By Ali Dayekh
How would you like to find out what’s going on in your home or place of business just by visiting any web cafe, or even hooking up to the internet with your iPhone or wifi capable-phone?
The potential is here now and it’s called the IP camera!
My colleague, Baya Harrison, the technical and eBay listing wizard here at Chinavasion gave us a way to do that with the webcam in his blog How Your Webcam Lets You Watch Your Home From Work.
However that only really works if you’re prepared to leave your computer on 24 hours a day and who wants to do that?
The IP camera is good in that it uses an IP address without needing a computer, so essentially you are removing the middleman.
Essentially you can control the IP cameras from anywhere in the world, setting the angle and zoom setting of the camera from your computer.
As the cameras are digital they provide superior quality footage than analog CCTV and as the information is stored digitally on a hard disk (HDD), there is no chance of footage degradation unlike analog equipment.
Digital footage is also easier to search at a later date.
So with the ability to:
- Check footage from anywhere in the world
- Control the cameras from ANY remote location
- Collect higher quality footage
- Find parts of interest easier
What’s stopping anybody from switching to an IP camera-based security system?
Here’s a quick guide on installing an IP camera which will let you be ahead of the curve.
Installing The IP Camera Software
While the camera might not need a computer to be on all the time to operate you still need to set up an IP address for the IP camera to operate from.
First, connect the IP camera to your network via a ethernet cable or wifi connection and make sure it’s plugged in and working.
Then insert the included CD ROM into your computer and install ActiveX and the Sun Java driver onto your computer by clicking on the buttons shown below:
After you have installed both applications, only then can you install the IP Camera Utility by clicking on ‘IP Camera Utility’.
Follow the onscreen instructions just like you would do on any other software installation, you may even need to restart your computer once it’s finished.
Once that’s complete you can set up the camera’s new IP address
Configuring The Camera’s IP
Now that you have completed the software installation, select the ‘IP Configuration’ option. This is where you will have to configure your new IP camera’s IP Setting.
If you want to use a dynamic IP address and use the services of a site like dhs.org or dyndns.org then select the “Obtain IP address by DHCP” and start preparing your camera for remote access.
Setting Up A Static IP For Your IP Camera
To find an IP address that you can use the first thing to do is to go to the internet icon in your bottom screen and left click it.
Select support, that will give you all the numbers you need. Copy them down onto a piece of paper.
One thing that is important to remember is that the last three numbers of the IP address for the IP camera can’t be the same as any other internet-capable device in the internet network. So get the IP number for all computers (or anything with an IP number in your home) and select an IP address for the IP camera which is different to all of these.
Once you have worked out all these figures then you can enter in the new details into the software by typing them directly into the panel in the IP camera software.
Make sure that the last three numbers of the IP are new while every other number is the same.
After you have configured your cameras IP address, click on OK to save the camera’s IP address and then hit refresh if the IP is not displayed on the screen yet. Once the IP is displayed, all you have to do is right click, and select Launch IP, or you can just select the launch IP from the left column.
Make sure to setup a user name and a password while you are configuring the IP of your IP camera, this can be done via selecting the advanced tab.
And that’s it for local networks, your internet browser will launch the the feed and adjustment options of your IP Camera, Alternatively you can simply just load a new web page and type in the cameras IP address and you should enjoy images like.
Setting Up The IP Camera’s Remote Monitoring Capabilities
If you are using a static IP for your camera then all you need to do is to take the IP address from your camera and enter it into your web browser.
If you are using a dynamic IP address then you will need to set up an account at one of the following sites:
After creating an account with one of these sites they will issue you with a URL.
Take the URL of the site you are using, include your password and username into the IP camera software menu and you will be able to access your IP camera anywhere in the world without the need for a static IP.
Now is a great time to think about replacing your traditional low quality, high maintenance analog surveillance system to a high quality image IP security cameras. This can only enhance your home security for your peace of mind to keep you and your family safe from harm.