Do-it-yourself (DIY) security cameras that are designed for residential or business use have become much simpler to install. Besides cameras, other components of a security system might include a digital video recorder (DVR), monitor and power unit. It is best to purchase kits for DIY security cameras, and they are rather easy to install if you follow the instructions. Many DIY security cameras come with installation videos that will show you exactly what to do.
Start with the best system you can afford if you are working on a budget If you do not have a budget large enough, purchase the security camera system required for the surveillance area, and buy a system that allows you to scale up to the number of cameras that you expect to eventually install. Some security camera systems allow for the installation of dozens of cameras.
Become familiar with the various types of DIY security cameras, such as bullet, dome, Ethernet, web ready or covert. Bullet cameras have weatherproof housing, and their versatility allows for interior or exterior installation. Dome cameras provide subtle surveillance in business environments, mainly on the interior. Ethernet security cameras can plug directly into a computer.
Choose an infrared camera for use in poor lighting or for nighttime surveillance. Select a pan-tilt-zoom camera if you want the ability to monitor multiple directions. It also will allow you to obtain a close-up look within a surveillance area.
Place security camera equipment in a conditioned space, away from high-traffic locations. Ensure that the area is dust-free and has adequate ventilation. Remove any clutter from the space and secure the area from unauthorized persons. The space should have easy access to a power supply.
Choose a DVR with enough channels for the number of cameras that you intend to install. Check the DVR’s frames per second (FPS), which determines the speed at which the camera records footage. Recording live motion requires a DVR with 30 FPS. Fewer frames per second, such as 7.5 FPS, will make the recording look jumpy and might seem as though the motion occurs under a strobe light.
Determine the amount of space require for the hard disk drive. Standard DVRs for DIY security cameras come with a hard disk drive capacity of 250 gigabytes (GB) to 500 GB of storage space. If you decide to operate the motion-activation feature system — a standard feature on most DVRs, understand that this requires more storage space. Factors to consider include the FPS recording speed, the amount of motion crossing the security cameras and the number of cameras installed. After the storage limit is reached, the cameras start recording over existing recordings.
DIY security cameras come in wireless versions. These eliminate the need for running wires but require the installation of wireless transmitters. Keep in mind that obstructions such as walls, floors, buildings and satellite dishes affect a wireless system. Start small when choosing this method, and scale up if interference is not an issue.