CCTV cameras are one of the commodities in life that many individuals are leaning towards for several reasons. From deterring criminal activity too keeping tabs on who is ringing your doorbell, CCTV cameras surely serve a valuable purpose for millions of individuals.
In most circumstances, if you are just beginning with home security and variations of CCTV technology, you may have several questions about what’s involved. One of the most important issues I could think of needing to be addressed is simple.
Are CCTV cameras expensive to run? After purchasing my own CCTV equipment, using it and conducting research, here is what I can tell you.
So, are CCTV cameras expensive to run? No, CCTV cameras are not expensive to run. Outside of initial cost that can run you anywhere from 100.00-2000.00 depending on the system, CCTV cameras don’t add much to utilities, and they don’t necessarily need professional monitoring to function correctly.
When it comes to budgeting for any upcoming purchase regardless of what it is, it’s essential to give you a full breakdown of the possible cost associated with running CCTV cameras and what you can expect along the way.
This post is designed to break down everything you may run into along the way. Let’s dive into it.
Initial Cost with CCTV Cameras and Home Security
Anytime you purchase a CCTV system you are going to need to pay for the initial equipment. This can be done in several ways. First and probably the most common form is merely purchasing the CCTV cameras from an electronic store such as BestBuy or online from the manufacturer or an online marketplace such as Amazon.
Depending on the equipment you select, the cost can vary greatly. It also depends heavily on how many cameras you intend on installing and the quality and features that these systems can perform for you.
Let’s look at a few examples to give you an idea. First, if you start with something as simple as the Nest- Hello Smart Wi-Fi Doorbell Camera, and it’s the only piece of equipment you exercise your option to install, you are only looking at a total price of 199.99.
This is for the camera itself and everything you need to make a simple swap out with your current doorbell camera.
If, however you opt to purchase a system such as the Night Owl, 4 Channel 4 Camera System that also comes with a 1080P Surveillance System you could quickly run yourself 399.99 for the equipment itself. This again would require you to complete the installation by yourself.
This brings me to my next point to cover which is the potential cost you may run into with getting these systems installed professionally. Some individuals don’t have the handy skills or trust in themselves to install these systems on their own. In this case, it’s very likely that you will opt for professional installation.
The Cost of Professional Installation with CCTV Systems
Again, with installation, you run into the potential of having a cost that can vary greatly. It’s going to depend heavily on how many cameras or devices are being installed, if they run wirelessly or need hardwired and how difficult it is to reach the mounting points where you will have the cameras located either inside or outside the home.
The overall average cost can run anywhere from 99.00-650.00 for professional installation with these systems. Usually, you will run toward the high end of the price scale when you start adding in hardwiring the cameras.
This includes quite a bit of additional work for the installer including drilling holes, hiding, and running wires and possibly using existing network systems or phone lines to establish a secure and reliable connection for your cameras.
If you are looking at installing several cameras, your cost may easily reach closer to the 2000.00 range.
It’s tough to pinpoint an exact answer because so many options exist. There are however some significant advantages with getting this cost out of the way and running a hardwired system. Here’s a look at some of the positives of taking this expensive direction with your CCTV system.
Positives of Expensive Hardwired Install
- Less Overall Future Maintenance
- Components Are Typically Cheaper to Replace
- Strongest Most Reliable Signal
- Not Exposed Over Wi-Fi (Less Chance of System Being Hacked)
This doesn’t necessarily mean that wireless components or CCTV systems that can be self-installed with ease are a terrible idea. They are a perfectly viable route to take and, in all honesty, it’s what most people are leaning on in recent years.
They make things quick, save upfront cost and include some of these additional benefits.
No Professional Install
- Very Easy to Swap or Upgrade and Use Interchangeable Equipment
- Perfect If You Move Often and Want to Take Equipment with You
You also sometimes get very lucrative offers from professional monitoring companies such as Vivint or ADT where install can either be free or next to nothing compared depending on the current promotions being offered. The downfall to taking an approach like this is the additional cost that comes with the purchase in the form of professional monitoring services.
Surveillance Monitoring Cost with CCTV Cameras
This is going to depend on which company is representing your system and which package you have. Some of the companies also several tiers of professional monitoring such as panic alerts, weather alerts, and 24/7 monitoring.
Meaning, if you were on vacation and a motion sensor was tripped, the monitoring company can help get emergency services and law enforcement on the scene.
Other monitoring services aren’t necessarily as complex and don’t offer as many perks. This is when the price can begin to fluctuate substantially. An average across the board is roughly 19.99 per month up to 75.00 per month depending on the amount of equipment being monitored and what exact package you have.
All in all, I don’t necessarily believe this is a necessary upgrade/purchase when getting yourself a new CCTV system.
I think you can reap the same benefits out of your CCTV system without a company keeping tabs of every move. You can still receive live time notifications of events, view live feed footage and call the police yourself if it’s necessary.
Wi-Fi Internet Recurring Cost
It’s highly unlikely that you don’t have wireless internet already if you are currently looking for a CCTV system, but if you don’t, it’s a cost that does need to be discussed and considered. In most scenarios, this is not going to run you a bunch of money per month, and you most likely need it to perform many other functions of daily life.
Simply meaning, it’s time to get this taken care of regardless of which CCTV system you are planning to install.
Some internet packages will begin around 19.99 per month, and some higher speed internet packages can quickly start to run you around 140.00-150.00 per month.
Once again, it all just dramatically depends on what you want, what you need, and what you intend on doing with your system. Nonetheless, wireless internet is a requirement that you need to run a CCTV camera system the correct way.
Even hardwired systems can benefit from a connection to give you the added benefits of accessing footage from remote or varying locations.
Now let’s cover where some of the money is potentially going to find its way back into your pocket because that’s undoubtedly a consideration that needs to be discussed when breaking down the total cost of a CCTV system.
Homeowners Insurance Savings
CCTV camera systems are now helping individuals save money on their homeowner’s insurance. It helps to ensure that you have a smaller chance of a break-in, stolen property or even vandalism.
It helps deter this bad activity. If you haven’t seen our post discussing this, you can see that here. It breaks down what you need to know and how CCTV cameras can help keep criminals away from your home for good.
The savings can also be somewhat substantial. Depending on the style of your home, your insurance company and the system that you have installed, you can expect savings to be around 20% annually on your home owner’s insurance across the United States.
Inevitably this can vary, and it may be less, or it may be slightly more, but it’s a good average to keep in mind.
If your homeowner’s insurance cost, you around 1000.00 per year you can expect to drag this annual bill down closer to the 800.00 per year range which helps offset some of the cost involved for home internet or even professional monitoring services.
Don’t Forget About Financing
Anytime you look at the total cost involved in purchasing anything in life, you always like to know all the options. One of those options for you with these CCTV camera systems will be financing.
If you know it’s something you need for a good peace of mind but you don’t have the cash in the bank, many stores such as BestBuy and other major electronic stores and manufacturers will offer zero percent financing options.
It can be a viable option that can spread your payments and provide less of a financial blow to your bank account with an eliminated upfront cost.
Putting It All Together, It May Is Somewhat Costly, But You Do Have Options.
At the end of the day, it’s clear that purchasing, owning and operating a CCTV camera system does come with some cost.
Especially in the beginning when all the equipment needs to be purchased. However, plenty of options do exist to help drive your total cost down and give you flexible options toward completing the purchase without causing too much financial strain.
For the number of benefits that they can provide including discounted homeowner’s insurance, safety for your family and peace of mind when you lay your head down to rest at night, I believe it’s a cost that’s justified in many ways.
I just recommend you find high-quality equipment, wait and look for the best deals and shave cost wherever it makes the most sense.
What’s your take on CCTV camera systems and the cost that is associated with them? Do you think they are too expensive? Do you have any tricks or recommendations for potential savings with CCTV systems? Be sure to leave a comment below.