A home security glossary that will make you smarter

A home security glossary that will make you smarter

What is the “cloud”?

What is “geofence”? 

These are just some of the new-age terms when it comes to home security. 

Like all technology, if you don’t stay up to date you’ll be left behind. As our homes get smarter and security gets better, it’s important to understand what things mean so you can navigate the world of home security.

That’s why here at Cammy we have put together a security glossary that will make you smarter.


Your home security glossary:


Alarm: Awareness of danger. When it comes to security, an alarm can mean a small device that produces a loud noise or software that alerts you when there is danger.

Auto: Short for automatic or automated. For example, here at Cammy “auto + alarm” means you can set a location to have your alarm automatically arm/disarm when you leave and re-enter home or business.

Alarm Security System: A system consisting of cameras and/or sensors to signal emergencies.


Bandwidth: The range of frequencies within a given band, in particular, that is used for transmitting a signal.

Burglary: Entry into a building illegally with the intent to commit a crime, most often theft.


Cat 5 Wire: A twisted pair cable for computer networks. The cable provides up to 100 MHz and is used to carry signals such as video.

Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV): A TV system in which signals are not publicly distributed, but are monitored for surveillance and security purposes. This comprises of cameras, recorders, and displays for monitoring activities.

Cloud Backup: A strategy for backing up data that involves sending a copy of the data over a proprietary or public network to an offsite server.

Cloud Storage: A cloud computing model in which data is stored on remote servers accessed from the internet or “cloud” that is maintained, operated and managed by a service provider on storage servers.



Digital Video Recorder (DVR): A device that records audio/video input, typically from a TV signal onto a hard disk.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Security System: An easy to set up plug and play system, usually set up through Wi-Fi.

Dual-Band: A router that uses two frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz) to support internet interference, range, and bandwidth.


Event: This usually refers to motion detected footage that a security camera captures.

Encryption: The most effective way to achieve data security. It is the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it.

Ethernet: A system for connecting a number of computer systems to form a LAN, to control the passing of information and to avoid simultaneous transmission by two or more systems.


False alarms: An alarm triggered by a false motion. Some security systems will be alerted by a false alarm (such as a spider web or the wind) and authorities are called prematurely.

Field of vision: The entire area that a security camera is able to see, once in a fixed position.

Firewall: A network security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. This protects you against untrusted networks.


Geofencing: The use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.

Gigahertz (GHz): The speed of microprocessors, called the clock speed.

Global Positioning System (GPS): A radio navigation system that allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world.


High Definition (HD): A display technology that surpasses the video quality and sharpness of Standard Definition.

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI): An audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video and audio data from devices such as a computer, video project, digital television etc.

Home Automation: A cloud based service that allows the customer to control lights, locks, and thermostats inside their home from a computer or smartphone.

Home Security: Securing a home or business from burglaries, fires, or hazards using security cameras or sensors.

Hub:  Also known as a Network Video Recorder, this is a device that gives you access to 24/7 HD video recording along with 30 days of cloud storage. 


Image Sensor: A device that allows for a visual verification of alarms. This usually consists of a motion sensor that triggers a video recording and an alarm if a motion is detected.

Infrared: An alarm device detection most often found in motion detectors. Infrared detectors distinguish changes in electromagnetic radiation as opposed to normal light changes. LEDs used on security cameras often use infrared technology to emit more light.

IP Camera: A type of digital video camera commonly employed for surveillance, which unlike analog CCTV cameras, can send and receive data via a computer network and the internet.

Internet Protocol (IP): A digital media transport system that runs over standard IP networks.

Internet Service Provider (ISP): A company that provides access to the internet.

IP Address: A unique string of numbers that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.



No definitions for “J” at this time.


No definitions for “K” at this time.


Layers of Home or Business: Preventative layers your home or business has, that makes it harder for intruders to enter.

Live View: View your security cameras live from your smartphone to get a complete picture of what’s happening. Monitor up to 4 cameras simultaneously on any HD TV with HDMI connection.

Local Area Network (LAN): A group of computers and devices that share a communication line or wireless link to a server.


Megabits Per Second (Mbps): Unit of measurement for bandwidth and throughput on a network.

MegaHertZ (MHz): Used to measure the transmission speed of electronic devices, including channels and the computer’s internal clock.

Modem: A modem is a device that runs data through cables or Wi-Fi and turns the data into electrical signals.

Monitoring: Observing something over a period of time via security cameras.


Network Video Recorder (NVR): A software program that records video in a digital format and stores it on a disk, flash drive, or memory card.

Notification: Electronic alerts sent as an email or text message when an event or alarm is triggered. These settings can be changed to be enabled or disabled.


No definitions for “O” at this time.


Passive Infra-Red Motion Detector (PIR): An alarm device that measures infrared (IR) light radiating from objects in its field of view to sense motion and activate an alarm. Apparent motion is detected when an infrared source with another temperature, such as a human, passes in front of the PIR detector and changes the normal temperature causing an alarm.

Power Over Ethernet (PoE): A technology for wired Ethernet LAN’s that allows the electrical current to be carried by the data cables rather than by power cords.

Power Supply: A device that supplies electrical energy to an output load or to a group of output loads.


No definitions for “Q” at this time.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology: Automatic identification technology which uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to identify objects carrying tags when they come close to a reader.

Remote Access: A security system that you can arm/disarm, view events and schedule alarms remotely from a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Router: A router is required to sort through the digital data provided by the modem and determine where to send it. Whether it’s a laptop, tablet or smartphone, a router uses one single internet connection to power all devices.


Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): See Transport layer security (TLS).

Security Camera App: An app on your smartphone or tablet that gives you access to your home or business security system.

Sensor: A device that detects opening or closing of a window or door, which triggers an event.

Surveillance Camera: See CCTV.


Tamper Proof Camera: A cameras made so that it cannot be interfered with or changed.

Transport Layer Security (TLS): Cryptographic protocols that provide communication security over a computer network.

Two-Way Audio: A camera with the capability to speak through.


No definitions for “U” at this time.


Video Compression: Encoding digital video to take up less storage space and transmission bandwidth.

Video Recorder: A device that, when linked to a TV, can be used for recording and playback videotapes.


Wide Area Network (WAN): A geographically distributed private telecommunications network that interconnects multiple local area networks (LANs).

Wi-Fi: The standard wireless local area network technology that connects computers and devices to each other and a single network.

Wireless: Broadcasting, computer networking, or other communication using radio signals and microwaves.


No definitions for “X” at this time.


No definitions for “Y” at this time.


Zone Description: The location of a motion detection cameras that are in charge of monitoring a certain zone (an example would be a front door camera or living room camera).

When it comes to home or business security, I don’t want you to be overwhelmed. This glossary is here to help clarify any concepts you are unfamiliar with.

Be sure to check in as I continue to update our Security Glossary. If you have a security term you want me to explain, please let me know in the comments below.