbery. The use of a security surveillance system can help protect your precious valuables and the footage can be huge help in recovering or locating the parties involved.

4. Insurance

A security surveillance system could lower your monthly insurance premium. Saving you money and protecting the things that matter to you.

5. Peace of Mind

Knowing that your valuables are being protected definitely will give you peace of mind. You can check in on your kids, pets, or just make sure everything is ok.

Summary

Using a security surveillance system helps protect the things that matter most to you and has many other benefits as well. If you have been considering a security system take a moment to look around and understand what level of security that you need or want for your property. Also consider the possible benefits from the different types available in today’s market.

Three steps in selecting your IP home security system


It really is easy, but if you still need some help designing your system, we’re here to help… For FREE!

Overview

Securing your house with an IP security surveillance has many benefits and is actually an overall easy process. Most IP camera surveillance systems on the market are now plug and play, greatly simplifying the setup process. To get started in selecting your equipment follow these 3 easy steps on selecting the right IP security cameras and Network Video Recorder(NVR).

Step One:

Identify the area(s) to secure.

Depending on your needs and site layout this may vary greatly. For now, just note the number of cameras you think would be required. Common places to secure are the garage, backyard, mailbox, indoors, pool, front door, patio, back door, basement, storage shed, barn, kennel and many more.

Step Two:

Select the cameras based on the area you are trying to capture

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a security camera will be it’s focal length. Focal length is a measurement of the distance between the lens and Image sensor. The focal length of a camera determines it’s field of view” or rather, “what the camera can see”. In security cameras we encounter fixed focal lengths and variable focal lengths. A Fixed focal length security camera is most commonly called a “fixed lens” camera, while the variable focal length camera is called a “varifocal lens” camera.

Fixed Lens Camera

  • 1.) Fixed Field of View (i.e. 75° FOV )
  • 2.) Fixed Focal length (i.e. 4mm Fixed lens)

Varifocal Lens Camera

  • 1.) Variable Field of View (i.e. 30°-100° FOV)
  • 2.) Variable Focal Length (i.e. 2.8mm-12mm varifocal lens)

Focal length is measured in mm and smaller focal lengths give larger FOV’s while larger focal lengths give a smaller FOV. In simple terms you can think of a fixed lens camera as a “what you see is what you get”, and a varifocal camera is going to give you the ability to adjust what the camera “can see”.

Step Three:

Choose an appropriately sized NVR for the application.

Choosing a NVR relies on a three key starting points which include: the amount of footage you want on storage, the amount of cameras you require to secure you area, and the incoming bitrate of the NVR. Let’s briefly touch on each item and how they interact with each other.

The amount of recorded footage that you want on file will dictate the Hard Drive size that you need to purchase. It is important to use a surveillance rated hard drive as they are designed for 24/7 read/write tasks. The amount of storage required is directly related to your total camera bitrate.

The amount of channels is usually pretty easy to determine since 1 channel = 1 camera. Generally speaking, grouping nvr’s by this specification is rather effective. However, pay attention to what’s actually going on, just because a nvr claims it is a 16 channel nvr doesn’t mean it will actually support all 16 cameras chosen.

Bitrate is probably the most important specifications of a nvr. It determines the overall resources available for accepting incoming streams from IP cameras. Bitrate is measured in mbps(megabits per second) and the bitrate varies for each camera depending on the resolution and FPS of that camera.

What does all this bitrate stuff mean? As a general rule we can say that a 1080p camera uses 5/mbps, while a 4k camera can use upwards of 20/mbps. So, if you had a 4 channel recorder with an incoming bitrate of 40/mbps this means you could use one 4k camera and three 1080P cameras(A total bitrate of 35/mbps). On that same nvr you could only use 2-4k IP cameras even though the recorder can support 4 channels/cameras. This is because all of the bitrate is allocated to the 2-4k cameras(40/mbps).

Next Steps:

Once you get your equipment, installation is as easy as running an ethernet cable to each camera and mounting the cameras in your desired locations. It’s that simple!

Summary:

Take the time to research the cameras you are buying and compare the different options available not one camera is perfect for every solution. Selecting a quality surveillance hard drive will ensure a stable storage method. Bitrate may seem overwhelming but it’s just a simple adding process, correctly paying attention to this factor can help you future proof your system. If you keep these simple steps in mind when selecting your IP surveillance equipment you can be positive that your system will record in the desired manner and have room to grow.

So What are You Waiting For!? Take Care of Your Security Now!