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How to Know if CCTV is Working

There are many different ways to protect your property in the modern world. One of the most common methods for adding security to a property is installing CCTV camera systems. CCTV systems though appear complex. They have wires running through the wall, and various cameras that don’t necessarily appear to be doing anything.

Because you can’t tell if a CCTV camera is working simply by looking at the camera, many people want to know how to tell if a CCTV camera is working. There are several ways to tell if the camera is working. Let’s take a look at a few.

Check The NVR/DVR

The easiest way to tell if a CCTV camera is to go to the Network Video Recorder or Digital Video Recorder. Open up each camera and make sure that you can view it. That is not all though. You also want to go back and check to see that each camera has recently recorded footage. It is possible for a CCTV camera to stop working in the way that it will still allow you to view the camera but not record footage.

Check The Cameras Remotely

Some CCTV cameras allow you to access your cameras and stored footage from a mobile device or a computer. You can also check on your cameras using one of these platforms.

Something to keep in mind though is that a CCTV camera can still be working while not sending data to your computer or phone. This is because the data is not recorded on the phone or over the internet. Instead, it is recorded on the NVR or DVR. Internet problems or transmission problems could cause your cameras not to show up on a remote device while they are still recording.

Use A Bug or Electronics Detector

You can get bug or electronic devices from specialty stores or the internet. These devices come in different shapes and sizes. You swipe them around the area that you want to sweep for electronics. CCTV cameras emit a small signal when they are working, a signal that the bug detector should be able to pick up on. Not all cameras will emit this signal though. It depends on the device.

Make sure that you buy a quality bug or electronic device. There are plenty of fake or lesser quality devices available on the internet. If you turn to one of these, you may falsely assume a CCTV camera isn’t working. Amazon reviews should help you to determine the quality of a bug detector.

To See If They Are On

If you just want to see whether or not the CCTV camera is on, there are a couple of methods that you can use. Point Tilt Zoom cameras will rotate or move when they are on. Dome style PTZ cameras will be harder to notice but if you look closely you should still be able to observe if they move.

Visually Look For IR LEDs

Almost all CCTV cameras have IR based night vision to allow the camera to see at night. For the most part, these little lights are not able to be seen when on to the naked eye. Walking up close to the camera though, you should be able to see a faint red light being emitted from these IR lights. That will let you know that the camera is on.

Use Your Phone Camera

An alternative to this is to take your cell phone out and point it at the camera. Most IR lights can be picked up by the camera on your phone, so when you point your phone at the CCTV camera, you should be able to see the light being emitted. Both the previous method and this method work best when the location is dark and most CCTV cameras do not turn on their IR lights until it is dark.

CCTV cameras are wonderful tools to help secure your property. One of the best ways to ensure that your CCTV camera system is working to have it professionally installed. Professional installers will make sure everything is set up and functioning before they go. Do it yourself installations are more likely to stop working or to be tampered with.

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