Guide for DIY security camera installation
Installing a security camera in your home may sound daunting for those who are not tech savvy. So you may be inclined to hire a professional to help you, but that could be expensive! However, installing a camera in your house is easier than it looks! This few steps will clear up the confusion and guide you through the basics.
It is worth noting that there are different types of CCTVs such as Dome, bullet and IP cameras which are installed differently. But these steps are general enough that they can be applied to all types of installation of CCTV.
It’s essential to note that, if your IP address has POE (power over Ethernet) then there is no need to supply power to your cameras. However, for those having analogue and HD-SDO system, it’s necessary to have a power supply for all your cameras
Phase 1 : Preparation
1) Find out the type of camera you are going to use
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. Make sure to do your research on the features you would like to have and whether they are applicable to your environment. Get WiFi security cameras, especially battery powered cameras, for flexibility and easier installation, while going for wired PoE IP cameras for more stable network signals.
2) Decide where to install the camera
3) Prepare the tools and materials required for smooth installation
Generally, tools needed for installation include screws, anchors, cables, a power adapter or receiver, an electric drill and others. This will ensure that you will have a smooth sailing installing the your system. If you get an all-in-one security camera (system) (Vstarcam highly recommended), screws-kind-of necessary installation materials are usually included in the camera box.
Phase 2 : Installation
1) Check for spots for a good view and stable power source
This is the first important step in 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 need 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.
2) Mounting the camera
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.
3) Arranging the cables and wires
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 in the preparation phase, 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.
4) Connect the cameras and activating them
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.
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.
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.
This video below is a tutorial on how to set up Vstarcam’s wireless IP camera which we recommend as it has a low price and has good features.
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.