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How to use Wireless Security Cameras with a WiFi Router

Connecting your Wireless IP cameras to a Wi-Fi router can be troublesome depending on your level of experience and expertise. Not everyone is well versed in networking terms and technologies. Let alone what to do when they see several series of numbers separated by periods. Let’s dive right in and get this accomplished.

Note: Attempting to join a WiFi camera to a wireless network can be difficult if you have no IT experience. We suggest purchasing our networking help service, or hiring an IT professional if you do not understand computer networks.

Step 1: Determine the Wifi strength of your wireless network

The first and extremely important step when considering a wireless security camera system is understanding the limitations of wireless equipment. You can purchase expensive wireless equipment and still have poor signal due to interference or thick walls. These issues can lead to an unreliable security system that drops cameras, or appears to skip video. The video below outlines how to use an iPhone or Android to determine the wireless strength in areas around your home or business. It is relevant to test the connection strength at every location you intend to mount a wireless camera at. It is recommended to not make any compromises when it comes to wireless because it can be troublesome to troubleshoot.

How to Check WiFi Signal Strength with your Smartphone

How to Check WiFi Signal Strength with your Smartphone






Step 2: Power and Configure the Wireless Security Camera for your Network

Note that our WiFi security cameras are not capable of PoE meaning they require a power supply, and the default wired IP address of our such cameras and other IP cameras and NVRs is 192.168.1.108 unless otherwise specified. You may have to alter the configuration of your network to view the camera’s web service, our use the IP Config Tool to locate and change its IP address. Information on using the connecting to an IP security camera and using the ConfigTool to find or modify can be found in another article located here.

Connect the camera to your network using an Ethernet cable, and plug in the 12V DC adapter. Allow the camera a minute or so to power on.

Step 3: Access the IP Camera’s Web Interface

Using Internet Explorer 11 go to the camera's IP address. If you haven’t already done so, follow this guide on enabling ActiveX to view your camera’s web service. Make sure to download and install the plug-in, then log in using the username and password. Then navigate to [Setup > Network > TCP/IP]. Note that you cannot connect a camera to wifi by using the NVR web interface you must be inside of the camera. You can verify you are in the correct web interface by checking the picture on the top left making sure that it says IP Camera and not Web Service. Below is an example of both.

The correct web service for IP camera configuration

Step 4: Configuring the WiFi Address

Select the drop-down box that states WIRE(DEFAULT) and select wireless. Click the button next to the drop-down box that says DEFAULT. Then select the Radio Button marked STATIC. Now you can alter the address of the camera. Make sure the address is not the same as another device on your network, the subnet mask matches the rest of your network, and the default gateway is correct. The WiFi address cannot be the same as the wired address, make sure to set it to something other than your wired address such as 192.168.1.109 in our example. When you’re finished hit save. The device should refresh. You may have to log in again.

Step 5: Connect to Your Wireless Router

Navigate to [Setup > Network > Wi-Fi] and check the box labeled ENABLE. Click on SEARCH SSID to discover the available networks. (If your network doesn’t broadcast an SSID click ADD SSID instead and list the SSID) Double-click the name of your network and enter your credentials. The device can take several minutes to connect to the network depending on a number of factors.

To verify your camera is properly connected, disconnect the power and network cables from the camera. Wait 10 seconds and reconnect the power only. Give the camera about 2 minutes to boot and connect to the wireless network that you just configured. Then try to connect to the camera using your web browser using the wireless ip address you configured (192.168.1.109 mentioned above).

If you are able to see the login page for the camera then you are ready to mount your camera.

If you would like to view this process in video form, please watch the video below.

Wi-Fi Connection Troubleshooting Steps

It does take time for a WiFi device to auto connect to a wireless network. Keep that in mind and be patient. Also consider the following troubleshooting steps if your wireless security camera does not connect.

  • Power the camera off for 10 seconds by disconnecting power then plug it back in (wait up to 5 minutes for it to connect)
  • Try connecting a network cable to the device, then disconnect it
  • Make sure your WiFi settings are correct. Confirm WiFi Key and IP address are correct
  • Reconnect the camera to a wired network, and DEFAULT the settings from the web interface of the camera. Then Reconfigure.
  • Make sure there is not an IP conflict with another device at that address
  • Try using a different Wi-Fi password on your wireless router or access point that contains only alphanumeric characters and no special symbols.
  • Change the encryption type* for your WiFi router or access point. Not all routers are created equally. Some inferior devices have a difficult time handling WPA and WPA2. You may need to lower the encryption to WEP or buy a new router. We recommend the Asus RT N66U used in this article.
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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