I. How to set-up an IP Camera.
II. Run the MAC software that came with the camera.
- This will allow you to manually copy IP numbers from your router to the camera.
- Completing this should let you view video from your computer entering its IP address. At this point camera and computer is connected using a Ethernet cable.
III. Run PC software. Use the software included in a CD or download.
- This will configure the camera to connect to the Wi-Fi.
- - This is much like setting up a computer for Wi-Fi.
IV. At this point you can see video using a browser. Enter the IP address of the camera nnn.nnn.n.nnn:nn.
- - This allows you to do this while the camera and PC connected via Wi-Fi. This also works while ONLY using your local/personal Wi-Fi router. Once you’re outside your intranet. Use somebody’s Wi-Fi or surf using your Smartphone. It will not be able to connect.
- Reason is that the Wi-Fi Router is blocking access to the camera’s IP address via firewall.
n When you enter the camera's’ IP address outside your network the ‘Internet’ doesn’t know what that IP address is. There can be thousands of that camera with the same IP address connected to the internet. And those thousands of cameras’ are inside someone’s Intranet or personal network shielded by their routers’ firewall.
n It’s like trying to call your missing dog out on the street but your dog is inside someone’s apartment. Doors being closed so it can’t hear you.
n You need to have a one of windows open so that when you call your dog’s name, it can hear you. This is when router PORTS come into the picture.
n Let’s imagine a router is the house and port is one of the windows.
n We need to open at least one window to allow my voice to get into the house.
V. We now need to manually tinker with the router setup. This appears intimidating or just too much work. For me I thought of just returning the IP Cam just because I hate doing that.
- To do this we need to setup the virtual server of the router.
n in English that meant assign a house window to be open so I can be heard by my dog.
- At this point we need to somewhat drill down to that screen.
n Search for “Firewall”. Under that should be Virtual Servers. Click on that.
n by now you should see rows and rows of blanks that needs to be filled up.
1. Every row is a window of a house that is closed.
n We need to just fill in the blanks of one row since we only need to open one window.
n Let’s start entering information of the first empty row.
n Enter any word in the description (e.g., camera one).
n Enter the external port.
n Choose a number between X to XX and enter that in the external port field. This will be the window number or port number in the case of the router.
n Sometimes it’s better to use the port assigned by the camera at the initial steps.
1. Port number is the number after colon “:” after the bunch of numbers with periods.
n Enter last 3 digits of the camera’s IP address. That would be the three numbers on the left side of the colon.
n Enter the internal port.
1. Now copy the port number of the camera. Sometimes the hardcoded PORT of the camera (on a sticker on the camera) can be different as the PORT eventually shows up on the first step when you look at the cameras setup.
2. When the camera port is different (sticker against camera IP Port in its configuration), use the PORT # in the camera’s config or setup. This PORT # is saved into the camera’s memory.
n Now we have told the router to open window (PORT). No when we scream outside our voice can port through that window (PORT).
VI. To test, enter the IP Address of your computer (check web on how to get assigned IP of your computer) plus colon and PORT number. XX.XXX.X.:NNN. This will only work when you are outside your network.
VII. Now to be able to make this work all the time. This is an extra measure of stuff we need to do to make this always work.
- Yes you enter your computers’ IP address plus PORT then you can access your camera but the kicker here is that the computers IP address changes. It changes because whoever invented the internet didn’t think far enough that they agreed to have this few numbers on a IP address.
VIII. It’s like the car’s license plate. Imagine if there are only three digits on a license tag and the 1000 car need a plate? We have painted ourselves in a corner. So what the internet gods did is that whenever you reboot your computer the gods selects a number for you. When you switch off they give it to another computer.
- Now comes the DNS or DDNS providers. These businessmen made software that associate your IP to a text that we can easily remember (e.g., APPLE.COM). Since the internet gods’ change your IP whenever they get bored, these DDNS businessmen makes sure that the text associated to your IP address gets updated with the new IP. Now you just have to remember the text (e.g., amazon.com) instead of the ever changing IP address.
IX. Now coming back to accessing your camera outside your network, instead of typing the IP address, you just type in the text plus the port, of course separated by a colon (e.g., yahoo.com:80).