Just as dashcams are starting to become a must-have gadget for our cars, so too is the tech industry looking to cash in on security conscious homeowners. And, really, who can fault them? The money it costs to install a viable network of security cameras in and around your home is easy to justify when you consider the potential benefits it could bring.
Needless to say, there's a little more to it than simply buying a camcorder and setting it up inside your front porch. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Most of us tend to think of security cameras as a way to deter potential burglars, who will be put off breaking into your home if they see that there's a camera watching their every move.
That's not the only benefit they can bring though. If you do suffer the misfortune of being burgled, you've got evidence that you can hand over to the police, potentially aiding their investigation and in turn helping you get back what's been taken from you.
Even capturing relatively benign things like pests coming into your garden or the delivery guy damaging your gate can be helpful from time to time. Ultimately, it can't hurt to know more about what's going on around your home all day when you're at work.
An obvious feature to consider is the camera's outdoor capability. Clearly, if you are planning on installing a camera at your door, it needs to be fully weather-proof and mounted to the wall so that it can't be tampered with or blown off in the wind.
You should also think about whether you want your camera to be on record 24/7 or if you want it to only capture the really important bits. If it's the latter, then you need to get one with a motion sensor, i.e. one that only starts recording when it detects someone (or something) is in its path.
It might sound a bit extreme, but another feature that is becoming increasingly common is a microphone through which you can communicate with someone attempting to break into your home. This allows you to try and deter any invaders by making it known that you are at home and the police are on their way.
Below are some of the best home security cameras currently on the UK market.
Sold by Amazon, the Nest Cam IQ records in crisp 1080p video resolution and can be operated by voice command using Alexa. Two versions are currently available: the indoor one, which costs £128, and the outdoor, which is £153.
Selling for just £109, Netgear's Arlo Q is one of the most reasonably priced cameras on the UK market, meaning you could conceivably install three or four around the home if necessary. It also has two-way audio, meaning you can communicate with trespassers remotely.
While most homeowners will want their security camera to be as conspicuous as possible, some of us would prefer to keep it hidden from view. To this end, the Amazon-sold Ring Video Doorbell 2 is well worth a look. As its name suggests, it's essentially a camera disguised as a doorbell, allowing you to see who is knocking on your door before you've opened it.
The best thing about this camera is that it only records when it detects movements. With the app you can control the camera and the alarm. Quality of footage is average.