Video security system – Connections, part 2

A quick review – your router is assigning IP addresses using the range through 192.168..1.199.  We’re going to use IP addresses that are not in that range.

Let’s say we want to use for the first camera, and the router says that one of the cameras (it doesn’t really matter which one) is using  In a browser address bar, type and press enter.  You should see a login page for your camera.  Usually the username is “admin” and the default password is usually “admin”.  The documentation that came with your camera should tell you the login default values.  Go ahead and log in.

Now we want to access the network settings, specifically the TCP/IP data.  We want to use a dedicated IP address, and we will set it to  The netmask value should be, and you can set the DNS value to (that’s google’s dns servers).  Next is the single most important change you will make.  We want to set the gateway IP address to a value that cannot act as a gateway to the public internet.  Usually the gateway address is the router’s IP address, something like, or maybe  Let’s use  That is not a valid gateway but it is a valid IP address.

Why do we want use an IP address as a gateway when it isn’t a gateway?  So that the cameras cannot communicate with the public internet, only with your local network.

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this last step.  Failing to do this will leave the door open to a hacker gaining access to your video streams.  You do not want that to happen.

Now on the configuration page, change the camera password.  Do not leave it at “admin”.  Save your changes.  You’ll lose the connection to the camera, but that’s because you changed the IP address.  Go to and it should be patiently waiting for you there.  Log in using the updated password to make sure it works.  Also, as a double-check, try logging in using the default password of “admin”.  It should NOT work.

If you’ve connected multiple cameras, go through the same process with each one in turn.  The next camera will use, then .53, and so on.  Write down the IP addresses you use, and the passwords for each one.  It will make things simpler if you use the same password for all of the cameras.

When you’ve finished this, you’ll have cameras connected to your network, updated passwords, and dedicated IP addresses for each one.  The cameras will not have access to the public internet, only to your local network.

Video security project – Connections

We have a computer package to run the system, and we have cameras to supply the system with video and still images.  We will use an ethernet cable to connect to the cameras, and also to supply power to them.  What else do we need?

We need a special type of switch to obtain the data connection to the cameras and to supply power to them.  Regular switches just handle the data connection, so we’ll need a POE switch.  You can find them in various configurations, the one I chose was an 8 port model.  4 of the ports will go to the cameras, and a fifth will connect to the router.  The last connection (to the router) will allow computers on our network to access the video data.  We’ll talk about security for the video streams a bit later.

I would recommend a wired connection for the computer that will be running the system.  Wired connections are much more difficult to break into than wifi-based communication, and video streams from your home should be as private as you can possibly make them.

A bit about cameras setup with an eye towards security for your video streams.  With most IP-based cameras, once you’ve connected them to a POE switch and connected that switch to your network, the streams are available to any device on your network, AND POSSIBLY TO THE INTERNET AS WELL.  We need to fix that right now.

You can scan your network looking for the cameras using nmap, but if you’re not THAT deep into network security, your router probably has a page that displays the devices connected to your network, both wired and via wireless connections.  Just note the IP addresses that were assigned to the cameras you’ve connected – we’ll need them when we tighten up the security.

Before we continue, a bit of background.  Usually, when your router is configured you choose a range of IP addresses that can be assigned to devices – like phones, laptops connected via wifi, tablets, etc.  Looking at your router’s wireless page should tell you the range of IP addresses that are used.  I prefer to assign a dedicated IP address to each camera, and the most reliable way to do that is to select addresses that are not used for other devices.  Let’s say that your router uses IP addresses from through 192.168..1.199 for devices that connect to your network.  We’re going to assign IP addresses for the cameras using IP addresses that are not in that range.

This getting a little long, but this is a very important discussion, so lets continue this on the next post.