How Much Does It Cost to Install a Surveillance Camera?

D.P. Taylor
Written by D.P. Taylor
Updated November 5, 2021
House with two security cameras
Thomas Jackson / Stone via Getty Images

Installing a security camera system costs an average of $1,330, with a typical range between $620 to $2,040

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When it comes to securing your home and your family, few things give you more peace of mind than a security camera. A camera allows you to keep a watchful eye over all parts of your property, both inside and out and whether you’re at home or on the road.

If you’ve decided you need to install a security camera system, expect to pay an average of $1,330. But this can range between $600 and $2,000, or even be as low as $100 if you install it yourself.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Security System per Camera?

Black surveillance camera outside a house
Onfokus / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

It costs $150 to $200 per camera to install a wired system, and about $100 per camera for a wireless system.

Generally, you will need: 

  • A doorbell camera

  • A camera for the back of the house

  • A camera for the front of the house

  • One or two cameras to cover key areas inside your home

As a result, a full security system for the typical homeowner will probably cost anywhere between $400 to $1,000 just for the cameras.

Keep in mind you'll also need special equipment to run the cameras, so that won't be your only cost. But once you have the system installed, that will be the general rate for each new camera you add.

What Kind of a Security Camera System Can I Get On My Budget?

No matter what you’re looking to spend, you can typically find a camera that works for your budget. 

$30

You don't have to spend a ton of money on a big security camera system if you just want to, say, keep an eye on your front door while you're at work. In that case, all you'd need is to buy a single security camera. 

$300

For this price, you could get a basic surveillance system set up if you did all of the work yourself. This would get you three cameras, a basic video monitor, hard drive storage, and software.

$1,300

This is about the average cost for a home surveillance system. Keep in mind, this is if you have professionals install the camera system for you, and it should get you between three to five cameras along with all of the equipment, software, and storage you'll need to run it.

$2,000

This is at the higher end of what you'll typically pay for a four- to five-camera system. This will get you state-of-the-art software, a good video monitor, lots of storage, and the highest quality cameras—all instead by a professional.

$4,000+

If you want the best system money can buy and you have a large property that will need lots of cameras, your bill could shoot above this figure. The dramatic increase in the number of cameras is the main reason for that.

Security Camera System Prices

In addition to the cameras, you’ll need some other equipment and software. Here’s a quick breakdown of costs for each piece of equipment:

  • Camera: $20–$70 each

  • Video monitor: $50–$200

  • Hard drive storage for the footage: $50–$100

  • Cables: $15–$30

  • Surveillance system software: $50–$100

So for a four to five camera system, you may need to pay $245 to $780 for equipment to run the cameras.

Security Camera Installation Labor Cost

About 50% to 70% of the cost of this project will come from labor. So for an average security system installation of $1,330, you may be paying $650 to $1,000 just for labor. 

However, they are doing more than just putting up the cameras. A local security camera company will come into your home, determine what areas you want to monitor, set up a hard drive and video monitor for you, put up the cameras, and make sure everything is working properly.

Security Camera System Cost Factors

There are three main factors when it comes to the cost of a security camera system: the number of cameras you need, the quality of the cameras you purchase, and whether you have them installed professionally or do it yourself.

Number of Cameras

Probably the biggest factor affecting cost is how many cameras you're going to need. Since each camera costs between $100 and $200 to install, you will have to add that amount to your budget for each camera you need. If your home is particularly large or you just want to cover every possible angle around your home, you'll need more than the typical four to five cameras in a security camera system.

Quality of Cameras

There are many different cameras to choose from, all with their own advantages and disadvantages—and price tags. Some cameras may cost close to $100 each, while others may be as little as $20 apiece

Labor

Identifying ideal locations, setting up the cameras, connecting them to a hard drive and video monitor take time and effort. And since most of the equipment itself is fairly inexpensive, this will make up a decent chunk of the budget. 

Installation may make up 50% to 70% of the budget for installing a security camera system, so you could obviously save that amount by simply doing the job yourself.

Cost to Install Security Cameras Yourself

It may cost up to $200 per camera to install a security system. However, you can buy both wired and wireless cameras online for as little as $20, and $50 each on average. That means for each camera, you could save up to $150, or about $600 to $750 for a typical system.

And it’s absolutely a project you could do yourself. As long as you know how to set up a hard drive and video monitor, and hook everything up to each other, there’s no reason why you couldn’t set up your own camera system.

However, if you find yourself running into technical difficulties, or just want security professionals to help you understand how to best cover your home with cameras for maximum visibility, it may be a good idea to reach out to a professional. At the very least, look for a security camera company near you and get a consultation and a quote, and then consider your options.

FAQs About Surveillance Cameras

Can I save money installing security cameras myself?

You can save half of the typical cost of a project or more by installing security cameras yourself, and today's cameras are very consumer-friendly so it is absolutely something you could do on your own.

What are the benefits of hiring someone to install security cameras?

This is a project you can do on your own relatively easily. However, a security camera company may be able to advise you of where to best position the cameras, ensure all of the equipment is set up properly, and do all the hard work.

What is the least amount of money I could spend and still install a basic camera system?

It is possible to spend only $30 or so on a camera that can watch one particular area. You wouldn't need to buy software, hardware, cables, or anything else—it would just connect wirelessly to an app on your phone so you could watch the feed at all times.

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