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How to do CCTV Camera Installation-Complete Guide for you

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CCTV camera installation

CCTVs are the best way to have a complete view of your property, offices, and other valuables. Security cameras come in a large variety of options ranging from various resolutions, types, shapes, and capabilities. You can find CCTVs that can be used indoors as well as the ones used outdoors.

This article will talk about all the important aspects including;

  • Quick Guide
  • Types of CCTV cameras
  • CCTV Kit
  • Self or Professional Installation
  • DVR Vs NVR
  • Positioning CCTV cameras
  • Tools required for CCTV installation
  • Connection Diagram
  • Pre-plan and Drill Holes
  • How to run CCTV cables
  • DVR/NVR & Internet router connection
  • How to do CCTV camera installation
  • How to install the DVR/NVR
  • CCTV & DVR/NVR connection
  • Testing & Troubleshooting the CCTV system
  • DVR/NVR Setup and Configuration
  • Motion Detection Email
  • Network setup for internet connection
  • Finishing
  • Installation Budget

This is the complete guide required to understand and carry out the installation of CCTV cameras. It is a daunting task to install the, without having any proper knowledge and this will not only affect the placement but also the operation of the CCTV cameras.

Quick Guide

Step 1

  1. Prepare your location by making a diagram indicating the positions of the placement of cameras. You can find the important locations to cover, later in this article.
  2. Buy the right system for your requirements. You will see different CCTV kits in the market like basic home security packages, security systems for kids and babies, and so on. However, we would suggest buying individual components as they fit the requirements in a better way and will also come at a better value.
  3. If you opt for individual components, you will have to purchase the recording device and monitor such as the DVR or NVR.
  4. Before installing, make sure to test your equipment by connecting the CCTV camera system to the DVR and checking the display.

Step 2

  1. Choose a high location for placing your camera.
  2. Mount the camera on the wall by either drilling holes or using sticky pads.
  3. Plug in the camera to the power source.
  4. Connect the CCTV camera to the DVR or NVR system.
  5. Link the wireless CCTV camera system to your computer for setup.
  6. Now, attach the DVR to the monitor using an HDMI cable or VR cable.
  7. Test & troubleshoot the security system.

Types of CCTV cameras

First of all, it’s important to know the different types of CCTV cameras present in the market. There are 9 most popular types which include:

  • Dome CCTV Cameras
  • PTZ Pan Tilt & Zoom Cameras
  • Bullet CCTV Cameras
  • Day/Night CCTV Cameras
  • C-Mount CCTV Cameras
  • Infrared/night vision CCTV Cameras
  • Network/IP CCTV Cameras
  • Wireless CCTV Cameras
  • High Definition (HD) CCTV Cameras

Let’s go over these cameras quickly, so everyone is on board with the type of camera they possess.

Dome CCTV Cameras

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Dome CCTV Cameras are simply cameras that have a dome-shaped casing. These cameras have the ability to work in low-light or no-light settings as well. They provide a complete view of the space.

PTZ Pan Tilt & Zoom Cameras

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PTZ Cameras provide complete control of what is viewed. You can move the lens of the camera left and right, tilt up or down and zoom in or out. This is the ideal choice if you are live monitoring.

Bullet CCTV Cameras

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Bullet CCTV cameras come in cylindrical shapes and are capable of monitoring long distances. They commonly come in weatherproof casings and thus are used outdoors mostly.

Day/Night CCTV Cameras

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These cameras are designed to operate in different types of weather conditions. They are capable of recording both day and night even at low lights. They can function in direct sunlight and poor lighting as well.

C-Mount CCTV Cameras

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C-Mount CCTV cameras are equipped with detachable lenses and provide extended vision. The coverage range can be extended beyond 40 feet. They are bulky and highly visible to deter criminals.

Infrared/night vision CCTV Cameras

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These cameras are designed to operate in dark conditions by using infrared technology. These cameras can be used during the daytime as well by using an infrared cut filter.

Network/IP CCTV Cameras

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Network or IP CCTV cameras are the ones that are capable of sharing living footage that can be accessed anywhere using the internet. The online footage is compressed as well as stored in network video recorders for later access.

Wireless CCTV Cameras

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Everything is becoming wireless and thus wireless CCTV cameras were also created to minimize the installation process. These cameras are easy to install and operate over Wi-Fi. Footage and images are transmitted through the internet and saved as well.

High Definition (HD) CCTV Cameras

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HD CCTV cameras feature high-definition pictures with the best picture quality. They come in different resolutions depending on your budget, starting from 720p to 4k.


A CCTV kit consists of everything that is required for CCTV installation. They are easy to use. However, the main drawback of these kits is that they come with pretty standard equipment, for instance, the cables included with them usually have a length of 18 meters which means that the DVR and NVR can be only 18 meters from the camera which isn’t suitable for everyone’s needs. Professional CCTV cameras are never sold as a kit and thus it is also recommended not to buy “kits” for installation. It is rather recommended to buy individual kits to meet your preferences.

The individual components have many advantages. This will allow you to buy components of your choice and also maintain your budget accordingly. You can mix and match the types and components of cameras and come up with the most optimum design for you.

The main components required for mounting CCTV cameras include weatherproof junction boxes, base rings, CCTV monitor, CCTV power supply, Cat5/Cat 6 cable, and shotgun cable.

Self or Professional Installation

This is a simple question. This depends on the scale of your installation. If you are to cover a large area with a large number of cameras, it is highly recommended to use professional assistance. This will be a safe choice for you as it will ensure proper installation along with the best possible functioning of the cameras. The CCTV companies have professionals that carry out the installation from scratch. They decide the ideal locations, best positions, and the most suitable and tidy method of installing the cameras.

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However, if you are installing CCTV cameras at your house in a straightforward location and have some previous DIY experience, you can opt for self-installation.


DVR & NVR allow recording security footage which is captured by the CCTV security cameras and store.

The basic difference between the two is that the DVR converts analog footage to digital format, whereas the NVR uses digital footage only. DVR is cheaper with an easier setup as compared to NVR. Let’s start with DVR.

DVR stands for digital video recorder. They are mostly wired and use two core cables for signal. Mostly coax cables are used and they also require an additional cable for power.

NVR stands for network video recorder and comes in both wired as well as wireless options. In the wired option, it uses ethernet cables. They can also be connected using PoE, meaning they will require a single cable to send power and signal. It is used only with IP cameras, as only these types of cameras work on a network using Wi-Fi or ethernet cables.

The main differences between the two are:

  • NVR provides higher picture quality (1080p, 720p) as compared to DVR.
  • Some DVRs have the functions of NVR

Positioning CCTV cameras

CCTV installation is a task that requires careful analysis not only “during” the process but “before” starting the process as well. It is very important to know where to position the camera because different locations require a different type of placement of the CCTV.

Let’s go through the most common places where CCTV cameras are placed. You will see here which locations are ideal in your place for proper and complete protection.


Outdoors: Front entrance, side entrance, back entrance, all other windows and doors, driveways, garden doors, and walls, shed.
Indoors: Common areas like hallways, and windows that have a view of the entrance.


Entrance and exit, common areas like a canteen or common rooms, health and safety requiring places, stairways, outside lifts.

Retail Store

Entrance, Exit, Checkout, fridges, freezers, aisles, shelves

Petrol Station

Entrance, Exit, Checkout, Pumps


Entrance, exit, fire exits, health and safety coverage, common areas, storage locker areas, windows, etc. These are the most common as well as most important locations to place your CCTV cameras.

Tools required for CCTV installation

By now you should have known the type of the CCTV camera as well as the placement locations. Before diving into the technical details and drawings of the process, let’s gather all the tools required for the installation process.

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Let’s begin with the most obvious tools:

  • Hammers
  • Power drill
  • Drill bits
  • Electric heavy-duty screwdriver
  • Small screwdrivers
  • BNC crimp tool
  • Cable stripper
  • Pliers
  • Multimeter
  • Network test tool

Other tools required for ensuring the best and tidy installation include:

  • Ladder
  • Safety helmet, boots, and goggles
  • Electrical Tape
  • Raw plugs
  • Video test monitor to view the angle of the camera
  • Cable Detector

Connection Diagram

Before installing or putting together anything, it is important to have a brief picture of the entire connection system. This picture in engineering terms is known as a connection diagram or wiring diagram or line diagram. It used single lines to indicate the connections between different equipment.

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By now you should have decided on the ideal type, location, and position of the CCTV cameras. Looking at the wiring diagram, we can divide the connection into two for ease, from cameras to DVR/NVR  and then from DVR/NVR to the internet router.

Pre-plan and Drill holes

Before starting the installation process, you have to decide the position of the DVR/NVR. The ideal location for their placement is your office or any place close to the TV.

The two connection types mentioned earlier must be completed in the tidiest and neat way possible way. This is done by minimalizing the visibility of cables. The minimum requirement for placing the CCTV camera is at least 10 meters from the ground. This means we will have to take the wires to their location. Hidden wires not only provide a good view to the eyes but also ensures their protection from intruders and it is better for security as well.

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Now use a cable detector to check any pipes or cables inside the wall. Finally, start drilling holes from the inside to the outside.

How to run CCTV cables

The first step in the installation process is drilling holes. Once you are done with that, you will be ready to run the cables throughout the system. If you are a pro or have some experience, it is recommended to use a conduit to ensure proper security and longevity of the cables. You can use wire moldings as well and make sure to nail moldings along the path and place the wires inside.

IP cameras require either CAT 5 or CAT 6 cables.

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Analog HD cameras require a connection of a DC pin connector for power and a BNC cable. There are three types of BNC connectors

  • BNC 3-piece connectorHow-to-do-CCTV-camera-installation (14)
  • BNC 2-piece connectorHow-to-do-CCTV-camera-installation (15)
  • BNC Twist on the connectorHow-to-do-CCTV-camera-installation (16)
  • BNC Screw on the connectorHow-to-do-CCTV-camera-installation (17)

If you are professional, you can use the BNC 3 piece by using the BNC crimp tool for attaching the connectors to the cable. However, if you are new to this, you can use the BNC twist as it doesn’t require any crimping tool.

The other end means the DVR end of the cable will use the same connector.

Tips for hiding the cable: If the cables are run inside the building, you can place them under the carpeted areas or if you have wooden or concrete floors, you may use trunking to place the CCTV cable near the skirting board or near the ceiling.

DVR/NVR & Internet router connection

The DVR/NVR should be hard-wired to the internet router using a LAN internet cable. If the distance between the CCTV camera and your internet router is small you can simply use the normal ethernet cable. However, for situations where the distance is longer, you will have to buy the ethernet cable along with connectors and crimp for both ends.

How to do CCTV camera installation

Mount the camera on the wall. Some cameras require you to drill holes and screw them to the walls, whereas others come with sticky pads to adhere the camera to the wall. Screwing is considered the safest option. The camera can be installed on the wall by following the below-given steps:

  • Place the mount of the camera at the desired location.
  • Use a marker or a pencil to mark the holes of the mount.
  • Using the electric drill, drill holes at the marked locations.
  • If required hammer in any molding pins.
  • Now, place the mount, and using the appropriate screwdriver, screw it to the wall.
  • Adjust the angle of the camera according to your desire.

Connect the cables we previously laid out to the CCTV camera.

How to install the DVR/NVR

The cameras have been installed and connected to the cables. Now, it’s time to install the DVR/NVR. Installation of DVR can be carried out using the following steps:

  • Remove the cover of the DVR or NVR by unscrewing the screws.
  • From the DVR/NVR, connect the power and data cable to the hard disk.
  • Place and secure the DVR/NVR case back.
  • Lastly, connect it to the power supply and turn it on.

CCTV & DVR/NVR connection

Once the DVR has been turned on successfully, the next step is to connect it to the CCTV monitor. This can be done preferably by HDMI cable for higher and better resolution. However, a VGA connection will work just as fine as well.

Testing & Troubleshooting the CCTV system

After completing the connection, you can now turn it on and see the images from the camera on your screen. If you have more than one camera, you will see a split screen, for instance, if you have 4 cameras, four images will be seen on the screen.

What do to if you don’t see the camera images on the screen?
The first thing to do in this case is to check the box power supply and make sure it’s turned on and connected properly.

What if you see some camera images but not others?
This is another common problem. In this case, check the connections and network clips, RJ45 connectors for IP cameras, and the BNC connectors for the analog HD cameras.

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If none of the above methods succeed in providing a complete view of the CCTV camera’s images, use a CCTV video test monitor. If you see images on this device, but not on your monitor, it means that there is either a connection problem or any of the cables is damaged.

If you have an IP camera, it can be tested using a network test tool.

If the cable isn’t working, then re-crimp both ends. If it isn’t still working, you should replace the cable. After this, all the images of the CCTV camera must be clear.

DVR/NVR Setup and Configuration

Once you are done with the hardware setup, it’s time to set up and configure the DVR/NVR. When the recorder is turned on, the DVR setup wizard will pop up automatically. Connect a mouse to the DVR to navigate through the system.

  • Select Country
  • Set time and date as well as daylight-saving settings
  • Select a username and password
  • Set the recording features such as frames per second, motion recording, etc.
  • Set the brightness and masking to prevent the recording of private property.

Motion Detection Email

Any intruder or criminal that breaks into a place knows that it has to be monitored with CCTV cameras. As the thieves are becoming more intelligent, the question of the theft of DVR/NVR systems arises. What if they take the video storage system with themselves as well? In this case, there will be no point in having even the best CCTV systems.

In this case, you opt for motion detection email notifications. The DVR or NVR system will send a snapshot to your email if it detects motion. This will allow you to have a backup of the recording as well.

Network setup for internet connection

If you wish to watch the CCTV camera footage on your computer, or smartphone, you will have to connect the DVR to the internet. This will also allow the footage to be saved in the cloud for future access or streaming. The network setup can be done in two ways; one is for pro-users and the other is for normal users.

For Pro-Users with Networking knowledge

If you have a good amount of knowledge and experience in networking, you can follow the below-given steps to set up the network for connection to the internet.

  • Assign a local IP address, DNS, and gateway by going to the Static IP address settings.
  • After registering DNS, go to Google Play or App Store to download the DVR app.
  • Open the app and add the address details of static or dynamic addresses.
  • Enter the port number, username, and password.
  • Wait for the connection to complete.
  • Once the connection is complete, the camera CCTV images will be displayed on the screen.

For Normal users with Basic knowledge

  • Not everyone is a pro at networking and thus we have also listed out the simple steps that can be carried out to set up the network as well.
  • Use DHCP. The router will assign the IP address of the device.
  • Use a P2P network. The DVR will display 2 QR codes.
  • The first QR is for the app which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. The second QR has a serial number, which will allow all the CCTV camera images to appear on your smartphone’s screen.


Once you are done with the installation and setup of the CCTV camera system, make sure that the overall work is neat. No wires are lying or hanging around.

You will notice that the holes drilled earlier will have a bad finish. To counter this, use silicone sealant so that hole is sealed and no water goes inside the walls.

Installation Budget

Now you know all the steps one must follow for the effective installation of CCTV cameras, but one of the important questions that hover over everyone’s mind is the budget. In general, typical CCTV monitoring costs about $150 per camera per month – that’s about $1800 annually. But what about the installation of the cameras? How much does that cost? The average cost to install a security camera lies between $120 to $400 per camera.

CCTV Camera Installation-FAQs

Can we install CCTV by yourself?
While it is feasible to install a security camera system by yourself, the process takes a lot of time. Much importantly, you’re more than likely to make mistakes while installing a CCTV system, leading to inadequate control, storage that isn’t optimum, and poor coverage.

Is CCTV installation easy?
Finding the ideal location, plugging in, turning on, and syncing with your mobile or desktop software may all be done to install an indoor camera. While some indoor cameras could need drilling, the majority only need a screwdriver to install.

How CCTV cameras are connected?
Obtain a computer and a camera connection. While some CCTV systems use normal USB cables, some need coaxial cables. For information on the right kind of cabling to use for your system, refer to the documentation that comes with the camera. A router is a component of some CCTV systems that allows you to link several cameras.

What are the 6 simple steps in installing CCTV cameras and DVRs?
The 6 simple and basic steps for installing a CCTV camera and DVR are, to choose the camera location, run cables, power cameras, power the DVR, connect the monitor and the DVR, and program the DVR.

Do I need a License to install CCTV?
No, a license isn’t required to install CCTV cameras in your house. However, you will have to make sure that you aren’t invading anyone’s privacy. For instance, it should be pointed toward your neighbor’s property.

Do we need Internet for CCTV cameras?
CCTV cameras may be used without an internet connection, and what’s even better is that they can function without electricity. Only while viewing the video remotely is an internet connection necessary. Although there are advantages to using the internet, it is by no means required.

How much does it cost to install 4 security cameras?
The cost of installing 4 security cameras depends on several things. However, if we estimate it, it can be anywhere between $150 to $500 per camera.

What is NVR or DVR?
DVR stands for digital video recorders and NVR stands for network video recorders. They are the video recording systems used for security cameras. They both have the same basic features which are to capture the video footage transmitted by the CCTV cameras and then store it for later use.

How Does CCTV work at home?
CCTV works by the camera(s) taking a continuous sequence of images that are then communicated via cable or wirelessly (depending on the system type selected) to the recording device and finally onto the display monitor, allowing a person to view the sequence of photos as video footage.

Can we see CCTV on mobile?
You may view your home or workplace CCTV with a single click using an app on your phone. Using a mobile app, you may stream video from your CCTV security cameras to your smartphone straight through Wi-Fi or a router when the software detects your IP address.

Does CCTV record voice?
Yes, if you’re using the appropriate camera. The majority of CCTV cameras offer input for an external microphone or an internal microphone that can be used to record audio.

Is wireless CCTV better than wired?
Compared to wired security cameras, wireless ones are easier to install and take less time. There is no need to drill through any walls or ceilings. Because they are less constrained by wires, wireless cameras are also more flexible than wired systems.

How can I hide my CCTV wires?
Making security camera wires blend into the surroundings is the simplest technique to conceal them outside. Use a stapler to attach the cables to the walls, and then paint the wires the same shade as the walls. By doing this, the wiring for the security cameras will be harder for intruders to see from a distance.

Do security cameras need power?
Wireless security cameras do indeed require power. All electrical devices, including security cameras, require some form of power. Power is typically delivered to security cameras via a plug-in transformer.

How many types of CCTV cameras are there?
The main types of CCTV cameras are Dome CCTV cameras, bullet CCTV cameras, C-mount CCTV cameras, and PTZ Pan Tilt & Zoom cameras.

Is the CCTV camera waterproof?
Not all CCTV cameras are waterproof. However, most outdoor CCTV cameras are waterproof.

What are the 7 components of CCTV?
The 7 components of CCTV cameras are the cameras, lenses, mountings and covers, cables, power supply, switching and synchronizing, monitors and recorders.

CCTV Camera Installation-Conclusion

In this article, we have explained in detail and covered all the information required to answer how to do CCTV installation. There are a lot of things to know and do for the installation task. It is a tedious task and you must have some DIY experience to carry it out completely. This method is tested by us and has proved to be very effective in providing high-quality and long-lasting installation results.

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