How to Install Security Camera Wiring (Outdoor & Indoor)

Technician installing CCTV camera on ceiling indoors, closeup

Security cameras and surveillance systems are an essential investment in most homes, businesses, and establishments. According to data, approximately 1 billion surveillance cameras were installed globally by the end of 2021. 

With an increasing demand for advanced security, the new headache among individuals investing in security cameras and surveillance systems is clean, secure, and well-hidden installation. 

Installing a security camera wiring indoors and outdoors should not be a headache. Here’s a look into the types of security camera systems you can install and how you can wire them up indoors and outdoors.

The Types of Security Cameras You Can Install

The wiring installation needed for a surveillance system depends on the type of security cameras you install. Typically, you have two types. These are PoE and WiFi security cameras.

PoE Camera Systems

A power over ethernet (PoE) camera is a wired camera system that requires a cable for power, internet connection, and video transmission. PoE cameras use a single ethernet cable to receive power and transmit video signals or data to a network endpoint. 

Cameras in a PoE setup connect to a network switch which acts as the endpoint for transmitting data and receiving power. Connecting such a camera system is easy and flexible since you’re working with only one cable per camera. 

PoE security cameras are renowned for their consistency and reliability. Moreover, unlike WiFi security camera systems, they don’t face network-related issues such as signal jamming and interference.

WiFi Camera Systems

WiFi camera systems are the most common alternative to PoE camera systems. WiFi cameras connect wirelessly to a router for data transmission. However, they still require cabling for wired power. 

The wireless video transmission from WiFi camera systems can be accessed within the local WiFi network or remotely through software or an app. Therefore, you can watch the surveillance footage directly on built-in devices or through cloud storage.

Most WiFi cameras allow users to access other camera features, such as audio and movement data, and change the system’s settings remotely. 

Electrician installing security camera indoors

The Main Things You'll Need for the Wiring

The necessary items you’ll need for wiring your security cameras will depend on the type of security camera you’re using. For all installations, you’ll need a drill and fish tape. However, depending on the type of security camera, you’ll also need the following:

For PoE Security Cameras

  • Cat 5/6 security camera wires
  • PoE injectors.

For WiFi Security Cameras

  • Electrical wires
  • Security camera wire extension.

Analog Security Cameras

If you’re running the older analog security cameras with DVR, you’ll need the following:

  • RG-59 BNC connectors
  • RG-59/syv-75-5 coaxial wires
  • RG-59 stripping tool
  • RG-59 crimping tool
  • Standard wire crimp tool
  • Wire cutter
  • BNC barrel
  • Electrical tape.

Compliance Requirements

As much as it may sound fun doing your security camera wiring as a DIY project, Australian law has a few limitations. These are from two compliance requirements that dictate that, except for a WiFi CCTV installation, you must have an Open Cablers License and, in most cases, a Security Installer License.

Open Cablers License

An Open Cablers License permits you to install, maintain, and repair cabling. It’s the broadest type of registration among Australian cabling registrations. The license allows you to work in businesses, homes, and large commercial buildings if the cabling terminates at:
  • The network boundary of a socket
  • A network termination device
  • A distributor such as the main distribution frame/building distributor or campus distributor.
With this license, you can work on public or private property.

Security Installer License

You need a Security Installer License if you are paid to install, maintain, or repair security equipment, which includes security cameras. You can get this license in four different classes that authorize you to perform the duties of a security installer. These classes are:
  • Class 1: Vaults, safes, and locks
  • Class 2: CCTV for security purposes, security alarms, bulletproof doors, electric fences, and screens with associated equipment
  • Class 3: Security doors
  • Class 4: Locks.
You can hold multiple classes of this license at the same time. You must also be employed by a licensed security agent unless you’re operating as a sole trader, which will require you have a security agent license. You apply for the security agent license separately.
You cannot use this license to install security equipment in vessels, vehicles, or aircraft.
3-way white CCTV on high pole isolated on white background

How to Place the Camera

Before doing any form of wiring, you must determine the camera position. PoE camera systems have more flexible positioning since they don’t have to be close to a power source, unlike WiFi camera systems. That’s because the data cable also transmits power from the network switch.

Generally, you’ll follow the following guidelines when placing your camera for the best setup and results:

Aim the Camera at Your Point of Interest for Maximum Security

There are crucial areas of your home, building, or property that you’ll want monitored. These include the front doors, garage doors, back doors, and first-floor windows. The cameras should be aimed at these points with a clear view.

Give the Camera the Most Range of View

Security cameras have different fields of view, ranging from 45 to 180 degrees. For cameras with a smaller field of view, ranging 45 to 75 degrees, place them facing a door or the driveway in front of the garage.

Place the cameras with a wider range of view, ranging from 75 to 180 degrees, in locations where such a wide field of view is necessary, such as corners outside the building. Ensure the spot has the least obstructions to take advantage of the large field of view.

Mount the Camera At Least 9 Feet From The Ground

Having the camera placed at least 9 feet from the ground will deter even tall criminals, about 6 feet tall, from easily tampering with the system, including messing up the wiring. The camera should still be visible to anyone approaching your business, home, or property to deter intruders and criminals.

How to Install Security Camera Wiring Inside the House

Installing security cameras inside the house is easier than outside. It takes the following steps to get the job done.

  • Decide where you’ll place the central surveillance hub, the NVR or DVR, before determining the wiring route. The location should be easy to access so that you can do the wiring comfortably from anywhere in the building. Choosing a great central location will help avoid wiring disasters.
  • Turn off the power for safety
  • Drilling is the best and easiest ways to run security camera wires through soffit, walls, and vinyl siding. Drill a hole where the outlet will be and use a straightened metal coat hanger to feel any obstructions. The hole should be larger than the maximum amount of wires you’ll ever run.
  • Use a PoE injector if the camera is far from the NVR/router.
  • Attach the wires with fish tape. Use a security camera wire protection cover or conduit to protect the cables and run the wires to the central surveillance hub.

How to Install Wiring Outside the House

Outdoor security camera cabling is more complex since you have to create a detailed plan and protect the cables from harsh weather elements. Here’re the steps you can take to get the job done.

  • Have a well-planned wire route. Ensure it’s the shortest and easiest route to bury the conduits.
  • Use a wire guard, PVC, or metal conduits to shield the cables as you bury them for protection from humans, animals, and weather elements.
  • Use waterproof and weatherproof outlets for external power to WiFi cameras.
  • Drill a hole to run the security wires from your house to the external cameras. Preferably, drill at the wall and not from the building’s floor.
  • Bury the network cables or electrical wires shielded in PVC, wire guard, or metal conduits at least 18 inches under the ground, for wires in PVC, or 6 inches, for wires in metal conduits, as per the National Electric Code (NEC).
  • Use fish tape or pull wire to fish the wires through the conduits.

Get Your Security Camera Professionally Installed

Installing security cameras can be a fun DIY job if you have the right tools. For the best results, you will need a professional to plan the wiring routes, hide the wires, and secure the wiring from human, animal, and weather interference. 

Contact a professional today and get your indoor and outdoor surveillance system professionally installed.

Over to You…

Do you agree with How to Install Security Camera Wiring (Outdoor & Indoor)? Or is there something missing, or you would like to add?? Would love to hear from you in the comments – any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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2 Responses

  1. We’ve bought a Swan 8 channel hard drive enforcer security system. 6 channel camera video 1080p full hd with police style party lights.
    Wondering how much for installation. We live in Bundamba

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