If you decide to use a wired security camera system instead of a Wi-Fi camera, the setup will be more complicated, but you will end up with a better system. Here’s how to install wired security cameras.

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For this guide, we will be installing the EZVIZ 1080p system, which comes with a dash cam that records footage locally 24/7. Regardless of which system you end up with, the installation procedure is the same for all systems, with perhaps some differences depending on the system.

What you need

Unlike a simple Wi-Fi camera, you will need more tools to install a wired camera system, including:

  • network cable
  • Baluns (Converts analog to digital — highly recommended if your system is analog)
  • Drill with driven bits and blades (also with conventional drills)
  • Steel fish tape
  • Masking tape (or any other tape for that matter)
  • Monitor, mouse and keyboard
  • A friend to help (seriously, this is highly recommended)

As you go through the installation process, you may decide to use other tools to make it a little easier depending on your specific situation, but the things listed above are the basics you’ll need.

How wired cameras work

Before diving into the installation of a wired CCTV system, you must first understand how it all comes together.

Almost every system consists of a set of cameras and a DVR that serves as a user interface for managing the entire system, as well as storing all the video that is being recorded.

RELATED: How do night vision cameras work?

All cameras connect directly to the DVR using a BNC cable for analog camera systems or an Ethernet cable for digital systems. If you have an analog system, I highly recommend skipping the BNC cable and getting special adapters called baluns that allow you to use ethernet cables — they are much easier to install and generally more modern.

Because the cameras connect directly to the DVR, this means that if you install the camera on your patio and the DVR is upstairs in your home office, you will need to run a camera cable through your house to connect it. to the DVR box, which maybe be a little tricky, depending on how your house is built, exactly how you plan to run the cable.

After that, the DVR box is connected to an electrical outlet, and then you connect an external monitor to the DVR box to control the entire system, view all cameras in real time, and view past recordings. Most systems also ship with a mouse, but a keyboard is also recommended.

Step One: Figure Out Where You Want Your Cameras

In my house, the best place to mount the cameras is on the ceiling (the area under the roof overhang), so the cables can run right through the attic.

When it comes to installing wired CCTV cameras, it’s not enough to just choose any location and install them. You should think about what matters the most for ease of installation (and if possible, mount the camera where you want).

For example, it would be great to mount the camera on an outside wall next to the front door in the top corner, but you need to think about how you are going to route the cable from the camera to the DVR itself. box. This is your limiting factor when installing cameras.

So instead of installing it on an outside wall, perhaps install it on the ceiling of your front porch. From there, you can run the cable through your own little porch loft and then go up to the main loft, taking it wherever you want from there. Obviously you will have a better opinion on this, but this is something you need to keep in mind.

Step Two: Prepare the Camera Installation

Depending on where exactly you are installing your cameras, you may need some other tools than the ones I use. For example, I just drill through wood, drywall, and aluminum, so a regular drill and some basic drills will work just fine. However, if you need to drill through brick or other masonry, you will probably need a hammer drill with some masonry bits.

In any case, start by marking the hole that the camera cable will go through, as well as the holes for the camera mounting screws. Some kits will come with a template sticker which makes the job much easier. If you don’t have them, hold the camera against the wall or ceiling where you want and mark the holes with a pencil.

Get your power drill and bit and drill pilot holes where the mounting screws will go. Then drill a larger hole in the center for the cable to pass through. You usually need to use a shovel for a larger hole, but you can find a fairly large regular drill bit.

Step three: run cables to each camera location

Once you’ve drilled the holes for your cameras, it’s time to run the cable to each location on your camera. It’s also a case where the order of things might be different for you depending on your situation, but essentially you’ll be drilling holes in either walls or ceilings to bring cables where you need them.

For my installation, all the camera cables will converge in the attic above my garage, and from there they will all go to the main attic above the second floor. So, for starters, I’m going to take a cable and feed it in various lengths to the edges where my cameras will be. This is much easier to do if you have steel fishing tape — it’s very difficult to physically position yourself on the edge of your attic, as that’s where your roof drops down and creates a very cramped space to work. So to solve this, Fish Tape will be your best friend.

I’m not crawling anywhere to the very edge, so I’ll do it for me.

You can feed the fish tape into the hole you just drilled for your camera.

Once the fishing tape extends far enough into the attic for easier access, attach the end of the cable to the fishing tape and pull the fish tape from the outside to feed the cable through the drilled hole. This job is much easier when a friend helps you.

RELATED: How to Crimp Your Own Ethernet Cables of Any Length

Then unfold and remove the tape and your cable will be ready to connect to your camera when you’re ready to install it. If you are using an Ethernet cable, you may need to crimp your own connectors if they are not already installed.

Step Four: Route the Cables to the DVR Box

Once all the cable runs are in place where each camera will be, it’s time to route all those cables to the DVR box.

You will most likely need fish tape again for this, as well as a drill to drill holes in walls or ceilings. This is where things can get a little tricky, so if you’re not quite sure where to start, maybe give this friend a call if you haven’t already.

A section of the wall has already been cut out here, which allows me to easily fish out all the cables to the main attic.

Basically, I’m running cables from the attic of my garage to the main attic, which is one floor up. To do this, you need to drill a hole in the attic wall of the garage, as well as a second hole in the main attic for through-feeding of cables. However, I was very lucky with the cable routes, as the path I wanted to go with all the cables had already been cleared by the previous cable routes, so I didn’t have to drill any new holes in the posts or walls. Perhaps you are not so lucky.

After all this, I will drill a hole in the ceiling of my closet to run the cables through this hole where they will meet the dash cam box.

How you install the DVR box is entirely up to you. Most will have mounting holes on the back, similar to those that have power strips and surge protectors. You can also just put it on a table or any table.

Fishing tape will be needed to run the cables through all the walls and ceilings, and you may need to glue the cables to the fishing tape, thread them through, take them off, and repeat the process several times through several walls before the cables finally reach their destination. ,

Step Five: Install the Cameras

This is where things get a lot easier as the cabling is by far the hardest part. Installing the cameras should only take a few minutes each.

Start by connecting the cable coming out of the hole to the camera itself. Then push the excess back into the hole.

If you wish, you can wrap duct tape around the connection to secure it so it doesn’t accidentally come off.

Then, take the mounting screws that came with your kit and use the drill to mount the camera in your home.

Once the camera is installed, you can make some coarse adjustments to the camera by loosening the adjustment screws and then tighten them back when all adjustments have been made. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need to make finer adjustments once you can actually see the live camera image, so you haven’t fully completed this step yet.

Step Six: Put It All Together

Once the other end of the cables is completely routed through your home, you can start connecting them to the DVR.

The connections should be fairly simple and as you can see I use those special adapters I mentioned above. Simply connect each cable to its own port, then connect an external monitor to the dash cam box, as well as a mouse and keyboard. You can also leave your USB stick plugged in for when you need to export your footage in the future.

Step Seven: Customizing the User Interface

This may be different for you depending on which camera system you have, but the setup process will most likely be similar.

On my system, setting up the user interface consists of creating a password, setting the date and time, and a short tutorial on how it all works.

From there you can go, but it’s recommended to spend some time navigating through the settings to tweak some things, like whether your cameras should record 24/7 or only while you’re on the move, for example. Your system may also have video settings with which you can change the image quality.


Once your camera system is officially up and running, take a look at the video feeds and decide if any of the cameras need to be configured. As described above, use these small screws on the camera to adjust the position to where you want.

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