Member Discussion

Taking Over Network, How Can I Find Existing Online IP Cameras?

We recently took over a large installation of IP cameras on a MAN. Does anyone know how we can accurately locate all cameras connected to this network. My fear is that the camera list we have is incomplete. It would take hundreds of man hours to look at every switch.

Couple of questions:

  • Do you know the manufacturers of all the cameras?
  • Are all the cameras on the same network subnet?

Are those cameras connected to an existing VMS? Is there any documentation or internal knowledge either from internal staff or prior integrator?

I ask this because, technically, trying to discover cameras across a large network is going to be a problem.

  • If there's a VMS there now, get on the console and see what it's talking to.
  • IP addresses, names, even subnet numbers will be helpful.
  • If there's a switch port where a vms used to be plugged in, attach a laptop with wireshark and see what tries to connect.
  • If you have access to any one or several cameras, peel out their config to get the IP address scheme, subnet, etc.
  • nmap scan the whole network (WARNING: might make noise, might piss off native IT staff) and look at what responds to find the cameras.
  • If you can tear a camera off a wall plug it into a stand-alone switch with a laptop with wireshark and observe what the camera does when it tries to contact the VMS, that'll let you reverse engineer the network data if you don't have access.
  • assume the last vendor was a slacker and never changed the passwords so be sure to try vendor default credentials.

Good luck...

We can help you.

Manqing, how?

This is video surveillance network inventory management. Considering that many organizations have video network at many sites, it is often very tedious to figure out cameras, recorders, storage and their relationships. Rodney mentioned, we do a combination of network and VMS integration, and provide you consolidated inventory report.

How do you discover all these devices deployed across large networks?

The way which we implement this is to install our agent on each recorder. It collects inventory and diagnostic data.

If Kevin already has recorders active and connected to cameras, he does not need your service. He can just log in those recorders and check what is connected.

Kevin I've used Famatech's Advanced IP Scanner it's a free download. I downloaded it from cnet, as with anything from cnet do a custom install so you don't get any unwanted programs. It will show the names of the devices connected to the network ie. Axis camera, bobs computer.