Home CCTV Installation Costs - 2020 Guide

Your guide to choosing home CCTV systems and getting the best prices.

For most, a secure home is a priority. When local news seems to show nothing but criminal activity, feeling safe in your own house should be paramount.

Most take precautions to increase security such as updating locks, updating windows and doors and even installing alarms... but for ultimate protection, deterrence and to increase the chance of prosecuting any would-be thieves a home CCTV system is a must.

However... as with any security product, particularly digital ones there is a plethora of options available. So how do you choose? Well reading our home CCTV installation cost guide is a great start. It will give you a good idea of what system you might need, and the associated costs involved in fitting it, whether that's professionally or a DIY approach.

About our guide

If you're reading this, we can assume you're interested in closed circuit television systems for your home and are trying to research the best possible solutions. We've compiled as much information as possible so you don't need to spend the rest of your free time trawling the internet trying to find the best camera system for your home. Where possible, we've provided advice and guidance, and price guides that were accurate at the time of writing. We keep our guides updated, so any information you read should still be relevant to 2020.

Why CCTV?

We'll start our cost guide with a simple question... why do you want to install CCTV on your home? For many, it's another addition to a complete home security setup which can include vandal-proof windows and doors plus a burglar alarm. Depending on where you live in the UK, you might have a higher crime rate or have sadly experienced a break-in or unwanted visitors that have caused you to take action. For many, security isn't the main issue and cameras are used to simply 'keep an eye on things' including children and pets.

If security is your priority, it's important to make sure your CCTV isn't relied upon solely and that you have other measures in place such as secure windows, doors and locks. Though camera footage from modern technology is excellent, it's better to thwart any potential intruders before they enter your property.

Home CCTV system features to consider

A good quality system will include most of the following features... in fact with the advancement in technology, even the cheaper options will include most. The importance is finding out what features are beneficial to your own situation.

Storage

If you want to have an archive of footage rather than just a live view you have two main options as to where to store the video files:

  • Locally: By storing your camera footage on a hard drive (or DVR - Digital Video Recorder) you can have access to previously stored video clips at any time. They work in the same way as your TV DVR which records TV programmes for you. The size of the hard-drive installed and the resolution of the footage will ultimately dictate how much you can store which is particularly important if you're planning on 24 hour recording and monitoring. Benefits include easy access from your home and continuous recording, however negatives can include the risk of being taken, damaged or not being able to access it from any location.
  • The cloud: By uploading video footage to secure online storage, you have the advantage of being able to access your footage from anywhere with an internet connection. This convenience is increasingly popular as you don't have to worry about having a DVR box in your home. There are however some considerations... such as many CCTV companies will charge a monthly fee for the uploading, storage and access of footage. Not all will allow 24 hour continuous recording either due to the bandwidth and storage needed for such volumes.

Motion detection

If you're not continuously recording it makes sense to choose a system which is triggered by motion. Most modern cameras will include a PIR sensor (Passive Infra Red) which is akin to the motion detection you see on outdoor security lights. This form of detection is hugely reliable but needs a camera to be setup correctly as PIR sensors don't tend to detect movement heading towards the sensor, preferring movement across the field of view. Advancements in detection can now allow many cameras to isolate zones which don't trigger detection, and software can now recognise pets so you aren't alerted every time they way past!

Instant notifications

No doubt you'll want to know the instant one of your home CCTV cameras detects movement, which is where instant notifications are perfect. If you have a smartphone, tablet or even a computer that can install apps (iOS and Android being the most popular) then your camera system can notify you with an alert the moment it detects movement. Typically you will receive an alert via the app or SMS text message along with a thumbnail photo and a link to view any recorded clips or indeed the live view of the chosen camera. Alerts aren't always limited to motion though... in many systems you can be alerted to an unusual rise in temperature and even noise.

Two-way communication

If you've received an alert from your camera, checked the live view and seen someone you would like to converse with... whether a parcel delivery driver, a neighbour popping round, your children arriving home or even an intruder there is an option on many systems to speak via your smartphone through the camera. Not only can you see the person... but you can talk to them too.

Live view

A hugely popular option which is available now on almost all home camera systems... being able to view a live feed from any of your cameras from your mobile, tablet or computer can provide the reassurance you need when checking in on kids, pets or property. As long as you have an internet connection, you can view the camera footage from anywhere in the world, and when coupled with 2-way communication makes a great way to keep in touch if needed.

Night vision

According to gov.uk 60% of household burglaries occur during the night. It makes sense that any outdoor CCTV camera have night vision capabilities in order to record in low light environments. When light levels are low, a camera with a CMOS sensor (larger light sensor) will perform better, providing you with a colour picture for longer into the evening. When the light has gone, night vision is typically achieved with IR lights providing a black and white image which can still retain good clarity.

CCTV features to avoid

With CCTV technology improving all the time, and costs coming down as a result you really can get a great setup for not very much money at all. That being said, there are still a few options we would advise against when looking aCCTV for your house:

  • Low resolution: Though thankfully the days of grainy, black and white footage of unrecognisable characters are gone (remember Crime Watch?), there really isn't the need to go any lower than Full-HD 1080p resolution. Most cameras offer at least this quality as standard... though a quick search online still shows a lot offering 720p which should be avoided. For the very small increase in price, the increase in footage quality is noticeable, and nothing could be worse than not being able to identify a possible intruder due to camera quality. If the budget allows... a 4K home cctv system would provide the ultimate clarity, meaning sharper pictures with more definition, however this would also lead to increased storage needs and a higher overall price.
  • Low frame rate: The human eye can associate movement at 12 frames per second, however any footage recorded at such a low rate would inevitably be jumpy and lose key details. Most modern systems will record in either Pal (25fps) or NTSC(29.97fps) and this should be a minimum requirement. If possible, go for 50-60fps for smoother footage, but this isn't normally necessary if the price increase is too much to

Why go wireless?

If you shudder at the thought of running cables throughout your home's attic, walls and eaves to connect up security cameras then your options are to hire a professional (remember they do this every day so it's easy for them!) or to go wireless.

Huge advancements in CCTV camera and battery technology enable everyone to place cameras in otherwise inaccessible places without the installation woes associated with a wired variety.

There are of course numerous advantages:

  1. You can place cameras in traditionally inaccessible places such as outbuildings.
  2. No need to trail wires from the camera to the DVR via a power source.
  3. They can often be a DIY installation with minimum mounting needed.
  4. Wireless internet connection can allow instant uploading of footage to a safe space.
  5. Lithium ion batteries can last surprisingly long when used sensibly.

But there are also some considerations:

  1. Batteries will need replacing or charging as often as every 3 months.
  2. You will need a strong Wifi signal for the cameras to connect and upload footage.
  3. You still need to be able to install and access the cameras to replace batteries.
  4. 24 hour continuous surveillance and recording is not an option due to battery life.

There are many wireless home security camera options available on the market, aimed at professional and DIY installation, so we've included them in our cost guide further on.

Home CCTV installation cost guide

Now you're armed with a little more information about the various features to be found on home camera setups... let’s look at some typical average costs. Of course prices will likely vary depending on where you're reading this from, but for the most part they should be accurate:

Basic home CCTV systems

Professional installation of up to 8 cameras (internal and external) plus DVR storage of up to 1TB (the average across the test).

No. of Cameras Camera Cost Installation Total
2 £130 £225 £355
4 £235 £325 £560
8 £425 £525 £950

Prices updated Feb 2020

Overview: You can look to secure your home from as little as £XXX with a simple 2 camera setup, however as expected the price rises due to the number of cameras purchased and the time taken to install any additional hardware.

High-end home CCTV systems

Professional installation of up to 8 ultra-high definition cameras plus increased DVR storage of up to 8TB (the average across the test).

No. of Cameras Camera Cost Installation Total
2 £250 £225 £475
4 £450 £325 £775
8 £850 £525 £1,375

Prices updated Feb 2020

Overview: With increased camera numbers and camera quality of course comes increased costs associated with the installation, however you will note the installation process is typically the same but the improvement in technology makes up the bulk of the price change.

Wireless home CCTV systems

Professional installation and setup of a wireless home camera system of up to 4 cameras connected to the cloud.

No. of Cameras Camera Cost Installation Total
2 £300 £225 £525
4 £550 £300 £850
8 £900 £500 £1400

Prices updated Feb 2020

Overview: We wanted to include a wireless setup in our guide due to the increase in popularity. more often these are installed as a DIY job however a professional installation ensures they are mounted in optimal positions, connected to the cloud and working flawlessly. Typically installation costs are less as there are no cables to route through a house... though the cameras themselves tend to be more expensive to purchase.

Average cloud storage costs

If you choose a system which stores footage in the cloud then it's likely you will need to pay a monthly or yearly subscription for your entire system, or for every camera you connect to it. In some cases (such as with the Blink XT2 from Amazon) you can get basic online storage for free, though for more intensive recording you will likely need a paid account.

Model Recording history 24/7 Total per camera
Nest Aware 5 days Yes £4pm
Nest Aware 10 days Yes £8pm
Arlo Smart 30 days No £1.99
Ring Basic 30 days No £2.50

Prices updated Feb 2020

Overview: Increasing the amount of cameras generally leads to an increase in cloud-based footage hosting costs. This should be considered when budgeting a CCTV solution for your home.

Saving on professional installation

If you're going to the lengths of choosing CCTV for your home, it makes sense to get it installed professionally. This ensures that your chosen system is fitted correctly and will provide you with maximum peace of mind knowing that the camera positioning is ideal and that the system is working flawlessly. Search online for 'CCTV companies near me' and you'll likely find many, which is why it's important to compare quotes before proceeding with any work. We have access to the leading UK CCTV company network, which has been screened and approved prior to acceptance, and you can apply online in seconds for up to four free home CCTV quotes with no-obligation necessary. Get in touch to see how much it would cost to secure your home, and how much you could save.

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