An example of camera system installation.


Key takeaways

  • Tips for camera system installation include planning before buying cameras, choosing the right camera, finding the best camera placement, mounting your cameras, and connecting your cameras.
  • You can find a camera system installer by seeing if the manufacturer includes installation with the purchase of cameras and by checking property management forums online.


Security cameras are one of the best physical security measures for your property. However, camera system installation might seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about installing a camera system.

In this post, we’ll cover the fundamental camera installation steps that will lead to a more efficient camera setup. Next, we’ll answer some common questions. Finally, we’ll discover how to find a professional camera installer.

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How do you install a security camera system?

In theory, camera system installation is as easy as unboxing your camera system, connecting it to a power source, and pointing the lens toward the areas that you want to monitor. However, in practice, there is much more that goes into installing a camera system. Cameras are great for crime prevention, so you want to make sure that they are installed correctly.

The five steps for camera system installation:

  1. Come up with an installation plan before buying cameras
  2. Choose the right camera
  3. Determine camera placing
  4. Mount and wire your cameras
  5. Connect your cameras


1. Come up with an installation plan before buying cameras

The first step to multi-camera system installation is to figure out how you want to install your cameras, which includes steps three to five on our list. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with your property and learn what it needs out of a camera system. If you’re looking to monitor a single front entranceway, then that’s important. If you’re looking to monitor multiple entranceways, your parking lot, and three private floors in your building, then that is going to result in a vastly different setup process.

You should note whether your building has:

  • A high volume of visitors and foot traffic.
  • Good WiFi connectivity.
  • Complicated electrical wiring.
  • Difficult camera mounting surfaces, such as cement.

Additionally, you should determine if security cameras are right for your property at this time. While security cameras can benefit all properties, they aren’t always the first solution to consider. Instead, you may want to implement an access control system. An access control system acts as a great first step towards addressing your building’s security concerns and helping modernize your property.


2. Choose the right camera

Now that you have an installation plan, you are ready to select the right camera. However, there are a lot of different cameras to choose from. This seems difficult, but if you know your building well, then it won’t be.

Features to look out for in cameras:

  • WiFi connectivity. You likely want a camera that you can remotely monitor from your mobile device. Footage can also be stored on cloud servers for you to access at any time.
  • Video features. You will want a camera that can zoom. Additionally, you will want a camera with a wide-angle lens and night vision to monitor large areas at all times of the day.
  • Installation requirements. Wireless cameras, as the name implies, will be a lot easier to install. Conversely, they will have some sort of battery life that you’ll have to monitor and plan for.
  • Weather-resistance. You never, ever want to install indoor cameras outdoors. This is mostly because they have no weather-resistance and could be destroyed the next time it rains or snows. For the best experience, choose cameras that are designed for indoor and outdoor use.


3. Determine camera placing

Placing your cameras effectively is one of the most important steps on this list. Because if you place them the wrong way, they’ll be useless.

For both indoor and outdoor camera placement:

  • Position cameras in corners. This often gives them maximum visibility over a certain area.
  • Keep out of reach. You don’t want anybody to be able to reach up and vandalize your cameras.
  • Avoid blind spots. If one camera has major blind spots, then you might want to consider a second camera that specifically covers those blind spots.

Outdoor cameras have a few extra requirements to keep in mind.

For outdoor camera placement specifically:

  • Position against the elements. You will want to make sure that your camera is angled in a way that will prevent rain or snowflakes from accumulating on the lens and obscuring the camera’s point of view.
  • Plan for the sun. Determine where the sun sets in relation to your property and try to ensure that your camera will not be rendered useless by a glare.


A correctly placed camera system installation.


4. Mount your cameras

This step will vary depending on the cameras you’ve purchased. However, there are a few basic things that you should keep in mind. Every camera has a compatible mounting panel. Mounting panels will often need to be purchased separately. Make sure that you are purchasing a compatible mounting panel for your camera, or you will have a headache on your hands.

Most camera mounting kits come with the screws that you will need to mount the camera. From there, the main thing to keep in mind is that you want to mount your camera on a flat surface so that it’s completely stable.

Note that most mounting kits will not work on brick or other hard surfaces. If your building has these features, then you will likely want to hire a professional camera installer.


5. Connect your cameras

This last step should be the easiest. Now that your camera is mounted and officially installed, all you have to do is connect to it. Your specific camera will have detailed instructions on how to connect it, and we suggest you follow them closely.

When connecting your cameras, you should keep in mind to:

  • Make sure that your WiFI is on and in the range of your cameras.
  • Download and sign in to all apps associated with your camera.
  • Ensure that power sources for your cameras are functioning properly.


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How much does it cost to set up a camera system?

Camera system installation costs about $50 to $300 per camera. Additionally, if you choose to hire a professional camera system installer, then you will need to spend between $100 and $500 more per camera. As a result, many property owners choose to install their camera systems themselves.


How to hire someone for camera system installation

Professional security camera installation is often the best choice you can make when it comes to setting up your property’s security system. However, this is only a good idea if you can afford the installation fees.

You can often find a camera system installer at the place where you buy your cameras from. For example, Best Buy offers installation for their wireless cameras and security cameras when you purchase them online. However, camera system installation from Best Buy will cost you an additional fee ranging from $129 for two cameras to $229 for eight cameras.

The best way to find camera system installers is to:

  • Scout property management forums. Other property managers have been in the same position as you when it comes to finding a camera system installer. See which cameras they purchased and who they used to install them.
  • Check out reviews of the cameras. Reviews for the cameras that you decide to purchase will often mention who installed their cameras (or if they’re easy to install yourself).
  • Google local service providers. You can find local camera system installers pretty easily on the internet. You will want to check their reviews and make sure that they install the type of camera you’re looking to purchase. If you have a commercial business, then you’ll want an installer who has worked with other local businesses’ security systems and who has experience installing CCTV cameras in commercial properties. Also, it’s not a bad idea to get a quote from multiple installers in your area to find the best experience.


A camera system installation installer at work.


Camera system installation FAQs

Commonly asked questions about camera system installation include:


How long does it take to install a camera system?

A four-camera system is anticipated to take between four and six hours to install. Installing additional cameras will increase the installation time by about an hour and a half per camera. However, this all depends on the size of your building. If your cameras are wired, this will also take additional time. Complex camera systems such as CCTV camera installation can take over a day.


Do you need WiFi to install cameras?

You will need WiFi to install a camera if the camera runs on WiFi. Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect and monitor your camera from your mobile device or computer. Additionally, you won’t be able to store your camera’s recordings anywhere.

However, not every camera runs on WiFi. Some cameras transmit their recordings to local storage systems such as a mircoSD cards. In this case, you will not need WiFi to install these cameras.


Are security cameras easy to install yourself?

Yes, security cameras are often easy to install yourself. This is especially true if you follow all of the above advice that we have offered. However, if you have a system that includes more than five cameras, then you will want to consider a professional camera installer.


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Nick Manzolillo

I'm a Rhode Island-based writer fascinated with real estate development, the inner workings of the real estate industry, and how real estate and technology blend together.

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