IP Camera Networking Basics

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 29, 2012

Getting started with IP cameras can be daunting for those without experience in computer networks. Fortunately, it is not that hard. In this report, we train networking novices on how get started using IP cameras, featuring a 9 minute video screencast and a series of screenshots showing the key elements.

Here is the full video walking you through the entire process:

Now we will review key areas covered inside the video.

Discovering IP Cameras

Discovering the IP address of your IP camera is the first step. To do so, use the IP camera manufacturer's discovery / finder tool. Examples include ACTi Utility Suite, Axis Camera Management, Arecont AV100, IQFinder, Pelco Device Utility, etc. You can also try using tools built into VMS systems but the manufacturer's own tool is likely to work the best.

Pinging IP Cameras

Once you discover the IP address of the camera (e.g. 192.168.2.144), you can then try to ping it from your PC. Pinging tests whether one computer (e.g., your PC) can reach another computer (e.g., your IP camera).

Below is an example of where pinging fails. This often happens when you first try to connect:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Being on the Same Network

The IP camera and the PC need to be on the same network. Typically, this means that the first 3 segments (called octets) need to be the same.

  • Good: IP Camera address is 192.168.2.4 and PC address is 192.168.2.10 - The first three are the same (192.168.2) so they should be on the same network
  • Bad: IP camera address is 192.168.2.4 and PC address is 192.168.1.10 - The first three are NOT the same so they are likely not on the same network.

Exceptions do exist in advanced configurations but this rule of thumb (first three being the same) will work in most situations.

Checking Network Configuration

Often the IP address of the camera and your PC are different. To find out your PC's IP address, you use a command called, ipconfig, showed below:

Changing IP Addresses

To connect to an IP camera and do initial setup you might need to change your IP address to be on the same network as the camera. Here's the Windows interface to do so:

Verifying Connections

Once the IP camera and your PC are on the same network, you can ping again to verify that you can reach the IP camera. Here's what it looks like when pinging is successful:

Once you can ping the IP camera, you can then connect to it via a web interface (using the camera's IP address) or add it into a VMS.

To see this all in action, here's the training video again

More Training On Networking

While this screencasts and screenshot cover the basics, we offer far more advanced IP networking and surveillance training, including:

2 reports cite this report:

IP Camera Setup Training on May 29, 2012
Once you can connect to an IP camera, you need to set it up so that the camera can integrate with a VMS or NVR. In this training, we show you how...
IP Camera PC Training on May 22, 2012
Over and over, we are told that this is the most common and fundamental problem techs have getting started with IP cameras. They come to a job...

Related Reports

Last Day - IP Networking Course May 2017 on Apr 26, 2017
Today is the last day to register for the May IP Networking Course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...
IPVM First Dean's List W2017 - Thomas Atkinson, Matt Hurly and Fredrik Lundqvist on Apr 24, 2017
IPVM is happy to congratulate and celebrate our first "Dean's List", the top students in our courses. For the Winter 2017 IP Networking course...
DDNS vs P2P vs VPN Usage Statistics on Mar 30, 2017
Cyber security concerns are escalating, even in the video surveillance industry which has historically lagged in its attention here. A key...
Top Trade Shows For Security Integrators on Mar 16, 2017
100+ North American security integrators told us what trade shows they attend and why. The most well known shows are ISC West and ASIS but there...
Dahua Backdoor Uncovered on Mar 06, 2017
A major cyber security vulnerability across many Dahua products has been discovered by an independent researcher, reported on IPVM, verified by...
20 Manufacturer Favorability Ranked on Feb 28, 2017
20 security industry organizations' favorability was ranked based on direct feedback from over 100 integrators. In-depth comments revealed insights...
'Dirty': Hikvision Attacks Genetec on Feb 20, 2017
Hikvision is angry at the growing public awareness that Hikvision is owned by the Chinese government. They took aim at Genetec,...
5 Most Common PoE Questions on Feb 02, 2017
In our IPVM IP Networking course, Power Over Ethernet (PoE) is a core component that students show significant interest in. The top ones...
Cisco Favorability Ratings - Positive In Networking, Negative In Surveillance on Jan 06, 2017
Cisco is the big name in networking, but they have not been able to leverage their brand and sizable sales channel in the security industry to the...
Ubiquiti $99 Mesh Node Challenges Wireless Competitors on Jan 05, 2017
Ubiqiuti has become a significant force in wireless video surveillance applications but they have never done mesh. Historically, mesh has been...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Anti-Hack Access Card Shields Tested on May 26, 2017
Keeping your access control card information secure is becoming a big priority, especially since cheaper copiers can hack details easily. Multiple...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial 2017 on May 25, 2017
Since 2013, video surveillance professionals have talked about the potential for H.265. Now, in 2017, H.265 is starting to gain mainstream...
Camera Course Summer 2017 on May 25, 2017
Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live online classes, recorded videos, personal help, cutting edge education and...
Most Respected Manufacturer Competitors on May 25, 2017
Manufacturers told IPVM what competitor they most respected. In terms of total revenue, Hikvision, Dahua and Axis are certainly tops but would...
CyPhy 'Unlimited' Flight Time Security Drone Examined on May 25, 2017
Drones face several issues as commercial security platforms - legal restrictions (e.g., in the US, the FAA), costs, and limited flight durations...
Milestone Entry Level Mobile Password Vulnerability Disclosed on May 24, 2017
While many manufacturers have only addressed cybersecurity vulnerabilities after public disclosures were made (or threatened), Milestone has...
How Integrators Use IPVM on May 24, 2017
150 integrators explained how they use IPVM and how it helps them stay informed and improve their business.  The 4 main uses integrators cited for...
Alarm Supervision Guide on May 24, 2017
Burglar alarms can constantly monitor the health of attached circuits, sensors, and devices to ensure that they remain operational. This is known...
Arlo Go Cellular Cloud Camera Tested on May 23, 2017
Totally wireless surveillance cameras are growing but almost all typically depend on a hub and local Internet access. However, many outdoor...
Avigilon New COO James Henderson Profile on May 23, 2017
It has been nearly 2 years since the infamous Bryan Schmode 'resigned' as Avigilon COO. Now, Avigilon once again has a COO, promoting James...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact