Five of the Best Locations for Home Security Cameras

safe suburban house

Protect your home with well-placed surveillance cameras

When it comes to your family’s security, always trust your gut. But it’s also important to ask yourself some tough questions and play devil’s advocate.

For example, one critically important question to ask yourself is where do you (and your family members) think you need security cameras? Another is to determine what are the most vulnerable spots on your property?

Still more questions to ask are do you have hidden or obscured entrances, windows or doors that would be particularly appealing to burglars? Have you or past owners experienced break-ins before? If so, where?

Point is, you know your home best, so you are uniquely qualified to evaluate how to keep it safe from intrusion.

Once you’ve decided on the locations of your cameras, you have to determine whether you’ll install your cameras where thieves can see them,–to serve as a deterrent but where they can be easily broken–or if you should put them out of reach where they may hide from burgling eyes but will always catch the thief on video.

I recommend a hybrid method: install your real cameras out of reach (and possibly out of sight), and then place dummy cameras – the kind that look completely authentic, of course – around your property. That way, if a burglar does break one of your cameras, it’ll be an inexpensive dummy – and you’ll have a video of the act too.

Here are five spots you should always install a home surveillance camera:

1. Front Door

An estimated 34% of all burglars enter your home through the front door, so you’ll definitely want to train one of your surveillance cameras here. To prevent a thief from knocking out your camera, place it at second-floor level, or even in the eves of your house, and train it on the front door. If your home has just one level, consider enclosing your front door camera in mesh wiring to protect it from errant rocks, sticks, or other weapons.

Expert Tip: You can install a high-tech peephole camera, so you can see who’s knocking before you open the door. And when it comes to peephole security cameras, Brinno is the #1 manufacturer  of peephole cameras on the market.


Check out the Brinno PHVMAC12 Motion-Activated Digital Peep Hole Security Camera

2. Back Door

Another 22% of home burglars enter through the back door, so you need a camera here, as well (and if you have side doors, they count as back doors for sake of statistics). The bottom line is, arm each entry door with a camera. Again, make the effort to place your camera out of the reach of human hands, or to protect it from projectiles, like rocks or sticks or anything an intruder might hurl at it.

Expert Tip: Be sure to install a camera that’s both weatherproof and is equipped with night vision. Your best bet here is to install a dome security camera from Lorex.

Check out the Lorex 960H Weatherproof Dome Security Camera with Night Vision

3. Off-Street Windows

Burglars often enter a home by breaking a rear window. By choosing a window that is not in direct view of the street, they decrease their chance of being caught and buy some privacy to do the dirty deed. Get a jump on them and train a camera on any area of your home with windows that cannot be viewed from the street.

Expert Tip: You’re best option here is to install a wireless security camera that has remote control capabilities and can be operated from a mobile device or tablet, and Uniden makes the highest rated wireless camera on the market.


Check out Uniden Wireless Weather Proof Video Surveillance Camera

4. Backyard/Side Gate

Crooks love a good backyard, since they’re often brimming with expensive lawn & garden machinery, recreational equipment, and kids’ toys. Arm your yard with motion-sensor floodlights and a night vision surveillance camera to protect your home and belongings. If your backyard is fenced in, make sure your camera has a view of the entrance gate (or install a second camera there).

Expert Tip: Place a camera in plain sight. Most times, just seeing a security camera is enough to make a home intruder move on to another home. From a value perspective, ZMODO makes the most affordable yet highly-rated backyard security systems.


Check out ZMODO 8-Channel Security Camera System w/ 4 Outdoor Day/Night Hi-Resolution Surveillance Cameras

5. Basement Stairs

Many basements have access hatches/doors, or at least small windows that are large enough to crawl through. Place a camera on the stairs leading up from the basement to your home to record any wayward prowlers who sneak their way into your home via the subterranean route.

Expert Tip: When it comes to securing your basement, you want to install a motion sensor security camera that comes with night vision. Many home security providers offer motion-sensitive cameras with infrared night vision, but few compare to the line of security cameras from TENVIS.


Check out TENVIS JPT3815W Wireless Night Vision Internet Surveillance Camera with Built-in Microphone

Want Even More Expert Info on Home Security Cameras?

Check out our FREE Outdoor Security Cameras Buying Guide

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Where Can I Find the Best Surveillance Camera System for My Home?

Protect Your Home

A video surveillance system can help protect your home from intruders

A surveillance camera system, or CCTV (closed circuit television) system, is a useful tool for keeping your home and family safe. I like to think of surveillance cameras as pulling double duty – both offense and defense. Not only do they serve as a good burglar deterrent, but if anything does happen they can help law enforcement piece together events and find your intruder.

That said, choosing the best video surveillance system for your home is a complicated maze of features, prices, expansion packs, and other options that can leave your head spinning. Let’s break it down:

Wired or Wireless

Home surveillance systems are available in two flavors – wired and wireless. They’re exactly what they sound like: wired systems are hard-wired into your home’s electrical system, while wireless cameras work on battery power and via wireless signal. Wired systems are generally more expensive to install and more difficult to replace, but they are more stable and have excellent signal quality that won’t conflict with other wireless devices in your home. On the other hand, wireless cameras are easy to install, easy to hide, and less expensive to purchase and replace. However, other wireless devices (like a cordless phone) can interfere with their signal, compromising recorded image quality.

Home Surveillance System

You’ll have access to your cameras via computer

Indoor vs. Outdoor

According to the FBI, 79% of all home invasions begin at the front or back door, or a ground-floor window. If budget permits, weatherproof, outdoor surveillance cameras should be trained on all exterior doors and first-floor windows. These cameras are available in standard, bullet and dome variations, are rain and snow-resistant, and may even have heaters for cold weather areas. Additionally, dome cameras are resistant to physical attack, including strikes from a bat or hammer.

Recording Format

Most home camera systems record video for a set period of time (usually a few days), but you’ll need to choose the format. VHS (video tape) is inexpensive, but has the lowest quality and most outdated technology. Some systems also record to DVD or mini-disc, but most are now transitioning to DVR (digital video recorder) technology. A computer-based camera system records your video to the PC’s hard disc, making it fast and easy to review your video history. Some high-tech systems available today simultaneously upload your video online, so even in the event that your security is breached and your system is stolen or destroyed, you still have a video record of the burglars.

Virtual Access

Many home surveillance systems today also offer virtual access to your video feed via the Internet or your smartphone. Generally, remote access, mobile alerts, or cloud-based features require monthly or yearly fees with your surveillance manufacturer.

Dome Cameras

Dome cameras are shatter resistant


You can get a CCTV security system for as little as $99, but this is probably a case of “you get what you pay for.” A good-quality, basic system (one camera) starts around $175 and can climb to thousands of dollars for multi-camera, indoor/outdoor, fancy systems with every feature imaginable. Most systems offer one camera in the base price, with additional cameras running $49-$200 each.

How to Choose?

There is no one-size-fits-all to home surveillance. The system you choose will be based on your budget, your home’s layout, your climate, your security concerns, and other factors. Start your search with a basic idea of what you want and a reasonable budget, and then get researching. Different systems, even those in the same price range, mix and match features differently, so keep looking until you find one that offers what you need at a price you can afford.

Outdoor Security Camera Buying Guide

Thinking of purchasing a security camera for your home? Check out our comprehensive Outdoor Surveillance Cameras Buying Guide for a complete analysis of surveillance cameras for your home to make the best choice.

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