How to fit a security camera

How to fit a security camera

Having just fitted a security camera, I thought I’d pen an article detailing the thought process that I went through to choose which camera to fit, and the fitting of it, in case others are interested in getting one. There are a few different types suitable for all budgets.


Several factors govern the choice of camera, namely:

  • Positioning – outdoor or indoor
  • Spare port available on internet hub? This is important.
  • Availability of power source
  • Data protocol – WIFI or Ethernet
  • Static or moving (known as PTZ or Pan, Tilt, Zoom).
  • Voice communication

Many years ago I fitted a camera to the rear of the house, although that stopped working quite a while ago. I have left it fitted as a visual deterrent.

This time I was after an outdoor camera to cover the house front, principally to see who’s knockin’ at the door, but also to safeguard, as much as is possible, the vehicles parked up front.

A major consideration for an outdoor camera is the IP rating.

IP stands for Ingress Protection, and is normally indicated on a product as IPnn, where nn is 2 digits, the first one relating to the product’s rating for resistance to solid particle protection, the second relating to the product’s rating for protection against liquid ingress.

This explains it in detail

… however, to cut to the chase, I needed IP66, meaning Dust-tight (the first 6), and resistant to Powerful water jets (the second 6).

The next major consideration was the availability of a spare port on my internet hub….

…fortunately I had one available so could opt for either a WI-FI or a non-WI-FI camera. If I hadn’t , then I would have had to buy a WIFI camera (recognised by having 2 aerials sticking out of it), with a separate dedicated power supply.

The next consideration is for the data exchange protocol – how the image is going to get to the internet (Wi-Fi) hub. There are a myriad of cameras that use WIFI, and can be paired to the hub just like any other WIFI device. This can however lead to problems with loss of signal through an outside wall, rendering any imaging either poor or non-existent. Signal strength can be checked by standing as near as possible to the planned location with a mobile phone (shut the front door) and seeing how many bars are showing on the WIFI indicator. I’d say 4 out of 5 was the minimum acceptable, 5 (the maximum) desirable.

Although I had conducted this test, I wasn’t confident that a reliable signal could be maintained, so opted for an Ethernet connection. For those with short memories, this is how we used to connect our home computers to the internet  in the olden days, before WIFI. It is a hard wired connection.

So who’d want the hassle of running a hard wired connection from the outside of the house to the internet hub inside? There is a distinct advantage….

How to power the camera

All cameras with a requirement for a dedicated power source will use their own power adapter with the standard 3 pins on it, for plugging in to a standard wall socket. That posed an issue for me as I wished to locate the camera on the top corner of the garage, to cover as much of the frontage as possible (and the front door), and no power source was nearby. I really didn’t want to loop in a power circuit just for the camera.

POE came to the rescue and solved both the problem of reliability of the camera image and the power source.

POE: Power Over Ethernet. It means that the power for the camera is supplied via the same Ethernet cable that is supplying the image from the camera. I still needed a power adapter , known as a POE Injector, but is situated next to the internet hub, and therefore (as in my case) within a short distance of a 3 pin socket.

Other camera types

I could have opted for a rather snazzy camera whose movement can be remotely controlled, known as a Pan, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) camera. This type of camera is suspended from a wall, and contains 2 motors to Pan and Tilt. I decided against this type, as I didn’t need the extra functionality and considered the added complexity just more things to fail.

There are also cameras that permit two-way conversation. I didn’t want one like that, so didn’t even look at them and as a consequence don’t know how good they are.

So to summarise, I chose the following specification:

  • Outdoor
  • Static
  • POE
  • IP66
  • Around the £50 mark for the camera


The camera came with the following 3 leads coming out of the back:

  • Ethernet cable with Ethernet socket.
  • Power jack for dedicated power supply – even though the camera is POE capable (a power supply was not included in the box).
  • Fly-lead with reset button attached.

The fitting kit supplied comprised

  • Packet of screws with wall plugs
  • Template to mark the screw holes
  • 1m Ethernet cable (to connect the POE injector to the internet hub)
  • Waterproof sleeve for the Ethernet socket to Ethernet cable connection
  • Warning stickers for the windows

In addition to the camera I needed

  • Ethernet cable (single length with 2 male plugs attached – I required a 10 metre one)
  • POE injector
  • Micro SD card for on-camera data retention
  • Cable clips/staple gun

Tools required:

  • Hammer drill
  • 25mm masonry drill bit (I might have got away with a 20mm bit) plus a suitable size pilot bit.
  • 5mm masonry bit
  • Hammer

Before going ahead with the fitting, I connected up all the components inside the house and tested it via the manufacturer’s app to ensure that everything worked before screwing it to the wall.

As I was fitting the camera to the garage wall, I could use the inside of the garage to route the Ethernet cable. Handily, the internet hub in the house is located against a wall adjacent to the garage, so I wouldn’t  have to worry about being too neat fixing the cable as all the fixing was inside the garage. I could also route the cluster of leads attached to the camera directly through the wall from the camera into the garage, leaving none exposed to the elements outside. This required a 25mm hole to pass the cluster through (having first drilled a 12mm pilot hole). This was the first hole I drilled as it governs the positioning of the holes for the camera mount.

Once the camera was screwed in it’s final position…

…I could start laying the cable.

Fixing the cable around the garage was going to be a bit awkward, working around all the existing stuff you find in a garage. I had a choice of cable clips that would need hammering in, or a manual staple gun. I opted for the staple gun, and attached a (3d printed) guide for it to avoid piercing the cable. Without having access to a 3d printer in order to make the guide, I would have gone for the clip/hammer method as it’s impossible to avoid piercing the cable using a staple gun without a guide.

When passing through the wall from the garage into the house, I had a previously drilled 25mm hole there that carries the speaker cables from the lounge surround sound setup, which was fortunately just large enough to accommodate the Ethernet cable as well. If I had needed to drill, a 20mm masonry bit would have been enough (to accommodate the plug). I made sure to tape up the plug first to protect the delicate clip on the plug.


  • Camera (5mp)- £47
  • POE Injector – £17
  • 10m of Cat6 Ethernet cable £8
  • 256 GB micro SD card £17

Total £91

I am fortunate to have amassed over the years almost every tool there is, so already had the large bore drill bits. If I’d had to purchase these, I would have made sure they were  long enough to go through the wall all the way (some come up a bit short). The purchase of these would have added around another £30 to the overall cost

Time-wise I would say it took about an hour to drill all the holes, fix the camera up and staple the cable, plus about another 30 minutes to feed the cable through into the house (that was the only fiddly bit).

Nothing that any diy’er can’t tackle.

I’d give it a 3 out of 5 spanner difficulty rating.

Using the camera

I have no intention of monitoring the comings and goings on a minute-by-minute basis, and will only access the footage to see a specific event (honestly!)

I can access the camera either on my phone via the manufacturer’s app or on my PC via their software download.

I can view live action, or historical events that are stored on the SD card.

It’s fairly straightforward stuff.

© text & images Dixie 2024