Security Camera Installation Cost Factors to Consider Before Buying

Security cameras offer customers an early warning about trouble on their property, whether they’re home or not. Security camera installation costs as little as $125 or as much as $2,040, with the average cost at $1,189.
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Visual 1 - Home Security - Security Camera Installation Cost - Cost Range + Average - November 2023

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  • The typical cost to install security cameras in a home ranges from $125 for a single camera to $2,040 for a set of CCTV cameras. The national average cost is $1,189.
  • Some of the main factors that affect the cost of installing security cameras include the type of system, the number and quality of the cameras, the location of the cameras in the home, the camera brand, and the cost of labor.
  • Depending on the system, customers may be able to choose between DIY and professional installation. Both have their pros and cons, but professional security camera installation can help assure the customer that the system is installed correctly.
  • The benefits of security system installation include improved peace of mind, a lower chance of break-ins, and a potential homeowners insurance discount.

Home security systems offer many benefits to homeowners and renters alike. They can deter crime, allow a customer to check on their property while away from home, and even provide evidence to the authorities in the event of a break-in. But those benefits come at a cost, which can seem off-putting for some customers at first.

How much are security cameras when it comes to installation? According to Angi, security camera installation costs range between $125 and $2,040. The national average cost of security camera installation sits at $1,189. The exact security system installation cost will depend on the size of the system, the specific pieces of equipment chosen, and the brand. Some of the best home security systems (like Vivint or ADT) offer a choice between DIY installation and professional installation, while others offer one or the other. Those who opt for DIY typically have access to guides and advice through the security system’s app, although customers who aren’t sure where to place security cameras for the most comprehensive view may prefer to leave installation to an experienced pro. With so many options to choose from, there’s something for everyone, no matter their budget and home security camera installation needs.

Factors in Calculating Security Camera Installation Cost

The exact security camera system installation cost will depend on the types of security cameras being installed, as well as the quality and location of the cameras. Understanding these factors can help customers determine what to look for in a home security camera system so they can choose the components that will be most effective for their home and will make it easier to develop a workable budget.

System Type

Not all security camera systems for home use are alike, and the terminology that distinguishes them can be a little confusing. Choosing between wired and wireless security cameras is only the beginning.

  • Wired cameras, sometimes called CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras, transmit footage through a physical cable and store that footage locally. Wired cameras are permanent installations and usually have to be professionally installed, which costs around $150 to $200 per camera.
  • Wireless cameras are powered by batteries rather than needing to be connected to the home’s electrical system. This makes them cheaper to install at around $100 per camera. Wireless cameras transmit video footage over the internet using the home’s Wi-Fi signal and are easier to move from location to location because of their flexible installation, making them well suited for renters.
  • Doorbell cameras can bring additional front door security to a home. They can be wired or wireless and typically use the home’s Wi-Fi to send footage to the user’s mobile app. Doorbell cameras are ideally suited for DIY installation, though the user can opt for professional video doorbell installation through some home security camera companies. The cost for this will vary by provider.

Camera Quality

The quality of a camera will directly affect the cost of the unit. A high-quality camera will cost more than a low-quality one, but it will also deliver a crisper picture.

  • Low-resolution cameras can cost as little as $20 each. They are useful when the details are less important and identifying general shapes and movements is key, such as monitoring to see when a child is arriving home from school or watching for movement around a perimeter.
  • High-resolution cameras record in 1080p definition or higher and can cost $100 or more. These cameras can record details like facial features, license plate numbers, or insignia on jackets and shirts, so they will require more storage on the video recording device and will use more bandwidth during transmission.

In addition to the resolution, customers will want to pay attention to the frame per second rate, or FPS. Higher rates of 25 to 30 FPS will record smoothly for clear viewing and a detailed view of someone’s actions, while less expensive cameras may only record between 15 and 22 frames per second. Lower FPS can result in jerky gaps in the footage that can make the video less useful in identifying an intruder.

The field of view is also a consideration for security or surveillance camera installation, but choosing a wide-angle camera over a narrow-angle camera won’t significantly affect the cost. For external cameras, night vision technology will prevent the video feed from being a gray blur, but spending the extra $15 to $90 for the extra infrared illuminator can make the difference between a clear image of an intruder’s facial features and an unrecognizable blur.

Number of Cameras

One of the main questions customers will want to ask is, “How many security cameras do I need for my home?” The answer will depend on the size of the home and the residents’ security requirements.

While some may be comfortable with a simple doorbell camera, others will want an extensive system with multiple cameras placed around their home for maximum coverage. Customers on a limited budget will want to place cameras by their home’s entry points, and they may want to install some near vulnerable first-floor or basement windows and high-value targets such as a garage or shed.

Once the customer knows how many cameras are needed, they can determine the installation cost, which averages around $100 to $200 per camera.

Visual 2 - Home Security - Security Camera Installation Cost - Cost per Number of Cameras - November 2023
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Installation Location

Indoor cameras are often cheaper to install than outdoor cameras. Routing power cabling and, if necessary, wired cabling, is less complex when it just means drilling a few holes in the wall, and battery-powered indoor cameras don’t even require that.

Also, unless an at-home security camera is being mounted in a vaulted ceiling, there’s less risk involved in climbing a stepladder than there is in perching on a rooftop. Installation of a camera for outside house monitoring also requires sealing and stabilization to make sure that both the camera and the holes created for wiring can stand up to the elements. It’s usually preferable to wait to install outdoor cameras until the weather is favorable; good weather results in a better and safer installation that is often less expensive.

Camera Brand

The exact home security costs will depend on the brand the customer chooses. Security companies such as ADT, SimpliSafe, Ring, Vivint, and Frontpoint may offer a choice between DIY or professional installation, or they may offer one or the other. Other brands of cameras may be compatible with these systems, but the integration may be difficult and the installation may not be seamless.

Professional installation technicians from a specific security camera brand may not be able to install other cameras as a matter of policy. The best way for a customer to compare the costs of the cameras is to choose a couple of companies whose packages and other costs fit with their budget and needs, then compare the specifications of the cameras offered in their packages, rather than the brand name of the cameras.

Home Security CompanyProfessional Installation Cost
Frontpoint$99 and up
Ring$159.99 and up
SimpliSafe$124.99 and up
VivintIncluded with equipment


Security camera installation labor costs make up approximately 50 percent to 70 percent of the total cost to install security cameras. The pricier the system the customer chooses, the more it will cost to install.

Labor rates vary from region to region and even from town to town. In addition, the effort and risk needed to install the cameras will increase or decrease the labor costs proportionately. Different security camera installation services will also likely have varying rates.

There is also a difference in the overall installation costs of wired and wireless systems. Wired systems require additional work to install, which will increase the labor costs.

Visual 3 - Home Security - Security Camera Installation Cost - Cost for Labor - November 2023
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Additional Costs and Considerations

While making a budget, customers will want to account for the potential of additional costs that can increase the total home security system installation cost. Knowing these potential costs ahead of time can help customers build some cushion into their budget and avoid nasty surprises during the installation process.

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Existing System Removal

If a security system was previously installed in the home, it may need to be removed before the new system can be installed. Customers who have never had a security system may still find remnants of an old system hiding in the walls.

Removal may be a simple matter of pulling wires and removing keypads or cameras, and a good budget will include labor for this and for the repairs to the drywall that may be necessary.

Additional Outlet Installation

Both wired and wireless systems require power. Depending on the placement of the cameras, the customer may need to have additional outlets installed to support their security system.

For outside mounted cameras, a nearby outdoor electrical outlet can make the installation process much simpler. Adding an outlet or two in a home is not overly expensive, but it will mean including an electrician in the budget and perhaps a permit and inspection. It costs around $150 to $350 to hire an electrician to install new outlets in a home.

Additional Security Components

The most cost-effective way for a customer to build a security system is to start with a package offered by a security company or camera manufacturer. These packages will include one or more cameras and likely some additional sensors or keypads.

Depending on the size of the home, it might make sense for customers to choose an additional camera or two, door entry sensors, window sensors, or glass-break sensors, which are all available as add-ons to most base packages. Customers can also choose additional keypads for upper floors and may decide to add elements to create a full smart-home system.

All these additional components will result in extra installation costs, but customers may be able to save money by purchasing all the equipment together and having it installed at once rather than buying it piecemeal and trying to connect it all later.


Although not directly linked to installation, monitoring is another cost customers will want to consider when choosing a home security camera system. Many DIY security systems offer self-monitoring, which may have no cost or a small monthly fee. However, with a self-monitored system, the onus is on the customer to keep tabs on their system, which can be an added burden.

If the customer opts for professional monitoring, their system will notify a security attendant when it detects a threat; that attendant can then confirm the threat and summon help, allowing the residents to focus on their immediate safety. Some monitored systems include a panic button for the customer to alert an attendant to an emergency if the alarm isn’t triggered. The cost of professional monitoring is based on the type of plan selected and the number of devices connected to the system.

However, homeowners insurance companies often give significant discounts on their rates to customers who have monitored security systems—they know that the likelihood of an extended disaster is much lower when a monitor can call for help immediately. These savings can help customers defray the cost of security camera monitoring.

Smart-Home Automation

Smart-home devices are becoming more and more commonplace, and many devices can integrate seamlessly into a home security system. Installing a security system can be a great opportunity to pull together all the elements of a smart home in one system, often one that can integrate with existing smart-home managers, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple Home, or Google Assistant.

Smart lighting, smart locks, smart thermostats, and smart appliances can fold into most contemporary security systems, many of which are controlled by an app as well as a keypad. Purchasing the components and having them installed alongside the security system will result in additional cost to the homeowner, but enabling all the systems to work seamlessly together can make this a worthwhile investment.

Security Camera Installation Cost
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Security Camera Installation: Professional vs. DIY Installation

The best DIY security systems are designed to be simple to install—even for those who aren’t sure how to install security cameras. Most come with an adhesive that allows the pieces of equipment to be stuck to the wall, which also makes it easy to move devices as needed. This makes them the best apartment security systems since they won’t cause damage during installation, meaning the renter can preserve their security deposit. Many DIY security systems offer detailed installation guides on their websites and apps, as well as customer service representatives who are available to help customers troubleshoot if they run into any issues.

Other systems are more complicated to install—they may require specific tools and materials for installation, such as drills, drill bits, outlets and outlet covers, and wiring, in addition to materials necessary for the cleanup. While the customer isn’t paying for the installation if they do it themselves, they’re paying in time, effort, and materials. The cost of camera installation varies based on the number of components to be installed, the location of the cameras to be installed, and labor costs in the area, so it’s hard to pinpoint a specific cost to compare.

Professional installation has several benefits. First, the security company may require that its technicians install the system in order for the warranty to be valid. Additionally, any system with extensive outdoor installation or particularly complex connections would benefit from a professional hand. Security technicians know the systems inside and out. They know the angle their ladder needs to be at to safely reach the far side of the camera, and they know the angle at which to point the camera for an optimal view. They know how to connect the keypad and Wi-Fi in seconds, and they know how the system should work before they depart. If there’s a problem, the professionals will immediately know what they’re looking at and be able to fix it quickly.

For a very simple system, a DIY installation can save a little money, but for complex systems in larger houses or installations with multiple outdoor cameras at greater heights, hiring a professional is the way to go.

Benefits of Installing a Security Camera System

When considering home security system installation, customers may wonder whether they actually need a security system. In reality, a security camera system can be beneficial for almost anyone, whether they live in a high-crime neighborhood or just want extra reassurance that their home is safe. Besides safety, a home security system offers numerous advantages.

Lower Insurance Premiums

Homeowners insurance companies run a risky business. They count on the idea that they will take in more money in premiums each year than they pay out. As a result, anything that reduces their likelihood of having to pay out a large claim is something they’ll support. Insurance companies know that burglars are less likely to approach a home with a monitored security system, and that if they do approach, the sound of a siren or alarm will likely scare the burglar away before much damage can be done.

They also know that a monitored system with smart smoke detectors will result in a call to the fire department at the first whiff of smoke from a fire—sometimes hours before the homeowner would have even arrived home—resulting in a claim for a water-drenched kitchen and some smoke damage instead of a home burned to the ground.

For this reason, many homeowners insurance companies offer a security system discount for policyholders who have a monitored security system in their home. The exact discount will depend on the insurance company, so policyholders will want to reach out to their insurer to find out the details.

Peace of Mind

Residents who have a home security system don’t need to worry about every noise they hear in their home. With a security camera system in place, the customer can check their cell phone or tablet to see if anything is amiss. If there’s anything suspicious on the camera feeds, the customer can then make an informed decision about protecting themself or calling for help, with the security of knowing they’re not calling 911 because their cat accidentally knocked a bowl off the counter.

Security cameras also offer peace of mind when customers aren’t home. They allow customers to keep an eye on mischievous pets left alone in the house. Parents can check to make sure their children arrive home from school on time and are behaving appropriately. Families on vacation can check to see if packages are piling up on the doorstep and call their neighbors to ask for help picking them up. Finally, families with elderly family members who live alone can set up camera systems that allow them to check on their loved one’s safety.

Crime Prevention

Criminals want quiet, unobtrusive opportunities to enter homes without observation. The presence of genuine security cameras, especially those that are obviously professionally installed, will often be enough of a threat that the criminals will choose a different home entirely. In many cases, the mere presence of a security sign can deter criminals.

Some people may opt to use dummy cameras to discourage criminals. While this may fool novices, criminals who have been around the block a few times will be able to tell the difference between dummy cameras and the real thing.

Criminal Evidence

If a break-in or home invasion does occur, a security camera system can help in several ways. First, if the system is monitored, the security company can notify first responders and dispatch help. While the crime is in progress, the cameras will record everything they see, which will serve two purposes: Police can try to use the footage to help identify the criminals, and the footage will provide evidence to the homeowners insurance company about what was taken and what damage was done. Wide-angle and doorbell cameras can record images of crimes across the street or at neighbors’ homes as well, and providing that evidence to police can be a great help to the neighbors in filing their reports and claims.

How to Save Money on Security Camera Installation Cost

A security camera system is an investment, though in most cases it’s a worthwhile one. However, even the most basic systems can add up in cost when the customer totals up the price of equipment, installation, monitoring, and maintenance. However, there are several ways customers can save money on security camera system installation.

  • Shop around. Customers can compare the base equipment packages from several security companies to see which one best meets their immediate needs and budget.
  • Look out for sales. Many home security companies offer sales around certain holidays, or they may offer free installation if the customer purchases a certain amount of equipment.
  • Take advantage of trial offers. Customers may find trial offers from certain home security companies along with a period of free monitoring. This allows them to test out the equipment and monitoring before committing to the monthly payment.
  • Do your homework. Customers can identify companies they think they’d like to work with, then get quotes from agents and compare services and costs. This can be tricky, because every package and every monitoring contract is a bit different.
  • Opt for DIY. Many security companies offer DIY installation and provide extensive guides to help customers set up their systems without paying extra for professional installation.
Security Camera Installation Cost
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Questions to Ask About Security Camera Installation

Before purchasing security cameras and scheduling an installation appointment, customers will want to have a good understanding of their options. They can do this by asking security camera installation companies several important questions.

  • How long has your company been in business?
  • Is installation handled in-house or do you use subcontractors?
  • Are your technicians licensed, insured, and bonded?
  • Can I DIY some of the installation to save on costs?
  • Which type of camera is most appropriate for my home?
  • What type of sensors do I need?
  • What kind of cable will you be using?
  • Will the lenses in the cameras be fixed, or can they zoom in and out with detail?
  • What happens if my home loses power?
  • How will the system be monitored?
  • What is the average response time when the system is triggered?
  • How often do you check the system?
  • How can I protect my system from being hacked?
  • Do you offer warranties on the cameras and the installation? What kind?
  • Do I need to sign a contract, and if so, what are the terms and conditions?
  • What happens if I move?


For those who haven’t purchased or installed security systems before, there is a lot of new information and terminology to digest. Customers will want to familiarize themselves with the answers to some commonly asked questions to help them find their footing.

Q. Can I install my own security cameras?

Some security companies do offer DIY options, while others require that their equipment be installed by their own technicians. For simple setups, a DIY option can be a great choice for providing additional security at a low cost—but it’s important to make sure that the equipment is of a good enough quality that it’s worth installing.

Q. What is the easiest security camera to install?

SimpliSafe and Frontpoint both provide high-quality equipment for self-installation without sacrificing company support through and after the process. Both companies also offer a range of monitoring options.

Q. What outdoor security camera should I buy?

Blink Home Security’s Outdoor Camera System is a top choice. The set includes three wireless outdoor cameras with HD and wide-angle lenses with infrared night vision, and it can be synced with Wi-Fi syncing capability. The Blink system is monitored through an app, and it includes audio speakers and microphones so that users can communicate with people outside their home. It’s compatible with Alexa and with several other security system components.

Q. What’s the difference between house surveillance cameras and security cameras?

The purpose of both surveillance and security cameras is similar: to protect an area using video footage of the area to prevent crime, if possible, and to stop it as soon as possible should it occur.

  • Surveillance camera systems use multiple cameras to survey a wide area, often a public area, filtering those videos back to a live feed on CCTV that someone is actively monitoring and recording.
  • Security cameras are focused more tightly on a single area, usually one home or business, and may or may not be monitored live. These are better suited for an at-home security camera system.

Q. How far do security cameras see?

The distance that a security camera can see, and the clarity with which it can see at a distance, is dependent on the strength and angle of the lens in the camera. Most home security cameras can provide good detail between 0 and 70 feet, while some advanced professional lenses can see as far as 700 feet away.

Q. What angle should security cameras cover?

Many people assume that a super-wide, 180-degree field of view is best, as it will capture more movement from a single camera position. However, super-wide angle lenses distort the images, particularly at the edges, so footage from cameras with that type of lens will resemble looking through a peephole or fish-eye filter, and it won’t be able to provide accurate detail for police investigations. Stepping down to a regular wide-angle lens, which covers between 60 and 110 degrees, will provide far better detail in its images while still catching a wide enough field to protect most homes.

Sources: Angi, HomeGuide