IP Camera Generic Discovery Tool


I have always used the IP Camera's manufacturer's tool to discover their brand of IP Cam. Since we use a few different manufacturers of camera, it would be great to have a generic tool to discover IP Cameras. This would save lots of time for our onsite techs. Are you aware of such a tool? if so, could you point me in the right direction?


Joel Gall

I've used this one in the past with success: LINK

One thing to keep in mind with tools like Angry IP Scanner or Advanced IP Scanner (and like discovery tools), these tools will not include the management features available from the manufacturers tool(s). Such as reassigning the IP, updating firmware, gathering logs, etc.

But strictly from a discoverability standpoint, I've had good success with both of these tools.

Note that if you scan an entire IP range you will see other devices (switches, servers, workstations, etc), not just cameras that are on the network.

If you are dealing with new or modern cameras, you can get a lot of mileage out of ONVIF device manager. It automatically finds all ONVIF cameras on the segment. It will also provide a live stream for focusing and positioning. You can also change ONVIF settings, including IP. It's free as discussed here.

Many network devices that need to be discovered on the network use the so called 'Bonjour' protocol. Bonjour locates devices such as camera, printers, other computers, and the services that those devices offer on a local network using multicast Domain Name System (mDNS) service records. Most cameras will respond to this multicast.

Network discovery tools from different vendors use this technique to discover specific brands of devices (cameras). They build their vendor specific applications on top of this, and only cameras of that specific brand are presented.

However, there are 'generic' Bonjour tools, that will discover ALL devices that are on the local subnet, and support Bonjour.

A free piece of software is 'Bonjour SDK for Windows'
Bonjour SDK for Windows is intended to be used to develope your own applications https://developer.apple.com/bonjour/index.html

However if you just install 'Bonjour SDK for Windows' it also installs a plug-in for Internet Explorer.
This plug-in for Internet Explorer is a very handy tool to dicover your cameras.

In the IE toolbar, you should see the Bonjour icon (a swirling icon), and if you click on it, on the left will open a toolbar, listing ALL the cameras, printers and services found on the network. Clicking on the device will open the web interface of the device in the IE window. This allows you to access the device web interface, without even knowing it's current IP address. See below:

Note that most devices are DCHP per default, so provided there is a DHCP server on the network, you can directly access the device by clicking on its name in the Bonjour toolbar. In the network configuration, you can then give it a fixed IP address if desired.

Hi Joel,

It's not the finished product you're looking for, but we recently open sourced a Java Library that does camera discovery. https://github.com/evercam/evercam-discovery-java

There's a nice flow chart in the readme file that explains how it combines things like upnp (bonjour) , onvif, and plain old ip address pinging.

Someday, hopefully, someone will turn it into a windows App, for now, we use it in 2 of our products, a gateway and an android app.