It is important to carefully consider the location of your surveillance cameras. While you may think you have all the areas, you also need to make sure your cameras are close enough to the potential action to capture pictures that identify people and vehicles.

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CCTV cameras are quite an effective deterrent to thieves and robbers. They are also useful after the fact in helping to identify criminals, but only if you position them correctly so that they are close enough to get a good picture of a face or license plate. Otherwise, you will only receive basic information about people and vehicles.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for your CCTV system so that you not only capture activity but hopefully some useful information for the police.

Make sure your cameras can record high quality video


Most modern security cameras advertise 1080p HD recording, which is great, but that’s only one factor in video quality. You also want your cameras to have as many megapixels as you can afford.

On consumer Wi-Fi cameras like the Nest Cam or Amazon Cloud Cam, you won’t necessarily be able to control the video quality (apart from the Low, Medium, and High settings). However, if you are buying a wired network camera, many of them advertise megapixels.

RELATED: What You Should Know Before Buying a Wired Camera Security System

For example, this system from Ezviz has 3 megapixel cameras that record at 1080p, but this camera from Hikvision is a 4 megapixel model and records at the same 1080p resolution. You’ll even find higher megapixel cameras that can record over 1080p, like this one from Dahua, which is a 6MP model with 3072×2048 resolution.

The higher the megapixels, the sharper the image and your camera will be more successful at capturing faces and license plates.

Install cameras low and close to doorways

Many times we see security cameras installed in places where it is impossible to identify anything, even with a good quality camera. Mounting cameras high up in a corner where it’s not noticeable is common practice, but you probably won’t be able to identify much with a camera that’s that far away.

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Instead, mount your cameras low and as close to doorways and other entry points as possible. Former burglar Michael Durden sat down for an interview and offered a lot of advice to homeowners, but one of the more interesting ones was to install security cameras in a way that they could easily identify a face and in a way that would stop the burglar from keeping his head turned away.

This is not always possible, however, due to where you may or may not be able to mount cameras, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Video doorbell is your best bet

Continuing with the previous section, if you can’t install a security camera as close to your door as possible, then it might be worth getting a video doorbell instead.

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They replace your existing doorbell and this place is the perfect spot for a security camera — it’s low enough to see anyone approaching your front door.

The only downside is that they can be expensive. You can get the original Ring doorbell for as little as $99, but the new Ring model costs $200. And the Nest Hello is even more expensive at $230.

Regardless, video intercoms are one of the most useful smart home devices. Not only can they record videos of people at your door, but they can also send you alerts when someone rings your doorbell.

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