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Catching a Burglar on a Security Camera Doesn’t Have to Mean Expensive CCTV

Buying security systems for home and business is like having an insurance policy. It gives peace of mind, and from time to time we are very happy to purchase this insurance! So it was encouraging to see a video released by Nottinghamshire Police, UK police, very clearly showing a burglar climbing through a window into a student’s bedroom and exiting with a laptop. Having such evidence, very soon the thief will be found and brought to justice. We know that CCTV can really well detect and track robbers, but traditional CCTV is too expensive for most of us, and real-time warning is rare. We could ask the emergency center to watch the video for us 24/7, but it’s even more so.

Now the market has inexpensive, more convenient and flexible alternatives to traditional video surveillance. They allow real-time monitoring with personal alerts and are much cheaper than a traditional CCTV system or a controlled alarm system. This new category of connected security alarm devices immediately alerts owners to intrusion via SMS or email sent directly to a mobile phone. Some also have built-in motion detection and night vision, allowing them to send photos and record videos as soon as their motion sensors are triggered, both day and night.

Related security with the ability to visually observe and record is mostly available in two forms: 1) Internet-connected devices for video or 2) GSM/MMS mobile device for photos.

Internet-connected devices are well-suited to monitoring and security in an area where broadband wireless connectivity is available. Network IP video cameras are now very economical and can be connected to high-speed routers either via Ethernet or WiFi. Most network cameras have built-in web servers, which means they don’t need to be connected to a working computer before they can be used, as in the case of webcams. Network cameras can be connected directly to high-speed DSL or cable routers or modems. And because they’re connected to the Internet, users can view photos from their camera at any time by simply entering a password-protected IP/network camera URL in the internet-connected PC or computer browser. “A suitable mobile phone. So wherever the camera owner is, he can check if everything’s okay. As the price of network cameras drops, they are used for more home applications, such as child surveillance. Some network cameras have a microphone so parents can listen and see their children in the dark using a night vision camera. Some network cameras also have built-in SD card storage, which means that motion video can be stored in a camera when there is no Internet connection.

If video in a controlled zone is undesirable, there are now signal cameras connected to GSM/MMS on the market. These devices have built-in mobile network modules and communicate with users on mobile networks. Many also have built-in PIR and infrared heat/motion sensors, allowing them to take pictures day and night when the alarm is triggered and send text messages and MMS photos directly to the user’s mobile phone. The user can remotely control and turn off the security camera simply by sending them text messages from their mobile phone.

Returning to the aforementioned robbery in the dorm room, it would be forbidden to place CCTV cameras in every dorm room. However, newer security devices connected to the Internet and mobile networks are much cheaper than traditional video surveillance systems. So now students and other people who can’t afford the CCTV system can get CCTV for their room, home or office. In the event of a break-in or attempted break-in they will be immediately notified and will probably have the video and photo of the person who hacked and infiltrated! This is a big step forward for consumers and something new for burglars. Most of these connected security devices can be programmed to make calls, text messages, or emails to a few people, such as friends, family, or neighbors who may be near a room or home. They can determine if there is a problem, long before a security guard from a security alarm company arrives at the scene.

So, good news for consumers and bad news for hackers, as more and more of these Internet-connected and mobile security devices appear on the market. Protecting what is important is now much easier and cheaper than ever.

Copyright © 2010 Andrew Carver

Andrew Carver is an experienced executive advisor in the telecommunications and security markets with a special interest in “connected security,” including alarm devices and security cameras that can be remotely monitored and controlled from almost anywhere using cell phones or the Internet.

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