The cameras (for your uses) need not be ultra high-end. You might need to make out a face from 100’ or a license plate in the driveway. It doesn’t need to look “pretty”, as long as things in the focal length of the lense are recorded clearly enough to be discernable.
You’re better off going with several cameras at a cheaper price than one higher end camera that has blindspots.
PoE (Power over Ethernet) makes install easy, and will be easier to secure. You can put them on their own subnet so they can’t be accessed by someone wardriving. You would be shocked how many compromised home cameras there are. Virtually every wireless camera out there can be accessed easily by anyone. It’s not a flaw with the camera itself (with a few notable exceptions), but with the way most wireless routers (especially those you get from your ISP) are secured.
If you use WEP encryption, I can get in with my smartphone in under 12 seconds (that’s really the maximum time). WPA takes about 3 minutes on average, WPA2 can be 10 minutes up to a couple of hours, but they are all crackable.
The other side of this, it may not be someone hacking your wifi to access your camera, but instead intercepting packets from the camera to crack your wifi, lol. Even if you have really good encryption and a strong key, the cameras become a point of failure. The process or cracking wifi security comes down to intercepting as many packets of data as possible on that network, looking for commonalities in those packets, and using that to reverse engineer the encryption key (this is done through software, so even an idiot can download a wifi cracking app and use it). Wireless cameras kill your network security because they send a constant stream of packets at regular intervals, and the data is fairly uniform. If it’s dark, there’s no motion and the camera has compressed the image before sending it, it may end up sending the exact same image dozens of times in a row. That means the couple of hours it would normally take is reduced to just a few minutes.
This is why PoE cameras like for example Zmodo https://secretstorages.com/best-outdoor-wireless-security-camera-system-with-dvr/ are better, and that negates concerns with interference on the 2.4Ghz spectrum. The downside is you have to run some cable.
If you go wireless, consider getting an enclosure for the camera. This serves four purposes:
• Can disguise the camera (not helpful if you want it as a visual deterrent, but in some situations you will prefer people not knowing you’re recording). If I see a wireless camera, it’s like hanging a big sign in front of your house saying “Hack my Network”, lol. Really comes down to who you’re protecting against.
• Additional protection from the elements.
• Covers the power connection (nobody can just pull the cord, it’s under an enclosure which is bolted down).
• Covers the model of camera. A “hacker” doesn’t know how to exploit every piece of technology, but they sure as hell know how to Google “Default Password for TP-Link Cameras”. If nobody knows what kind of camera they’re dealing with, you’re a lot better off.
You’re the only house on the street, so you’re not likely to find some renegade rural hacker going door to door. If you lived in an apartment where there are 20+ wireless networks visible on your devices… well wireless cameras would surely screw you. You’re probably safer than most people using them, so my advice here might seem a bit alarmist. Just keep in mind, burglars are wise to this tech. They may not be in it to hack your network, but they have the apps and they know how to use them. They check facebook posts for vacation notices to see if anyone’s home, they look for “DIY” alarm systems (unmonitored) and can remotely disable many of them. Gone are the days of someone randomly kicking in your door (unless you live in a drug neighborhood)… They come prepared and it’s very high-tech. Likewise, stalkers don’t just follow you around and sit outside your house, they engage in cyberstalking as well now. They are well versed in information and device security (and security flaws). Crazy people are getting smarter, lol.
Quick Warning on PoE:
If they are powered by a router which also has wifi, make sure it’s secured and not broadcasting the SSID. If I can access the wireless signal, I can reboot the router, thus killing your cameras for a few minutes. If I get on your network I can use a simple script to launch dozens of web requests to your router, one of which is likely the soft-reboot sequence. For example, this would kill most Frontier and Century Link modems (made by Netgear at least).