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Basics of an Outdoor Security Camera

Updated on December 18, 2010

Many times, when a home is burglarized, the intruder is familiar with the layout of the home and the schedule the homeowner keeps. They want to make sure they know when they can be uninterrupted in their task as well as the quickest way in and out. One of the surest ways to deter a potential intruder, and help provide your family additional safety, is to install a home outdoor security camera. When they see the camera, they will be much less likely to even attempt a break-in – knowing they can move on to another home that is not protected in such a way.

Types of Outdoor Security Cameras

For outdoor use, you will want to use a weatherproof security camera or, at very least, install your camera in an outdoor housing – which is container that you will install your camera inside. They can definitely add to the bulk of the unit though, so a weatherproof camera might be the most aesthetic option.

Another great option to consider is a motion activated security camera. If the camera will be installed in an area outside your home that typically sees little movement, these can help cut down on wasted recording time when nothing is happening. Be aware though – if you install the camera facing the street outside your home, it is possible that the motion activated camera will continually be ‘activated’ by cars driving by.

Some cameras come with built-in DVR (Digital Video Recorder) capabilities. These cameras are a great option for those who do not wish to install an entire video surveillance system. Normally, these cameras are motion activated and can record directly do a removable memory card.

A wireless outdoor security camera is another option to consider if the camera might be installed in a location that will not easily allow installation of cables and wiring.

Of course, if your budget is extremely tight right now, even a fake outdoor security camera would be a wise choice until you can afford to purchase a real one.  These cameras are made to look identical to a real functioning camera, and it is therefore almost impossible for an intruder to detect that it is not real.

Outdoor Security Camera Costs

The cost of outdoor security camera systems will vary greatly depending on the type of camera or system you elect to install. If you already have a system installed and are simply looking to supplement what you have, you can expect to pay a lot less – typically, under $100 (US). If you are looking for an entire surveillance system, including cameras, a recording device, and cabling, you should expect to pay $500 and up (assuming you install the equipment yourself).

A great option for most homeowners looking for something simple to install and easy to use, would be the motion detecting variety with onboard recording. These will generally cost around $150 and up and are extremely easy to install and use. Discount security cameras can be found online with a little research.

An outdoor wireless security camera will start at around $100 for a decent camera, and up from there.  The cost will vary depending on how far you need the signal to carry from the camera to the receiver.

Piece of Mind

Having an outdoor security camera is an easy way to help deter a potential intruder.  The interesting thing about having an outdoor camera is that you may never record an intruder, leading you to wonder if it was worth it – but, what you won’t know is how many potential burglars have passed on your home simply because they saw the camera.  Piece of mind like that is priceless!


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