ONVIF Profile Q Aims To Change Discovery and Default Passwords

By: John Honovich, Published on Jan 13, 2015

ONVIF is gearing up to release a new profile, called Q.

They market it as providing "quick configuration and installation, providing innate discoverability and reliable device monitoring and event management capabilities."


  • How is Profile Q different than the current Profile S?
  • What are the big changes / additions in Profile Q?
  • How will requirements in discovery and default passwords impact manufacturers and systems?

Inside, we answer these questions based on a discussion with the engineers contributing to this upcoming Profile.

Profile Q Vs Profile S and G

Profile Q is new and independent of Profile S (streaming) and G (recording). One might theoretically just support Q but we would expect most every device that supports Q to also support S.

Q is narrowly focused on the discovery, installation and monitoring. It does not address streaming, camera configuration, motion detection, PTZ, i/o, etc. All of that remains in Profile S. To that end, Profile Q is better thought of as an enhancement to Profile S.

For those who want to read the actual spec, the Profile Q Release Candidate 1.0 specification is available here. We will discuss the key elements below.

Requires ZeroConf

Today, IP camera manufacturers choose from a wide variety of ways to be discovered, with different discovery protocols and even some that set a fixed IP address. Because of that, it can be difficult to initially find different cameras and, at least, requires the VMS to implement / know how each manufacturer goes about being discovered or getting started.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Profile Q will now require conformant devices to support ZeroConfig, aka Zero Configuration Networking, which is best known for assigning a 169.x.x.x address if a dynamic address can not be assigned by a DHCP server.

If many manufacturers adopt Profile Q, and all thereby use the same discovery protocol, it should simplify and increase the probability of finding all IP cameras / devices on a local network. However, if manufacturers currently use a different approach, it would require them to change it to comply with Profile Q.

Requires No Default Password

Most IP cameras today have hard-coded default IP passwords, e.g., admin/admin or admin/1234, etc. (see the IP camera default password directory).

Profile Q requires eliminating this. With Profile Q, a device will not have any default password and when one first connects, in a default state, you are then required to setup a password. For those familiar with Axis, this is how they do it (see: IP Camera Passwords - Axis, Dahua, Samsung).

Since most manufacturers today have a default password, this would require them to change their fundamental password approach.

Since so many people never change passwords, ONVIF hopes that this will decrease security risks of an adversary just entering in the default password and gaining full access.

Other Profile Q Notable Requirements

The above two have the broadest potential impacts. There are a few other requirements / elements worth noting:

  • Adds basic monitoring capabilities such as processor usage, time of last reset and last reboot and last time synchronization.
  • Eliminates requirement of time synchronization which has caused connectivity issues.
  • Once the password has been set, Profile Q more tightly restricts what user levels can make changes to camera features / settings.

Impact of ONVIF Profile Q

The big two elements of Profile Q could address 2 notable pain points in using IP cameras. However, this will require manufacturers opting into Profile Q and, in doing so, changing some of their basic operations.

We expect Profile Q to be official before the end of 2015 and to take a few years for adoption to spread.

Update 2019

Profile Q has failed to garner significant support. As a point of fact, only 166 cameras currently support ONVIF Profile Q, including none from Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision.

1 report cite this report:

Directory Default IP Camera Addresses on Feb 13, 2015
Initializing IP cameras can be tedious and frustrating, made worse because manufacturers have no standardization, with some supporting DHCP, some...
Comments (15) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Network Optix NxWitness 4.0 Tested on Oct 10, 2019
Network Optix released Nx Witness 4.0, proclaiming new features like a deep learning analytics metadata SDK, increased H.265 support, and UX...
ONVIF Suspends Dahua and Hikvision on Oct 09, 2019
Dahua and Hikvision have been 'suspended', and effectively expelled, from ONVIF, immediately following US sanctions being placed on the 2 mega...
'Bunker Busting' Wireless Access Startup: Sure-Fi Profile on Oct 03, 2019
An access startup is claiming its 'bunker busting' wireless Wiegand radios can punch through 'any obstruction'. We examine their offering,...
Critiquing Carnegie's AI Surveillance Paper on Sep 25, 2019
The Carnegie Endowment has issued an ambitious paper on the Global Expansion of AI Surveillance. While its aim is applaudable, the paper has...
RealNetworks SAFR Facial Recognition Profile on Sep 25, 2019
RealNetworks entered the surveillance market by giving away their analytics to schools for free, and is now targeting large commercial users with...
ONVIF Suspends Huawei on Sep 20, 2019
Huawei has been 'suspended', and effectively expelled, from ONVIF so long as US sanctions remain on the mega Chinese manufacturer. Inside this...
Open Access Controller Guide (Axis, HID, Isonas, Mercury) on Sep 19, 2019
In the access control market, there are many software platforms, but only a few companies that make non-proprietary door controllers. Recently,...
Directory of 69 Video Surveillance Startups on Sep 18, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
How Cobalt Robotics May Disrupt Security on Sep 13, 2019
While security robots have largely become a joke over the last few years, one organization, Cobalt Robotics, has raised $50+ million from top US...
Commend ID5 Intercom Tested on Sep 12, 2019
Commend touts the new ID5 intercom as 'timelessly elegant' and the slim body, glass front touchscreen indeed looks better than common, but ugly,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis HD Analog Encoder Tested on Oct 11, 2019
Two years after declaring "Everything is IP", Axis has released their first HD analog encoder, the P7304, with support for AHD, CVI, TVI, and SD...
Dahua Celebrates PRC 70th Wearing Communist Party Hammer and Sickle on Oct 11, 2019
Dahua celebrated the PRC's 70th anniversary with a video of various Dahua employees wearing China Communist Party Hammer and Sickle pins as shown...
Last Chance - Register Now - October 2019 IP Networking Course on Oct 10, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - Fall 2019 IP Networking Course. The course starts next week. This is the only networking course designed...
Network Optix NxWitness 4.0 Tested on Oct 10, 2019
Network Optix released Nx Witness 4.0, proclaiming new features like a deep learning analytics metadata SDK, increased H.265 support, and UX...
HID Fingerprint Reader Tested on Oct 09, 2019
HID has released their first access reader to use Lumidigm optical sensors, that touts it 'works with anyone, anytime, anywhere'. We bought and...
ONVIF Suspends Dahua and Hikvision on Oct 09, 2019
Dahua and Hikvision have been 'suspended', and effectively expelled, from ONVIF, immediately following US sanctions being placed on the 2 mega...
Hikvision And Dahua Sanctioned For Human Rights Abuses on Oct 07, 2019
In a groundbreaking move that will have drastic consequences across the video surveillance market, Dahua and Hikvision have been sanctioned by the...
Avigilon H5A Analytic Cameras Tested on Oct 07, 2019
Avigilon has released its H5A analytic cameras, claiming to "detect more objects with greater accuracy even in crowded scenes." We tested the...
Crisis At China's Largest VMS Provider, Netposa, Now State-Controlled on Oct 07, 2019
NetPosa, which bills itself as the PRC's largest VMS provider, is in a crisis. The firm is pursuing huge unpaid bills from clients, and its...
Knightscope Sells Just 1 Net New Robot In 6 Months on Oct 04, 2019
For the first half of 2019, US government records show that Knightscope has sold just 1 net new robots ('machines-in-network'), inching up from 52...