Keep Eyes On Outbuildings With A Barn Security Camera

Having a barn security camera is one of the best ways to add security to your barn. You can watch a live view or set up alerts to protect your equipment and animals.

by Shelly Wutke
PHOTO: Benoit Debaix/Unsplash

Farm theft has been on the rise over the past few years. It’s not hard to understand why a hobby farm is a target for thieves. Given that your property stretches out over a few acres or more, it’s almost impossible to keep an eye on everything. For many hobby farmers, the biggest source of break-in worry is the barn.

Barns hold our expensive farm equipment, implements and animals, and one of the best ways to add security to your barn is to use a smart camera. There are a lot of barn security cameras to choose from, so you’ll need to know what you’re looking for in terms of features and what your farm is capable of supporting for power and Wi-Fi.

What is a barn security camera?

A barn security camera is a smart camera that either connects to your farm’s Wi-Fi network or has its own SIM card that works via your cellular network. You can choose wireless smart cameras that have a lithium-ion battery you’ll need to charge or wired cameras that connect to power via a standard plug.

Some smart cameras are weather resistant and will work in blistering heat and freezing winters, while others are meant for indoor spaces only. Not only will smart cameras give you a clear view of the location you place them in, but they will also detect motion, sound, people, vehicles and animals.

Some smart cameras also have advanced AI built in that can send you an alert if they detect fire or the sound of glass breaking.

To watch your barn’s video footage, you’ll need to add an app to your phone or tablet. Some smart cameras show a live stream but won’t save video clips. Others will offer you limited cloud storage or let you add a memory card to retrieve stored video.

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How to choose the right smart camera for your barn

The key to choosing the best barn security camera is to know where you’ll be placing the cameras, what features you need, and whether or not you’d be willing to pay a subscription fee for extra features.

Where will I place my barn camera?

Many of the latest smart cameras connect to your farm’s Wi-Fi network and have an average range of 300 feet. If your barn, outbuilding or livestock are within 300 feet, a Wi-Fi-based camera might be a good choice.

If a brand states that the Wi-Fi camera will work within 300 feet of your router, that is the absolute furthest distance it will work. The distance can be affected by walls, trees and other obstacles too. At the furthest range you may only have one bar of Wi-Fi, so the camera could lag when you’re trying to connect to it on your phone.

The camera may also stream choppy video at max range, or fail to send motion or sound notifications.

To avoid any lag or choppy video issues, you can choose a wired smart camera. Wired smart cameras connect to a central hub or DVR via a cable that supports video feed and power. You’ll need to pull the wire from your barn to your house so you may have to upgrade to longer cables to place your cameras in locations that work best for you.

There are also game cameras that don’t require Wi-Fi or a wired connection. These cameras use a SIM card or have a spot for an SD memory card. Some types will offer motion detection and a live view, while others will just store photos you’ll need to retrieve whenever you’re near the camera.

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What features do I need to have in a farm camera?

Smart cameras will provide you with a live view of whatever you’ve pointed them at. They will also send you motion and sound alerts. Depending on which brand you choose, there are quite a few features you may be interested in.

  • Custom alerts that identify whether it was a person, vehicle or animal that triggered the motion notification
  • Short clip motion capture that pre-rolls for 15 seconds before the motion was triggered so you don’t miss anything
  • 180-degree field of view
  • Night vision and color night vision so you can see motion in the dark
  • Sirens built in so you can turn them on if you spot an intruder
  • Spotlights that turn on when motion is detected
  • Two-way audio so you can press the microphone button and talk to whomever is there
  • Fire detection in case you have a fire in the barn

Are you willing to pay a monthly subscription?

Depending on the brand, some barn cameras won’t offer specific alerts unless you pay a subscription fee. They also won’t store video clips. So if you’d like seven days of storage or 30 days of storage for your video clips, you can sign up for a monthly subscription.

The fee can range from $5 per month and up.

Which barn security camera will you choose?

Having a camera in your barn is one of the best ways to prevent theft. It keeps you in the loop about what’s happening in and around your barn, even when you’re not at home.

The key to choosing the best barn security camera is to research a few brands, decide which features you must have, and then sit back and enjoy the view.

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