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Installation Manual

for version 5.3

Written by Ben Bird - Ben Software Ltd

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Table of Contents


This manual is designed to help you create a complete surveillance system based around SecuritySpy, our CCTV video surveillance software for the Mac.

Three questions usually arise when setting up a new system:

Which Cameras Should I Buy?

Start by reading the Choosing a System section, which describes the various choices of cameras and Mac models available.

What Other Equipment Do I Need?

Take a look at the Example Systems section, which describes the hardware you need for the most common system configurations. To read more about cameras, see the Network Cameras section.

How Do I Set Up My System?

The sections Connecting to a Camera Over Ethernet and Connecting to a Camera Over WiFi guide you though the process of configuring IP cameras, and the Remote Access section shows you how to set up access to your system from the Internet.

For information about using the SecuritySpy software itself, please see the SecuritySpy User Manual.

Choosing a System

Your main choices are which cameras to use, and which Mac computer, for your SecuritySpy video surveillance system.

Types of Camera

Network Cameras

All new systems should use IP cameras (network cameras). These are digital devices that transmit high-definition video over Ethernet or wireless (WiFi) networks. IP cameras are designed for CCTV, and can offer high quality video, with additional features such as infra-red night vision, vandal resistance and Pan/Tilt/Zoom. Read more in the Network Cameras section of this manual.

Analog Cameras

Previous-generation CCTV systems employed analog cameras, which transmit analog video signals over coaxial cable. Analog cameras have significant limitations in terms of resolution and quality, and therefore we do not recommend using them in new system installations. Still, if you want to connect one or more analog camera to SecuritySpy, you can do so via an analog-to-digital video input device. A full list of such devices can be found in the Appendix.

USB Cameras

The third type of camera is one connected by USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt, or a built-in FaceTime camera (SecuritySpy calls these "local devices" to distinguish them from network devices). While these can make useful and inexpensive additions to CCTV systems, they have significant limitations: they are typically indoor-only, they have to be close to the Mac due to cable length restrictions, and bandwidth limits mean that you may not be able to use more than one at a time. Therefore, if you do decide to use a local device, use just one of them, combined with one or more IP cameras. Read more in the USB and Thunderbolt Devices section of this manual.

Types of Mac

SecuritySpy will work on any Mac running at least Mac OS X 10.13.

The amount of processing power required will vary depending on a number of factors. Please user our SecuritySpy System Requirements Calculator to help you choose a system to suit your Mac, or a Mac to suit your desired system.

By way of illustration, following is a rough guide to the maximum number of IP cameras of different Megapixel (MP) resolutions that you can connect to various Macs, assuming the cameras are providing H.264 video at 8 frames per second (FPS) that is being recorded by SecuritySpy directly to disk with no recompression:

    Mac mini

Mac mini (Late 2018 model, 3.6 GHz Intel i3 processor, 4 cores)

62 cameras at 1 MP | 44 cameras at 2 MP | 25 cameras at 4 MP

Mac mini (Late 2018 model, 3.2 GHz Intel i7 processor, 6 cores)

80 cameras at 1 MP | 56 cameras at 2 MP | 32 cameras at 4 MP


iMac (Early 2019 model, 3.6 GHz Intel i3 processor, 4 cores)

62 cameras at 1 MP | 44 cameras at 2 MP | 25 cameras at 4 MP

iMac (Early 2019 model, 3.1 GHz Intel i5 processor, 6 cores)

74 cameras at 1 MP | 52 cameras at 2 MP | 30 cameras at 4 MP

iMac (Early 2019 model, 3.6 GHz Intel i9 processor, 8 cores)

106 cameras at 1 MP | 72 cameras at 2 MP | 42 cameras at 4 MP

iMac Pro

iMac Pro (Late 2017 model, 3.2 GHz Intel Xeon W processor, 8 cores)

116 cameras at 1 MP | 80 cameras at 2 MP | 40 cameras at 4 MP

iMac Pro (Late 2017 model, 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon W processor, 18 cores)

126 cameras at 1 MP | 88 cameras at 2 MP | 44 cameras at 4 MP

Mac Pro

Mac Pro (Late 2013 model, 3.5 GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 6 cores)

74 cameras at 1 MP | 50 cameras at 2 MP | 24 cameras at 4 MP

Mac Pro (Late 2013 model, 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 8 cores)

80 cameras at 1 MP | 54 cameras at 2 MP | 26 cameras at 4 MP

Mac Pro (Late 2013 model, 2.7 GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12 cores)

94 cameras at 1 MP | 64 cameras at 2 MP | 30 cameras at 4 MP


The maximum number of cameras will vary depending on your frame rate and resolution requirements. Please user our System Requirements Calculator to obtain accurate estimates.

The reason that the iMacs can handle disproportionally more cameras than the Mac minis and Mac Pros is that iMacs have powerful hardware-accelerated video processing capabilities, hence they are an excellent choice for running SecuritySpy.

H.264 and H.265 are very efficient codecs that produces small file sizes, and these are the best formats to use if your cameras are capable of producing them. MPEG-4 gives a good balance between processing requirements and storage requirements, however it has been superseded by H.264 and is no longer widely used. The JPEG codec is the fastest to process but requires by far the most storage space, so it is not ideal for typical applications.

Allow roughly 500 MB of storage space per camera per day when using H.265, 1 GB when using H.264, 2 GB when using MPEG-4, or 10 GB when using JPEG. Use either an HDD or an SSDnot a Fusion drive (these don't perform well for continuous writing of significant amounts of data, which is what SecuritySpy does).

You can increase your system's available storage space with external USB or Thunderbolt drives.

Example Systems

The large range of available hardware options can be daunting when setting up a new system. For this reason, we've designed three comprehensive example systems that you can use as starting points for your own:

Example System - Home

Axis IP Camera


There are many cameras on the market today that offer impressive quality at very reasonable prices. Consider the Axis AXIS M1045-LW, which is an indoor compact camera with WiFi, audio and night-vision. For an outdoor camera bullet camera with night-vision, Dahua Technology produce many good-value models.

2 MP should be considered your minimum resolution requirement.

Axis M7014

Ethernet Switch or Wireless Access Point

Use a 1000 Mbps ("Gigabit Ethernet") switch. Connecting the cameras by wired Ethernet in this way offers the best performance and reliability, but a few wireless cameras can also be used, which requires a wireless router or access point.

RJ45 Connector


Use Cat-5e (or higher specification) Ethernet cables to connect your Mac and cameras to the switch.

Mac mini

Mac mini

A basic 3.6 GHz quad-core Mac mini is more than powerful enough for most home systems, and can support up to 44 cameras at 2 MP resolution 8 fps frame rate.

Allow 60 GB of storage space per camera per month. Use either an HDD or an SSDnot a Fusion drive.

Example System - Business

Vivotek FD8136


Consider the Vivotek FD8166A-N, which is an indoor mini-dome camera with PoE (Power-over-Ethernet), audio and night-vision, or the Canon VB-S900F, which is an indoor box camera with PoE and audio (but no built-in microphone). Vivotek also have many waterproof dome cameras for outdoor use. If you need a camera with pan/tilt control, the Amcrest IP2M-841 or the Axis M5055 are both good choices.

2 MP should be considered your minimum resolution requirement.

Netgear Switch

Ethernet Switch or Wireless Access Point

Use a 1000 Mbps ("Gigabit Ethernet") switch. Connecting the cameras by wired Ethernet in this way offers the best performance and reliability, but a few wireless cameras can also be used, which requires a wireless router or access point.

RJ45 Connector


Use Cat-5e (or higher specification) Ethernet cables to connect your Mac and cameras to the switch.

Mac mini

Mac mini

A quad-core 3.6 GHz Mac mini can support up to 44 cameras.
A six-core 3.2 GHz Mac mini can support up to 56 cameras.

These figures are based on 2 MP resolution and 8 fps frame rate.

Allow 60 GB of storage space per camera per month. Use either an HDD or an SSDnot a Fusion drive.

Example System - Professional

Axis P1344
Axis M3025


Axis produce a range of high-quality high-resolution cameras that are ideal for professional CCTV systems, for example the M1125 and the P1365. For a waterproof vandal-resistant dome camera, consider the Axis M3025-VE.

If you need a camera with pan/tilt/zoom control, the Canon VB-S30D for indoor use, or the Canon VB-H630VE for outdoor use are both excellent choices (Axis also have an excellent range of PTZ cameras, but at significantly higher cost than Canon).

2 MP should be considered your minimum resolution requirement, though you may want to consider using 3 MP or 4 MP cameras for higher quality.

Netgear Switch

Ethernet Switch

For the best performance and reliability, use 1000 Mbps ("Gigabit Ethernet") switches; avoid wireless (WiFi) cameras completely.

RJ45 Connector


Use Cat-5e (or higher specification) Ethernet cables to connect your Mac and cameras to the switch.

Mac Pro


A 6-core 3.1 GHz iMac can support up to 52 cameras.
An 8-core 3.2 GHz iMac Pro can support up to 80 cameras.
An 18-core 2.3 GHz Mac Pro can support up to 88 cameras.

These figures are based on 2 MP resolution and 8 fps frame rate.

Allow 60 GB of storage space per camera per month. Use either an HDD or an SSDnot a Fusion drive.

Network Cameras

Network cameras - also known as IP cameras - send digital video and audio data over an Ethernet or wireless (WiFi) network. They can be accessed by a computer on your local network or over the Internet without requiring any additional video input hardware.

Axis M3004

SecuritySpy supports a extensive range of IP cameras - see the SecuritySpy Camera List to check compatibility and find a camera to suit your requirements. For specific recommendations, see the Example Systems section above.

Network Hardware

A network is typically composed of the following hardware components:

SecuritySpy Network Components


There are actually two separate networks shown on the above diagram: the local network, consisting of all the devices pictured; and the Internet. The router acts as the link between the two, providing all the devices on the local network with Internet access.

Most routers have a built-in switch, in order to provide multiple Ethernet ports. For small networks this may suffice, but for larger more demanding applications a separate switch is normally requried to provide faster connectivity between more devices than can be supported by the router alone.

AirPort Extreme

For example, this Airport Extreme router has three LAN (Local Area Network) ethernet ports that you can use to connect devices. If you need to connect more than three devices, first connect a switch to the router, and then connect all devices to the switch:

Netgear Switch

Wireless Access Point (WAP)

These devices adds wireless capability to the local network. They act as a "bridge" between the wired and wireless parts of the network, connecting all devices together on the same network.

If you are using an Apple AirPort device for this function, in addition to a router, these devices must be set to "bridge mode" to perform the function of a WAP, otherwise they will act as routers in their own right and will make configuring the wireless part of the network more difficult. This applies to any wireless router that you want to use as a WAP.

Many routers have wireless functionality built in, so there is no need for a separate WAP.

Network Devices

These are the devices that connect to the local network, either wired or wirelessly. Each device can communicate directly with any other device on the same local network, but in order to communicate with any device over the Internet, it must do this through the router.

Ethernet Cabling

If you are setting up a wired network for the first time, you will first need to install Ethernet cabling. For most purposes, up to and including Gigibit speeds, use twisted-pair "Cat 5e" (or higher specification such as Cat 6) Ethernet cables, which are inexpensive and widely available.

Ethernet Patch Cable

Gigabit Ethernet is recommended for most systems, particularly if you are using many cameras, or high-resolution cameras.

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)

PoE eliminates the need for power connections at each camera location, which makes installing IP cameras much easier. In order to use this technology, your cameras and Ethernet switch must be compatible with the 802.3af PoE standard.

Local Networks

This section is an introduction to the concepts involved in understanding addresses on a LAN (Local Area Network).

IP Address

Each device connected to a network is given a unique identifier, known as an IP address. An IP address consists of four numbers separated by dots, for example:


When network devices send messages to each other, they do so on a particular port, which can be thought of as a particular communication channel. By using different ports, several services (e.g. web, email, file transfer) can operate independently on the same device.

By convention, port 80 is used to send and receive web pages (HTTP) and port 554 is used to send and receive video and audio media streams (RTSP).


Every LAN operates on a particular subnet, which defines the scope of the network; a device can directly communicate only with other devices on the same subnet.

The subnet is usually indicated by the first three numbers of the IP address, leaving the fourth number to identify the devices themselves. The following IP addresses are all on the same subnet:

This arrangement is described by the subnet mask "", which means "use the first three numbers as the subnet, and use the fourth number as the device identifier".

Refer to the Network pane of the System Preferences window to identify which subnet addressing is being used on your LAN.


DHCP is a protocol, built into all routers, that automatically assigns IP address to devices on the LAN. This makes it easy to connect a device to a network, however it means that device addresses may change from time to time. This is often unsuitable for any device that acts as a server (e.g. a network camera), because servers must have fixed addresses so that clients know where to find them.

So, you may need to give your cameras static IP addresses on your LAN - see the Connecting to a Camera Over Ethernet section below.

Note that any manual address you assign to a device should be outside the range of addresses that the router uses for DHCP, to avoid any conflict. Touters vary in what ranges they use, but if you assign manual addresses in the range 200-250, this is normally safe. It's a good idea to look for this setting in your router so that you know which addresses are safe to use for your manual assignments.

Connecting to a Camera Over Ethernet

This section explains how to set up network cameras on your local network, to be accessed by SecuritySpy running on the same network. If, instead, you want to make your cameras directly available over the internet (most users will not need to do this), please also see Remote Access - Introduction and Port Forwarding - Manual Setup.

Methods 1 and 2 described below rely on the camera being able to obtain an IP address automatically using DHCP. Fortunately, most cameras are pre-configured to do so, and most networks contain a DHCP service (typically provided by the router). If your camera does not use DHCP, or if your network does not have a router, then you will need to use method 3.

1. ONVIF cameras, or cameras that support Bonjour (Zero Configuration Networking)

For cameras that support either of these protocols, setup is straightforward. Simply connect the camera to your network, and in the Preferences -> Cameras -> Device section in SecuritySpy, create a new network device, click the Auto-Discovered Devices button, and select the camera from the list. There is no need to interact directly with the camera's IP address.

2. Cameras with a DHCP address by default

For cameras that use DHCP, but do not support ONVIF or Bonjour, you'll initially need to locate the camera on your network, and then assign it to a static IP address.

To help you find the IP addresses assigned to your cameras, use our Network Device Finder utility, which lists the IP addresses of all web servers on your local network:

Ben Software Network Device Finder

For example, if your network uses the subnet 192.168.1 (i.e. all devices on your network have IP addresses in the form 192.168.1.x), and your router uses the range - for its DHCP assignments, then you can use addresses,, etc. for your cameras.

3. Cameras with a fixed address by default

If the network camera has a fixed IP address by default, or if you do not have a DHCP service running on your network, you may need to temporarily change your computer's IP address in order to access the camera for the first time.

Firstly, compare the IP address shown for your Mac in the Network system preference with the default IP address of the camera that is specified in the camera's user manual: if the first three numbers of these addresses (the subnet) are different, then you will need to use the following procedure to set the camera to an address that is compatible with your network.

To change your Mac's IP address, open System Preferences, click on Network, then Ethernet (or Wi-Fi if your Mac is connected to the network wirelessly), and select Manually from the popup menu marked Configure:

Network System Preference

For example, if your network uses the subnet 192.168.1 (i.e. these are the first three numbers of your Mac's IP address), but the camera's address is, then set your Mac temporarily to the address, then connect to the camera at (using Safari) and set its IP address to Then, when you reset your Mac's IP settings back to their original values, you will be able to connect to the camera at its new address.

Connecting to a Camera Over WiFi

Initially, you will need to connect the camera to your switch or router using an Ethernet cable, and follow the above instructions, Connecting to a Camera Over Ethernet.

Once connected by Ethernet, use a web browser (e.g. Safari) to open the camera's settings pages, and locate the camera's WiFi settings. Here you will need to enter the information required to establish a wireless connection: typically the network name (SSID) and password. If you have to choose an encryption type, this is typically WPA2, however you should confirm this by checking the WiFi encryption settings in your wireless router or access point.

If the camera does not support Zero Configuration Networking (see method 1 in the above section), you may need to manually assign an IP address to the camera's WiFi interface, just like you did with its Ethernet interface.

Recommended Camera Settings

There are a few other settings available in most IP cameras that you should check:

Video Stream Frame Rate

You should set the frame rate of the camera's video stream to the lowest rate that is acceptable for your purposes. Frame rates that are too high waste network bandwidth and your Mac's CPU resources. A frame rate of 5-10 is typically sufficient for general-purpose video surveillance.

Video Stream Key Frame Rate

MPEG-4, H.264 and H.265 streams comprise key frames (I-frames) each followed by multiple delta frames (P-frames). The delta frames encode only the changes in the image since the previous frame. The key frame rate — sometimes called "I-Frame Rate", "Key Frame Interval", "GOV Length", or "Intra Frame Period" — determines how frequently key frames appear in the video stream (e.g. a key frame rate of 10 means that each key frame is followed by 10 delta frames).

Don't set the key frame rate too high. Beyond around 40-50, the bandwidth improvements are minimal, and streams with higher key frame rates are more difficult for SecuritySpy to process (resulting in more memory and CPU usage). Also, using a low key frame rate means that any corruption in the video stream (e.g. due to temporary network difficulties) will be short-lived.

The ideal setting is to have a key frame every 2-3 seconds or so. For example, if the video stream frame rate is 10, then a good key frame rate to use is around 20-30.

Video Bit Rate

Many cameras offer the choice between VBR (Variable Bit Rate) and CBR (Constant Bit Rate) video encoding. Choose VBR with a medium-to-high quality setting — this allows the camera to adjust its bit rate to cope with different conditions (e.g. if there is lots of movement the camera will increase its bit rate in order to encode it accurately). If only CBR is available, then make sure to use a bit rate towards the higher end of the camera's available range, to ensure good quality across all conditions.

Date Overlay and Time Server

Most cameras have the ability to add a date and time stamp onto the video image, and if so, you will probably want to enable this feature.

Most cameras also allow you to specify an NTP (Network Time Protocol) Server, that the camera can use to automatically maintain the correct date and time. For this you can specify

Note that for this to work, the camera's IP settings need to include the router address (this can be obtained from the Network system preference on your Mac) and a DNS server address (you can use, which is the address of Google's free DNS server).

Audio Stream Format

If the camera supports AAC encoding, then you should use this, as it is a very efficient format that offers good quality.

USB and Thunderbolt Devices

SecuritySpy supports USB, Thunderbolt and built-in video devices (which it refers to as "local" devices, to distinguish them from network devices). Such devices typically are not suitable for video surveillance, but can be a useful addition to a CCTV system in certain circumstances, and can be useful when using SecuritySpy for non-CCTV purposes (e.g. recording scientific experiments).

USB Cameras

Often referred to as "webcams", these are small cameras that connect to your Mac via a USB cable. SecuritySpy supports any camera that implements the "UVC" protocol using driver software that is built into Mac OS X, though non-UVC cameras that use driver software supplied by the manufacturer may also work.

Logitech Webcam

Adding one of these into the mix of cameras in a CCTV system is inexpensive and easy, and can make a useful addition (e.g. for covering the room containing the recording Mac). However, USB cameras suffer from significant limitations:

Built-In Cameras

Any camera that is built into your Mac (i.e. FaceTime or iSight cameras) will work with SecuritySpy.

Blackmagic Devices

SecuritySpy supports Blackmagic video input devices. Blackmagic produce an array of high-quality video devices, from cinematic cameras that connect to your Mac by Thunderbolt, to HDMI and SDI video input devices that connect to your Mac by USB-3 or Thunderbolt.

Blackmagic Intensity

These devices are not generally not designed for video surveillance, but are exceptionally high quality and can be used with SecuritySpy.


SecuritySpy can monitor and record audio alongside the video from your cameras. SecuritySpy can access audio directly from network cameras, and in addition, you can connect one or more microphones to your Mac, with each one assigned to any number of cameras.


Most Macs have a built-in stereo audio input port, that can be used for one or two channels of incoming audio.

USB and Thunderbolt

There are many inexpensive USB audio input devices available that provide two inputs (stereo). There are also many devices, generally designed for studio audio recording, with more than two inputs. Any audio input device that advertises Mac compatibility should work with SecuritySpy.

Audio From IP Cameras

For IP camera that support audio, some will have built-in microphones, but others have an audio input ports to which you will need to connect a separate microphone:

CCTV Microphone

These devices typically require a 12-volt power supply, and supply a line-level mono audio signal. Such microphones are also suitable for connecting to built-in audio input ports as well as USB and Thunderbolt audio input devices.

Two-Way Audio

SecuritySpy supports two-way audio for IP cameras, whereby you can speak into a microphone connected to your Mac, and SecuritySpy will send this to the camera to play back via its speakers. Currently, Axis, Dahua Technology, Amcrest and Hikvision cameras are supported for computer-to-camera audio.

Remote Access

SecuritySpy's built-in secure web server allows you to monitor your system over your local network or over the Internet from a remote location.

You can access SecuritySpy's web interface from any web browser running on any computer or mobile device. Additionally, we have an iOS and tvOS app that allows you to easily access SecuritySpy from your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. You can also view live video from a Dashboard widget, a screensaver, or a second copy of SecuritySpy (viewing-only usage of SecuritySpy does not require any additional license purchases; you just need one license for the server).

When accessing your system using a web browser, you can view live and recorded footage, control cameras with pan/tilt/zoom support, and modify SecuritySpy's settings.

You can set up multiple user accounts, each with varying levels of permissions, giving you control over who can access which features of your SecuritySpy server.

SecuritySpy Web Interface


Addresses of devices on your local network are not directly accessible from the Internet. These addresses are private, and are completely invisible from outside your local network (LAN).

Your local network is a LAN (Local Area Network), while the Internet is a WAN (Wide Area Network).

Your router, as the only device connected to both the LAN and the WAN, acts as a gateway between these two networks. When a device on the LAN needs to connect to a device on the WAN, it must do so through the router. Conversely, when a connection arrives from the WAN, the router is responsible for forwarding this to the appropriate device on the LAN - this is called port forwarding.


Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) provides you with a single public IP address. This address is part of the Internet. ISPs provide either a static or a dynamic public IP address:

Dynamic - most ISPs give you a dynamic IP address, which means that it can change from time to time. In this case, you will need to use a Dynamic DNS (DDNS) service to provide your system with a static host name that will always point to your public IP address, even when it changes. SecuritySpy has a built-in DDNS system, described below.

Static - this means that your public IP address never changes. This is ideal, as it means that you can always access your system using the same address, however you still may want to set up a DDNS address, as it is easier to remember than an IP address.

Setting up Remote Access

Add SecuritySpy to your Firewall

Open System Preferences and select the Security & Privacy item. If the firewall feature is turned off, you don't need to do anything here. If the firewall is on, you need to either turn it off, or configure it to allow incoming connections to SecuritySpy. Click the Firewall Options button and drag the SecuritySpy application into the list.

SecuritySpy Firewall Setting

Enable SecuritySpy's Web Server

Open the Preferences window in SecuritySpy and click the Web item:

SecuritySpy Preferences - Web

Under Enable web server, check the HTTP and/or HTTPS option, in order to enable the standard web server and/or the secure encrypted web server. HTTP is suitable for local network communication, however you may prefer to use HTTPS for remote access, to ensure your data cannot be intercepted and decoded. SecuritySpy's HTTP and HTTPS services can be used side by side.

HTTPS requires the use of a certificate in order to identify the server. You can supply your own certificate signed by an official certificate authority, but you don't need to, because SecuritySpy will automatically create a self-signed certificate for this purpose (for more information, please see the HTTPS Keys and Certificates section of the SecuritySpy User Manual).

Create a DDNS address

Using the Dynamic DNS name option in the above window, simply enter a name, press the Test button, and SecuritySpy will instantly set up a DDNS address for you: in this example, the Internet address will now always point to the public IP address, even when it changes.

Port Forwarding

When an incoming connection arrives from the Internet, your router needs to know which device on the local network to forward the connection to: this is called Port Forwarding. Most users will be able to set this up in just a few clicks, using the Automatic Setup instructions below, however if your router does not support NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) or Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), you'll need to follow the Manual Setup instructions instead.

Port Forwarding - Automatic Setup

Virtually all routers support NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) or Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), both of which allow servers to automatically configure routers to allow incoming connections from the Internet. Assuming one of these features is enabled in your router, then all you have to do is enable the Allow access from the Internet options in the above window. Then, you will be able to access SecuritySpy from the internet using an address like this:

These addresses are just examples based on the above screenshot — to find out exactly what addresses to use, click the How Do I Access This Server? button in the above window.

Port Forwarding - Manual Setup

This section describes how to manually set up port forwarding, for when your router does not support NAT-PMP or UPnP. If you have not already done so, please read the Network Hardware and Local Networks sections of this manual first, to familiarise yourself with the concepts involved.

Configure Your Mac's IP Address

Open System Preferences and click on the Network item:

Network System Preferences

You need to assign your Mac a fixed IP address on your local network. Firstly, click on the active Internet connection on the left hand side of the window (in the above example, the active connection is Ethernet 1, but if your Mac is connected wirelessly it will be AirPort or Wi-Fi), and select Manually from the popup menu as shown. Make sure to assign an IP address that is on the same subnet as the rest of your local network. Use as the subnet mask, enter the IP address of your router, and use your router's address and/or as the DNS server (this is Google's free DNS server). In the above window you will have to click on the Advanced button to enter the DNS server address.

Configure Your Router

You will need to set up your router so that incoming connections from the Internet are forwarded to your Mac running SecuritySpy.

This setting is sometimes called "port forwarding", "port mapping", "application sharing" or "virtual server", and the precise setup steps unfortunately quite significantly between different router models.

Open your router's settings by typing its IP address into a web browser (e.g. Safari), or by launching the AirPort Utility if you are using an AirPort router. Find the settings page related to port forwarding. Here are some examples of what this setting could look like:

Virtual Server Settings

Port Mapping Settings

Your router's settings may not look exactly like this, but the options available should be similar:

Private Port

Enter the port used by the server. By default, SecuritySpy uses port 8000 for HTTP and 8001 for HTTPS. Most network cameras use port 80 for HTTP and port 554 for RTSP.

Public Port

This is the port (or range of ports) that will be accessible from the Internet. If you are setting up remote access to SecuritySpy, this should be the same as the private port (8000 or 8001), unless you are confident about using a different setting.

Web browsers operate on port 80 by default, so enter port 80 as the public port if you want the device to be accessible from a web browser without having to specify a port number. However, some ISPs block port 80 so this may not work.

If you want to make multiple cameras or SecuritySpy servers on the same LAN available from the Internet, you must choose a different public port for each one. This will allow you to access each device independently, even though they may use the same private port.

Port Type / Protocol Type

This should always be set to TCP.

Private Address / LAN Address / Host Address

Enter the LAN IP address of the server (i.e. the Mac running SecuritySpy).

If you are having trouble working out how to set this up for your particular router, the very helpful website provides setup guides for most routers, so should be able to guide you.

Accessing from the Internet

Once you have set up your DDNS name and configured your router's port forwarding settings, you will be able to access your SecuritySpy server from the Internet using an address like this:

Note that these public addresses may not work from within your network (this requires "loopback" in the router, which many do not support). To access your SecuritySpy server from within your network, use your Mac's LAN IP address instead.

Triggering Actions

You can set SecuritySpy to perform a range of actions in response to motion detection.

These actions include playing an alarm sound, sending an email containing still images, and launching an application or AppleScript.

Indigo Logo

Using the Cynical SecuritySpy plugin, SecuritySpy integrates with the Indigo home automation application based on the X10 and INSTEON standards. You can trigger actions in your home in response to motion detected by SecuritySpy (no scripting required), or get SecuritySpy to record in response to an event detected by Indigo (using AppleScript).

Control4 Logo

Using the Control4 SecuritySpy driver, SecuritySpy integrates with the Control4 home automation system, providing it with video streams from your cameras.

Using AppleScript, you could get SecuritySpy to use SMS Mac to send a text message (SMS) to your phone when it detects motion.

When used in conjunction with our SecuritySpy iOS app, you can receive Push Notifications to your iPhone or iPad when motion is detected in a camera.

Getting Help

To find out how to use the SecuritySpy software itself, please see the SecuritySpy User Manual.

You may also find an answer to your question on the SecuritySpy Online Help pages.

If you still have unanswered questions, please email us at

Appendix - List of Video Encoders

Though we recommend using IP cameras for all new installations, you can use older analog cameras with SecuritySpy with an analog-to-digital video input device.

Network video servers digitise video from analogue cameras and stream it over the network, effectively turning analog cameras into IP cameras.

We recommend Axis video encoders for their quality, reliability and compatibility with SecuritySpy. Other servers are also supported - here is a full list:


Model number

Number of cameras and notes


9100, 9100A, 9100B-RS



All Axis devices are supported

241S, 243SA, 247S, M7001, Q7401
241S Blade
2401, 2401+, 2411
240Q, 241Q, P7214, Q7404, M7014
243Q Blade, P7224 Blade, Q7414 Blade
2400, 2400+
Q7406 Blade
M7016, P7216
M7010, P7210

1 (discontinued)
4 (discontinued)
16 (discontinued)

Channel Vision







LWS-720, LWS-721




1 (discontinued)









4 (discontinued)






1 (discontinued)


Express 2
Express 4
Express 6
Express 8

6 (discontinued)



4 (discontinued)