DIY Camera security system

Written by Costbuys

Setting up a series of cameras at home for security is expensive, or at least it used to be. The costly parts of the system are the wiring and the DVR. In addition, it required the services of trained technicians to install. Thanks to technological advances, this is no longer true. Anyone can set up a camera based security system himself or herself at a fraction of the cost, all you need is a good wireless network and the right setup. Here is how:

The Cameras

The cost of IP cameras has dropped significantly. There are two choices here: outdoor and indoor cameras. The outdoor cameras are slightly more expensive. They are waterproof and provide a larger field of view. Indoor cameras have a slightly smaller field of view and are cheaper. Make sure that your camera is using high definition lens equipment to capture video, so you’ll be able to clearly identify whatever the camera is there to look at. Most doorbell cameras, for example, are excellent at identifying anyone who approaches your doorstep.

Choose the right number of cameras and place them as required. Only power will be required from the nearest outlet. It helps to get up on a ladder and spot for your cameras, taking a look at what your camera might see from a particular angle. If you can, ask someone to act as a subject for you to focus on so you can see whether your camera is actually picking up useful information at that angle.


In an IP camera based solution, there is no DVR. Instead, cameras upload the video feed directly to the cloud. The motion detection is either at the camera level or on the cloud. The camera vendors provide a cloud service for each camera, with a paid subscription to retain additional video. Video feeds use a significant amount of bandwidth, especially HD Video. One option to save bandwidth is to set the camera to upload video only during motion detection.


There is a likelihood that the wireless network provided by the ISP might not be able to handle the number of additional devices. In that case, when you shop for the cameras, buy some wireless extenders to reduce the congestion. It also might be a good idea to upgrade your wireless network to better match your internet speed from the ISP you work with. If it’s been a few years since your last router upgrade, it may be worth the money when you’re investing in security. You’ll want to make sure your network is capable of handling the transfer of data that your camera will use uploading its video footage to a remote server.


Some camera systems come with mobile apps you can download from Google Play or the iTunes store. Be sure you check these out ahead of time and read reviews. The system might be incredible, but if the app isn’t useful then you’re not going to see a great deal of benefit from getting it.

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