Setting up a New Network Camera (Manual)
Use these instructions if the standard setup steps have not worked, or you got your camera to work but it has stopped working, and you are comfortable working with networks and routers.
This section walks you through the following:
- Plugging your network camera into your router, and finding its IP address on the network.
- Going to the configuration website of your camera and entering your Wi-Fi network name and password, so it can be downloaded to your camera.
- Disconnecting your camera and verifying you can now find it wirelessly.
- Assigning a DNS hostname, or assigning a fixed IP address to your camera and reserving that address on your router.
1. Preparing your camera
It may help to factory reset your camera before beginning. For example, your camera may be a refurbished unit that still has settings from a previous owner. This typically involves pressing and holding a reset button (see your camera's documentation, or Google your camera name and "factory reset" for instructions).
2. Finding your camera on your network (device discover)
The first part of the process is to connect your camera to a network and make sure your computer can see it. The general steps are:
- First, connect your camera to your router using an Ethernet cable. It is important that your camera is on the same subnet of your network as your computer. Details here.
- Then plug in the power of your camera. It is important to do this after connecting the Ethernet cable.
- Use some software to discover where your camera is on your network, and the IP address you need to talk to it. Options include:
- The setup utility that came with your camera typically has a view that shows a list of discovered cameras. Most cameras do not have Mac OS versions of these utilities.
- Go to your router configuration software and look for a screen that displays the IP addresses of attached DHCP clients. This may be called something like "DHCP Clients Table" or "Attached devices." If you can't tell which IP address is the camera, look for a MAC address, which is typically printed on your camera or contained in the packaging of your camera.'
3. Configure your camera to work with your wireless network
The next set of steps involves telling the camera which network to which to connect, and giving it the correct credentials to do so.
- Type the IP address of your camera into your browser with "http://" before the IP address (but NOT "www.") For example, "http://192.168.1.100." If you have found the correct IP address, entering it in your browser should take you to your camera's configuration web page. Each camera has a web page dedicated to settings that can be downloaded to the camera. Note that this is NOT the same as the camera manufacturer's website.
- You may be asked to create a password and/or user name.
- Find a section referring to wireless settings. Usually you will see a list of available networks from which you can select your network.
- Enter the security settings of your network (e.g., WEP, WPA) and the password. In other words, you are configuring your camera as a Wi-Fi device on your network in the same way you would configure a laptop or other device.
- Save the settings, which should download them via your Ethernet cable to your camera. This may cause your camera to reboot, which could take more than a few seconds.
- Don't quit the browser yet.
4. Rediscover your camera
The next step is to verify that your camera can be found wirelessly.
- Disconnect the camera's Ethernet cable.
- Unplug the camera.
- Plug the camera back in and verify that you are still connected by going to the "live view" section of the camera's configuration website.
- Your camera may take up to a minute or more to reboot, during which time you will not be able to access it.
5. Assign a permanent hostname or IP address
This is a step that many camera installation processes do not address properly. Some cameras assign dynamic IP addresses by default, so that they work out of the box and then fail if the customer unplugs the camera to move it, etc. Others let you assign fixed IP to the camera, which may work temporarily, but does not eliminate the possibility of error as the result of an IP conflict. As a result, Sighthound recommends the following options:
Option 1: Assign a DNS host name to your camera (requires that your router supports this feature)
- A DNS host name acts as an alias for the IP address. It is more reliable because it will not be reassigned like dynamic IP addresses, but not all routers support this feature.
- To assign a DNS host name, go to your camera's configuration web page (not the one for your router), and look for a setting that refers to a "host name." Look for an option that provides a text field for you to enter a name to replace the numeric IP address.
- Once you've assigned a DNS host name, you can enter this name into the IP address field in the Sighthound Video setup dialogs.
Option 2: Reserve an IP address on your router with DHCP
This means the router stores a given IP address and only assigns that address to a specific camera. As a result, you do not need to assign the IP address on your camera.
- Look for a list of devices called something like "DHCP reservations," with a button or command to add to the list. Two sample screen shots are provided below.
- Enter a MAC address or equivalent so the router knows which device to always give the reserved IP address. The MAC address is a unique serial number for the camera may be contained in the packaging of your camera. You do NOT need to set a static IP address on the camera side because it will always receive the same IP address from the router.
Option 3: Hardcode an IP address on your camera AND make sure that IP address is assignable on your router
If your router does not support reserving IP addresses with DHCP, then you need to find a static IP on your router that you know will not be used, and assign that IP address on the camera. To be safe, however, you need to make sure that you assign an address outside of the reserved range of DHCP addresses that your router can assign.
On your router software, take the following steps:
- Find an IP address in the reserved range (outside of the DHCP range). Refer to your router's user manual to find out how to do this, but usually there is a section that refers to "dynamic IP range," or "DHCP beginning address end addresses," with a series of IP address numbers (e.g.,192.168.11.2 to 192.168.11.200). This refers to the range of addresses the router assigns to devices, and therefore you cannot use. In this example, it is safe to use addresses outside of this range, i.e., 192.168.11.201 to 192.168.11.254.
- If there are none available, you need to modify the range of reserved IP addresses to increase the number of available addresses.
- Once you have found an IP address that you know is in the reserved range, and not dedicated to another device, write it down and proceed to the next step (assigning that IP address to your camera).
On the configuration website of your camera, take the following steps:
- Find where to assign an IP address to your camera. IMPORTANT: Some cameras, such as Axis cameras, have two sets of identical IP address configuration settings. Make sure to select the wireless section, rather than an Ethernet or wired section.
- Enter the same IP address that you chose in the reserved range of your router, in the previous step.
- Click Save at the bottom of the page.
6. Start the Sighthound Video camera setup assistant
Once you have successfully configured your network camera, you can proceed to setting it up to work with Sighthound Video. To continue, click here.