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Thread: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

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    Default Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Is it worth $1k to have photos/videos that might help catch someone in the act? I realize it’s a personal question, but am curious to know the opinions of others - particularly anyone who has an experience where having cameras has helped. Also would love to know what brands have been good or bad experiences.

    IE, say it costs me about $1k to get four cameras and a doorbell. If the cameras catch pictures of someone that I do not know, have I just wasted $1k and had my package stolen? Or would the videos actually help? Seems like it may be smarter to have high value packages either delivered to a locker or held at UPS/FedEx, even though that is a pain. I used to have high value stuff sent to my office, but with COVID procedures in place, that’s now a no-go.

    Might be worth it just to see the stuff that my kids do while I am at work.

    Currently looking at an Arlo system (four cameras and a doorbell camera). Trying to decide if the cameras are just a placebo or if they might actually help. I already have a conventional security system (door triggers, all the windows, glass breaks, interior motion, etc) that is cellular.

    Any thoughts are appreciated! Thanks!
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Have many packages been stolen off your porch?
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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Can't you just add more cameras to your existing setup?

    Or more simple, go to the local carpenter and get a suitably big sized steel box that you can paint in green and keep in the corner.
    A combination padlock will keep it safe while the code is noted in the Delivery Instructions, for peace of mind you can get a combination padlock with resettable code that you can change when needs to.
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


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    ci che si vuole, e pi non dimandare"

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Where I live, the argument is that a CCTV system is one of the most useful deterrents to burglary. I had a system installed when I started building bike frames and bikes. Some people just use fake video cameras and warning notices but I took the view that it may be possible for a competent person to spot the difference. Crime is not a big problem here but a couple of my friends have had apparently targeted break-ins for bike theft.

    I have never had a package stolen but I did have an argument with a delivery company who claimed to have delivered me something but had not. When I told them I had video evidence that they had not visited our property on the day and time in question the item miraculously arrived.
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    My wife installed an Arlo system so she could keep an eye on her horses from her computer.

    It worked to her satisfaction.

    I'd do what Gattonero suggests: a drop box.
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    My wife installed an Arlo system so she could keep an eye on her horses from her computer.

    It worked to her satisfaction.

    I'd do what Gattonero suggests: a drop box.
    Dvalt makes nice drop boxes. They can be stand-alone or built-in. dVault.com | Secure Package Mailboxes for Home or Business
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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    I don't have cameras but some of my coworkers do and from what I've learned listening to their conversations, it makes me wonder why bother having the cameras at all? They stop doing whatever it is they're doing at work because their phone has alerted them of activity at home. It's chronic; it's incessant; it's pervasive among employees.
    Doesn't anybody actually WORK when they work, anymore?

    I don't see the cost to benefit ratio being in favor of the homeowner. I like the idea of a drop box.

    There sure seems to be a lot of paranoia out there.

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Thanks all for the replies. No packages stolen... yet!

    A camera system from current home security system provider is much more expensive - it doesn't make sense for a residential application. They have some options, but are all commercial products, that would be overkill for a home installation, and very expensive ($3k-ish for install, plus cost of equipment - lots of wires to pull). I was advised to check out Ring and Arlo.

    I'm not sure I would depend on a delivery driver to open a lock, open the box, then close/lock it. Those guys are always in a hurry, especially lately with everyone in the developed world ordering most of their needs via delivery. Maybe I misunderstood the concept?

    Perhaps I can get the cameras to also help with other issues, and then build my own box for package drop. I can make something pretty nice out of wood that would deter most thieves. Jorn, thanks for the link to the dvault boxes, I had not seen those. They look very secure, but would also look not so attractive on the front of my house. Maybe I can make my own version and make a hybrid bench, or planter, or something that doesn't look quite so industrial. If it just involves opening a door and dropping the box into a compartment, that seems like it would be friendly and time considerate to the delivery folks, and also keep things out of sight.
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Polack View Post
    I don't have cameras but some of my coworkers do and from what I've learned listening to their conversations, it makes me wonder why bother having the cameras at all? They stop doing whatever it is they're doing at work because their phone has alerted them of activity at home. It's chronic; it's incessant; it's pervasive among employees.
    Doesn't anybody actually WORK when they work, anymore?

    I don't see the cost to benefit ratio being in favor of the homeowner. I like the idea of a drop box.

    There sure seems to be a lot of paranoia out there.
    I don't see benefit in it at all, really, other than something to gossip about. Seems like if someone really wants to take my stuff, they could defeat the video system with a $4 ski mask anyway.

    Current line of thinking is to come up with a drop box that doesn't look like a drop box.

    Cameras might make sense to keep tabs on the lawn guys who like to do donuts in my yard with their zero turns and then deny it, and other such silliness... but most of that just tells me that I need a new lawn service. I am not sure what good it would do to have it on camera... if they refuse to come fix it (which they did), then I find a new service (which I did).
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    A guy at work's nickname is Gadget Boy. He installed a web cam so he could see his cats during the day. He had to show us all, of course. His daughter was dating a guy who has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. So the image comes up of Gadget Boy's living room and there's the boyfriend practicing the nunchucks in front of Gadget Boy's very expensive AV setup. Gadget Boy dials his home number, boyfriend stops and goes off screen. Gadget Boy says "Stop. That." and hangs up.
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    I like my Ring system a lot...doorbell and 3 cameras. Pre-pandemic it provided peace of mind that packages had been delivered while we were out. Since were home most of the time now thats less critical, but I still appreciate having it. In my semi-urban area I can see that cameras help homeowners identify thieves...but its less clear if the cameras are a deterrent to theft.
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Thanks all for the replies. No packages stolen... yet!

    A camera system from current home security system provider is much more expensive - it doesn't make sense for a residential application. They have some options, but are all commercial products, that would be overkill for a home installation, and very expensive ($3k-ish for install, plus cost of equipment - lots of wires to pull). I was advised to check out Ring and Arlo.

    I'm not sure I would depend on a delivery driver to open a lock, open the box, then close/lock it. Those guys are always in a hurry, especially lately with everyone in the developed world ordering most of their needs via delivery. Maybe I misunderstood the concept?

    Perhaps I can get the cameras to also help with other issues, and then build my own box for package drop. I can make something pretty nice out of wood that would deter most thieves. Jorn, thanks for the link to the dvault boxes, I had not seen those. They look very secure, but would also look not so attractive on the front of my house. Maybe I can make my own version and make a hybrid bench, or planter, or something that doesn't look quite so industrial. If it just involves opening a door and dropping the box into a compartment, that seems like it would be friendly and time considerate to the delivery folks, and also keep things out of sight.
    The Dvault boxes were actually mentioned to me by a UPS guy. He just said the name and I had to figure out the spelling. As with any job based on targets, the delivery guys are graded on both ends of delivery outcomes - successes and failures - and nothing stresses them out like a wide open porch on a busy street.

    For a while, I think Amazon was actually considering tying Amazon Prime membership to their doorbell camera ownership. Meaning to join Amazon Prime you had to install and use one of their doorbells so they could see whether your packages were actually getting stolen or not. I don’t think they considered it too long before realizing how bad that looked PR wise. Plus I think their camera thing has a lot of problems.

    The Dvault boxes are USPS compliant - or at least some models are. USPS requires particular dimensions or whatever for their deliveries. Not sure whether Dvault does this, but you can actually get one of these with built in chambers for a USPS lock tumbler so their delivery people can be assured nothing comes out of their until you get home. But the handiest ones are built with a pull down door that in turn raises a secondary lid that keeps delivered packages safe from long arms. So any delivery service can drop off packages as needed. Then when you come home, you unlock a door that gives you access to the packages.

    The disadvantages are weather-proofness and max size of package. You can’t, for example, get a pair of ENVE wheels to fit in there. And heavy rains can force water in through seams that are otherwise water resistant.

    I looked at them for the house we are building. However, now I know the FedEx and the UPS guy, and we have a prearranged spot for deliveries that’s pretty safe. But if I lived in town, I might figure out a way to install one of the Dvault boxes, perhaps built in to the side of the garage or otherwise cleverly disguised.
    Last edited by j44ke; 14 Hours Ago at 07:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Of course, if you have a basement, you could reinvent the coal chute and send deliveries down instead of coal. Just make sure raccoons cant also take a slide.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    With the camera(s) you see someone take a package off your porch, you don't know the person, are the cops really going to take time go through pics to catch him/her, for a theft worth how many $? I can see how it's helpful to identify an individual that is hitting a lot of houses(with cameras) but as a one time deal I'm thinking it won't help catch the thief or protect the package.
    Take care of yourself in this time of crisis and realize sadness, anger and grief are part of the process Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Just have the $$$ packages dropped off at a FedEx or UPS "store." (or even Whole Foods for Amazon stuff)

    Around here the storefronts are all over the place, and in my case on my way home.

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    The disadvantages are weather-proofness and max size of package. You cant, for example, get a pair of ENVE wheels to fit in there. And heavy rains can force water in through seams that are otherwise water resistant.
    More importantly, would a pair of Boras fit?
    Last edited by Matthew Strongin; 2 Hours Ago at 07:56 AM.
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Seems like a business opportunity to combine America's two great loves- spy cams and guns. We can mount a security camera on a remote controlled gun with motion detector. When someone comes on the porch, you get notified on your smartphone. If its the deliveryman, mailman, all good. If it is a porch pirate, you go into gaming mode and shoot the pirate. I am sure this is all available off the shelf. We probably covered by castle doctrine as now written.
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    The Dvault boxes were actually mentioned to me by a UPS guy. He just said the name and I had to figure out the spelling. As with any job based on targets, the delivery guys are graded on both ends of delivery outcomes - successes and failures - and nothing stresses them out like a wide open porch on a busy street.

    For a while, I think Amazon was actually considering tying Amazon Prime membership to their doorbell camera ownership. Meaning to join Amazon Prime you had to install and use one of their doorbells so they could see whether your packages were actually getting stolen or not. I don’t think they considered it too long before realizing how bad that looked PR wise. Plus I think their camera thing has a lot of problems.
    Thanks. I wonder how UPS quantifies "delivery failure." It's not the delivery person's fault that they were instructed to leave a package in a vulnerable place.

    Also FYI... Amazon owns Ring. That seems to be the leading system for doorbells and cameras. It would be a sad state if a company required camera access at your home to take your money and sell things.

    We can close this thread... my suspicions that cameras probably won't do any good has been confirmed, and I will likely just continue to seek out delivery options where someone will be available to receive any high value packages personally, or have them held at distribution centers. By far the cheapest option, and also the most secure.
     

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    Default Re: Home Security Cameras - worth it?

    my HOA Facebook page is consistently getting posts that follow the same script:

    Does anyone know this person? They walked up too my door and looked suspicious. Here's the video.


    then there's the occasional:

    These kids walked by my house at 2:30am and they look suspicious. Anyone recognize them?

    very rarely do I see:

    These people broke into my car. Does anyone recognize them?

    never have I seen:

    These people broke into my car, and the footage I provided and my last post, was enough for the police to identify and apprehend the perps.


    i've considered getting cameras. even if just a fake one to put up very obviously by my front door. have yet to pull the trigger, because i haven't yet been convinced that they're worthwhile. we live in a nice hood, but there have been plenty of car break-ins (property isn't damaged, because the kids/ small adults that look like kids look for doors that are unlocked). i do, however, see the value in a doorbell. especially right now, when i don't really want to deal with people that come to my door.
    Last edited by dashDustin; 1 Hour Ago at 09:39 AM.
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