How to Use a Trail Camera for Security | Better Safe than Sorry
Game or trail cameras are often used by hunters who want to monitor wildlife activity in a certain area. Wireless game cameras Wireless game cameras are great tools for hunters who want to save time, money, and resources. Sure, they can be used to monitor game activity, but did you know that they can also be used for home and property security? If you’re interested, this article will teach you how to use a trail camera for security.
- How to Use a Trail Camera for Security
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trail Camera for Security
- The Best Trail Cameras for Home Security
How to Use a Trail Camera for Security
This is a short tutorial that will give you a run-down on the steps and tips to use a trail camera for security. Hopefully, this will provide you with the basic knowledge of what you need to know on how to set up and use your trail camera.
Select an appropriate trail camera
Some trail cameras work better for hunting while some work better for home security. We are aiming towards the latter, but if you want to use a trail camera for the dual purpose of being a trail camera for hunting and a security device, then feel free to do so since all trail cameras perform basically the same functions.
In this article, we’re going to highlight the best wireless trail cameras for security use. Refer to the section below for the top recommendations.
Place your camera in a strategic location
A trail camera for security should be placed in strategic locations. Unlike animals, possible intruders and thieves would see a camera if you put it in an obvious place. There is a possibility that they would see it if you put in within their line of sight.
Security trail cameras should be placed at an angle so they cannot be easily seen by intruders. Examples are the roof, near the gutters, a pole or post, or any other location that would not be in the direct line of sight of a person.
Moreover, you should place your camera away from a direct source of light, because light can cause a lens flare and render your pictures/video useless. Another good tip is to purchase a security box made for a trail camera. They are readily available on Amazon and can be used to keep your camera safely locked. This is an additional security measure in case the intruder sees your camera.
Hook it up to your network
Wireless and cellular trail cameras are convenient to use. Wireless cameras are hooked up to a WiFi connection so it can send you pictures in real-time. Cellular cameras, on the other hand, are connected to a cellular network provider such as AT&T or Verizon.
In the case of a trail camera for security purposes, you can use your home WiFi to connect the camera to a network. This will allow it to send you pictures whenever the motion sensors detect something in your property. However, trail cameras cannot send you pictures if it is outside the WiFi range.
Some trail cameras are programmable so you can set up the time frames in which it is activated. For example, if you want to have surveillance only at night time when everybody’s asleep, you can set up your trail camera to take pictures between 8 PM-6 AM only. This will do away with the unnecessary pictures of you and your family going in and out of the house.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trail Camera for Security
Since we are talking about wireless cameras, we don’t need to worry about checking the camera’s SD card to procure pictures. This type of camera already sends us emails of the pictures it took whenever it detects something within its range. However, there are still several factors that we need to consider when choosing a trail camera for security purposes.
Different trail cameras have varying detection ranges. If you have a bigger property, you should select a trail camera for security that has a wider detection range so it can take pictures even if a criminal is far away from the camera.
Always check the motion sensor first when it comes to buying any trail cameras. Try stepping onto the detection range and test whether the cameras shoot anything. If not, then ask for an exchange or even a refund.
Nowadays, many cameras come with both infrared and thermal sensors to detect and take pictures faster.
Quality of pictures
Generally, wireless trail cameras produce better pictures than a regular CCTV camera which is all grainy. Even cheap trail cameras have a camera quality that is up to par. From experience, a trail camera with an 8-megapixel quality will be good enough for home security use.
Video & audio features
If you use trail cameras for security purposes, a video result will tell you more than still images. Not to mention, you can keep an eye on your lovely house almost every time. Thus, always go for cameras with both picturing and recording features.
HD videos with audio are even better. To be specific, the clear audio helps you to figure out whether the trespassers do have bad ideas, for example, break into your house.
Since most criminals are sneaky and fluid in their motion, a trail camera with an almost instantaneous trigger speed will allow it to take a clear picture of the intruder even if he is running. Generally, a trail camera for security with a trigger speed of less than a second is recommended.
Professional thieves know how to unveil your trail cameras quickly and take them away, commonly by detecting suspicious flash when they are roaming around. Now that you know the trick, you will always go for black flash (as know as the no-glow) cameras instead of the red one.
Accordingly, the no-glow cameras take pictures and videos of trespassers both in the nighttime and in the day without giving away any flash!
Wifi/cellular connection strength
When using WiFi to connect your trail camera to a network, you need to place the camera within range of the WiFi signal. Otherwise, you will not receive the pictures on another device. On the other hand, if you are using a cellular-connected trail camera, you should ensure that it has adequate signal bars so that it can transmit pictures.
Timestamp and Timelapse
In regard to security trail cameras, the more data and details are better. As a result, you should turn the timestamp on to determine the time of photos and videos exactly. To find out how to enable the timestamp, just follow the user guide or navigate throughout the menu.
Time-lapse is important to ensure you will not miss any suspicious trespasser. Set the lapse between 5 minutes or shorter. Just for your note, the time-lapse function might eat out the batteries more quickly.
Again, you are better safe than sorry.
If it is possible by the trail camera nature, always set up a password or the like to secure data within the cameras from being stolen by the thieves.
Besides locking the device with a password, you should also lock the camera with extra protection so that the trespassers can not take the camera away, even when they detect the flashlight.
Battery life is sometimes directly related to connection strength. The more a camera searches for a signal, the more it will use up energy resulting in short battery life. What you want is a trail camera that has good connection strength as well as long battery life.
Setting up your camera in a good spot with a healthy signal can prolong battery life. On another note, if the trail camera is near the house, you can hook it up to a power source so you won’t need to worry about battery life.
The Best Trail Cameras for Home Security
1. Spartan GoCam AT&T / VERIZON / U.S. Cellular
This camera is superior in terms of camera quality and trigger speed. It also comes in five different capture modes, so you can have the flexibility of function. This trail camera is recommended for both hunting and home security use since it would excel in both purposes.
- Has 12 megapixel quality with 1280p video and audio
- Can function in video, photo, time-lapse, hybrid, and motion detection mode
- Has a detection range of 85 feet
- Comes with a steel lock
- Is safe from water
- Can connect to a WiFi network
- Is password-protected
- Can capture vivid images both day and night
- Has a camouflage print
- Field of vision is not that wide
2. Newyes Games and Trail Hunting Camera HQ 12MP 1080P
This is another practical trail camera for security or game watching. It basically has the features we are looking for, which are fast trigger speed, good quality picture, and great and varied functionality. It also has a Low Glow Infrared Technology which will render it undetectable by intruders while taking pictures.
- Is undetectable by criminals
- Has a 12 megapixel camera quality with 1080p video
- Has a battery life of about six months
- Can withstand water, snow, and cold temperatures
- Has a 0.9 second trigger speed
- Detection range is about 50 feet
- Has night vision
- Has five capture modes
- A bit slow when taking night shots
3. Wireless Trail Camera Commander
This trail camera can connect to a cellular network, so you can use this if the location you’re putting this camera in is not covered by the WiFi signal. It is connected to AT&T so you should be sure that you have a good signal with this network provider. In terms of quality, this camera answers to all our requirements with ease.
- Recommended for both home security and hunting use
- Can be used with both WiFi and a cellular network
- Can capture video
- Has 12 megapixel quality
- Has still PIR picture mode and time-lapse mode
- Easy to set up and use
- The AT&T signal may be weak
- The battery life decreases with weak signals
4. Covert Scouting Camera Blackhawk
Another good option for trail cameras for security is this product from Blackhawk. This camera can send high-quality pictures to your phone or any other device as soon as it detects something within its range. The edge it has are its other features such as real-time control, weather and wind info, and instant picture viewing.
- Has 0.65-second trigger speed
- Has a range of 100 feet
- Invisible flash
- Has a turbo shot feature
- Has a good camouflage design
- Has a weak shorter battery life
5. Spartan GoCam AT&T / VERIZON / U.S. Cellular
As you can see, this trail camera is connected to several popular cellular networks in the US. It can be connected to an existing data plan for a relatively cheap price. In terms of quality, it is one of the most superior trail cameras in the market.
- Comes with microfiber towels
- Comes with a free security box
- Easy to set up and use
- Is password-protected
- Produces good quality pictures
- Has a slower trigger speed
We’ve seen all the best trail cameras for security, and we’ve tackled how to choose the most appropriate one. Did this article help you make your final decision? Please leave a comment below on any questions and thoughts that you may have. A share is much appreciated as well. Thanks for reading!