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  • Writer's pictureSteve O'Brien

Cameras vs Alarm systems vs "the Dog" for farm security- what's best?

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

We love the simplicity of the dog, cameras show us what happened, and the alarm system is the biggest deterrent to a thief. As a combination it works really well but often we have been led to choose one or the other. Here are the pros and cons....

Camera Security Systems:


1. Visual Evidence: Camera security systems provide visual evidence of any incidents or activities, which can be helpful in identifying criminals or resolving disputes.

2. Deterrence: The presence of visible cameras can deter potential criminals from targeting your property, as they know their actions are being recorded.

3. Remote Monitoring: Many camera systems offer remote access, allowing you to monitor your property in real-time from anywhere using a smartphone or computer.

4. Documentation: Camera footage can serve as valuable documentation for insurance claims or legal purposes.

5. Wide Coverage: Depending on the number and placement of cameras, you can achieve extensive coverage of your property, including both indoor and outdoor areas.


1. Privacy Concerns: Some people may have concerns about their privacy being invaded if cameras are placed in sensitive areas.

2. Maintenance: Cameras require regular maintenance, such as cleaning, adjusting angles, and ensuring they are functioning properly.

3. Cost: High-quality camera systems can be expensive, especially if you require multiple cameras and additional features like night vision or motion detection. The hardware and labour cost escalates quickly if you need extensive coverage of your property.

4. Vulnerability to Tampering: Cameras can be tampered with or disabled, potentially rendering them ineffective.

5. Limited Functionality: While cameras can capture visual evidence, they may not provide other security features like immediate alerts or deterrent sounds. If the intruder knows there is a camera they may cover themselves so they cannot be identified.

6. Connectivity: Some cameras can record locally, but if you need live streaming they will use a lot of data for a decent picture. This means you need an excellent wifi or ethernet connection which could mean extensive networking infrastructure is required. Some cameras can connect via cellular which if you are recording or streaming lots of events will come with data charges from your telco provider. Expect at least $30+ per month. The other factor is power. If you can not provide mains power near the source or run cables then you will need battery power. These will need to be changed before they run out, or you can use solar panels which starts to build significant cost when you need multiple cameras.

7. And finally trail cams. Once you scroll through the 150 images of waving branches, the possum, the spider or nothing at all, you may find its too late to act anyway.

Alarm Security Systems:


1. Immediate Alerts: Alarm systems can quickly detect unauthorized entry or suspicious activities and immediately notify you, allowing for prompt response.

2. Deterrence: Alarm systems the ability to install signs and sirens in multiple locations, if a siren is sounding with visable strobing light it is 95% likely the intruder will leave quickly as they know they have been detected and they have no idea what the response might be.

3. Integrated Sensors: Modern alarm systems can include various sensors for detecting smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, or even flooding, providing additional safety measures.

4. Easy to Use: Alarm systems are typically user-friendly, with keypads or smartphone apps for arming and disarming, making them accessible to anyone in your household.

5. Backup Power: Many alarm systems come with backup power options, ensuring that they remain functional during power outages.

6. Range: Some wireless devices can operate over very long range without needing power or direct internet connection. This takes away cost and adds significant flexibility.

7. Installation cost: You can protect many more areas with sensors that can be battery powered, lasting for many years in the field. This is a significantly lower cost vs cameras,


1. False Alarms: Alarm systems can sometimes trigger false alarms if not specified or installed properly. You should use a professional installer.

2. Limited Evidence: While alarm systems can notify you about an incident, they may not provide visual evidence of the event itself.

The Dog:


1. Built-in Alarm System: With a dog on guard, you'll have a barking security system that activates at the slightest hint of danger, scaring away potential intruders and delivering a "ruff" wake-up call (or a bloody sleepless night).

2. Unmatched Senses: Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and hearing, allowing them to detect any suspicious activity long before you even notice it. They're like furry superheroes with superpowers!

3. No False Alarms: Unlike some high-tech security systems, dogs won't trigger false alarms due to power outages or technical glitches. They are always ready for action, no software updates required.


1. Overly Friendly: Dogs are known for their friendliness, which means they might happily greet an intruder with a wagging tail if there is a good feed. Not the most effective deterrent!

2. Professional Nappers: Dogs love their sleep, and guarding the property can be tiring work. They might occasionally doze off on the job, leaving your property temporarily unprotected (unless they're light sleepers).

3. They may frighten the local stock agent or friendly rural postie (to be fair they have always been a target for most dogs).

In all seriousness, while we love dogs ultimately the best security choice between camera and alarm security systems depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Some people opt for a combination of both to benefit from their respective advantages.

FarmAlert provide a fully integrated solution that incorporate the best of both alarm and camera security using wireless technology. You can install devices right out to the perimeter of your farm or lifestyle block in most cases, and get visual verification or evidence of an event directly to your phone, in real time.

Technology has now caught up with thieves. The only question now is will you wait to be targeted before you act, or act now and sleep well at night and be able to leave the property knowing you will be alerted if you get visitors.

Have a look at our website to learn more and give us a call or hit the enquiry button on our home page. We are happy to provide a no obligation free security assessment and some advice.

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