In many cases you may need to want to know whether the IP security camera is a real or dummy/fake security camera. Let’s say, if you visit your friend’s home, you may feel uncomfortable if you are recorded by a security camera. So how to spot a fake security camera? Admittedly, the difference between real and fake security cameras is getting hard to notice with ever sophisticated dummy cameras sprouting up, like those with blinking light and motion sensors. Yet, the differences could be distinctive in the eyes of professional thieves, and there are still some obvious differences between real and fake security cameras they may take advantage of. Listed below are 7 differences between real and fake security cameras may give you away easily.

1. LED Lights

The LED lights could be a dead giveaway. Anyone knows that a real security camera with night vision, which is the standard these days, will have red LED lights when the ambient light condition is poor. Any dummy security camera will be obvious if it doesn’t blink in the total darkness.

How about the dummy security camera that flashes with fake LED lights inside? That will not work either, especially for experienced burglars. That’s because most decoy cameras with lights are powered by batteries without a controller or something alike, and they will just flash all the time, even during the day when the real LED is supposed to be off. So they will not give the appearance of recording but tell the intruders that the camera is fake. And the real LED isn’t too bright and obvious. If you have ever used a real security camera, you will notice this difference between real and fake security cameras easily.

2. Security camera covers

The difference between real and fake security cameras are largely reflected by the materials used. Hence, many cheap replica cameras look fake. Usually, fake security cameras are made of cheap plastic instead of water-proof aluminum cover. The business insiders or the savvy criminals will know on the spot of a fake security camera, especially when it is placed on easy-reaching places, like the front door.

3. Installation placement

The installation placement does say something about whether the IP camera is real or fake. The weather will not be kind to outdoor cameras, and thus, it could act as a helpful hint.

The fake security cameras with fragile plastic housing can never stand against the hovering wind and the pouring rain. Some of them may have a protruding cover, but that is not enough to protect against the weather. The fake wires exposed outside can easily get damaged, for example. And therefore, you’ll have to put them in a protected area, like under the eaves or ceilings, if you want them to act effectively and permanently. By contrast, real security cameras, especially the IP66 & IP65 rated ones, can be placed anywhere outdoors with no afraid of the weather. So the cameras placed outdoors to confront the natural elements are probably real.

4. Check the wiring

The wire is not an effective indicator of fake security cameras. Nowadays many IP cameras have visible fake wires, making the difference between real and fake security cameras much more confusing. But remember those bullet cameras that miss any wires are obviously fake ones.

5. Camera types

Another way to tell the difference between real and fake security cameras is to learn some common fake security camera models. If you type “fake security cameras” in the search bar on Google or Amazon, you’ll find that all the results are either bullet cameras or dome cameras. These two form factors are easy to imitate without violating any property rights. And most wire-free cameras, by contrast, have distinctive designs and are harder to imitate in terms of manufacture.

6. Markings

How can you tell if a security camera is fake, in a way that you can be absolutely sure? The brand name is the most straightforward and accurate way to spot a fake security camera, if it is identifiable. Take just a minute to search the brand online, you will know if the security camera is real or fake at once.

You may notice some security cameras don’t carry a brand name on their cover. Great chances are they are fake cameras and want to hide this obvious difference between real and fake security cameras.

7. Movement tracking

Some fake security cameras even have built-in motion sensor and will swivel to track the movements. In fact, they are not exactly tracking the movement, but just continuously rotating back and forth, so an observant criminal may be aware that the unit is fake.
And true motion sensing cameras will never swivel when someone walks by. They just record the whole event without making actual physical movements. Just think about it, the movement tracking will need a lot of technology and cost. Even the real cameras can’t do that for now, let alone the dummy ones. However this doesn’t apply for  real PTZ cameras.