Which security monitor is best?
The world is a dangerous place, and having some method of security is practically a requirement. An excellent option is a security monitor system. It can be as simple as a single camera keeping tabs on your front door or as complex as covering every inch of the inside and outside of your home.
The best security monitor system is the Cromorc All-In-One Wireless Security Camera System. It comes with four cameras and can be expanded to up to eight. You can even access the footage from your phone while you’re out of the house.
What to know before you buy a security monitor
Security monitor types
There are three security monitor types.
- Analog: This type connects all cameras via wire to the monitor and a recording device (if it comes with one or you add one later). There are no extra features; this system is just an eye in the sky.
- Internet protocol: Most modern security monitors use your internet connection to sync everything up, whether you connect with a wire or wirelessly. Better monitors of this type offer extra features such as battery backups.
- Smart: The most advanced monitors can integrate with your current smart home setup, and what they see can frequently be accessed from anywhere. These tend to be the most customizable and feature-rich, especially as they go up in price.
Wired vs. wireless connections
Both connection styles have pros and cons.
- Wired connections are the most stable and are especially good for connecting cameras placed far from the system’s core. However, running all the necessary cables throughout your home can be unsightly and make it easier for invaders to locate well-hidden cameras.
- Wireless connections are cleaner and often easier to set up, plus their feeds can frequently be accessed while you’re away from home. The biggest downsides are that the connection can be unstable and that if anything happens to your internet service, your entire monitoring system goes down.
What to look for in a quality security monitor
Unless you want to have hundreds of hours worth of footage of nothing happening, prioritize a system with motion sensing. The best systems even let you fine-tune their sensitivity so a stray animal or rustling tree won’t trigger the camera.
Security monitors are often deterrent enough against criminals, but you can step it up a notch by using a system with an audio response. These systems use cameras with small speakers that play a sound when recording begins. The best even let you record a custom response.
How much you can expect to spend on a security monitor
They can cost as little as $20 or as much as $400-plus. A single camera that connects to your phone shouldn’t cost more than $60. Low-end multi-camera setups typically top out at around $150, with high-end options starting around there.
Security monitor FAQ
Where should I install my security monitor system?
A. The short answer is anywhere that experiences traffic, but there are some spots that are most commonly monitored.
- Entry points: These zones are the most important to watch, as they experience the most traffic. This means every door and window, inside and out.
- Interior sections: Besides entry points, those commonly covered include stairwells, garages and rooms with the most valuables.
- Exterior sections: Once again besides entry points, those commonly covered include front and back yards, driveways and around the sides.
Should I hire a security service instead of using a security monitor system?
A. There are pros and cons for each.
- Security monitor: The main draw of using your own security monitor system is that you control every aspect of it, from what tech you use to how and where it’s placed. That’s also the biggest downside — if anything goes wrong or you don’t set it up correctly, you’re on your own fixing it.
- Security service: The main draw of hiring a security service is that someone is always watching. If anything goes wrong, you and the authorities will be alerted immediately. The biggest downsides are the recurring cost and the fact that you don’t own anything.
What’s the best security monitor to buy?
Top security monitor
What you need to know: This complete package is perfect for any home situation.
What you’ll love: The cameras automatically pair with the monitor system, so setup is as simple as plugging them in. The cameras also have a microphone so you can hear what’s happening near them. The monitor has a 1-terabyte hard drive for storing recordings.
What you should consider: A few consumers had issues with water getting inside exterior cameras. Others had issues connecting to the remote-view phone app.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top security monitor for the money
What you need to know: This smart camera is a good choice for those on a budget.
What you’ll love: The camera’s base is magnetic or can be screwed down, plus it can bend up to 180 degrees so you can get the perfect angle. It can connect to a USB port for power or to an outlet with an included adapter.
What you should consider: There’s no local storage, only cloud storage. Recording can only be triggered by a set alert and can’t be started manually.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This starter kit is excellent for those who use Amazon Alexa.
What you’ll love: It comes with three cameras and Amazon’s smart hub to use as the monitor base. It can also be purchased with one, two or five cameras and without the Echo Show. The cameras have a small profile, making them easy to hide.
What you should consider: A few purchasers had issues balancing the motion detection sensitivity to record consistently without recording excessively. Others found the night vision range too short.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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