The process of installing an IP camera can be quite confusing because of the several tools required. Hence, we have carefully put together this detailed article for those looking for how they can connect wireless IP cameras to digital video recorders.
But before we dive into that area, we will start by telling you what an IP camera is. Then at the tail end of this article, we will answer some frequently asked questions about IP cameras.
What is IP Camera?
An IP or internet protocol camera is a surveillance device usually powered by Power over Ethernet (PoE) injector. An injector is a tool that facilitates smooth transmission of power supply to the IP camera.
A computer device displays the video footage recorded by the digital video recorder (DVR). IP cameras come in wired and wireless forms. But the wireless ones are usually more expensive and scarce.
Can I Connect IP Camera to DVR?
Before you can successfully connect an IP camera wireless to a DVR, you will need to have the following: computer, router, and PoE switch. As we mentioned earlier, the PoE switch will help to power the surveillance camera. The router will serve as a network connection between the DVR and the IP camera software.
Then the computer will be used for configuring the security camera on the network provided by the router. Here’s a step-by-step process to connect a wireless IP camera to a DVR system:
i. Connect the wireless IP camera to the Power over Ethernet switch. You will need to get an 802.3af/at PoE switch and then connect it to the wireless IP camera. Once that is done, you can now connect to the router and PoE switch. But make sure that the DVR is connected to the uplink ports on the router.
ii. Then connect wireless IP camera to DVR. This aspect is quite tricky, but if you follow our guidelines to the letter, it won’t be so difficult. First, you have to set up the DVR system to the appropriate IP address on your local area network. So that the IP camera can easily transmit data via the internet.
As a tip, the default structure of a correct IP address is 192.168.1.108. But we advise you to change yours when you connect it, to avoid conflict, especially when you purchase many IP webcams or cameras.
iii. Add IP camera channels to the DVR. But before you do that, ensure the “Add IP Channels” tab is enabled. To do that, you have to first switch from BNC channels to IP camera channels. Once that is out of the way, you can now check if the IP address of the DVR and camera is the same.
Video: Connecting Wireless IP Camera to DVR
If you are not still clear on how to connect wireless IP cameras to a DVR, watch this video…
Does IP Camera Need DVR?
To begin with, due to the somewhat complex steps it takes to connect a wireless IP camera to a DVR, it is quite understandable for you to wonder if IP cameras really need DVRs to function. Even though DVR is quite essential in that it serves as a storage unit for video footage, IP cameras can do without it. Here are alternatives to DVRs:
Inbuilt Micro SD Card
Instead of spending several hours trying to connect an wireless IP camera to a DVR, you should consider going for a camera that comes with an inbuilt Micro SD card. But, the downsides of this alternative is that only movements trigger it. Plus, it automatically overwrites older data once the storage is full.
Another great alternative on how you can connect network or IP cameras without DVRs is by using a hard drive. Also, you can use the hard drive of your computer to store security camera footage, just like a Micro SD card. But you have to leave your computer on for it to work.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Server
File Transfer Protocol is a method of transferring data from one computer to another or via the internet. Also, you can put your surveillance videos and images on an FTP server if you don’t want to use a DVR. Furthermore, the great thing about this method is that you can access your data with your computer devices from anywhere you are in the world.
To begin with, cloud storage is the most recent data storage tool. With this system, you can store your security camera data. Additionally, cloud storage provides an off-site backup option, where you can keep and easily access sensitive files. But you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee for this service.
Can Wireless Cameras Work Without Internet?
We have been making references here and there about the internet, but one might wonder whether wireless IP cameras can work without the internet. Well, for that to work, you have to connect the surveillance camera to a computer with the help of a UTP cable.
Also, with this cable, you don’t need the Power over Ethernet switch anymore. But then, the cable is quite expensive to buy.
How to Set up Wireless IP Camera System?
Here’s how you can connect wireless IP camera in your property:
i. Firstly, connect the IP camera to the local area network of your location through a Wi-Fi connection. Since it is a wireless security camera, you do not need an Ethernet cable.
ii. Then look for the correct network address for your security camera. To do this, you can make use of a program called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Just ask the security camera manufacturer or vendor to give you the program when purchasing the camera.
iii. Then, the next step is to configure the Wi-Fi by visiting the website of the camera manufacturer with the correct network address. But lookout for the HTTP port number the camera uses. If it is an HTTP port 80, you can are not required to indicate the port number when inputting the web address. On the other hand, if it is HTTP port 81, you have to enter it with the web address.
iv. Also, ensure that the IP address is static. That means you should not depend on the default network or IP address that comes with the surveillance camera.
v. Finally, double-check to ensure no steps were missed during the installation process.
How to Install IP Camera without DVR or NVR
Digital video recorders and network video recorders are designed for recording and storing surveillance camera footage. However, without those two devices, a surveillance camera will still work perfectly.
These type of systems are called standalone surveillance cameras. They work in support of SD card recording, Wi-Fi connection and P2P video streaming feature. Here’s how you can easily connect wireless IP camera without NVR and DVR:
Use Your Camera’s Proprietary Security Software
i. Go online and download the proprietary security software for your camera.
ii. Next, install the software and launch it.
iii. Then input the camera user identification number and password into the required fields in the software. Once you have successfully done that, your camera will be automatically added to the database.
iv. After that, look for an icon that looks like a camera and click it. Once you do that, you will be able to see the video footage of your IP camera. In addition, you have the option of uploading it online as a storage medium.
Another way to connect wireless IP camera without NVR or DVR is by doing what is called “Port Forwarding.” Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go about it:
Step 1: Go to the Post Forwarding Section on the IP Camera Router’s Page
The router’s page of most security cameras may differ slightly, so they have different labels for Post Forwarding such as: “Port Forwarding”, “Gaming”, “Applications”, “Virtual Servers”, or “Firewall”. They all perform the same function.
Step 2: Go to the Port Forwarding Preset
Once you have been able to locate the Port Forwarding Section in your router, go to the port forwarding preset and make the necessary changes. Then go to the bottom of the page and click “Save”.
Step 3: Add a Custom Entry
Once you have successfully saved the port forwarding preset, the system will lead you to a page where you can set up a custom entry for your surveillance camera. Although each router has a different method of setting up the custom entry, the required data you are to input is the same for all.
Step 4: Input the Private IP Address Your Computer
In the router’s page, you will see a field that requires you to input the private IP address of your computer. Once you do that, save the settings and restart the router, so the changes can be effected.
To successfully connect a wireless IP camera to a DVR, you need to know how security systems or products work. Nonetheless, we have simplified the process for home and business owners so that they can do it themselves.
If you still find the process of connecting wireless IP camera to DVR confusing, you can opt for simpler storage products such as FTP servers, cloud storage, hard drives, and inbuilt SD card cameras.