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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Safety & Services > Home Security Camera

Home Security Camera Cost


How Much Does a Home Security Camera Cost?

 
low costLow: Web Cameras Run $30-$250average costMedium: Do-It-Yourself CCTVs run $200-$1,000+high costHigh: A Complete Installed Camera System Can Run $1,000-$9,000+
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A home security camera system lets you see who's at the front door before opening it, watch a "blind" spot on the side of your house, keep an eye on your vacation home from a distance or tape a child-care provider . In the past these systems were most often designed and installed by professionals, but changes in low-cost technology provide many more low-cost do-it-yourself options. A modern closed circuit television (CCTV) system usually includes multiple cameras, a DVR (digital video recorder), cables and a monitor.

Typical costs:

  • A stand-alone Internet security camera that sends images to your web browser starts around $30-$50, but expect to pay $75-$250 for a useable basic camera, and it can be $300-$1,000 and up for a high-resolution, durable-construction model. Prices increase depending on the image quality, and features such as color, audio, pan/tilt and e-mail alerts. These cameras work independently from a computer, allowing you to watch real-time images via cell phone or the Internet. Cameras in the low- and medium-price ranges deliver fairly low-quality images and often run on batteries.
  • An install-it-yourself closed-circuit television (CCTV) preassembled kit with four cameras starts around $200-$400; averages $500-$1,000 depending on the quality of the components and features such as night vision, remote monitoring; and high-end kits can cost $1,000-$1,800 or more with extras such asextra large hard-drive storage capacity. You might require additional cable or other materials to adapt a kit to your specific circumstances.
  • Instead of a preassembled kit, some people prefer to buy all the components separately so they can get exactly the system they need (number of cameras, cable lengths, etc.) Cameras are available for around $50-$250 each, depending on type and size; concealed cameras (in smoke detectors, clocks, signs, etc.) can be $200-$400; DVRs run $250-$1,000 or more; and monitor screens start around $100-$500 but can be $500-$4,500 ; and cables average about $15-$50 each, depending on length. A Popular Mechanics writer[1] tried out a $300 starter kit with one camera, adding five additional cameras at $230-$250 each for a total cost around $1,500, then spent $4,000 on a do-it-yourself installation with multiple high-end cameras and extensive hard-drive storage capacity.
  • Hiring a security company to design and install a complete CCTV camera system (including the cost of the equipment) starts around $1,000-$2,000 for a small, basic system (1-4 low-end cameras) but a professionally installed system can easily run $2,000-$9,000 or more. One advantage of hiring professional installers is that they will help you fine-tune what can be a complex system until it meets your needs.
Related articles: Home Security, Door Lock, Locksmith, Car Alarm Installation

What should be included:
  • Your choice of systems will depend on the quality of images you need and how much you're willing to spend. A stand-alone Internet camera is the least expensive option, but usually has the lowest quality images and a shorter battery lifespan. Whether they're do-it-yourself or professionally installed, most CCTV system cameras have either a combined video/power cord or, if they're wireless, just a power cord. CCTV systems generally have better images than low-cost Internet cameras, and let you watch several images on a monitor, then select the one you want to enlarge and view as needed.
  • Some systems are triggered by motion detectors, so you only watch or record when there's action. HomeSecurityGuru.com describes the various types of CCTV cameras.
  • If you're installing your own system, draw a diagram of your home's layout to determine where you want cameras and how many, required cable lengths, obstacles that might block wireless signals, and other variables. If you hire a company to design and install a camera system, they will tour your home with you to determine exactly what's needed.
  • Once the number and position of cameras and other equipment is decided, installation usually involves screwing in mounting brackets, running wires, drilling holes through walls or floors and connecting the equipment. RonHaselton.com provides a how-to video.
Discounts:
  • If you want the deterrence value without the need to actually watch or record anything, realistic-looking fake (dummy) security cameras can cost $15-$50 each.
Shopping for a home security camera:
  • DoItYourself.com lists factors[2] to consider in choosing a wireless home seucirty camera.
  • When looking for a company to design and install a camera system, referrals to home security companies are available through the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association[3] .
  • Ask for (and check) references, and see whether the company has any complaints lodged with the Better Business Bureau[4] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how-to/4287847?nav=RSS20
  2.  www.doityourself.com/stry/selecting-the-right-wireless-home-security-camera-systems
  3.  www.alarm.org/about/mem_dir.html
  4.  www.bbb.org/us/consumers/check-out-a-business-or-charity/
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