While on a preparation stage before shooting video/making this material, I talked to our technicians, installers, our salesmen, I was researching and I’ve seen how other technicians answer this question. So, we don’t pretend to be original, but these are the most common mistakes done through many years till now by us and our clients who reached to us seeking for answer. And thus, I will be answering from this position. My name’s Daniel, Pipl Systems Store, where you can get any level security system for yourself.

Wrong subnet and checking a conformity

Totally a number 1 among all other items on the list judging by a repeat rate. You purchased a network camera, got home, powered it on, inserted the network cable, activated it and… nothing happened. Camera is still offline – you don’t get video. What’s wrong? Camera’s default network settings are different from the ones that you have within your network.

Here’s a regular IP-address, where “0” is a subnet number: it may be other number from 1 to 254, but the point is that this is number one item that you have to check in case you don’t get a video from camera over internet. It’s likely that you need to modify just a single number, like changing that 0 to 1, and that will do the thing. You can check what are your network parameters like this:

Wi-fi Signal Frequencies

5 Ghz. signal frequency instead of supported 2.4 Ghz. Which frequencies your Wi-fi router is running on? 2.4 Ghz or 5 Ghz? There’s a lot of advantages of 5 Ghz. over older 2.4Ghz., except range, but yet, a majority of Wi-fi security cameras are working under 2.4 Ghz. frequencies. This is changing, but still in such case you will be wondering what did go wrong if everything was done right And this actually isn’t that obvious. I remember I caught myself on such mistake.

Lack of power on the camera

Depending on the distance, or on that one cable is supplying too many cameras at once, a different power voltage gets to the cameras. For instance, your camera is 12V, and you power it from 12V power supply, and everything seems to be correct, but if, for example, this distance is 20 meters, then eventually, less power gets to the camera, like 10V only. Also, this can be seen if, let’s say, the quality of the video noticeably worsens at night. Why? Because the infrared lights are switching on and also require power. And your camera is already getting less power, and now even worse. As a result – interferences on video, the camera is randomly going on and off. This matters, and this has to be considered too. A summary amount of power needed for cameras is bigger then what’s power supply unit can deliver – and this is a frequent one.

Motion Detection Sensitivity

Here’s a thing – you installed a camera, turned on notifications or alarm triggered by a motion in camera’s sight. And now you are testing it and it doesn’t work, or isn’t accurate. You’re trying to adjust camera’s position, different incline angle, but it doesn’t work. So why? Because it’s normal. Because a default sensitivity of a PIR sensor is set to low-middle level. Now if such problem occurs with you – get into camera’s settings and raise a sensitivity level so that when you will be testing it – your every move is being registered.

Detection Zone wrong set-up

When drawing a detection zone do you select the entire picture? Because if you do – you will have a lot of false alarms. Because you are not excluding moving objects like trees and their leaves, that are fluctuating throughout entire day. And the same is applicable to sun rays. As we’ve got an image change detection type, pixels, in other words, the sun and its rays’ angle and position may also cause false alarms, as they are changing throughout the entire day too.

Blocking Camera’s LED Lights and IR lighting reflecting from glass

The matter of installation – to make sure camera’s IR LED lights are having free view and nothing is blocking them. That’s quite a common one – we expect the camera to switch into night mode to make it able to see at night in black and white due to built-in infrared LED’s, that light up a scene, and which lighting is invisible to human eye. And there are 2 mistakes done here. First – installing the camera that way so its view or a part of view is blocked by a wall or some objects located near to lens in its field of view. Or when you install the camera in front of the glass window so a large piece of image is taken by glass. In both scenarios camera’s infrared light is reflected back to camera and night view feature is completely useless.

Skimping on wiring

That’s an interesting one. For instance, 4 megapixel and higher resolution cameras are common now, and I cannot call them cheap. and what I frequently see is that people purchase cheap wires along with a 4 megapixel or higher, cameras. And mostly, because they don’t know how a cable quality affects an image quality. And by the image quality I mean image pureness and clearness, the absence of lags, glitches, interferences, graining and blur. First of all, that should be a copper wire, not a bimetallic one. And also – these are a different cables: indoor and outdoor ones. The opposite of this is that sometimes people take good wires but don’t know how to use them. Like, there are UTP, FTP and SFTP-types. And sometimes they get good FTP-cable, but are not grounding it and are using cheap plastic connectors instead of good iron ones.

Old Firmware

Such a common and frequent mistake is simply a device running an old firmware. And you usually stumble upon this when you have done everything completely right, but some functions are JUST NOT WORKING. I mean, let’s say, you have purchased a camera of 2019 launch year, and… now it’s 2020, and manufacturer more likely released an update, even several ones probably, improving stability, adding new functions and et cetera. So, the first thing to do after you get the cam out of the box…. – check a firmware relevance. This issue exists literally because you are not connecting your camera to cloud. Either way in the phone app or any cloud service you will see a prompt telling that a new firmware update is available and all you have to do is to just accept its download and installation with 1 button press. Obviously, it’s important, but it’s easy to miss this in sight.

Wi-fi Camera System Issues

This one is about expectations of stability and reliability from a wi-fi camera system, outdoor cameras especially. There’s a lot of pros of having a Wi-fi camera system in your home, but the biggest and one of few only disadvantages in Wi-fi type video transmission. Because there are enemies of Wi-fi signal: rain, snow, storms and similar. Also, that’s a network overload. The more network devices you’ve got within your network, the bigger is your network load, and consequently the worse signal strength is for every single device. Considering the fact that video footage is not some sort of small files, but a big and constant one – expect your video surveillance system to load your network really hard. The solution is to to get a separate network for video surveillance system, especially if that’s a big system. In such case, you will divide home appliance and computers and phones from a video surveillance system, that loads a network completely.

A video recorder selection

What recording resolution is supported on a video recorder that you are choosing? 4, 6, 8 megapixels? You got to answer this question when selecting a video recorder. And a one more on top – channels amount on an NVR or DVR – plan ahead. You are planning 3 or 4 cameras and a 4-channel recorder? Take 8-channel recorder. Why? Because if you would want to add a one more camera, which is running bigger resolution to your setup, you will have to buy a video recorder supporting bigger resolution and having 8 channels for connecting cameras, thus – you are overpaying.

Storage Capacity

You are not actually calculating required storage size in accordance with camera’s resolution, cameras quantity and the recording type. Motion, or any other event triggered recording, or a continuous? How much 4K-resolution video from camera will take space? A one more question to answer when selecting a video surveillance system.

Not securing connections

When those cables and ports joints are not water-tight and weatherproof. No mounting box, no weatherproof clips over cables and ports joints? Don’t be surprised when any wind and weather kills your system.


When selecting a video surveillance system there are many factors and pitfalls that only professionals can see. We often get calls that sound like: “I just want this cameraa and that’s it.” And then it turns out that a person needs a completely different camera for his task. And we get a refund. This is your time and your money. Don’t do that – everything mentioned earlier. Or let professionals handle it. In the Pipl Systems Store we can help you select your perfect camera or the camera system. We’ve got network cameras, analog, floodlight, cameras intended for night vision and many else 🙂

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