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Help: Advice on Security Camera System

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[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
124 posts
40 upvotes
Toronto

Help: Advice on Security Camera System

Dear RFDers,

Really appreciated if you can give me some advice on selecting the home security system / security cameras.

Security Camera - there are 2 options I am thinking
1. Traditional brands like Hikvision or Swann
2. Cloud based cameras like Ring or Nest
The price tag on both options seem to be close, as I probably still need to hire someone to help me with the installation.

I am leaning more towards Ring cameras because I am also interested in getting their security alarm system. However, paying a monthly subscription fee still feels sucks, and I also heard the connection may not be as reliable as those connected by internet cables.

Also, if I get a Ring doorbell installed, do I still need to install a camera on top of my front door?

Any advice will be much appreciated!
16 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 5, 2007
1398 posts
129 upvotes
Toronto
If you get the Ring alarm system, the paid monitoring service will also cover the cost of the cloud video storage. As for connection reliability, I haven't had any issues and really depends on your wifi setup. I do have the Ring doorbell as well as separate cameras and alarm system.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33307 posts
7007 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Go with a traditional wired system (HikVision, LTS, Galaxy etc). Stay away from the cloud, stay away from wireless

There is nothing wrong with them. I just don't like someone potentially having access to my house (cloud) and wireless will never be as reliable as a wired system.

If you want a security system, get a DSC and if you don't want to pay for monitoring, you can self monitor with an Envisalink board.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 26, 2005
9984 posts
1869 upvotes
Toronto
And connecting to the Ring doorbell or cameras to see live view is pretty slow. Sometimes a blank page comes up on live view.

All depends on your wifi speed, and your smartphone data speed and signal.

By the time I answer my ring doorbell live view, the person already gave up and walked away.

I assume wired systems are faster?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 5, 2007
1398 posts
129 upvotes
Toronto
rfdrfd wrote: And connecting to the Ring doorbell or cameras to see live view is pretty slow. Sometimes a blank page comes up on live view.

All depends on your wifi speed, and your smartphone data speed and signal.

By the time I answer my ring doorbell live view, the person already gave up and walked away.

I assume wired systems are faster?
If you frequently have issues with live view, try the rapid Ring app.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ing.answer
Sr. Member
Sep 30, 2004
714 posts
111 upvotes
Markham
Ever thought of Alro?

Their systems are easy to install, you won't need to hire anyone. Plus they have free 7 day colour storage for the recordings when triggered by motion.

They do have a paid version for 24/7 recoding I believe on the newer models.

The thing with hardwired ones is that if doesn't trigger notifications. I could be wrong but all the people of I know that have it hardwired doesn't have notification.

Ring has also been in the news a lot lately regarding cameras getting hacked.
Member
Aug 23, 2014
347 posts
147 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
No.6 wrote: Dear RFDers,

Really appreciated if you can give me some advice on selecting the home security system / security cameras.

Security Camera - there are 2 options I am thinking
1. Traditional brands like Hikvision or Swann
2. Cloud based cameras like Ring or Nest
The price tag on both options seem to be close, as I probably still need to hire someone to help me with the installation.

I am leaning more towards Ring cameras because I am also interested in getting their security alarm system. However, paying a monthly subscription fee still feels sucks, and I also heard the connection may not be as reliable as those connected by internet cables.

Also, if I get a Ring doorbell installed, do I still need to install a camera on top of my front door?

Any advice will be much appreciated!
If you have a Ring/Nest doorbell installed on your front door then that will serve as your camera for the front door.

Most burglars enter through the front door or backdoor, so you might want to secure those two areas first. This is what I did - I installed a Nest doorbell (much better reviews than Ring) in my front door area, then installed a Swann floodlight camera combo in my backyard (cheaper than Ring and no monthly subscription required). I have had no issues at all with lag or slow response for either products. I live in a 2000sf house, Bell fibe service 50mpbs/10mbps, so YMMV.

My next step is to install a camera covering my driveway.

Btw, it was all DIY, not that hard to do - and I’m not handy. Total cost so far - $220 for Nest Video Doorbell, $170 for Swann floodlight camera combo, plus taxes. Both on sale at Best Buy.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 30, 2005
3462 posts
601 upvotes
Hamilton
Gee wrote: Go with a traditional wired system (HikVision, LTS, Galaxy etc). Stay away from the cloud, stay away from wireless

There is nothing wrong with them. I just don't like someone potentially having access to my house (cloud) and wireless will never be as reliable as a wired system.

If you want a security system, get a DSC and if you don't want to pay for monitoring, you can self monitor with an Envisalink board.
You seem pretty knowledge and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but can you somehow replace a pre wired security system with something a little more up to date? My 15 year old home has all of the doors and windows prewired with sensors plus motion detectors that I don't use and is laying dormant. It says its a Voxcom system. Is there anyway I can replace this board with something more modern and utilizes all of these devices I already have?
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Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12160 posts
6702 upvotes
Brampton
adblink182 wrote: You seem pretty knowledge and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but can you somehow replace a pre wired security system with something a little more up to date? My 15 year old home has all of the doors and windows prewired with sensors plus motion detectors that I don't use and is laying dormant. It says its a Voxcom system. Is there anyway I can replace this board with something more modern and utilizes all of these devices I already have?
Envisalink 4.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33307 posts
7007 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
adblink182 wrote: You seem pretty knowledge and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but can you somehow replace a pre wired security system with something a little more up to date? My 15 year old home has all of the doors and windows prewired with sensors plus motion detectors that I don't use and is laying dormant. It says its a Voxcom system. Is there anyway I can replace this board with something more modern and utilizes all of these devices I already have?
Motion sensors, window and door sensors are generic.

Depending on how many zones you have, you can easily replace the control board. Here is a link for an 8 zone control board, they also have 16 zones etc.

https://www.aartech.ca/pc5208-dsc.html

Once you do that, you can replace your keypad

https://www.aartech.ca/pk5500ENG-dsc-fu ... eypad.html

Finally, take @tebore advice and get an Envisalink 4. It acts as a virtual keypad providing you an ethernet connection that allows you to connect your alarm to your network. Once you do that, you can setup home automation and remotely monitor and control your alarm system. The Envisalink 4 only supports DSC and Honeywell systems.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
124 posts
40 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks a lot for the advice!
Did you replace your backyard light with the Swann floodlight camera combo, or just install the Swann floodlight camera combo in a new position?
would you need to keep 2 apps (1 for nest and 1 for swann)?
one thing i dont like with these cloud companies is that you are kind of locked with their ecosystem.
:(
Jedi14 wrote: If you have a Ring/Nest doorbell installed on your front door then that will serve as your camera for the front door.

Most burglars enter through the front door or backdoor, so you might want to secure those two areas first. This is what I did - I installed a Nest doorbell (much better reviews than Ring) in my front door area, then installed a Swann floodlight camera combo in my backyard (cheaper than Ring and no monthly subscription required). I have had no issues at all with lag or slow response for either products. I live in a 2000sf house, Bell fibe service 50mpbs/10mbps, so YMMV.

My next step is to install a camera covering my driveway.

Btw, it was all DIY, not that hard to do - and I’m not handy. Total cost so far - $220 for Nest Video Doorbell, $170 for Swann floodlight camera combo, plus taxes. Both on sale at Best Buy.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
124 posts
40 upvotes
Toronto
I think Ring also has something similar to convert the old system.
check this out
https://shop.ring.com/collections/acces ... -alarm-kit

adblink182 wrote: You seem pretty knowledge and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but can you somehow replace a pre wired security system with something a little more up to date? My 15 year old home has all of the doors and windows prewired with sensors plus motion detectors that I don't use and is laying dormant. It says its a Voxcom system. Is there anyway I can replace this board with something more modern and utilizes all of these devices I already have?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
124 posts
40 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks! I think Arlo cameras are a bit more expensive, and also heard their recording quality is not that great...
saw_mui wrote: Ever thought of Alro?

Their systems are easy to install, you won't need to hire anyone. Plus they have free 7 day colour storage for the recordings when triggered by motion.

They do have a paid version for 24/7 recoding I believe on the newer models.

The thing with hardwired ones is that if doesn't trigger notifications. I could be wrong but all the people of I know that have it hardwired doesn't have notification.

Ring has also been in the news a lot lately regarding cameras getting hacked.
Member
Aug 23, 2014
347 posts
147 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
No.6 wrote: Thanks a lot for the advice!
Did you replace your backyard light with the Swann floodlight camera combo, or just install the Swann floodlight camera combo in a new position?
would you need to keep 2 apps (1 for nest and 1 for swann)?
one thing i dont like with these cloud companies is that you are kind of locked with their ecosystem.
:(
I replaced my old porch light with the Swann floodlight/camera combo as I did not want to wire a new fixture or plug into an outlet. I chose Swann over the Ring floodlight combo for a few reasons - no subscription fee, dimmable light, less cost but still made by a known manufacturer.

Each solution has its own app. But it’s not a big deal, the apps are easy to learn. I get notified on my phone everytime each device detects motion.

I actually added my third camera this morning, for my driveway :). This time I bought a Blink xt2 (owned by Amazon). I wanted a battery-powered one as I have no power source in that area of my house. I plan to arm it only during the night so should be fine for what I want to use it for. It’s $95 now and you get a free Echo, at Best Buy and Amazon.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
124 posts
40 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks Jedi!
How is the picture quality of Blink xt2, comparing to other cameras you have?
I heard some people have concerns over the battery cameras, as the battery will die quickly in our cold winter. Did you find it to be an issue?
Thanks again for your response.
Jedi14 wrote: I replaced my old porch light with the Swann floodlight/camera combo as I did not want to wire a new fixture or plug into an outlet. I chose Swann over the Ring floodlight combo for a few reasons - no subscription fee, dimmable light, less cost but still made by a known manufacturer.

Each solution has its own app. But it’s not a big deal, the apps are easy to learn. I get notified on my phone everytime each device detects motion.

I actually added my third camera this morning, for my driveway :). This time I bought a Blink xt2 (owned by Amazon). I wanted a battery-powered one as I have no power source in that area of my house. I plan to arm it only during the night so should be fine for what I want to use it for. It’s $95 now and you get a free Echo, at Best Buy and Amazon.
Member
Aug 23, 2014
347 posts
147 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
No.6 wrote: Thanks Jedi!
How is the picture quality of Blink xt2, comparing to other cameras you have?
I heard some people have concerns over the battery cameras, as the battery will die quickly in our cold winter. Did you find it to be an issue?
Thanks again for your response.
I haven’t played around with the camera settings. Out of the box, the Nest seem to have a bit of an edge. The Nest also has a bit of an edge in terms of response time and stability of the app (less hanging etc).

Blink claims up to 2 years, but that would depend on where you are installing it. I would not recommend it in a high activity area like a front door. I have it installed on my driveway and will only be armed from midnight to 6am so it should last me a while.

For the front door, I would highly recommend Nest. It’s fast and reliable, plus it has some other nice features like the ability to answer the door with a canned reponse.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33307 posts
7007 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
saw_mui wrote: Ever thought of Alro?

Their systems are easy to install, you won't need to hire anyone. Plus they have free 7 day colour storage for the recordings when triggered by motion.

They do have a paid version for 24/7 recoding I believe on the newer models.

The thing with hardwired ones is that if doesn't trigger notifications. I could be wrong but all the people of I know that have it hardwired doesn't have notification.

Ring has also been in the news a lot lately regarding cameras getting hacked.
If you have home automation setup, you can trigger notifications.

Ring has been in the news. What makes you think Arlo is immune to attacks? Hard wired is considerably more safe. Chances of attack are considerably less to non existent.

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