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Pros and Cons of Do-It-Yourself Home Security Cameras

Jun 30, 2022|

A security camera system can be a smart investment in your home’s safety, preventing burglars from targeting your home, protecting your loved ones, and providing evidence to law enforcement if you ever experience a break-in.

You have so many choices when it comes to picking the right camera for your home. One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is whether to purchase a do-it-yourself (DIY) security camera or enlist the help of a professional.

This guide can help you weigh the pros and cons of going with DIY home security cameras.

Vivint indoor camera.

Can you install your own security cameras?

While installing your own security cameras is possible, the process can be difficult and time-consuming—especially if you have a large home or a home with complex security needs.

To get the best performance from your security camera system, you’ll need to know more than just how to install your cameras. You’ll also have to know where to place your cameras to get maximum coverage and how to configure them so they work together.

If you have a wireless security camera, you’ll need to be familiar with the method your camera uses to communicate with other smart devices. Some wireless home security systems communicate through Wi-Fi, while others connect through Z-Wave technology.

Trying to install your own security system can be a hassle. That’s why Vivint offers professional installation. An expert installer can analyze the layout of your home to determine your security needs. They’ll also install your security devices for optimum efficiency and to ensure everything works well together.

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Pros of DIY home security cameras

DIY home security cameras might offer all the protection you need if you have a small living space like an apartment or a condo. A few advantages to installing your own security cameras include:

  • DIY security cameras have smaller upfront costs. Connecting your own cameras means you don’t have to pay for things like professional installation, professional monitoring, or cloud storage.
  • You don’t have to get everything at once. You might start by getting an outdoor security camera with a motion detector to monitor your front yard, then purchase an indoor camera to plug into your living room. A DIY starter kit lets you see the benefits of a security camera before splurging on a whole home security kit.
  • DIY security cameras are almost always wireless. This means they can be brought with you when you move, which might not always be the case with wired cameras or professionally installed camera systems.
Vivint Smart Home Pro installing an outdoor camera.

Cons of DIY home security cameras

Wireless or plug-in DIY security cameras probably aren’t for you if you have a large home or property. Even if you have a smaller place, professional installation will likely help you get the most out of your cameras.

When an expert installs your home security cameras, you know they’ll set everything up correctly. A few reasons you might not want to get a DIY security camera include:

  • You might be on your own when your DIY camera needs repairs. Not only are professionally installed cameras less likely to malfunction, but they usually also come with knowledgeable support staff to help you troubleshoot your camera if it has problems.
  • DIY cameras have shorter warranties. Even though DIY cameras help you save money on things like monthly fees, they can end up costing you money in repairs or replacements over time. Professionally installed options, like Vivint’s security camera systems, typically come with an extended warranty.
  • Cameras not mounted in the right locations won’t offer complete protection. Professional installers know exactly where your cameras need to be. For example, they’ll likely set up your camera so it can view areas of your home that intruders would have to walk by, like your main hallway.
  • DIY installation can require a lot of time and research. You have to take the time to learn how to connect your security camera to the rest of your home alarm and wider security system.
  • DIY cameras often require self-monitoring. Professionally installed cameras usually give you the option to purchase a home monitoring plan with a security company. For a monthly monitoring fee, a monitoring center will keep tabs on your camera and contact emergency services if there’s a problem.
  • DIY cameras may not come with cloud storage. Cloud storage lets you control your security camera, receive security notifications, and watch video recordings using your smartphone.

Home security cameras FAQ

Next, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about security cameras.

Are DIY security cameras good?

High-quality DIY security cameras are compatible with top-pick smart devices. Some DIY security cameras even have security add-ons like night vision, motion detection, and an alarm system.

To fully benefit from them, you need to know how to install and connect them so all your devices work together. If you don’t have experience installing security systems or expert knowledge about smart security devices, it’s a good idea to go with professional installation.

What are the best home security cameras?

There are a variety of security cameras available with an assortment of different features. The best home security systems can be customized to meet the needs of different homeowners.

Some things that can help you decide on the best DIY home security system with cameras include:

  • The size of your property. If you have a large home, you might need a weatherproof outdoor security camera to mount high on your outside wall to monitor your yard. If you’re an apartment renter, a doorbell camera might be all you need to watch the area in front of your door.
  • What you plan on monitoring. Different security cameras have different functionality and attributes depending on what they’re designed to do. For example, outdoor security cameras need to be weather-resistant to keep working in harsh weather conditions.
  • Features you want your camera to have. A security camera can have several features and add-ons. For example, your camera might have a floodlight that illuminates a large area whenever a motion sensor picks up movement, or a battery or cellular backup that lets it function during a power outage.
  • Your existing security smart home devices. If you want your security camera to be part of the larger interconnected security system, it must be compatible with the smart security devices you already have (including window sensors, entry sensors, and smart lights).
  • The type of storage you want. What are you looking for when it comes to video storage? Some cameras have local storage options like micro SD cards, while others can store footage on the cloud.

Are home security cameras worth it?

Home security cameras are the backbone of a wider security system and can work alongside other components like glass break sensors. Just having a security camera can be a powerful deterrent against intruders. Households with security cameras are around three times less likely to be broken into than those without.

Security cameras, like those offered by Vivint, are a central part of a smart security system. With smart cameras in place, you can do things like monitor your home, disarm your sensors, and receive security push notifications from anywhere using a mobile app on your smartphone.

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro.

Discover the ultimate home security solutions from Vivint

If you’re looking for the best tools to help protect your home and give you peace of mind, Vivint can help with all-in-one security camera systems. We offer outdoor cameras, indoor cameras, video doorbells, and a reliable monitoring service that can help you keep an eye on your abode while you’re at work, the gym, or anywhere else.

Our security cameras have smart home integrations with home automation tools like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as a number of smart appliances like smart smoke detectors, smart thermostats, and smart locks.

Contact us to meet with one of our knowledgeable smart home experts. They’ll help you analyze your home’s layout to determine which smart home security products will work best for your particular space, so you can design a smart home setup that you can control from a central base station, control panel, or mobile device. Call us today at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation.

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*Offer Details

Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 expenditure on equipment after all discounts have been applied, professional installation, and execution of Vivint monitoring services agreement. Click here for monthly service plan prices. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Equipment purchase may be financed separately subject to an agreement with one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply.

Third-Party Financing Options Available

Financing eligibility and terms subject to credit approval by one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Qualified customers may finance equipment purchase at 0% APR for up to 60 months. Month-to-month service agreement available when equipment is purchased upfront.

Vivint Systems & Services

System supports up to six cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds. Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Speak to a Vivint representative at the phone number in this offer for complete equipment, services, and package details, including pricing and financing details. Products and services in Louisiana provided by Vivint Louisiana Commercial Certificate #58280. See Vivint license numbers here.