Is your wireless security camera not working? That sucks, right? After all, when you have a broken wireless security camera, it is not offering any protection for your property/family. Sure, it can still act as a dummy camera, which may deter some wrong-doers, but if you need to check the footage, it is pretty much useless.
IP cameras do have problems from time to time, from expensive cameras to cheap IP cameras. It is your job to identify when they have failed, so you can fix them ASAP.
In this post, we are going to run through some common wireless security camera problems. We will then take a look at some security camera troubleshooting tips.
- Wireless Security Cameras – Common Problems
- Security Camera Troubleshooting Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
Wireless Security Cameras – Common Problems
When you are facing a problem with your wireless security camera, you will likely see one or more of the following symptoms:
- No power
- No video
- Horizontal lines on the video
- Cannot access the camera
- No Color
- Night vision doesn’t work
- 2-way-talk doesn’t work
- PIR doesn’t trigger
- Image Problems
- Low-quality images/videos
It is a pain, right? When you are counting on your security camera to protect your property and it doesn’t work, it can lead to frustration.
Security Camera Troubleshooting Tips
Here are 11 security camera troubleshooting tips you can try right now. They all link to the relevant section:
- Check Cables
- Check Fuses
- Reboot Camera
- Factory Reset
- Check Network
- Check Username and Password
- Firmware Upgrade
- Check Operating Temperature Range
- Check Waterproof Rating
- Contact The Manufacturer
- Consider Another Wireless Security Camera
First things first, if your camera has cables then you need to check they are all in place.
If all of the cables are secure, take them out and put them back in again. Occasionally, if they are not seated correctly, your security camera may begin to have issues.
Check the cables all the way to the other end. There is a possibility that the cables may have been damaged, or maybe even chewed by rodents! Adding holes to your walls is one of the common places for mice to enter your property, and when they are inside they will chew anything. Including the cables to your security camera!
Check the power supply to the camera. I know you have probably done this already, but it still needs to have a power source to be working properly, right?
If you have traced the cables back to the power source, or network socket then you can move on.
Has your security camera blown a fuse? Wherever there is a fuse controlling your security camera, you must check that it has not blown.
If you have confirmed the fuse is ok, check the power socket with another electrical item.
If the other electrical item works, you can rule out the socket. The power socket will be at fault if the other electrical items don’t work when plugged in.
It is time to reboot the CCTV camera!
Like any electrical item, a reboot fixes a number of problems! This is especially true where an electrical item is using in-built software, which your camera will be.
Your IP camera might have a reset button. If it has, try this before you power it off, or remove the battery.
I have been in this situation with quite a few electrical items in the past! Coming from an IT background, I can understand that your camera may need to be reset to factory settings if you encounter an issue.
As time goes by, settings are changed, and some configuration items may become corrupt. The act of factory resetting your camera should put it back in a state where you know it was working, straight out of the box!
This is where it may get a little confusing. If your security camera has lost its network connectivity, or you can no longer access it via your PC or a smartphone, then follow these steps to see if it has some connectivity issues.
Before you begin this, you will need to get the IP address (check here if you need to know what an IP address is). With so many wireless security camera options, it is difficult for me to explain how you get this. The most common way is to open the app on your phone, or the software on your PC and check the network settings for your camera. Once you have the IP address, follow these instructions…
On a PC, you will need to:
- Press the Windows key + R
- Type in CMD – press enter. You should have a black box on your screen.
- Type in: ping your IP address and press enter. An example is: ping 192.168.0.23
If you receive ‘request timed out’ (see below) then your camera does not have an established network connection.
Pinging 192.168.0.24 with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
You should receive something like this:
Pinging 192.168.0.12 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.0.12: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Many wireless security cameras only work on a 2.4Ghz network. To check this, you will need to take a look into the settings of your router to see if you have a 2.4Ghz or a 5Ghz wireless network. Many routers have the ability to broadcast both. You will need to check your router manual for instructions on how to do this.
Check Username and Password
Has the username or password for the camera been updated recently?
If it has, you will need to ensure that all connections to the device have been updated with it.
Most electrical items have firmware (firmware explanation) and occasionally, this may become corrupt. If this happens, then you may need to re-install the firmware.
It is also worth remembering that the camera manufacturer will provide updates to firmware on occasion. They release patches to ensure your camera remains operational and secure. You should periodically check for firmware updates.
To update or re-install the firmware, check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check Operating Temperature Range
Electrical items are rated to work in a certain temperature range.
If you are using your camera in an environment where the temperature exceeds either the lower or higher temperature, you run the risk of the security camera developing a fault.
We have you covered if you need a wireless security camera to work in a cold temperature!
Always check the operating temperature range before you buy it!
Check Waterproof Rating
This is the same as the operating temperature range. If you place a security camera outside in the elements, and it is not waterproof then your camera WILL develop a fault!
Not only will it develop a fault, but you may also be risking the safety of your home. You should never use electrical items outside in the rain if they are not waterproof.
Check our post for waterproof doorbells for an overview of the IP ratings that electrical items are rated against.
Contact The Manufacturer
If all else fails, then you will need to make contact with the manufacturer of your wireless security camera.
With so many cameras available, it is a challenge to follow the same set of troubleshooting steps to always reach a positive outcome.
The manufacturer will have a much better understanding of the product than anyone else will have. Use their knowledge to help you resolve any issues.
You may even have an outstanding warranty, so engaging with the manufacturer is the best thing to do, especially if they will eventually need to replace it.
Consider Another Wireless Security Camera
If all else fails, and you are out of warranty, then it is time to consider another wireless security camera.
We have some options on this website for you to consider, including:
Frequently Asked Questions
With the increasing amount of wireless devices scattered around your home and the surrounding areas, it is possible that one of these is causing interference with your security camera.
There is also the possibility of a damaged cable. It is worth checking these to ensure they are in good condition.
It could be due to the state of the infrared LEDs. If your camera is blurry at night, then make sure you clean the LEDs thoroughly. If it is an indoor camera, you may have lots of fingerprints on them. One of the drawbacks with an outside camera is that it will have entrails of many creatures that have crawled over it!
It may also be due to reflections from a nearby object. Check around the area of the camera to identify where the reflection is coming from and remove it, or block it.
Your video or image quality might be low due to a number of reasons. It could be that the camera is faulty, or it could be the weak network connection that your camera has.
There are two things I do if the quality is not up to standard:
Check the quality settings in your app or on your PC software.
Test the network strength where the camera is positioned.
If the network strength is weak, consider a WiFi extender.
If you follow the security camera troubleshooting tips on this page, then I am confident that you will fix a large number of issues.
There are, of course, issues that cannot be fixed without assistance from an expert, and issues that simply cannot be fixed without replacing the device.
At least this gives you the start you need to get up and running with your wireless security camera again!