New camera install; looking to hire out and seeking advice


Sep 6, 2019
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Hi there. ipcam noobie here.

Please feel free to direct me to a thread or a resource that would help me. I searched but am not finding exactly what I'm looking for, so figured I'd make a post.

I've been having some issues with my neighbors messing with things in the front yard (turning off our sprinklers, littering, roaming dogs pooping everywhere, missing packages), and additionally, we live near to a relatively high-crime city. Given these circumstances, I would like to get a camera system set up.

Some facts:

1. Three sides of the house to cover with back fenced/gated off. I figure two cameras for the front (one for recessed front patio, one for driveway/yard), one for each side, and one for the back. Total of five cameras.

2. I'm a network/ops admin by day, so I'd like to have cameras POE on their own vLAN and manage the NVR software myself (looking at Blue Iris?)

3. I'm a relatively new homeowner and my handiness only goes so far. I have no confidence in adequately installing outdoor cameras in a secure and clean fashion. I'm planning to hire the install out.

Given the above, does this seem like a logical approach? Will a company do setup for me up to the point of having the cameras connected to a POE switch and allow me to handle the rest? Is this a silly thing to do? Are there any questions I should ask a prospective installer prior to scheduling an engagement? (eg. camera type, wire type, budget options (if smart), legal implications of camera positioning, etc...)

Also, can I buy my own cameras for said installer to use? (question for installer, probably, I suppose)

Thank you in advance for any input you might have. I'm feeling a bit out of my depth.

Bonus question along the same lines but a slight tangent: I don't have a Nest or similar smart doorbell with camera. Would it be intelligent to opt for one of these rather than a POE camera in the recessed front patio? Both?
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IPCT Contributor
Feb 15, 2018
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Houston Tx
Use a low power electrician to install your ethernet cables. Always install 2 or more cables to each location. You will need to pick the camera locations your self. Keep the camera mounting low under 8 ft. The purpose of the cameras are for what happened, but more importantly who did it. You need to test each camera location. Buy your own cameras, most not all security camera installers want to sell you the high margin cameras, not the best for you.

The test for a camera location, have a friend wear a hoodie, and sun glass, looking down walk up to your car or font doow,. If you significant other can not easily ID then then tyour cameras are not mounted correctly.

Have Multiple cameras covering the front door, cover the package drop area. Two cameras on the left and right of the garage door, facing out the drive way for door checkers. At least one camera on zoom covering the mail box.

use the IPVM calculator to work on your placement location.

Read, Study, Plan before spending money.
My standard welcome to the forum message.

Please read the cliff notes and other items in the wiki. The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page.

Read How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) | IP Cam Talk in the wiki also.

Quick start
1) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras or ICPT Night eye cameras ( if you need good low light cameras.
2) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
3) Do not use wifi cameras.
4) Do not use cloud storage
5) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
6) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
7) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
8) Do not use reolink, ring, nest cameras (they are junk)
9) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
10) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
11) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
12) (Looney2ns)If you want to be able to ID faces, don't mount cams higher than 8ft. You want to know who did it, not just what happened.
13) Use a router that has openVPN built in (Most ASUS, Some NetGear....)
14) camera placement use the calculator... IPVM Camera Calculator V3

Cameras to look at
IPC-HDW2231R-ZS Review-Dahua IPC-HDW2231RP-ZS Starlight Camera-Varifocal
IPC-HDW5231-ZE Review-Dahua Starlight IPC-HDW5231R-ZE 800 meter capable ePOE
IPC-T5442TM-AS Review IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED (Full Color, Starlight+)
IPCT-HDW5431RE-I Review - IP Cam Talk 4 MP IR Fixed Turret Network Camera

My preferred indoor cameras

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan
Test do not guess

if you are interested in Dahua cameras, a forum member sells dahua and ships world wide. You can read some of the members recommendations on his service. He also provides cameras to other forum member for evaluation and reviews.
you can email him for a quote, or purchase from his Aliexpress store or his Amazon store.

Empire Technology Co., Ltd - Small Orders Online Store, Hot Selling and more on | Alibaba Group
Kingsecurity2018 @

Another shout-out to Andy and EmpireTech


Pulling my weight
Oct 16, 2018
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I had low voltage electricians install some of my cameras. I supplied the Cat5e and cameras. I watched them as they installed the Ethernet cable, made sure the runs were good using a meter before plugging into my POE switches and had them install the camera bases. I installed the cameras from there mainly so I could insure that the lenses didn’t get scratched and I could point them where I wanted.

The other cameras that I installed were plugged into my garage switch and it was simple to staple the Ethernet cables to the ceiling. I think they came out nice.

72EDB009-60F1-4519-B488-AC53B7C2BCB0.jpeg 3F30A83F-E8B7-4F51-B9CA-A2277B1516B1.jpeg 5B347512-F59B-4ED2-94F4-F059A9016434.jpeg

They also ran the Ethernet runs from the switch in one of our closets (a structured wiring can) to the AP in the loft (suspended from the ceiling) and to our garage switch and the cameras I couldn’t install.


Sep 6, 2019
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Thank you for the valuable input @SouthernYankee and @JNDATHP! Great food for thought. I've been reviewing the wiki. I'm still overwhelmed but I'll do a lot more research before biting the bullet and getting an installer out here. I'm enamored by the IPC-HDW2231R-ZS and similar models (thanks to @wopi82's incredible review) and will very likely be going with those models. I'll be sure to pick up some solid copper cable, as well.

I have some serious recon to do! Again, thank you very much for helping steer me down the right path. I'll get to reading ;-)