Having the best smart security camera means you can protect and monitor your premises, be alerted to intruders, greet visitors, and gain peace of mind while you’re away from home. But if you’re making these common mistakes with your smart security, you’re not getting your money’s worth from your device and you’re not looking after your home properly, either.
Depending on the brand and style of smart security camera that you choose, the manufacturer will provide you with in depth instructions, from installation and placement, to set-up and use. But even if you follow the manual to the letter, there are a few things you might not have thought about while you were installing your device and while you’re using it months or years later.
To help you better protect your home and keep your device secure, here are 5 common smart security camera mistakes you’re making… and how to fix them.
1. Installing your camera in the wrong spot
When installing your camera, it’s important that you put it in the right place so you can see everything that goes on outside or around your home. While this might sound obvious, you’d be surprised how easy it is to set up your camera incorrectly.
Firstly, if you’ve attempted to hide your camera from potential intruders, chances are you might have hidden it too discreetly, meaning it has blind spots or is too far away from the action. Secondly, when setting up your camera outdoors, tree branches, quick-growing plants and decorations that you put up during the holidays can obstruct your view. Not only can you not see what’s going on, but you’ll have to move your camera around for a better view, meaning you might have to reinstall it again. Finally, you can limit your field of view and risk your camera getting stolen or damaged by installing it too high or too low.
To avoid these mishaps, stick to the most common spots to put your camera. If you’re installing an outdoor security camera, the front, back or side doors and your driveway are the best locations and if you’ve got an indoor security camera, place it in your most used room.
2. Not considering your Wi-Fi connection
If you’re opting for a wireless security camera, you need to consider your Wi-Fi connection. When buying a security camera, it’s important to check its frequency as not all cameras will work on the same frequency as your router so it won’t be able to connect to the internet… meaning you can’t really use it.
If you do have the best wireless router at your disposal and it's compatible with your security camera, then you also need to consider the distance between your router and camera. If your camera is at the very edge of your Wi-Fi reach, the connection won’t be as strong which can affect the image quality and make it hard to use certain features, like recording or two-way audio. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to consider moving your Wi-Fi and camera closer together or getting an extender.
3. Putting off installing updates
Just like your phone or laptop, your smart security camera needs to be updated regularly. While this might take a while or seem like a faff, it’s vital that you update your camera and its app when they need to be. These updates provide new security measures, extra protection, fun features and better usability. The only annoying thing about this (and probably the main reason people put off or forget to update their security camera) is because automatic updates might be switched off as a default setting. Make sure to check your camera’s settings in your app and if possible, set updates to run automatically. If this isn’t possible, set a reminder to check in every now and again on the app to see if any updates are needed.
4. Forgetting to change your password
To prevent your security camera being hacked, it’s important to change the default password as soon as possible. When you install your smart security camera, it’ll come with a default username and password which you should change as quickly as you can to a unique password to prevent potential hacking. Security experts recommend that you should update all your passwords every few months so keep this in mind with your smart security camera, especially if you’re worried about your footage or features being hacked.
When buying a smart security camera, try to pick one that has two-factor authentication and encryption. These extra layers of protection improves your devices’ security, dissuades hackers and can help you feel more at ease when you’re out and about.
5. Not investing in the right accessories
Not investing in accessories for your smart security camera can be a mistake when it comes to setting up your device and using it over time. In terms of installation, if you don’t have the right accessories or tools to get your camera working, what could take a couple hours could end up taking several days. Make a checklist of what you need, like screws, wiring, recharging stations, batteries, cloud storage and more, and try to have all these items at your disposal before you start installing.
Regardless of the brand or style of security camera that you choose, there will always be a flash accessory to go along with it. Now, you don’t need to buy any accessories for your camera if you don’t want to but some accessories are worth considering if you want extra protection. For example, if you want better lighting and want to scare intruders, consider investing in a spotlight or siren if your camera doesn’t have them (or pick a device like the Arlo Pro 5 which comes with these features built-in).