Security Camera Troubleshooting: DIY Ways To Fix Your Camera

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Personal fixing wires on security camera outside (caption: Security Camera Troubleshooting)It can be incredibly frustrating when your security camera isn’t working. And if you aren’t tech-savvy, you might feel overwhelmed trying to get them working again.

Well, have no fear. Getting most cameras working again is simpler than you might think. Our experts are here to help you with step-by-step guidance. You’ll be surprised how much time, money, and frustration you can save!

Article Overview

10 Steps To Take Before You Give Up

1. Make Sure It Has Power

Security camera plugged in
Is your security camera plugged in?

The first thing you want to check is your power source. You’ll want to make sure the camera is on, that it connects to the power source and that the power source is working. If you have a battery-powered camera, you may want to change the batteries to ensure that’s not the issue.

2. Evaluate Network Connections

If your camera isn’t connecting to your network, it may not work. Regardless of the type of connection your camera uses, like WiFi or POE (Power Over Ethernet), you’re going to have problems without a proper connection. Our WiFi camera section has more details.

3. Ensure The Wires Are In The Right Pace

Make sure all the wires are properly connected to your camera. If a wire comes loose or disconnects, it won’t work. Wires connect security cameras to the power supply and the network, which can cause issues if not fully connected.

4. Have You Tried Turning It Off And On Again?

Back of security camera
Turn the camera off and back on again and check that cables are connected.

Sometimes, you need to reset your camera by turning it off and back on again. It sounds simple, and it is. Unplug the camera from the power source, wait a few minutes, plug it in and turn it back on.

5. Check The Settings

Cameras have a lot of features, but you need to enable some of them in the settings. If your issue is with a particular feature, make sure you have set it up the right way.

6. Verify The IP Address

Every camera has an IP address. You can find it by looking in the directory or using one of many websites to check it. Once you have the address, you can use your computer to test the connection strength.

This 5-minute video from network engineer Behfor shows you another way to find your camera’s IP address.

7. Update Firmware And Software

Firmware and software updates help keep your camera up to date and keep it running smoothly. Having the latest updates will help make sure you’re camera is functioning at its best. You should be able to check for these updates on the camera company website.

8. Do A Factory Reset

D-link camera unplugged
Try a factory reset to restore default settings

Sometimes you have to take your camera back to basics so you can start over and set it up all over again. Doing a factory reset takes your camera back to its original system state and manufacturer settings.

To complete a factory reset, refer to your cameras manual for specific instructions. This process usually involves pressing a button on the back of the camera for a certain amount of time.

9. Check Forums And FAQs

If you are having an issue with your security camera, you aren’t the first person to have that issue. Check user forums and frequently asked question sections of the company website for information on how people deal with similar problems.

10. Call Tech Support

If all else fails, call tech support for your camera. The representatives can help walk you through your camera’s specific troubleshooting steps to help get you back up and running.

Let’s Get Specific – Advice By Camera Type

Depending on the type of camera or equipment you have, you may want to try something specific when you’re troubleshooting. Here are a few things to think about if you’re dealing with the following devices:

Man setting up an Arlo security camera outside (Caption: Best WiFi Security Camera)Indoor (WiFi) Cameras

Indoor WiFi cameras use a wireless signal to connect the camera to the network, so you need to think about the following:

  • Low signal: Your camera may be too far from the router, or something may be blocking the signal.
  • Frequency: Check the frequency requirements of the camera. You may need a certain frequency like 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz.

Power Over Ethernet (POE)

POE systems have one cable to connect power and transfer data. Be sure to check:

  • Equipment compliance: POE systems need to work with equipment designed for POE cables. Make sure all the system equipment is compliant.
  • System size: POE systems work best with small local networks. Please verify you aren’t overdoing it.
  • Power capacity: Make sure you have enough power to support powering the system and any additional ports you may have.

DVR or NVR Recorders

If your camera connects to a DVR or NVR for the recording you’ll want to check these additional areas:

  • Remote control: Check for batteries and make sure it connects to the unit.
  • Hard drive: If the hard drive connection is loose or wasn’t installed correctly, there will be an issue. Also, if the hard drive is full, your camera won’t be able to record.

Common Security Camera Issues And Errors

There are a few common problems you may face with your security camera. Here are some quick-fix solutions you can try for some common problems.

Night Vision Not Working

Check the amount of ambient light surrounding your camera. If the area around the camera is too bright, the night vision may not activate. You can fix this by moving the camera or reducing the light around the camera.

Wireless camera iconNo Signal

If your camera connects to the router with a wire, you most likely have a wiring issue if you have a no signal error. In this case, check the connections and replace any faulty wires. If you have a wireless router connection, it may be a problem with the router. Make sure the router is connected and that you have an internet connection.

Showing Black Screen

Check the power source and wiring. This step includes checking the batteries or making sure the camera wires connect correctly. If you have a solar-powered camera, make sure the solar panel connects to the camera and is in full sun.

Is Your Camera Reliable?

Man looking into security camera: Home Surveillance Cameras 101If you find yourself troubleshooting your security cameras on a regular basis, you may want to consider getting new ones. We have extensively reviewed different types of security cameras. If you are looking for WiFi, doorbell, outdoor, night vision or even CCTV cameras, our experts have put together a comprehensive guide to cameras that covers them all. Our reviews can help you decide which cameras might be right for you.

About The Author:

Julie has been writing professionally since 2012. She is an active volunteer for a local arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country. Everytown does comprehensive research on gun violence and makes recommendations on how we can all make our communities safer. Her involvement with this organization has given her invaluable information about how to keep our kids safe.

She enjoys writing not only about gun safety, but from family-related content to informative articles about technology, events and healthcare. In her free time, you might find her hiking, trail running, biking or swimming. You might also find her in the kitchen where she loves to cook and bake.

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