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Advice/help setting up a remote camera

I presently run SS v.5.3.4 to monitor cameras at home, on the same network as the machine running SS. I will soon be setting up some new cameras in a new location, in a house in Spain, that I would like to also be able to connect to SS running at home (UK).

The cameras will be Wansview K models, which I know are cheap and cheerful, but I've used them for years and they are more than adequate for my needs.

I've not yet had the internet service installed in the house in Spain, so if there are any specific requirements to be able to do this, I can ensure the service I use offers it. If I need to buy a router to use in Spain as opposed to the one supplied by the provider, I will.

So with all that in mind, my question is can I connect the cameras in Spain to SS in the UK, and if so, what would I need to do?

Thanks.

Comments

  • It is possible to set up some cameras at one location, streaming video over the Internet to SecuritySpy which is running on a Mac at a different location, however consider the following potential issues before proceeding with this arrangement:

    • Setup at the camera side is not straightforward.
    • Video data will be streamed continually, which uses significant Internet bandwidth on both sides.
    • Internet connections typically provide slower upload speeds than download speeds; make sure the upload speed is sufficient at the camera side.
    • The Internet connection at the camera side needs to provide a true public IP address (most fibre/DSL connections do, whereas most satellite/cell connections do not).
    • You may need to lower camera frame rates in order to achieve reasonable bandwidth and reliable streaming.
    • Over normal Internet connections, this works OK for a small number of low-bandwidth cameras; for a higher number of cameras, or for high-bandwidth cameras, it's always better to set up a Mac running SecuritySpy at each location, recording from its local cameras over a fast local network.

    Here's how to set this up for one camera:

    1. Camera static IP address: the camera must have a manually-assigned static IP address on its local network. This can be set via the camera's settings pages. Make sure that the IP address you set is on the correct subnet (i.e. the first three numbers of its IP address are the same as all other devices on that local network), and that the address is not in use by any other device (i.e. the last number of its address is unique). Ideally, this IP address should be outside the range that your router uses for DHCP.

    2. Port forwarding: in your router's settings pages, locate the port forwarding settings, and add a port forwarding rule as follows:

    • External (WAN) port: can be anything you choose, e.g. 8080.
    • Internal (LAN) port: 80
    • External (WAN) address: all/blank
    • Internal (LAN) address: enter the address you assigned to the camera in step 1.
    • Protocol: TCP

    Then, create a second rule for internal port 554. Again, the external port can be anything you like as long as it isn't in use by any other port forwarding rule (e.g. 8554). Additionally, if you want to use ONVIF with this camera, and its ONVIF port is not 80, you will need to add another port forwarding rule for the ONVIF port.

    3. DDNS: sign up for a Dynamic DNS account - this is required if the ISP at the camera location provides a dynamic public IP addresse (most do unless you pay for a static one). It's common for both routers and IP cameras to support this feature, so check which DDNS providers your devices support and sign up for an account with one of them. A common provider with wide support is https://www.noip.com/. You only need one device to be set with a DDNS account, and you can then use the same DDNS name for all devices behind the same Internet connection.

    When all is set up correctly, you will be able to access your cameras from the Internet using the DDNS address and external port numbers you have chosen above.

  • Hmmm, not that simple then!

    >it's always better to set up a Mac running SecuritySpy at each location, recording from its local cameras over a fast local network.

    So if I assume I can get one of my unused Macs to the address in Spain... I set up SS on it normally, connecting the cameras to it as usual. Then have the machine running SS at home connect to SS on the machine in Spain?

    If that's how it works, does the copy of SS in Spain also need a licence, or can it run in demo mode?

    Thanks.

  • Yes, you would install a Mac at the property in Spain and run SecuritySpy on that Mac, which then records from its local cameras at that location.

    You can then easily set up SecuritySpy there for remote access over the Internet, because it is usually able to handle everything required automatically with one-click setup (automatic port forwarding and DDNS are built into the software, and static camera IPs generally aren't required due to automatic local Bonjour/ONVIF addressing).

    My recommendation is that you don't then stream cameras from one system to the other; you simply have two separate systems, which you can connect to separately (e.g. using a web browser or our iOS app) in order to access them. But, if you want to, you could then easily set up one SecuritySpy instance to stream to the other, so that all cameras are in one place (all caveats related to Internet bandwidth/speed still apply). In any case, you will need a second SecuritySpy license to run this second instance of SecuritySpy on the Mac in Spain.

  • OK, well that is defo an option. And at least that way I'm on familiar ground with setup etc.

    Here's another one for you, on the same topic but with a different way of approaching it...

    I have some Wansview cameras set up at another remote location. I can't access them via SS on my home iMac, but I can install the (terribly) Wansview Mac app and view/record them using it. When adding the cams to the Wansview app it asks for the camera "DID Number" plus password and username etc.

    Now, my guess is that the cams connect to a Wansview server, and then the app connects to it. Is that typically how these cams work?

    I ask, as clearly these cams "broadcast" a live stream, so is there a way to have SS somehow tap into this stream?

    Should mention these are the older cams, not the more recent "Cloud" cams that will only connect to the paid-for Wansview service, not things like SS etc. when on the local network.

    Thanks for your time on this Ben, much appreciated.

  • Yes, it sounds like these Wansview cameras are making outgoing connections to the Wansview's servers, to which the app is connecting in order to achieve Internet access. Unfortunately this will be a proprietary system, and SecuritySpy won't be able to access these video streams. SecuritySpy is designed for direct connection to cameras using RTSP, which is the industry standard for IP cameras designed for video surveillance.

  • Thanks, Ben.

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