Step-by-step DIY security camera installation guide

Homeowners and business owners who feel the need to install a security camera system to protect their property can opt to install the system using a professional contractor or they can do it themselves to save money. In this step-by-step guide to installing a system, we will discuss the things that should be considered before the installation process, the materials needed, and the installation procedure for different types of system.


General reminders before installation


Here are a few reminders before installing your security camera system


  • You should thoroughly review the surveillance laws that cover the use of video monitoring equipment in your specific state and country of residence.
  • Focus your camera placements on front and back doors, as well as windows as they are the most common entry points of intruders based on crime statistics.
  • Make sure that your cameras’ coverage is limited to your property only and doesn’t infringe on your neighbors. In some cases, they can file lawsuits against you for invading their privacy if cameras are setup incorrectly.
  • Carefully plan the placement of your cameras to ensure maximum and high-quality coverage and prevent mischievous individuals from tampering with or vandalizing them.
  • Make a strategic plan regarding the placement of your wiring, if necessary, to hide as much cabling as possible to avoid it being compromised.


Step-by-step guide for security camera installation


1. Prepare a diagram of your system to help ensure that your entire home or business premises are covered. Some of the key areas for your camera placements include the front and back doors, driveways, lawns, stairways, and off-street windows.


2.The installation process for different kinds of systems.


A. Analog Camera System


List of Required Components

  • Digital video recorder (DVR) – This device receives, stores, and processes the footage/video taken by the cameras.
  • Hard disk – This is used to store the footage. DVRs usually include a built-in hard disk.
  • Security cameras – This device serves as the eyes of your system as it is the one capturing and sending images/footage to the DVR.
  • Monitor –This equipment is used to monitor or view the video taken by the cameras either in real-time or in playback.
  • Power supply –This device will supply power to the system.
  • Cables/Wiring and Connectors- These are used to connect all the equipment in the system to make it operational.


Step-by-step security camera installation and setup process


  1. Install the power supply box in its planned location-The location of your box should be near a power outlet, the monitor, and the DVR.
  2. Run the cables from the selected camera placements to the DVR. You should carefully decide where to run the cables to hide them and maintain a professional look for the installation.
  3. Prepare the cables at the camera-end for connection. This includes stripping the wires and connecting the connectors unless already in place.
  4. Install the cameras in their designated locations using the install kit and screws provided.
  5. Connect the cables to the cameras.
  6. Prepare the cables on the DVR side and connect them to the DVR.
  7. Connect the DVR’s video output port to the monitor using standard video output cables.
  8. Conduct a trial run of the system to ensure that it is operating properly. The cameras should transmit a steady and clear live video feed to the DVR and should be able to be viewed on the monitor.


B. Power-over-the Ethernet (PoE) system


List of Required Components


  • Network video recorder (NVR) –This is the equivalent of the DVR in the analog system.
  • Monitor – This equipment is used to monitor or view the video taken by the cameras either in real-time or in playback.
  • Hard disk – This is used to store the footage. NVRs usually include a built-in hard disk but may also connect to a computer.
  • PoE capable Internet Protocol (IP) cameras – Used to view and record surveillance areas.
  • PoE Injector – This component adds voltage to the Ethernet output to achieve a dependable PoE connection.
  • Ethernet cable (Cat5E) –This is used to deliver both power and video feeds to the components.
  • Injector power adapter –This is utilized to supply power to the PoE injector.


Step-by-step security camera installation and setup process


The installation process of the PoE is similar to the analog system, but it requires less wiring procedures.

  1. Determine the strategic placement of your IP cameras, as well as your NVR and monitor. The location of your NVR should be close to a power supply outlet and near the center of most of the camera positions.
  2. Connect the Ethernet cable to the designated NVR port.
  3. Connect the other end of the cable to the PoE injector. You should also plug the second Ethernet wire to the injector’s output side.
  4. Connect the IP camera to the other end of the Ethernet cable. If the NVR supports PoE, the other end of the cable attached to it can be directly connected to the cameras.
  5. Turn the power of your NVR, cameras, and injectors on. You should wait for several minutes for the system to complete its initial configuration.
  6. Connect the NVR to the monitor via a conventional VGA or HDMI cable. After connecting, turn the monitor on.
  7. Check the installation process and operating condition of the system. Your cameras should deliver clear and steady live video feeds to your monitor.


C. Wireless security camera systems


List of Required Components


  • NVR – This is the equivalent of the DVR in the analog system and collects, processes and stores the video footage.
  • Monitor – As in the other systems, the monitor can view live and pre-recorded video feeds.
  • Wireless Cameras – Monitor and record protected areas and wirelessly transmits to the control center.
  • Power outlets/Extension cords (optional) – This can be omitted if your cameras have built-in batteries.


Step-by-step security camera installation and Setup Process


  1. Position the wireless cameras in the selected strategic locations.
  2. Place the NVR and the monitor in their designated areas. Since your cameras are wireless, the position of the NVR should be within the signal range of all the cameras and in an area that avoids interference.
  3. Plug the NVR into a power outlet and turn it on.
  4. Connect the NVR to the monitor and turn the monitor on.
  5. Switch on all the installed wireless cameras. When the cameras are switched on, the NVR should automatically detect them. The time that the NVR can detect the cameras depends on such factors as the signal strength and the distance between the cameras and the NVR. If the NVR cannot detect a camera, consider placing the camera nearer the NVR or checking the troubleshooting guide.
  6. Conduct a real-world test run of your system. You should test each camera to ensure it can deliver a clear and steady live high-resolution video feed to the monitor.


Installing a video surveillance system in a DIY manner can be a big cost saver for budget conscious home and business owners. By collecting the components or investing in a high quality kit, installation can be easily accomplished by following the step-by-step process as described above.

4 comments to

    Billy Wong / Reply

    Hi I’ve got N48PI with 8 x Networt Dome Camera. Currently I have changed the internet service provider and after the router has been installed by new service provider, all my Camera has been lost for connection. I try to reconnect and change the new IP provided by them but still failed. I even try to delete all the IP cam but still can’t. Could you let me know how can I do to re-set the whole system?

    Leroy Small / Reply

    What the High the camera should installed

    Dave Marshall / Reply

    Hi I’ve got a DT81GB DVR. I set up with all 3 cameras to record ‘events’ but my camera one playback is now showing an unbroken yellow line on screen nd I cant find a way to show ‘Events only’ when I select playback to view. Does the system automatically record 24/7 if set to ‘continuous’ record? And how do I set my camera number one to allow me to playback events only?
    Also, is it possible to select ‘Continious record’ and ‘Event record’ for all my cameras or must I select one or the other option for each camera?
    Hope you can help – great system, works well. Cheers Dave 07831 870000

    Cantet / Reply

    Bonjour je n ai pas d images sur mon écran

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