The safety of our homes and properties is of prime importance, so you need to learn how to know if a security camera is on to guarantee the place is safe.
This is the main reason why we install security cameras. But with the installation come challenges and issues. And one of these challenges includes the malfunction of the security camera. Or worse, the security camera might not be working at all.
So, how do we address and resolve the issue of a security camera which is not working? There are several ways on how we can check to see if the security camera is working. Read on and find out how.
Ways to know if a security camera is on
Check if the Camera is Moving
Pan tilt-type security cameras move continuously when it is turned on. And it comes with a whizzing sound. So you will know if it is working or not.
A pan tilt security camera type may be controlled with the pan or tour option.
Also, on some camera types, make sure that the lens is moving. A moving lens is an indication that the camera is working and probably recording correctly.
Dome type security cameras, though, are a little harder to check if it is moving.
However, if you look closely, then you will be able to see if the lens of a dome-type security camera is moving or not.
Check the Infrared LEDs
Check if there are tiny red lights around the lens of your security cameras.
These tiny red lights are visible in the dark if the security camera is turned on. They are also an indication that the IP security cameras have night vision capabilities.
Aside from looking into your IP security camera, you can also check the infrared LEDs by holding up a book or anything in front of the security camera to block its view.
If red light falls on the object you hold in front of the security camera, then the camera is on.
You can also use your mobile phone to check the infrared LEDs. Yes, your mobile phone. You can point it at the security camera. Most infrared lights are picked up by your phone's camera. However, this is effective when it is dark.
Majority of security cameras have infrared LEDs for night vision.
However, they are not very visible to the naked eye. But if you walk close to the security camera, you will be able to see faint red lights, an indication that the security camera has night vision. And that it is turned on. Infrared LEDs are easier to detect during the night, though.
Turn On Your Monitor
Try logging into your security camera software. Then check if your monitor is working. You will know if it is working when you can view live streaming.
If you can see video footage properly, then your camera is working.
Using Bug Detectors
Bug detectors produce balance in the signal when it is working. A balanced signal refers to the video signal, which is converted to make transmission possible.
The use of a bug detector makes this possible. Bug detectors can also detect hidden cameras. These cameras emit high energy, making it possible for electronic bug detectors to pick up its signal.
Check the Power Indicator
This is the most natural and most prominent. You can check the power indicator of your security camera. If it is lighted, this means it is on and working. If it is working, then it is recording.
Check the Storage
Check the storage of your security camera. It can either be the NVR/DVR or cloud storage. If you can find sored video footage and view them properly, then the security camera is working.
Also, find out if the security camera system has an external memory card. The camera stores images and videos in the external memory card while it is recording. It could also be stored in the Cloud.
Check if Your Security Camera is Fake or Not
Yes, there are fake security cameras. How will you know? Naturally, fake security cameras can NEVER be turned on.
Fake security cameras are also called "dummies." However, there are other ways to check if your security camera is fake or not.
Check the Wires
PoE security cameras use cables or wires. To connect to the router, PoE security cameras use wires. Security cameras use cables to connect to the power supply.
Therefore it is vital to check for cables and wires around the security camera. And check if it is connected to a power supply or a router, to make sure.
Check the Red Lights
Take a look at the red lights of the security camera. Real security cameras do not have blinking red lights. In other words, the red lights are steady. Unlike the fake security cameras where the red lights blink.
Check the Brand
It is very important that before you buy a security camera, check the brand.
You can check on the internet. Research on the manufacturers and find out if they can be trusted or are reliable. In this case, this is where the usual advice is applicable. And that is, buy from reputable brands and manufacturers.
These types might be a little expensive as compared with unknown brands, but you are assured of the best when it comes to quality, reliability, and dependability.
FAQ about security cameras working
There are a lot of questions which people have about security cameras. Some of the most common and frequently asked are tackled in this post, so let us find out what they are and see how they are typically answered.
Do security cameras (red light) blink?
The answer to this is no. Real or genuine security cameras do not have blinking red lights. However, some do. Blinking red lights is an indication that the security camera is fake. This is one distinct feature of dummies.
So, you can check if the security camera is real or a dummy by looking at its red light. If it links, it is a fake. If it does not blink, then it is genuine.
How will you know if the security camera is reliable?
How will you determine if you have a reliable or good security camera?
Simple. Look at the brand. It has been told over again that to make sure you have a good and reliable security camera, go for ones which have reputable brands
In other words, purchase from credible manufacturers. They may be a little expensive than those from unknown brands. But you are assured that these security cameras are of good quality and re reliable and dependable.
How do you determine if your security camera has been hacked?
Although it is a little difficult to detect if your security camera has been hacked, there are some ways to make us aware that there is this possibility that it has been hacked. I am talking about some signs to be mindful of.
- Unusual sounds – If your security camera or baby monitor, for that matter produce strange noises, then there is a possibility of hacking.
- Spikes in network traffic - data of your security camera system must be checked. If you see spikes in the network traffic, then it may have been hacked.
- Blinking red light – now this does not mean you have a fake security camera. This is assuming you have a good security camera. If you notice its red light blinking (which must not happen with real security cameras), then it is a sign that it has been hacked. If this happens, disconnect your computer from the internet and implement an antivirus program.
- Abnormal rotation – if your security camera rotates unusually or is experiencing abnormal rotation, then hacking is possible.
- Camera settings – check your camera settings. If it has been changed without your knowledge, then it has probably been hacked.
- Illuminated LED light – Hackers can control your device. So if you notice that your security camera's LED light has been turned on without you doing it, then it is hacked.
How to Prevent Hacking of your Security Camera
There is always a solution to most problems, and answers to the majority of questions. The issue of hacking is one primary concern of security camera users or owners. Hackings may be avoided, if you only know what to do to prevent it.
Secure Routers with Passwords
Secure the router of your home network. This can be done by using robust passwords. Those that are hard to come to the minds of other people. Using complicated passwords is one way to make hackers get into or gain access.
Antivirus and Firewalls
Using or implementing antivirus and firewalls in your system is one way of preventing or protecting it from being hacked. It will also be a good idea if you upgrade your firmware.
Limit Home Network Log Ins
Limit the devices which can log into your home network. This way, you will have control when it comes to devices allowed to have access to your home network.
Security camera systems are essential for our security, safety, and protection. However, it does not start and end with just installing it. We need to be responsible security camera system owners, too.
This means we must know what to do to ensure that these devices are working properly, to make it effective and serve its purpose.
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Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 16+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.