Smart Security Camera Installation
707 views | June 22, 2022

Smart Security Camera Installation

Here’s some helpful information you need to know when it comes to making a shrewd decision about the right-fit smart security camera for your home—and a step-by-step guide for installing it.

Adding a security camera install to your home makes it 300% less likely to be robbed than one without a home security camera, according to the alarm company ADT®1. It makes sense that since thieves don’t want to be seen, when they detect a camera, they simply move on to another home. Even better? In addition to acting as a deterrent just by being visible, the valuable surveillance caught and recorded by a smart cam can also be used by authorities in identifying and nabbing a burglar. That’s a win-win in any book.

But a camera is only as effective as the footage it captures. If it has been improperly installed, positioned or maintained, that could leave you unprotected.

What are the Differences between Smart Security Cameras?

Over the next several years, the market for smart home security cameras is expected to skyrocket, to reach $5 billion by 2025, according to Statista2. And with growing dollars comes innovation. From outdoor to indoor, wired and wireless, there are many evolving types of cameras to fit conditions and budgets. The bottom line is smart cameras have become smarter than ever, with some impressive features. If you have an older generation camera, upgrading to a newer one could open up many new possibilities.

An outdoor camera, such as the Google Nest Cam with Floodlight, can detect suspicious activity, automatically turn on the lights and send the homeowner an alert. With built-in intelligence, it knows the difference between people, animals and vehicles. And with machine learning, it can also recognize familiar faces and detect strangers.

You can remotely check in on your home 24/7 from anywhere and view live HD video, replay video recordings and talk to visitors through the camera whether at home or away through an app.

Looking for the next best thing to being there from an indoor perspective? Indoor smart cameras with built-in intelligence, such as the Google Nest Cam Indoor, can also notify you of activity 24/7, while being able to detect the difference between a person, pet or vehicle and send you only the information you need to know. It can capture high-resolution footage even at night if equipped with night vision.

With live view, you can speak with people and listen through a built-in microphone through an app. You can choose specific areas within your home to capture the activity. If you miss a notification, you have the ability to go back and see what happened within three hours of event video history. These types of cameras are designed to be used on a tabletop stand or mounted on a wall.

For both indoor and outdoor smart cameras, homeowners can add a subscription service such as Nest Aware to extend the length of video history and add the ability to recognize familiar faces through machine learning.

Which type of camera you choose will impact its installation. The two basic types are wireless and wired.

Wireless cameras send the feed to a hub through wireless signals, so there’s more flexibility with placement and installation. Wired cameras are wired directly into an electrical source through ethernet cables that need to run through walls, in the ceiling and floors.

Two Ways to Handle Home Security Camera Installation

Ultimately, the choice to DIY or go with a professional comes down to how tech-savvy you are, the skills you possess with home improvement tools, the size and complexity of your home, and lastly, your capability to monitor the system and maintain it going forward.

Doing it Yourself

Things you’ll need for installing a wireless or wired camera will most likely include a ladder, drill, spade bit, Phillips head screwdriver, and if you’re planning to install a camera on brick, a hammer drill and masonry drill bits, according to Forbes Advisor3.

A wireless camera is much easier to install than a wired camera. First, find the perfect spot. It’s a good idea to install your camera in a central place, such as over your front door, and where it will be protected from the weather. If you intend to use outdoors, cameras should be rated for outdoor use.

Another consideration is if the model is powered by electricity. In that case it will need to be positioned near enough for the wires to reach the nearest power outlet. Battery-powered wireless cameras, on the other hand, can be placed anywhere your Wi-Fi reaches.

To simplify the DIY, most home security cameras come with their own installation kits. You’ll find a template for drilling holes to place the camera mount. Use it to drill the holes for the mounting screws and install mounting pins with a hammer. Then screw the camera mount to the spot you prepared and attach the camera to the mount and connect it to its power source.

Wireless models, such as the Google Nest Cam with Floodlight, have a magnetic mounting base that you can screw directly into a wall or attach to a flat metal surface.

Once the camera is installed, then it’s time to download the Nest app and create your account. As soon as you’ve done that, just scan the QR code on the body of the camera to connect it to your Wi-Fi and you’re good to go.

A wired system takes more skill for the installation. You will need to drill with a space bit and feed the cables through your walls where they will be hooked up to the recording device.

With the DIY approach you can start small and add more cameras to your system whenever you feel it’s necessary. And if you are someone who moves often, it’s nice to know you can move your camera from one home to another.

If doing it yourself, you should map out the best route for your wires, then drill corresponding holes through your home with a spade bit to fish the wires through the walls and find a place for the recording device that’s close to an outlet.

If installing security cameras seems daunting—no need to worry. It’s simple to put this job in the hands of a professional. The HelloTech installation and support service offers accountability and peace of mind. An experienced technician will perform an expert assessment and install and set up your device.

HelloTech™ will help identify the best placement areas, install your security cameras, hook up the components to your Wi-Fi and perform an initial set-up on your mobile device, then teach you how to use it and demonstrate commonly used features. Professional installation lends you reassurance and helps makes certain your camera will be properly installed and operational going forward.

Where is the Best Place to Position Your Smart Security Camera?

Whether indoors or out—placement is key. Your protection is only as good as the scope and quality of image that can be captured. Experiment with different viewpoints and angles. Don’t be afraid to get up on a ladder to see the view a placement will afford.

Experts recommend that outdoor cameras monitor the most common points of entry for intruders, which include the front door, back door, first-floor windows, garage, driveway and backyard. Cameras should be mounted 8 to 10 feet above ground to keep them safe and out of reach of intruders, kids and pets—yet close enough to capture a high-resolution image.

For indoors, it’s best to mount in corners for the widest view of a space, above door or window height, angled downward for the prime video capture. Although you can utilize indoor cameras pointed outside to monitor that space, the infrared light technology might wash out the picture.

A slight drawback for indoor cameras that rest on a counter is that they are easier for an intruder to detect and disable.

Firing up the Power Sources for Smart Security Cameras

Wired and wireless smart security cameras both send information back to the hub, which could be a digital video recorder (DVR), the newer technology of networked video recorder (NVR) or your Wi-Fi. NVRs are more advanced and capable of recording finer-quality video than DVRs.

The cameras send the footage to the hub via different means.

Wired models use physical ethernet cables that are run through the walls, ceiling or under the floor to transmit footage. Wireless cameras communicate to the hub over Wi-Fi and are powered by a standard household electrical outlet or batteries installed within the unit.

Pros and Cons of Wired vs. Wireless

Wireless cameras are easier to install and transmit a signal well through open areas and thinner and less dense walls or floors. Since no transmission wires are required, there’s a little more flexibility; however, they still require electrical outlet power or battery power. The software and apps used by wireless systems are more advanced and user-friendly than with wired systems.

Although wired models might take more planning and effort to install, they are able to send a strong, clear and more reliable signal back to the hub, and can be placed anywhere the cables can reach. An advantage of wired cameras is that they don’t rely on a Wi-Fi network. If your home has spotty or slow Wi-Fi connectivity, that could cause glitches, video lags or camera freezes. And since they are not connected to your Internet, wired systems are less likely to be hacked than wireless ones.

What’s the Right Storage Solution for You: Cloud or Local?

In addition to the type of camera that best fits your needs, you’ll also want to decide how and where you’ll store the video footage it captures.

In general, wireless cameras store it on a cloud server that can be easily accessed from anywhere. Two downsides of this method of storage are that there is a monthly fee and it is more likely to be hacked since it lives on the Internet.

Footage can also be stored on local media, such as a micro SD card within the camera itself. An advantage of local storage is that if you have a battery-powered camera, it will still record even if your power and Internet go down. Plus, there’s no additional monthly fee for the storage.


If security and peace of mind are important to you, investing in or upgrading to a smart security camera that best fits your lifestyle and needs is crucial.

The technology behind these devices is always advancing, and it’s wise to stay ahead of intruders’ knowledge and familiarity with them, which is also ever evolving.

Beyond protection from crime, homeowners likewise enjoy the ease of remotely keeping tabs on their home, whether to check if the kids are home from school or see what the dog is doing while they’re gone.

Factors that come to play when installing a smart security camera—such as tech-savviness and home improvement skills—may help you decide whether to do it yourself or leave it to a professional.

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Q. Can my smart security camera differentiate between familiar faces and strangers?

A. Yes, thanks to advances in machine learning, your camera can be enabled via Nest Aware to recognize the faces of people you know and send you an alert when it sees an unfamiliar face. You can also manage your library of familiar faces to change a person’s name or even remove someone from it.

Q. Will the quality of my Wi-Fi affect my wireless camera?

A. Yes, since a wireless unit runs through your Internet, if there are glitches or “downtime” those lapses will happen on your captured video footage feed as well.

Q. How many security cameras do I need for my home?

A. It depends. Each home’s needs are unique. A general rule of thumb to start with is have a camera at your front door to keep track of packages and protect the entry area, one to two outdoor cameras to monitor your front and back yards, and one to two indoor cameras to keep watch over the places where you keep precious items inside your home.

© 2022 FirstEnergy

“HelloTech” is a registered trademark of Hellotech, Inc.
“Google”, “Nest Aware”, “Nest”, “Nest Cam”, “Nest Cam with Floodlight” are trademarks of Google LLC.
“ADT” is a registered trademark of ADT US Holdings, Inc.

1 blog, “Do Surveillance Cameras Deter Crime?”
2 blog, “Demand Growing for Smart Home Security Systems,” Niall McCarthy, May 18, 2021.
3 Forbes Advisor blog, “How to Install a Home Security Camera,” Nick Gerhardt, Samantha Allen, February 14, 2022.

FirstEnergy Home's review of these products are solely opinion. FirstEnergy Home did not receive compensation for the review. FirstEnergy Home and any FirstEnergy affiliates are not affiliated with the manufacturer of the products, nor is there any endorsement or sponsorship between the manufacturer of the products and FirstEnergy Home or any of its affiliates.