The Best Places To Mount An Outdoor Security Camera

Jan 18, 2018|

A property crime occurs every 3.8 seconds in the United States1. That includes everything from larceny to burglary to motor vehicle theft. Home security, it appears, requires more than simply locking your doors at night.

That’s where surveillance equipment comes into play. A smart home automation system integrated with outdoor security cameras can bolster the safety and security of your home and its inhabitants and help prevent intruders from trying to enter your home.

Approximately 60 percent of convicted burglars have stated that the presence of a security system serves as a deterrent when considering whether to forcibly enter a home.2

Establish what you want to accomplish with outdoor security cameras

Even with a surveillance system that includes outdoor security cameras, homeowners still face the threat of intruders and thieves. That’s why security camera placement is key. To work effectively, cameras need to be installed in the right locations.

But the right spot may not be the same for each home. Travis Driehorst, a Smart Home Pro based in Minnesota, says the most important question he asks all customers is not where they want their cameras placed, but what they want to accomplish with outdoor security cameras.

vivint outdoor camera pro
Outdoor security cameras, like those offered by Vivint, can serve as a powerful deterrent to property crimes and suspicious activity.

Security goals will vary for each person, depending on where they live and the size of their home, the floor plan, among other factors.

Common surveillance needs may include:

  • Monitoring barns or sheds or determining what animals are entering the backyard.
  • Keeping an eye on suspicious activity or traffic outside the home.
  • Fortifying areas of the house rarely accessed, like a basement door.
  • Monitoring vehicles to prevent theft or vandalism.
  • “Seeing” who’s at the front door before you open it.

There are a few other things to consider when optimizing installation of outdoor security cameras. For example, what areas and locations on your property do you feel are especially vulnerable? Are there any spots you feel cater to intruders? Has your home, regardless of owner, ever been broken into? Where did the break-in occur?

Let’s be neighbors.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more smart tips.

Some things you need to know about outdoor security cameras

  • You’re probably going to need more than one camera. Outdoor cameras can do a lot to improve the safety and security of your home, but a single camera can’t do everything at once. If you want to be able to get a clear image of the stranger in the driveway, a license plate number, and monitor activity across the street, you’ll need more than one camera. And correct placement, of course, is key.
  • Keep your video cameras close, but not too close. People often think they’ll get better results the higher they place a camera, but that’s not the case. What they will get is a larger, wider view with degraded picture quality and decreased motion sensitivity. Identifying individuals or license tags, for example, will be virtually impossible. Install cameras closer to the area you want to observe, but preferably out of human reach.
  • Wide range is the way to go. You’re going to miss a few things unless you get video cameras with wide-range viewing capabilities. Otherwise, an individual would have to approach at just the right angle or look directly into the camera to get captured on video. Cameras with a wide range of detection are vital to getting a definitive image of a perpetrator or the license number of a suspect vehicle, all things that will help law enforcement should an investigation happen.

So where is the best place to mount a security camera?

As you’ve learned by now, security camera placement can’t be emphasized enough. And to get the most safety, control, and security out of your installation, you need to do a little planning before you start drilling holes.

When you’re making those final decisions about where to place your surveillance cameras, remember the back of the home is generally most vulnerable. Any doors and windows throughout the home, however, can potentially pose a threat. So you’ll want to make sure cameras are covering the following:


Most intruders attempt to enter a home either through the front door (34 percent)3 or the back door (22 percent)4. Ideally all entrances to the home, even the garage door, should be under camera surveillance.

outdoor cameras should monitor doors


Installing an outdoor camera with a clear view of the driveway and surrounding area can help prevent vandalism or theft of vehicles and identify perpetrators loitering on the street or leaving in a car parked near the driveway.

outdoor cameras should monitor the driveway

Obscure Windows

Intruders often enter homes through windows out of view of the street, which reduces the chance they’ll be been. Direct outdoor cameras toward these windows.

outdoor cameras should monitor the windows

According to Travis, with a typical-sized house you can sufficiently monitor the exterior of your home and get the surveillance you need with two outdoor cameras and a Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro Pro. Both the outdoor camera and doorbell camera have night vision, wide-range detection and video-recording capabilities.

vivint doorbell camera pro
The Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro is an important part of a home video surveillance system, keeping an eye on your front porch and front door.

You can take the guesswork out of installing outdoor cameras with an expert consultant, like Travis, who will point you in the right direction by explaining the ins and outs of outdoor cameras, how they can help increase security and decrease criminal activity, and where they should be installed.

Let us take care of installing your outdoor cameras

Our Smart Home Pros customize camera installation to your needs and provide specific security camera placement options based on your home’s layout, available power outlets, colors, and cords to ensure the best coverage possible while keeping surveillance equipment discreet. We make sure everything is installed correctly and functions properly—with no damage to the home—so you don’t have to.

Get in touch with a Smart Home Pro and see how to protect your home with outdoor security cameras. See how.


  1. 2018. Ucr.Fbi.Gov. Accessed January 15 2018.
  2. 2012. Accessed January 15 2018.
  3. 2018. Ucr.Fbi.Gov. Accessed January 15 2018.
  4. 2018. Ucr.Fbi.Gov. Accessed January 15 2018.

Get a free quote today.

A Vivint Smart Home Pro will contact you within 24 hours. Or skip the form and call now: 844.481.8630.

By clicking the button below, you consent for Vivint to use automated technology, including calls, texts and prerecorded messages, to contact you at the number and email provided about Vivint offers. This consent is not required to make a purchase. Up to 10msg/month. Reply 'STOP' to opt-out at any time. Clicking the button below constitutes your electronic signature. Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.