Simple DIY Surveillance Systems

Interested in learning how to set up a surveillance system on your property? Some people hire professionals, but they are prohibitively expensive, the services can be overly complicated, ineffective at times, and may not provide the security you were hoping for. If you want to learn how to set up your own DIY surveillance system, follow these tips.

To get started, all you need is a functioning Internet connection at home, a home wireless network,  and a wireless enabled camera.  A WiFi enable security camera system is not a requirement, however.  You can apply the principles in this guide using some good outdoor cameras, like extra game cameras that you probably already use for hunting.

To set up your DIY home surveillance system, you will need to be familiar with your computer’s browser, ad you will be configuring the security system from here.

DIY Home Surveillance

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Placing the Cameras

The first step is to place the cameras. The entrances to your home and property are obvious places, but it can still be tricky to place the cameras so intruders are actually visible and your cameras are not.

Have cameras face the intruders’ fronts and faces, in the event of a break-in, a burglar’s back will be of little use to you or the authorities.

Make sure the camera’s not facing into a light. Even if you can see intruders’ faces, if they’re silhouetted by light, it’s difficult to see details.

A general rule of thumb to follow is the cheaper the camera, the lower the image resolution. The top low end trail cams will still have at least a 6 to 8MP camera sensor. If you can afford better cameras with 10 to 12MP images, then I recommend you do so.

Position the camera as closely to the location of interest as possible, allowing visibility even with low resolution or cheap cameras.

Make sure the background of your image is still (any objects which never move and will definitely be in the shot). A swaying tree or flag can trigger motion detecting sensors, and can induce blur on your images, making it more difficult to detect intruders’ features.

Don’t point a camera through the window! It won’t make a difference in the daylight, but the reflection during the night will ruin your image.

Connecting Your Cameras

Do you have trouble connecting your laptop to internet in certain areas of your house? This means it will also be difficult for your surveillance camera to connect to the Wi-Fi. Make certain your Internet connection is strong and secure throughout your property.

Most power supplies aren’t made for outdoor use, so make it easier on you by using low-voltage power outside and your regular power supply inside.

Configure cameras to work with your home wireless network. Simply follow each camera’s installation instructions. They should have all the information needed to set up your wireless camera to the Wi-Fi.

Use your Internet browser to log into the camera’s control panel. Under “Alarm settings” (or a similar name, such as “motion alarm” or “motion detection”), configure the device so you receive an email when motion is detected. You may also find it helpful to receive a notice to your smartphone or other device when these emails are received. If you have your camera is not very motion sensitive, and your emails are less frequent and more important, such an alert can be very useful.

I suggest you create a new free email account with which to receive surveillance pictures. A Gmail account will work great for this purpose.

The Bottom Line

One word of caution, while it’s absolutely okay to use cameras in the privacy of your own home, but what if you inadvertently take images of public spaces? In certain cases, it’s difficult not to get a picture of a street or neighbor’s house on your camera. Check local laws to see if this is okay, and to know whether or not you need to post a sign.

It’s definitely possible to protect yourself and your belongings on a budget. There are many different ways to set up a surveillance system and keep your home safe, but you don’t always have to use expensive, complicated devices.