Resolve common security camera problems
After investing your time and money into choosing the best security cameras to suit your needs, it can be frustrating to come across issues with them not working properly. When your security system is down, not only is it a nuisance, but it can leave your property vulnerable.
Before giving up on your security cameras and shopping for new ones, review these troubleshooting tips for common security camera issues.
- Connection & Power
Though it may seem like common sense, sometimes we overlook the obvious. If your security camera is not working, check all of the connections. Make sure that the camera is correctly connected to the power source as well as any other devices.For wireless security cameras – Check the Wi-Fi connection (if the wireless security camera is connected successfully via Wi-Fi). You can use a network cable to test the network connection. Ensure your router is working properly and, of course, check the power supply.For wired or PoE security cameras – Make sure video signal and power supply is well transmitted. For a PoE security camera, check the PoE injector or PoE switch is in order, compatible and working. If you have an NVR security system, double check that all the connections to the system are correct and secure.
A majority of connection issues center around cabling problems. For example, if the IR LEDs do not turn on at night in the dark, it is likely a cable problem and no images or video recordings will come out.To check this, use another cable to connect the camera to see if the problem is solved. For a PoE security camera, you use a Cat 6 or Cat 5 Ethernet cable.
It is easy to forget about camera settings. You may find that your security camera doesn’t do 24/7 recording, no motion detection alerts, can’t connect to Wi-Fi, or can’t record video at night all because you did not set up the settings. Remember: Security cameras do have features, some of which have been enabled by default and some that need manual enabling on your end.There is usually computer software or an app for a mobile device that is in place so you can easily control and manage your system, such as adjusting the settings accordingly.
The “Golden Rule” in IT troubleshooting is to reboot the device. When you reboot a security camera, it flushes the cache, recalibrates the settings, and revises the connections. To reboot you camera, directly unplug the power supply, wait for a few seconds, and plug it in again.
- IP Address
Each IP security camera needs to have a unique IP address so it can send and receive data via the Internet or a computer network. If there is another device using the same IP address with the camera, there will be a conflict and your security camera will not work. If you are experiencing issues, check the IP addresses to resolve any conflicts.There are two ways to check:
- On a computer that is connected to your cameras, go to the Windows search box and type “cmd” to open the DOS command prompt. You can type the command “arp -a” to see if there are any IP conflicts.
- You may type the command “ping cameraIPaddress -t” (ex. for IP address 192.168.0.999, type “ping 192.168.0.999 -t“). If you received results with “Unreachable” or “Timed Out” it means the IP security camera is not connecting to the network. You should change the camera’s IP address or assign a new one.
- Update Firmware & Software
Most manufacturers regularly release firmware updates to fix security camera issues and glitches, and also to add new features. Make it a habit to regularly check the brand’s official website to see if new firmware has been released for your camera and update accordingly. Remember to make sure the firmware you download is the correct version for your security camera.If you can’t connect to the security camera via software, it’s likely due to incompatibility of the software and firmware. If you are updating your firmware, be sure to check for updates for your software as well.Remember, it is best to use the software or app from the manufacturer since it is designed to work with all the features of your security camera without compatibility issues. While third-party software exists, it may or may not be fully compatible with your cameras.
- Reset To Factory Default
This is often one of the last ditch efforts to resolve an issue. Factory reset means all settings and configurations will be removed and will go back to the “factory default” settings (you will need to enable features and other configurations again).Some security cameras come with a reset button, while others may come with a pinhole as the reset function, requiring a needle to enable factory default.
- Manufacturer FAQs
Most of you problems or questions can be answered by checking the FAQ section of your manufacturer’s website. Search keywords about your problem and you should get related troubleshooting methods.
- Tech Support
If the FAQ section did not help, you may want to reach out to the company from which you purchased your equipment. Most companies offer tech support and you can reach out via email or phone call. Remember to provide as much details as possible and a professional technician should be able to help you fix the problem or offer alternative options accordingly.
If you need help choosing the right security cameras for your property, as well as installation services, feel free to contact us! You may browse our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to schedule a site survey or get a free quote. You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.