Main Things You’ll Need to Wire Your Security Cameras

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GOT stuck in how to run security camera wires or cables outside or in your home? Don’t be freaked out! An ultimate guide here is to show you how to install outdoor/indoor security camera wiring.

Even you are the first time to run security camera cabling, you can install your security camera wiring for your front/back door, reception room, front/back yard, shop floor, bedroom, garage, warehouse, basement/parking lot, farm, entrance, even upstairs, etc., quickly and easily.

Useful Guide on How to Run Security Camera Wires

Main Things You’ll Need to Wire Your Security Cameras

For PoE security cameras:

  • Cat 5/6 cables
  • Drill
  • Fish tape

For wireless security cameras (without battery):

  • Electrical wires
  • Drill
  • Fish tape

For Analog security cameras:

  • RG-59 BNC connectors
  • RG-59 crimping tool
  • RG-59 stripping tool
  • RG-59/syv-75-5 coaxial wires
  • BNC barrel
  • Wire cutter
  • Standard wire crimp tool
  • Electrical tape

Note: Some detailed tools are not mentioned here. You can see the best tools for drilling holes here. If you need to run underground wires for security cameras to monitor your garden, driveway, etc., PVC/metal conduits are necessary.

run security camera wires

How to Run Security Camera Wires in House

Some of you would ask: how to run home security camera wires though attic/wall? How to run security cameras for my two-story house? How to hide your security camera wires?

That indeed is a burning question. Definitely make you frustrated when being trapped by those messy wires. Be patient. GET to follow the below guide to run your security camera wires in your house quickly and easily and avoid messy wiring.

#1. Design the Central Surveillance Hub before Wiring. First things are first. The place where you place your NVR/DVR — the central surveillance hub —in your house determines the route of wiring. Placing your NVR/DVR smartly in your house can help you get rid of messy wiring disaster. The place should be easy to access so that you can run security camera wires comfortably from anywhere in your house. Attics and your Internet router are ideal places to place your NVR/DVR.

Note: There are 4 tips to help you place your security cameras (systems).

#2. Turn off the power when running security camera wires, which can protect your personal safety and avoid damaging your devices.

#3. Drill a hole where the outlet will be, and use a straightened metal coat hanger to feel inside the wall for any unforeseen obstructions.

drill a hole on ceiling to run security camera wires

#4. The gap/hole should be larger than the maximum amount of wires you expect to ever run. Allow a few feet of extra wire inside for both termination, and future reorganization if needed. Labeling the ends of the cables will help you figure out which security camera works with which cable.

#5. Go to where you want to install your security cameras, such as attic, soffit, basement or crawlspace, and drill a hole in the top or bottom wall plate in the same wall cavity.

#6. Attach the wires with the fish tape to fish your security camera wires.

#7. Run security camera wires/cables to the destination. (You may need a partner to feed the wires for you.)

drill holes to run security camera wires

How to Run Security Camera Wires Outside

If you need to install your security cameras to monitor your garage (isolated from your house), your driveway, etc., running wires to make your security cameras work is the most important thing.

Even wireless security cameras need power supply to work, unless you use battery backup wireless counterparts (but you need to replace the battery constantly). If you want to install wireless security camera systems, there are few troubles for you to install your wiring. How to run cables for your outdoor PoE security cameras, or how to install power wires for outdoor wireless security cameras? The below detailed guideline could be handy.

The best way to run security camera wires outside is to run burial wires, but not an easy job.

#1. Plan the security camera wire route. Find a rather short and easy route to bury your conduits so that the burial job could be easier.

#2. You need to use PVC or metal conduit to protect the wires from tampering (both human and natural – squirrels, birds etc).

#3. If you need to power your PoE security camera outside, you can just fish a CAT5/6 cable, since PoE cabling can provide both data connection and electric power for your PoE security cameras. In terms of wireless security cameras, you just need to run wires for the outlet providing power for wireless security cameras. (The outlet should be waterproof and weatherproof.)

#4. Mark the place where you want to cut the hole.

#5. Drill a hole to run security camera wires from your house. Once the hole is cut in the wall, insert a drill bit to drill a hole so that you can run wires through it. Remember to use a right angle drill with hole saw bits for boring large holes. Keep the holes centered on the studs. Drilling a hole in the wall is much easier than drilling in the floor. All you need to do is to drill slowly and not press too hard. Stop when you feel the drill penetrate the wall.

run security camera wires outside

#6. Bury electrical wires/network cables. Before you need to run wires for your security cameras, you need to bury the PVC conduit at least 18 inches, while 6 inches for metal conduit according to the National Electric Code (NEC).

bury security camera wires

#7. Now holes are already done. Running wires comes next. Fishing the wires is quite easy when you attach them with a fish tape or a pull wire. Wrap the bare wire through the fish tape eye and twist the end of the wire around itself. Place the electrical tape over the end of the fish tape eye and wire. Now you are ready for pulling wires.

#8. Pull security camera wires. With one person standing to feed the wires, pull evenly on all of the wires. Keep the wires untangled. As for the person pulling the wires on the other end, pull the wires slowly, such as in 2 to 3 foot intervals. Pulling too fast would nick the wires and catch your partner’s fingers.

You may ask, how long can you/I run security camera wires?

Well, it depends on the distance your security cameras can receive Internet signal from your router. Usually, the PoE security cameras can receive Internet signal from 330 feet, while wireless security cameras can receive the signal from 300 feet.


The National Electrical Code requires holes containing non-metallic cable (often called Romex) or flexible metal-clad cable be set back 1-1/4 in, or more from the edge of a stud (Fig. A) to protect the wires from nails and screws. (The 1-1/4-in. screws and nails used to secure 1/2-in. drywall penetrate the studs about 3/4 in.)

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