Smart cameras play a critical role in improving our home security. These security devices help us monitor our homes even when not around when one integrates remote control and access.
For these features to be viable, the camera has to remain tied to your home network. When the camera disconnects from your network, it falls offline, and you can’t view or control it from the app.
So, what does camera offline mean?
A camera displays itself offline when it can’t successfully sync with the cloud servers. This usually happens due to a power disconnection or a drop in the network connection. Sometimes, cloud servers succumb to downtime, and you get an offline state on the cameras.
This post will cover why your camera is offline and the troubleshooting steps to get it back online.
Why Is My Camera Offline?
The camera is offline because it can’t communicate with the cloud servers. Thus, falling out of sync. This happens when the camera disconnects from your Wi-Fi network or there is a disruption in the power supply. Also, the camera could be located far away from your network router, receiving a poor signal.
Like most smart home devices, WIFI smart cameras require an active internet connection for optimal functionality.
Once the camera disconnects, you won’t receive live streams, nor will you be able to manage the camera on your smart app.
That said, here are some common reasons for the offline camera issue;
- Loss of network connection
- Disruption of the power supply
- An outdated app or firmware version
- The camera is in a poor network spot or out of your Wi-Fi network’s range
- Low battery for the outdoor camera
- A poor signal between the outdoor camera and the base station
- Your camera’s brand is experiencing a server outage
- A faulty device
If your area experienced a power outage disconnecting your smart devices, perform a power cycle on your camera and the network router. Give the router a moment to initialize and connect to your smart device.
Once the camera is connected, refresh your smart camera app and check the status. It should be back online.
After identifying potential causes, how do you deal with the issue to restore your camera?
How Do I Get My Camera Back Online?
To get your Smart camera back up and running, try these troubleshooting tips;
- Perform a power cycle on all your devices
- Check that your router is connected to the internet
- Update the app and camera firmware
- Factory reset the camera and set it up afresh
- Check for reported server outage
For outdoor cameras, restart the base and check the battery status. Ensure the outdoor camera is close enough to the base station for a strong signal.
On the other hand, if you have a baseless outdoor camera, ensure that the installed location receives a strong network signal.
To test the network strength, go to the camera location and try surfing on your mobile device. If pages are straining to load, chances are that your camera is receiving a poor signal.
Move the router or install a network extender closer to the camera to boost the signal.
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Perform A Power Cycle
Restarting an electronic device comes in handy when fixing minor connection issues. It fixes minor software bugs and refreshes the connection.
Therefore, the first solution to help get your cameras back online should be to restart your setup. This includes the camera, network router, the base for outdoor cameras, and any other device you might have on your network.
To restart your camera, unplug it from the power outlet, wait 1 – 2 minutes for it to discharge, and reconnect it to the mains. Apply the same procedure to all the devices on your network (router & Camera base).
Once you connect the devices, give them a minute to power up and connect to your network. Now, refresh the smart app by closing and reopening it, and finally, check the camera status.
Power cycling has saved me a handful of times when facing connection issues. If it works for you, make it a habit to restart your smart home devices from time to time.
Check That Your Router Is Connected to The Internet
As with most smart home devices, you need an active and stable internet connection to access the smart camera on the app.
So, is your router’s internet connection valid? Check on your phone or any other device (pc or tablet) that your router is connected to the internet.
If your network has an issue, you should try fixing it before connecting your camera.
Sometimes, there is a power disruption or a drop in the internet connection. This can affect your camera’s connection causing the “offline” error.
Restart your network router and the camera. Once the camera is connected, the camera app indicator should turn back to “online.” And you should be able to access and manage the camera.
Again, most smart cameras only connect to a 2.4 GHz network. If your router broadcast 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies on the same SSID, separate them to different networks to avoid conflicts.
Clear The App Cache and Reconnect the Camera
Prolonged cache build-up on your app can cause malfunction or slow down the app. Again, this can cause the app to give “false negatives,” indicating that the camera is offline while connected.
To clear your app cache on android, navigate to phone settings > select apps > find the app > tap storage > select clear cache. After clearing the cache, hit back once and select the “Force stop” option.
For iOS devices, open the phone settings > select storage > under device storage, choose internal storage > select cached data > tap “Ok” to confirm.
You can optionally restart your phone to apply the changes fully. After the phone restarts, open the smart app and check your camera’s status. Is it still offline? Try adding the camera as a new device. To do this;
- Open the app
- Tap the top left “+” icon
- Select “Add Device” from the pop-up
- Choose your device category. Tap “Cameras” from the list.
- Select the camera type. Choose your camera model.
- Follow through with the in-app prompts as if you were setting up the camera afresh.
Update The App and Camera Firmware
If restarting the devices doesn’t fix the issue, we have to look elsewhere; the best place is to check whether the app or the camera has a pending update. Updates are timely resealed to help fix various bugs or offer improved features.
Therefore, you should always endeavor to keep your devices on the latest firmware versions.
You can quickly check and update your camera firmware through the app. This is how to go about it;
- Open your Smart camera brand’s app
- Select the device
- Bring up the settings page
- Look for the “Firmware Upgrade” option and select it to check for available updates
- Give it a minute or two to complete the update if one is available.
Once the camera is updated, check its status on the app. If the offline error persists, I got one final solution you can try.
Factory Reset the Camera
Factory resetting the camera wipes the device clean and removes all the app settings and configurations. Factory resetting offers a chance to start things on a clean slate by restoring the camera’s default settings.
Once you reset the camera, you must reconnect it to your network to use it. Thus, it’s wise to apply this as a last-resort solution.
Before resetting the camera, remove the camera from the smart app.
To factory reset your camera;
- Connect the camera to a working outlet
- Remove the microSD card if any
- Continuously press the Setup button for 5 – 10 seconds.
- Let the reset process take its course. It can take up to 5 minutes, depending on your camera version.
- The device is ready to set up afresh.
At this stage, you probably know the drill. To set up your camera, open the app > Tap the “+” icon > Select add device > tap the Cameras option > select your camera type > Follow in-app prompts.
Factory resetting and reconnecting your camera afresh should fix the offline issue.
Why Does My Security Camera Keep Going Offline?
Smart Wi-Fi security cameras require an always active internet connection to remain online. The camera falls offline once the connection is lost.
If the camera keeps going offline, it indicates an underlying power or network connection problem. You have probably installed the camera too far from the router, weakening the Wi-Fi signal.
The above three are the top three reasons for the offline issues on smart Wi-Fi cameras. That is;
- Network disconnection
- Low bandwidth – poor signal coverage on the installation spot.
- Issues with the power supply
If your camera runs on a battery, you also need to check it out and ensure that the battery capacity isn’t too low.
To fix the network connection issue, move your camera closer to the router or the base station for a stronger Wi-Fi signal. Alternatively, install a Wi-Fi extender or upgrade to a mesh network topology.
Use this link to perform a speed test from the camera installation point.
Finally, ensure the camera power connection is solid and that none of the camera components is broken.