Installing an outdoor surveillance camera: where to begin

Would you like to install an outdoor surveillance camera for your home? Do you want to make sure that your family feels safe? Are you afraid of being burglarized? You aren’t alone! In fact, more and more individuals are looking to equip their homes with video surveillance equipment so they can monitor their surroundings and the entrances to their property.

Thanks to technological advances, new models of cameras appear on the market each year, offering a wide variety of features and price tags to fit just about any budget. As a result, the installation of an outdoor surveillance camera is now accessible to just about anyone. However, you must take certain precautions and observe certain regulations.

Here are some tips to help you choose, install and use your camera.

What you should know before purchasing a surveillance camera

Before you set out to purchase and install an outdoor surveillance camera for your home, you’ll need to consider several aspects that are more or less technical in nature.

Different types of cameras

When you go to buy your camera, you’ll have a choice of an IP or WiFi camera or a wired analog camera. The latter type has been around the longest.

IP cameras

These digital video cameras, which have their own IP address, link directly to your internet network. They can therefore send and receive data and images via your computer, tablet or cellphone. They require a high-speed connection, some programming and several network setting adjustments, but no major installation work. IP cameras have become increasingly popular and efficient.

Analog cameras

This type of surveillance camera, which requires wiring in order to connect to your network, has existed for quite some time now. Passing the wires securely along the walls or through the attic, where they’re safe from exposure to the sun, water and wind, can entail a lot of work.


For an outdoor system intended to monitor a specific area, it’s preferable to use a fixed camera of the bullet or turret type, as these are smaller and more discreet, making it easier for them to go undetected.

Infrared (IR) cameras

It’s preferable to opt for an outdoor camera with IR technology, which will enable you to monitor the area day and night, even in low light or total darkness. As a result, you’ll benefit from continuous 24/7 surveillance for heightened security. Images taken during the day will be in color, while those taken at night will be in black and white.

Weather resistance

A surveillance camera specially designed for outdoor use will be enclosed in a weather-resistant casing, protecting it from rain, snow, wind, dust and humidity. However, it’s still recommendable to place it where it will be relatively sheltered, for example, under the eaves.

High-quality images

Opt for good resolution, such as HDR or WDR, which will provide a clearer image of a person who is backlit or standing in front of a bright background.

Storage capacity

Precisely determine the capacity and method for storing video images. To do this, you’ll need to consider the frequency of the images, the required redundancy and the desired storage duration. For an online solution, you could choose the cloud, which is currently the most secure option available; however, it requires a stable WiFi connection. For offline storage, you could opt for SD cards, hard drives or flash drives, among other solutions.

Considerations when installing an outdoor surveillance camera

Once you’ve settled on the type of outdoor camera you’re looking for and the features you’d like it to have, you’ll need to consider various factors regarding its installation.


You can’t install a surveillance camera just anywhere! To ensure maximum efficiency, you must carefully choose its location, according to your home’s architecture. You’ll need to account for the following elements:

  • The camera’s coverage area.
  • Areas of risk. It’s generally best to orient the camera to monitor the most vulnerable parts of your residence and your property. Therefore, you’ll want to position it near openings such as gates, front doors, French doors, bay windows, other windows, garage doors, etc.
  • Accessibility. Since the camera shouldn’t be easily visible or accessible to intruders, it’s preferable to install it two or three meters above the ground, below the skyline and slightly off center at a 30-degree angle. This will also improve the field of vision.
  • Exposure to the elements. The camera should never be in direct sunlight. You should also protect it as much as possible from the rain, snow, wind, etc. To this end, install the mounting bracket underneath the overhang of the roof.
  • Power supply. If your camera plugs in rather than using a battery, make sure that there’s an outlet nearby.

For added security, the ideal solution would be to place several surveillance cameras around your property and your residence, if possible.


The regulations governing the installation and use of outdoor surveillance cameras vary from city to city. They may include limits to the number of cameras and bans on night vision, among other restrictions. Therefore, it’s strongly advisable to contact the local authorities before you proceed.

Nevertheless, there are certain general guidelines you must follow:

  • You must respect other people’s privacy.
  • You must be able to justify the need for surveillance cameras.
  • You are not allowed to take video images of public areas or your neighbors’ homes and properties.
  • You are strictly prohibited from broadcasting video images from your camera.
  • You must inform people that your camera is monitoring them.

Would you like to install an outdoor surveillance camera on your property? Would you like information on the various models? Call on the experts at Serruriers Amherst Inc. They can provide you with sound advice regarding security.