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How to access a PoE Security Camera from a Computer

We’re often asked how to modify an IP camera’s video settings once you already have it up and running on your NVR. This process can be difficult without any knowledge of computer networking or setting up a standalone IP camera. In this article we explain the technical details of taking a camera from the back of your NVR and connecting to it with either a direct connection or through your network.

Removing the Camera from the NVR

Our IP security cameras have a plethora of settings that can be accessed from the camera's built-in web interface. When a camera is connected to a NVR with built-in PoE, it receives IP address and configuration settings from the NVR to keep it on an internal network. While this is great for network security reasons, it prevents direct access to the web interface of the camera. If the user wants to change the camera's shutter rate, or IR LED strength, the camera would need to be disconnected from the NVR and accessed from a computer.

The first steps include understanding how a camera and PoE NVR work together, noting the IP address the camera is configured to and finally physically removing the camera from the NVR. The video below discusses these concepts in detail.

How to Connect To Your PoE IP Camera from a Computer - Introduction






After having a grasp on the basics and noting the IP address of your camera you can then proceed to the next steps. There are two ways that you can connect to a camera’s web interface:

    1. The first is through a direct connection into your Windows desktop or laptop that has an ethernet port.
    2. The second involves going over your computer network by configuring the camera to communicate on the network.

Be sure to note the IP address of the camera before disconnecting it from the NVR, you will need it later.

A) Direct connection between IP camera and Computer

The easiest way to access an IP camera is by connecting to it directly from a computer. This method requires you have the following:

  1. The IP address of your camera from the NVR registration page
  2. PoE Injector or 12VDC 1A Power Adapter. It is very important to use a CCTV Camera World approved device or you risk frying the camera due to incorrect voltage
  3. Two Ethernet cables (one if using a power adapter)
  4. Windows 10 based PC

The below video shows the entire process from start to finish.

How to Connect an IP camera directly to a computer






1. Use a PoE injector to supply power and data

A PoE injector will have two ports, one labeled for PoE or P+D/Out (power and data) and one labeled LAN or Data/In. Connect the PoE injector to a power outlet. Connect an ethernet cable from your PC's network port to the Data/In on the PoE injector. Connect a second ethernet cable from the network camera's RJ45 network jack to the port labeled PoE or P+D/Out. To check if everything is connected properly refer to the lights on the PoE injector and the port on your computer. If you do not see any indication lights you may have a bad cable or do not have the wires connected properly.

2. Use a 12VDC 1A power adapter

A correct power adapter will have a label stating it is 12VDC 1000mA. If you have any concerns about the correct power supply please feel free to email our support team. Power the camera by connecting the adapter. Connect an ethernet cable from the camera directly to your computer’s ethernet port. A good way to check if the camera is receiving power and communicating with your computer is to look at the lights on your computer’s port. If you have no lights it is important to test that your cable and power supply work with another device.

3. Configure your PC's network port to communicate with the camera

For your computer to "speak" to your camera, you need to set its network port to the same IP address scheme as the camera. Before we disconnected the camera from the back of the NVR, we noted what the IP address of the camera was.

Login to your Windows PC, change your computer's ethernet adapter to communicate with the camera. Use the Network & Internet settings which contains an Ethernet section. Using the change adapter settings set an IP address for your computer that matches the network for the camera. If you do not know how to do this refer to the video above for this step.

4. Test the connection with the Ping command

After powering the camera and configuring your computer to talk with it, it is good practice to test the connection using the Ping command. Simply open the Command Prompt and type Ping with the address of the camera. In our case we used the following command: ping 10.1.1.65

5. Access the camera using Internet Explorer

It is important to use Internet Explorer as it is the most compatible browser for accessing security cameras. Type the IP address of your camera into the address bar in Internet Explorer. Some cameras may require initialization and it is recommended to uncheck the Easy4IP and auto-update options when proceeding through the prompts. The password can be admin, or may be printed on the label found on the box of the camera. Note: the customer is responsible for any password change beyond the defaults. There is no master reset password.

After successfully logging into the camera you need to install a plugin to view the camera. Click the link in the center of the page to download the plugin. Make sure to Run and do not save the plugin download. Internet Explorer will prompt you to allow the plugin to run. Once the plugin is installed, you will be required to log back into the camera. You should now see video from your camera and can modify the settings of the camera in the Setting tab within your browser. Make sure when you are done modifying your camera(s) that you change your network settings back to “Obtain IP address automatically” in your network settings, this is demonstrated in the video above.

B) Accessing the camera over your network

Besides direct connection to a computer, the other method to connect to a PoE security camera is over the network. This method requires the following pre-requisites:

  1. A home or business network with router
  2. Windows PC with ConfigTool installed
  3. PoE Injector or 12VDC 1A power adapter
  4. A network cable to connect to your router
  5. The IP address of your camera

The video below shows the process in detail.

How to access a PoE security camera from a computer - Over a Network






1. Power the camera like you would for the previous method

As shown in the video, you can use a PoE injector or 12V DC 1amp power adapter to power the camera and connect to your network router or switch. The process is simple. It is very important to use a CCTV Camera World approved device or you risk frying the camera due to incorrect voltage.

2. Connect the camera to your network router

Instead of connecting the camera directly to your computer, you will connect it to your network router so the computer can communicate with the camera over the network. When following this guide, it is important to connect the camera and computer to the same router or switch. We suggest using a hardwired connection between the computer and the router to prevent a situation where your WiFi network is different from the wired network. If you are knowledgeable about your network setup, feel free to use a WiFi laptop.

3. Use the ConfigTool to find the camera and change its IP address

Using the ConfigTool to find the camera on your network is fairly easy and is covered in our guide on how to connect a network surveillance camera to a computer. It is imperative that you turn off any firewall or antivirus program on your computer that may prevent the program from sniffing your network.

4. Access the camera's web interface using Internet Explorer

The steps are similar to method A because the web interface will be the same regardless of how you connect to the camera.

Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.

 

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