Set up the system to retain the recording for, say one month. The duration must be long enough for you to be able to recover the recording even after a long break. Set up recording to be done 'on motion' only. This takes some doing and re-doing before you get it right, but this saves hard disk space and your recording will be retained longer. There could be locations you want to view, but not necessarily record - in that case don't record. You will want to be able to view your system remotely. In order to do so you need to set up your router to accept incoming traffic, this is normally referred to as port forwarding. If you have a dynamic IP address (like most of us) you also need to get a web address. Read the manual, most manufacturers provide a web address through their system. You can also get a sub-domain from an independent DNS provider. The system comes with a default user name (typically 'admin') and a default password (typically '123456'). The first thing you should do after installing is changing these/ Both the user name (if you can) but definitely the password. Change the password once in a while.