Video Surveillance systems - what to consider? Recommendations?

ATCclears

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I'm starting to investigate video-camera systems and thought this would be a good discussion thread for the Forums.

My needs:
- both house and barn
- ideally the wireless signal can span to the barn (say max distance 200')
- some cameras mounted outside (under a roof eave) so needs to tolerate the wet climate
- perhaps 4-6 cameras in total
- possibly IR or night-vision capabilities on a couple of the cameras
- possibly really good image quality on one camera where vehicles would drive up
- ability to record back to a central system
- would be nice to be able to peek at the cameras remotely from my iPhone or iPad

Input or discussion appreciated.

Peter
 
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Just a comment on your last point. If you want the ability to remotely look at your cameras (i.e. connect the system to the internet), any decent hacker will be able to use your own camera system to observe you in your own home. It's not hard to do and it's already happening. If you are really concerned about your privacy, I'd suggest using a wired system that is not connected to the internet.
 
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I'm starting to investigate video-camera systems and thought this would be a good discussion thread for the Forums.

My needs:
- both house and barn
- ideally the wireless signal can span to the barn (say max distance 200')
- some cameras mounted outside (under a roof eave) so needs to tolerate the wet climate
- perhaps 4-6 cameras in total
- possibly IR or night-vision capabilities on a couple of the cameras
- possibly really good image quality on one camera where vehicles would drive up
- ability to record back to a central system
- would be nice to be able to peek at the cameras remotely from my iPhone or iPad

Input or discussion appreciated.

Peter
Lorex makes some decent ones. I use a somewhat basic system it cost right around 120.00 for 2 nv cameras and its wireless. Can run on standard electrical plug or remotely on a 9volt battery. I recommend improvising a dif battery hook up if you go that route due to a 9 volt not lasting long.
 
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I'll second Costco. I like the swann defend and deter system. I believe it was 3 stationary cams and 1 pan/tilt cam for 500 clams. Picture is freakishly clear and has a 500g hard drive that is expandable. Viewing from a mobile device is free and easy. You can also have it send you videos via email when motion is detected. I set mine to send emails for activity in the overnight hours. The concierge service that Costco provides free of charge us priceless if you are the slightest bit unsure if how to set the ip settings. I'm unsure if it will integrate with a wifi camera, but the extension cables are readily available and inexpensive. System will accommodate up to 8 cameras.
 
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Ok... I have a little experience here as this type of security setup i do almost daily for commercial and residential/High density housing.

Let me start by saying, The costco systems are OKAY. They sometimes work, However where you will run into issues will be

1. any type of wireless system: It will not work, take my word for it. You may get it to work, on a sunny day, with no wind or other interference. However as soon as anything. even you walking between it, will cause the system to loose connection and will be useless as you will be fooling with it daily to the point you rip the system out and return it.... I can go into the reasons why the POS optical wireless systems dont work, but im sure you dont really care why, just know that they dont....

2. The camera quality. The Costco lorex, or q-see, or any other cheap brand is just that, a cheap brand. Now if you are using it to monitor your child while they sleep, or so other thing that doesn't matter if the recording is usable or not, then save the money and get the cheap Lorex costco system. HOWEVER. If you are wanting the system to actually use and be useful. you will be greatly disappointed with the image quality on the cameras that come with the cheap systems. The quality is usually either 420 TVL or less, 420 if you are lucky, which will NOT give you a very good picture, and when your trying to identify someone, see the vehicle, etc. after something has happened, you will be PISSED that the camera recordings dont show S**T cause the quality is so bad.....

What i am saying here, is if you are really serious about this, then spend a bit more than what you are looking at with the Costco, Lorex, cheap systems, and you will be much more satisfied....

Additionally: The point of security and being hacked and all that.... While this is somewhat true,. it is also spoken from someone who doesnt understand what they are speaking about....

I work for a Security and IT consulting Firm. we do this all the time. it is what we do... Yes, there is NO system that is full proof unless it is disconnected from any network, however, there are many ways to mitigate the chances of being compromised to the point that your chance is slim to none. however this is also a completely different topic and subsequently thread....

To the OP:
If you want more information on what to look at, and specifically how to deal with your wireless setup needs to span the two buildings, PM me and we can chat offline....

I
 
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Additionally: The point of security and being hacked and all that.... While this is somewhat true,. it is also spoken from someone who doesnt understand what they are speaking about....

I work for a Security and IT consulting Firm. we do this all the time. it is what we do... Yes, there is NO system that is full proof unless it is disconnected from any network, however, there are many ways to mitigate the chances of being compromised to the point that your chance is slim to none. however this is also a completely different topic and subsequently thread....
Since I first brought up the concern of hacking and security, I assume the above was referring to my post. Iceman, I am quite disappointed you are so quick to jump to conclusions and assume I do not understand what's I am talking about. You are not the only person who works with or has IT Security experience and background. I was commenting under the assumption that most users will follow the default installation wizard which may leave their systems vulnerable to unauthorized access. While you mention there are many ways to mitigate the system security weaknesses, I am doubtful most users will do anything beyond what the "quick start installation guide" says. If you want proof, drive through your average neighborhood and scan the wireless network landscape. You will find that few networks are open (completely stupid), but even the locked once are easily penetrable. I am astonished at the number of networks that still rely on WEP encryption (for those unaware WEP can be broken in less than 10mins). WPA encryption is more difficult to penetrate, but still vulnerable. I am sure you are aware given enough determination and resources, any security system can be penetrated if connected to the internet.
 
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Since I first brought up the concern of hacking and security, I assume the above was referring to my post. Iceman, I am quite disappointed you are so quick to jump to conclusions and assume I do not understand what's I am talking about. You are not the only person who works with or has IT Security experience and background. I was commenting under the assumption that most users will follow the default installation wizard which may leave their systems vulnerable to unauthorized access. While you mention there are many ways to mitigate the system security weaknesses, I am doubtful most users will do anything beyond what the "quick start installation guide" says. If you want proof, drive through your average neighborhood and scan the wireless network landscape. You will find that few networks are open (completely stupid), but even the locked once are easily penetrable. I am astonished at the number of networks that still rely on WEP encryption (for those unaware WEP can be broken in less than 10mins). WPA encryption is more difficult to penetrate, but still vulnerable. I am sure you are aware given enough determination and resources, any security system can be penetrated if connected to the internet.
Tunus - You are completely correct on this! i should not have been so quick to assume and for that i apologize.

There are some fairly easy setups that will allow for remote capabilities in a secure manner... Yet, you are also correct, that most go through the "Quick guide" and stop there.

Some systems even come with their own mobile app that uses ssl. Although, for this situation, i would have to recommend an IP system as their is nothing else that will span the buildings without issue...

but as its been said before, anyone with enough time and resources will break through any level of security, however the people with said time and resources, either have something against you in the first place, or is a three letter government agency that probably already has cameras in your bathroom and tracking devices in your shoes...

I
 
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i would say it doesnt matter, hacking really wouldnt do anyone any good or bad.

wireless cameras are bad because they require too much maintenance and have somewhat unreliable connection. if you keep them within half of their rated distance you should be just fine but then whats the point if you are trying to spread them out further. you may as well stick to hard wired cameras unless you are trying to find out which of your kids are taking cash from you wallet while youre in the shower.

keeping hard wired cameras lowers the cost of each camera (which may not matter if you spend too much on cords), no batteries (and no need to spend more on solar charging systems), no loss of connection and you will never have someone hack your system, so long as you never connect it to any open systems.
 

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