How to tell if a security camera is recording: Protect your home

In this 21st century generation, there are multiple ways to implement to ensure his/her home is fully protected. From employing security guards to installing security cameras, name them. But, one of the significant and commonly used ways to supplement property security is the CCTV Cameras.

 CCTV Camera systems look a bit complex because they have multiple wires running in/on the wall. You will see several cameras that seem inactive. Since it’s difficult to know if a CCTV is recording by just checking on the camera, there are multiple ways to help you. I know many people would wish to have a clue on determining whether the security camera is recording or not.

Ways to determine whether a security camera is recording or not

Use electronic or bug detectorhow to tell if a security camera is recording

You can buy such devices from specific electronic stores or the internet. The electronic or bug detectors come in varying sizes and shapes. You swipe the sensor around the area you suspect there’s an electronic device. A functional CCTV camera, if available, will emit a particular small signal when recording.

The detector then picks up on the signal. However, not all security cameras can produce such a movement based on the gadget. Therefore, you need to ensure that the bug detector you buy is of high quality. I say so because you will meet multiple options on the market; some are fake while others low-class.

Probably, a fake electronic detector will make you falsely think your security camera is recording. Revise Amazon reviews to get more details of a specific electronic or bug sensor to purchase.

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Check the DVR/NVRCheck the DVRNVR

The easiest method to tell if a security camera is recording is your Digital Video recorder or Network Video Recorder software. Once in the software, try opening up every camera, ensuring that you can view it. Opening only is not enough; you have to confirm whether a camera has recorded footage recently.

A security camera may stop working, ending up with no recorded footage, but it’s on. So this way can help you figure whether your security camera is recording or inactive.

Check your cameras remotely

I thought you should know that some security cameras can allow you to receive the recorded footage via your computer or phones. Still, it’s possible to check on your security camera through one of the platforms. You need to understand that the CCTV might be functioning but not sending footage to your connected device.

This is because the footage isn’t recorded and stored on the internet or phone. Instead, it’s recorded either on the DVR or NVR. Transmission or internet problems could be the reasons your camera isn’t visible on the remote device. Once it disappears from your connected device, know it’s not recording.

Search for IR LEDs visuallySearch for IR LEDs visually

Almost all security cameras are equipped with IR mechanisms to allow them to see during the night. These cameras are the best as they can record everything happening in your home at night. However, seeing these tiny LED lights can be tricky since you don’t have that intention.

Moving closer to the security camera can allow you to spot the faint Red LEDs with your naked eyes. The lights are produced from the IR lights. Once you see these lights, know that the camera is on and recording.

Observe the camera and see if it moves

Physically observing the security camera can be another way to tell if your security camera is running. However, this method might not be reliable due to different models of CCTV cameras. For this reason, Point Tilt Zoom cameras tend to move or rotate when they are operating; operating means recording.

This method can be tricky on PTZ Dome-style Cameras, but you can see them moving if you pay much and close attention. They move secretly; that’s why they are referred to as CCTV cameras.

Use your Phone’s CameraUse your Phone’s Camera

This is another method that one can put in place to tell if a security camera is recording. What you need to do is to point your phone camera towards the CCTV’s heads. Your phone camera will pick the IR lights, so when pointing the phone camera to the security camera, be careful to spot emitted IR lights.

However, this way is not suitable during daylight testing. Just like the above ones, the camera should be located in a dim/dark area. The IR lights are only emitted during the night by most security cameras.

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Frequently asked questions: 

   I.Do security cameras have sound or audio?

Determining whether a security camera has sound or audio is a difficult task. What you need to do is to inquire more information from the Camera manufacturer directly. However, baby monitor cameras come with a two-way sound function; so if you are looking for a security camera with sound, get yourself a baby monitor.

How am I supposed to know that my camera is good?

   II. They are many methods to do so like;

Google directly for reviews concerning the security camera you wish to buy.

The warrant is another best way to determine when a security camera is good or not. Good security cameras should come with not less than a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.  Directly reading the customer’s reviews is another way to tell if the camera you wish to buy is good or bad.

III. Should a real CCTV blink?

Many real CCTVS don’t feature Red flashlights. The low-class ones will portray such lights at their front parts. Experts say such models are fake and should be avoided.


From the above discussion, you can realize that security cameras are fantastic devices to ensure your property is secured. However, they might turn out to be useless when you think they’re recording but not. Hopefully, our article has helped you with several ways to tell if a CCTV is recording.

Having your security camera properly and professionally installed is the best way to ensure the camera works smoothly, recording every event around your property place. You can install them yourself, but chances are high to fail to work, and sometimes you can temper with them during the installation process.

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