DIY Home Security Camera Systems: How to Build the Best One For You With Arlo, it’s easier than ever to protect your everything — your way.

May 13, 2024

Are you ready to install a home security system, but haven’t quite found the right setup for you and your needs? Arlo’s got you covered with our range of outdoor cameras, video doorbells and customizable accessories.

What are DIY home security systems, and where should you start? A DIY security system, also known as a “Do-It-Yourself” security system, involves curating which alarm systems work for you. Do you live in a remote location? Pick a monitoring service with cellular backup like the Arlo Go 2 Camera that doesn’t need Wi-Fi access. Tend to rely on video recording? Invest in an Arlo Secure Subscription Plan with ample cloud storage for a low monthly fee.

User-friendly security solutions are here. Let’s explore the top security systems of 2023, and help you build your own DIY option today.

Our top picks: Here’s where to start.

High-tech devices and wireless connectivity have made the DIY home security option easier than ever to install and control from a mobile app. There are plenty of security cameras out there, but it’s important to build your DIY solution based on your own unique needs.

Whether you crave the convenience of a wire-free camera or don’t mind a wired setup, you can mix-and-match when designing your system (Arlo makes it easy!). Here’s what to watch out for:

1. Keep an eye out for key features.

Consider a camera with high-definition video resolution to catch minute details. Plus, motion detectors are key to detecting people. Options like the Pro 5 2K have a wide-angle lens to capture more footage with fewer cameras. Don’t forget a video doorbell like the Essential Wired Video Doorbell with 2-way talk capabilities for easy (and secure) communication. Additionally, outdoor cameras should come with special features like color night vision, battery backups, and all-weather protection for security you can trust 24/7.

2. Look at wired vs. wireless security cameras.

When it comes to how your cameras are installed, you have two main options: wired or wireless. A wired camera needs to be plugged into an outlet or connected directly to your home’s electrical system for power. Many modern wired cameras also connect via Wi-Fi so you can monitor or record events.

Products like the Arlo Essential Spotlight Wireless Security Camera can be installed (almost) anywhere without the need to be hardwired into the wall, while the Arlo Essential Indoor Wired Security Camera has a more hands-on installation near an electricity source. (If you aren’t comfortable doing basic electrical work, wired installation may require a professional.)

3. Evaluate both indoor vs. outdoor security cameras.

While most of your valuables are inside the house, you also want to keep an eye on possible points of entry like the front or backyard. That’s why it’s important to place indoor and outdoor cameras around your home.

Designed to keep an eye on interiors, indoor cameras may be small and discreet or require an electrical outlet for power. Some indoor cameras, like Arlo’s Essential Indoor Security Camera, provide 2-way audio for clear communication, motion detection, and an automated privacy shield. Indoor cameras, however, are not designed for extreme temperatures or water.

Remember, no home security system is complete without at least one outdoor camera. The best exterior cameras can withstand heat, cold, rain, and snow to keep an eye on your property regardless of conditions.

Several of Arlo’s outdoor cameras can zoom in, record in 4K, and have an ultra-wide field of view. They are often mounted on a house, garage, or outbuilding and are powered by cable, batteries, or even solar panel chargers. If you’re always on the move, customize a mobile security system on the side of an RV.

How many cameras do I need? And do I need anything else?

The number of cameras you need depends on a few different factors. How large is your property? Which areas of your property would you like to cover?

How big is your budget? The bigger your property, the more cameras you will need. But high-quality, wide-angle lenses provide an improved field of vision, allowing you to save money and use fewer cameras for greater coverage.

You should have enough cameras to cover the most vital areas of your home, including:

  • Points of entry, like the front door, backdoor, or windows
  • Back alleys, backyards, and driveways
  • Locations that contain valuables, like the living room or garage
  • Heavily trafficked areas, like an entryway or landing

Also consider how much bandwidth is available on your network and how much you want to spend on cloud storage. More cameras will require more bandwidth and need greater storage capacity to secure daily recordings.

Where should you place security cameras? You’ll want to secure the most vulnerable spots of your property from potential intruders. Enough well-placed cameras will help ward off would-be thieves and record any significant event that may occur, like vandalism. Consider a video doorbell, a camera overlooking the driveway, one to cover your backyard, and at least one inside your home. Plus, an all-in-one alert and alarm sensor like the Home Security System helps ensure you have a comprehensive security plan.