Make your home safer!

Take Control of
Home Security Cameras

Glenn Fleishman

Are you thinking about installing a home security camera (or several!) or a smart-home security and sensor system that includes cameras? This book guides you through the many decisions about quality, features, privacy, and security that will help you find just what you want. If you own one or more home security cameras already, you’ll learn much more about options, configuration, and changes you can make—and how you might expand your system or replace parts of it. (This book could even convince you that the time isn’t right to purchase a home security camera given tradeoffs you don’t want to make, especially on privacy and security!)

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.


In Take Control of Home Security Cameras, networking and security expert Glenn Fleishman shows you how to make smart choices about buying and configuring cameras that take into account technical details, video quality, system integration, your own privacy and that of others, and internet security.

As you read this book, you’ll:

  • Figure out which features are right for you
  • Configure your system securely to ensure that you and people you authorize are the only ones with access to live and stored video
  • Find out how to build a system entirely offline, in which no video or live streams make their way to the internet at all
  • Understand the different kinds of cloud-based storage of video, and which you might be comfortable with
  • Learn about Apple HomeKit Secure Video, a new option available for iPhone and iPad users and certain camera systems (including Logitech Circle 2 and Eufy cameras) that provides the highest level of privacy currently available in cloud storage
  • Get to know features found in home security cameras, and how they affect the quality and nature of video you capture
  • Set your system so that alerts only appear for the kinds of motion, sound, or other triggers that meet your threshold
  • Avoid becoming part of the surveillance state—or opt into a limited and controlled part of it with a fuller understanding of what that means
  • Learn about the legal aspects and limits of recording audio and video, and how they might (or might not) help catch criminals
  • Get in-depth insight into over 10 of the most popular home security video cameras and systems, including Amazon Blink and Ring, Eufy, Google Nest, NETGEAR Arlo, Logitech Circle, Wyze, and several others
  • Figure out whether you want a multi-camera system that records video on your network or smart cameras that stream events or continuous video to the internet
Glenn Fleishman

About Glenn Fleishman

Glenn Fleishman is a veteran technology writer who has contributed to dozens of publications across his career, including Macworld, Fast Company, and Increment. He has also written dozens of editions of books in the Take Control series. He spent 2019 and 2020 building 100 tiny type museums full of real printing artifacts. Glenn lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

What’s New in Version 1.3

This version incorporates the latest feature changes to home security cameras and software, and changes to the devices manufacturers make available in their line-ups. Other changes include:

  • Doorbell cameras: The section on doorbell cameras, “Ding, Dong! Who’s There?”, has been revised and expanded. I’ve also added a sidebar that gets into the electrical issues of using analog doorbell wiring for a doorbell camera in “Doorbell Cameras May Require or Allow Special Wiring.”
  • Apple HomeKit Secure Video and iCloud+: Apple changed the name of its paid tiers of storage. The free 5 GB tier is still iCloud, but the 50 GB, 200 GB, and 2 TB tiers ($0.99, $2.99, and $9.99 per month, respectively) are all called iCloud+. All three tiers now include support for HomeKit Secure Video. See “Use HomeKit to Store Video and Trigger Alerts.” Changes were made throughout as well.
  • Use an Apple TV to view video: I’ve added a short section that explains how to use an Apple TV with tvOS 13 or later to view video from HomeKit-connected cameras. See “View Video with an Apple TV.”
  • Google name changes: Google Home now refers only to the app Google offers to control their hardware; previously, Google also released smart speakers as Google Home devices, but now uses Nest for their branding. See “Google Assistant, Nest, and Home.”
  • Expanded encryption in transit: I expanded the section about how data and video used by cameras is encrypted in transit to better explain the layers of options available. See “Encrypt Data in Transit.”
  • Pandemic changes: Earlier versions of this book made different assumptions about the behavior people might engage in under the pandemic when the form of its transmission was less well understood. The book has been updated to reflect how we live now.
  • Removed centralized camera systems: In previous versions of this book, I covered camera systems that had a central wired or wireless hub with a network video recorder. In the past, such systems were the only affordable way to install a lot of cameras and record continuous video. “Smart” cameras, the kind covered throughout this book, and the ecosystems that support them, now come in enough variety and low-enough cost to avoid the many tradeoffs of centralized systems.
  • Reduced the scope of camera systems: In previous editions, we tried to keep abreast of all the changes to pricing, features, and models across about a dozen different major camera systems. That’s proved to be impossible unless we updated the book monthly. Instead, we’ve improved recommendations and links to cameras throughout the book, and slimmed down “Camera Models” to provide the most useful information that isn’t constantly changing.
  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • What’s New in Version 1.3
    • What Was New in Version 1.2
  • Introduction
  • Home Security Cameras Quick Start
  • Which Camera to Buy
  • Why Do You Want a Camera?
    • Screen Approved Visitors and Workers
    • Ding, Dong! Who’s There?
    • Deter and Report Crime
  • Rough Out Your Layout
  • Choose Where Video Lives
    • Where a Camera Stores Your Video
    • How To Retrieve Video
    • Pick Your Storage Method
  • Consider Physical Parameters
    • Pick a Brand Name?
    • Choose a Network Connection
    • Mull Mounts and Pick Power
    • How Cameras Capture a Scene
    • Pick Camera-Based Features
    • Consider Extras Beyond Video
  • Be Alert!
    • Configure Triggers
    • Actions Respond to Triggers
    • Receive Alerts
  • Secure Your System
    • You Face Real Risk
    • Set Up an Account or Device Password
    • Secure Hardware and Data
    • Share Access
  • Protect Privacy
    • Keep Your Cameras and Video Private
    • Respect Other People’s Privacy
    • Are You Part of the Surveillance State?
  • Use Smart Home Ecosystems for Control
    • What Kind of Systems Exist
    • Look at Major Ecosystems
  • Camera Models
    • Amazon Blink
    • Amazon Ring
    • Canary
    • D-Link mydlink
    • Eufy
    • Eufy: Capture and Storage
    • Google Nest
    • Logitech Circle
    • NETGEAR Arlo
    • TP-Link Kasa
    • Wyze
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print

Glenn Fleishman discusses M-series Macs, securing your Mac, Apple ID and more

Posted by Joe Kissell on April 23, 2021

Glenn Fleishman joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices in a massive, three-part series to discuss updates to several of his books, including Take Control of Your M-Series Mac, Take Control of Securing Your Mac, Take Control of Your Apple ID, and Take Control of Home Security Cameras. The three episodes are:

You can also watch them right here:

Glenn Discusses Home Security Cameras with Chuck Joiner

Posted by Joe Kissell on March 5, 2020

Glenn Fleishman joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices to talk about his new book Take Control of Home Security Cameras. He’ll tell you about the many variables involved in choosing a camera system and what his book covers.


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