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., 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 and PC address is - The first three are the same (192.168.2) so they should be on the same network
  • Bad: IP camera address is and PC address is - 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

Save $50 Ends Tomorrow - April 2018 IP Networking Course on Mar 21, 2018
Save $50 ends this tomorrow, March 22nd. Register now and save. Lots of generic network training exists but none of it really explains how it...
Network Addressing for Video Surveillance Guide on Mar 14, 2018
The goal of this guide is to explain addressing devices on IP networks, focusing on how IP cameras and recorders are used in those networks. For...
Cellular (4G / LTE / 5G) For Video Surveillance Guide on Mar 06, 2018
In this report, we explain using cellular for video surveillance including: 4G vs LTE vs 5G 4G standards 5G future Advantage: Placing cameras...
Dynamic vs. Static IP Addresses Tutorial on Mar 01, 2018
While many cameras default to DHCP out of the box, that does not mean you should use it. This may seem basic for some, but those new to the...
Aruba Networks Profile on Feb 22, 2018
Aruba Networks' presence in the video surveillance market has historically been limited. With a company focus on Wi-Fi first and switching...
Multicasting Surveillance Tutorial on Jan 04, 2018
Network bandwidth can be a concern for some surveillance systems. While improvements in video codecs, such as smart codecs for H.264 and H.265,...
2018 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 03, 2018
The new IP Networking Book 2018 is a 228-page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security...
QoS for Video Surveillance on Dec 29, 2017
Along with VLANs, QoS is one of the most misunderstood topics in IP surveillance networks. Many purported "experts" claim it is required in any...
NVRs - Embedded vs Separate PoE Switch (Statistics) on Dec 21, 2017
Many NVRs now offer PoE switches embedded, allowing IP cameras to be connected directly to the recorder. On the plus side, these units can...
STP vs UTP for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Dec 20, 2017
For many video system designers, deciding which ethernet cabling to use is a quick decision: go with the cheapest.  However, this overlooks the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Save $50 Ends Tomorrow - April 2018 IP Networking Course on Mar 21, 2018
Save $50 ends this tomorrow, March 22nd. Register now and save. Lots of generic network training exists but none of it really explains how it...
Security Robot Sales Struggle on Mar 21, 2018
2 year ago, PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman called security robots one of “the biggest game changers” in decades for security integrators. Just over...
Dahua Global Launch LeChange on Mar 20, 2018
Dahua is getting into the consumer video surveillance market globally, with "LeChange", an offering long available inside of China is now being...
Axis Z-Wave IP Camera Tested Poorly on Mar 20, 2018
Z-Wave is drawing notable interest for video surveillance use. In IPVM's initial coverage, 84% expressed interest in it, with nearly half being...
'As-Built' Drawings Tutorial on Mar 20, 2018
Closeout documentation can be invaluable for future expansions or maintenance work, and 'as-built' drawings are a key aspect for finishing projects...
Hikvision RSM Professional Misconduct on Mar 19, 2018
A Hikvision RSM engaged in professional misconduct of a US State's licensing law, involving continuing education held at an ADI branch. In this...
Thank You - Today, IPVM Turns 10 Years Old on Mar 19, 2018
IPVM turns 10 years old today. 10 years ago, IPVM was an experiment. Today, it is the largest and most read publication in our industry. I wanted...
Integrator Help Desk Software Usage (Statistics) on Mar 19, 2018
Maintaining accounts and customer satisfaction often depends on the effectiveness of responding to issues. Keeping an integrator's support...
May 2018 Camera Course on Mar 16, 2018
Our next course starts on May 8th. Register now for the Spring 2018 Camera Course This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based...
ADT Hammered Again, Loses Another Billion In Market Cap on Mar 16, 2018
ADT's CEO told investors that, 'in baseball terms', ADT was batting 5 for 5. But investors told ADT's CEO, 'in baseball terms', that he was...

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