Axis One-Click ReviewBy: Ethan Ace, Published on May 12, 2012
Connecting to remote cameras remains one of the most painful tasks in surveillance. Automatic setup features have proven unreliable in many cases, leaving users frustrated. Manual setup can be tricky for even experienced users, as networks and connectivity vary widely. Axis, however, has provided a means to set up remote connections without these challenges, first as part of its AVHS platform, and now to third-party systems. In this note, we overview Axis One-Click Camera Connection, how it works, what products it integrates with, and how it may impact the market.
Axis One-Click Camera Connection allows cameras to connect to Axis AVHS and select partners without requiring extensive network setup at the camera end (i.e., port forwarding, DDNS, etc.). When setup starts, the camera contacts an Axis-hosted dispatch server, which redirects the camera to the VMS server, and sets up the connection between the two.
Axis says that the connection between camera and server is encrypted using TLS, including all data, video, I/O, and metadata. The Dispatch Server facilitates this connect, and is not needed again unless the camera is factory reset, even if the camera moves or reboots. IP address changes at the camera do not affect the One-Click connection, though server IP address changes will need reconfiguration at the camera.
Whether installing camera with AVHS or a VMS partner, the process is the same. Users enter unique account codes supplied by the VMS provider into each camera, corresponding to the specific server which will manage each camera. When the One-Click process starts, the two connect, and the dispatch server is no longer needed.
Aside from Axis' own AVHS, One-Click is also offered to select Axis Development Partners. Three VMS partners have incorporated One-Click into their VMS platforms to date: Milestone (XProtect Corporate 5 only), Salient Systems, and ipConfigure. Axis plans to expand this program and make One-Click available to more development partners in the future, as well.
VMS integrations means that cameras can be deployed remotely from VMS software without having to worry about establishing remote access. This is a key part to help VMS players evolve into VSaaS solutions. While there are other components to being a 'full' VSaaS, camera connection is a big step in erasing the divide between VMS and VSaaS software (see our VMS vs VSaaS comparison for more).
VSaaS solutions need plug n play remote setup and, today, Axis is the only camera manufacturer that delivers this. This provides a distinct advantage over other methods, such as UPnP, which have proven unreliable in real-world use. Further, Axis realizes this advantage not only through their own AVHS platform, one of the most widely-used VSaaS platforms, but also through VMS platforms which have implemented One-Click. If Axis is able to spread this technology to more VMS platforms, we see it as a potentially significant feature addition to further drive their camera sales.