Where Should Home Security Cameras Be Installed?

Home security cameras are a great addition to any home security system, providing you 24/7 access to your home, regardless of your location. Home security novices often make the mistake of installing just one camera. However, most cameras can rotate only so much and zoom only so far. Like door and window sensors, home security cameras should be installed in multiple areas throughout your home.

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Instead of focusing on a specific number of security cameras to install, consider which locations in and around your home will provide the widest viewing ranges. While all homes are situated differently, most have high-traffic spots that are more vulnerable to break-ins. You should place cameras to cover as many of these areas as possible.

  • Front, back, and side doors. Burglars often enter a home through a front or back door. Place exterior cameras above or near any doors leading into your home.
  • Off-street windows. Windows that don’t directly face a street may be more prone to break-ins due to their privacy. Install exterior cameras above these windows, or use interior cameras that face the windows in question.
  • Driveways. If a burglar approaches your home, they may walk down your driveway or attempt to enter through your garage door. Placing an exterior camera above the driveway can help you detect suspicious activity.
  • Common areas. If a burglar enters your home, they may be inclined to search for valuables in specific areas, such as the living room and master bedroom. Use cameras to watch over these spaces.
  • Stairways. Some homes have balconies or basements with staircases that lead to entry points, which burglars can use to get inside. Place a camera on the stairs to watch for any suspicious activity.

When considering where to install home security cameras, correct placement is critical. All cameras should be out of reach so they can’t be easily knocked down or destroyed. Place exterior cameras at a second-story level—at least nine feet above the ground—and keep interior cameras near the ceiling. Make sure the cameras are installed securely, as well. While some cameras can be attached to surfaces with adhesives, screwing them directly into a wall is more secure.

Finding the right angle to complement camera placement is equally as important as the placement itself. If you place your home security cameras directly above windows or doors and fail to angle them appropriately, you may only catch the top of a burglar’s head. Instead, put them a foot or two next to a door or window with the camera angled down toward the entrance. Don’t be afraid to make your security cameras visible; it may help scare off potential prowlers.

If your cameras are wireless, check the Wi-Fi signal around your home. It’s important that your home security cameras have reliable access to a strong Wi-Fi signal to capture and relay footage. Without an internet connection, the camera could disconnect from your home security system. If the Wi-Fi signal is weak, the video footage may be choppy or distorted.

Now that you know where you should install your home security cameras, it’s time to find the right camera for your needs. Check out our Home Security Cameras Buyers Guide to learn more about important camera features, home security system integrations, and the most popular home security camera models on the market.

Compare the best home security systems

Brand
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Contract required
Installation
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VivintVivint
Best overall$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
ProAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
FrontpointFrontpoint
High-end DIY pick$99.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
DIYAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
SimpliSafeSimpliSafe
Reader favorite$229.00
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DIYAmazon, Google
CoveCove
Best customer experienceQuote required
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DIYAmazon,
Google
ADTADT
Most experienced $0.00
Icon No  LightYes
ProAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave

Info current as of 04/12/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*$0 due up-front with consumer financing.
†No-contract options available with outright equipment purchase.
‡Landline monitoring only. Some restrictions apply. (Full disclaimer)
**With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See full disclaimer for full offer details, terms, and conditions.

Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help everyone find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. In her free time, she volunteers at the local botanical garden and writers for the community newspaper.

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