Why it pays to spy on your cottage over the winter

By Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock

Whether it’s to deter burglars or vandals (hey, it happens, right?) or just to see what critters stop by, remote cameras are both handy and easy to set up.

There are two general styles: wired and wireless. With either it’s possible to set up a network of cameras with different views and angles. With a Wi-Fi connection, either through a smart device or an onsite computer, you can see what’s going on from any computer or phone. A live view can show how much snow is on a roof or if a tree’s down on a deer fence. And connected motion-sensitive cameras can send a message when anything moves in their range, whether it’s a raccoon or something more nefarious.

The presence of cameras can deter crimes and may help solve them, says Corporal Curtis Peters of the RCMP’s southern Alberta district. “With most cottages being remote, there are rarely witnesses,” he says. “Security footage often becomes the only evidence.” Depending on the size of the cottage and property, one camera might be enough. The more cameras, the more they may act as a deterrent, but larger systems add cost and complexity. The Nest Cam Indoor, at $250, is one of the simplest for DIY installation and use.

Edmonton’s Action Security Cameras, meanwhile, quotes a five-camera system, fully installed with tutorial and support, as starting at around $3,000.

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