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How to Install a Home Security Camera

All you need to know about home surveillance, and how to set it up. All the features you want You can find an overwhelming array of options and..


How to Install a Home Security Camera

All you need to know about home surveillance, and how to set it up.

All the features you want

You can find an overwhelming array of options and products when you search the Internet for surveillance cameras. We reviewed the most current cameras and found that they all have the same features, and are available for as low as $50-$200. Before you shop, consider the features that will best suit your security camera installation needs.

  • Zoom and tilt: Some cameras allow you to remotely control which direction they are pointing. This could be useful depending on how large an area of interest you have. This feature can rotate most cameras up to 350 degrees. It's like having your eyes in the back of you head!
  • Wide Angle Lenses: A wide-angle lens is a good choice if you want to cover a large area, but not have your camera draw attention by moving about. They are smaller than their pan and tilt counterparts which makes them more concealable.
  • High Definition Video and Photos: Most cameras can store high-quality video or photos on SD cards, remote servers (remote servers), your smartphone, or tablet, or a DVR (digital voice recorder).
  • Motion Detection - Many cameras can be activated by motion. They will record, send an alert via email, app, or both.
  • Night Vision All the cameras that we examined have infrared technology which allows us to see intruders even after the dark has passed.
  • Mobile Apps Free: Downloadable applications let you view live video, take photos and remotely control pan-and tilt functions with your camera via the Internet.
  • Two-Way audio: This feature allows you to communicate with the person being watched, making some surveillance cameras double as baby monitors.
  • Outdoor and Indoor Approved: There are some cameras that can withstand water and are suitable for outdoor use. This can make the difference between seeing someone outside or discovering them after they have broken into your home.

Different types of security cameras

Wireless security cameras

A fully wireless security camera such as the Arlo by NETGEAR is a great option if you don't mind running wires through walls and being limited by electrical outlets. Wireless security cameras are easy to set up. The camera is tiny but packed with features. The camera comes with a magnet that can be attached to any metal object or stick to the ball mount. Motion activated video recordings are stored on a cloud server. The camera will send you emails or app alerts with links to the video. Live streaming is also possible on your tablet, smartphone, or computer.

Four non-rechargeable lithium batteries power the camera and last for four to six months. The camera comes with a basestation that can be plugged directly into your Internet connection. You can also purchase additional cameras at $160 each to pair with your existing base stations. For $180-$650, you can buy a set of one or more cameras with a base station. Other manufacturers also make wireless outdoor cameras, which range in price from $80 to $200.

Hardwired security cameras

Although these "security systems" have all the features you need, setting them up can be a little challenging. These cameras are hardwired so you will need to run power and video cables through walls or ceilings in order to mount them exactly where you want.

These kits, such as the Funlux Home Security Camera System, include multiple full-resolution, water-resistant cameras. They can be mounted indoors and out. The dedicated DVR will store several days worth of video. You can view live video on any of the cameras via your smartphone, tablet or high-definition television.

Wireless security cameras that are partially wireless

These cameras are "partially wireless", as we call them. Both the Conbrov Wf90 and LeFun C2 shown here can be connected wirelessly to the Internet through your Wi-Fi router at home, but you will still need power cords. These cameras are only suitable for indoor use.

LeFun, and other similar models, allow you to control tilt (up or down) and pan (left to right), via your smartphone. Conbrov and other similar models feature stationary wide-angle lenses. These cameras have built-in microphones and speakers for night vision and two-way audio. They also offer recording and storage options. You can also view recorded or live video on your smartphone or tablet. Similar cameras made by other manufacturers can be purchased for $35-$100.

Security cameras for games

Game cameras are also known as "trail" and "scouting" cameras. They are primarily designed for wildlife photographers and hunters. If you are looking for a spot to install a surveillance camera in a wooded area with no Wi-Fi signal or electrical outlets, the Stealth Camera P22 might be the right choice. This camera is part of the easy-to-install security cameras group. Although it doesn't transmit alerts or allow for live streaming over the Internet, this camera, which you attach to a tree, will capture high-quality video and photos whenever an animal or person walks past, even at night. The camera can be powered by either regular or external batteries. Images are stored on a 32GB removable SD card. You can view the recorded images by connecting the camera to your computer using a USB cable or plugging the SD card into your card reader.

Are Fake Cameras Effective?

Sometimes, a fake camera that looks real can be enough to deter intruders. The security camera is in the first photo. It is a fake! They are made by many manufacturers and can be purchased for between $10 and $30 for one or several units. The camera can be mounted anywhere, and it has 30 illuminating LEDs which turn on at night to make it appear even more real. Although you won't have the ability to see who is in your home, a camera like this could help prevent break-ins.


Shay Tilander
Shay Tilander
Family Handyman's senior editor is Shay Tilander. He loves to tinker with electronics and enjoys spending time with his family, which includes his three sons.

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