How to Install Wire-Free DIY Security Cameras

Reolink Argus 2 security camera mounted to a wall

Many modern homes now benefit from the protection of home security systems. These systems often include cameras to monitor the property. Newer innovations have brought myriad security camera varieties to the market including wired, wireless, and wire-free options. Even better, professional installation is no longer required for many models. If you plan to install home security cameras, skip the added cost of professional installation and monthly subscription costs by selecting a DIY installation option.

Why Wire-Free Security Cameras Are the Best DIY Option

It’s important to understand all your options when buying a single camera or full security system. Wired systems run cords directly from the cameras to a centralized processing box inside the home and are plugged into electrical outlets or hardwired. Some systems utilize PoE (power over Ethernet) to minimize the amount of wires. Wireless security camera options use WiFi to connect to your home internet, but still require a nearby power outlet.

Wire-free security cameras offer the same peace of mind as wired versions, minus a whole lot of hassle. There are absolutely no permanent wires on these types of cameras since they utilize rechargeable batteries or solar power for their energy source.

This is especially beneficial in areas that do not have convenient access to an outlet, such as outbuildings, posts along the driveway, or on a back garden fence. The wire-free option also means you can move it as often as necessary with very little effort, and it can fit in more compact spaces.

How to Install Wire-Free Security Cameras

Reolink Argus 2 security camera in a living room

You don’t have to worry about connecting wires into the main electrical system, and installing wire-free cameras is as easy as mounting them to a wall or other area where you desire an extra set of eyes.

Step 1 - Charge the Camera's Batteries

Rechargeable batteries usually come partially charged, so ensure they're at full power levels once you unpack them. Install the rechargeable battery into the camera you want to mount. Depending on your camera model, batteries can be charged separately or while in the camera.

Some cameras offer a solar powered option. For example, the Reolink Argus 2 works with Reolink solar panels, so batteries won’t need to be manually charged. Simply connect the camera to the solar panel to charge it once or leave it connected for non-stop battery power.

Step 2 - Set Up the Camera

Sync the camera to your smartphone or computer, which you'll use to control the camera. If you’re using a smartphone, download the camera’s app and follow the specific setup instructions. You may be asked to have your camera lens scan a QR code from your phone for easy setup, so make sure you have the equipment close at hand.

If using a computer, determine if you are using a LAN or WAN connection. Download your specific camera’s software from their designated website and follow the listed step-by-step instructions. Locate the UID (unique identification number) on your camera as you may be required to type it in when registering your device.

Motion sensors and microphones are built into these types of cameras, so you won't have to install any additional equipment during your setup.

Step 3 - Plan the Camera Layout

Reolink Argus 2 security camera on a shelf

As with all systems, when determining where to place your security cameras, make sure you can see everything you want to protect or monitor on your property.

It’s most beneficial to have at least one camera be visible to intruders. Studies show that most burglaries happen between 10am-3pm, when it’s safe for intruders to assume you’re away from home. Having a visible camera near your front door is a good deterrent as it shows your home is not an easy target and isn’t worth their effort.

Whenever possible, keep cameras at least 9’ off the ground. This will ensure your camera can easily catch a criminal’s face, but isn’t close enough for them to tamper with it. Experiment with your placement, have a friend or family member walk around the area and watch the footage so you can adjust as necessary.

Most break-ins occur at the front door, back door, or first floor windows so it’s important to cover those areas. You may even consider putting a camera inside your home, facing the window, to keep it protected while gathering evidence. However, since wire-free security cameras can fit in more spaces, think carefully about other areas that need coverage like your garage, basement, second floor, driveway, or backyard. Wire-free cameras can even be attached to tight spaces on wall or trees since they don’t require an outlet.

Step 4 - Secure the Mount and Test Your Camera

Mark the holes on the camera's mount using a pencil and pre-drill your marked spots. Ensure the mount has a snug fit before attaching your camera. Check the angle and visibility and make adjustments as necessary.

Wire-free security systems are made to be easy to use, and you can typically install these systems and get them working in very little time. Check all your cameras regularly to ensure that all components are working, and charge batteries when prompted by your system.