Security Question - How do you know if someone watching your WiFi Camera?
Serious question I hope someone can answer.
So I have a WiFi connected Reolink Camera, which is, of course connected on my Home Wifi to the Internet.
And I view/access/operate this camera using the Reolink App on my phone.
I can of course do this from home, when I am connected to my home WiFi
Or I can do this at work, or I guess anywhere in the world if I have a WiFi or cellular connection.
As you have to put in your home WiFi name and password into the Reolink app.
And also create a password to access your camera into the Reolink app
How can I be sure no-one else. Someone at Reolink even, can not view me through my WiFi camera?
Absolutely, 100% guaranteed, no.
Reasonably certain, yes.
Unless you have deliberately opened ports through your home router, the only pathway into the modem is through the connection that the camera has set up to the Reolink cloud using the camera UID. Then, the person wanting to view the camera has to have the password to log in.
When I asked Reolink support to troubleshoot an issue for me, they needed to know the UID (There are thousands of cameras. How do they know which one is mine? UID), and they had me set a temporary password on the camera so they could log in. (I actually created a new login ID/password. When they finished, I erased both.)
So, if someone learns the UID and password of your camera, they can install the Reolink app and look at your camera feed.
Thank you so much for the reply.
I have some TP Link indoor camera's that I am considering returning and replacing with Reolink ones, simply down to image quality (Reolink audio quality is way worse, but I guess video is more important)
the TP Link app, have a very obvious OFF button which seems to kill the camera and stops it from recording anything.
The Reolink cameras and App have no such function.
I have been talking to reolink and their tech support said if I wanted to be sure the camera's were not reordering me at home the only option was to unplug them.
A honest answer, if still a pretty poor one.
I have requested they consider an OFF control in the app, as, whilst it's not really an issue for outdoor camera's. For indoor ones, privacy should be a priority and users should be able to easily turn off camera's.
I'm ok as long as video is not being viewed by anyone.
Not that I'm doing anything secret, but of course, we all wish to feel private inside our own homes.
If a person were to breach security (i.e. learn the UID/password, they could use the app to turn recording back on.)
The Reolink cameras all include a "schedule" function of one type or another. You could, for example, set the cameras to record only when you expect the house to be empty and not record when you expect someone to be home.
A number of systems have enabled "geofencing", where the camera turns on only when the cell phone is away, and turns off when the cell phone returns. This, of course, is little help when more than one person could be home.
The Simplisafe camera addresses this issue by having a way to cover the lens (https://simplisafe.com/simplicam-security-camera)
I am afraid that this issue is too complicated for simple solutions. "I want the cameras to view and record when no one is home (security). But, I don't want it to view or record when my wife or I are home. But, I do want it to view/record when a housekeeper comes in (and turns off the alarm!), or when the kids are home with a babysitter, or...."
Reolink is a fantastic purchase for price and quality. In terms of software development, not so much. If it doesn't do what you want, chances are it never will.
Thanks for the great answer.
I don't wish to appear paranoid! it's simply questions about privacy at home.
I always use good long complex passwords so not worried about that. However I suppose I am always a tiny bit concerned that the app created for the camera's that connects to the internet, has your WiFi and Password information in it.
So you are putting your trust totally in what the app does with this private data.
I wish I was clever enough to be able to monitor network traffic to see if video was not being sent out.
What puzzled me a lot was, I did try the option of setting the recording to be off at a certain time.
Then puzzled why the IR lights came on, when it got dark, despite it supposed to be not recording.
I have suggested, and it's been taken on board that perhaps in a future update an obvious power off control may be in the app.
All this said, I will say how impressed I am with this little camera. It's not perfect, and the app has a few issues, but really it's superb for what it costs.
I may go full Reolink for outdoor home camera's in the future. When the weather is better
Depending on the model, I believe the IR lights are controlled by a light sensor. In other words, "It's too dark, so I'll turn on the IR lights now." On some models, there is a setting to prevent the IR lights from every coming on. I actually use that feature because I realized that flying insects are drawn to the IR lights and show up as VERY BRIGHT IMAGES to the camera, which records them as "motion." What I did was purchase separate "IR illuminators" and mounted them at least 5-6 ft. away from the camera. Bugs can fly near them all they want and do not influence my cameras.
Yes, indeed. My model has the option to leave on automatic, which I imagine is what most people would use, or you can manually set it to be off all the time.
What just seemed odd was that, when the camera was set to not record anything, the lights still went on/off depending on light level.
I suppose it may just be independent of the camera recording, but it LOOKS like the camera is still working when you think it's not.
I think customers of indoor cams would appreciate an "Off" control in the app, and also an explanation in the manual explaining what off means.
It seems a little strange that things like this, are not considered.
Hopefully things will improve in this respect.
Cynthia last edited by
Hello Customer, much appreciate your trust on Reolink! the IR LEDs on during the night does not mean it is recording, it is a way to provide enough light for the camera to 'see' during the night(lack of light), without the IR LEDs, it would be hard for the camera to see clearly in the dark. That also provides us with a way to know if the camera can work properly during the night.