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Date Posted:4 June 2024 

There are few things as nerve-wracking as coming home after a long day, eager to unwind, only to find your door slightly open.

Your heart skips a beat, and a chill runs down your spine. Was it the wind, or something more?

In today's world, where uncertainty seems to be around every corner, a good security system is more important than ever. And, at the heart of that system are security cameras.

Security cameras do more than just record. They scare off would-be burglars and keep an eye on your home when you can't. 

But how do you get started? Installing security cameras might seem like a task for professionals — but it doesn't have to be.

Let’s walk through five simple steps to get those cameras up and running. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to secure your home like a pro, guaranteed.

Step 1 – choose the right camera for your needs

First, think about where you need cameras. 

Are you covering the inside of your home, the outside, or both? Indoor cameras are generally smaller and less weather-resistant, while outdoor cameras are built to withstand the elements.

Next, consider the type of connection: wired or wireless. 

Wired cameras offer a stable connection and don’t rely on Wi-Fi, but they can be tricky to install because of the cables. 

Wireless cameras are easier to set up and more flexible in placement, but they depend on a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Regardless of the type you are getting, below are a few features to consider when shopping: 

  • Resolution – Higher resolution means clearer images. Aim for at least 1080p.
  • Night Vision – This is essential for monitoring your home in low light or darkness.
  • Motion Detection – This feature alerts you when there’s movement, so you don’t have to watch hours of footage.

Step 2 – find the perfect spot 

When placing cameras, think like a sneaky intruder.  Where would you try to enter? What areas would you avoid? Once you know that, you can pick the best spots.

At the end of the day, placement is key to getting the most out of your security system.

Start with the main entry points. Your front door is a must because it's the first place potential intruders will approach. Position a camera to cover the entire area, including the pathway leading up to it. 

The back door is another hotspot. Many burglars prefer less visible entrances, so don’t overlook this spot. 

Of course, if you have a garage, placing a camera there can help protect your vehicles and tools.

High-traffic areas inside your home, like hallways and staircases, are also important. These spots capture movement between rooms, making it harder for intruders to go unnoticed.

It’s important to remember to avoid blind spots. Walk around your home and identify any areas that might be out of a camera’s view. 

Use more cameras to cover large areas or tricky corners. The idea is for the cameras to see everything, so if one misses something, another can catch it.

Step 3 — grab your tools and get ready to roll

Alright, you’ve got your cameras and you know where to put them. Now, let’s gather everything you need to get them installed. 

Here’s a quick checklist for most cameras:

  • Drill with appropriate bits
  • Screws and wall anchors usually included with your cameras
  • Screwdriver that can save you some elbow grease
  • Ladder to reach those high spots

Make sure you have everything before you begin. Nothing’s more annoying than having to stop mid-installation to run to the store.

For wired cameras, you might need an Ethernet cable if you’re not using Wi-Fi. Measure the distance from the camera to the recording device to make sure you have enough length. 

For wireless cameras, a strong Wi-Fi connection is important. Consider a Wi-Fi extender if your signal is weak where you plan to install the camera.

Before you start, double-check the camera package. Most camera kits include the screws and wall anchors you’ll need. Some even come with a drill template to help you mark the right spots. 

Step 4 — get those cameras up

Alright, it’s time to put those cameras in their new homes. Here is a breakdown that you can follow easily.

Installing wired cameras

  • Pick your spot. Use the locations you planned earlier. Hold the camera up to the spot to make sure it’s at the right angle.
  • Mark the holes. Most cameras come with a template. Use it to mark where you’ll drill.
  • Drill, baby, drill. Carefully drill holes where you marked. Insert wall anchors if needed.
  • Mount the camera and screw it into place. Make sure it’s secure but not too tight. You’ll want to adjust it later.
  • Run the cables from the camera to your recording device. Use cable clips or conduits to keep things neat.
  • Hide the wires. Tuck the cables away to keep them out of sight. This not only looks better but also keeps the cables safe from wear and tear.

Installing wireless cameras

  • Mount the camera. Just like with wired cameras, use the template to mark your spots, drill the holes, and screw the camera into place.
  • Power it up.: Connect the camera to a power source. Most wireless cameras come with a power adapter.
  • Connect to the Wi-Fi. Follow the instructions to connect your camera to your home Wi-Fi network. This usually involves using an app on your phone.
  • Position it right. Adjust the angle and position to get the best view. You can usually do this through the app.
  • Test the connection. Make sure the camera is connected and streaming properly. 

Step 5 — give your cameras a test drive

Now that your cameras are installed, it’s time to make sure they’re doing their job. 

Start by checking the view on your phone or computer. Make sure you can see everything you need to. Walk around the area to make sure there are no blind spots. 

If you notice any areas that aren’t covered, adjust the camera angle. Most cameras can tilt or rotate to give you the perfect view.

Move around in front of the camera to see if it picks up your movement. Adjust the sensitivity settings if it’s not detecting properly. It’s a good idea to test the camera feed during the day and at night to make sure the image quality and coverage are good in various lighting conditions.

Once you’ve tested the basic angles and coverage, it’s time to tweak the settings for even better performance. Adjust the brightness and contrast settings to get a clear image. 

Set the motion sensitivity high enough to detect movement but not so high that it triggers false alarms from things like passing cars or rustling leaves. 

Customize the notification settings to decide when and how you receive alerts. You might want immediate notifications for certain cameras and less frequent updates for others.

Simple steps to feel safe in your home 

Installing security cameras is a smart move. They deter potential intruders and give you real-time updates on what’s happening around your home. Whether you're at work, on vacation, or just out running errands,  you can check in and make sure everything is okay.

Plus, they give you peace of mind knowing your family and belongings are protected.  

Make it a habit to check your cameras and adjust settings as needed. Regular testing and maintenance will keep your system running smoothly. 

You’ve made it through the setup, the installation, and the testing. Now, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is secure.

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