IP Cameras have a variety of installation options especially with regards to positioning, powering and data options. In this article, I will talk about the overall main steps that you need to know before starting your IP camera installation.

Preparation is everything in a successful IP camera installation. This task requires both DIY and some computer knowledge. Jumping the gun and going straight ahead with the installation unknowingly can lead to rather costly mistakes. You obviously cannot take the same approach as you would when assembling an IKEA desk. A mistake here could lead to pieces of your wall or ceiling being damaged or exposed.

So What Should You Consider Before Installing an IP Camera?

  • Software setup
  • Evaluate bandwidth and storage requirements
  • Confirm the location
  • Preparing the surface area
  • Extra settings

Software Setup

IP cameras are not configured out of the box. You will have to setup the camera before you can even begin to use it. Setup is similar to configuring a modem or router. You will need to connect the cameras Ethernet cable to your network and power it on. Then run the provided setup software on a PC that is in the same network so that you can find the cameras IP and setup password. Once you have this you can log in directly into your IP camera via your computers internet browser. To do this you will need to type in the cameras IP address into the internet browsers address bar and log in.

Once you have logged into the camera, you will have access to a whole set of functions and options. Apart from being able to view the camera feed, you can adjust brightness and contrast. Some manufacturers also offer the option to mirror or flip the video feed. This is great if you wish to compensate for a creative installation or for hanging the camera upside down.

Evaluate Bandwidth and Storage Requirements

Bandwidth can be considered as the amount of data that can be transmitted across a network. This crucial factor comes into play especially if you choose to access your camera remotely via the internet. It is also a cause for concern if you do choose to store the video feed in the cloud. If you plan to access the feed in a higher resolution, then you will require more bandwidth.

Picture quality may not be as high as say your average budget camera, but you can still find decent high resolution IP or WiFi cameras at reasonable prices. This is due to the rise in consumer demand for this product. This does however come at a cost, and that cost is file size. For those with restricted bandwidth, you can tweak settings such as image quality, frame rate, and resolution to ensure your feed is delivered timorously.

This will obviously compromise quality in order to gain efficiency. The same goes for storage needs if you do plan to record your feed. The higher the quality of your video, the more storage space will be needed.

Confirm the Location

It is important to find a good spot to install your camera. This will ensure that the fixed camera angle has the best view possible. Wi-Fi cameras are extremely flexible. You can actively move, reposition, or relocate them to any desired location. The only real restriction is that you will need to place it near a power point. If you choose a location outside, you will have to ensure that it is sheltered from the rain. Some IP Cameras have support for power over Ethernet (POE). This allows you to make use of the power that runs through an Ethernet port leaving you with just one cable for both your feed and power.

If you do opt for a wired camera, you will need to neatly run both your power and data cables along the wall towards a power and data point. If you choose to take a step further and conceal these cables, then you will have to either run them through the ceiling or within the walls. These areas should have enough room for your cables to smoothly run through.

Preparing the Surface Area

If you plan on mounting the camera onto a drywall or a ceiling of similar strength, you will require just a few items such as a drywall knife and a hand tool. The drywall knife can be used to cut out a whole which will be used for your cables. Your hand tool can be used to carve out smaller precise holes for the plastic anchors that will be used to mount the camera firmly into position. It is important to hold your camera in the exact location that you wish to install. You should always make sure that you are happy with this spot first before you can go ahead with the installation.

Outdoor and indoor installations onto a brick wall is a totally different affair. You will need to drill into the bricks in order to make way for the cameras anchors. Sleeve anchors are usually used for concrete block bricks. Stainless steel anchors are best suited for outdoor installations. Zinc plated anchors are the right choice for indoor installations. Also, try not to place the anchor within 5 anchor diameters within an unsupported edge.

Extra Settings

Most types of IP cameras allow you to set up your camera to record continuously. Some models can detect motion. You can use this feature to record only when the camera detects some sort of movement. Cameras with a built-in microphone can be set to record when it detects sound. It is possible for these cameras to send you an email notifying you of any motion that it has detected. Either pictures or video clips are usually attached to these emails.

Within “drawing mode”, you can draw over areas that you wish to block off. If you have some sensitive information or goods in the frame, you can highlight this part of the picture and set it to be removed or greyed out from the feed. you can also draw a grid around items in a picture that you wish to exempt from motion detection. An example of this could be objects of low interest that are constantly on the move. This could be trees or flags. You can draw a grid over these items and set that area to be exempt from motion detection.

Whatever your needs may be, there is a suitable WiFi or IP camera that is more than up for the job. Techisignals.com recently reviewed a wide range of IP cameras. This is a great place to start if you wish to learn more about IP Cameras. The installation process may seem daunting to those who are not so skilled in the DIY department. But I do assure you that it isn’t as bad as it may seem. Especially if you do put in a little time to prepare towards the installation process.