security cameras

How can I record a month's worth of security video?

Episode 1410

Mike from Fremont, CA
Swann Security Camera

Mike has a Swan surveillance camera with a hard drive recording option that archives for seven days before it loops around. He'd like to expand that to a month. Can he? Leo says he might be able to with a larger hard drive, but it may be specially locked down to prevent upgrading or hacking it to his liking. It largely depends on the DVR.

Is there a security camera that doesn't rely on Wi-Fi?

Episode 1383

Tom from Mesquite, TX
Xiaomi Yi Cam

Tom has a neighbor who uses a security camera for his apartment, but they don't have internet access to monitor it. How can he create a local recording option to an SD card? Leo says that's going to be a challenge, having to collect SD cards every day. A closed circuit TV option may be a better choice, but setting up a local Wi-Fi network and recording to a computer will also work. He'll just have the cameras join an adhoc network and record to an old PC. Or he can buy several SD card based security cameras and stick them everywhere.

Are internet enabled security cameras secure?

Episode 1380

Tom from Madison, WI
Google Nest Cam

Tom wants to add a security camera to his home. He wants to know which one to get and how secure they are. Can they be hacked? Leo says that there's a lot of concern over the "internet of things," which includes cameras. They don't get updated very often. Foscam made cameras that were easily hackable, so Leo suggests not getting them. He won't want to get the low end, off brand stuff either. It won't be secure.

Is there a security camera that doesn't require internet to access remotely?

Episode 1367

Alan from Desert Hot Springs, CA
NetGear Arlo Pro

Alan has cancelled his home internet access. Can he still access his security cameras? Leo says not if they require internet access. NetGear's Arlo Pro supports LTE and has built in batteries, though. Alan will need a service plan either way. Getting home internet may be cheaper.

What camera should I get to monitor my elderly mother?

Episode 1355

Ron from Charlotte, NC
Nest Cam

Ron's mother in law is 89 and he wants to be able to put a camera in her home to check on her from time to time. Leo says that a lot of security cameras can be connected to the internet for that purpose, but there are privacy issues. There is a company out there that monitors ancilliary things like refrigerators, and other internet connected devices to know what she's doing. Ron's mom would need to wear a special watch for that to work.

How can I edit security camera videos?

Episode 1315

Paul from Culver City, CA
Nest Camera

Paul is looking for an HD security camera, where he could save and then edit the videos. Leo says the Google Nest cameras are good for that. They are very high resolution, but they use a lot of bandwidth upstream - 1 Mbps per camera. That could kill his internet in some cases. He may also have to pay for offline recording. He'll be able to download the video and edit it, though. That's probably the easiest way. Otherwise he'd have to wire the cameras to his computer and capture it directly.

What's a good home security camera?

Episode 1309

Chris from Woodland Hills, CA
Nest cam

Chris has a few security systems with cameras and the alarm monitor (ADT) is obsoleting them. So he'll have to get new cameras for his system. Leo recommends decoupling the camera from the service and do the camera setup himself. The Nest cam works with Wi-Fi and they have their own cloud based storage. The cameras aren't cheap, but they're probably cheaper than ADT. Ring has one that's solar powered called the Stick Up cam.

What are the best battery powered security cameras?

Episode 1282

Daniel from Las Vegas, NV
Netgear VueZone Wire-free Video Monitoring System

Daniel wants to know about wireless home security cameras. He's looking for a good 5GHz camera that can be battery powered. Leo says that battery powered cameras aren't always on -- they use motion detection.

NetGear's VueZone is a good brand. 5GHz, on the other hand, isn't as good as 2.4GHz, even though it's less congested. The higher you go in frequency, the more likely the signal will bounce around and get interference. The batteries do last for a year in those cameras, though.

How can I use my iPhone for home security?

Episode 1272

Bill from San Juan, Puerto Rico
Manything Home Security Webcam

Bill's boat batteries are almost dead. He'd love to find a way to be notified when his batteries drop below 10 volts so he can go charge them. Is there any way he can use an old phone that can send him a text with a picture every so often? This could be done with time lapse, or a camera app that could do it. The phone has to stay on as well. It may just be easier to use a webcam.

How can I get the perfect length of cable for my security cameras?

Episode 1251

David from Laguna Nigel, CA
Nest Cam

David wants to install some security cameras, but he doesn't want to pay for a cable length he doesn't need. How can he do that? Leo suggests going with a wireless camera setup. If he wants to create cables, instead of buying cables that are too long or short, he can build his own with attachments and a few key tools. But wireless is the way to go and most cameras use that. Axis has good wired cameras. Nest cameras are good for wireless.