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Introduction to Network / IP Cameras

What is an IP Camera?

‘IP’ stands for Internet Protocol, which is a protocol for transmitting data across a network. An IP Camera or Network Camera is a camera that plugs directly into your network router, and is not reliant on a computer to work. Data from the IP camera is transmitted through the network, and can be securely viewed at a remote location.

What is needed to use an IP Camera?

An IP Camera requires a High Speed Internet connection (such as DSL), a router and ethernet cable. A computer is needed to view the data, however the camera works independently of the computer.

IP Camera network diagram

What is the advantage of an IP Camera over a USB Web Camera?

An IP Camera does not depend on a computer, and does not require a specific application to run and transmit images. A USB Camera is dependent on a computer, and requires the computer to be powered on and logged in.

Why choose an IP Camera over a standard camera?

An IP Camera allows you to view images on your local computer and from remote locations without needing a dedicated Observation System or DVR. These cameras are easy to install and configure, and can be located anywhere that a network cable can be run.

What is required for Remote Viewing from anywhere in the world?

To view the camera images remotely, it must be correctly configured within your internal network. To view the images remotely, the router must be configured to allow for port forwarding.

Computers, IP Cameras, and other devices inside the internal network can only communicate directly with each other within the internal network. Computers and systems outside the network cannot directly communicate with these devices. When a system on the internal network needs to send or receive information from a system outside the network (i.e. from the Internet), the information is sent to the router.

IP address diagram

When a computer on the external network (Internet) needs to send data to your internal network, it sends this data to the external IP address of the Router. The Router then needs to decide where this data is to be sent to. This is where setting up Port Forwarding becomes important.

Port Forwarding tells the router which device on the internal network to send the data to. When you set up port forwarding on your Router, it takes the data from the external IP address:port number and sends that data to an internal IP address:port number (i.e Router External IP 216.13.154.34:port# to IP Camera Internal IP 192.168.0.3:port#).

Lorex provides an exclusive Easy Connect Wizard that automates the port forwarding process, or you can check the Router Port Forwarding Guide that provides instructions for a selection of different router models.

Is my IP Camera Secure?

The images are encrypted and control access is granted by inputting a User Name and Password. This helps to prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to your camera.

Do I need a Static IP Address?

A static IP address is not needed to connect to the camera. LOREX offers a free DDNS service, which provides you with a URL (web address) that always points to the most current IP address at the location of the camera. Other DDNS services can be used.

A static IP address is useful to prevent interruption to the connection with your camera (as the DDNS Service syncs to the new IP), however it is very common for Internet Providers to lease your IP address for a set amount of time, and then to release you a new IP address.

To find out your current IP address, visit http://www.whatismyip.com/

What is DDNS?

DDNS is Dynamic Domain Name Service. A DNS (Domain Name Service) translates domain names (i.e. www.lorextechnology.com) into a static IP Address (216.176.57.75). A DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name Service) will translate a domain name into a non-static IP address (an IP address that is not fixed, and can change often).

How do I know if I have a Static or Dynamic IP Address?

Check with your Internet Provider - they will be able to tell you if your IP address is Static or Dynamic. Most residential Internet service plans use dynamic IP addresses.

Last Updated: 4/16/2012

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