We’ll break down how to install a wireless security camera system at home. We’ll give you practical and easy to follow steps to save you time and keep your patience intact.
You’ll be able to get this done by yourself and without needing technical skills. We’ve done all we can to keep it foolproof and practical.
You’ll also find some useful tips along the way to keep you on track and stop you from making common mistakes.
Let’s jump into the guide!
How to Install a Wireless Security Camera System at Home [DIY Guide]
We’re going to take a look at installing security cameras outside, setting up an IP wireless security camera, adjusting the setups for a two-story house, handling the power and wiring, and more.
Our goal is to get you well-informed and have a rounded knowledge to help you succeed with a variety of setups. By the end of the guide, you’ll be ready to get started and will have the practical tips and steps specific to your setup.
We’ll also show you the tools you’re going to need and any substitutes if you don’t have access to them.
With all that said, let’s get started!
How to Setup a Wireless Camera System – The Basics
Before getting into the different setups, it’s a good idea to outline the general process to follow. Here’s what will be involved in setting up your camera security system:
- Checking all your parts and tools
- Inspecting the access you have to the walls (and behind them)
- Drilling holes and installing the camera
- Powering the camera and getting the angle right
- Connecting to your Wi-Fi router and setting up the wireless connection
- Installing the viewing software on your PC or phone
- Connecting to the camera to view the footage
- Testing it all out
- Making necessary corrections or adjustments
That’s going to be the basic plan. We’ll go into more detail on those steps throughout the guide. Bear in mind that not every step will apply to your specific setup – we’ll point this out in the guide.
Let’s move on to the steps.
Step 1: Checking the Parts and the Tools
Take a few moments to make sure you have all the parts and tools for the job. This includes:
- Cameras and relevant cables
- Ethernet cable for setting up the Wi-Fi
- Screws and braces
- Spade drill and drill for making the smaller holes
- Wi-Fi router that accepts connection from phones and computers
- Power supply and access to a consistent outlet
If you need anything that’s not listed here, we’ll point it out to you in the guide.
Step 2: Preparing the Camera Mount
This is where your DIY skills come in handy. Here are the tools you’ll need:
- Spade drill bit and ordinary drill bit
- Pencil for marking
- Screwdriver and drill
If you’re installing the cameras onto a harder surface like concrete or thick wooden wall, you’re going to need the screw anchors. This will stop the wall from cracking or the screw from bending and breaking.
When you’re choosing the size of the drill bits to use, match them up with the size of the anchors. Match the spade drill bit to the thickest part of the camera cable that will go through the wall.
Use a stud finder to make sure there aren’t any studs behind the part of the wall you’re going to be drilling into.
Take your pencil and the camera mount and mark it out on the wall. You want to outline the entire mount, as well as mark the location of all the screw holes to be drilled.
Once you’ve made the marking, mark the center of the circle (if your camera mount is round) or wherever the center of the mount is located. This is where you’re going to drill the larger center hole with the spade drill.
P.S. You should try to place the camera on a wall where you have access to the inside or other side of the wall. You’ll need to feed the power and Ethernet cables through this hole.
Step 3: Mounting the Camera
Start by drilling the holes you marked out in Step 2. Be sure to keep them as straight and clean as possible.
This is one of the most important parts when you’re learning how to install security camera wiring. You don’t want them to get cut and torn by jagged and sharp pieces left by careless drilling.
Feed the anchors into the screw holes if needed. Make sure they’re tight and will securely hold your camera. Use a hammer to lightly tap the anchors into place.
Now for preparing the camera to mount, here’s what you need to do:
- Screw the antennas onto the camera
- Connect the power cable to the camera’s inlet or power cable adapter
- Insert the Ethernet cable if you’re doing a wired connection
- Get your screw and screw the camera onto the wall
- Be sure to mount it the right way up and so that the camera has the desired range of motion
You can play around with the camera angle and range of movement by loosening the nut (if your camera can do it).
Installing Security Cameras outside a Home
Depending on the make and model of your cameras, they may not be resistant to the elements. Direct sunlight and rain are your biggest threats here.
Make sure to install the camera under the lip of the roof if possible. If you don’t have this option, you can try to mount an artificial mini-roof over the camera to protect it.
The other concern is the cabling. Wherever possible, try to keep your cables out of direct sunlight. This will slowly break down the protective layers and expose the wiring.
An easy solution is to drill a hole through the wall and feed the cables through to the other side. You can also run the cabling along the part where your wall meets the roof. There’s usually a small lip that can protect the cabling.
P.S. Make sure the power source for the camera is safely indoors and out of the reach of kids if possible.
Step 4: How to Install Security Camera Wiring
Make sure there is room for the wiring to be fed through the rear hole we made earlier. If you have a setup where you can’t feed them through the wall, you want to be as subtle and discreet as possible.
One tip you can try out is to always run the cables along with corners and higher up where possible. This makes them harder to spot and tougher to tamper with.
You should consider painting over the wiring in the same color as the wall behind it is.
Step 5: Setting up to Record
This step is very dependent on the camera brand, model, and your specific setup. Some security cameras can connect wirelessly to your laptop or phone, where you can tap into a watch the live footage.
If you want to record footage, you’ll need to hook the camera up to a storage device of some kind.
Many modern security cameras are compatible with the routers that have an in-built hard drive or can record to an external storage or USB.
If you’re using the IP wireless camera, you’ll need to follow the steps below:
- Download “Webcam/Screen Video Capture Free” software to your laptop or PC
- Select “Network”
- Type in the IP address of your camera and follow the authentication steps that pop-up
- Navigate to the “Recording” tab
- Choose whether you want to record with or without audio
- Select the audio quality you want to record with (this will affect the size of the recordings on your PC)
- Select the folder you want to store the recorded footage in – I like to put it on my desktop and check it every evening
- Click “Record” or press F9 to start recording
You’ll need to check the size of the recordings. I like to work it out by recording for one hour and seeing how much space that requires.
This will help you gauge how much storage space you’ll need, and whether you need to make adjustments to the quality and audio settings.
Using this same software, you can send commands to your IP camera. Here’s what to do:
- Under the “Video Source” tab, click on “Start Preview” to check that you’ve connected successfully
- Type your command into the “Send an IP camera a command” and hit “Send”
If you’re installing multiple cameras or looking at how to install a security camera in a two-story house, you’ll need to repeat this process for each of the connections.
Remember to write down the IP numbers and save them so you don’t confuse the cameras.
Now you have the basics of setting up your security camera system. If you’re still a little confused, don’t worry. There are tons of “how to install security cameras” YouTube videos available if you’re a visual learner.
You have clear steps on how to install wireless security camera systems at home, all that’s left is to get some practice and learn what works best for you – good luck!