Question Wireless security system

Weathered

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Not sure if this is best place to post this but I am looking into getting a wireless security system. Never messed with security systems before. Looking at getting an 8 channel system, will probably use 4 cameras to start out, just want to leave room to add more if needed. No idea what brands are good ones to get or stay away from.

I know they have 4k systems and that would be nice to have although not sure needed. With a 4k system, would storage become a problem pretty fast? How reliable are wireless systems? I think one issue for us with a wireless system is the cameras will be used around an all metal building. We have internet inside the building but not sure if it will have trouble picking up the signal if the camera is right outside.
 

USAFRet

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Why wireless? Increasing the attack surface of your security system seems an oxymoron to me.

I have a 4 camera (8 camera capable) wired system.
Yes, it is more hassle running the wires into the house. But they can't be hacked.
And wireless cameras need a power cable anyway.
 

Weathered

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Why wireless? Increasing the attack surface of your security system seems an oxymoron to me.

I have a 4 camera (8 camera capable) wired system.
Yes, it is more hassle running the wires into the house. But they can't be hacked.
And wireless cameras need a power cable anyway.
Wireless mainly because of running less wires. The building where the cameras would go is around 100ft away from house. With wireless, would it work with the system inside the house? Both the house and building have a router.

And what do you mean by increasing the attack surface?
 

USAFRet

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Wireless mainly because of running less wires. The building where the cameras would go is around 100ft away from house. With wireless, would it work with the system inside the house? Both the house and building have a router.

And what do you mean by increasing the attack surface?
100 feet is problematic.
It would absolutely need direct line of sight.

By "attack surface", that simply means that you want to reduce the possible pathways for an attacker to get into the system.
Wireless is radio, and readable by anyone within range. And possibly hacked into, or otherwise interfered with.
Yes, password blah blah. But any wireless is inherently more vulnerable that a direct wire.
 

bit_user

Splendid
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I'd just be worried about how much useful bandwidth you can sustain over WiFi, especially over long distances. It's one thing to have 8 people on WiFi-connected laptops, but another if they're all trying to watch hi-def movies at the same time. WiFi bandwidth is a pie, and each device takes a slice out of it.

Something else to consider is the maximum distance of any device to any other. In order for WiFi's congestion management to work, devices need to "hear" each other. Here's an analogy: three people are standing on hill-tops, roughly in a row. They guy in the middle can hear the other two, but the ones at the ends cannot hear each other. So, they both shout to the middle guy, but can't avoid talking at the same time. When they're talking at the same time, he has difficulty understanding either one. So, the guy in the middle is your router, and the ones at each end are your farthest-apart cameras (or any other device sharing that router). They must be within range of each other.

I'd advise you to look into this aspect further, and definitely seek out forums and resources where people have real experience doing that sort of thing.
 

bit_user

Splendid
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Wireless is radio, and readable by anyone within range. And possibly hacked into, or otherwise interfered with.
For a low-value target, I'd imagine the biggest concern would be a thief simply jamming the WiFi. I imagine there are devices you can get to do that.

However, I could imagine there's some software on the dark web that people might buy and run on a laptop (or phone) to find and hack your surveillance cameras or recorder. It wouldn't require the thief to actually know anything about hacking.

Definitely change all the default passwords, if your devices have them, since that's the easiest way in. If your router has a "white list" for MAC addresses, that's another way you can keep unwanted devices off your network.
 

USAFRet

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And at the low end, many of these security systems have abysmal security. Sometimes hard coded backdoor passwords.

Again, the wireless aspect is only hackable by someone in range.
But still a concern.

And if you're looking to make this video available vie your cellphone...that is another level of concern. The backdoor admin passwords.

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/cheap-security-cameras-poor-passwords,news-27495.html


I'm just saying...be very careful how you set this up.
 

Weathered

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The building does have direct line of sight to the house.

As for wifi congestion, don't think that will be an issue. Currently have 2 devices using wifi and most of the time when they are being used, its nothing that demanding, just normal web browsing. Certain times of the year, there could be more devices connected but again, nothing that would be heavy usage.

I know wired would be better and would rather have that and may end up going with that. The problem with wired would be if I want to set it up in the house, wires would have to run across a high traffic area, blacktop driveway and rock. Will have to decide if we want to set it up in the building, where the cameras will be at or in the house.

Ty for the help so far. All this stuff making my head spin lol
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
I know wired would be better and would rather have that and may end up going with that. The problem with wired would be if I want to set it up in the house, wires would have to run across a high traffic area, blacktop driveway and rock. Will have to decide if we want to set it up in the building, where the cameras will be at or in the house.
Well, one cable is all you need between the buildings (aside from power, obviously). If you go that route, I'd use a fiberoptic link. It can avoid nasty problems with ground loops, surges, etc.

If you move ahead with the wireless approach (which I wouldn't do without more info), I'd get two cameras, at first, and see how that works.
 

Weathered

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If I go wireless, what kind of info should I be looking for? And that's why I am posting here, to get info. Do they have forums specifically for security systems?
 

bit_user

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If I go wireless, what kind of info should I be looking for? And that's why I am posting here, to get info. Do they have forums specifically for security systems?
While I know a bit about CCTV, I have almost zero experience with wireless cameras.

There must be sites out there with a lot of info and advice. I suspect some are sponsored by various manufacturers, so I'd try to find one that seems neutral. As for information on deploying wireless cameras, make sure it's recent enough that it discusses 802.11ac, or whatever wireless standard is supported by the cameras you're considering.

Things I'd look at are: light sensitivity, wide-dynamic-range, sensor size, operating temperature range, and vandal-resistant & weather-proof enclosure. I wouldn't fixate too much on resolution, as light sensitivity, sensor size, and lens size are more critical to getting a blur-free image of a perp. You could have a 4k camera with a tiny lens and sensor, only to get excessive motion blur in all but the best light. Some cameras have both wifi and an ethernet connection, which would be a way to hedge your bet on whether wifi is workable.

When you setup your cameras, use the VBR mode and play with any noise filters (sometimes called DNR). Do it at dusk or night time, to make sure you're optimizing your image quality for the most challenging conditions. If using IR illuminators, that means probably just before it's dark enough that the camera switches into "night" mode. Lastly, cameras often can limit the max exposure time as a way of trading image noise for motion blur. About 1/100th second will give you blur-free images, but you might want to go with something longer, if you get too much noise for your lighting setup.
 

Weathered

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While I know a bit about CCTV, I have almost zero experience with wireless cameras.

There must be sites out there with a lot of info and advice. I suspect some are sponsored by various manufacturers, so I'd try to find one that seems neutral. As for information on deploying wireless cameras, make sure it's recent enough that it discusses 802.11ac, or whatever wireless standard is supported by the cameras you're considering.

Things I'd look at are: light sensitivity, wide-dynamic-range, sensor size, operating temperature range, and vandal-resistant & weather-proof enclosure. I wouldn't fixate too much on resolution, as light sensitivity, sensor size, and lens size are more critical to getting a blur-free image of a perp. You could have a 4k camera with a tiny lens and sensor, only to get excessive motion blur in all but the best light. Some cameras have both wifi and an ethernet connection, which would be a way to hedge your bet on whether wifi is workable.

When you setup your cameras, use the VBR mode and play with any noise filters (sometimes called DNR). Do it at dusk or night time, to make sure you're optimizing your image quality for the most challenging conditions. If using IR illuminators, that means probably just before it's dark enough that the camera switches into "night" mode. Lastly, cameras often can limit the max exposure time as a way of trading image noise for motion blur. About 1/100th second will give you blur-free images, but you might want to go with something longer, if you get too much noise for your lighting setup.
Would I be better off going with a CCTV system? Do most systems do audio?

As for the things to look at, I am not sure what all that stuff means. Is higher or lower the better on some things like light sensitivity?

Not sure if this would matter or not but I am thinking I would not bother with setting it up on a smartphone although guess it would be good to have that option if we decide to do that later on.

If I was wanting to set it up in the house, what cable would I need to run? A while back, we ran a couple of ethernet lines and one coax cable. Would the coax cable be able to be used for the system? Both ethernet lines are being used.

Been doing a little bit of reading on CCTV vs IP cameras and I am thinking I would want IP cameras. From what I have read, CCTV cameras need to be in one location. But what does one location mean? All in the same building? Certain square feet?

Also from what I have read, IP cameras are powered by the ethernet cable and don't need a power cable, is that true? That sounds appealing, one less wire to run. I know would already be running one wire, what would another wire hurt, right? In the building where these cameras would be at, outlets can be an issue so if they need a power cable, that would be one outlet being used up for each camera.
 
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bit_user

Splendid
Herald
Would I be better off going with a CCTV system? Do most systems do audio?
I was using CCTV in the generic sense, to mean basically what you're talking about. If we're speaking strictly about analog, I wouldn't touch it. In spite of all the additional concerns relating to network-based security cameras, I think the benefits of IP cameras are too great to pass up.

As for the things to look at, I am not sure what all that stuff means. Is higher or lower the better on some things like light sensitivity?
It's usually rated in lux, and lower is better. Roughly speaking, it indicates the minimum amount of light that's detectable by the camera.

Not sure if this would matter or not but I am thinking I would not bother with setting it up on a smartphone although guess it would be good to have that option if we decide to do that later on.
The are two ways to go, with this. Either it can be a function of the camera or the recorder. And, in either case, you can have the video stored on-site or in the cloud. I wouldn't go with cloud-based storage, as it would chew up lots of bandwidth to stream all your video there, assuming 4 high-res cameras.

You don't actually need a recorder box, as many cameras can now record video directly to a SD card. However, the playback functions might be more limited. I'm really not familiar with any specifics of current offerings.

If I was wanting to set it up in the house, what cable would I need to run? A while back, we ran a couple of ethernet lines and one coax cable. Would the coax cable be able to be used for the system? Both ethernet lines are being used.
It's possible to use coax for your network, but I'm not sure how much bandwidth you'd get over it. I'd say you want around 100 Mbps or more - 10 Mbps won't be enough. You'd have to investigate the best modern way to do that.

BTW, I assume you ran 75 ohm coax (what video normally uses) or maybe 300 ohm (RF?), though I think ethernet over coax (token ring?) typically uses 50 ohm. However, my recollection is a bit fuzzy and it's really not my area.

I'm really at the limit of what information I can provide. I think you'll find much better advice, elsewhere. Good luck.
 

Weathered

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Ty for the help much appreciated. Looking at getting a complete wired system similar to this one, https://www.amazon.com/Security-SMONET-Channel-Surveillance-Waterproof/dp/B07MVWKBWV/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=security+system+wired+poe&qid=1564961708&s=gateway&sr=8-7

Setup the dvr in the building and use smartphone to access it when needed. How much do these apps affect the battery life on smartphones? Not a big deal, more curious than anything.

One thing I noticed about many systems is the operating temp range, 14 to 130 degrees F. In my area, pretty common to get below 14 degrees easily, sometimes down in the negatives. How big of an issue would that be?
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
One thing I noticed about many systems is the operating temp range, 14 to 130 degrees F. In my area, pretty common to get below 14 degrees easily, sometimes down in the negatives. How big of an issue would that be?
I don't know - I just know that some cameras have built-in heaters. I'm not sure if that's to keep the electronics up to some temperature, or just to keep the dome from fogging.

If the cameras had any motors in them (to support things like auto-focus, optical zoom, or pan-tilt-zoom functionality), that's one reason I can imagine for a more limited temperature range. Otherwise, I don't know why they'd only work down to 14 degrees. Optical sensors generally work a little better, at low temperatures, due to less noise.

I'd recommend asking about it, in the Q&A section on that page. Maybe someone already has.
 

Weathered

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I think I am going to go for a 4k wired system. Trying to find one that has 4k, POE, NVR, H-265+, 8 channel 4 4k bullet cameras and possibly 30fps but having trouble finding one with H-265+, all the 4k systems I have seen have H-265 compression. Not sure how big of a deal that is, I know H-265+ will allow me to record longer vs H-265.

For the viewing angle, I was wanting a wider viewing angle but not sure I want that. After some research, even with 4k, the wider you go, the less quality the video will be. Been looking on amazon and many of them don't list all the specs like viewing angle.

And think I have decided will keep the recording box in the building and just use the remote software to view it on pc or smartphone.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
I think I am going to go for a 4k wired system. Trying to find one that has 4k, POE, NVR, H-265+, 8 channel 4 4k bullet cameras and possibly 30fps but having trouble finding one with H-265+, all the 4k systems I have seen have H-265 compression. Not sure how big of a deal that is, I know H-265+ will allow me to record longer vs H-265.
The "+" is just a marketing thing. It has to do with some tricks that manufacturers started using to squeeze more efficiency out of H.264, and they wanted some way of advertising that.

So, I wouldn't worry about H.265 vs. H.265+. Just going from H.264 to H.265 (also known as HEVC) gets you a 2x improvement in quality/bitrate, which is already better than H.264+.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
Does H.265+ help save on hard drive space vs H.265 or is it not that much too really worry about?
Because there's no strict definition, I can't give you a general answer. You have to look at the claims of a particular manufacturer. Better yet, try to find independent reviews.

As for hard drive space usage, that depends on a lot of things. If a camera is designed with higher quality components, it can reduce image noise, which will definitely help on disk space usage, no matter which compression format you're using.

Then, there's how the camera is configured. It will have some compression settings that allow you to tradeoff bit rate for quality. There's also the frame rate, usually a noise reduction setting (be careful with this, as turning it up too high can result in loss of detail), and exposure settings. And then there's where you install it, as not all images compress as easily. And lighting levels also affect image noise.

Basically, there are a lot of variables that can affect disk space usage. I'd rather spend money on a higher quality camera than chasing marketing buzzwords, but you could also just decide you're willing to buy a larger hard drive, if needed.
 

punkncat

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I am a security professional and have extensive experience with CCTV systems, both wired and wireless.

IMO, for a residential system, ease of installation and use there is (hardly) a better product on the market right now for (very) general use than the Netgear Arlo products. They are super intuitive, easy to use, easy to set up, and mostly rugged. There are limitations to them, of course, but dollar to performance are hard to beat.

Good wireless security is a wallet wormhole.
 

Weathered

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I am a security professional and have extensive experience with CCTV systems, both wired and wireless.

IMO, for a residential system, ease of installation and use there is (hardly) a better product on the market right now for (very) general use than the Netgear Arlo products. They are super intuitive, easy to use, easy to set up, and mostly rugged. There are limitations to them, of course, but dollar to performance are hard to beat.

Good wireless security is a wallet wormhole.
Where is a good place to buy netgear systems?

I am considering this sytem: https://www.amazon.com/ANNKE-Security-Upgraded-Outdoors-Surveillance/dp/B07PMKJL7R/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=security+system&qid=1566432649&refinements=p_89:ANNKE&rnid=2528832011&s=electronics&sr=1-7

Not sure how much of a difference there is between dome and bullet cameras. I know typically bullet cameras are easier to adjust. Would not mind having 4k cameras but I really don't think it is a must have in my situation. Anyone have any experience with this brand?
 

punkncat

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Just something I would point out here.

Have you ever heard of Annke products? Have you ever owned another product of theirs?
I would consider that product as "be wary" considering only two GLOWING product reviews. Find something with a brand name you have heard of.
 

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