Home security camera installation isn’t complicated. How to install a security camera depends on which type of camera you choose and its power source. If you buy a wire-free outdoor security camera like the ZOSI C1, security camera installation can be pretty easy because of Wi-Fi technology and Battery-powered supply.
If you’ve ever considered surveillance cameras installation costs around your house but assumed they would be too expensive or hard to set up, you’ll be happy to learn that’s not the case. In fact, there are lots of inexpensive options.
- Time required: 2 to 4 hours
- Total time: 6 to 8 hours depending on the time used to research cameras
- Skill level: Intermediate
- Project cost: Home security cameras cost as low as $25 and as much as more than $1,000 depending on which one you pick.
- Tools: Pens/Pencils/Markers, Power Drills, Screwdriver Sets, Ladder.
- Materials: Wireless Security Cameras, Wired Security Camera Systems, Tape, Extra plastic anchors.
Use this guide to learn the basics of how to install security cameras and plan your security camera setup, including wireless surveillance camera installation.
Part 1: Create a DIY Home Security Camera Installation Plan
#1. Decide Where to Install Indoor & Outdoor Security Cameras
Planning where to place your home security cameras determines whether you can maximize the effectiveness of your camera.
- Sketch out your home plan and diagram your priority areas and proposed camera angles. Typical security camera placements include entry doors, off-street windows, porches, stairways, driveways, and interior common rooms.
- Walk your plan and be sure that each location has no obstructions and has a clear line of sight.
- When installing outdoor security cameras, try to choose a placement that is higher than 10 feet and will offer some protection from inclement weather. Outdoor-rated cameras are built to be durable, and choosing a good camera placement will help extend the life of the device.
- If you plan to use a wired system, map out the location of the components and how you will run the wires that connect the camera to the DVR box. Running cable on a wired system will require drilling holes into walls and ceilings. Measure the space so you know how long the cables need to be.
- If you are not comfortable drilling or running cable, hire a professional installer.
#2. Know Exactly What Types of Home CCTV You’ll Set Up
The installation process varies according to different types of video surveillance cameras and systems.
Wired vs. wireless security camera, which one to choose? It depends on your specific security needs. Typically the most convenient installation option is wireless security cameras since they require minimal drilling, but powering them can be tricky. In addition, image quality can be impacted by the size of the area you are trying to cover. The farther the camera is placed from the receiver, the more interference can diminish picture Wired security cameras are an excellent choice if you have a larger property to cover, but the installation process will require more steps.
The battery-powered security camera is definitely your best choice, if you’d like to get rid of messy cabling and drilling, especially when installing cameras outside an apartment door/window (the outside is brick). ”100% wire-free” means no cords, and no wiring needed from top to bottom. You can feel free to place it anywhere, indoor and outdoor, on a shelf, table or mount it on the wall without running wires.
Note: Do Fake Cameras Work?
Sometimes a realistic-looking fake camera might be enough to thwart would-be intruders. They can be had for $10 to $30 for one or more units. It can be mounted anywhere and has 30 illuminating LEDs that turn on after dark, making it look even more real. You won’t be able to watch anyone lurking around your house, but a ‘camera’ like this might just prevent a break-in. Learn more about the differences between real and fake security cameras.
#3. Prepare CCTV Installation Tools & Materials for a Smooth Installation
Generally, tools needed for installation include screws, anchors, cables, ladder, a power adapter or receiver, an electric drill and others. If you get an all-in-one security camera (system), screws-kind-of necessary installation materials are usually included in the camera box.
Part 2: How to Install Wired & Wireless Home Security Cameras & Systems by Yourself
Setting up a do-it-yourself video surveillance system for home is not as complicated as you thought. The following 5 easy steps will make mounting both wired and WiFi home cameras a breeze, even if you are building your own home surveillance system for the first time.
Editor’s Note: For a wireless home video camera, I suggest you configure its WiFi settings before you start mounting it inside and out, while for a PoE IP camera system, there are no strict rules for which comes first.
Step 1. Check for Spots Where Cameras Get a Clear View and Stable Power Source
This is the first important step in the self-installation of home surveillance systems. Pay attention to the following details when you decide the areas where you’d like to place the camera:
- Mount your camera up high, to make sure it gets a clearer and wider view. Cover as many entries as possible using the least number of cameras to save cost.
- Place the security camera in a place that is out of reach of home intruders and thieves, or naughty kids.
- Avoid pointing your camera directly to a light source. Pointing towards the light source would result in a slight underexposure of videos and images captured.
- Put cameras near a power source. Even a wireless video camera needs a power supply.
- Place the required mounting bracket for the camera under the eave. This helps protect outdoor security cameras from severe and changing weather.
- It is best not to install a security camera below windows. Or else, the IR reflection may lead to overexposed images and videos (click here to learn more).
- Avoid installing your security cameras to your neighbors’ properties, bathrooms, or places where people shall enjoy a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Step 2. Mount Your Home Security Cameras on the Wall
Drill holes to screw your camera on the wall, ceiling, and other spots you’ve determined for the camera mounting. And then point your camera in the right position and right angle. Always remember to make sure it provides the best motion detection when positioning your security camera.
Security cameras coming in an all-included package, say, ZOSI PTZ IP cameras, provide mounting brackets, and screws. Make the most of the mounting hole template to make your first-time video security installation much easier.
Here comes a CCTV camera installation video, providing step-by-step instructions on mounting a dome security IP camera.
If you are installing a PTZ IP camera, another key step is the vertical bracket installation. Get to know more about how to install the vertical bracket of C296, the most powerful high-speed PTZ IP camera.
C296 - Pan Tilt IP Security Cameras
- 4K Ultra HD/5MP Super HD
- Starlight Color Night Vision
- Pan & Tilt
- PoE/WiFi Connection
- Light & Siren Alarm
- Upgraded AI-Powered Detection
- 2-Way Audio
Step 3. Arrange Wires and Cables for CCTV Camera Installation
It seems that the most difficult part of CCTV installation is to run security camera wires and cables.
Before you get started, you should plan the security camera wire route, especially when you plan to install cameras in multiple spots, such as, in hallways, basement, garage, through the attic, under the eave, in-ceiling soffit.
Drill holes where the wires will go through, and consider the nearest route if you are doing the installation in a two or three-story house. Push all of the ends of the camera cables on the holes you have drilled. This way, you can conceal the wires and prevent them from wearing out. You can also choose a room wherein you want all your cables to be placed.
Each of the cable wires also consists of two wires with their connectors. One of the wires is intended for the good power supply. The other one is also intended for the video recorder. For the power supply, you can either create a single power source for the wires or plug each of them on different sockets. Once the wires for view recording have been connected to the DVR/NVR recorder, it will now be connected to the monitor. This is where you can see all of the images captured by the cameras.
The following article includes all the details on installing security camera wiring in the house and outside: how to run security camera wires, for both experienced CCTV camera installers and green hands.
- If you are choosing a wired security camera, get a PoE wired one. A PoE network cable provides both video and power transmission, making DIY installation of PoE wired IP camera much easier.
- If your camera uses a XDC power adapter, it means you’ll need a power outlet near the camera source. It may be ”simpler for you to plug in the power supply inside, and simply extend the low voltage wire out to the camera location”. (Professional suggestion from an experienced CCTV installer.)
Also note that it is important to conceal security camera cable and holes from the sight after you arrange the cables.
Here are some practical tips for your reference:
• Fill the holes with waterproof materials like silicone and duct seal.
• Apply waterproof outdoor covers or feed-through bushings to conceal the holes.
• Use junction boxes to hide the cables, connectors and the holes.
• Use a plastic tube to conceal the CCTV camera wires.
Click here to find more useful ways to hide security camera cables indoors & outdoors.
Step 4. Connect Home Surveillance Cameras and Power Them on
After the wiring process, the next step is to connect your home CCTV system, and check if it can successfully get the power supply.
- PoE security camera connection diagram:
- Wireless IP camera connection diagram:
Do not forget that the view recorder and the monitor require a good power supply. You may as well create their specific sockets or connect them to the same power sources for the cameras.
In addition, you must also think when there is a sudden power outage. This is also when intruders attempt to cut the power supply in your home. Also, ensure that the home security system is connected with a generator. This way, it can work on a consistent basis or even under such circumstances.
Step 5. Set Up Your Self-Installed Security Camera (System)
CCTV camera setup is the last procedure in a complete residential security camera installation do-it-yourself process. You’ll want to access your video camera by smartphones, computers and tablets. Some self-install home CCTV camera manufacturers offer app and desktop software, for accessing your camera wherever you are. Get these surveillance features set up on the app/client, including live view, motion detection, video recording, zoom in/out, and more to suit your needs.
For ZOSI PoE and wireless surveillance cameras and systems, you’ve got to set motion detection sensitivity and specific motion detecting zones to get accurate alerts on its free ZOSI App and Client. Emails and push notifications will be sent to you once a home break-in or anything unexpected is happening.
One last thing, before you can say that your installation job is done, it is recommended for you to recheck the views of each camera. Check whether the cameras are moving or are recording. Also, check how far the camera can cover.
Part 3: Conclusion of Indoor/Outdoor Surveillance Cameras Installation & Setup
Setting up a home video surveillance system can be a both fun and easy experience. Always keep in mind that there are lots of home security systems with cameras to choose from, and also many online home security stores, such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon. Start installing a simple home security camera by choosing one designed for DIY users. Read home security system reviews for reference, and choose the best DIY security cameras/systems in Australia, South Africa, Canada, US.
ZOSI PoE and 2.4/5 GHz WiFi cameras half the installation process. So you don’t need to hire professional installers to do the setup, even if you are not confident of your skills in the installation of surveillance systems. You don’t need to ask for installation and setup instructions from manufacturers. Even if you do, ZOSI 24/6 1-to-1 support brings much convenience.
Bonus: Should You Install CCTV Cameras at Home on Your Own or Leave It to an Installer
Can’t decide whether you should install security camera systems at home by yourselves or call an installation company?
If you don’t want to drill holes to run the wires on your own, leaving the installation work to a pro looks like a good solution.
Check out how much you will spend on professional installation before you make up your mind.
Generally speaking, if you ask a professional to do the installation job, they may charge you up to $3000 as installation fees for a whole set of security system at your home.
In some cases, the professional installer may even charge you extra activation fees to turn the surveillance equipment on.
However, if you decide to install security cameras at home on your own, the installation cost will be zero. Also, the CCTV installation process will go smoothly with the detailed guide above.
So, to reduce the unnecessary cost, it is best to choose DIY home surveillance systems and install on your own.