26 Security Camera Accessories You Need But Will Forget

You’ve walked through all the steps required for selecting the security camera system of your dreams. You’ve walked your property, done all the necessary measurements, and decided who is going to install the system.

Before you make that purchase look at the below list to make sure you have everything you need to install your security camera system. If you’ve ever completed a diy project you know the worst part is stopping in the middle to buy stuff from the store you’ve forgotten. An even worst-case scenario is needing products that no one told you about.

In this blog post, I will provide you with a list of 26 items you should consider purchasing when you purchase your security camera system. Each of these items has helped me before or after I installed the system. This post will help to prevent you from breaking out the ladder 3 more times after the installation is “complete.”

This list will include what the item does, and why you would need it. Not all these items fit for all camera types, but it will give you an idea of everything you need.

Let’s get started.

1. You need a quality router

What is it

Basically, a Wi-Fi router takes you internet service and converts it to a wireless signal. Routers allow multiple users to connect to a single internet service. Without it, each person would need their own internet service to connect to the internet.

Why you may need it

If you plan on connecting your security camera system to the internet, then a quality router is a must. A good router will make things like live viewing, and remote monitoring much easier.

While a poor router can result in missed alerts, poor live viewing, and distorted recordings.

What you need

You need a router that can do the following:

  • Dual band technology
  • Connect a minimum of 8 devices
  • Additional LAN ports
  • Create a guest network
  • Allows changes like port forwarding, converting to static/ dynamic IP

In general, investing in a quality router will assist all connected devices. If you are having problems with internet connectivity, your router could be the issue.

2. Wi-Fi range extender

What it is

A range extender extends the range of your router’s wireless signal. All routers have a maximum range in which it can send and receive data. In addition, the further away from the router a device is the more difficulty a router has with sending and receiving data to and from the device.

A range extender helps the Wi-fi signal reach places known and attempts to ease the burden of connecting the device and the router

Why you may need it

You should consider an extender if your wireless security camera(s) is at the edges of your Wi-Fi signal range. Having an extender also provides the ability to place cameras in locations you might not have considered.

In addition, some extenders have ethernet ports in which you can connect devices directly. This added feature may provide additional benefits for you and your security camera set up

What you need

Look for an extender that extends the Wi-Fi signal to meet your needs. Also, consider extenders that have their own security, and don’t rely on security only at the router or device.

3. Quality internet service

What is it

Internet service is what connects you to the rest of the world. It allows you the ability to watch streaming movies, play video games, and shop. There are different types of internet service and not all types are available in all areas.

Internet service is most commonly available through your cable or phone provider.

Why you may need it

Like the previous two, you should consider quality internet if you are planning to connect your system to the internet. A high-quality internet is especially important if you are using a wireless security camera. Most WIP cameras have a minimum download speed required for the cameras to work properly.

What you need

You should look for the following features found in high-quality internet

  • At least 5mb download
  • At least 1mb upload
  • 99% reliability

These are the minimums, you will need higher downloads and uploads as you add more WIP cameras. Also, ask friends and neighbors how they feel about their internet service.


DO NOT use your mobile phone to tether your security camera to the internet

4. Multiple rechargeable batteries

What is it

Rechargeable batteries are batteries that can be used multiple times before being discarded.

Why you may need it

You should consider rechargeable batteries if you are using a WIP camera system. Some of these systems use AA batteries that are discarded when they drain. Other cameras use rechargeable batteries but drain quickly.

What you need

Check with the camera to see what type of battery it needs. Also, check to see if there are rechargeable battery options for their cameras. Finally, purchase a few spare batteries and keep them fully charged for when the other battery dies.

5. Recharging station

What is it

A recharging station is an accessory specific to some models of security cameras. You can use it to charge your rechargeable batteries. When the battery is fully charged, charging will automatically stop, saving the life of the battery. These stations also have notifications as to when the battery is fully charged.

Why you may need it

This rechargeable station is a must for WIP camera owners that are using rechargeable batteries. Without the station, you could be reducing the battery life of your rechargeable batteries. Also, it is nice to have all your batteries grouped together in the same place.

What you need

Check on the manufacturer’s website to see if a charging station is available for your system. If there is on available, consider purchasing soon.

6. Solar panel

What is it

A solar panel converts energy from the sun to recharge or power your security camera.

Why you may need it

This accessory is for anyone that has a WIP camera. Having a solar panel for your security camera prevents you from breakout out the ladder to exchange or replace batteries. You may also need this accessory if you live in a high traffic area or have your event notifications set to high.

What you need

First, check with the WIP cameras manufacturer to see if it an available option. If it is an option, you will need the following:

  • The sun
  • Location around your home with direct sunlight (at least one hour per day)

You want to consider buying both additional rechargeable batteries and solar panels.

7. HDMI cables

What is it

HDMI cables transmit audio and video to a TV or monitor from a different device.

Why you may need it

You will need HDMI cables if you have a Closed-Circuit Television or Power over Ethernet (PoE) system. In conjunction with a monitor, you can use HDMI cables to view live and recorded events.

What you need

You only need normal, basic HDMI cables. Salespeople may attempt to upsell you to premium or gold cables, but there isn’t enough of a difference to justify spending money on cables. The same holds true for 4K cables, don’t waste your money.

Also, consider buying cables of different lengths. You never know when a 20 HDMI cable will come in handy.

8. Ethernet cables of different lengths

What is it

Ethernet cables send data (in this case audio and video) to IP devices. They are most commonly used by computers to connect to the internet. These cables look like bigger phone cables.

Why you may need it

If you are using a CCTV system that can connect to the internet, you will use an ethernet cable to connect the CCTV system to your router or switch. If you are using a PoE system you will use ethernet cords to connect your cameras to your Network Video Recorder (NVR). You will then connect your NVR to your router or switch.

What you need

Consider purchasing cables ranging between 4 and 200 feet. The various cable lengths allow you to place your security cameras, and NVR/ DVR almost anywhere. The shorter cables provide less clutter, and the longer cables provide freedom.

9. BNC cables of different lengths

What is it

BNC cables are cables that connect CCTV cameras to the Digital Video Recorder. These cables combine coaxial cables required to send data with electric required to power the cameras. Previous versions of CCTV cameras had the coaxial cable separate from the power cables resulting in wires going in all different directions.

Why you may need it

Consider BNC cables of different lengths because the location of your cameras will be different lengths. Like Ethernet cables mentioned above, using the right length makes for a cleaner install.

What you need

Purchase these cables of various sizes beginning at 20 feet. These cables are better to have and not need, instead of need and not have.

10. Security camera wall mounts

What is it

These wall mounts are add-on features for some security cameras. They may provide a stronger connection or different casing for your cameras.

Why you may need it

Some of the included wall mounts are not very sturdy. Other wall mounts are not very secure. Purchasing this upgrade will make your camera study and secure, enhancing your security.

What you need

Check with the camera manufacturer to see if they have additional wall mounts. Compare the additional wall mounts to the mounts included with the camera. Also, some third-party manufacturers have created mounts, so you can place your security cameras anywhere.

11. Flash drive

What is it

Flash drives (also called jump drives) are mobile storage devices that allow you to take data anywhere. These devices connect to computers, DVRs/ NVRs via a USB port.

Why you may need it

Flash drives are nice if you need to take a recorded event with you. For example, if you need to report something was stolen to the police. Download the event to your flash drive and take it to the police station.

What you need

Look for flash drives that begin with 16GB and up. Anything less may be too small to hold recorded events.

12. External hard drive

What is it

An external hard drive is like the hard drive in your computer, but it can be taken wherever you do. Usually, these hard drives are connected to your computer via a USB cable. Depending on the hard drive type, they may also require an external power source.

Why you may need it

Like flash drives, you can place recorded events on this hard drive and take it with you. The difference between a flash drive and an external hard drive is the amount of data that can be placed on the drives. For example, a flash drive may be able to save 100 events, while the external drive may be able to store 5000 events.

An external hard drive may be a permanent storage solution for your security cameras.

What you need

External hard drives now come in Terabytes. I recommend purchasing the biggest you can afford, to prevent coming back in a few years and purchasing another drive.

13. Free cloud storage

What is it

Cloud storage is an alternative to an external hard drive. Instead of buying an external hard drive, you simply place your files on a third party’s hard drive. The third party holds the files until you delete it or run out of free space.

Why you may need it

This option is more reliable than flash or external hard drives. All physical drives will fail eventually, but cloud files are stored in multiple places to reduce the chances of data being lost. You can use cloud storage to provide direct access to files that can be accessed anytime from anywhere.

What you need

Look for a free cloud storage provider. At the time of this writing, Google Drive was free. Before deciding on a third party, check the amount of free cloud storage, and any restrictions.

Also, consider compressing multiple files in one folder to save space in the cloud.

14. Floodlights

What is it

Floodlights are high-intensity lights that are placed outside. Usually, these lights are attached to a motion sensor that turn on when motion is detected.

Why you may need it

These lights will do two things. First, they will light up a dark area when motion is detected. Second, if placed correctly, they will provide enough light for your security cameras to record in color.

Without some light source, night vision cameras will record events in black and white. While this isn’t the worst thing in the world, a little light will help with recognizing criminals on your property.

What you need

Find a floodlight that has a motion sensor. Adjust the motion sensor as necessary. Place the motion sensor somewhere very close to the camera (possibly above or below). Then enjoy.

15. Battery back up

What is it

Battery backups are power supplies that turn on when electrical outlets stop working. You can simply connect your electrical devices to the battery backup, then connect your backup to the wall. The battery backup turns on automatically when it detects a loss of power. Depending on the backup, they can supply electrical current for up to 6 hours.

Why you may need it

This is a great solution for anyone serious about their security cameras. If you lose power to your CCTV system, PoE system, modem, or router, then your cameras will not work. A battery backup will keep your system running until the electric company can get the entire system up and running

What you need

I recommend finding a battery backup with enough inputs to connect your entire system. You could connect the following devices to your battery backup:

  • Modem
  • Router
  • Switch
  • Cameras that require a wall outlet
  • DVR/ NVR

An added bonus of a battery backup, you’ll be the only home in the neighborhood with a working internet connection.

16. Wire labels/ cord management

What is it

Cable management is some way to identify which cords do what and go where. This should help make troubleshooting easier.

Why you may need it

This will come in handy if you are working in a location with multiple wires and you are troubleshooting. This will prevent you from doing the unplug test: unplugging something to see if that is the right wire. This is especially useful if you have wires from other systems going into the same place.

What you need

Find a cable management system that allows you to write short words. Simply label the flags with something you will remember and place it on your wires. I recommend not placing all of the wire labels in the same spot of the wires. Doing this will result in one or more coming off.

17. Yard sign

What is it

A yard sign is simply a sign that says recording in progress, this is a sign that you place around your house to let others know that you are recording actions that are happening on your property.

Why you may need it

This sign can serve as an additional deterrence to criminal activity. If criminals know that they are being watched, they may decide that breaking into a home is not work the hassle.

Also, there may be laws in place stating that you must notify people that you are recording. This can serve as added protection against lawsuits and civil liability.

What you need

I recommend finding a generic sign, so criminals don’t know the type of system you have. If they know the system, they may know how to defeat the system.

18. Security camera covers

What is it

These are covers specifically designed for your security camera.

Why you may need it

These covers may provide additional protection to the weather. In addition, these covers can be used to blend in with their environment. Some people will purchase them to match the season.

What you need

Check with your cameras manufacture to see what is available for your camera. Buy something that is going to enhance your security cameras protection.

19. BNC connectors of various types

What is it

These connectors include male to male, male to female, etc connections that you may need when installing a security camera system. These connectors can be used to connect BNC wires to each other, BNC wires to security cameras, or BNC wires to DVRs.

Why you may need it

This is another “rather have It and not need it, then need it and not have it” type item. These are nice to have if one breaks, or you want to shorten a wire.

What you need

There are a few different types of BNC connections. I recommend buying a few different ones just in case something happens to one of your wires.

20. Ethernet switch/ hub

What is it

An ethernet switch is like a router in that it accepts an internet connection and spends it out to multiple places. The difference between a router and a switch is that hubs use wired connections. Hubs come in all sizes beginning with 2 all the way up to 20 or more.

Switches are great to use if your router has zero or very few ethernet ports.

To use a switch, connect your modem to your router. Then using an Ethernet cord, connect your router to your switch. In most switches, you can place your router’s Ethernet cord to any open port.

Why you may need it

A switch will come in handy if you have many devices that need a wired connection. The switch automatically detects which ports are in use and will send and receive data to and from that port.

What you need

Find a switch that has enough ports to meet your needs. For the most part, homeowners don’t need a 20-port switch unless they have ethernet ports in every more in the house.

21. Television

What is it

A television accepts an audio and video signal and displays it to the screen.

Why you may need it

You will want to television if you have a CCTV or PoE connection. The tv can be connected directly to the DVR/ NVR to watch live and recorded events. It is a requirement for a basic setup of the systems.

What you need

You can use a TV of any size, but I recommend a small, portal TV for installation. Also, make sure that the TV has an HDMI port or else you may not be able to connect to the system.

You also can connect your security system to your main TVs. You will need additional HDMI inputs to switch between your security system and regular TV.

22. HDMI splitter

What is it

An HDMI splitter provides additional HDMI inputs for TVs and devices. HDMI splitters allow you to change device inputs without changing the TV inputs. For example, a 4×2 splitter means 4 devices can be connected to 2 different TVs.

An HDMI splitter is for anyone that has a CCTV or PoE system with a limited number of HDMI inputs. The splitter is another way you can connect additional TVs without needing multiple TVs/ monitors.

Why you may need it

A splitter can come in handy if:

  • You want to watch the security cameras on different TVs
  • You have more devices than inputs
  • You want to watch the same system on multiple systems.

What you need

Find a splitter that meets your needs. There are splitters that provide multiple inputs for one tv, and splitters that provide multiple inputs for multiple TVs.

23. Coaxial cable

What is it

Coaxial cable is used to transmit video to a DVR.

Why you may need it

You will need this if you are installing an older CCTV. You will use this cable to connect your security camera to the DVR system.

What you need

I recommend buying coaxial cables of varying length to ensure you can complete the job.

24. Infrared illuminator

What is it

Infrared illuminators emit additional infrared light to an area. While these lights are invisible to humans, they will help your security camera see better at night.

Why you may need it

An infrared illuminator will help your security cameras see better and further at night. They will shine infrared “light” on items that your security may not see or reach.

What you need

This will depend on the ability on your camera at night, and your needs. I recommend buying an infrared illuminator only after you install your security camera and realize you are not satisfied with the night viewing.

25. Power cable adapters

What is it

The power cable adapters provide power to the NVR/ DVR or TV.

Why you may need it

These are nice to have as replacements if the main adapters stop working. This is yet another “have it and not need it, instead of need it and not have it.”

What you need

Find the adapter that meets the product specs. Usually, the manufacturer has the adapter you need. You can find them cheaper other places, just make sure you buy the correct adapter.

26. Extra keyboard

What is it

A wired keyboard you can use to type words sentences or phrases.

Why you may need it

If you are using a DVR or NVR system, a keyboard will may your life much easier. You will need a keyboard to create an account, log in, and adjust settings. You can use a mouse, but using a keyboard is much quicker.

What you need

You can use any USB keyboard. Find a cheap one, plug it in, then type away.

Now that we have the must-haves completed, I’ve put together a short list of accessories that are nice to have but aren’t required.

1. Crimper tool

What is it

This tool can be used to adjust your cables. You can also use this tool with uncut wires to make specific cable length.

Why you may need it

You would use this if you are a professional installer, or you like exact lengths. If you don’t like extra wires and don’t mind the extra time it takes for installation, then the crimper tool is for you.

2. Window Decals

What is it

Window decals are another reminder to visitors that you are being recorded. The window decals provide a similar deterrence as yard signs.

Why you may need it

You may consider placing these as a supplement to yard signs. While they don’t provide the same level of deterrence as yard signs, they can be helpful.

3. Joystick

What is it

A joystick can be used to move Pan/ Tilt/ Zoom cameras. This accessory can be connected to a DVR/ NVR via a USB cable.

Why you may need it

This makes moving the camera much easier than using a mouse. With this accessory, you can pan, tilt, and zoom the camera with precision. This is better than clicking a mouse back and forth for the exact location

4. Box of uncut wires

What is it

This is a box of wires for installing your security camera system. These wires can be Ethernet, coaxial, or BNC.

Why you may need it

Buying uncut wires is a cheaper option to paying wires that have been cut to length. Also, using uncut wires reduces the mess that comes with precut wiring. I recommend buying a box of uncut wires if you are installing multiple camera systems.

Conclusion 

So that is the list of 30 accessories you should consider purchasing. What do you think? Did I miss any? Leave a comment below.

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