How To Install Security Cameras

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Currently, the major of smart home security cameras have DIY installation, meaning you’ll do it on your own instead of hiring a professional. Depending on where you want to place the camera and it’s power source, plug-in or battery, installation can range from super easy to frustratingly difficult. Of course, the installation process is going to differ based on the company and model, but after reviewing dozens of home security cameras, I’ve learned a thing or two about installation. Here are my best practices for installing home security cameras. Let’s get started!

Placing Your Home Security Cameras

Living Room
Living Room

The first step to installation is deciding where your security cameras should go. I wrote an entire article on where to place your security cameras in your home, but here’s a little summary.

Placing Cameras With Hubs

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The Blink Sync Module

If the camera requires a hub, then there is going to be a range of how far you can place the camera from the hub so that it connects over Wi-Fi or another form of connectivity. For example, the Blink XT2 must be within 100 feet of the Sync Modules in order for the user to connect through the Blink Home app. On the other hand, if the camera doesn’t come with a hub, you’ll just have to make sure that it’s close enough to your router or range extender to get a decent Internet connection and speed. If all else fails, buying a range extender is a simple way to extend your Wi-Fi.

Placing Indoor Security Cameras

Where to place security cameras in your home

In general, you should put your security cameras on the first floor of your home, if it has more than one story, ideally in common spaces like a main hallway or living room. Basically, anyplace that burglars can access via doors or windows should be covered. For the widest possible field of view, place your camera in corners so you get the most bang for your buck. You can also put cameras on stairs to track burglars within your house. However, I don’t recommend putting security cameras in bedrooms or bathrooms, as this can compromise your privacy greatly.

Keep in mind that most indoor cameras don’t work through glass due to the glare. If you want to monitor your outside, the solution is simple: there are many weather-resistant outdoor cameras available, which brings me to my next point.

Placing Outdoor Security Cameras

Open Window
Open Window

Outdoor cameras should be installed in off-street windows, as burglars are more likely to enter through a side or back window than through the front. Make sure your driveway, garage, back and side doors and yard are covered. And to protect their privacy, try to avoid any property other than your own. While it’s important to care for our neighbors, this level of scrutiny is a bit over the top.

Placing your outdoor camera is probably going to be a bit more difficult than with an indoor camera, particularly if it’s plug-in. You may need to use an outdoor plug or snake it into your home somehow, perhaps by hardwiring the camera into your home. Typically, wireless cameras are easy to install whether they’re indoor or outdoor. Of course, you will need to worry about the battery, but at least your camera will stay on in a power outage. Whatever the situation is, consider placement options before you choose your camera, as it must be connected to power if it’s wired.

How To Install Security Cameras

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Installing the Scout Indoor Camera

So you’ve figured out where to place your camera and now you just want to know how. Since every camera is different, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but I do have some general best practices for installation.

Installing Wireless Security Cameras

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Installing the Arlo Ultra 4K Camera

If your camera is wireless, it’ll probably only require either mounting or simply placing it on a flat surface. Mounting typically requires drills, and most cameras come with an appropriate mount. From there, you’ll connect the camera to your Wi-Fi and sync it with any other connected devices that it works with, from smart sensors to video doorbells. These days, most DIY installation processes have step-by-step directions in the apps, which I recommend following exactly for best results.

Installing Wired Security Cameras

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Ring Stick Up Cam Wired Mount

Installing wired cameras it a bit more complicated, not surprisingly. Your camera may need to be hardwired to your home, or you may be able to simply plug it in and mount it. Some cameras come with DVRs which may be connected via an ethernet cable or power adapter. Hardwiring cameras is the most difficult thing to do yourself, as you’ll need to drill holes, run cables to each camera, and then mount each individual camera.

Now, whenever you attach a camera to a wall or a ceiling, you want to make sure that your spot is stable, which may require finding a stud or using drywall screws. Make sure to check for any existing wiring before you start drilling, as you don’t want to cause any electrical issues.

Recap

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a general overview on how to install security cameras. To learn about any specific camera, you’ll want to read my individual reviews of products, which all include information about installation. Of course, if you encounter any issues, you can either contact the company or leave a comment below and I can try to help as well. Most importantly, remember to always be secure!

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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