Once the server has been setup, you need to setup the cameras in order to make the video streams accessible by the server.

1 – Digital cameras (aka IP cameras)

1.1 – Reservation of a static IP address on the LAN

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a protocol used by routers to distribute internal IP addresses to devices such as IP cameras that are connected to the network that they manage. Routers manages a pool of IP addresses, for example from 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.254. When you connect an IP camera to your router using an Ethernet cable, the router assigns the IP camera the next available IP address in the pool. The problem using the DHCP is that if you unplug your IP camera (or if there is a power outage), there is no guarantee that the router will assign the same IP address to the IP camera. This is a problem because in order to access the video stream the path from your server to your IP camera needs to be fixed.

So, the first thing that must be done is to assign a static IP to the camera on the LAN. This can be done using the camera or using the router. If you are able to do it on the camera then there is no need to do it on the router (and vice-versa).

1.1.1 – Using the camera

Although the following instructions are valid for a Foscam camera, similar steps can be performed on almost all modern IP cameras. If you can’t reserve an IP address using the settings inside your camera you should be able to do it from your router by following the instructions inside paragraph 1.1.2.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Access your IP camera by typing, inside the browser of a PC connected to the same LAN used by the camera, the default IP address and credentials provided by the camera manufacturer. The IP address and the credentials are usually written on a label on the camera.
  2. Look for the DHCP settings of your camera (on Foscam cameras the settings are under Network > IP configuration).
  3. Disable the check-box Obtain IP From DHCP.
  4. Once done you will have to manually enter these IP addresses:
    1. IP address of your camera: the static IP that you want to assign to your IP camera (please choose an IP different from the IP address of the gateway or of any other device with a static IP).
    2. Subnet mask: usually 255.255.255.0
    3. IP address of your gateway: this is the same IP address that is used to access the settings of the router.
    4. Primary and secondary DNS server: leave blank or put your favorite DNS server (e.g. Google DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4).
  5. Once done you need to choose the LAN port for the camera. Look for the Ports settings of of your camera (on Foscam cameras the settings are under Network > Port).
  6. Once inside the settings page please choose the HTTP port (e.g. 25401) and click on Save

If you have been able to perform the steps above on your camera then you can skip the next paragraph and go to the paragraph 1.2.

videotracker_disable_DHCP_camera

1.1.2 – Using the router

Although the following instructions are valid for a Netgear Genie DGN2200v4 router, similar steps can be performed on almost all modern routers.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Access your router by typing inside the browser of a PC connected to the router the default IP address and credentials provided by the router manufacturer. The IP address and the credentials are usually written on a label on the router.
  2. Look for the DHCP settings of your router (on a Netgear Genie DGN2200v4 the settings are under Advanced > Setup > LAN setup).
  3. Under the Address reservation menu, click on Add.
  4. Select the camera from the Address Reservation table. The MAC address of your camera is usually written on a label on the camera.
  5. Choose an IP address (do not choose the IP address assigned to the router!)
  6. Click on Add.
    videotracker_router_static_ip_reservation

If you have not been able to reserve an IP address using the settings inside the camera and/or using the settings inside the router. Then you should use another router.

1.2 – Setup a port forwarding

Port forwarding/port mapping is an application of network address translation (NAT) that redirects a communication request from one address and port number combination to another while the packets are traversing your router. This technique is most commonly used to make resources (like IP cameras) residing on a protected network available to hosts on the opposite side of the router (like your server), by remapping the destination IP address and port number of the communication to an internal host. A port forwarding is needed to allows your server to connect to the IP camera(s) within your private LAN. Although the following instructions are valid for a Netgear Genie DGN2200v4 router, similar steps can be performed on almost all modern routers.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Access your router by typing, inside the browser of a PC connected to the router, the default IP address and credentials provided by the router manufacturer. The IP address and the credentials are usually written on a label on the router.
  2. Look for the Port forwarding of your router (on a Netgear Genie DGN2200v4 the settings are under Advanced > Advanced Setup > Port forwarding/ Port triggering).
  3. Click on Add custom service
  4. Select a service name (e.g. Camera 192.168.0.254)
  5. Select the External Starting Port which must be equal to the one set inside the IP camera (e.g. 25401)
  6. Select the External Ending Port which must be equal to the one set inside the IP camera (e.g. 25401)
  7. Select the camera from the bottom table. The internal IP address will be auto filled.
  8. Click on Apply.

videotracker_router_ip_forfording

1.3 – Static IP address and DDNS services

End users of Internet receive an IP address by their Internet service provider. The assigned address may either be fixed (or static), or may change from time to time, a situation called dynamic. Dynamic addresses are generally given to residential customers and small businesses, as most enterprises specifically require static addresses. Dynamic IP addresses present a problem if you want to provide access to your IP camera on the Internet.

1.3.1 – If you have a static IP address

The easiest and fast way to know if you have a static IP address is to ask to your Internet service provider. If you have a static IP address then you need to write it down because it will be necessary inside paragraph 1.4. You can find your IP address by writing on Google: “What is my IP address” and clicking on the first link which pops up (usually whatismyipaddress.com). This address is your routers identity viewed from the rest of the world.

1.3.2 – If you have a dynamic IP address (DDNS services)

Dynamic DNS is a technology that allows to a DNS name on Internet to be always associated to the IP address of an host, even if the IP address assigned to the host changes dynamically. There are many commercial or free Dynamic DNS services. The automatic reconfiguration is generally implemented inside the router or inside the IP camera which run software to update the DDNS service previously chosen and configured.

DDNS on the camera

Although the following instructions are valid for a Foscam camera, similar steps can be performed on almost all modern IP cameras. If you can’t setup a free DDNS using the settings inside your camera you should be able to do it from your router by following the instructions inside the next paragraph (DDNS on the router).

Here what you need to do:

  1. Access your IP camera by typing, inside the browser of a PC connected to the same LAN used by the camera, the default IP address and credentials provided by the camera manufacturer. The IP address and the credentials are usually written on a label on the camera.
  2. Look for the DDNS settings of your camera (on Foscam cameras the settings are under Network > DDNS).
  3. Enable the Enable DDNS checkbox.
  4. Take note of the URL inside the Manufacturer’s DDNS field
  5. Click on Save

If you have been able to perform the steps above on the camera then you can skip to the paragraph 1.4.

DDNS on the router

Although the following instructions are valid for a Netgear Genie DGN2200v4 router, similar steps can be performed on almost all modern routers. Here what you need to do:

  1. Access your router, by typing inside the browser of a PC connected to the router, the default IP address and credentials provided by the router manufacturer. The IP address and the credentials are usually written on a label on the router.
  2. Look for the DDNS settings of your router (on a Netgear Genie DGN2200v4 the settings are under Advanced > Advanced Setup > Dynamic DNS).
  3. Click on Use a Dynamic DNS Service.
  4. Type the credentials of your NETGEAR DNS account or register for a new account.

1.4 – Create and test the URL used to access the video stream

At this point you should have everything in place to allow your server to access remotely to the video stream of your camera (usually an MJPEG video stream). What needs to be done at this step is to compose and test the URL that will allow your server to access your video stream. Each camera manufacturer uses a different URL to give access to the video streams (and there may be also variations among different models from the same manufacturer). Despite this variability the URL should look like these (more or less):

HTTP://{USERNAME:PASSWORD}@{STATICIP_OR_DDNS_URL}:{PORT}/{PATH}

HTTP://{STATICIP_OR_DDNS_URL}:{PORT}/{PATH}?usr={USERNAME}&password={PASSWORD}

Where:

  • {USERNAME} and {PASSWORD} are the READ ONLY credentials used to access your IP camera.
  • {STATICIP_OR_DDNS_URL} is the static IP address or the DDNS URL set during Step 3.
  • {PORT} is the port set at Step 2 (which MUST be equal to the one set at Step 1).
  • {PATH} this is something specific for each camera manufacturer (and sometime models from the same manufacturer). This path can be found searching on Google something like “access stream for XXXXX“, where XXXX is the model and brand of your camera.

Here is how to compose the URL to access the stream for some camera manufacturer:

Example

This is an example of the URL needed to give us access to the video stream of a FI9803P Foscam camera:

2 – Analog cameras

Please  submit a request and send us the EXACT model of the DVR (digital video recorder) used by your analog cameras so we can check if we can access your video streams.