Installing a wireless security camera involves setting up the mount, and providing power and Wi-Fi range. However, before that, you must test the camera and optimize placement for maximum coverage and security.
To install the mount, you simply need a smartphone, a drill, and an appropriate screwdriver. However, you have to keep the mount level and ensure you don’t drill into anything that’s important.
Things to Know
- Installing a wireless security camera essentially involves setting up the camera mount.
- Additionally, you must consider camera placement and plan the logistics of providing power and Wi-Fi.
- In case of a low Wi-Fi signal, you can set up Wi-Fi extenders to rectify this.
- For AC-powered cameras, you must install a power outlet or draw cables if you don’t have nearby power. For this, make sure to get help from a professional electrician.
- Before installing the mount, make sure to test the camera on-site. Check its recording capabilities, motion detection, and ability to monitor the location.
- Making your cameras easy to spot is the recommended approach. It helps scare off intruders and prevent criminal activity.
- Avoid placing the cameras to record your neighbors. Also, avoid installing them in areas such as bathrooms or changing rooms.
How to Install A Wireless Security Camera System
Here’s a step-by-step guide to ease the process. Please note that I’ve covered battery-powered or mains electricity-powered Wi-Fi cameras only. These steps don’t apply to PoE or wired cameras with a video recorder.
- Download the App: Most modern security systems come with a mobile app. Download the required app on your phone and create an account if necessary.
- Charge the Camera: If you have a battery-powered camera, ensure it’s fully charged. Many cameras come with removable batteries. You can also recharge the camera directly via USB.
- Link App to Camera: Follow the app instructions to link it to your camera. Usually, you’ll have to scan a QR code or link up the two devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
- Set Up the Power Supply Unit for the Camera: If your camera runs on AC power, ensure your installation location has a wall outlet within reach. Otherwise, you might have to drag power strips or cables from elsewhere or set up a dedicated wall outlet. For the latter, make sure to get help from a professional electrician.
- Test the Camera: If possible, place it near the installation location and check the camera’s operation. Check the live view and ensure it can detect motion and cover the areas you want to monitor. Also, make sure there’s enough Wi-Fi signal and it’s protected from the elements.
- Set Up Storage and Test the Footage: Follow the instructions on the app to set up the storage options of your choice. After that, try recording and ensuring the footage is transmitted to the cloud or MicroSD card.
- Ensure the Location has a Strong Wi-Fi Signal: If the Wi-Fi signal is low, you’ll have to resolve it. You can reposition your Wi-Fi router or set up a Wi-Fi extender or mesh system.
- Drill Holes for the Camera Mount: Use the mounting holes template if you’re mounting on a wall or ceiling. Make sure to keep it level. Also, check behind the mounting location for any cables, pipes, or other utilities. You don’t want to drill into something other than wood, brick, or concrete.
- Secure the Camera Mount: Install any wall plugs if necessary and fasten the mount to the wall or ceiling. Ensure the screws are tight and the mount is strong enough to hold the camera.
- Install the Camera and Adjust Settings: Finally, mount the camera and check if everything is working. You want to test the footage and ensure it records everything clearly.
Choosing the Right Wireless Security Camera System
Before setting up a security camera system, consider the planning stage. Without going into too much detail, here’s what you need to account for:
- The Number of Cameras You Need: Standalone Wi-Fi cameras might be good to cover one or two choke points. Otherwise, you’ll need a multi-channel system with a video recorder.
- The Installation Location: This means the location you want to monitor and how wide or distant you want to see. Deciding on these specs ensures you cover all blindspots, chokepoints, and other areas of interest.
- The Clarity of the Footage: What details do you need to observe? Is simply detecting faces or vehicles enough? Or do you want features such as license plate and face recognition?
- How You Need to Access Past Footage and Live View: You can set up a system with a mobile app for instant access. Otherwise, you can record to a MicroSD card and access the footage at a later date.
- Budget: This determines the type and number of cameras you can afford. Standalone cameras can be more affordable upfront but you’ll have to subscribe to a cloud storage plan. Conversely, a system with a video recorder might not require a subscription.
Extra Tips to Optimize the Placement of Your Security Cameras
Here are a few tips on optimizing your camera placement. This will help avoid blind spots and maximize coverage of the location you want to monitor.
- Points of Entry: Position your cameras to focus on possible entrances. These include front and back doors, windows, and garage doors, inside and outside your home.
- Height: Install cameras high on the wall or the ceiling to prevent vandalism. Raising them at least 7ft off the ground minimizes risk and ensures it has a broader view.
- Lighting: The lighting conditions can affect the camera’s visibility. Depending on your camera’s specs, you might have to supplement this. Consider setting up ambient light sources or external infrared illuminators.
- Hide the Cables: If your wireless cameras have power cables, hide or camouflage them. This prevents intruders from unplugging them easily.
- Respect Privacy and Local Laws: Avoid pointing cameras at your neighbor’s property. Also, avoid installing in bathrooms or any location that could violate someone’s privacy.
Modern wireless security cameras are easy to install. Usually, you can DIY it with your smartphone, drill, and a compatible screwdriver.
However, placement and specs are more important than installation. You want to ensure the camera is tailored to your needs and covers vulnerable areas.
The ultimate goal is not just surveillance but also to deter intruders and prevent crime.