Not all cameras are equal in terms of their features and requirements. Some cameras need to be connected to a power source, while others run on batteries. Different cameras utilize various forms of connectivity such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or SIM cards. Additionally, some cameras can be used straight out of the box, while others require a hub or DVR. Over the years, we have tested and reviewed numerous home security cameras of various types, gaining valuable insights into camera installation. In this guide, we will provide you with instructions on how to install security cameras. Without further delay, let’s dive right in!

Placement of Your Home Security Cameras

The first step before anything else is determining where to position your security cameras. In fact, we recommend doing this before making a purchase to determine the number of cameras needed and whether extra-long power cables are necessary. Our guide on camera placement can assist you in this step, but here is a quick summary.

Placing Cameras with Hubs

  1. For cameras that require a hub, position the camera within an appropriate distance from the hub to ensure a seamless Wi-Fi connection or another form of connectivity. For example, the Blink XT2 camera needs to be within 100 feet of the Sync Modules to establish a connection through the Blink Home app.
  2. If the camera does not come with a hub, make sure it is close enough to the router or range extender to obtain a reliable internet connection and speed.
  3. If all else fails, consider purchasing a range extender to extend the Wi-Fi coverage.

Placing Indoor Security Cameras

  1. Ideally, place indoor security cameras on the first floor of your home.
  2. If you have multiple floors, try to position cameras in common areas like the main hallway or living room. In such locations, you are more likely to capture the faces of criminals, making it easier to bring them to justice.
  3. Install a camera just outside the master bedroom since valuables are often stored there.
  1. Mount the camera out of reach, so that intruders or mischievous individuals cannot easily break or disable it. This is especially important for cameras that store footage on a memory card inside the camera. Essentially, any area accessible to burglars through doors or windows should be covered.
  2. For the widest possible field of view, place cameras in corners.
  3. Consider placing cameras on stairs to monitor any intruders within your house.

However, we advise against installing security cameras in bedrooms or bathrooms, as this can severely compromise privacy and may be illegal in some states. Keep in mind that most indoor cameras do not function effectively through glass, as it obstructs heat-based motion detection. If you want to monitor the exterior of your home, the solution is simple: there are many weather-resistant outdoor cameras available, which leads us to our next point.

Placing Outdoor Security Cameras

  1. Cover most, if not all, entry and exit points of your home with outdoor cameras. At a minimum, ensure that your front and back doors are covered.
  2. Install outdoor cameras near off-street windows, as burglars are more likely to enter through side or back windows rather than the front of the house.
  3. Place cameras in your driveway, yard, and backyard.
  4. To respect your neighbors’ privacy, avoid recording any property other than your own. While it is important to watch out for your neighbors, recording their daily activities without their knowledge infringes upon their privacy rights and may be illegal.

How to Install Security Cameras

Now that you have a general idea of where you want to place your cameras, it’s time to proceed with the installation process. It’s important to approach the installation step by step and avoid rushing through it to prevent any missed steps that may require starting over.

Here’s a recommended approach for the installation:

  1. Plan and Diagram: Once you have purchased your security cameras, create a plan and diagram to determine the exact locations where you will place the cameras both inside and outside your home.
  2. Preliminary Testing: Take the cameras to the designated locations and mount them loosely or temporarily using a small nail or tape. Turn on the cameras and briefly test them. If they work properly, proceed to mount them permanently according to your original diagram. If any issues arise, you can avoid wasting time on installing cameras that need to be uninstalled immediately.
  3. Access the Live Video Feed: After completing the installation of the security cameras, ensure that you can access the live video feed using your mobile app or computer. This step allows you to verify that the cameras are functioning correctly and providing the desired surveillance coverage.
  4. Customize Settings: Take advantage of the camera settings to customize features such as motion sensitivity and brightness. Adjust these settings according to your preferences and the specific requirements of your home security needs.
  5. Confirm that everything works correctly.

The sections below go into greater detail about installing different types of security cameras.

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Installing Wireless Security Cameras

To install wireless security cameras, you have two options: mount the camera or place it on a flat surface. If you choose to mount it, use drills and the provided mounts to securely attach the camera. Alternatively, you can simply place it on a flat surface. Connect the camera to your Wi-Fi network to ensure it is properly connected and can transmit data. If the camera is compatible with other devices like smart sensors or video doorbells, sync it with those devices for enhanced functionality. Most wireless security camera manufacturers provide user-friendly mobile apps with step-by-step instructions for DIY installation. It’s recommended to follow these instructions precisely for a smooth setup process.

Installing Wired Security Cameras

Wired security cameras offer a more secure connection, although the placement options may be more limited. Here’s a guide for installing wired cameras:

Hardwire the camera into your home by drilling holes and running cables to each camera. Ensure that the cables are neatly organized and concealed for a clean installation. When attaching the camera to a wall or ceiling, make sure the mounting spot is stable. Locate studs or use appropriate screws for drywall installation to ensure a secure attachment. Before drilling any holes, check for existing wiring to avoid damaging electrical systems or causing any issues. Mark the locations where you need to drill holes for the cables and proceed with drilling. Carefully run the wiring through the designated paths, ensuring they are hidden and protected. Mount the camera securely in the chosen location, following the manufacturer’s instructions for attachment. Alternatively, some cameras can be plugged in and mounted without the need for hardwiring. Certain cameras come with DVRs that can be connected via an Ethernet cable or power adapter. Follow the provided instructions to establish the connection.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to install your security cameras effectively and ensure a reliable surveillance system.