However, it’s not for everyone – only 10% of the 4,353 Which? members* we surveyed in September 2017 have home CCTV or a wireless camera. You can buy cameras on their own, or as part of a whole security package. Costs range from around £20 for one wired camera with a night-vision range of 5 metres, to around £450 for a vandal-proof camera.  You will need to buy some equipment to accompany the camera, depending on what type you choose, such as connectors and a digital video recorder (DVR) to store and view the footage. You can also buy dummy cameras for around £10.  CCTV is just one line of defence against crime, and works best when combined with other measures, such as a burglar alarm, door and window locks, gravel around your property, and security lights. If you’re thinking about getting a burglar alarm, visit our pages on burglar alarm types and the costs of installation to find out more – we’ve spoken to a number of installers and found their advice, and what they offer for the same price, varies greatly. You can also discover the top-rated burglar alarm companies, according to our survey of more than 3,228 burglar alarm owners.

How home CCTV systems work

hese are the most common and cheapest type of camera, where a wire connects directly from the camera to the monitor. The downside is that the wires, including extension cables and connectors, can be difficult to install. Wireless home CCTV systems With this type of system, cameras transmit images to your computer, tablet or mobile phone, using analogue or digital technology. Many smart security cameras link to an app that you can use to monitor your home while you’re out and about. Digital cameras are generally higher quality, but more expensive. Wireless systems can suffer interference from devices such as routers, cordless phones and microwaves, and can be blocked by heavy masonry or metal objects. Your filming may also be interrupted if your internet connection is lost.

IP CCTV system 

These are cameras that use your network or internet portal (IP) to send images to your computer’s router, allowing you to access the footage over the internet from remote locations.

Outdoor home CCTV cameras

If you’re using CCTV cameras outside, make sure they’re weatherproof and have the recommended IP rating of 66. Wireless cameras are available, but you’ll still have to run a cable to a power source. Position cameras where they can’t be tampered with, but are accessible for maintenance and cleaning. You can buy vandal-proof cameras, but these tend to cost more.