6 Things You Should Check Out Before Buying Cheap Security Cameras

6 Things You Should Check Out Before Buying Cheap Security Cameras

Businesses spend tens—sometimes hundreds—of thousands of dollars on quality surveillance equipment, because they understand that the investment more than pays for itself over time.

Most of us obviously can’t afford to install that kind of equipment, and we don’t have to. Even cheap security cameras can vastly improve your home security, but it’s all about careful shopping and meticulous placement.

Before you grab any old camera on eBay, bear in mind these important considerations.


1. Cheap vs Cheap

Let’s clarify something right out of the gate. There is cheap, and there is cheap. The former represents price, while the latter represents quality. The real trick, then, is finding value in cheap security cameras without getting stuck with cheap security cameras.

So how do you do it? Be cautious, and don’t make your purchase until you’ve considered plenty of reviews and recommendations from trustworthy sources. You’ll have to do a bit of homework, but it will be more than worth it in the end.

2. Already Have a Security System?

Your decision will also be influenced by whether or not you’re expanding an existing system. For instance, if you have a PowerMax security system installed in your home, you might expand it with a reasonably priced CAM3100 wireless network camera. Find out if any cameras are compatible with your existing system, and compare prices.


You can derive tremendous value from integrating cameras into your home security system because most of these cameras will respond to security breaches and immediately begin filming a crime in progress. Many will even send the footage to your smartphone.

3. Features

Remember what I was saying earlier about cheap vs. cheap? Well it’s important to bear that distinction in mind when browsing the features for your new camera. Any worthwhile security camera will have night vision and tamper-resistant construction, so read the specifications carefully.

Depending upon your needs, you’ll also want to pay attention to the amount of memory (does it contain a built-in DVR?), the resolution and the mobile capabilities (but more on that in the next section).


4. Go Mobile

Okay, so perhaps we’ve crossed out of the realm of cheap security cameras by discussing hyper-specific capabilities like mobile integration and built-in DVRs. After all, your camera deserves the best, so don’t settle for anything less than Infrared LED, 700 TV lines, close-up recognition, anti-glare technology, and the ability to fire lasers at intruders.

Okay, so maybe that’s all a bit much for a camera on a budget, but believe it or not, you can find a mobile-ready camera at a great price. For instance, you can choose from a wealth of sophisticated IP cameras, like the CAM3200, which offer professional-level surveillance at a consumer-level price.

The advantage of mobile integration is that you can monitor your home from anywhere in the world. All you need is an app or Web browser.


5. Consider a Bundle

If you have a bit more to spend, but are still looking for value, consider bundling. By and large, you can save a fortune by investing in larger camera kits.

By combining a series of dome cameras and bullet cameras with a multichannel DVR or NVR, you can acquire everything you need for a fraction of what it would cost you to buy the kit component-by-component. For anyone looking to build a high-end surveillance system, bundling is definitely the way to go.

6. Go with Trusted Brands

Finally, when shopping for cheap security cameras, take a quick look at the brand. Certain brands just deliver time and time again. Look for names like Avemia, Camstar, DSC, Lorex and Visonic.

If you have never heard of the brand, or if the camera seems like a knockoff, do a bit more research before making your purchase. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to secure your home; you just have to be savvy about it.

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.


In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!



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