Buying home and business security systems is like buying an insurance policy. It provides peace of mind and just occasionally we’re really glad we took out that insurance! So it was comforting to see a video released by Nottinghamshire, UK police that showed very clearly a burglar climbing through a window into a student’s room and climbing back out with a laptop PC. With evidence like that, it will not be long before that thief is tracked down and prosecuted. We know CCTV can be really effective in identifying and tracking down burglars, but traditional CCTV is simply too expensive for most of us and there is seldom any real-time alerting capability. We could have a monitoring centre watch the video 24×7 for us, but that’s even more additional expense.

There are now low-cost alternatives to traditional CCTV on the market that are more practical and flexible. They enable real-time monitoring with personal alerts and cost a lot less than a traditional CCTV or monitored alarm system. This new category of ‘connected security’ alarm devices alert owners immediately to the break-in by a text message or email sent directly to a mobile phone. Some also have built-in motion detection and night vision so can send pictures and record video as soon as their motion detectors are activated, day or night.

Connected Security with visual monitoring capability and recording is available mainly in two forms: 1) Internet connected devices for video or 2) GSM/MMS mobile network connected devices for pictures.

Internet connected devices work well for monitoring and protecting an area where there is a wireless broadband connection available. IP video network cameras are now very cost-effective and can connect to broadband routers, either with an ethernet cable or using WiFi. Most network cameras have built-in web servers which means that they do not need to be connected to a switched on PC before you can use them as is the case with webcams. Network cameras connect directly to cable or DSL broadband routers or modems. And because they’re connected to the internet, users can see pictures from the camera at any time by simply entering the password protected IP address/URL of the network camera into a browser of any internet connected PC or a suitable mobile phone. So wherever the camera owner may be, they can check to see that all is well. As the prices of network cameras come down they’re being used for more applications around the home such as for watching over babies. Some of the network cameras have a microphone so parents can listen-in and see their babies in the dark using the camera’s night-vision. There are also some network cameras that have built-in SD card storage which means motion activated video can be stored in the camera if there is not internet connection.

If video of the area to be monitored is not required, then there now GSM/MMS connected alarm cameras available on the market. These devices have built in mobile network modules and communicate with users over mobile phone networks. Many also have built-in PIR heat/motion detectors and infrared so can take pictures day or night when an alarm condition is triggered and send SMS text messages and MMS pictures directly to a user’s mobile phone. The user can remotely manage and arm/disarm the alarm camera simply by sending it control text messages from their mobile phone.

Referring back to the student room burglary mentioned above, it would have been prohibitively expensive to put CCTV in every student room. However, the new internet and mobile network connected security devices are much cheaper than traditional CCTV systems. So it’s now possible for students and others who can’t afford CCTV to get some video monitoring protection for their room, home or office. If there is an intrusion or attempted burglary, they’ll be notified immediately and likely have video and a picture of the person breaking in! This is a great advance for consumers and something new for burglars to be seriously concerned about. Most of these connected-security devices can be programmed to call, text or email multiple people such as friends, relatives or neighbours who may be close by the monitored room or property. They’ll be able to see if there’s a problem long before a security guard from an alarm monitoring company arrives at the scene.

So good news for consumers and bad news for burglars as more of these internet and mobile connected security devices come to the market. Protecting what is important is now so much easier and cheaper than it has ever been before.

Copyright © 2010 Andrew Carver

Source by Andrew W Carver

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