How to Set Up Home Security Cameras

A guide for homeowners.


November 24, 2020

10-28-blogs 70

Before you unpack that fancy new security camera you bought at the big box store, first make sure you purchased the right equipment for the job. It’s easy to get caught up in all the bells and whistles of a new camera without considering whether or not it’s actually designed to work the way you need it to.

As you determine whether a particular security camera (or cameras) is right for your home, carefully consider what you want the camera(s) to do for you.

Are you monitoring or recording?

You can simply install monitored cameras in your home to either display the video feed on a single monitor in your home office or connect through the internet to allow access via your smartphone. However, if someone manages to break in while you are away, only a security recording device, such as a DVR, will help the police nab the criminals.

When shopping for your home security system, make sure the cameras you purchase offer network capacity, provide a high-resolution picture, and connect to any monitors or recorders you wish to use.

If you are recording, determine how large a hard drive you need to store up to 30 days of security video, and note if your system is only recording changing images or a continual stream. A constant feed will eat up vast amounts of space without storing any useful imagery.

Wireless or wired: What is the difference?

You might think opting for a wireless camera system means you will have to operate on battery power, but this is not necessarily true.

A system is called “wireless” because of the type of networking it uses to get the video signal back to your monitoring station or DVR. Unless you specifically search for battery-operated cameras, each camera will likely require an outlet nearby for power. It is a good idea to have an electrician install outlets where you plan to locate the cameras to reduce the chance of an accidental power disconnection.


Your wireless cameras will transmit video through your home Wi-Fi network. You will need a router that supports wireless networking to receive the signals and connect to your in-home network and the video monitor or recording equipment that you will be using in your home.


A wired camera setup will require you to run a networking cable from each camera to your router or switch connected to your monitor and recording device. Unless you run the wires inside your walls, you will end up with a web of cables throughout your home.

Where to position your cameras

There are a few key places in your home you should be sure to monitor. Make sure you have at least one shot of your street since most burglars will drive by your home before breaking and entering. This can help police catch the suspect on video.

Other spots to monitor include:

  • Front door and porch

  • Back door

  • Garage door, since once an intruder is inside your garage, nobody can see him or her

  • Off-street windows, which are common entry points for criminals

  • Basement stairs since cellar doors provide easy access to your home

Are you completely overwhelmed by the technical aspects of installing a home security system? When you contact a quality home security provider such as Brinks Home™, you can benefit from their expertise and have your system installed correctly.

A senior security consultant can also help you purchase the cameras, monitors, and DVRs that will work together and with your home network.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.

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