A Second Pair of Eyes to Help Keep You Safe
I’ll be honest with you, I’m no technical expert when it comes to security systems but I do have some knowledge of the industry. I used to work for a company that designed, installed and maintained surveillance systems for the retail trade and believe me, I’ve come across some very bizarre footage, but that’s a story for another day.
The main reason I set up this website is that it struck me that people still think a CCTV system is an intrusion of another person’s privacy even though crime is on the rise (regardless of what we’re told). However, there is more to a system like this than just making sure you’re beloved plasma TV doesn’t go missing overnight.
You see a system like this can not only help make sure you deter criminals it can also be a great additional safety measure, especially in the home. Perhaps you’re a parent that works full-time and when the kids get home from school they let themselves into the house? Or, it could be that you have pets and you want to make sure they’re safe when you’re not at home or you just want to see what they get up to.
I happen to think the following surveillance system from Lorex is great for things like this. The particular model I’m going to tell you about is the LH014501C4F Vantage 4-Channel DVR with 4 cameras, and one of the best features it has is you don’t have to be at home in order to know what’s going on.
Although the DVR is what you might call the “heart” of a surveillance system, it wouldn’t be anything without the cameras, so that’s where this review is going to start. As mentioned, you get 4 included with the price and they can be used both outdoors and indoors.
What you do have to remember is they’re not wireless, which for some of you is a benefit because there is less chance of interference. They come with lengthy cables so it’s relatively easy to install them, however, I would recommend you think about putting some extra protection around the cables once they’re in place. This isn’t because of deterioration issues, it’s just that they can be seen which makes it easier for thieves to cut them. So think about covering them up.
They have the capability (due to infra-red) of recording during both night and day, and have been designed so that when light levels fall the cameras switch from color to black and white. One thing I would like to point out here is the manufacturer states you will be able to see up to 40 feet when it’s dark. However, I have done my research and found this to be unlikely. Instead expect to be able to notice that “something” is where it shouldn’t be.
Real Time and Remote Viewing
This is where I think the manufacturer has got it right. It’s possible to view footage on more than one monitor at a time, so if you are thinking about using this CCTV system in, say, a store you can have monitors at the counter as well as the back office. For the home, this means it doesn’t matter if you’re upstairs or down you can still check to see what’s going on.
When you’re away from the home this surveillance system will allow you to see what’s going on over the internet via various tablets or smartphones (you will have to download an app). That said it doesn’t matter if you’re a few minutes away or on the other side of the world, you can still see what the cameras are recording.
You also have the option to receive email snapshots of any activity that’s detected which is an added safety measure since you don’t have to check back all the time, the system will do this for you! Of course all of this will need to be networked when you first set the system up, and unless you work in the IT industry, I suggest you save on the blood pressure pills and have someone set it up for you.
The Hard Drive
Lorex refers to their “DVR” as the surveillance hard drive or “black box” and this has a 500GB memory with the option to expand to 2TB. H.264 compression technology is also used so if you intend to monitor 24/7, the data recorded won’t take up too much space.
I will say this. If you’re looking for a CCTV system that gives high resolution images both night and day, you’re probably looking at the wrong product (this one for instance is better suited for that job). However, if you live in a relatively crime free area and are just looking for something that will allow you to make sure the kids got home from school safely without being at home, or you want to find out who (or what) keeps spreading your trash all over the lawn, this system is the answer.
As you will see at Amazon, the price does reflect the fact this isn’t a “high end” surveillance system but it is a reliable way of making sure your home and what’s inside it is safe 24/7, no matter where you are.
- Lorex LH014501C4F Vantage 4-Channel DVR Indoor/Outdoor Security System with 4 Security Cameras (Black)