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Can I install security cameras myself? When it comes to installing a security camera yourself, whether you can or cannot successfully do so depends on your chosen system. While you can install most systems by yourself, some security cameras need professional installation due to their complexity. We discuss which ones you can safely install and what happens when extra help is required.
What Does Security Camera Installation Cost?
If you install the security system yourself, there isn’t any additional cost. However, depending on the system and the power source, there may be extra costs. These types of systems tend to be those that are hardwired into your house.
If you are not an electrician, then it is best to have a professional do all the wiring for you. This will save you from potential safety concerns and ensure everything is connected correctly.
Companies like Vivint or ADT can provide you with a technician to install the entire system. Some fees for this service will be more cost-effective than others. These companies tend to install entire home security systems and continue to monitor the system for activity.
If you have already bought a system and want a professional to install it, third-party companies like HelloTech will allow you to locate local professionals. This is more economical when compared to installation costs from CCTV businesses.
The end cost will depend on the device and other risk factors like location. However, HelloTech will list starting prices for systems.
DIY Home Security System Installation
You can install cameras on your own as well. Most security cameras are easy to install. Some systems will require wall mounting, placement on a table, or attachment to magnetic surfaces if you don’t want to damage your walls.
The easiest types to install are battery-powered, wire-free cameras. For indoor home security, they are easy to install by yourself. You just place the surveillance camera in the desired location, then plug in the power cord. Examples of this type of systems are the Reolink Argus 3 and eufyCam 2.
Where Should Security Cameras Be Positioned?
Not everyone purchases a security camera system just to prevent break-ins. Some buy products like Google Nest or Ring simply to check on who is visiting the house when they are absent or to monitor deliveries. Other homeowners may want to check in on their pets or family. Your reason for wanting a security system will factor into camera placement.
Outside or Inside Placement?
The difference between the two camera types is the ability to withstand weather. If you are placing them outside, you want them to be able to endure whatever Mother Nature throws at them. Check the camera for operating temperature in addition to approved use. Some cameras, like SimpliSafe, can be altered to work both inside and outside.
When it comes to where to install the camera, you will need to locate the proper spot, plug it into a power source, turn it on, then sync the system with desktop or mobile apps. Some systems may require drilling, but most require no more than a screwdriver for installation.
Good cameras will come equipped with decent fields of view as long as it is positioned on a higher shelf or corner. Placing the camera in a corner gives a wider view of the room. Placement should be in a location that will provide a clear view, be hidden from intruders, and out of the way of foot traffic. This prevents people from unplugging the camera or tripping over a cord.
The best spots for outdoor cameras are over a front or back porch or the garage door. For a garage, you will need a large field of view. Porch cameras will need to capture most of the walkway or driveway. These will capture all possible motion detection but contain a smaller viewing field.
What Camera Types Are There?
There tend to be only three options when it comes to types of security cameras. They are:
- Wire-free. Cameras run off battery packs and don’t require wires. They can also be referred to as wireless since they don’t need power cords.
- Wireless. Cameras can connect wirelessly to the internet but still need a power cord. They can also be called wired as they need cords.
- Wired. These cameras rely on a wired system when connecting to the internet and power source.
How Can I Install Security Cameras Myself?
Once you have figured out your ideal placement, use the following instructions for a successful installation:
- Locate a stable place on the wall
- Some systems may need you to locate a stud, while others have drywall anchors.
- Look for existing wiring.
- Mark your holes and drill them into the wall.
- Thread the wiring back through the wall, then attach it to your monitoring source.
Ensure the hole is large enough to pull wire through but not too big that you cannot mount your camera. The benefit of a wireless camera is its ability to be placed anywhere. However, you will still want to be within Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other connection ranges.
Homeowners can quickly drill through dense materials like stucco or brick for outdoor cameras needing power cords. Ensure the camera is not within easy reach so people can’t just grab it and walk away with your system. We recommend placing them a minimum of nine feet above the ground. Just make sure it isn’t too high that you are unable to clearly see any activity below.
If you are wondering if you can install a security camera system yourself, the answer will depend on the type of system you choose. For cameras that require wiring, it is best to contact a professional. For all others, DIY installation can be seamless and effortless. It may just be a matter of plugging it in or drilling a small hole in the wall to mount it.