Directory Default IP Camera AddressesBy Derek Ward, Published Feb 13, 2015, 12:00am EST
Initializing IP cameras can be tedious and frustrating, made worse because manufacturers have no standardization, with some supporting DHCP, some using default IP addresses, and some using both.
In this post, we have compiled a list of 14 IP camera manufacturers (including ACTi, Arecont, Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Canon, Dahua, Geovision, Hikvision, Panasonic, Pelco, Samsung, Sony, and Vivotek), what IP addressing they support by default, and the pros and cons to these methods. Additionally, we have included a directory of links to each manufacturer's discovery tool.
Default IP Addresses
This table lists the most common IP camera manufacturers as well as their support for DHCP, default IP address, or both.
- Arecont Vision cameras do not have a default IP address, nor do they use DHCP or Zeroconf IP addresses (169.*). Instead, installers must use their AV200 software to discover and address the camera.
- Avigilon and Vivotek do not have default IP addresses, but will use a Zeroconf address if no DHCP server is present.
Default IP Methods
By far, the most common method manufacturers use for initial IP address is to support DHCP first, but default to a fixed address if no DHCP server is present. This makes installation easier, since installers may plug in multiple cameras at once which receive a DHCP address, and then use install tools (see below) to change IP addresses in bulk. Without DHCP support, cameras must often be plugged in one at a time, which increases installation time.
However, also including a default fixed IP address provides a reliable backup in cases where no DHCP server is present or users wish to configure a single camera. Many cameras support Zeroconf, which should allow a user to connect to it from a laptop without need of a DHCP server. However, there is a delay between connecting the two and each receiving it's IP address (in the 169 network), which may be perceived as an error. In other cases, it may simply fail to work at all. Because of this, a fixed default IP address is normally preferred.
No Default IP/No DHCP
Few cameras support neither DHCP nor a default IP address, such as Arecont. In these cases, the user is expected to use a proprietary discovery tool which should find cameras connected to the same switch. However, in practice, we have personally seen this tool fail to discover cameras on the LAN, even connected directly to the computer using the discovery tool. Because of this, this method is rarely used, abandoned for other more reliable means.
Camera Discovery/Addressing Tools
No matter which default IP method is used, users need a way to find cameras and assign them a permanent IP address. Most commonly, proprietary manufacturer discovery tools are used. These applications scan the local network for their cameras (based on MAC address OUI). From this tool, users can typically change IP address, though some tools include basic configuration, firmware management, or more.
Below we have compiled discovery/addressing tools for common manufacturers:
- ACTi: IP Utility
- Arecont Vision: AV200
- Avigilon: Camera Installation Tool
- Axis: Axis IP Utility or Axis Camera Management [link no longer available]
- Bosch: Configuration Manager
- Canon: VB Initial Setting Tool [link no longer available]
- Dahua: Config Tool [link no longer available]
- Geovision: GV-IP Device Utility [link no longer available]
- Hikvision: SADP Software [link no longer available]
- Panasonic: Config Tool or Easy IP Setup Tool
- Pelco: Device Utility [link no longer available]
- Samsung: iPolis Device Manager [link no longer available] or IP Installer Utility [link no longer available]
- Sony: SNC Toolbox
- Vivotek: Installation Wizard
Aside from manufacturer-specific tools, there are two other common ways to discover cameras on the local network:
- VMS discovery: Some VMSes provide camera discovery tools in their client or admin tools. However, the effectiveness of these features varied depending on the VMS and the camera model, and they are generally not as effective as manufacturer's own tools.
- IP scanners: Finally, in networks running DHCP, installers may use an IP scanner to scan the DHCP range to discover and access cameras. These tools do not provide re-addressing or configuration as manufacturer tools do, but provide a simple means to find IP addresses.
ONVIF Profile Q, in development currently, aims to standardize how IP cameras are discovered. To learn more, see: New ONVIF Profile Q Aims To Change Discovery and Default Passwords.
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