IP Camera Configuration: Shortcut to CCTV Setup

What’s an IP camera? How does it work? How to configure the IP camera network? Or more specifically, what’s my camera IP address? How to find the port number of my IP camera?

IP camera is a type of digital video camera that receives control data and sends image data via the Internet. It can work independently as a standalone surveillance device without a DVR/NVR. As we know, DVR or NVR is mainly designed to store the security camera footage. So, all you need to do is to insert a microSD card into the IP camera so it can also record video independently.

IP camera can be connected to the internet with or without a network cable. However, some people may come across difficulties to set up and connect the camera. So today I want to walk through all the aspects about how to set up and connect an IP camera.

What Is an IP Camera

IP camera (Internet protocol camera) distinguishes itself with a direct connection to the Internet, which enables it to send and receive data via the Internet.

After proper IP camera configuration, you are able to access the CCTV camera via your network mobile devices (phone, PC or tablet). That’s to say, you can watch camera live, receive push alerts, and check the camera recordings wherever you are (inside or outside home network).

IP camera data transmission is based on the IP camera address assigned by the router or the NVR. So typically, you will need to find the right IP camera address to access the camera on the Internet.

IP Camera Configuration Guide

Technically, the major task for IP camera configuration is to get the right IP address of your camera which serves as the only clue to find it among various devices attached to the same network.

Note that the IP camera installation and configuration on the local area network (LAN) could be a little different from that in the wide-area network (WAN). And whichever way you go with, the cameras should be on the network so that they can be accessed.

So we’ll break the IP camera configuration with networking into three parts:

Step 1. Configure IP Camera Network

Before you start setting the IP camera configuration, make sure both your monitoring devices and CCTV cameras (and NVR) are connected to the home network. This could be done with or without router.

Check full explanation of security camera connection here.

Step 2. IP Camera Configuration on LAN

To configure IP cameras on the LAN, like the typical home network, you need to find out the CCTV camera local IP address.

Previously we introduced 3 ways for you to do that.

And then you only need to input the IP address on the web search bar to get into the camera’s web UI, and then everything will appear.

Step 3. CCTV Camera Configuration on WAN

As for IP camera configuration on the WAN, port forwarding is a typical way to go, which generally requires the camera local IP address, HTTP and RTMP port number, and the WAN IP address.

What is port forwarding?

Simply put, port forwarding transfers your local IP address into a public one which is used to access a specific camera in a wide area network (WAN), like crossing the neighborhoods or even countries.

Follow the detailed steps in our previous post for a quick IP camera configuration.

Shortcut to IP Camera Configuration

Get confused by the technical terms on the IP camera configuration steps above?

Is there any easy way to configure IP camera for people with the only basic understanding of the Internet?

The answer is absolute YES.

P2P technology makes the IP camera configuration easy enough for even beginners. Moreover, P2P security cameras (including both wireless cameras and wired PoE security systems) effectively save your trouble of fixing the IP address for stable remote viewing.

So what is P2P? How to configure IP camera on Internet with P2P?

Simply put, each P2P enabled security camera is registered at the P2P server at the developer level and identified with a unique ID number (UID). So every time you want to access the camera locally or remotely, you only need to ping the P2P server via the security camera software with the camera UID.

For P2P IP camera configuration, basically, only 3 simple steps are required:

(Here we take the P2P camera ZOSI C190 Pro as an example to detail the steps on CCTV camera configuration on the Internet.)

  1. Download the IP camera configuration software ZOSI App to your phone or PC.
  2. Launch the ZOSI App or Client and enter the UID to add the security camera. (CCTV camera mobile configuration screenshot)
  3. Click the camera on the software and the configuration of CCTV camera is done. You can then watch the live view inside and outside your home network.

Is the IP camera configuration secure via the P2P server?

Actually, P2P is not a new technology. It has been used maturely on many fields including Skype. And reputable brands like ZOSI have adopted many ways to keep the data transmission absolutely secure, including using multiple servers and advanced encryptions.

So if you are looking for an IP camera with an easy setup, the P2P camera will not let you down (Download the IP camera client manual for a more detailed guide with screenshots of every setting step).

IP Camera Wired & Wireless Connection

Taking the ZOSI outdoor IP camera for example, below are the three ways to accomplish the security camera setup via Android smartphone.

1. Wired Connection

  1.  Charge your wireless security camera with the power adapter.
  2.  Use an RJ45 cable to connect the camera to the network.
  3.  Download the free security camera software ZOSI Smart.
  4.  Enter camera UID (scan QR Code on the sticker) and password (default password: “admin”) to add the camera device; tap “+” at the upper right corner to complete.
  5.  Tap the screen and then you can view the IP camera over the Internet.

2. Convert Wired Connection to Wireless Connection

If you have added the camera to the Zosi Smart successfully and want to change from wired connection to wireless connection, then follow the steps presented below:

  1.  Tap the “Settings” button at the upper right corner of the viewing screen and select “WiFi Setting” to proceed with wireless configuration.
  2.  Select network and enter the corresponding WiFi password
  3.  Tap “Confirm” to finish the WiFi settings and unplug the network cable.
  4.  Tap the screen and then you can view the IP camera via wireless connection.

Wireless Connection

  1.  Charge your wireless security camera with the power adapter.
  2.  Download the free security camera software ZOSI Smart.
  3.  Tap “WiFi Smartlink” on the device adding page and enter the corresponding WiFi password.
  4.  Choose “Manual Config” to search the corresponding camera device (the searching process may take 1-2 minutes; camera without a built-in speaker will not hear the voice prompt).
  5.  Select the corresponding camera device (using UID); enter the camera UID and password on the device adding page.
  6.  Tap the screen and then you can view the IP camera over Internet.

Here is an operation guide video to show you how to connect the ZOSI IP camera.

Note: The above steps apply to the connection of ZOSI non-battery powered wireless IP security cameras. Cameras from other brands may have different rules.

CCTV Camera Without Configuration

To make IP camera configuration even easier, you can just skip the whole IP camera setup thing with an NVR security camera system.

The configuration of DVR/NVR camera surveillance is a little bit different.

The point is you don’t need to do the IP camera configuration with NVR if you only want the cameras to record and save on the network video recorder (NVR).

That’s because the NVR and cameras connected to it will automatically build a private network once powered up. Within the subnet, cameras and NVR could communicate with each other. So you don’t need to connect it to a router or do any IP camera configuration.

For example, the ZOSI W4 Pro can save your trouble of IP camera NVR configuration and offer you 24/7 protection. Check the NVR CCTV camera setup with this diagram:

However, if you want remote viewing, say accessing the cameras on your phone or receiving push notifications, you still need the help of a router and add the cameras to the surveillance software. (Don’t forget the P2P technology can simplify the CCTV camera system configuration.)

If you have any questions about IP camera configuration & remote access, let me know by commenting below and I will reply to you soon.