Security Camera vs. Whole Home Security
The first choice to make when purchasing a security camera comes down to standalone cameras versus going all-in on a whole-home security system with cameras included.
Whole-home security systems include cameras offering strategic vantage points along with an alarm system. The cost of a whole-home security system can range from $208 to $1,090.
Systems typically include cameras as well as window and door sensors and automated alarms. Today's wireless home security systems link to your devices to give you a real-time view of who is arriving at your home. Yes, that even means you’ll know exactly when the package from your latest online shopping spree arrives.
A security camera is a more budget-friendly option that allows you to strategically place a camera in a high-vulnerability spot. This option can be a smart pick if you want to increase security at your home on a budget.
CCTV vs. Surveillance Camera
The question again comes down to how much technology you want when choosing between CCTV versus surveillance cameras. Think of it as a choice of television versus the internet.
CCTV cameras convey signals from the visual point to the monitoring point. By contrast, surveillance cameras are connected to IP networks that link your visuals to your viewing point or device. The two options are wired differently during installation. While CCTV uses coaxial wires, surveillance cameras connect via Power over Ethernet (POE).
The viewing experience depends on the camera’s resolution and also the quality of your internet connection if you opt for a surveillance camera. CCTV offers more consistent performance, but it can be harder to back up video because it’s not connected to the internet.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Security Camera?
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.
Remember that you'll also need special equipment to run the cameras, like software for a wireless system or cables and amplifiers for a wired system. But once you have the system installed, that will be the general rate for each new camera you add.
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
How many cameras you need is probably the biggest factor affecting cost. Since each camera costs between $100 and $200 to install, you will have to add that amount to your budget for each camera, in addition to the cost of the camera itself.
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, disadvantages, and price tags. Some cameras may cost close to $100 each, while others may be as little as $20 apiece.
Identifying ideal locations, setting up the cameras, and 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 save that amount by simply doing the job yourself.
Additional Costs to Consider
When installing a surveillance camera system, it’s important to consider the other essential items that you’ll need to run it efficiently. Don’t forget to add these additional costs to your budget when purchasing security cameras.
Video monitor: $50–$200
Hard drive storage for the footage: $50–$100
Surveillance system software: $50–$100
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, pros 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.
Cost to Install Security Cameras Yourself
Installing your own security cameras may cost up to $200 per camera. 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 installing security cameras is absolutely a project you can 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 can’t set up your own home security 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 in your area and get a consultation and a quote, and then consider your options.