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—a few remain available for purchase. Glenn lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

What’s New in Version 1.2

This update expands coverage of end-to-end encryption (E2EE), which puts control in the hands of users, by storing encryption information only in devices under your control. This protects video as it streams or uploads to the cloud, and while stored in the cloud, from unwanted access. Someone has to both have an enrolled device—like a phone, tablet, or computer—and be able to unlock it to view video.

While Apple has already offered E2EE for its ecosystem via camera manufacturers who support Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video service (see “Use HomeKit to Store Video and Trigger Alerts”), what’s changed is that Amazon added E2EE support to several models of its Ring cameras.

You can read these new and updated section on end-to-end encryption, “Encrypting with End-to-End Protection” and “Some Cameras Give You the Keys to Privacy,” and read up on Amazon’s new options and which cameras are supported in “Ring: Privacy.”

This update also fixes a few typos.

What Was New in Version 1.1

This update to the book updates all the camera systems and models listed in Camera Models to the latest generations, pricing, and service plans and fees. It also includes new information about:

  • Facial recognition: Many cameras can identify faces and match them against data stored locally or in the cloud. I dig into the three main approaches used for facial identification in “Facial Recognition.”
  • Apple HomeKit Secure Video: This updates adds additional insight into Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video offering, including updating the list of cameras that now work with the system; see “Apple HomeKit.”
  • More Wi-Fi details: Some cameras work only over 2.4 GHz networks, and I explain that nuance in “Some Cameras Work over Only One Wi-Fi Band.”

There's also a one-page summary that helps you choose the best camera in each of three major categories.

  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • What’s New in Version 1.2
    • What Was New in Version 1.1
  • Introduction
  • Home Security Cameras Quick Start
  • Which Camera to Buy
  • Why Do You Want a Camera?
    • Screen Approved Visitors and Workers
    • Maintain Distance During Health Crises
    • 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?
  • Weigh Centralized and Smart Cameras
    • Centralize for Greater Control
    • Tradeoffs Between Smart and Central
  • Use Smart Home Ecosystems for Control
    • What Kind of Systems Exist
    • Look at Major Ecosystems
  • Camera Models
    • Pick a Smart Camera
    • Choose a Multi-Camera System
  • 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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