Setting up video surveillance camera system is a great way to deter burglars. If they spot the cameras, they’ll most likely leave your house alone and go to an easier target. However, if the burglar is determined to break in you can catch them in the act.
If you’re looking to get one of these bad boys follow along as I discuss how I set up my system. It took 2 people and about 6 hours to install all 4 cameras and the digital video recorder (DVR).
Some important features when looking for a surveillance camera is network capabilities, cameras, number of channels, video output, cable length and price. The one we’re installing is a KGuard SHA108-V.2. It is capable of handling 8 channels, came with 4 cameras, can be connected to the internet and an iPad/iPhone. To our dismay, the one we purchased did not come with an internal hard drive and we had to get that separately.
Before installing anything, do a test run! Look online and you’ll read forums where people installed all the cameras on their house only to find out the DVR wasn’t working. In the photo up above you’ll see all the cameras setup and viewable on the computer via the Internet.
Setting up the network was a pain. My router (D-Link DIR-655) was unable to assign the DVR an IP address with DHCP. (This is how a computer normally gets an IP address from a router). Instead, the DVR had to be setup with a static IP address. The DIR-655 router cannot do both DHCP and static IP. Instead, you can set a “reserve IP” based on the MAC address. Go through the DVRs menu and you’ll find the MAC address. This alone did not work! The way my network is setup, I have a router and a switch. The router alone does not have enough ports for my house. The DVR had to be directly connected to the router and not through the switch.
Once the test run was successful it’s time to install the cameras. Look around the outside of your house and see where you want to put the cameras. Hopefully you had an idea where to put them before you bought the system. All our cables are running through an attic space. This is where a friend comes in handy. At the edge of the roof, we drilled holes where the cameras would go. One of us is outside fishing the wire through the hole while another pulls the cable through. At the same time, sweating and being covered with insulation.
To sum it all up, with a helping hand and only a few hours of work this system is easy enough to install yourself. The KGuard SHA108.v2 is a feature packed system and I would recommend it to others. Though I would have preferred if the networking worked right out of the box. Even if you can’t get it on the network, it works well as a normal digital video recorder. With a small investment ($300) this will give your family some piece of mind.