Installing an IP surveillance camera system can be a daunting and tiresome task, especially when it’s for a large home or business. There are a variety of things to consider, such as how many cameras (indoors and outdoors) will be installed, the spots the cameras will be mounted, how and where to run/snake the cables, whether to use pipe or not etc. So before your start drilling holes and mounting cameras, check out this list of helpful tips for installing IP security cameras so that you can avoid potential pitfalls and get the very best out of your video surveillance system.

  1. Don’t use cheap Cat5e/Cat6 cable. Buy from a reliable company (for example Honeywell). If that cable will be exposed to the elements, get cable rated for outdoor installation. Same if the cable will be buried.
  2. For optimum performance and reliability of an IP camera system, cable runs should not be more than 300 feet (91 meters).
  3. Make sure to match UTP connected devices (modular plugs, couplers, wall plates) to the category of the cable used for the entire installation.
  4. The bend radius of Cat5e and Cat6 cables should be limited to four times the cable’s diameter (no less than an inch).
  5. While installing Cat5e or Cat6 cables, do not allow the pull tension to exceed 25 pounds.
  6. The excess length of the cable should be limited so that it can easily be pushed back into the wall cavity. It is best to determine the proper amount of excess cable before stripping the sheath from it in a wall box.
  7. When mounting Cat5e or Cat 6 cables, avoid using staples (if you have no other option, stable the cable carefully). Use D rings, bridle rings, J hooks or other devices that are less likely to damage or alter the outer form of the cable.
  8. The parallel distance between high-voltage wires (120/240VAC) and Cat-5e/6 cables should be maintained at 6 – 10 inches.
  9. Don’t strip back Cat5e and Cat6 cables too much when attaching them to devices. Use as little length as necessary. This way it will look neat.
  10. When terminating the cables do not combine T568A or T568B wiring schemes. Only stick with one connection format for the entire installation/project because if the wires don’t match up data signals will not transfer.
  11. Do not use cheap and unreliable cat5e/cat6 jacks.
  12. Label the cable runs on both ends. It’s wise to label each camera as well (on the pigtail).
  13. If using external PoE switches, configure the cameras before installing them. Such as: setting the IP address, getaway, username or password.