How to Install an Outdoor Security Camera — Complete Guide
Don't fret as we're here to guide you on how to install outdoor security camera.
DIY vs Professional Installation — Pros and Cons
Surveillance cameras these days come in a more compact design. Gone are the days when you'll need one to be professionally installed because of the complicated setup it requires.
With the introduction of smart security cameras and video doorbells, you can easily install a surveillance camera in just a few minutes.
Smart home security cameras come in two variants: wired and wireless. Depending on what type you have, you may need professional help to install it. Doing so will require additional costs. But most of the cameras on the market include easy-to-follow instructions for DIY installation.
Steps to Install a Wireless Security Camera
- Decide where you want the camera installed. Find the best angle and make sure it's near light sources for clearer footage.
- Choose the right height for your surveillance needs.
- Mark the spots on the wall where you'll need to drill holes. To do this, hold the bracket mount against the wall and mark the holes using a pencil. Note that not all wireless cameras require drilling.
- Use a drill bit slightly smaller than the bracket screws to pre-drill small holes. This will make drilling the screws easier later on.
- Align the holes of the bracket mount to the holes on the wall and insert the screws in place.
- Mount the camera onto the bracket and insert batteries. Follow the manual to connect your camera to the Wi-Fi and to your mobile device.
How Do You Power an Outdoor Wireless Security Camera?
An outdoor wireless camera may be powered by two AA batteries or by a rechargeable internal battery. These battery-powered security cameras may last anywhere between 3 to 12 months before needing a recharge, depending on the manufacturer and the model.
If you want non-stop security, you might want to consider solar panels. However, it will take away your camera's wire free feature as it requires hooking up your camera to the panel using electrical wires.
Steps to Install a Wired Security Camera
- Decide where you want the camera installed. Find the best angle. Though some are equipped with night vision, still make sure it's near light sources for clearer footage.
- You might need to find a stud for some security cameras, while others come with a drywall mount.
- Check for any existing wiring.
- Mark the spots on the wall where you'll need to drill holes.
- Run the cable to the camera location. You might need to drill more holes through the wall or ceiling for the cables.
- Route the cables to monitoring source.
- Connect it to the Wi-Fi and pair it with your phone.
How to Run Wires From Inside to Outside
If you want your outdoor security cameras to run for a long time, you'll have to properly run the wires from the inside out. Before doing so, you have to consider several factors including rain, heat, and exposed wiring.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can install an indoor camera:
- Set up the central surveillance hub. This is where you place the Digital Video Recorder (DVR)/Network Video Recorders (NVR) connected to the coaxial cable. Ideally, this should be somewhere easy to access like the Internet router.
- Turn off the power for safety purposes.
Drill a hole where you want the power outlet to be. Use a straightened metal coat hanger to feel if there are any obstructions inside the wall.
If you Cat 5/6 Ethernet cable, you can just drill a hole and connect the ethernet cable to your router or DVR. If they're too far away from each other, you can use a PoE injector.
- Make sure that the hole is big enough to fit the maximum number of wires you expect to run. Have a few extra feet of wire for termination or reorganization.
- Drill a hole in the top or bottom wall plate of the installation location.
- Run the wires to the destination. Use the security camera wire protection cover to protect the cables.
How to Hide Security Camera Wires Outside
If you prefer wired outdoor security cameras over wireless security cameras, you have an additional burden to carry: the tangled up wires that can ruin your house's vibe.
The best way to hide these pesky wires is to bury them. Here are some tips on how to hide security camera wires from plain sight:
- Make the wiring route for your IP cameras as short as possible.
- Prepare the pipes to be used. You can use metal conduit pipes or PVC.
- Mark the points where you'll be drilling holes
- Bury the pipes. PVC pipes have to be buried at least 18 inches below, while metal pipes require 6 inches.
- Run the security camera cables through the pipes. Use fish tape for pulling wires.
If you don't want to go through all this hassle, you're better off installing outdoor wireless security cameras instead.
Security Camera Installation — Pro Tips
- Secure every entrance. It's important that you monitor all access points in your property. This includes the main entrance or the front door and secondary doors to avoid break ins.
- Make sure the security camera is at the right height and distance. A camera pointed at the right viewing angle won't let anyone enter undetected.
- Keep your security cameras visible. This goes for both indoor cameras and outdoor cameras. Studies show that a visible security camera can discourage crooks from entering your property as they're aware they're being recorded.
- Get local storage. Local video storage is more secure and cheaper than cloud storage. Depending on the security company, you can be charged monthly fees to store video recordings in the cloud. Storage-enabled cameras don't. Also, there's always the risk that someone could get a hold of your password and access video footage.
- Upgrade with accessories. Accessories like flood lights will ensure your home security camera gets the best footage even at night. Though a lot of security cameras these days are already equipped with night vision, a flood light can significantly improve this feature. Flood lights can also improve motion detection. Other accessories aid the two way audio feature.
The Best Places for an Outdoor Security Camera
- Front doors. This is where most family members and visitors enter. Place it above the doorway angled towards the visitors.
- Backyard. The backyard is one of the main entry points in the house you should keep a watchful eye on. Place your security camera under a porch or any high point for the best viewing angle.
- Driveway. Another point of interest for intruders. Place a security camera near the garage door for a full view of your driveway.
The Worst Places for an Outdoor Security Camera
- Areas that violate your neighbors' privacy. A security camera pointing to an area where your neighbor expects privacy can have some legal consequences.
- Bedrooms and bathrooms. These are areas where privacy is crucial.
Can I Install My Own Security Cameras?
Yes, you can do security camera installation by yourself. There are wireless security cameras that don't require professional installation. But a lot of wired cameras can also be DIY'd.
Are Outdoor Security Cameras Legal?
Yes, as long as they don't violate privacy. For example, a security camera pointing to an area where your neighbor expects privacy can have some legal consequences.
Is Fake Home Security Effective?
No. We don't suggest a fake security camera. Your home is too important to rely on fakery. Magic tricks, fairy dust, and unicorns are also ineffective.
Is It Better to Have Wired or Wireless Security Cameras?
This will depend on you. If you want to be wire free, then get wireless cameras. If you're fine with wires, have a wired home security camera installed. Just weigh their pros and cons, then decide.
What Is a Camera Receiver?
A camera receiver receives the wireless signal transmitted from the camera and sends it to the digital video recorder (DVR).
Should You Choose Local or Cloud Storage?
Local storage is more secure and cheaper than cloud storage. You will be charged monthly fees to store video recordings in the cloud. Storage-enabled cameras don't. Also, there's always the risk that someone could get a hold of your password and access video footage.
Do Security Cameras Work if the Wi-Fi Is Off?
Yes. Some security cameras work even without Wi-Fi by storing the footage locally.
Do Security Cameras Need Wiring?
Some outdoor cameras may need wiring, but wireless connections are possible.
Do Wireless Cameras Need a Power Source?
Wireless cameras that operate on batteries do not need a power source.
How Hard Is It to Install Wired Security Cameras?
Wired security cameras usually come with easy-to-follow instruction for DIY installation.
How Much Does It Cost to Wire a Security Camera?
The average cost of installation is around $125 to $450 per camera including labor.
What Are the Security Camera Wire Types?
The most common security camera wire types are the coaxial cables and Ethernet cables.
How Long & How Far Can I Run Security Camera Wires?
Generally, security camera wires have a maximum length of 300 feet.
How Hard Is It to Install Security Cameras?
Installing security cameras is not hard. But the level of difficulty will depend on what type of camera you're installing. Just follow the instructions included in the camera.
Do All Outdoor Security Cameras Have to Be Plugged In?
Not all outdoor security cameras need to be plugged into a power cable. There are wireless ones that are powered by batteries.
What Is the Easiest Outdoor Security Camera to Install?
The Google Nest Cam is the easiest outdoor camera to install as it has a magnetic base.