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The battery powered wifi security cameras are slowly taking over and pushing their analog counterparts into obsolescence. We do not deny that analog CCTV systems have their own advantages, as well. However, IP cameras come with one major benefit — remote viewing.
“Why is remote viewing so convenient?”, you may ask. Let us illustrate that with an example. Imagine that you have an analog surveillance system in place. Normally, you would check all your cameras using a monitor that connects to your DVR. But once you leave your home, there’s no way to do that. That is especially true if you decide to go on a vacation or a long business trip.
While connecting your DVR to the Internet is an option, it might not be that simple. Conversely, IP cameras directly connect to the Internet. Therefore, remote viewing should be much easier.
Still, some of you may not know how to access a security camera from the Internet. In this article, we will teach you how to do it step by step.
Related Topic: Do Security Cameras Reduce Insurance?
How to Access Your Own Security Camera from the Internet
Before we start, we’d like to note that this method works only if your IP camera is already installed and connected to your router. Also, we used a TP-Link router for this purpose, but router software is generally similar across devices.
First, you need to find the IP address of your camera. You can do so by opening your router configuration software. Then, look for a page that shows the attached DHCP clients and their IP addresses. Usually, you’ll find it under Attached Devices or DHCP Clients Table. If you can’t figure out which IP is your camera’s, you should look for a MAC (hardware) address.
Once you have the IP of your camera, open a web browser of your choice. Enter the IP in the address bar, and then provide your login credentials.
Next, you need to find the HTTP port number that your camera uses. It should use port 80 by default. In most cases, it’s not necessary to change it. However, certain ISP may block that port. In that case, you have to change it accordingly. Click the SETTING option, go to BASIC, and look for the Information tab under the Network dropdown. After changing the port number, reboot your camera to save the changes.
Once you’ve done all that, you need to set your router’s port forwarding. That way, you will be able to access your camera from a different computer.
First, go to your router’s management page. Then, click Forwarding, select Virtual Servers, and add a new one. The details you should enter are the port and the IP address of your camera. Additionally, you may want to choose the All option for the desired protocol.
As a result, the camera can now use the port of your choice. All that’s left to do is remember the WAN IP of your router.
Open your web browser and type in the following address:
http://(WAN IP):(port number)
For example, our port number is 80, and the WAN IP is 188.8.131.52. In that case, our address will look like this:
If you’ve followed these steps, you can now access your camera using a remote PC.
How to Access Someone Else’s Security Camera
Related Topic: Can My Home Security Camera Be Hacked?
In truth, you can access anyone’s IP security camera if you know its port number and the WAN IP of their router. However, this might prove difficult if the camera is password-protected, and you do not have it. Still, many people who use IP cameras never bother to change the default credentials.
Here are some examples of default usernames:
And here are several common default passwords:
- A string of numbers from 1 to 6, e.g. “123456”
- pass or password
- Camera brand or model in lowercase letters, e.g. “jvc”
- A same-number string like 111111 or 9999
We can’t guarantee that using these default credentials will result in success, but it’s worth trying. However, we’d like to note that accessing other people’s cameras is nothing short of spying.
Instead, you may try to use the above examples if you are having trouble logging in to your IP camera.
Using a Smartphone App for Remote Access
The good news is, a browser is not your only option. Instead, you can try using a smartphone app to access your camera over the Internet. All you need to do is download the app and set it up so that it can work with your IP camera. Additionally, your IP camera must connect to an NVR (network video recorder).
Some popular Android CCTV apps include Mobile Focus, VHDR Lite, Reolink, and Ivideon. If you have an iPhone, you can use apps like the NUUO iViewer, CCTV Pros Mobile, and the iCam Viewer.
Still, we recommend checking whether the app you chose is compatible with your IP surveillance system. Usually, the app description covers those details.
If you own a DVR-based surveillance system, don’t despair. Some companies, like Hikvision, offer proprietary smartphone apps.
Your app choice may depend on its features and interface. Ultimately, it boils down to your personal preferences.
The Bottom Line
Accessing a camera via the Internet may look like rocket science to the uninitiated. However, we’ve provided a guide to make the process easier. We have to admit that it’s impossible to cover the steps for each camera/router model. That is where you have to do a bit of research.
Since most IP cameras work on the same principle, it’s only a matter of time before you gain remote access to yours. In the end, all you need is a bit of tweaking. However, if you prefer doing it over a smartphone app, we suggest that you check the main features, as well as the list of compatible devices.
Do you have any ideas on how to access a security camera from the internet? If so, tell us in the comments below. Also, if you’ve enjoyed our tutorial, feel free to share it with your friends.