Security & Fire Protection Systems/OUTSIDE HOME SECURITY


Frank Hi Im looking to put cameras outside of my home. Im looking to place cameras that can see long distance.  If I use WiFi is one wifi supplier better then another, is AT&T better then say Verizon.  Does a security system use a large amount of mega bites. Finally are there any outside do it your self security systems that you would recommend. Thank you Ken

WiFi has nothing to do with your connection speed or bandwidth, both of which are "sold" as packages by most Internet Providers.  Most WiFi networks are capable of transfer rates that exceed the lower end data packages.  When you set up your cameras, you have to determine a number of factors.  The most critical one is "frame-rate".  The higher the frame-rate, the smoother are the movies (less choppy).  High frame-rates coupled to a multi-channel DVR, the higher the bandwidth you'll need to transmit the files over your Internet connection.  Then there's "resolution".  Higher resolution cameras will take up more bandwidth even before you factor in the frame-rate.

Buy a camera with a vari-focal lens if you're not sure about what it is you want to look at.  There are several websites out there that can guide you as to what focal setting you need to view a particular object at a distance.  Keep in mind, that the field of view will be limited to that area once you've set up your cameras to view it.  Usually it's a good idea to lay out your site plan and determine what it is you want to "see" (and record) with a camera.  Then you have to look at what you have for available light.  Most "over the counter" camera systems that employ IR illuminators (like you'll see at Costco, for instance), have a very limited range.  You may need to purchase a separate long range emitter to illuminate the area you want to cover when the sun sets (or provide local lighting to enhance the scene).

I deal with security grade cameras.  Most start at around $600.00.  They'll all have vari-focal lenses and usually come with IR emitters that will illuminate a scene to about 30 feet from the camera.

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Frank Kurz


Questions relating to Burglar Alarm and Security Equipment, Fire Alarm and Extinguishment Systems, Access Control, CCTV Systems, Installation, Service, Testing, Verification


30 years installing, servicing, and testing security, access control, extinguishment, and fire alarm systems

Chair of ULC Working Groups for Fire Alarm Testing (CAN/ULC-S536) and Fire Alarm Verification (CAN/ULC-S537), Executive Director of the Fire Protection Technicians Network (

Publications, Better Business Bureau Magazine, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia ( SUPPRESS! and Techs Fire Break Newsletters

Associate in Science; Emergency Systems (University of British Columbia); Aircraft Maintenance Technology (BCIT)

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