Getting a security system is a wise investment, but it cannot help us if our IP camera keeps going offline. The drops in the connection aren’t only annoying. They could be dangerous along the line, especially if you live in a city with a high burglary rate.
Although the percentage of property crimes in cities such as San Francisco has fallen, that isn’t the case in every major U.S. city. The world has shown that leaving our home unprotected is not the best idea, as maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, someone could try to snoop around and steal our belongings.
Investing in a security system was the first step. Now, you just have to figure out how to make the IP camera work properly. Is there something wrong with your network? Should you change the camera? Could it be that something is interfering with the signal?
The answers to these questions and more can be found in my nifty guide on eight tried-and-tested IP camera fixes.
I myself live in a large city, and crime rates are often on the rise. Because of that, I cannot risk leaving my battery powered security camera in the offline mode for long. When I first noticed the connection issues, I thought it was just a simple glitch. Now, however, I see that there could be many things at play here.
What to Do If Your IP Camera Is Going Offline: 8 Easy Solutions
1. Check Both the Power Source and the Socket
If you have a battery-operated IP camera, it’s not uncommon for the battery to lose charge fairly quickly. Therefore, check the battery first — if it’s not working, just switch it out for another one. If it’s rechargeable, charge it again. I’d suggest always keeping a few spare batteries at hand, though.
On the other hand, you may be relying on the good old plugs and sockets. Those can malfunction from time to time, causing the connection to break off in the middle of recording.
I checked the socket I was plugging the source in, and it was working. I knew that couldn’t be the issue then and had to research further. However, if you find that your socket isn’t working, here’s a video that explains how to fix it. Do know, though, that it’s always better to call an electrician — less worry for you, not to mention less hassle!
2. Reboot the Camera
Sometimes, the camera may be dropping connection due to a simple glitch. Therefore, before going further with all the other solutions, do what I did — reboot. There are only just a few steps to it:
Step 1: Disconnect the power plug. Wait for about 10 to 15 seconds.
Step 2: Plug the power source again and wait for five minutes for it to “find its bearings.”
3. Place the Wi-Fi Router a Bit Closer to It
If you’re anything like me, you’ve already done this. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve moved the router to accommodate more sensitive devices. Because of that, I installed my IP camera as close to it as possible and within the range the manufacturer recommends, so that wasn’t the issue.
Most manufacturers have information on how distant the router and the camera can be in order to ensure proper functioning. Head on over to the manufacturer’s website to find out if you might have overestimated the camera’s ability to keep the connection going.
Alternatively, check your Wi-Fi settings. Simply log into the camera software and see how many bars you have. If there aren’t many, and you cannot move the router, consider investing in a Wi-Fi extender or booster.
Here’s a simple guide on how you can install one of those. The video opts for a no-name extender, but if you get a brand-name one, you’re bound to get some instructions as well.
Another thing that could be messing with your camera is your router’s firewall. This tutorial will allow you to disable it so that it doesn’t block your connection anymore.
4. Recheck Your Password
Unfortunately, people are forgetful, and we often lose our passwords. I, for one, don’t trust myself that I’ll remember them, so I neatly write them in a small notebook I keep stashed away in the closet.
Mixing up passwords is quite common too, especially if you find yourself always creating one based on the one you use for your email, for example. So check your password again, as that could be the reason the camera cannot connect to Wi-Fi.
Make sure you have typed it correctly, especially if you have some numbers, letters, and symbols. Often, just the caps lock function could be to blame!
5. Recheck the IP Address
Since each IP camera requires a unique IP address, you may be dealing with an IP conflict. If two devices are using the same IP address, one of them will “block out” the other one, i.e., the camera in your case.
To check whether that’s the issue, you can use the following method (but remember not to type the quotation marks as well):
Step 1: Type “cmd” in your Windows Search Box. That will open the Command Prompt.
Step 2: Type “arp -a” to check for conflicts. If there aren’t any, stay there and try pinging your camera.
Step 3: Type “ping cameraIPaddress -t.” The text will look something like this: “ping 192.168.2.150 -t.”
Step 4: If the results show messages such as “Request timed out” and “Destination host unreachable,” that means the camera cannot connect to your Wi-Fi network. To fix the issue, you’re going to have to change its IP address or assign a new one.
That was actually the problem with my camera, but I couldn’t trust myself with IP addresses. Because of that, I called customer support and let them guide me through it. I recommend that you do the same, as many tutorials online are just too tech-oriented for us regular folk.
6. Make Sure the Antennas Aren’t Loose
In order for the camera to work properly, the antennas cannot be loose at all. Otherwise, connecting to your Wi-Fi network would be downright impossible!
The problem is — most cameras come with detached antennas, so users have to assemble them on their own. That’s why many have this issue in the first place. They may not have tightened the antennas well and are now wondering why the IP camera is not working.
7. Configure Your Wi-Fi Settings
The SSID sounds like a complicated term, but it’s really only your home network’s name. Most of the time, we all change it to distinguish it from others or, if we’re forgetful, remember it easily.
Sometimes, mistakes happen, and you connect to the wrong SSID. If there’s a similar one to yours near you, that’s easily understandable. Here’s how to connect the camera to the right SSID (the process may slightly differ based on the camera you’re using):
Step 1: Use an Ethernet cable to connect your camera to your LAN network. That is only temporary.
Step 2: Log into your camera via the browser and look for Device Settings.
Step 3: There should be a Network option somewhere. Click on it and find Wi-Fi Settings.
Step 4: Click Scan to find the right SSID. Double-click on it to select it and then input the password.
Step 5: Click on the Wi-Fi Test. If it works, you’ll get a message about it.
Step 6: It’s time to disconnect the Ethernet cable. Once you do, the camera will use the Wi-Fi to connect to the router.
8. Factory Reset
As the most drastic move, you can consider doing a factory reset to get back to square one. That entails finding the pinhole/reset button most cameras have in the back. Here are four ways you can do it — some don’t even require you to open it!
However, I do have to warn you against doing this. Resetting the camera to its factory settings is likely to fix the issues, as it will take it back to a fixed reference point. Nevertheless, all the history and other settings will be lost forever in that case, some of which you might need in the future.
So in case it comes to this, use my next tip to ensure you don’t render a good camera useless — get some help.
When in Doubt — Ask Professionals to Help You Out
Finally, if nothing seems to work, calling the manufacturer is your only choice. Sometimes, the hardware of some cameras is so specific that they have their own “issues.”
Those may not be fixed with any of these solutions, so getting the tech support to diagnose the problem is your best bet. I suggest allowing them to access your computer remotely to get a better idea of what’s going on. They’ll surely know how to fix it, as most issues aren’t that unique unless you’ve been tampering with your camera.
The problem might be in the firmware. The tech support will tell you if you’re using the latest version or not.
You can always download the new firmware from the manufacturer’s website. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to fix the issue. If your app or software isn’t working, you can also upgrade those to the newest versions — that could do the trick!
Besides, if you still have the warranty, you may be able to get a replacement. Out with the old, in with the new if nothing works — why lose any more time on a faulty device?
Bonus Tip: Switch the Frequency Band to 5 GHz
This tip couldn’t do anything for me as I didn’t have the right camera for it. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a dual-band security camera, you can use this fix in case the network seems a bit too slow for the device to work properly.
Most devices we have in our homes use the 2.4 GHz frequency, so you can imagine how much interference that causes, not to mention the congestion. Instead of suffering through that, you can ensure your home is always protected by switching to 5 GHz. You can change your router settings by following this tutorial.
Do know, however, that both the camera and the router have to be dual-band for this fix to work. Luckily, in most cases, toggling between the two bands is usually straightforward. You’ll find the options in Settings under Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi Band (depends on the model).
Finding all these fixes was truly important to me, as getting an IP camera was an investment I made to ensure my family’s safety — I couldn’t possibly let it be in vain! Luckily, one of them has worked for me, and if you’ve been reading closely, there could be a solution for your issue here as well.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that you’ll find it enlightening just as much as researching all these solutions was for me. So don’t forget to share it with others who may like it. Also, let me know in the comments what you thought and if you perhaps have some additional tips that others may use to their advantage.
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