How to Install a Home Security Camera System with a DVR

30/09/2015 0 Comment(s) Bulk Ethernet Cable,

Setting up a home security camera system in your home may seem a daunting task, but by purchasing a security system package, it becomes more manageable. Installing security cameras will put you at ease since you can monitor your home and family, even when you are at work or traveling.

Home security camera systems come in a variety of packages. You can select a package that include from 2 to as many as 16 cameras with surveillance DVRs that include free software and apps for remote viewing using a desktop PC, a mobile device, or both. More importantly, security providers will provide assistance in installing these plug and play devices should you need their help.    

Planning your home security system

The first step in the DIY process of installing a home security camera system is to determine the number of cameras that you will need. Budgeting for the security system will help you come up with the optimum number of video surveillance cameras that will monitor the most vulnerable spots in your home, for example front and back doors, the driveway or garage, porches, stairways inside the house, and large spaces that require monitoring. Installing a camera in every location around your home is not only impractical and expensive. It will also use up much of your time for monitoring.

Make a diagram of your home and the surrounding area, and then map the locations where you plan to install the cameras. At this stage of your planning, you can consult security experts who can advise you which areas need the most surveillance monitoring. Security experts can also help in choosing the camera features, for example where to use cameras with smaller lenses for a wider angle of view, and where to position a video camera with infrared night vision.

Once you have determined the number and types of home security cameras that you need, you can buy each item individually, or buy a bundled security system. While buying each unit separately allows you more freedom of choice, bundled systems are usually cheaper and easier to manage.

For surveillance, you will need a minimum of three cameras and a digital video recorder (DVR), appropriate wirings and cables, and power cords. Two outdoor cameras, one each for the front and back doors, and an indoor camera will be sufficient for smaller homes, but you can install more units as necessary based on your home security diagram. 

DIY Installation of Security System

Installing the surveillance cameras can take up more time if you choose wired models, while wireless cameras are easier to set up because you will not need to install cables. However, the quality of feeds from wireless systems suffers in quality when installed far from the receiver. Thus, you will need to decide if you will use wired or wireless cameras, or have a combination of both, for example wired for outdoor and wireless for indoor cameras.

Before installing the security cameras, test each one individually and then connect these to the DVR to see the quality of feeds. Doing this test can save you from wasted time when you have to remove a camera that fails to record from its security position.

For outdoor cameras, you can plan for either covert monitoring or have the camera plainly visible to passers-by. Installing the camera in plain view helps deter unauthorized entries, but covert monitoring has its advantage too. Dome cameras are more appropriate for covert monitoring because these can blend with your lighting system and other house fixtures.

The following steps provide a simple guide for installing security cameras, according to the security diagram that you have prepared.

  • Install the camera from a high perch that will give a broad angle of the space of interest. One of the best spots in a room is the corner where the ceiling meets the wall that will give an unobstructed view of the space below. Entry and exit points should be clearly visible. If your camera is wired, there should be a power outlet near the spot where the camera is positioned. An outdoor camera should be positioned high enough, for example, below the roof eaves, to prevent it from being easily knocked down or tampered with.
  • Cameras should be safely mounted to the wall, ceiling, or a sturdy post. Do not perch the camera in a flimsy post or supporting beam that can be knocked down easily by vandals. Screws and molding pins should be tightened securely using appropriate tools such as electric drills and hammers. Before tightening the screws in position, check to make sure that the camera provides you with the correct angle of view.
  • Measure the distance of the camera from the power source to ensure that the plug is of sufficient length from a wall socket. Having a socket installed near the camera is a better option if it can be safely done. Plug the camera into the power source, using
  • Connect the security cameras to your DVR (digital video recorder) using a Bayonet Neill-Concelman (BNC) cable. BNC cables terminate with a connector at each end, one of which you can plug into the Output port in the camera, and the other into one of the input ports of the DVR. To secure the connection, turn a small nut that locks the connection in place. The DVR has several input ports that will allow you to hook multiple cameras into the network, and it automatically records the input from each camera. For viewing, connect the DVR to a monitor using a BNC cable or alternatively, a coaxial or HDMI cable.


  • For wireless IP security cameras, you have to install the software that allows you to view video feeds. If the camera has an IP address, copy or memorize the numbers because you will need it for remote viewing.

Once you have the cameras in place and properly hooked up with the digital video recorder (DVR) for storing footages or sending video feeds into a computer or a small TV, turn all systems on and check the footages for any issues. The monitor can display every camera simultaneously, or you can choose the input button that allows you to switch between cameras while viewing.

You have to ensure that the memory capacity of the DVR is sufficient for storing footages for at least 24 hours of feeds from all the security cameras that you have installed. If you purchased a security package, the DVR comes with the cameras so you have to check its features for recording capacity.

For remote viewing, some models of video surveillance cameras can stream footages to your Android phone, laptop, or PC. You have to install the appropriate remote viewing app to do this, and then test it to ensure that everything works properly. When your remote viewing application is functioning well, you can view the security footages from anywhere, so you know the status of your family and you will be at ease knowing that everything is fine in your home even when you are away.

With careful planning, setting up a home security camera system in your home or office takes up a little time and muscle, while the benefits you will reap can be enormous.

Leave a Comment