How to Install Security Cameras in Your Home

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Installing a security camera in your home is not a straightforward process. Security cameras come with a variety of features and options. Since not all cameras are created equal, additional steps may need to be taken before placing them in or around your home. We outline how to install security cameras and what you may need to consider before taking that first step.

 

Security cameras can have many configurations and considerations. Before installing them in the home, you will need to know everything the surveillance camera will require to run correctly. For example, some cameras may need a plug-in power source to work. Others may simply need batteries, Wi-Fi, SIM cards, or an ethernet connection.

 

Some systems may be set up to work when you take them out of the box, while some may need a DVR or hub. You will need to know all these nuances before beginning the installation process. If you don’t, you may be stalled out until you have all the pieces in place. Knowing this beforehand will eliminate any frustration and delays, not to mention additional expenses.

Do Security Cameras Deter Crime?

Do Security Cameras Deter Crime

Many homeowners wonder about installing a security camera in their homes. One study interviewed 400 people convicted of breaking and entering and theft. Interviewers asked what things would deter them from targeting a house. The most frequent response was if security cameras were placed on the property.

 

It’s a good idea to have one visible surveillance camera along with others that are hidden.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Security Cameras

As with anything, there are pros and cons to installing a security camera. Security cameras have evolved over the past few years, making them more technologically advanced and affordable. However, with these advancements come the good and bad surrounding the product itself.

 

Advantages

 

  • Deters Crime. Cameras dissuade intruders from damaging your property and reduce burglary and trespassing crimes. The same UNC study mentioned above also discovered that outdoor cameras reduced property crimes by 50%.
  • Monitors Activities and Scenarios. While you are away from home, you might be concerned about a break-in. This is especially true for parents concerned about their family or how the children interact with their babysitter. Surveillance provides peace of mind knowing those you love are protected.
  • Provides Evidence. Cameras are handy when you need to monitor others. Modern cameras can capture audio and video. This aids eyewitness testimony as it will provide additional details or corroborate the story.
  • Helps to Make Proper Decisions. Footage aids in making a fair decision when a dispute arises. Whether it is a disagreement or an issue between two people, you can clarify all doubts using footage. It will also disprove any fabricated claims that arise.
  • Keeps a Record. Cameras tell how an incident transpired and can be used to monitor traffic.

Disadvantages

 

  • Lack of Privacy. While cameras are ideal for watching for illegal behavior, aggressive behavior, or threats, everything is recorded. Surveillance will inevitably record everything that happens along with facial recognition.
  • Can Be Expensive. Depending on the system, the cost of running a cable, labor, and installing different products within a system can add up. This may not apply to a small system, but the more extensive you go, the higher the cost. However, adding the extra cost may be worth it because it will produce great results.
  • Cameras Are Vulnerable. They are electronic devices, and prolonged exposure to water can damage them. While most are resistant to weather conditions, if struck by lightning, they could get damaged. People can also tamper with them or disable them.
  • Doesn’t Always Stop Theft. While it will deter theft, it may not stop it. If someone is determined to break in, they will do so. Security cameras should be part of your security system designed to deter crime. While they collect evidence, they can’t prevent a crime from happening. However, some systems can send you an alert so you can contact the authorities in case of a break-in.

Placing Security Cameras in the Home

Once you have everything you need for the installation, you must decide where to place the cameras. Do this before purchasing your system to determine how many cameras your home requires and whether extra-long power cables are necessary.

 

Placement of an Indoor System

Placement of an Indoor System

Indoor security cameras are intended for the first floor of a home. Even if you have other stories, place cameras in shared spaces like the kitchen, living room, or main hallway. This increases your chances of capturing criminals’ faces, making it easier to obtain justice in case of a break-in.

 

Put one home security camera outside of your master bedroom. This is because most valuables are kept in this location and are frequently targeted by criminals. You should mount the camera outside a person’s reach so intruders cannot quickly disarm or smash it. This becomes extremely important with security cameras that record footage using memory cards found inside the camera.

 

Any area where a burglar can access your home through windows or doors needs to be covered. Install cameras in upper corners to get the broadest view of the room. Adding them to stairs will also track where intruders are going and provide another clear shot of their features, making them easier to identify.

 

It is recommended that security cameras, for privacy reasons, not be installed in bathrooms or bedrooms. It is in fact illegal to do so in some places. Note that indoor cameras will not provide a clear picture when pointed through glass. Glass will block heat-based motion detectors, rendering them useless during a break-in.

 

If you want to monitor the outside of your home, purchase a weather-resistant home security camera that can be placed outdoors rather than trying to watch through a window.

 

Another option would be light bulb security cameras. I wrote an article on the best light bulb security camera reviews which can be found here. These security light bulbs can be used indoors or outdoors.

Placement of an Outdoor System

Placement of an Outdoor System

Your security cameras should cover each exit and entry point of the home. At the very least, make sure the back and front doors are clearly monitored. Cameras should be placed over an off-street window as there is a greater likelihood of someone entering through the back or side windows rather than the front of the house.

 

Place cameras in the backyard, yard, and driveway for best coverage. From this footage, you may be able to obtain the make or model of a vehicle and, hopefully, license plates.

 

Be sure to position the cameras so they record only your own property. This will ensure the privacy of your neighbors. While it is important to look out for the security of those around you, recording their daily activities without consent will make you the “nosy” neighbor and may come off a bit creepy. Not to mention, it violates their rights.

 

Installing an outdoor camera is more complicated than installing indoor security systems. This is especially true if you must plug it into an outlet. You may need to use outdoor plugs or snake it into the home. Hardwiring may be a “cleaner” looking option.

 

Generally, wireless cameras are the easiest to install, regardless of whether they are outside or inside the home. If batteries are required, be diligent in tracking their lifespan and when they may need replacing. Despite the hassle of changing batteries, you will have peace of mind knowing that you will still have coverage in the event of a power outage.

 

When it comes to outdoor security cameras, you will need to consider where they will be placed before selecting your system.

 

When placing an outdoor camera, here are a few additional tips to consider:

 

  • Avoid Placing Them in Direct Light. Indirect light works best for installing security cameras. Bright or direct light can generate glare and distort the color of your footage. Prevent this by first surveying the area where you want to install the cameras for the light they experience at different times of day.

 

Direct light sources (lampposts, sunlight, etc.) can cause glare in your footage and make it impossible to see a break-in. If there is an issue, move the location just enough to avoid direct light sources.

 

  • Consider Detached Buildings. We often forget about recording adjoining or separate buildings on our property. This includes sheds, garages, etc. Cameras should be placed in these areas as well.

 

  • Make Sure You Cover Blind Spots. A blind spot in your security can cause you to miss important information. Before mounting your outdoor camera, think about its field of view. Do the math to ensure each area surrounding the home receives unobstructed coverage.

 

Another option for an outdoor system would be solar powered security cameras. I wrote an article on the best solar powered security cameras which can be found here.

Placement Using a Hub

If your security camera system needs a hub, put the camera at an appropriate distance away from the hub. The camera should smoothly connect to the hub over your Wi-Fi or another type of connectivity. If the system doesn’t contain a hub, ensure it is placed close to the range extender or router to receive a good internet speed and connection.

 

If it isn’t picking up the signal, purchase a range extender. This will extend your Wi-Fi connection.

 

How to Install Security Cameras (General Outline)

How to Install Security Cameras

Now that you have a general idea of where you should place your cameras, you can proceed to the actual installation. Each camera contains different processes for setting it up. For the most seamless experience, it is advised to proceed step by step. Ensure you have ample time before beginning, as you don’t want to be interrupted and have to leave the job unfinished.

 

  1. Once cameras are ordered, plan their location and create a diagram of where they will be placed. This should encompass the inside and outside of your home.
  2. Think about where the cameras should be, take them to that location, and temporarily mount them using tape or small nails. Turn them on and test them to see how they work. If they are okay, you can mount them permanently. If they don’t work, you’ve saved yourself the hassle of having to uninstall them.
  3. After installing them, access your live stream feed with a computer or mobile app.
  4. Customize your settings, which should include brightness and motion sensitivity.
  5. Confirm that each camera is set up and working correctly.

Wireless Security Camera Installation

 

  1. Mount your wireless security camera or place it on a flat surface. Generally, your camera should come equipped with an appropriate mount.
  2. Connect it to your Wi-Fi.
  3. Sync the camera system with other connected devices like video doorbells or smart sensors.

Most installations will provide detailed instructions on their mobile app. We recommend following the instructions precisely for best results.

 

In the below YouTube Video you will learn how easy it actually is to install a wireless security camera:

Wired Security Camera Installation

With a wired security camera system, placement may be limited. The tradeoff for a more secure connection is a more complicated installation.

 

  1. Hardwire your video surveillance cameras into your home. Drill holes where you want to mount them, run a cable to each camera, then mount them.
  2. Ensure the location is stable whenever it is attached to ceilings or walls. This may mean you must find a stud or connect it using drywall screws.
  3. Check your existing wiring before drilling. This will help you avoid any electrical problems.
  4. Mark your holes and drill them for your cables.
  5. Run your wiring.
  6. Mount your video surveillance cameras. You may be able to plug your camera in and then mount it.
  7. Some may come with a DVR that can be connected using a power adapter or ethernet cable.

 

Should you need a hard drive for your security camera system then check out this article I wrote on the Best Hard Drive for Security.

Summary

When examining how to install security cameras in your home, you will first need to determine placement, then find what system will best meet your needs, and finally ensure you have everything necessary for installation. There are many things to consider regarding the best placement within and around the home. It is best to always take your time before and while installing security cameras at home.

 

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