Fake vs. Real Security Cameras – How Can You Tell?

Security cameras seem like they are everywhere. They watch banks, schools, churches, apartment complexes, big businesses, small businesses, fence perimeters, coded gates, parking lots, and even inside and outside residences. 

Are they all genuine? Does their presence everywhere cause you to pause and wonder? If they aren’t all real, how can you distinguish between fake vs. real security cameras?

Are Some Security Cameras Fake?

The answer can be found as quickly as a web search. Quite a few imitation cameras are available, and they are popular because they are cheap compared to a real CCTV system. In theory, mimicking actual cameras deter criminal activity as effectively as real cameras.

Why Would I Care If A Camera Was Real Or Not?

You might say, “My motives are pure, and criminals are the only ones who care about fake vs. real security cameras.” Looking at it in one way, that is true. But sometimes, it pays to be as clever as a criminal.

Imagine this scenario. You pay for a motel room. You see the security cameras monitoring the premises, and you have a comfortable sense of security. But a criminal knows the cameras are fake, and they have the advantage. You’re caught off-guard. A robber takes your money and drives away in your car. 

Things To Look For To Tell If A Camera Is Real Or Fake.

  • A Blinking Red Light.
    A 9-volt battery is powering that prominent blinking red light on some security cameras. It looks good, but it’s fake. Some older cameras might have a blinking red light, but it isn’t apparent, and new cameras do not have a blinking red light.
  • The Absence Of A Red Hue Behind The Camera Lens.
    If you point your camera at the security camera and see the light on the viewer, the camera is real. Newer cameras use infrared technology at night, and it can be identified with the naked eye by a red hue behind the camera lens. It is not detectable at a distance, however. You have to get close to it – unless you have a cell phone camera. Very few Smartphone cameras have an infrared filter on their front-facing camera. 
  • Intermittent Motion
    If a camera moves back and forth, it isn’t scanning the area, and it is fake. Real security cameras don’t move, and they don’t need to move. They employ wide-angle lenses to capture an extensive field of vision. However, PTZ (pan, tilt, and zoom) cameras will move, and a remote operator controls them. They are expensive and uncommon.
  • Quality Of Material
    Fake cameras are cheap, and they usually look cheap, too. Most of them will be constructed with plastic, and they will have gaps in their seams where their parts come together. Genuine cameras will be built of metal and have watertight seams.
  • Location Of The Installation
    Cameras constructed of cheap materials are not going to wear very well. Wind will expose their poor construction, and the plastic will fade from the sunshine. Rain will seep into the camera case and sometimes drip from the camera long after the rain has passed. So, fake cameras are usually mounted in places that shield them from the elements rather than places where they have optimal visual angles and coverage.
  • Wires
    The lack of wires on a camera is no longer a fake sign because of wireless technology. There are still some telltale signs possible from looking at camera wires. Older model cameras will have two wires running from the camera, and new models will only have one wire. If it is bright and shiny with two wires, there is reason to doubt it is real. It could be fake if old and worn with only one wire. That single wire will not be thin. If it is, it’s probably fake. Real cameras use a wider coaxial cable.
  • Prominent Brand Names
    The lack of a prominent name on the exterior of a camera is a giveaway. Real cameras will have a brand name on them. The manufacturer wants people to see their names, and it is free advertising. While some fake cameras will be labeled, most manufacturers don’t want to spend money on labels. A quick check of the names on the internet will expose them as fakes or verify them as genuine.

Securiteam Is The Real Deal

The fake vs. real security camera contest is one the Securiteam wins every time. Give us a call, and let us show you that we’re the real deal when it comes to video surveillance. We will give you a free quote on a wide range of options available for your size and budget.

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