Member Discussion

How To Configure Network Ports For IP Cameras

When setting up a network for cameras is it recommended to use different ports for each camera? Does it matter if they all use the same port scheme. I used to always change them for each camera because I felt that network traffic would be impacted if they all, for example, used 554 for RTSP. I am curious what the recommended method for configuring this would be. Current experience seems to point that it doesn't matter.

Thanks for any input.

David, why do you want to change the ports of the camera?

I don't see why network traffic would be impacted at all.

"Current experience seems to point that it doesn't matter."

Yes, that's my experience as well. There might be some edge cases where it might make sense but typically leave as is. Indeed, changing ports could create integration issues as 3rd party systems typically default to the default ports of cameras.

I was just trying to solidify my understanding. A decent amount of my knowledge has been gained hands on versus training. So when I first started working with ports in a network I made an assumption that using the same port would cause a conflict. I think I understand it better now and when a request is made it uses both the IP and Port number to locate its destination. For whatever reason I had thought that the ports available were just the single range of 1-65535 non specific to the IP address.

Thanks for clarifying.

Think of a port as the equivalent of an apartment number. Lots of buildings can have the same apartment number (You might live in 25B, I might live in 25B). But if we live in different buildings, then we have different full addresses (e.g., you live on W. 40th St, #25B and I live on W.50th St, #25B).

In NYC, giving someone only the street name and apartment number without a street address is cruel.

If they're all on the same LAN and you're not trying to access them remotely (from the Internet), then it doesn't matter.

If you're going to want remote access via the Internet, then you're typically going to have to remap the ports on the cameras to something unique, so that you can configure port-forwarding on the router.

Packets on the network are addressed to the *MAC* address of the camera at the lowest level. The IP address and port of the camera are higher up the stack, and it doesn't matter if 10 different cameras use the same port # for RTSP, that data is basically transparent in regards to the LAN.

Let's say you have 10 IP cameras inside a LAN. They all have unique private IP addresses but use the same port (e.g.,,,, etc., etc.)

If you port forward you'll need unique ports going out (e.g., if your public IP is, it would be for camera 1, for camera 2, etc.) but those could then simply map back to the cameras inside, yes/no?

In my experience it's far more common for cheap/simple routers to only do port forwarding (generally defined as the external IP:PORTx forwards to Internal IP:PORTx, PORTy to PORTy and so forth) and not port mapping (external IP:PORTx to Internal IP:PORTy).

Changing the ports on the cameras themselves is pretty much guaranteed to work. So, IMO, having a procedure for handling this logically is the best approach for consistency sake.