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How to Install a Security Camera

by Paul Sanders

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Black swiveling security camera for the home

Things You Need:

  • Security cameras
  • Computer
  • Coaxial cable
  • Power drill
  • Security DVR

There are few better ways than video surveillance to deter theft or property damage at your home or business. Security cameras provide you with a way to monitor and record activity on your property and the surrounding area as well as let troublemakers know you're serious about home security. And with a DVR, you can record and store hours worth of surveillance video from your security camera system for later review or permanent recording. You can set up your own security system by following these simple steps.

Security Camera Setup:

  1. Select security camera positions. Map out the locations of cameras around your property, including the path that the coaxial cables will take through your home from the security cameras to the DVR, computer, power cables and power sources. Running cables through an attic, crawlspace or beneath siding will minimize the need to open up your walls. If you don't want to bother installing cable, you can install wireless security cameras that only require wiring for power.

  2. Drill holes for the cables. Whether you're installing security cameras on an exterior wall or under your eaves, you may need to drill through materials like brick, siding and plywood to pass the coaxial cable through. You may also need holes in the ceiling or wall where the cables will meet your DVR and computer. Always check the location of plumbing and electrical wiring before drilling.

  3. Your security cameras may get all the power they need from the coaxial cable alone; otherwise, you'll run a separate power cable and wire it to an existing circuit. Such wiring might require a licensed electrician.

  4. Run cables through the holes and leave enough slack for them to connect to the security camera. Label the ends of the cables so that you know which security camera goes with which cable.

  5. Attach the mounting bracket. Depending on the size and weight of your security cameras, you may either want to mount them on siding or drill through to sturdier materials, such as wall studs. Each security camera is different, so follow the mounting instructions precisely.

  6. Connect the cables and mount the cameras. Connect the coaxial and power cables to each security camera according to the instructions. Security cameras may screw onto the bracket or simply twist on to attach firmly to the mount.

  7. Connect the cables to the computer. Attach the labeled coaxial cables from the security cameras to the desired ports on your DVR. You can then connect the DVR to your computer or simply connect a monitor directly to the DVR, depending on the model.

  8. Test the security cameras. Test to make sure that each security camera is recording properly. Now is a good time to test the line-of-sight for each of your security cameras and make adjustments as necessary.

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