What are the Best Tips for DIY Home Surveillance?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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Many people feel they would be safer and more comfortable if they had a home surveillance system. For some, however, the cost of professional installation and monitoring can be prohibitive. A do-it-yourself (DIY) home surveillance system can provide peace of mind and allow a resident to save money. Some of the best tips for DIY home surveillance include beginning with a starter kit, choosing a system that is easy to install and use, setting up a separate computer for monitoring, and choosing an option that will send video over the Internet.

One of the best tips for DIY home surveillance is to buy a starter kit instead of purchasing and trying to install separate components. If a resident purchases a starter kit, he'll usually receive the basic components he needs to get started, such as a camera, related accessories, instructions, and software for having captured video sent to a computer. He may decide that the starter kit is all he needs, or he may choose to expand his system with additional cameras. Using a starter kit may be cheaper for getting started with home surveillance.


If a resident is a home surveillance beginner, it's also wise to do a little research to learn which DIY home surveillance systems are recommended for ease of use. Ideally, a resident will choose a starter kit and accessories that won't require him to hire an electrician or even a handyman to install. This means components should include easy-to-follow instructions and be simple for the average person to mount. Likewise, having cameras and other equipment that can be plugged in instead of wired into a home's electricity system will likely make installation easier.

Another tip for DIY home surveillance is to consider setting up a separate computer for the video feeds. Though a typical DIY home surveillance system may only record video when there is movement in the camera's field of view, the video may need to go to a computer that is kept on at all times, with the application that goes with the surveillance system running in the background. Some people choose to have a standalone computer that is dedicated to this purpose.

An individual who chooses to install a DIY home surveillance system may also do well to ensure that his videos can be encrypted and accessed over the Internet. This ensures that he is able to access to his home surveillance videos not only through his home computer, but also through any computer that has access to the Internet. With this feature, a person may be able to view a video clip of detected motion while he is on vacation and even gain access to his surveillance videos using a mobile phone.


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Post 3

@Feryll - A good way to save money and not sacrifice your safety is to buy a used home security system. When we decided to go with a professional security company we sold our old DIY home surveillance system at our garage sale. The person who bought the system got a great deal and the system was in great condition.

We sold the system for less than a couple hundred dollars and it had all the bells and whistles, including multiple cameras. We no longer needed the system so we were happy to sell it at almost any price.

Post 2

@Feryll - You can get a basic security home alarm wireless system for slightly less than or a little more than a hundred dollars. Now these are simplistic compared to the better systems, but you get sensors for the doors and windows and you can set the system so that your phone will receive a call when a sensor is set off.

If you want a camera and something you can connect to a computer monitor then you are going to have to pay a bit more. How much depends on what features you want.

Post 1

We live in what I consider to be a safe place. We are in the country and we have neighbors who are not too close, but close enough to watch out for us. Still, I know that a home security system is good to have.

I would feel better being able to check on the house when I am away, and I would feel better about my girlfriend being home alone. Does anyone know how much these home surveillance starter kits cost? I know we can't afford a professional security home alarm company right now, but we might be able to afford one of the kits.

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