10+ Security Camera Troubleshooting Tips

IP camera troubleshooting can be frustrating. Even if everything appears to be in order, getting IP cameras up and running can require some hard work. Although IP video is becoming easier to configure as it develops, it is still far from “plug and play.”

Every expert should have a few basic troubleshooting solutions under their sleeve to get IP cameras live and running. Right at this moment, I will guide you through the essential security camera troubleshooting tips.

Why Is Your Security Camera Not Working?

security camera power supply

A variety of factors can cause closed-circuit television (CCTV) problems. A system network error, a power supply issue, an IP conflict, or just a snagged connection are all possibilities. These problems are frequently simple enough to troubleshoot and resolve on your own. (1)

Common Camera Problems

You’ll find a list of frequent issues that can cause your security camera to stop working here. If you’re having the same (or similar) security camera problems as the ones listed below, you should try the methods provided further to resolve them all swiftly.

  1. The video from your security camera is not playing back, and you cannot play it back.
  2. You won’t be able to see your security cameras remotely.
  3. Although there is no video, the camera’s LEDs are still on.
  4. Video security cameras work throughout the day but lose video at night.
  5. Night vision isn’t working, you can’t record anything, or you can’t see infrared.
  6. Your iPhone/iPad is unable to connect to the NVR security camera.
  7. It won’t record 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  8. Got a problem with a Swann/Lorex security camera?
  9. Your security camera is unable to connect to WiFi due to a lack of a WiFi signal.
  10. A green and red light is flashing on your DVR or NVR system.
  11. Your security camera isn’t in color, isn’t clear, or isn’t working correctly.

11 Troubleshooting Tips and Methods

viewing security camera via phone

When your security cameras begin to act up or stop working altogether, it’s critical to take action and follow these quick troubleshooting solutions.

Tip #1: Remember Your Login Details

I highly suggest that you have the login details before doing any troubleshooting with your surveillance equipment. This includes all usernames, email addresses, passwords, codes, and security question answers, among other things.

If you reboot or disconnect the device without first checking your login credentials, you may be adding needless stress to your day.

Tip #2: Inspect the Power Supply

Examining the power source may appear to be a simple step in troubleshooting a broken security camera, but it’s crucial.

Power Over Ethernet (PoE), which provides power across the same cable as the network connection, is used to power most modern surveillance cameras. Ensure that your power source has electricity and is set to provide power to the cameras if this is the case.

If an electrical plug supplies the security camera, you should verify that you link it in first. If it’s plugged in, double-check that the camera is acquiring the correct wattage for the device. Some modern surveillance cameras demand more power than is typically available from a wall outlet.

If a battery powers the security camera, make sure it is fully charged and provides adequate power to the camera. It’s vital to remember that all batteries have a shelf life and that older gadgets may require battery replacement.

How and when to tell if your security camera is on: Most security cameras feature LED lights that show whether or not they are powered on. These lights could also indicate whether or not the camera is linked to the security network and is sending data. However, since each security camera is distinct, I recommend consulting the manual for information on your camera’s particular power indicators.

Tip #3: Determine Whether You May Access Your Cameras From In and Out Of The Network

Updating your internet connection or router might cause a slew of issues. An external connection problem is frequently caused by installing a new internet service, replacing a router due to a failure, or software updates that require further settings.

If you can access the cameras and system from within your network, the problem is most likely due to a lack of external connectivity. You may also check the following:

  • Have you switched internet service providers? If this is the case, you have accidentally modified your external IP address. This could also be an issue if you don’t have a “static IP” internet service.
  • Is your router up to date? If that’s the case, you’ll need to set up a firewall or port setup on the new router.
  • Is your recorder/camera equipment still connected to the internet? This could be affected by changes to the camera system’s settings, such as a new IP address, an invalid IP gateway, or other adjustments.

Tip #4: Evaluate the Wiring


Checking the wiring is another basic yet important action to do while troubleshooting your security camera.

In this case, you should be on the lookout for items like:

  • cables that are twisted or tangled
  • wires that have frayed
  • sloppy connections

It’s also a good idea to double-check that your wires are linked to the appropriate ports correctly and safely.

Tip #5: Restart the System

“Have you considered switching it off and on again?” this is a common question you’ll recognize if you’ve ever watched The I.T. Crowd. This time-honored phrase is a must-have when it comes to tech support.

Try rebooting your security camera first if it’s not working. Before turning it back on, give it around 15 seconds to cool.

“How can I restart my CCTV camera?” you might be asking. The straightforward answer is that each CCTV camera is unique and requires a unique way of rebooting. For precise instructions, I suggest consulting your system’s manual.

Tip #6: Look for a Possible IP Conflict

An IP address dispute can sometimes cause a security camera’s malfunction. Each security camera is given its own IP address during installation. If another device utilizes the same IP address as the security camera, an IP conflict will occur, resulting in a malfunction. (2)

To begin, you’ll need to find the IP address of your camera. After then, you’ll have to ping the camera.

  • How to locate the IP address of your security camera

Check the security camera software system page to find the camera’s IP address. This page will show you all of your camera’s IP addresses.

  • How to ping your surveillance camera

In the main screen’s search feature, type “cmd.” This will launch the DOS command prompt in which you can try to connect to the camera with the “ping” command.

  • How to look for IP conflicts

In the control panel, type “arp-a.” If there is a conflict, modify or assign a new IP address to the camera.

  • How to check if the camera is linked to the network

“ping camera IP address-t” is the command to use. The camera is not linked if you receive an “Unchargeable” or “Times Out” indication.

Tip #7: Inspect the ARP Tables

You can find your security camera’s IP address and MAC address in the ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) tables. To check that all addresses match, cross-reference the ARP database with the IP address and the MAC address.

  • How to locate the MAC address of a security camera

You may find the MAC address of most security cameras on the product label or on the camera itself. It’ll most likely be near a barcode. If the camera does not have a product label, log in to the data network and look for the camera’s information page. (3)

Correct the IP and MAC addresses in the control settings if they don’t match.

Pro tip: Keep a list of all security camera IP and MAC addresses in a safe place.

Tip #8: Update Your Software and Firmware

The majority of surveillance camera companies will provide software and firmware upgrades to address frequent problems, bugs or to introduce valuable new capabilities. I recommend that you check the manufacturer’s website for software and firmware updates and that you upgrade to the most recent version of your operating system.

Pro tip: Double-check that you’re getting the correct firmware and software for your machine. If you download the incorrect versions, you may have further issues.

Tip #9: Restore Factory Defaults

man holding the security camera

I understand that this isn’t everyone’s first choice. Starting over can take a long time because you’ll lose your settings and preferences. However, it can be highly effective in restoring your security cameras to working order.

When connecting cameras, the factory reset button is usually located near one of the cords.

The factory reset will occur if you push and hold the power button for longer than it takes just to reboot a networked camera.

It’s crucial to note that each camera manufacturer has its own factory reset procedure, so double-check the user handbook.

Tip #10: Contact Your Provider

If you have a service provider for your technological needs, they may offer you information that will assist you.

The majority of service providers will be able to help you with hardware problems, configuration adjustments, and total system recovery following a breakdown.

Tip #11: Contact the Manufacturer’s Tech Support

If everything else fails and you’ve tried the instructions above but still haven’t had any luck, I highly recommend contacting the manufacturer. Most manufacturers provide customer service, so use their preferred approach to contact them. The company’s website, the control center, an initial email from them, or the system manual are all excellent places to look for this information.

Please remember that you must explain your problem as thoroughly as possible for the support team to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. And, since some difficulties are more complicated than we first assumed, it takes time for the support team to do a thorough investigation and confirmation.

You may check other product and learning guides below;

(1) system network error – https://www.lifewire.com/common-error-messages-on-computer-networks-817745
(2) IP conflict – https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-ip-address-conflict-818381
(3) MAC address – https://slts.osu.edu/articles/whats-a-mac-address-and-how-do-i-find-it/

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About John Fox

ebbb364ee14268bd3b77496cab3d1d78?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: Certified Alarm Technician (CAT)
Education: Denver Security Academy
Lives In: Denver Colorado

John Fox has worked as a security consultant in Denver for over 20 years.
With Safe Now, he's taken those two decades of experience and decided to share it to help people online make the right security decisions for their businesses and families.

John writes security tips and guides, product recommendations, and prevention guides.

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