Home Security Cameras
We have a number of home security IP cameras around the house to record any activity. This system has successfully caught and been used as evidence to convict someone breaking into a neighbours car.
This post covers how I implement the system and some of the products used.
The heart of the system is a Synology NAS running Surveillance Station. This takes the video feeds from all the cameras and stores it to the NAS. Provides a combined front end to all the cameras that allows you to view and search through all the video feeds from anywhere in the world.
The interface is elegant and very easy to use, providing many features.
- Continuous or triggered recording of video feeds
- Motion detection with many settings.
- Snapshot recordings
- Search through recordings at selected speeds
- Search recordings for motion in defined areas
- Search through recordings via motion events.
- Send notifications on event triggers.
The only down side with this software is the licencing. You get one to two licences (depending on product) when you buy a Synology NAS already installed on the NAS. This allows you to monitor one camera feed, after that you have to buy a licence per camera feed you want to monitor.
WARNING – Shop around, their are many place that sell the licences online but you will find criminally different prices for them. Amazon listings can vary hugely for them over the months, just wait for the price to come down.
Synology Apps – DS cam
Surveillance station comes with supported apps for IOS, Android and PC to allow you to access our security system on these devices. I find IOS DS-CAM on the iPhone and iPad to be most useful, allowing me to check in on home and see if deliveries have been made etc.
This is the first make of camera I bought, they were really competitively priced and did provide an adequate image for the time. They do now have more capable cameras but I don’t buy this brand any longer as their build quality was lacking and they only lasted a year or 2 before I started having problems with them.
This was our first premium camera and at the time it really did deliver a premium video feed. However, Y-CAM have since locked all new cameras to there own cloud based security system which makes them no use for what I want. Our Y-CAM is still working well, powered via POE and monitoring the inside of our garage.
SV3C, Reolink & H.VIEW
These three makes are the newer budget cameras I have bought of late. All are high definition camera’s and provide a wonderfully clear image compared to my lower resolution earlier cameras.
All have them have a simple WEB based interface for setting them up and all link to the Synology system through the standard ONVIF connection.
Each of these cameras (or older versions of them) are giving me trouble free service as I write this post.
IR Night Vision
All the cameras I have installed utilise inbuilt IR illumination to provide night vision capabilities.
These work really well until you get the odd spider building webs across or near the lens. When thy do you just see a very bright shimmering line bouncing around in the image or huge white splodge wandering around.
Its a regular job to go and clear the webs and any spiders away.
Another option is to use external IR illumination, by having the lighting away from the camera you get no IR light being bounced directly back into the camera and thus you maintain a clear image even with webs and the odd spider getting in the way. This is something I have contemplated but just not got around to doing yet.
When I initially started our home surveillance system I utilised WiFi cameras to connect the system together. This proved very troublesome as random drop outs and complete lack of connection would occur due to the other WiFi present around us.
I have now made sure I put the effort in to hard-wiring the cameras or use power-line network adapters where its too difficult to route an Ethernet cable.
Another advantage of hardwired Ethernet is the power for the cameras can also be supplied over these cables by using a POE (Power Over Ethernet) switch’s . I just make sure any new cameras are POE capable which a good proportion now are.
I run a home automation system called Homeseer, this allows, via a plugin, an interface to Synologies surveillance station. This allows me to trigger Taking snapshots on the cameras whenever movements detected on the security lights or when doors open to the house or garage.