Once thought of as a regular fixture found only in commercial premises and areas, installing CCTV is becoming an increasingly popular security option for homeowners. It is an unfortunate truth that burglaries are a fact of life. And you most likely know of a friend or family member whose house has been broken into or had their car damaged within the last three months. 

So, it stands to reason if you are somebody who:

  • wants to clear your mind about security;
  • is looking for reliable ways to deter intruders and vandals;
  • thinks about boosting the property value and getting an insurance discount;
  • wonders what the pros and cons of CCTV installation are.

Armed with a coffee and enthusiasm, read further to find out the advantages and disadvantages of CCTV systems and their best uses. Rather than taking hours, solving your dilemmas will take minutes!

Table of Contents:

But first: Why is there so much CCTV installed in the UK? 

Did you know that CCTV cameras in the UK are a big chunk of the total CCTV installations in the world? According to the surveillance camera statistics, the total number of CCTV cameras in the UK are 4-5.9 million (>627,000 in London) overall, ranking the Britons as one of the most-watched nations in the world. (Sigh!) 

Guess why! Well, the CCTV network in the UK grows because you won’t need to fork out a fortune to get your home equipped with a CCTV set. Advances in technology have made them inexpensive to manufacture. It is a low-cost investment for the peace of mind you get by being able to keep an eye on your children, pets and property whenever you like and wherever you are.  

And unlike the other traditional security systems, with CCTVs, you rely on comprehensive monitoring of your home and an unbiased source of truth in case of burglary or vandalism. 

Key advantages and disadvantages of using a CCTV at home

Advantages of CCTV installation

  • Dissuade thieves. Flip your perspective if you think you can fool a burglar with a fake camera, a TV or a lamp turned on at night, while you are away. Most burglars are well trained and will be dissuaded from targeting your home if only they see a *real* surveillance camera at the entrance. In fact, houses with CCTV are 90% less likely to be broken into than those homes which do not own such a system. 
  • Reduced insurance premium. Cameras are one of the many security steps that you can take to make your property safer and to also reduce the chance of your property being damaged or vandalised. This, in turn, means that you are less likely to make a claim, which is something that your insurance provider will be more than happy to hear. That said, the level of security of your property can be a major influence on the amount of money you will pay the company. 
  • CCTV systems help in prosecution. Should the worst happen and your property gets burgled, vandalised or damaged, statistics show that solving ⅔ of the police’s jobs becomes much easier if you can hand over some CCTV footage. Provided that criminal activity happened close to your cameras and the images are clear enough for police to identify the culprits and bring them to justice, you could catch anything from a number plate to the faces of those who committed the crime. 
  • Remote monitoring. Modern CCTV home systems allow you to keep an eye on your house and the surrounding area from anywhere in the world, so long as you have a good internet connection. By installing cameras and setting up the option to receive notifications, you can watch live footage or access recorded video via your tablet, laptop or mobile phone. 
  • Peace of mind. Apart from the advantages of having a CCTV system installed, it goes a long way in putting your mind at rest whether you are relaxing on your sofa or making a trip to the supermarket. You can’t be in two places at once, but with CCTV installation, you will be able to check what is going on in and around your home. 

Disadvantages of CCTV installation

  • You must comply with privacy law. Even if you would like to help in curbing the foul play and antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood, private CCTV should only be used to ensure the security of the property it is installed on. Use the boundary of your property or garden as a guideline. Otherwise, if your security system captures anything outside of that, it could be considered as intrusive. 
  • Cyber attacks are a real hazard (if attackers are motivated). Forgot to change the default password credentials and update the firmware while in a rush? Then, one day you may discover that somebody hacked your internet-connected CCTV camera and has access to your entire internet life and possessions. But taking actions, such as selecting cameras with advanced encryption or regular updating your router password, is a surefire way to promote your security. 
  • CCTVs can be stolen, disarmed, vandalised, or have blind spots. Wireless cameras, for instance, are comparatively easy to disconnect and disarmed if head-to-toe in black attackers are determined to rob your house. If you want to feel truly safe at home, invest in a tamper detection so you can prevent physical attacks against your camera. To select a camera with 360-degree rotate feature can address the blind spot culprits successfully.
  • CCTV can reduce crime but can’t stop it. So often, people think that CCTV cameras are their first line of defense. But we often see crime, burglaries, or vandalism happen, right? The truth is, you need more layers of security protection to get your home fully protected. To be honest, security cameras alone are more about property monitoring and crime-solving rather than a crime-reduction tool, but they can be the single missing part of your home security system.
Related: How to prevent glare on a surveillance camera looking through a window

How much does it cost to install a CCTV in the UK? And is CCTV price your biggest drawback or benefit?

As with many buying decisions, installing a CCTV system comes down to your security needs, and your budget. Unfortunately, on price, CCTVs are a big dilemma. 

The cost of the CCTV system may stretch depending on factors, such as the size of your home, the number of cameras needed, the unit types, smart home automation, security sensors, control panels… and the list goes on… 

The good news is, while CCTV systems used to cost an arm and a leg a few years back, you can now buy:

  • A low-end 4-cameras system for approx. £220-240;
  • A medium-end 4-cameras system for approx. £450-£500;
  • A high-end 4-cameras system for approx. £650-£700,

excluding the installation.

To seek expert opinion from a CCTV engineer is a worthy investment as the more $ ≠ better stuff. The right choice totally depends on your needs.

Learn more
tip

The price for CCTV installation by a Fantastic Services CCTV engineer starts from £107 defined after an on-site survey. You can save yourself part of the CCTV installation labour costs and on future home maintenance services by choosing to become a Fantastic Club member.

Now, how do you feel? Do the positives prevail the negatives? If so, keep on reading!

An honest look at the pros and cons of CCTV camera types

Wireless CCTV cameras

Overview and ideal Wi-Fi CCTV use

With easy-peasy Wi-Fi CCTV systems, you will never miss a movement in and around your property. All you need to do is to attach your new security cameras to a power source and your Wi-Fi network. And voilà, burglars will think twice before trying to enter your home.

The best part? Wireless security cameras are wall-friendly and perfect problem-solvers for those who want to avoid the drilling mishaps from running wiring all over the property (such as tenants and temporary business establishments). Likewise, you may find them the best choice if you live in a small urban dwelling with an adequate Wi-Fi network, or you are on a budget. 

Wireless security camera pros:

  • You can record a full month if you use an SD memory;
  • Hassle-free installation, user-friendly interface, and discrete appearance;
  • No worries about hiding the wires;
  • Can be easily repositioned;
  • Reduced installation time and cost;
  • Hi-tech features and connectivity possibilities are endless;

Wireless security camera cons:

  • Wi-Fi cameras still require a power source;
  • You need a powerful router to enjoy a sound security system;
  • Cameras might become a doorway to unauthorised access if Wi-Fi encryption is not set;
  • A clear line-of-sight between the security device and the receiver is a must;
  • Frequent change of batteries is needed;

Wired CCTV cameras

Overview and ideal wired CCTV use

Plenty of concerns come up with spotty wi-fi coverage and dropped connection, particularly if you own a large property or there’s another powerful Wi-Fi network affecting your signal. In this situation, your better option is a wired CCTV system because they rely on a stable cable connection to both the router and recorder. As mentioned above, wiring is messy and disruptive to install, so typically it works best for homeowners running into a new renovation project.

Are you looking for a better option? The Power over Ethernet (PoE)-enabled devices might be the best format for your home as you won’t need to run extra power cables. This means you can easily add, reposition, change, or temporarily deploy security cameras. These types, of course, are easier to DIY and placed at the front door or in the garden.

Hard-wired security camera pros:

  • Rare signal drops unless there’s a system failure;
  • Lower risk of hacking;

Hard-wired security camera cons:

  • Lots of configuration = prolonged set-up time;
  • Extra units to the system mean extra cables to be run;
  • The system is not portable;
  • Less saving capacity for video footage.
Related: Garden security tips

Analogue cameras 

Overview and ideal analogue CCTV use

To put it simply, analogue cameras devices are not Wi-Fi connected and are usually part of the wired systems. Their primitive operation starts from capturing the signal to its transferring to the recording device (DVR) through the well-known coaxial cable.

We won’t sugarcoat it, the analogue CCTV system is neither the latest step in the security advancements nor offer the best experience. But aren’t AI-based CCTV gadgets sometimes confusing? Sounds weird, we know, but hear us out: the more rich-featured your CCTV, the more things can go wrong.

Analogue security camera pros:

  • Good performance in low-light conditions;
  • Lower bandwidth requirements;
  • Variety of camera models with all the features you need at an affordable price.

Analogue security camera cons:

  • Running multiple cables and wires means complicated set-up;
  • Reduced cable range (<1500 feet) and positioning limitations;
  • No encryption and no audio recording;
  • You get a blurred view if you want to enlarge the image;
  • Narrow field of view (FoV) so you may need more cameras to install.

IP CCTV cameras

Overview and ideal IP CCTV cameras use

Although you can find gaps to pinpoint, the IP CCTV types are 100% digital cameras, which means they use network or IP to transmit the data to your router. The result? You can view footage whenever and wherever you like – from your desktop or mobile device. 

With tons of smart features, you can add-on – clear night vision, HD, waterproof options, pan & tilt & zoom, mobile viewing, etc. – IP cameras are a fantastic choice to scare off burglars.

IP camera pros:

  • Real-time footage and remote CCTV position control;
  • No coaxial cables running, meaning no-fuss installation;
  • Multiple sensors save you the costs of adding many cameras;
  • High quality imaging irrespectively of the distance;
  • Security at your fingerprints with encrypted video; 
  • Video and audio recording.

IP camera cons:

  • High-resolution IP cameras are still expensive;
  • To ensure footage is streamed smoothly, high network bandwidth is required;
  • Confusion about the recent developments and security settings.

HD-TVI cameras

Overview and ideal TVI cameras use

TVI cameras are the new analogue fashion. They are a bit like the analogue technology, but combine some of the modern IP cameras. 

For those of you who have already wired with BNC cable, these CCTV types are the perfect switch to high definition video footage. How? Without wiring efforts, and at low cost!

TVI camera pros:

  • High definition video transmission & recording;
  • Plug & play installation;
  • Video transmission for a long distance (up to 1600 meters);
  • The most cost-efficient HD solution on the market (25% less pricey than an equivalent IP system);
  • Compatible with the existing analogue system (further cost reduction factor);
  • No lagging compared to the IP security cameras.

TVI camera cons:

  • There will be faster popularity if users are aware they can keep the existing coaxial cabling.

Thinking of getting a new CCTV system installed?

Then, why don’t you arrange an appointment with a Fantastic Services CCTV engineer? Among the outstanding benefits we offer is a team of experienced, fully insured, and talented CCTV engineers who will perform an on-site survey on the arranged day and step-up the security of your property with the desired monitoring option. We won’t let your property be vulnerable, providing you with 6-months 100% workmanship guarantee. 

And worry not, over 10 years of servicing customers all over Lonon, we’ve learned the most preferred models and can help you with any type of CCTV fixture you want to mount or having trouble with.

Need help with the CCTV choice and installation?

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Takeaways

  • Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of CCTV systems is a strategic consideration.
  • In a cost-benefit analysis, taking on a CCTV installation project is not a simple nor a cheap task but it’s a smart move for many reasons – enjoy your family and friends in safety and feel confident to leave your property unattended.
  • You are not 100% safe with CCTV installation, but those of you who take steps only when theft, burglary, or vandalism happen are just throwing money out of the window. 
  • Always choose a trusted company to complete your CCTV installation project!

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So, how about you? A good or bad choice is a CCTV system for you? If CCTV is your preferred security choice, are you going to opt for a DIY or professional CCTV installation? Please share your thoughts with us!

Image source: Shutterstock / APChanel

  • Last update: November 23, 2020

Posted in Home Improvement, Home Security and Safety Tips

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