Are Security Cameras Worth It? Your Guide to At-Home Security

Jamie McInerney
Written by Jamie McInerney
Updated June 14, 2022
A security camera on the exterior of a house
Photo: 3D_generator / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images


  • Security cameras deter crime from happening on your property.

  • Modern surveillance setups enable users to check in remotely.

  • A new home security system costs between $600 to $2,000.

  • Budget, intentions, and house size determine the number of cameras needed.

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Thanks to advances in technology and a broad range of equipment on the market, surveillance systems have become easier and more accessible for homeowners to implement on their property. But if you’re still asking yourself, “do I need security cameras?”, you may not know where to start in the mission to enhance your home’s protection. 

Read on to explore the advantages and cost of a security camera setup and find if security cameras are worth it, as well as guidance on creating one that’s most beneficial for your property.

The Advantages of a Security Camera System

From serving as a crime deterrent to providing ample documentation, security cameras have been a major asset to homeowners since their conception. Discover how a trusty surveillance system can benefit your home. 

Deters Unwanted Visitors

Though security cameras may not prevent all crimes, they’re a foolproof way to deter anyone with bad intentions from approaching your home. Especially when paired with other crime deterrents, like lighting and signage, obvious surveillance systems successfully ward off suspicious strangers. 

Security cameras don’t just prevent people from breaking into your home, they also discourage vandalism on your property. Folks will think twice before meddling with your car or yard when they know an outdoor camera will detect their every move.

Watches Your Home While You’re Away

If you’re someone who frets over your home’s safety while you’re away, security cameras will bring you peace of mind. Many modern surveillance arrangements offer the ability to monitor camera activity from a mobile device. 

Plus, there’s something reassuring about being able to remotely check in on your pets, aging parents, children, and loved ones at any time. 

Promotes Flexible Scalability

Today’s digital security camera systems can grow with you. It’s easy to add a camera to cover your new addition or outbuilding without revamping the whole system. The same goes for scaling back, should you feel your home will suffice with fewer cameras. 

Whether you want to watch your front door or the back 40, security cameras will scale as needed.

Keeps Documentation Readily Available

A security camera setup won’t stop 100% of crime, but it supplies ample evidence if you happen to experience theft or vandalism. 

Accidents happen, too. If an unintentional incident occurs on your lot, you can refer to your cameras’ footage as documentation of the event. This footage can be especially valuable if a situation results in property damage or legal involvement. 

How Many Security Cameras Does My Home Need? Considerations for Your Setup

How Many Security Cameras Does My Home Need? Considerations for Your Setup
Photo: ronstik / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Whether you plan to set up your security camera system yourself or hire a home security expert, you may be wondering how many cameras are appropriate for your home. 

There are a few primary elements to consider when determining how many cameras you’ll need: your budget, your goals, and the areas that warrant surveillance.


Your budget will greatly impact the number of cameras you include in your setup. The cost to install a new home security system is between $600 and $2,000. While cameras in a wired system will cost you $150 to $200 each, cameras in a wireless system will cost you around $100 each

Reasons for Home Security Cameras

The best security camera placement for your home will depend on your intentions for installing the camera system. 

If you want to keep an eye on kids, sitters, or pets, you may prefer more indoor cameras than outdoor ones. If you want to ward off unsolicited visitors, you should opt for more outdoor surveillance. Strike a happy medium by installing cameras inside and outside your home. 

Areas That Need Surveillance

There are a few key areas that need security camera coverage. Below is a list of common areas around the home that could benefit from surveillance.

  • Porches, front and back

  • Yards, front and back

  • Driveway

  • Sides of the house

  • Garages

  • Other outbuildings

  • Living room

  • Child’s bedroom

  • Playroom

  • Rooms with special valuables or safes

  • Hallways

Most homeowners’ security camera systems range from six to 18 cameras. The larger your property, the more security cameras you’ll likely need for adequate coverage.

Are Security Cameras Worth It?

Security cameras are a valuable tool to enhance your home’s security. If that security sign isn’t cutting it anymore, added camera surveillance can better deter crime. The fact is that most people just aren’t home during a break-in. The Department of Justice found that less than 28% of burglaries happened when someone was home. When considering convenience, assurance, and defense against crime, many find home security cameras well worth the investment.

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