How Much Does It Cost to Install Video Surveillance Cameras?

Average range: $400 - $800
Average Cost
(4 or more wireless cameras with a recording system, Smart features, and Cloud capabilities, installed)

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Reviewed by Nieves Caballero. Written by

Whenever you want to keep track of what is going on in your home, a video surveillance system helps. Installing video surveillance systems can help keep your valuables protected, deter crime, remotely access your home, or lower homeowner’s insurance, among other benefits. There are many video surveillance systems on the market. Sometimes also known as CCTV or Closed Circuit Television, video surveillance systems allow you to track and monitor anything going on inside your home whether you are there or not.

On average, homeowners spend $400 to $800 to install video surveillance cameras. The national average for a system with 4 or more cameras and a recording system, Smart features, and Cloud capabilities costs on average $600. On the low end, you can buy and install a single-unit doorbell camera for around $150. On the higher end, you can have 12 or more high-tech camera-wired systems with monitoring installed for $2,000.

Cost to Install Surveillance Cameras

Security Camera Price
National average cost$600
Average range$400-$800

Video Surveillance Cameras Cost by Project Range

Doorbell camera, limited home monitoring, DIY
Average Cost
4 or more wireless cameras with a recording system, Smart features, and Cloud capabilities, installed
12 or more wired cameras, and a year of professional monitoring monthly subscription services, installed

Surveillance Camera Cost by System Type

In surveillance systems, wired systems, also sometimes known as analog CCTV systems, are one option, while wireless systems, known as internet protocol or IP systems, are another. The terms wired and wireless refer to how cameras send information, with wired cameras sending their footage and information over cabled connections, and wireless cameras doing so over WiFi. Both wired and wireless cameras usually receive their power via wired connections. Depending on your individual security needs, both wired and wireless systems have advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Surveillance Camera Cost by System Type

Surveillance Camera Cost by System Type

System TypeSystem Cost (4 Cameras)System Cost with Installation
Wireless (IP*)$400 - $600$400 - $650
Wired (CCTV)$300 - $500$600 - $2,000

Wireless Camera Cost or IP Camera Cost

Wireless or IP cameras average $100 to $150 each, with a set of 4 averaging between $400 and $600 without installation. The installation of IP cameras can be done DIY or by a professional, ensuring proper installation. This costs an additional $50, depending on the work required, and the total materials and installation cost is usually between $500 and $650.

Wireless cameras refer to cameras that transmit footage via the internet as opposed to cables. Wireless cameras typically receive their power via a cabled Ethernet 1, or Cat 5e, wire connections. These cameras are usually much easier and more flexible to set up, are more user friendly, and offer increased software features for Cloud connectivity and reviewing footage. However, wireless cameras carry security and reliability drawbacks, such as a reliance on WiFi connection and a susceptibility to hacking. For example, not only can your camera feeds be disrupted if the WiFi signal goes out, but they can also be hacked by online criminals attempting to view your camera feeds.

*IP: An important distinction between the terms IP camera and wireless camera is that while most companies and homeowners use these terms interchangeably, some brands use the terms to refer to two different kinds of cameras. In this case, the term IP cameras refers specifically to cameras that transmit their footage via the cabled Ethernet internet connection. In contrast, the term wireless camera refers to those that transmit footage via a wireless WiFi internet connection.

Wired Camera Price or CCTV Camera Price

Wired or analog CCTV cameras average between $75 and $125 each, with a set of four averaging $300 to $500 without installation. The installation of CCTV cameras costs an additional $300 to $1,500 or more depending on the work required, making the total materials and installation cost fall between $600 and $2,000.

Wired or CCTV cameras are generally more reliable and secure than wireless cameras because they are not dependent on an internet connection and much less prone to hacking. Wired cameras transmit their video feeds through cables or wires to a storage unit like a VCR, hard drive, or DVR. Wired cameras typically require coaxial cables, also known as Siamese or shotgun cables, to function. These systems have lower price points, have a more consistent video quality, can be more reliable, and are a good choice for homeowners wanting a security solution for larger spaces. On the other hand, they require professional installation, tend to have poorer internet integration, fewer Smart features, and less user-friendly software.

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Surveillance Camera Price by Camera Type

Surveillance cameras come in many varieties for use in different purposes and situations. Factors like footage quality, internet capabilities, and setup flexibility differentiate the many models on the market. Since prices and features vary widely, understand the different model types to choose the right camera for your needs.

Surveillance Camera Price by Camera Type

Surveillance Camera Price by Camera Type

TypeAverage Cost (Materials Only)
Dummy$10 - $15
Bullet$30 - $80
PoE$50 - $80
Box$50 - $100
Hidden$50 - $250
Doorbell$75 - $150
Dome$80 - $120
C-Mount$150 - $200
Outdoor$200 - $400
License Plate Capture$300 - $600
PTZ$400 - $700

Dummy Camera Price

Dummy cameras cost from $10 to $15 on average. They are fake cameras that do not actually record footage, but they give the appearance of a functioning surveillance system. While these cameras come with the obvious drawback of not offering any actual surveillance capabilities, they are very cheap and require virtually no setup. Many come with realistic flashing lights to give the appearance of an actual functioning system, making dummy cameras a potential choice for homeowners looking for a cheap solution to deter criminals.

Bullet Camera Price

Bullet cameras are a budget-friendly surveillance camera option and range from $30 to $80 each. A bullet camera is similar to a box camera. However, like a dome camera, its lens is permanently fixed inside a glass housing. These cameras are more discreet and come in indoor and outdoor varieties, but it can be difficult to reposition and perform maintenance due to the permanent nature of the housing. Bullet cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

PoE Surveillance Camera

PoE cameras cost $50 to $80. PoE, or power-over-Ethernet cameras, are cameras that receive their power via an Ethernet connection as opposed to a coaxial, other cable type, or batteries. A benefit of these cameras is that it may reduce installation costs if you already have Ethernet cables in your home. . PoE cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

Box Camera Price

Box cameras cost an average of $50 to $100 each. Box cameras generally refer to cameras with a box-like body that is attached to a separate lens. These cameras tend to be somewhat more bulky, expensive, and less visually pleasing than other types. But they usually come with improved performance and product life and the opportunity to change lenses. They may be an option for homeowners looking for a higher security presence. Box cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

Hidden Camera Price

Hidden cameras range from $50 to $250 each. They differ from other camera types in that they usually do not physically look like cameras. Hidden cameras are often either disguised as other appliances like smoke detectors or clocks or are exceptionally small to avoid detection. These features make them great options for discreet surveillance, but their small sizes and unusual shapes can sometimes mean limitations on footage quality and memory space. Hidden cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

Doorbell Camera Cost

Doorbell cameras are becoming more popular and cost $75 to $150. Doorbell cameras combine camera technology with traditional doorbell features to allow you to survey the area in front of your home’s door. They can capture both audio and video during the day or at night via infrared LED sensors or a spotlight, a speaker and a microphone. Doorbell cameras typically offer Smart features like smartphone alerts when someone rings the doorbell or movement is detected. However, they rely on dependent WiFi signals like other wireless camera types. Doorbell cameras can be compatible with CCTV or IP systems, but are mostly used with IP systems.

Dome Camera Price

Dome cameras prices range from $80 to $120 each. Dome cameras get their name from the transparent, dome-shaped glass housing that surrounds the lens.The benefits of dome cameras are that they are discrete in appearance, resistant to vandalism due to the protective glass, and it is hard to tell which direction the lens is pointing. However, this glass casing can mean it is difficult to access the lens to reposition it or perform maintenance. Dome cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

C-Mount Camera

C-mount cameras usually run $150 to $200 each. C-mount cameras refer to cameras intended to be used with lenses that are 1 inch in diameter, also known as C-mount lenses, one of the most common CCTV lens types. The term C-mount is a fairly widespread camera term that refers to any camera that uses a standard 1-inch mount 2, and they are common for both videography and security purposes. As a result, these cameras come in a very wide variety and are generally similar to box cameras. C-Mount cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

Outdoor Security Camera Price

Outdoor security cameras range in cost from $200 to $400. Outdoor security cameras are security cameras with additional features geared toward outdoor functionality, usually including weatherproof casings and low-light functionality. As a result of these enhanced features, outdoor security cameras may be more expensive than other models. Outdoor security cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

License Plate Capture Camera

License plate capture cameras refer to cameras capable of capturing images of high enough quality to see and read license plate numbers. These cameras average $300 to $600. It is important to note that cameras described with this term may or may not include software capable of auto-reading numeric data. Many cameras marketed as license plate capture cameras simply refer to cameras with image quality sharp enough to see numbers upon footage review. License plate capture cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

PTZ Camera Price

PTZ cameras cost from $400 to $700. PTZ, or pan-tilt-zoom cameras, are remote-controlled cameras capable of moving, swiveling, and zooming the lens. These cameras come with the large benefit of being able to easily adjust the camera angle without labor-intensive remounting, and some even come with software, which auto-adjusts the camera toward movement. PTZ cameras are compatible with CCTV or IP systems.

Security Camera Cost by Resolution

The term resolution refers to the size, or detail, of the image that a camera produces. While it is not the only factor in image clarity, resolution can be important for surveillance cameras because the more detail your camera captures, the more you can see what exactly is going on in your footage. The larger the space in your home you want to survey, the larger the resolution you may want to consider for sharper detail over distance. However, as resolution increases, so do both price and the memory storage space required.

Security Camera Cost by Resolution

Security Camera Cost by Resolution

Resolution in MegapixelsAverage Cost
1 MP (720 pixels)$30 - $60
2 MP (1080 pixels)$40 - $100
4 MP (1440 pixels)$80 - $200
6 MP (2048 pixels)$100 - $250
8 MP (4K/2160 pixels)$150 - $300
10 MP (2592 pixels)$200 - $400
12 MP (2800 pixels)$800 - $1,000

1MP Security Camera Price

1MP security cameras have an average cost between $30 and $60. 1MP cameras, also known as 1-megapixel cameras, are cameras on the lower end of security systems. These cameras are usually much cheaper than those with higher resolutions and can be a great choice for homeowners looking for a basic security option. However, footage from 1MP cameras may not have much clarity for purposes like facial and number recognition.

2MP Security Camera Price

2MP, or 1080p, CCTV camera prices range from $40 to $100 each. 2MP cameras, also known as 2-megapixel or 1080p CCTV cameras, generally tend to be the standard starting point for HD-quality security cameras. These cameras offer resolution good enough for facial recognition up to 30 feet and a wide 80-degree viewing angle. However, they do not offer the clarity that comes with some higher resolutions.

4MP Surveillance Camera

4MP cameras, also known as 4-megapixel security cameras, offer 30% more pixels than industry-standard 2MP cameras. 4MP cameras average between $80 and $200. This means they can offer image quality good enough to capture facial features from up to 50 feet away and an 84-degree viewing angle. One drawback is that as resolution increases, the price and memory storage required for this high-quality footage also increases.

6MP Security Camera

6MP cameras, also known as 6-megapixel security cameras, mark the beginning of higher-end resolution options for security cameras. 6MP camera prices range from $100 to $250. 6MP cameras offer increased detail captures like facial recognition from 70 feet in good light conditions and wider viewing angles. One drawback is resolutions of this quality may be insufficient for larger spaces.

8MP Security Camera Price

8MP cameras, also known as 4K security cameras, cost between $150 and $300 each. These cameras offer a very high resolution capable of producing 4K footage, or footage with 8.3 million pixels. These cameras are a good choice for homeowners looking to survey larger areas at a greater distance without losing detail like outdoor areas. On the other hand, 8MP cameras require higher bandwidth and storage space. These cameras with 8MP resolution and higher are generally geared toward larger industrial, business, and commercial spaces.

10MP Security Camera

10MP cameras, also known as 10-megapixel cameras, offer extremely high image resolution capable of capturing detail at distances of over 100 feet in good light conditions. 10MP cameras average $200 to $400 each. Cameras with 10MP resolution or more are typically used on large properties to survey very large areas without sacrificing quality. A drawback is that they require extremely large memory spaces and bandwidth 3, and since this resolution is just one tier lower than the industry-best 12MP, it may be difficult to find standardized 10MP setups.

12MP Security Camera

12MP, also known as 12-megapixel cameras, offer some of the absolute highest image resolution of security cameras on the market today. 12MP cameras range from $800 to $1,000 or more each.These cameras capture very large amounts of image detail and are often used in situations like large stadiums, airports, and military bases. As with other high-resolution cameras, they require extremely large amounts of storage space and are among the costliest models on the market.

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Home Security Camera Price by Field of View

Along with resolution, field of view is one of the most important factors in determining if the image your camera produces satisfies your distance and detail needs. Field of view can be measured in lens millimeters or angle degrees. Generally, larger lenses produce a tighter field of view but with more detail over a longer viewing distance. Smaller lenses, also known as wide-angle lenses, produce a wider field of view but are limited to shorter distances. When choosing a field of view, it is important to consider whether capturing a wider angle or a more detailed, particular area is desired.

Home Security Camera Price by Field of View

Home Security Camera Price by Field of View

Field of View (in mm)Degree ViewAverage Cost
12 mm22$100 - $150
8 mm40$75 - $125
6 mm52$40 - $80
3.6 mm90$40 - $80
2.8 mm105$30 - $60
1.4 mm - 1.8 mm180/360$150 - $800

12 mm Security Camera

Security cameras with 12 mm or 22-degree lenses are cameras with very narrow fields of view. 12 mm cameras cost on average $100 to $150. These cameras have 2MP resolutions or higher. These cameras lose out on wide angles from the immediate surroundings, but they are excellent options for focusing on a specific area a long distance away. They clearly survey spaces up to 55 yards away from the camera.

8 mm Security Camera

Security cameras with 8 mm or 33-degree lenses are cameras with narrow fields of view. 8 mm camera prices range from $75 to $125. These cameras can have 2MP resolutions or higher. These cameras will not capture as much angle detail from the immediate surroundings but are great for honing in on a specific area over longer distances, making them a good choice for tight spaces up to 32 yards away from the camera.

6 mm Security Camera Price

6 mm cameras cost $40 to $80. Security cameras with 6 mm, or 50-degree, lenses are cameras with slightly narrower fields of view. These cameras have 2MP resolutions or higher. These cameras are good for slightly longer distances without sacrificing too much detail from the immediate surroundings, making them a good choice for tighter spaces up to 16 yards away from the camera.

3.6 mm Security Camera

Security cameras with 3.6 mm, or 69-degree, lenses are cameras with fields of view that balance both width and distance relatively. Expect to pay between $40 and $80 for 3.6 mm cameras. These cameras have 2 MP resolutions or higher. These cameras are good for capturing an image that balances both detail and short to mid-distances, making them a good choice for spaces up to 9 yards away from the camera.

2.8 mm Security Camera

Security cameras with 2.8 mm, or 90-degree, lenses are cameras with wide fields of view. 2.8 mm cameras average $30 to $60. These cameras have 2 MP resolutions or higher. These cameras are good for capturing a wide field of view but are not great for long distances, making them a good choice for small spaces up to 5.5 yards away from the camera.

1.4-1.8 mm Security Camera

Security cameras with a 1.4 mm lens, also known as 360-degree security cameras, and security cameras with 1.8 mm lenses, also known as 180-degree security cameras, are cameras with extremely wide fields of view. Prices range from $150 and $800. These cameras have 2 MP resolutions and sometimes even higher. These cameras excel at capturing footage in most directions around the camera, potentially eliminating the need for multiple cameras. However, due to the extremely wide range, the footage may be somewhat or very distorted.

Surveillance Camera Price by Frame Rate

Video is essentially a series of still images, or frames, that when viewed together give the impression of a moving image. Frame rate refers to how many frames are shown, usually measured in frames per second (FPS). Frame rate is important to consider when buying a security camera, as a higher FPS will result in more detailed footage. On the other hand, the higher the FPS, the higher the memory storage required, and the higher the price of the camera. 15, 30, and 60 FPS security cameras are some of the most common types on the market today.

Surveillance Camera Price by Frame Rate

Surveillance Camera Price by Frame Rate

Frames Per Second (FPS)Average Cost
15 FPS$30 - $60
25 FPS$40 - $80
30 FPS$40 - $80
50 FPS$75 - $125
60 FPS$100 - $150

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Security Camera Price by Storage Type

An important factor in setting up a surveillance camera system is how the footage captured by the cameras is stored. These storage methods range from physical copies like SD Cards and Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) to internet-based solutions like Cloud storage and hybrid methods like network video recorders (NVRs). Considerations when choosing between storage systems include how accessible the footage will be via internet and mobile, and whether or not you will only have to pay a one-time fee, as with memory cards, or a recurring monthly one for Cloud-based services.

Security Camera Price by Storage Type

Security Camera Price by Storage Type

Storage TypeAverage Cost
SD Card$30 - $90
DVR$100 - $250
NVR$200 - $400
Cloud$15 - $30 per month

SD Card CCTV Camera Price

SD cards cost on average $30 to $90. SD cards are a physical method for storing footage on a card inside the camera. They are cheaper than other storage methods, do not rely on internet connectivity, and allow for easy footage viewing on any PC or smartphone with the appropriate software. However, SD cards usually have limited storage space compared to other methods, do not automatically upload footage to the internet for remote viewing, and can be lost if the camera is stolen.

CCTV With DVR Price

DVR prices range from $100 to $250. DVRs, also known as digital video recorders, are essentially hard drives for analog CCTV systems. Cameras are connected via wires to the DVR, which then converts the analog signal to digital footage and saves it. DVRs have more storage space than some other storage methods like SD cards. However, their functionality is typically limited to wired cameras only.

NVR Camera Price

NVRs vary in cost from $200 to $400. NVRs, also known as network video recorders, are similar to DVRs in that they are hard drives for footage storage. The main difference is that NVRs are capable of working with both wired and wireless cameras. This can be a large advantage for homeowners wanting to adopt a wireless system. However, when used as part of a wireless system, NVRs can put a strain on home WiFi connections. Depending on the volume of footage transmitted, they can also potentially be disrupted or hacked.

Security Camera Cloud Storage

Cloud storage refers to footage storage that takes place on remote servers. Cloud storage costs $15 to $30 per month. This storage method comes with significant advantages and disadvantages. Cloud storage allows you to access your footage from almost anywhere and saves you the hassle of storing your footage manually. However, most companies charge a monthly fee to use Cloud storage on their servers, and you will not automatically have a physical backup of your footage.

Surveillance Camera Cost by Brand

A security camera’s brand goes a long way toward determining its quality, durability, and effectiveness. Based on your individual needs, certain brands may be more or less desirable, depending on not just the product, but also the warranty, installation, and other services they offer. These are all important things to consider when choosing your camera’s brand.

Surveillance Camera Cost by Brand

Surveillance Camera Cost by Brand

BrandAverage Cost
Q-See$20 - $30
Optica$60 - $90
Swann$70 - $100
Night Owl$100 - $150
Dahua$100 - $200
Lorex$125 - $175
Hikvision$125 - $200
Nest$150 - $300
Vivint$225 - $275
Sony$300 - $400

Q-See Security Camera

Q-See is an American security brand that offers a range of cameras, NVRs, hard drives, and cabling. Q-See security cameras cost between $20 to $30 each. Q-See’s cameras, which include both basic wired and wireless options, are priced very reasonably, and several include features like motion detection and Google Assistant/Amazon Alexa integration.

Optica Security Camera

Optica security cameras come in bullet, dome, and PTZ varieties. Optica cameras range from $60 to $90 each. Optica also offers a special vandal-resistant dome camera designed to resist attacks intended to disable the camera. Optica offers a wide range of additional solutions and has provided security solutions to organizations like NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

Swann Camera Price

Swann cameras prices range from $70 to $100. Swann is an Australian security brand offering a fair-sized range of camera options, including dome, bullet, and floodlight 4 styles. Swann cameras also come in wired and wireless varieties, and several feature integrated lights as well as Google Assistant/Amazon Alexa support. Swann cameras can be a good middle-of-the-road option, coming with high resolution and features relative to their price.

Night Owl Security Camera Price

Night Owl cameras average $100 to $150. Night Owl security cameras come in bullet and dome forms. Many Night Owl security cameras feature enhanced night vision features, and some are also equipped with heat-detection features. Night Owl cameras are best known for these features and are especially well-suited to outdoor, long-range, or exceptionally low-light situations.

Dahua Security Camera Price

Prices for Dahua cameras vary significantly, with the company offering a Lite, Pro, and Ultra Series. Their cameras cost on average $100 to $200 each. Dahua is a Chinese security brand that offers a very wide range of cameras, including dome, bullet, PTZ, and license plate recognition. They also offer an extensive additional product lineup of DVRs, NVRs, cabling, and Smart home integration features. In addition, Dahua also offers a customer support hotline.

Lorex Camera Price

Lorex cameras prices range from $125 to $175 each. Lorex is a Chinese security brand that offers a high-quality range of wired and wireless cameras for home, business, and commercial uses. Lorex offers bundle-style packages including multiple cameras and NVRs with high resolution relative to price, as well as other items like doorbell and wire-free cameras.

Hikvision Camera Cost

Prices for Hikvision cameras vary significantly, but this brand’s cameras cost $125 to $200 each. Hikvision is another Chinese security brand with an extensive range of camera options, including dome, bullet, PTZ, and license plate recognition. Hikvision offers several lines of products tailored to specific security purposes. For example, they have cameras with deep-learning algorithms, cameras that capture color in low light, and even explosion-resistant cameras. Hikvision also offers DVRs, NVRs, and cabling.

Nest Camera Price

Nest cameras cost between $150 and $300. Nest cameras operate as part of the Google Home system of products and include four camera varieties: normal and Smart cameras in indoor and outdoor varieties. For homeowners interested in smart AI features like Google Assistant integration, microphone communication abilities, and automatic Smart alerts when sounds and movements are detected, these cameras stand far out from the rest.

Vivint Camera Cost

Vivint cameras range from $225 to $275. Vivint offers three Smart features-oriented cameras: outdoor, indoor, and doorbell models. In addition, Vivint offers home automation products like Smart thermostats and control hubs, which integrate with cameras and smartphones for a high level of control. Vivint cameras and systems have built-in around-the-clock automatic emergency services monitoring, which take your home security system beyond individual camera units to a Smart system that assists in the event of a break-in.

Sony Surveillance Cameras

Sony offers a wide range of analog and IP-style surveillance cameras in the bullet, PTZ, and dome forms. Sony cameras cost $300 to $400. In addition, Sony’s catalog of products also includes accessories for mounting and speaker communications. Sony’s cameras come with the support and reliability of the large brand but also the high price.

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Security Camera Cloud Storage Cost by Brand

If you choose to store your security camera footage in the Cloud, consider which storage service to use. In addition to basic considerations like the cost and features included with the storage services, take note of whether these companies offer only Cloud storage services or cameras and other equipment.

Security Camera Cloud Storage Cost by Brand

Security Camera Cloud Storage Cost by Brand

BrandAverage Cost (Monthly)
Ring$3 - $10
Blink$3 - $10
Zmodo$5 - $10
Nest$6 - $12
Amazon (Cloud Cam)$7 - $20

Wyze Cam Cloud Storage Cost

Wyze’s cloud storage costs $1.49 per month and offers the ability to keep 14 days of 12-second event history clips. You must use Wyze cameras to access this service. Wyze Cam’s Cloud Storage plan can be an excellent entry-level plan for homeowners who want a decent amount of footage and easy access to that footage at a very good price.

Ring Camera Cloud Cost

Ring’s Cloud storage ranges from $6 to $12 per month. This Cloud storage interface features a user-friendly smartphone viewing app and features like Snapshot Capture and video sharing and saving of footage from up to 60 days ago. Depending on your plan, you can see footage from one or all of your cameras. You must use Ring cameras for Ring Cloud storage.

Blink’s camera Cloud storage through Amazon has an average cost of $3 to $10 per month. It offers the ability to keep up to 60 days of event history recording either with one or unlimited cameras, depending on which of the two paid plans are chosen. Both tiers of plans come with features like motion recording, mobile alerts, and video sharing. You must use Blink cameras to access Blink Cloud storage.

Zmodo Cloud Service Cost

Zmodo’s Cloud storage ranges from $5 to $10 per month. It offers the ability to keep either 7 or 30 days of intelligent event history or 10 days of 24/7 history. Zmodo’s Cloud storage platform offers a time-lapse video feature, editing and sharing capabilities, and motion alerts. Zmodo’s Cloud service only works with Zmodo cameras.

Nest Camera Cloud Storage Cost

Expect to pay $6 to $12 per month for Nest camera Cloud storage. Nest cameras are part of Google’s Home suite of products, and to take advantage of Nest storage, you must use a Nest camera. Nest’s Cloud storage offers the ability to keep 30 or 60 days of event history or 10 days of 24/7 history.

Amazon Cloud Cam Subscription Cost

Amazon Cloud Cam subscription costs range from $7 to $20 per month. It offers the ability to keep from 7 to 30 days of clips from between 3 to 10 cameras, depending on which of the three-tiered plans are chosen. Cloud Cam subscriptions only work with Amazon’s Cloud Cam cameras.

Remote Video Monitoring Service Cost by Company

Remote video monitoring services refer to the outsourcing of video monitoring, meaning hiring an outside company to keep an eye on your video feeds for security purposes. Regarding remote video monitoring, it is important to differentiate whether companies offer only remote video monitoring or cameras and Cloud storage. And, you may want to compare the benefits and drawbacks of remote monitoring with your particular needs. If around-the-clock, professional security monitoring is the security your home or business needs, these services could be a good option. However, paying a company to monitor your footage results in recurring monthly costs. Also, consider if the remote monitoring service requires a contract. While some like Vivint and SimpliSafe are no-contract month-to-month services, others like ADT require contracts, which can last for a year or even more.

Remote Video Monitoring Service Cost by Company

Remote Video Monitoring Service Cost by Company

CompanyAverage Cost (Monthly)
Ring$3 - $10
Nest$6 - $12
SimpliSafe$15 - $25
Vivint$30 - $45
ADT$37 - $53

Ring Camera Monitoring Cost

Ring’s monitoring service costs $3 to $10 a month. Ring cameras paired with Ring’s monitoring services offer timeline-style alerts in addition to professional 24/7 monitoring. You must use Ring cameras for Ring monitoring.

Nest Camera Monitoring Cost

Nest monitoring ranges from $6 to $12 a month. Nest cameras are part of Google’s Home suite of products. Nest monitoring services include video movement activity alerts and automatic integration with emergency services like 911. You must use Nest cameras for Nest monitoring.

Canary Security Cost

Canary monitoring pricing is $10 a month. Canary is a company that offers security cameras as well as a monitoring service, which features emergency services integration and live support in the event of a break-in. You must use Canary cameras.

SimpliSafe Camera Monitoring Cost

SimpliSafe monitoring costs $15 to $25 a month. SimpliSafe is a company that offers home security systems and a matching subscription service for a camera monitoring service. You must use SimpliSafe devices for SimpliSafe monitoring.

Vivint Monitoring Cost

Vivint monitoring prices average $30 to $45 a month. Vivint offers security cameras and a monitoring service, including emergency services integration and smoke and carbon monoxide detection alerts. However, you must use Vivint devices.

ADT Security Cameras Monthly Cost

ADT monitoring costs $37 to $53 a month. ADT is an established security company offering 24-hour alarm monitoring in the case of an emergency event in your home. You must use ADT security cameras for ADT monitoring.

Frontpoint Monitoring Cost

Frontpoint monitoring averages $50 a month. Frontpoint offers 24/7 professional security monitoring, and once the system is installed, it assists with home automation features like Smart door locks and cameras through online technical support. You must use Frontpoint devices for this service.

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Security Camera Installation Labor Cost

Many factors determine the labor cost of security camera installation. One is whether you are installing a wired or wireless system.

Wired Security Camera Installation Cost

Since wired systems generally require more cords, drilling, and installation processes, costs of installing a wired system are relatively higher. If you have an Ethernet line in your home already, it will reduce the overall cost of a wired system significantly by eliminating much of the installation cost. Installing a wired security system averages from $300 to $1,500, making the total cost of materials and installation between $500 and $2,000. CCTV systems are typically installed by the security company, which offers the cameras and equipment, or in some cases by contractors.

Wireless Camera Installation Cost

Depending on installation needs, wireless installations generally cost much less, around $50 due to minimal labor, which means the total cost of materials and installation of a wireless system costs $350 to $700, depending on the setup. Installation by professionals may be a good option to ensure the best performance from your system.

Security Camera Maintenance

Security cameras require occasional maintenance to ensure that your security system is functioning at its best. One of the most important things is hardware maintenance - regularly keeping lenses clean, making sure outdoor devices and wires are protected, keeping cameras pointed in the right direction, and protecting power and WiFi connections.

Regular software updates are important for not only top performance but also to deter hacking and prevent other security issues. Many cameras offer automatic software update options, but checking if manual updates are necessary is a good idea. As cameras regularly come out with better resolutions and Smart features at more competitive prices, consider replacing your camera every 1-2 years to keep hardware up-to-date and enjoy increased security capabilities.

If your camera system was installed professionally and you are paying for a remote monitoring service, periodic professional maintenance will likely be included in the fees. If you do not use a monitoring service, perform the maintenance yourself. Yearly maintenance costs for testing your system for faulty connections, poorly aimed cameras, and for cleaning equipment like microfiber cloths and compressed air typically average $50 or less.

Where to Put Security Cameras

Many homeowners tend to place security cameras in locations known to see the highest percentages of crime attempts. Common places homeowners put security cameras include the front door, first-floor windows, and the back door.

Beyond these specific areas, there are general best practices for camera placement to ensure the best security coverage. One tip is to place cameras in corners to get wider views of a room or area. Another tip is to place cameras where they will be camouflaged, either behind something or against a surface of a similar color. On the other hand, depending on your security needs, you may want to place your camera(s) in an easily-visible, prominent location to give the impression of security and deter criminals. Lastly, with outdoor cameras, it is a good idea to consider placing cameras where they will be protected from weather and vandalism, such as in high-up or sheltered locations. Either way, it is always advisable to discuss the final placing of the cameras with the installation company.

Smart Home Security Camera

Smart security cameras allow you to keep an eye on your home from anywhere, and most of them can detect movement and notify the user of any unexpected activity. Smart home security cameras are increasing in popularity, with Smart services like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and many others now supporting integration with many cameras. These cameras can be more expensive, especially Google and Amazon’s own special cameras. But other Smart home integrated cameras are priced very reasonably, often for $100 to $150.

Pet Surveillance Camera

Pet surveillance cameras are cameras that allow homeowners to keep an eye on their pet and comfort them when away from home. They differ from regular surveillance cameras in the features they offer. Pet surveillance cameras allow homeowners and pets to speak and sometimes even see each other, monitor barking, and give treats, among many other features. Pet surveillance cameras are typically more geared toward communicating with reassuring animals and do not usually offer the emergency integration services of other more traditional security cameras.

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Security Camera Features

Security cameras may have many different special features customers should consider when choosing one. Depending on your specific situation, certain features may provide more necessary capabilities needed to effectively monitor your space. Some features are pre-built into cameras, while others can be added afterward.

Security Camera Features

Security Camera Features

FeaturePrice (For Cameras With This Feature)
E911$30 per month (with monitoring)
Sun Shade$30 - $90
Floodlight$40 - $80
Motion Detector$50 - $150
Siren$75 - $125
Night Vision$75 - $125
Microphone$100 - $200
Facial Recognition$150 - $250
Infrared$150 - $250
Smoke Detector$200 - $300
Heat Sensor$300 - $500

Security Camera 911 (E911)

Security cameras with built-in 911-dialing features are usually only available as part of remote video monitoring service packages. These services cost on average $30 per month. Although many cameras offer built-in capabilities to contact 911, without a subscription, it requires the homeowner to actively monitor their own camera feeds at the time of the incident.

Security Camera Sun Shade

Security camera sun shades can be useful accessories for homeowners looking to prevent glare from the sun from making their footage hard to view. These shades are usually made out of resilient plastic material. In addition to shading from the sun, some sun shades are also built to protect from wind, rain, and other forms of precipitation. However, care should be taken during installation to make sure that the chosen shade is compatible with your camera and that the shade does not block the camera view. Security camera sun shades range from $30 to $90.

Surveillance Camera Floodlight

Surveillance camera floodlights 4 are large lights either built into or next to a camera. These lights assist cameras in getting the best footage by shining a bright light on a specific area. These camera-based and camera-sized floodlights differ from normal floodlights since they integrate with the CCTV system feed. Many automatically turn on and illuminate an area when motion is detected, resulting in clearer footage in low-light scenarios. Cameras with built-in floodlights cost $40 to $80.

Surveillance Cameras with Motion Detector

Continuous monitoring is not the only way that a surveillance system works. You can also install cameras that turn on only once they sense movement. This cuts down on the operating costs of the camera, including electricity or battery power. Motion-sensing cameras can send an alert to your security company or your smartphone app when they are triggered, allowing you to get a feed just at the moment you need it, rather than all the time. These cameras may be less expensive because they do not record at all times, costing between $50 and $150.

Outdoor Security Cameras with Siren

Outdoor security cameras with sirens either included or installed later can be a helpful deterrent to alerting attention to a potential crime and for deterring criminals. Depending on the camera, system and user-determined individual settings, these siren-equipped security cameras can be set to automatically turn on whenever motion is detected or manually turned on and off by the homeowner via smartphone. Many also come equipped with police-style red and blue lights to give the impression of increased security. Security cameras with built-in sirens usually cost $75 to $125.

Night Vision Camera Price

Night vision cameras range from $75 to $125. Night vision is usually built into cameras. However, it may be possible to buy some add-on night vision lenses for already purchased cameras. Night vision refers to cameras of various resolutions that produce clearer image quality during dark hours when most crimes occur. There are typically two ways night vision cameras make clear images in low light, active and passive. Active night vision cameras use a combination of infrared light, which is invisible to the naked eye, and a camera lens that can pick up infrared light and make a clear image. Passive night vision systems use regular lenses, but image-intensifying technology amplifies the existing light in the image to make a bright picture.

Security Camera with Mic

Today, more cameras come with built-in microphones for communication with pets, wanted guests, or even unwanted intruders. Cameras with microphones that are pre-installed generally cost $100 to $200. These cameras usually work with an app or Cloud-based system to allow for either one-way or two-way communication with the person being filmed by the camera. In addition to cameras with pre-installed microphones, some standalone microphones exist for installation to work with a pre-existing camera. These standalone microphones cost $20 to $35, plus installation.

Surveillance Camera with Facial Recognition

Facial recognition is a feature built directly into some new cameras. Cameras with facial recognition have software that automatically scans footage for faces and, in some cases, even for specific faces. This technology is beneficial when paired with Smart systems. For example, some Smart cameras with facial recognition send mobile alerts when your face appears in footage. In addition, cameras with advanced or even basic facial recognition help identify suspects after a break-in, potentially speeding up the justice process. Facial recognition cameras average $150 to $250.

IR (Infrared) CCTV Camera Price

IR, or Infrared CCTV cameras, cost around $150 to $250. IR cameras are cameras that use infrared technology to capture footage in dark situations. Infrared technology is similar to night vision technology, and many night vision cameras are referred to as IR cameras and vice versa. However, there are important differences. Some night vision cameras rely on at least some light and simply amplify that light in the footage feedback to brighten up the image, but infrared cameras work differently. They use infrared light to light up their subject. This infrared light is invisible to human eyes, but it is visible to the camera and provides a much clearer image even in no-light situations. Infrared cameras usually come with pre-installed lenses.

Motion-Activated Smoke Detector Camera

Motion-activated smoke detector cameras automatically detect, film, and potentially even alert you via mobile app when smoke is detected in the home. This Smart feature typically requires software that is usually only available pre-installed, not as an add-on. Homeowners may want to consider these for immediate notification in the event of a fire, allowing quicker emergency response. Motion-activated smoke detector cameras typically cost about $200 to $300.

Heat Sensor Security Camera

Heat sensor cameras see heat instead of light, which allows them to detect intruders who may be in dark clothes that other cameras potentially cannot identify. This feature is not widely available on most cameras. Homeowners who want heat sensor security usually have to buy specific heat sensor security cameras, which usually cost $300 to $500.

Outdoor security camera installed in a house garden

Indoor vs Outdoor Security Camera

Surveillance systems exist for both interior and exterior use. Some mixed-use cameras that can be used both indoors and out also exist. Generally, cameras meant to be installed outdoors have a longer range, better resolution, and weatherproofing features. Cameras intended for indoor use usually have wider fields of view and maybe even more Smart features for smart home system integration. Outdoor cameras average $100 to $400 each, and indoor cameras average $50 to $250 each.

Surveillance vs Security Camera

Surveillance cameras and security cameras are essentially interchangeable terms. Both protect your home and let you review footage of situations like attempted break-ins. Sometimes, the terms surveillance camera and security cameras can differentiate whether or not the system is being professionally monitored. For example, the term security cameras sometimes refers to cameras that are actively monitored in the event of a break-in, fire, or accident. Surveillance cameras sometimes refer to cameras monitoring your home, which can be only viewed on your smartphone.

Video Doorbell vs Security Camera

Most video doorbells combine a security camera, Cloud storage, Smart home functions, and a doorbell into one unit to address many home security needs in one device. However, video doorbells are fairly exclusively for use in door-mounted situations. Video doorbells are not easily repurposed for general security camera use. Video doorbells cost on average $75 to $150. Security cameras, on the other hand, are more traditional camera-based surveillance systems that may not have all the Smart features of video doorbells. However, many security cameras today also include these Smart features. Security cameras cost on average $75 to $150.

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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Having a licensed professional install your system guards against mishaps. With professional installation, the chances of an issue with camera wiring, power access, or recording device and footage access go down considerably. In addition, most professionals carry their own insurance against potential issues. If your security camera setup is an extensive, wired system setup, professional installation may provide a warranty.
  • While you may get a break on your homeowner’s insurance for having a surveillance system installed, most insurances only cover you with professional monitoring and installation. Compare the monthly fees, peace of mind, and insurance reduction to see if this is the correct choice for your situation.
  • While some cameras have a built-in battery, they are not good for continuous use. Unless you use a motion-activated camera, having an outlet nearby helps.
  • In most states, it is legal to install a hidden camera with audio on your property. However, in some situations, audio may be considered wiretapping and could be illegal in your state. Check your state code before installing a camera with audio built-in.
  • Most cameras with in-home monitoring allow you to view the feed on your tablet or phone for no cost. However, some professional monitoring companies may charge an extra fee of $10 a month to view the same feed. Check with your company to find out more.
  • DIY installation of 4 wireless cameras is very common, costing around $350 to $700 for the entire setup. However, to ensure proper installation, the best option is to hire an experienced professional who will ensure the cameras are set up properly, and all the appropriate connections are functioning.
  • Many homeowners use cameras not only to prevent burglaries but also to catch burglars if a break-in happens. Cameras with features like motion detection, night vision, and facial recognition help produce footage capable of detecting things like clothing, facial details, and other pieces of information to help catch criminals and regain losses.
  • When deciding how many cameras you need, take into account how many rooms or outdoor sides of your house you want to cover, as well as the different angles of your house. Angles significantly impact the field of view. In addition, depending on the size of certain rooms, they may require more than one camera to survey the entire room.
  • Security camera concealment is an important strategy in making your security system as effective as possible. Some homeowners choose to hide cameras in corners, which not only decreases visibility but also allows a better, wider angle for footage. Other techniques include hiding cameras behind objects or in areas colored similarly to the camera. On the other hand, some homeowners choose to put their cameras in a visible location to send the message to would-be criminals or trespassers that the area is under surveillance. Common concealment methods like hidden camera photo frames, hidden camera electrical outlets, and even common houseplants for camouflaging your camera cost on average $30 to $90.


  • How much does it cost to install a home security system?

The costs associated with a home security system vary widely by size and type. Basic DIY wireless systems can cost as little as $70 for a couple cameras, whereas more advanced systems like wired CCTV systems with a professional monitoring service have an average cost between $700 and $1,900 for installation and materials.

  • How much does it cost to install a CCTV camera?

On average, a set of four CCTV cameras costs $300 to $500 without installation. With installation, the costs add up with wired CCTV systems, which require more labor and sometimes the running of an Ethernet or coaxial cable as compared with wireless systems. This installation costs an additional $300 to $1,500 or more depending on the work required, making the total materials and installation cost between $600 and $2,000 or more.

  • How much does it cost for a home alarm system?

Home alarm systems combine both a security camera network and professional outsourced monitoring by a company, often on a 24/7 basis. The average cost of monthly monitoring is around $30, while the initial setup and installation costs run between $1,300 or more.

  • How much does it cost to install a video surveillance system?

The costs associated with a video surveillance system depend on many factors, including the camera types used, system size, and extent of the installation. In addition, the inclusion or omission of accessories like sirens, lights, and Smart devices may increase or decrease costs and features. Basic DIY wireless systems cost as little as $300 or less for a few cameras, whereas more advanced systems like wired large-scale analog CCTV systems cost $1,500 or more.

  • How do you install a security system?

Every security system is different. Your best option is to contact a professional who can assist you in choosing the right one and getting it set up properly. However, you can find wireless cameras that you can link to your tablet to monitor your front door or another area of your home in a DIY setup.

  • How do outdoor security cameras get power?

Outdoor security cameras typically get their power from a wired connection to an electrical outlet. However, some outdoor cameras known as wire-free outdoor cameras operate based on battery power. There are clear advantages and disadvantages to power from a wired connection and power from batteries. Power from a wired connection eliminates the need to change batteries regularly. However, powering your camera from an outlet means you can only place your camera in areas where outlets are close by. On the other hand, the batteries in battery-powered cameras must be changed relatively often, creating additional labor considerations, but battery-powered cameras can also be placed virtually anywhere, allowing more flexibility and increased coverage.

  • Where is the best place to put security cameras?

Many homeowners place security cameras in locations known to see the highest percentages of crime attempts. Common places homeowners put security cameras include the front door, first-floor windows, and the back door. More generally, homeowners should try to place their cameras in corners to get wider angles and capture more details in their footage. In addition, homeowners may want to consider concealing their cameras in hard-to-see places, such as in similarly colored areas or behind or inside objects. On the other hand, homeowners may consider putting cameras in obvious and highly visible places to send a deterring message to criminals that their home or property is under surveillance.

  • How long do batteries last in security cameras?

Battery life in security cameras varies. Some security cameras have backup batteries that last for 24 hours in a power loss. Some wire-free cameras have battery lives of 48 hours or more.

  • Do security cameras record all the time?

Some security cameras record all the time. However, to conserve memory storage space, many modern security cameras have software that only starts recording when motion or noise is detected. The majority of cameras and Cloud storage services on the market today default to making and keeping recordings when motion is detected - this saves memory storage space and bandwidth and keeps homeowners from having to scroll through hours of uneventful footage. However, some homeowners with advanced security needs and increased storage budgets opt to record all the time to ensure complete security coverage in an emergency.​


Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Ethernet: A system used to connect computers to form a local area network (LAN). A LAN allows computers in the same area to access shared data. It is also used for metropolitan area networks (MANs), such as for an entire city or campus
2 Mount: A support on which something is attached or hung
3 Bandwidth: The amount of data that electronic communications systems can send and receive within a certain time period. Bandwidth is measured in bps (bits per second)
glossary term picture Floodlight 4 Floodlight: A large, artificial light used to provide broad, uniform light to outdoor areas

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Two outdoor surveillance cameras installed in the façade of a house


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