Friday, August 17, 2012

How to Setup a Wireless IP Camera for monitoring your home from your work computer or smart phone?

Buy a camera

1.      Search for Wireless IP Camera on websites like
2.      I have been using an older version of Cisco-Linksys Wireless-N Internet Home Monitoring Camera. It is about $104.00
3.      Foscam FI8910W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera is about $90.00.  It has more features and received good user reviews.

Note down the settings of your wireless router

1.      Enter the local IP address of your router on the internet browser.  It is a number like It may be written on the back of your router.
2.      Default Login/Passwords are typically admin/admin or admin/password, administrator/(blank) etc
3.      Go to the Wireless page and note down the SSID, Security Mode (most likely WPA2 Personal) and Passphrase

Configure the camera for connecting to the home wireless network

1.      Connect the camera to the wireless router using an Ethernet cable
2.      Find the IP Address of the camera by looking at the Status-->LAN/Local Network-->DHCP Client Table.  You should see a minimum of two entries in the table – one for your computer and the other for the camera.
3.      Open another browser window and enter the IP Address of the camera.
4.      Go to the Network page and unselect DHCP and/or select Static IP.  Make sure the displayed IP Address is same as the one we have entered on the browser window; if not, the set IP address same.
5.      Go to the wireless page and set SSID, Security Mode and Passphrase fields to match that of the router
6.      Power-off the camera, disconnect the Ethernet cable, and power-on the camera
7.      Re-enter the IP Address of the camera on the browser window. You should now be able to connect to the camera wirelessly and view videos from the computers in your home network.

Configure the wireless router for accessing the camera from computers outside the home network

1.      Go to the Applications & Gaming page of the router and make entries for port forwarding as follows:  External Port = 80, Internal Port = 80 , Protocol = TCP, Target IP Address = IP Address of the camera
2.      May have to reboot the router to take the above settings effective
3.      You can now access the camera from outside the home by using the IP address of your router.
4.       You can find the IP address of your router by Googling  my ip address from a home computer
5.      Warning!  You just allowed access to your camera from outside the home network.  So please change the default admin/ administrator password on your camera

Using a domain name instead of remembering the IP Address

         Go to , register and obtain a free hostname (e.g.
         Go the DDNS page of you router and enter the Username, Password and Host Name of your account

More Useful Settings  

  • Add a timer to the power plug so the camera will be up only on specific times (for. e.g. Mon-Fri 2:00pm to 6:00pm). 

  • Enable motion detection and emailing snapshots.  You will have evidence even if somebody destroys or steals the camera.)