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If you're looking to install a new security system, and you're not sure where to start, stick with us as we go over the best places to position your security cameras to achieve the best results. We'll also share additional tips and tricks for better placement and easier installation, but first, let's go over some of the basics of CCTV camera placement. 

Here are some of the best places and areas to position your security cameras based on your home’s vulnerabilities.

1. Front door

Statistics say that 34% of burglars enter through the front door. With those statistics in mind, you're going to want to cover your front door first, before moving onto other sensitive areas. Having a security camera at your front door can help you keep tabs of everyone that's coming and going and can also allow you to keep an eye on your packages that might arrive while you're away from home.

2. Back and side doors

Back and side doors enable intruders to come in undetected because these spots are out of sight and often poorly lit. This is why it's essential to keep all side and back entry points covered with cameras, especially those that are easily accessible and particularly enticing to an intruder.

3. Garage door and driveway

Installing a camera that's covering your garage and driveway allows you to monitor and keep a watchful eye on your tools, equipment, cars, bikes, and so on.

4. Off-street windows

Most burglars enter through doors and windows. If they're going to try and come through your windows, they'll probably avoid your front ones and look for side or back windows which are out of sight and not well lit. Installing cameras near your side and rear windows gives you full coverage of your more vulnerable entry points and helps you keep track of any suspicious activity that might be going on in your back yard.

5. Common areas inside the home

If you're planning on installing security cameras inside the house, you should start with the common areas first. These include your living room, kitchen and other gathering points in your home. This way you can keep a watchful eye on your kids and pets, and see what they're up to. You can also monitor any kind of activity while you’re away and check on household help, the handyman or the babysitter.

Top 5 Tips for Better CCTV Camera Placement and Installation

If you're a DIY-er and are planning on doing the security camera installation yourself, there are a few things you'll need to consider before you install or even buy your security cameras. The main factors that you should take into consideration include your budget, possible physical restraints and spots where you might not be able to easily run wires to, as well as your home security priorities.

1. Consider your budget first

No matter if you're planning on hiring professional installers or you want to do the entire installation of the camera system yourself the first thing you'll need to consider is your budget. Determine the amount of money you're prepared to put towards your new CCTV system and look for security camera systems that are within that range. By doing the entire installation yourself and not hiring installers you can put the money that you'll be saving towards better and higher-quality cameras.

If you're on a tight budget and want to install a few cameras at a time, the best way to start would be to cover the doors first, then the windows and continue onto any common entry points to your property.

2. Protect your neighbours' privacy

Make sure you pick spots that do not violate anyone's privacy, including your neighbours, your family and any visitors that you might have over at your home. Check with local laws if you're not sure which areas are off-limits so that you don't have to redo your entire wiring and CCTV installation later on or risk invading someone's privacy.

3. DVR vs. NVR - which one to choose

The important thing to consider before you purchase and install your surveillance system is whether to go with a DVR vs. NVR security system. This is an important step in the installation of the CCTV security system since it can affect the installation, the cost and the quality of the video footage.

The main difference between DVR and NVR is the cabling they use. The network video recorder systems use Enternet cables or record IP cameras wirelessly (WiFi NVR), whereas digital video recorders use coaxial cables to record analog and coax-based cameras.

Therefore NVR systems provide higher-quality recording and are easier to set up, while DVR systems are a bit tougher to set up, have a lower recording quality but have a lower cost as well.

At the end of the day, your budget and personal preferences will decide which setup to go with.

4. Look for physical constraints

Have a look around your property to see how you're going to run the wires for your home security system. A great place to hide wires includes the corners of your vinyl siding, within baseboards or underground. You can also use plastic casings to hide them in, or you can even colour over them so they blend in with the colour of your exterior walls. If you decide to go with a wireless setup then you should consider the quality of the wireless connection you have outdoors so you don't have to worry about the wireless lag too much.

Every property is different. That's why you need to consider what the best options are in your particular situation. To make the right choice you need to become familiar with all the challenges you might face when installing your CCTV security cameras so you can achieve the same results as professional installation services would.

Consider any obstacles that may cover your outdoor cameras' viewpoint, such as trees, tall bushes, very high or very low eaves and so on. Make sure to avoid placing your outdoor cameras next to an eave, a wall, a downspout or any other object that can reflect the camera's infrared LED light at night and ruin your night vision. This phenomenon is known as IR flooding, and it occurs when your camera's IR lights are being blocked by a nearby object.

Another similar issue you might have with your IR LED lights is known as IR glare. This occurs when your camera's IR lights are reflected off of a nearby object back to the camera lens, which leads to a very foggy image.

5. Choosing the right set-up that blends in

Home CCTV systems should blend in. While you'll find many CCTV cameras with simple white or black finishes, there are others that come in different designs and colours so you can choose the ones that fit in well with your home's exterior look and your surroundings. Finding surveillance cameras that blend in well with your surroundings ensures that they won't be easily visible and identifiable so you can have a better chance of catching someone in the act without them knowing it.

How to Map Out Where the Cameras Should Go

Once you've taken all of these aspects into consideration and decided on the types of cameras you're going to use, it's time to map out your property so you can easily decide where to place each camera.

The easiest way to map out your area is to either look up your property on google maps and print out the satellite view or draw a quick overhead view yourself, including your home, garage, shed, gazebo, and all other structures you might have on your property.

Once that's done, note down the areas you want to be covered and prioritize each zone based on the camera's purpose. Once you complete that step, you can mark the possible camera locations and note down how much coverage you'll need.

When selecting your cameras you need to consider how much landscape you want to cover so you can choose between a wide-angle lens or a narrow-angle lens depending on the location and the surface area you want to cover.

Most camera lenses are 4mm, although they range from 2.8mm to 12mm. The 2.8 is a wide-angle lens that's suitable for driveways, back yards, front yards, construction sites and so on so you can see a wider area but with fewer details, and the 12mm is good if you want to see further away but with a narrower viewing angle. Narrow-angled lenses are suitable for critical points of entrance such as doors and windows as well as cash registers, hallways and so on.

Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Installing Your Security System

By now you've probably done your research and saved up enough money to buy indoor and outdoor cameras, and maybe even an intercom system and a security alarm system. While you might feel like you're ready to jump onto the installation process, you might want to take a look at our list of the top five beginner security camera installation mistakes so you can avoid them during your installation and save some time, money and efforts in the process. 

According to security experts, here are the top 5 mistakes beginners make when setting up their home CCTV packages:

1. Expecting too much from any camera

When doing your first CCTV installation you might be tempted to use any random type of camera and expect it to do too much.

You can't expect any camera you install to be able to accomplish any type of task, especially when it comes to more precise tasks such as reading license plates, facial detection and much more.

To make sure your camera does exactly what you want it to do, you need to:

  • choose the right type of lens

  • tune the settings of each camera so it can do a specific task

  • find a camera that's equipped for the certain function you require

  • understand the strengths and limitations of each of your cameras before you start setting them up, or even better - before you purchase them

2.  Not waterproofing your connections

Even if you buy a top-notch camera that's designed to withstand the toughest of weather conditions, you still need to make sure all your connections are waterproofed. To make sure all your connections are weatherproofed you can simply use weatherproof sealing grommets and twist them into place on your cameras' connections.

3. Wasting space in the field of view

If you're an inexperienced DIY-er and you're setting up your very first CCTV system, it can be easy for you to simply set up the camera on the wall without paying much attention to where it's pointed.

To make sure you're getting the most value out of your CCTV system you need to make sure you're utilizing it to its fullest potential and set it up so you're using its entire field of view. You can easily make the right alterations by doing simple tweaks and angle adjustment to make sure you're using your cameras right.

4. Getting cheaply-made cables

Depending on the area your wiring needs to cover, you might be tempted to skimp on your wiring and use cheaply-made cables so you can save up. While you might not think that investing in higher-quality cables can make a difference in the final outcome, you couldn't be further from the truth. Cheap cables can lead to many issues down the road and can end up costing you even more in replacements. That's why it's important to invest in cables that are just as high-quality as your cameras so you don't have to deal with unexpected issues down the line.

5. Building your entire system from wireless cameras

While wireless cameras are super easy to install and relocate and can add a lot to your surveillance system, they are typically not suitable as a base for building your entire system.

The main reason for this is that they are not as reliable as wired cameras. No matter how strong your wifi signal is, you can always expect to experience lag and spotty coverage, as well as lost footage from time to time.

However, if you are considering adding wireless cameras, there are certain benefits you can expect. 

Those include:

  • convenience ( you can easily set them up and change their location)

  • extended reach (wireless cameras can help you extend your surveillance beyond the reach of your cables)

  • secured footage (wireless cameras typically save any data directly to the cloud so you can have the footage backed up making it harder to fully delete)

  • easy to conceal since they have no cables

  • easier to access (you can check your footage from anywhere in the world)