How to Tell if Your Security System is Outdated

Posted by Omega Security on April 17, 2014

A good home security system gives a household peace of mind. After they have had it for some years, they come to trust it and feel that if it has protected them for this long, it will keep doing so.

The flaw in this thinking is that the technology of home security is advancing steadily, and a system that’s several years old is now out of date. Older security systems have inherent flaws limiting the amount of protection they can give.

One of the most obvious flaws in older surveillance camera systems was their poor resolution. Images were blurry and had poor contrast, making it difficult to recognize faces. In the event of a break-in, those poor images were the only evidence of the culprit’s identity. The video recording would have to be presented as evidence in court. If the face was unrecognizable, the guilty party might go free to do further damage somewhere else.

This problem got worse with the age of the equipment. As the camera and recorder got older, images went from bad to worse. Some of these systems are still in use, but their bad resolution and washed-out contrast makes them nearly useless.

The technology has come a long way, and homeowners can expect much better performance today. Now home security cameras have more pixels, better contrast and more frames per second. Faces are clear enough for easy recognition, and if the recording must be used in court, positive identification will be possible.

Facial identification is the standard here. Homeowners wondering if it is time to get a new camera system should take a critical look at the image quality of their present one. If it is impossible to positively identify faces, replacement of the security cameras is imperative.

Old-style burglar alarms simply rang loudly enough to be heard by the neighbors or a passing police car. If that didn’t work, the security system offered no further help. The next advancement was a home security system that would notify the police of a break-in. Now the process has reached its logical conclusion with security systems allowing remote access and viewing.

This means the owner can operate the system from any computer, smartphone or tablet. It includes operating all the home system controls and even seeing the view through any of the security cameras.

This has already created a situation that would have been science fiction just a few years ago. A news story recently reported that a vacationing homeowner used his smartphone to access the view through his home security cameras and saw a pair of burglars breaking in. The homeowner was able to call the police and watch them arrive and apprehend the burglars a few minutes later. Afterward, the homeowner was even able to pull the blinds and check all the door and window locks.

Home security systems without this capability should be replaced. With remote access, it’s as if the owner is never really gone.