Security cameras: installation guide

Crime rate is rapidly increasing, thereby increasing the need for security cameras. You really do not have to be a victim before you employ security measures. A CCTV camera may not stop crime entirely but it will give you reasonable evidence to apprehend the culprit.

Do you want to see the entire activity around your premises at a glance from your smartphone and even stop crime before it happens?

This guide will give you firsthand information about security cameras, and all you need to know about video surveillance.

It may interest you to know that security CCTV camera systems come in a variety of different image resolutions, integration abilities and use cases. Some cameras are used indoors while others are for outdoor usage. Also, some are tilt, pan and zoom for broader coverage while others are solely built for reading license plates coming into a parking lot.

Every business needs a security CCTV camera. Having a security camera will give you video evidence of any criminal activity on your property, which will help you catch the perpetrator(s) and make sure such doesn’t occur again.

CCTV systems are quite complex (this is not to scare you though). A functioning CCTV system offers full property coverage around the clock. Although, surveillance is not difficult but you will need some components to get your IP surveillance system running.

In this guide, you will understand with ease the components of a CCTV camera, the types of security camera and security camera installation.

Security cameras

Components of a CCTV System

A CCTV camera has diverse features that makes it unique and necessary. They include:

  • Security cameras
  • Cabling/Wiring
  • Network video recorder (NVR)
  • Storage (Hard Drives)

Security Cameras

The first component of a CCTV system are security cameras. The right security cameras you need for your system depends on your personal needs and budget. Check if it has a high-end resolution. Can you see and record video efficiently even in low-lighting. Also, check if the camera is placed with adequate field of view to know if you need a Pan Tilt Zoom camera.

Cabling / Wiring

Many commercial CCTV systems are structured in a way that the cabling runs through the walls. However, it is important that you connect your security camera to the server or NVR. Although, wireless security cameras are becoming popular, especially for home use, it is however advisable that you go with wired security cameras. Because they are supreme for more permanent and demanding security use.

As it is the case with most CCTV systems these days, when using IP cameras, you should look out for Cat5E or Cat6 cables. They can transfer large amount of data required by digital video and high resolutions over long distances, and at very fast speeds. There is an upgrade from the coax cabling which powers analog security cameras; coax cables are reliable, not seldom ever compatible with IP cameras.

In most cases, Cat5e and Cat6 cables also powers the security cameras, removing the need for further wiring. Wireless security cameras needs less wiring in the walls but they still require cables to power the security camera separately, via 110VAC power.

Network Video Recorder

This is another essential component of any IP camera system. The NVR is installed virtually anywhere in your building while connected to the same IP network. The NVR allows you to record and store video on a hard drive, snap pictures and send them to your computer or remote device for live viewing. Also, NVR has multiple channels for putting security camera feeds, and an all-in-one place for combining feeds and keeping a detailed eye on your surveillance feeds.

NVR differs from DVR. While NVR record from IP cameras, DVR mainly records analog-based video to a digital format.

Storage (Hard Drives)

You need an NVR to record video surveillance footage, you must also connect hard drives to store this footage. Choosing the right storage means can be a confusing task, but it is simply a matter of calculating the length of the video you want to store by the nitrate and resolution your camera shoots at. When recording a 4000 security camera video, this is a large number requiring terabytes of footage. However, for lesser archival needs, you can get away with much less.


Your surveillance system configuration has less impact compared to the type of security camera you choose. There are many types of security cameras, and each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, benefits and disadvantages. So, it is important you make an informed choice. Remember, you can mix-and-match camera types before installing the security camera you want.
The types of security cameras include:

  • Bullet cameras
  • Some cameras
  • Turret cameras
  • Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ)
  • Cameras Fisheye
  • Cameras multiple
  • Sensor cameras
  • Doorbell cameras
  • Wireless security cameras
Security cameras

Bullet cameras

These are linear security cameras that can be mounted on the wall or ceiling with a tri-axis mount. Do not bother about orienting them while you are screwing them into the wall rather, focus on a specific part of your premises. Bullet cameras are anywhere from a rifle bullet or a lipstick tube to a bread loaf, but they are basically the same. Given their tubular design, they have room for night-vision and IR features.

They also have a better range and zoom capacity than the flatter dome security cameras. They are well recognizable as a security camera, quite durable, and easy to mount just about anywhere. Though, they do not come with the full IP certification of other models. In addition, Bullet cameras are more prone to damages than other models and they make nests for wildlife. So, be careful while choosing your spot to install bullet cameras on your premises.

Dome cameras

Dome camera offers a small, black orb that gives a better field of view than a bullet camera. It is also more subtle, durable and has various types of the camera on the market. Dome cameras are very recommendable if you are looking for a less assertive security camera system because it has its advantages.

Turret cameras

This is another type of CCTV security camera with a ball-and-socket joint to enable you redirect the field of view without remounting the security camera every time. They are nice for warehouses.

To easily know a turret camera; if the lens and IR LEDs are in front of the glass on the housing rather than contained behind it, you have got a turret camera. As well as being great for changing position on the fly, they are better for low-light and infrared since the glass housing doesn’t impede the lens. With some, it’s hard to tell at a glance where they’ve been aimed, so they can give a good impression, regardless of their true field of view. You can install this video surveillance system with few great options and a good number of different configurations.

Pan Tilt Zoom cameras (PTZ)

Pan Tilt Zoom camera is one of the most adaptive types of security cameras a d the ultimate IP camera. They lack harness but have good versatility. This type of camera can be re-aimed remotely. They also track persons or cars across a range because they are being programmed to cycle through different orientations to offer a comprehensive view. In addition, they Zoom and focus on faces or license plates in real time. They are really useful as NVR cameras because they can respond to user inputs even from off-site network connections.

Fisheye cameras

This kind of CCTV camera has a central focus and a condensed periphery. It is very suitable for parking lots or a warehouse. This is where finer details are not as important as the overall picture. They are not prone to damages or mechanical failure compared to other multi-lens cameras. With Fisheye cameras, whatever you lose in resolution at the edges of your field of view, you make up for them via reliability.

Multiple Sensor Camera

This camera is quite similar to Fisheye camera but without the distortion. As the name implies, it is a panoramic camera that uses multiple sensors. Its picture channels capture up to a 360° field of view.

Also, it uses image processing software to stitch the channels together into a contiguous video feed. Multiple Sensor cameras are better for low-light or infrared and for high resolution unlike Fisheye lenses.

In addition, if damage occurs to any sensor, a multi-sensor camera will still broadcast. But the case is different for Fisheyes or any other single sensors camera.

Doorbell Camera

This is a small wireless security camera. It includes a door buzzer and a two-way intercom in the frame. If you combine a security camera and an intercom, it gives you a wide range of powerful features to secure your home or business.

Also, one interesting feature of doorbell cameras is that they can interface with your smartphone through an app. Hence, allowing you to see and react to events at your door whether you are at home or not.

However, the best security doorbells connect to Z-wave devices like lights and door locks, with this you can lock and unlock your front door remotely.

Wireless security cameras

This type of camera leverages on your home or business’s WiFi connection to create a surveillance network. They are great to use to monitor small to medium sized rooms or buildings because they get good image distortion when zooming in to objects that are far away. Some good things a wireless camera has over wired camera is that they have easy remote access, easy installation and less wiring.

Security cameras

Some frequently asked questions about security cameras installation:

Where do you install security cameras?

CCTV security cameras need to be installed in the right locations to capture the important activities within your home or business.

The first places to install them should be to cover the front door, the back door, and then first floor windows, where trouble is most likely to occur.

After that, you can look at placing them at the four corners of the building to create an image of the entire perimeter of the building.
Always pay attention to the field of view, as well, and avoid locations that don’t create clear spots.

And, if your security camera installation is done outside, they must be waterproof and weather-resistant. Must also be able withstand moisture, high heat and freezing temperatures.

Also, pay close attention to lighting. You may not have full control over the lighting around the building, but you can place your cameras in well-lit areas that ensures a brighter, clearer image. You could look at cameras with infrared, which detects body heat and allows the camera to function like night vision.

How can you hide your outdoor security cameras?

Most times, the presence of security cameras can scare away intruders. But keeping them hidden and out of sight can keep them from being tampered with or damaged by the more determined intruders. If burglars do not see any security cameras, they will be less careful about covering their faces and their tracks. However, your location and potential threats will determine whether hidden or visible cameras are right for you.

If you’re concerned about your cameras being disabled, you can hide them. A combination of both is a good choice, too.

How can you protect your security camera wires?

When installing wired CCTV cameras, you should consider how they will be powered, and how you will run the wiring through the building. In some cases, you can install cameras and simply run the wires through a drop tile ceiling and into the wall. In other cases, professional security installation is usually the right choice.

Which is better DVR or NVR?

If you don’t want to do an entire renovation, you have existing coaxial wiring and analog cameras then you should use a DVR.

The problem with analog cameras is that they typically have lower resolution than new IP cameras. If your starting from scratch, then you should do your security camera installation with an NVR. This will allow you to install higher resolution IP cameras and access the video feed remotely.

Do you need a hard drive for security cameras?

Yes, you do. Recording the footage from your security cameras requires hard drives or cloud based storage. If you are dealing with recorded video storage on an IP camera system, then your network video recorder (NVR) can use hard drives for on-site recording and cloud-based recording in the event of hard drive malfunction.

Do security cameras work in the dark?

Not all security cameras work in the dark. Security cameras that have low-light capabilities have a shutter that allows more light to enter the camera’s sensor.

However, even these low light capable cameras have digital noise that make the dark image look fuzzy. To combat this fuzzy image you can use security cameras with 2D and 3D digital noise reduction. Some security cameras now come with infrared light that is invisible to the human eye but can be picked up by a security camera’s sensor. Yeah


In summary, a security camera system is an important part of any business’s security plan. Security camera installation does not have to be a hard process, but there are a few things you need to know.

In some cases, you may even be able to do it yourself for a very basic CCTV surveillance system. But in some other cases, you will have to pay to have it professionally installed. Whichever route you take, be sure to make the right choice.

Also read: Seven things you must do before using your new pc

About the author

Agim Amaka is a writer at With vast knowledge in writing, she creates quality content and articles for blogs, websites, and posts for various social media platforms. As an extraordinary writer, she is very much concerned about her audience; readers and clients.