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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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:


  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.


Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.


Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!


There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.


There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via

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