Hiding Outdoor Security Cameras

You can keep an eye on your residence at all times - even when you're away if you use a security camera. Home security cameras are increasingly popular and represent a significant deterrence, but they could be tampered with, so you may want to hide your cameras, and if you've decided to hide some of your cameras, there are several creative ways to keep your cameras hidden in plain sight. You can access playback to analyze the events around your home, and smart cameras can alert you to any changes or detected motion.

Hiding security cameras 

There are some reasons to hide a security camera or two, such as:

  • Fewer possibilities of being interfered with by burglars
  • Aesthetic reasons
  • You can keep an eye on those who come and go from your home - covertly

However, it can be hard to hide security cameras, especially outdoor ones. You can also harm your field of view by hiding your cameras, as the lens may be obscured.

Incorporating visible and invisible cameras is a great way to strengthen your home security system. Burglars may attack or avoid visible cameras but be caught on the hidden security cameras. We've come up with various methods to obscure some of your cameras.

You should also ensure that you mount the camera when nobody is around; if you do it quickly and quietly, anyone watching your home won't know.

Check out our top picks for best security cameras

Mini cameras

The easiest way to hide a camera is to buy a mini-camera in the first place - peephole or ''spy cameras'' are the most popular hidden cameras on the market. Because of their small size, it's easier to hide them. A small wireless security camera is perfect and is usually quite affordable. Many also include motion detection features that can even notify you when someone triggers the sensor.

Many models on the market are subscription-free, and some also have built-in motion detectors.

  • Wireless and easy to install
  • Wifi connectivity to connect remotely
  • Built-in motion detectors are a common plus

These are the best cameras to hide, but you should also pick the best hiding place.

Eaves or ceilings 

You can consider this option if your camera is a similar shade or color to your house - most cameras will be effectively impossible to detect under eaves, which is an excellent option for mini-cameras. Some people go as far as painting the camera to match the eave; be sure to take care of the lens.

Birdhouse 

One of the most popular tricks is to house your camera in a traditional birdhouse/feeder. The enclosed style of the birdhouse makes it ideal to allow the camera to capture videos of your property, and it guards against vandalism - if your other cameras are interfered with, thieves won't exactly be checking your birdbox.

Birdboxes will be unique because you can maneuver them to face the direction you want them to, and hiding outdoor security cameras is as simple as drilling a small hole in your bird feeder.

Bushes

Bushes are a great hiding spot for your camera, and you can also paint them to hide them in the greenery. You can also mount your camera in a tree or branch and cover it with leaves. The only problem is that trees and shrubbery aren't stationary, meaning that what gives you excellent visibility one week may not be so clear the week after.

Glass window 

Banks use this technique to increase the security of their cameras; night vision may not function behind a glass window, but you can keep your camera safe. Even if it is found and tampered with, it can't be immediately disabled, so you'll get additional footage beforehand.

Fake cameras 

While fake cameras are somewhat controversial for some, a popular tactic is placing an obvious dummy camera to take the attention of any would-be intruders, to detract from your (actually functioning) hidden cameras.

Higher ground 

Another simple way to keep your camera safe from theft or destruction is to place it at a higher level. Upper exterior walls make for popular placement, and some customers report successes with rooftops. Overall, the place you choose shouldn't be easily reachable but should maintain a good field of vision.

Mailbox camera 

You could drill a hole in your mailbox and put a surveillance camera inside it, it'll record the goings-on on your property, and nobody will think to check the mailbox. But, you should ensure that the drilled hole doesn't crop the required view.

Hiding wires 

You should hide your security system wires. Visible wires can clue intruders into the location of your camera; if you're relying on a hardwired model, ensure that you've hidden your wires correctly. One way to do this is using PVC pipe; you can also paint the wires or use other camouflage techniques. Just be mindful not to obscure the camera lens.

Indoor cameras 

Indoor cameras are even easier to hide, and you can disguise them in everyday objects. You have plenty of options to try, including:

  • Mounting the camera on a bookshelf
  • Garage shelving
  • Placing your camera on a smoke detector
  • Desk plants, including fake potted plants, are a great way to hide cameras

You may want to consider using a camera in each room to ensure proper coverage. Still, at the minimum, you should have CCTV covering entrances/exits and where your valuables are stored.

Check out our top picks for the best indoor security cameras 

Decorative cases 

To hide your cameras, consider purchasing decorative cases. Your visitors will think that it's an artful decor piece, but it's a piece of your security system.

Uploading to the cloud 

Cloud upload guarantees that your camera's footage won't be lost if it is stolen or otherwise compromised - you'll be able to access it no matter what happens! You should consider purchasing a camera that uses cloud upload for your peace of mind.

Summing up

Hiding security cameras may not always be ideal. Cameras represent a significant deterrent to would-be burglars, with up to 60% saying that a visible security system is enough of a barrier to justify immediately moving on to another house.

In the case of tampering, if your backup camera is hidden well, you stand a better chance of capturing the footage you need. However, in cases where it's not an immediate barrier, some may feel comfortable hiding a few of their cameras to prevent tampering. You should also consider having visible cameras and using the hidden camera as a backup.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.

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