FAQs

These are a few our frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not listed here, reach out through our contact page and we will do what we can to help!

  • How many cameras do I need?

    There is no right answer to this question. To address the number of cameras, first you have to consider what you want to achieve from your security camera system.

    To provide sensible coverage of a home, it is likely you will need a minimum of 4 cameras. It is possible to fit less cameras, however some angles will be left wanting.

    Check out our sample security camera systems to get some ideas. If you still are not sure, get in touch and one of our team will help you out!

  • Are security cameras safe from tampering?

    There are 2 areas to be concerned about when it comes to tampering with your security cameras. The cameras and the cabling. You can deal with both by paying attention to where both cameras and cables are positioned.

    Our advice is to keep both cameras and cables out of reach of someone walking past and reaching up. You don’t want to go too high with the camera location as otherwise you compromise the image it produces. This will solve the majority of your problems.

    Cameras

    We offer a range of vandal resistant cameras – both traditional style vandal proof cameras and the more modern, easier to install and much more popular open dome turret style cameras that are designed to take a beating if the camera can’t be moved too far out of harm’s way.

    Cabling

    The best approach for cabling is to have totally concealed cabling. This means the cable comes through a hole in the wall and the camera is fitted directly on top of this cable. It keeps the cables hidden and within the envelope of the building.

    Ultimately, it’s impossible to stop the most determined person. Keeping both cameras and cabling out of reach will deter most people and avoid over 99% of issues. In the event of someone tampering with a camera, if planned properly, your system should have recorded footage identifying them already.

  • Security systems to fit my budget

    For everything but the most modest budget we have a solution for you. Check out our Camera Systems as a great starting point.

    Whilst quality does come at a bit of a price, some of our competitors would have you believe it comes at a much greater price than we charge! We understand that not everyone had the budget for our products. If you don’t see something that fits your budget – get in touch and one of our team will do what we can to help!

  • I have an existing system; will your cameras work with mine?

    Probably!

    Our security cameras and recorders are designed to be backward compatible with as many different technologies as practically possible. Our camera connections are industry standard connections for both the video and the power.

    The cameras require the industry standard 12V DC (unless specified otherwise).

    All the information about which technologies the product is compatible with is located on the individual product page. If you are not certain and want confirmation before ordering, let us know what you currently have (the more info the better). We will research the products and get back to you with an answer. Get in touch here.

  • Wired vs Wireless

    Wireless security cameras are a great idea in theory and one we would love to be able to promote. In practice however the time spent running cables and avoid wireless will be well worth it in the long run.

    1. Wireless cameras are not really wireless. This is a bit of an oxymoron, however don’t forget that the camera needs power as well
    2. The wireless signal can be easily intercepted or simply blocked. Whilst illegal in most areas, online it is possible for less than the cost of a meal at a restaurant to purchase a device that jams all wireless signals in the area rendering your fancy wireless camera useless
    3. Unstable wireless connections. It’s not uncommon for any wireless connection to randomly drop out. Cameras are no different. Would you really want to risk your security camera system not functioning when needed, or if you are not at home when you notice to re-establish the connection?
    4. Security of the wireless connection. Rarely is the communication between the camera and the receiver secure.
    5. Cameras with inbuilt wireless connections generally are cheap and cheerful. Great sounding on paper but when the rubber meets the road, they don’t perform as advertised. Often when this is found out, it’s too late.

    Ultimately, wired security cameras are the way to go. If you need some help planning cable routes or have a route that is particularly long, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for some help.

  • Will I experience interference?

    There are so many causes of interference that it’s impossible to be 100% certain you won’t experience any, however there are steps you can take to reduce or limit the risks. There are 2 main ways to massively reduce the chance of interference.

    1. Don’t run cables close to other cables, especially high voltage power cables
    2. Use our CAT5e cable with video baluns – the way the video baluns work along with the internal structural makeup of the cable is such that it reduces the impact of most interference induced on the cable

    If you are experiencing interference, get in touch and we will see how we can help.

  • What are the rules and regulations or laws regarding security cameras?

    Rules and regulations vary from state to state, however some general guidelines to follow are:

    1. Recording people without their knowledge or consent is not allowed when they are somewhere that provides a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, bathrooms, changing rooms etc. This also applies to commercial security camera applications – this would include hotel rooms etc
    2. Video recordings are often treated differently to audio (wiretap laws). Don’t forget however that anyone who is trespassing within your home is generally considered to have waived any expectation of privacy. Check out to see if you are in a dual-consent state.

    Please be aware that these are our general interpretation of the law – specific rules may apply in certain states and it is up to the end user to ensure they comply with all laws applicable to them.

  • How should I select cameras that best fit me?

    We have lots of advice on our website that will help you select the best camera for your needs. The most important thing to consider is at what distance do you want to be able to identify a person. This will determine the lens option that is right for you.

    After working out which lens will work best for you, then you can select the camera body style.

    Our most popular lens options are the 2.8-12mm varifocal lens and the 5-50mm varifocal lens. The 2.8-12mm will identify people at up to 50 feet. The 5-50mm up to 230 feet. For the more budget conscious customer the 3.6mm fixed lens is a popular option to give a wide angle general overview of an area but will only identify people at up to 20 feet.

    See these cameras as examples:

  • I want a security system with audio capabilities

    There are a couple of issues with incorporating audio into a security camera system.

    1. Legal
    2. Effectiveness

    Let’s start with the first one:

    Legal

    Video recordings are treated differently to audio recordings by law. Generally, video recordings can be made of anywhere except areas where people would have a reasonable expectation of privacy (for example bathrooms). Audio recordings on the other hand are subject to federal and state wiretap laws.

    Some states require dual-consent (i.e. both parties involved are aware). Other states only require one of the two parties to consent to the recordings. Make sure you know which your state is. Note: our understanding is that a small sign or sticker is not enough for a visitor to have provided consent – written consent is required.

    Please be aware that these are our interpretations of the law – specific rules may apply in certain states and it is up to the end user to ensure they comply with all laws applicable to them.

    Effectiveness

    The common request is to locate a microphone either inside or next to a camera. The ideal location to install a camera is usually different to the ideal location to install a microphone. To be really effective, cameras need to look at people whereas microphones need to be as close as possible to the source.

    This means additional wiring is required for the microphone. The standard audio input which is RCA (also known as Phono) requires an amplified audio signal from the microphone.

  • How are security cameras backed up?

    The footage from security cameras are stored on a hard drive which is located within your recorder (see our page about if all hard drives are the same). This footage lasts for a certain period of time that is determined by the number of cameras and the size of the hard drive.

    For example, a 4TB hard drive that is recording footage from 8 security cameras would be expected to store a rolling 24 days of security camera footage. This means that you will always have 24 days of footage stored. As the hard drive fills up, the earliest recordings are overwritten.

    If an incident occurs that you would like to store for future use you can back this clip up using one of a couple of different methods. You should be backing up short sections of video footage – the few minutes when something happens and then only from the cameras that see something. You don’t need to back up the full day from all cameras on your system – this will produce far too much data (number of GB) and will be unworkable if you need to present it as evidence. The different methods available to you are:

    USB Memory Stick

    The first of these methods is by using a USB memory stick. You plug the memory stick into the USB port on the recorder. Then using the user interface, you then select the start and end date and times and ask it to back up the footage. The files will be copied to the USB memory stick for your use on a computer at a later date. Our advice would be to copy the footage straight from a USB memory stick to your computer as USB sticks can be known to fail.

    Direct to Computer

    The other option is to back up directly to your computer. This requires your security camera recorder to be connected to your home network. This doesn’t have to be a permanent connection and can be a cable that you only plug in as required. You then use either Internet Explorer on a PC or Safari on a Mac to browse to the recorder. Select the start and end date and times. It will then copy that footage onto your computer’s hard drive.

    We can provide technical support on either of these processes if required.

  • Will remotely accessing security cameras work with my internet?

    It is likely, yes. However, some internet connections do not allow remote inbound connections (such as cell and some satellite internet connections). Depending on the type of connection there may be a way around this.

    If you have a standard internet connection, there likely will be no problem at all.

    If you are not sure, the best thing to do is to reach out to our technical support team and they will get back to you as quick as possible.

  • Is night vision an option?

    Yes!

    At night, in low light conditions, security cameras use infra-red illumination as a substitute for normal light. The majority of the security cameras that we sell have infra-red illumination on board.

    When the camera uses the IR, it will see black and white, not color images. This is due to how the camera processes the infra-red light it senses.

    If, for some reason, this on-board illumination is not sufficient we do also stock a separate IR illuminator however we recommend contacting our technical support team prior to purchasing one of these.

  • What is the BEST security camera system to have?

    There is no such thing as “the best security camera system”. You need “the best security camera system for your use”. More expensive does not always mean better… for your use.

    Take this example: 2 people with 2 different homes. 1 has a 200ft drive. 2 has a 40ft drive. Both want to identify people at the end of the drive. The camera that the first person (longer drive) needs is the Bullet Camera with 5-50mm Lens. The second person (shorter drive) however requires a 2.8-12mm lens in a camera such as the Bullet Camera with 2.8-12mm Lens. The camera that the first guy (or girl) needs is significantly more expensive than the second…but if you are the second guy with the 40ft drive, the BEST security camera for that use would be the cheaper one.

    Take a look at our sample security camera systems to help plan your system and choose the best camera for each location.

    If you require further assistance, we offer a complimentary service to help you design your system and select the right products for you. Get in touch.

    When at the early stages of installing a security camera system, a bit of time spent planning will make a huge difference. Not only that, but you will end up with the BEST security camera system!

  • What is the difference in resolutions? ie: D1, 960h, 720p, 1080p etc.

    D1 and 960h are standard definition resolutions. 720p and 1080p are high definition resolutions.

    720p is the poor relation to 1080p. The cost differential of the components is minor but you notice a big difference in the quality of the output! Everything we stock here at Orange Security is 1080p Full high definition.

    Check out our advice section dedicated to Full 1080p Resolution for more info.

  • I want my cameras to be discreet

    That’s not a problem. There are 3 ways to achieve discreet security cameras. The first is expected – the other two are tricks learnt from planning systems for many years,

    1. Using a covert camera
    2. Positioning of a camera
    3. Using a camera with a long range

    Using a Covert Camera

    This is the most common method and we stock a number of covert security cameras. These are either High Definition security cameras that are packaged within a camera body designed to look like something else (such as a PIR detector for an alarm system) or are just very small (such as our mini camera). Whilst these all produce very good quality footage during the day, at night they struggle because they do not have on-board infra-red. They also are only for use in areas where they won’t get wet.

    Positioning of a Camera

    This is a trick that often is forgotten. It’s remarkably easy to choose a camera position that is slightly out of the regular eye-line. Whilst the camera is not a covert model, it is discreet as it’s not usually noticed.

    Using a Camera with a Long Range

    Our Bullet Camera with 5-50mm Lens is a very special camera in that it can identify people at up to 230 feet away. This is a huge distance in security camera terms and allows the camera to be in a position where a person wouldn’t normally expect a security camera to be able to identify them. Again, not strictly covert but does produce discreet recordings.

  • Can I hide my cameras in plain sight?

    Yes! There are 2 ways to do this without using one of our covert security cameras.

    1. Positioning of a camera
    2. Using a camera with a long range

    Positioning of a Camera

    This is a trick that often is forgotten. It’s remarkably easy to choose a camera position that is slightly out of the regular eye-line. Whilst the camera is not a covert model, it is discreet as it’s not usually noticed.

    Using a Camera with a Long Range

    Our Bullet Camera with 5-50mm Lens is a very special camera in that it can identify people at up to 230 feet away. This is a huge distance in security camera terms and allows the camera to be in a position where a person wouldn’t normally expect a security camera to be able to identify them. Again, not strictly covert but does produce discreet recordings.

  • HD-TVI, CVI, AHD, HD Analog?

    These are all different high definition analog technologies. Check out our comprehensive article not only regarding HD-TVI and AHD but also CVI, SDI and IP.

  • Do I need an HD camera?

    Believe it or not, but high definition cameras do have some drawbacks. The main one is the amount of data being produced is much greater than standard definition recordings.

    Taking everything into account, and that hard drives are sensibly priced, our general advice is to install HD cameras to get the best quality images possible.

    Check out our article dedicated to the drawbacks of HD.

  • Tell me about remote viewing

    One of the most commonly requested features is the ability to access a security camera system remotely over the internet when away from home. This is functionality built into all our security camera recorders.

    You can view your security cameras remotely either on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet.

    For most people the setup is quick and easy. If you are struggling with this then please get in touch and one of our tech guys will be able to help you out.

  • Why should I upgrade my camera system?

    Upgrading a security camera system is often dismissed due to having to rewire and the cost. The good news is that our equipment is fully backward compatible with industry standard wiring and standard definition resolutions.

    This means you can use existing cabling and you can just swap out the elements of the system that you can afford.

    By upgrading your recorder and possibly one or two cameras you will be able to take advantage of the benefits of HD security whilst not breaking the bank. As your old cameras will work with your new recorder you can still monitor areas that you consider to be of lesser importance.

    Check out our more in depth article on upgrading to HD Security Cameras.

  • Can I control my cameras?

    These types of cameras are called PTZ cameras which stands for Pan Tilt Zoom cameras. These cameras can be remotely controlled from your recorder.

    • Pan is the head of the camera rotating left or right
    • Tilt is the head of the camera angling up or down
    • Zoom is the camera lens zooming in or out

    Most PTZ cameras do not have IR illumination for use at night, however we stock a great PTZ Camera with IR illumination that also had a great zoom lens.

    The above is a great camera; but it is not one we regularly recommend. To find out why not, check out our advice page dedicated to PTZ Cameras.

  • How easy is installation?

    Everything that we sell is designed for self-installation by someone with average DIY skill levels. We have many photos and videos to explain how to carry out each part of a security camera system installation.

    By far, the hardest part of installing a security camera system is getting the cables from the camera location to where the recorder is going to sit. Once this is done, making the connections on the ends of the cables is easy.

    If you struggle, we are also here on the phone and e-mail to help with any queries you may have either before purchase to reassure your confidence or actually during the installation process if you run into any issues.

    All our equipment operates at a low voltage – 12V DC. Any wiring that interfaces with mains voltage is all molded plugs.

  • What do I do if I need support?

    We pride ourselves on our customer service both of people who have purchased their equipment from us and those who have not (yet!).

    We are available to contact over the telephone, web form or e-mail as required. None of our contact methods go into a big black hole never to be seen or heard from again. Instead you get to speak with a real person who has great industry knowledge.

    Check our our contact page to get in touch.

  • Have a question not answered here? Call 800.717.6009

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