A home surveillance system can offer peace of mind and an effective deterrent against most burglary attempts, but it can also cost a pretty penny to have one installed. According to HomeAdvisor, the average homeowner spends between $831 and $2,233 to have their home security cameras professionally installed.

For homeowners on a strict budget, fake security cameras are a popular and often more affordable alternative. But can a dummy be as effective as the real deal, or will a fake security camera actually hurt your home security?

Fake Cameras Offer a False Sense of Security

Many homeowners choose fake security cameras under the belief that having a fake system is better than having no security cameras at all. This is somewhat true, since having fake security cameras around can scare most petty thieves and vandals away from targeting your home and property. However, a fake security cameras setup can also give you a false sense of security.

Letting your guard down with fake security cameras could also result in lax security measures elsewhere throughout your home. If you do plan on having a fake security camera setup, you'll want to make sure your home is secure in other ways, as well.

Some Burglars May Not Notice the Fakeness, But Others Probably Will

Casual onlookers and amateur burglars might not know the difference between a fake security camera and a real one, but a seasoned burglar may be able to tell the difference.

There are plenty of tell-tale signs that can give away the game upon close inspection. For example, some fake security cameras attempt to prove their "legitimate" bona fides by having a small red LED light prominently featured on the front of the camera. Although LED lights exist on real cameras to let installers and technicians know they're working, they're usually hidden on the back of the camera and kept out of open view after installation.

A lack of wiring or seemingly inadequate wiring can be another dead giveaway for fake security cameras that aren't installed flush to the wall. A typical box-style security camera requires a coaxial cable for transmitting video and additional wiring for power. Having just one wire leading to the camera (or no wires at all, in some cases) is often a surefire sign of a fake camera.

Even slight variations in color and texture can out a fake security camera. Although most manufacturers of faux surveillance cameras do their best to closely match popular models already on the market, some manufacturers may take liberties with the fine details. It's these discrepancies in detail that a seasoned burglar can easily pick out, and this may make your home an even bigger target than before.

Real Cameras Offer Better Protection

In the end, it's usually better to invest your money and effort into purchasing a genuine security camera system. The money spent on your security camera equipment can be offset by the genuine peace of mind you get from having a fully operating security system with actual recording capabilities. This also means that even if the most brazen of burglars managed to break into your home, you'll have plenty of audio and video evidence that could help identify them and eventually bring them to justice.

Real security cameras can also be paired with outdoor motion detectors and smart lighting solutions to provide a comprehensive safety solution for your home. Some higher-end security cameras are also able to see in the dark, thanks to infrared technology that allows for operation under nighttime or low-light conditions. Many security camera systems are also Wi-Fi capable and compatible with the latest smartphone technology, allowing you to monitor your home while you're away from it. Visit a website like http://arapahoesecurity.com to learn more.