How to Use Your Home Security Cameras Better

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Last Updated on October 10, 2021

4 Easy Steps To Use Your Home Security Cameras Better

A home security camera can let you know when your kids come back from school, if your dog sleeps on the couch, and if someone is pilfering your packages.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of cameras are complex and unable to perform all of those wonderful functions right out of the box. 

In order to determine which settings work best for you, you’ll have to adjust them according to your home and preferences. The cloud storage alone makes some of these tweaks worth the subscription cost. 

The following tips will help you adjust your security camera settings so they work more effectively for you when you find that your devices are recording too much, too little, or nothing at all.

  1. Adjust the motion sensitivity

What it does: Motion sensitivities tell your camera how much information it records when an object passes in front of it, so you can adjust how much or how little it records.

Why it’s smart: Using Motion Sensitivity for your smartphone will significantly reduce the number of unnecessary notifications you receive. Besides that, you’ll have less storage space for your recordings if you rely on a microSD card for local storage, which can fill up quickly.

How to do it: In some cameras, motion sensitivities are under the Settings menu, but they may be called different names by different brands. According to Wyze Cam v2, these controls are called Motion Detection Sensitivity and Sound Detection Sensitivity and are kept in the Detection Settings section. 

They are adjustable via an on-screen slider that you can move your finger along. Typically, you will get fewer recordings when the sensitivity is low (though you may not be able to hear recordings if you go too low). 

Located under the category Motion Detection within the Settings menu on the device, this control can be accessed.

      2. Enable the smart objects detection feature

What it does: Smart Object Detection allows cameras to differentiate between people and other objects, such as trees, cars, pets, and insects.

Why it’s smart: You can set the motion sensor to only alert you to certain objects and not simply random objects. This means you won’t get notified every time a moth flies by your camera.

How to do it: Some companies, such as Google Nest and Arlo, offer this AI-based feature in conjunction with a cloud storage program.

With the Eufy 2K Indoor Cam (our top indoor camera picks), you don’t have to pay any extra fees for its motion-detection features, which detect people, pets, and even sounds such as crying. 

Choose the motions you want to track under the Settings menu, and then select the notifications you’d like to receive from the Notification setting.

     3. Establish activity zones

What it does: When you select an Activity Zone, your camera will focus on a specific area, whether it’s right outside your door, behind the couch, or near the counter.

Why it’s smart: You can use Motion Sensitivity control to adjust how responsive a camera is to motion. Activity Zones, on the other hand, allow you to specify specific areas in your camera’s view that you want to be ignored or focused on. 

In this way, you don’t get inundated with notifications, and you aren’t blindsided by the activity you want to see. If you want to focus your doorbell camera on the walkway and disregard the tree nearby with the bird feeder, you can do so.

How to do it: By using the app, you can see what your camera sees, mark only the area you wish to study, and then ignore other areas. 

There are companies (such as Eufy and Wyze) that offer Activity Zones for free and others (such as Google Nest and Arlo) that allow this only after you pay a subscription fee. 

With the Arlo Video Doorbell, subscribers of the Arlo Smart service can use Activity Zones to focus on a particular area. You can customize your camera by selecting Activity Zones under the Settings button, and then by clicking the plus (+) sign at the upper right-hand corner. Using the zone on-screen, you can drag the corners to highlight the areas you would like to cover.

     4. Take advantage of continuous recording

What it does: By creating continuous recordings, you won’t miss a millisecond of activity between motion-triggered recordings.

Why it’s smart: While some cameras offer 24-hour recording, which means the camera is always recording, so you can go back and look at old footage anytime you like. The majority of cameras only record when they first detect motion, and then they divide those events into smaller, more manageable clips. 

Since some cameras have a “reset” period after capturing a clip (by breaking the recording cycle), you will potentially miss some of the action. Therefore, you should always look for a camera with continuous recording capabilities. 

In cases where motion continues for a certain amount of time, typically 30 seconds to five minutes, the video camera with this feature can create a new clip and continue the action with no interruption.

How to do it: Think carefully before making a decision! The best cameras provide continuous recording capabilities, as well as a 24/7 recording option, so you’ll never miss an important moment. 

As part of the Nest Aware Plus tier, Google Nest offers 24/7 recording as part of its paid subscription. Companies like Eufy and Wyze enable this by recording to the microSD card inside the camera (known as “local” storage).

While 24/7 isn’t a cure-all, it does come with some drawbacks, including having to deal with a limited amount of video storage, worrying about your memory card being stolen, and possibly exceeding your provider’s data or bandwidth limits.

FAQ:

1. Do security cameras use a lot of WiFi?

For Wi-Fi cameras to stream and record video, you have to connect them to the cloud, which can consume a lot of bandwidth and data.

2. How do you prevent false alarms with security cameras?

  1. Make sure you know your codes. It is the most important part.
  2. Protect the system from animals by using volumetric sensors that do not activate if light bodies are present. 
  3. Volumetric detectors must be calibrated correctly in order not to yield false positives.
  4. Protect the access points. By doing this, we avoid activating open door detectors if external factors open them.
  5. If the batteries are running low, replace them. In many cases, batteries that are about to run out cause false alarms.
  6. The prevention of false alarms depends on taking care of malfunctioning equipment and performing routine maintenance.

Olivia Bouler

From a young age, camera's fascinated me. My dad gave me my first Canon when I was seven, and since then I've tried to improve my craft. As a young Ornithologist and photographer, I travel a lot and love to bring a camera with me. I love the feeling of capturing a moment that can never be repeated and providing someone with a memento of a time or place.