Top 6 Features to Look for in CCTV Security System

Top 6 Features to Look for in CCTV Security System


When it comes to protecting your home or business, CCTV goes a long way towards preventing crime, catching criminals in the act and providing crucial evidence. 

But nowadays, with so many advances in the security market and endless CCTV options, knowing which system to buy can be confusing, and trying to balance the latest and greatest technology with a budget is sometimes difficult. 

In this article we’re going to let you in on a secret – the ‘best’ security camera does not exist! What’s more, the perfect security camera for you doesn’t have to break the bank. 

Different security systems are suited to different types of tasks, and ultimately the best security system you can buy is one that is tailored to your lifestyle and the unique requirements of your home or business. 

That being said, when looking for a CCTV security system, there are a number of standard features that are useful in any circumstances.

Here are our 6 top features for user safety, comfort and convenience:

Remote Access Using Mobile Phone and Cloud Backup of Your Footage

Storing your data on a cloud system provides added protection from hackers and data loss by further encrypting your security footage and providing a reliable method of off-site storage. Without cloud backup or remote storage, a stolen video recorder would result in losing all CCTV footage and therefore crucial evidence of a crime taking place. 

Therefore, only relying on on-site storage is risky and could leave you and your family or business at a loss when it comes to making an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.

Luckily, many popular security brands like Swann Security and Hikvision provide user-friendly and cost effective methods of cloud backup. This service allows users to connect their camera system directly to their Dropbox or Google Drive account, respectively. With Swann, Dropbox integration is included entirely free of charge. Once an event triggers recording, footage is automatically uploaded and safely stored to the cloud. Not to mention security recordings can be viewed in real-time using a smart device, making monitoring your home simple and easy.

Heat and Motion Sensing Technology

What makes thermal and motion PIR sensors different from a traditional alarm system or standard PIR sensors is their ability to capture information about both heat and temperature. This significantly reduces the number of false triggers caused by things like falling leaves, passing traffic or windy days – which are often solely triggered by motion. 

Swann Security’s True Detect™ technology is a great example of inbuilt thermal PIR sensor technology and can detect thermal radiation from people-sized and larger objects, within a normal human temperature range. This makes your system smart enough to tell the difference between an intruder and your pet cat!

Heat and motion sensing technology  also gives users the option to set their CCTV cameras to record when an event is triggered, rather than constricting them to the traditional setting of continuous recording. By ensuring that only important footage is captured, stored and reported inbuilt thermal PIR sensors allow for over four times more efficient use of hard drive space. 

Video Analytics and Smart Alerts

Video analytics add an extra layer of protection and customisation to your security system.

Standard analytics features  such as facial and number plate recognition make sorting through past footage to find evidence of an event more efficient. Your system can also be set up to send alerts to users if a specific number plate or face is recognised. 

In a business setting video analytics have an even wider range of applications. They can be used to count the number of customers entering and leaving a business on a given day, to evaluate the demographic profile of customers or even look at their customers’ path patterns and dwell time within a store. Wile features such tripwire IVS and perimeter protection can further safeguard your business against potential intruders. 

Active Deterrence

Active deterrence ensures that your CCTV system is actively deterring and preventing crime – not just recording it! Keep an eye out for a system that includes one or more of the following proactive features:

Built in motion activated sensor lights

Sensor spotlight cameras will startle and reveal the hiding spots of potential intruders by quickly switching on lights and triggering recording as soon as motion is detected


This feature will scare intruders off with sudden alarm bells and flashing lights. Many camera systems with integrated sires are automatically triggered by motion, but can also be remotely activated if an intrusion is suspected.

Two-way audio 

The two-way talk function can act as both a deterrent, and as a traditional intercom system. Enabling users to listen to, and talk back to a person at the camera.

This feature has a number of uses from instructing a delivery-man where to leave a parcel when you’re not at home to scaring off potential home intruders by letting them know they are being recorded and that you are contacting the police.

Some security cameras with audio input also offer the ability to record audio. In the case that a crime is to unfortunately occur, this information can help provide an additional layer of evidence by recording off-screen sound and can be used by law-enforcement to identify voices by their gender, age, accent and language.


Colour Recording

Currently, there are two main types of night-vision technology: IR (infrared) and Starlight.

IR cameras operate using built-in infrared LEDS, and therefore are only able to record in black and white. While Starlight cameras on the other hand use low levels of ambient light to create a colour image.

Some brands also offer variations of traditional starlight technology. A common example of this is Swann’s Spotlight Night Vision. This feature automatically triggers camera floodlights and colour recording as warm activity and motion, such as people or cars moving past a property, is detected.

When deciding on a camera system we would definitely recommend one that supports colour recording. Colour is important for providing important details such as a suspect’s skin complexion and the colour of their clothes, as well as the colour and make of a suspicious vehicle.


Voice Control and Streaming

Systems that enable this kind of streaming also generally connect to home automation devices such as Alexa, and Google Home Hub. This means that you can enjoy hands free control and use voice commands to playback and view footage. 

While we don’t deem this feature necessary, it’s in our top 6 list because of its comfort and convenience factor. All too often, we’ve had clients install a separate screen just to view their security footage. This is often because for one reason or another cabling cannot be wired to the main TV or another pre-existing screen.

Our team have experience with all brands including Swann CCTV, Arlo, Nest, Samsung, Uniden and Concord.

As you can see there are a number of features to keep an eye out for when looking for a security camera. But can you find all of them in one system – sounds too good to be true, right? And even if it were, wouldn’t it be expensive?

Here at Jim’s Security, we stock a number Swann Security CCTV systems that incorporate most or all of these top 6 security camera features into a single affordable package. Professional installation starts from as little as $150 per camera or $600 for a complete 4 camera system including NVR/DVR.

To learn more give us a call on 131 546 or book a free onsite quote.

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