How Many Security Cameras Do You Actually Need?

security camera

We’ve all been there. You’re adding a home security system to add a touch of protection for you and your family, and you’re going the DIY route. You’ll be choosing the cameras yourself, and you’ll be doing all the installation. And then you remember – you aren’t sure how many cameras you need.

Will you be able to cover your home with three cameras? Or do you need more? Do you just put them inside, or do you want one or two on the porch as well?  

While a home is, statistically, 300% less likely to get broken into if there are security cameras around the property, you should still have plenty of cameras if you want them to be effective, and you should have them placed well around the home.

That being said, let’s take a look at where you should be placing security cameras, so you have a good idea of how many you actually need. 

Placing Them Outside

The first consideration for security cameras is to see how many ways of entry you have in your home. Almost ¾ of thieves actually break into the front door, so you should definitely have all entryways and exits covered.


The front door should have one, and so should the back door if you have one. Any side-entry doors must be secure as well, and you should also consider the access from the garage. If your garage is attached to your home, you’ll very likely have a door that grants access to your home through the garage – you need a camera there.

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If you’ve got an outdoor garage or a shed, make sure you have a camera at those doors, too. They’re a pretty obvious target for burglars, and while they may not steal your car, they will very likely steal a lot of your tools and precious belongings. 

How Many Inside?

While outdoor cameras may prevent thieves from breaking in, if that fails, you should have a few on the inside as well, to add a bit more security. This isn’t just a good idea against thieves, it’s also a great way to see what’s going on in your home at any given time. If you opt for smart cameras, you’ll be able to connect to them whenever you want to, from wherever you are, and check up on your family, pets, or house.

When you’re placing them, you should have one in the family room, the child’s room, your bedroom, and any other rooms where you might be keeping valuables. Note, however, that in many states it is forbidden to have hidden cameras in rooms where a person might have a reasonable expectation of privacy, so do let your family know that there are cameras, and let them know they’re there for security. 

A Few Tips on Placement

Now that you have a good idea of how many cameras you need, let’s take a look at where you should be placing them to make the most out of them.

First, make sure they’re in a well-lit area. While many cameras, especially higher-end ones, will boast IR LEDs with night vision, even with them, the quality does drop pretty significantly when there isn’t a lot of light available. If you want the camera to capture details, make sure the entire field of view has plenty of light.

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Then, you should make sure they’re out of reach. If you want them to work as a deterrent, they should, by all means, be visible. But if anyone can access them and potentially detach them, or cover their line of sight, they’re pretty much useless.


Last but not least, you should make sure you’re taking advantage of any additional features that could make things a lot easier. For example, many advanced cameras will come with a motion sensor. A motion sensor will tell the camera to start recording the moment there’s any kind of movement in front of it, which means you won’t miss out on anything. Loop recording is also a great idea because it overwrites old footage that you no longer need, with the latest footage that might be necessary. 

Wrapping Things Up

At the end of the day, placing your cameras carefully throughout the home, both on the inside and the outside, is a key aspect of your home security system. They’re useless if they don’t capture what they should, so make sure you do things carefully and you give them a bit of thought before you commit to setting them up.

If you follow the tips above and make sure not to compromise on quality, or things such as weather resistance for the outdoor cameras, you should be more than good to go. 



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