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Old 10-26-2010, 12:38 AM   #1
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Default Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

Anyone ever considered or actually installed a home security camera system, or
know anyone who has? I'm thinking about it, as we have cats we leave behind and
we thought it might be a hoot to be able to sneak a peek at them while we're on the
road. (Oh, and I love tinkering with computer hardware/software and peripherals,
as a way to keep current with all that stuff )

Any insight or experience with installation/setup/problems would be interesting to hear
about.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

I'd be willing to try something like this. If the system/connection ever had a hiccup you wouldn't know if your house was gone or if the power was out.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

Well, I'm having a crack at it. I picked up 3 DLink 920 IP Cameras at Best Buy.
They were on sale for C$79 + tax/each. I also upgraded to a newer router which
I also got at Best Buy for C$89 + tax. It's a DLink DIR 655 Gigabit N capable router.
I have just finished a semi-horrendous day trying to get some support from DLink
L1 support. One good call, one bad call, and one, I'm still not sure about.
The basic setup wasn't too bad, but it turns out the security settings caused some
problems for an older laptop we still use for email. Much trial and error and stress.
However, it's installed and our laptops are online.
Tomorrow, I tackle the cameras. I think it'll be uglier.

note: DLink has some newer cameras (1130 and 930L) that can access their DLink Viewing
DNS website, for people like me, who really don't know how to open router ports and apply
dynamic DNS to allow remote viewing of my cameras. I've decided to stick with the
920 cameras, as they might be a little harder to set up, but I like the learning curve
that goes with them, and they were on sale (regular C$119+tax).
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

I curious to know how you'd do it using a dynamic IP address. Or do you need a static IP address?
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

My limited understanding and emails back and forth to DLink sales and support indicate
you assign static IP adresses, open 3 ports, and then create a dynamic DNS entry at a
free web server to access them remotely.
I plan to try this all today/tomorrow, so I'll let you know if it works.

I was hoping to get it working before Friday.
There's a space shuttle launch (2nd last forever?) scheduled on Monday afternoon.
We may head down for a week. Or two.
We also never made it to Key West last Spring, and it's another place I'd like to visit.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

Well I was partly right, but then I had no idea what was involved.
Firstly, you need to get the cameras connected wirelessly, and secured,
both with encryption and password access protection. This part I managed to
do myself, and everything seemed to work flawlessly. When I established the
IP address of each camera, I set it as a static IP address to the router, so no matter
what else I connect to it, or when, or in what order, the cameras will always be the
same IPs. This is important when you actually try to log into them using a web browser.
Actually, at this point, I could access and view all 3 cams via a web browser, and used
each camera's router IP address as the URL. Enter userid and password and voila!!!

The next part is also relatively simple. Simpler than I expected, in fact.
I had to log in to the router, and get my WAN IP address, which may or may not
change. I'm not sure what might cause this address to change, but if it does while
we're away from home, all bets are off. You must get the IP address that your ISP
knows your router by. It will be part of the roadmap to the cameras
Next, still in the router, you have to create 3 application rules allowing each camera
to use a router comms port. In the DLink it's actually under "Advanced" then "Application
Rules", and you create 3 rules from drop downs and assign pseudo-names like camera1,
camera2, and camera3 for example. You allow any type of traffic, a wide open schedule,
and a port # which is in the range somewhere above 80.
Reboot the router and cameras via power off/power on.
Assuming everything comes back up and connects, open a browser window and attempt to
reach a URL address of 11.22.333.444:## where 11.22.333.444 is your ISP IP address of
your router which you already know and wrote down somewhere, and ## is the port number
of each of your cameras in order, if you have more than one, like me. No dynamic DNS
server involved, just a web browser and some opened ports.
If it works, you'll get a sign in window asking for your userid and password for each camera.
There are some camera features and settings you can tweak to your heart's desire, and enjoy
watching whatever happens to pass by your cameras.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

If you leave a PC on at home then a program that sends your Wan IP address everyday to your hotmail or gmail email account would be handy.

http://download.cnet.com/IP-in-Your-Ema ... 45030.html

I found "IP in your Email" - don't read that aloud !
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

Does all that stuff I wrote yesterday make sense?
Anyway, regarding periodically changing WAN IP addresses, I've sent a contact us
question to my ISP regarding basically the same thing as what you found online.
Their online FAQ suggests that they only provide dynamic IP addresses for residential customers,
which may change periodically.
Ok I thought, so I asked if they could send me some sort of notification (email?) if/when they
"periodically" change my IP address and let me know what it is. Or, failing that, could I call in
(if I can't access the router/IP remotely) and after being properly identified (they have all kinds
of security Q&A stuff on file for me), provide me with my "new" IP address that the router sees?
I told them I have some applications which require a known IP address to function properly.
I'll see what they say. Here's hoping they'll try to satisfy the customer.
Failing this, I'll pursue the free DLink hostname/domain/website thing with them, as the doc on their
free DDNS site suggests they can handle dynamic IP addresses and can update your space accordingly
when it changes. I'd just rather not have to rely on someone else to provide me with access, particularly
when it's free.
We know how reliable that can be???
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

OK, final chapter.
I stopped by a mall kiosk store of my ISP and asked one of the agents
my question about when and why do IP addresses change. I got the
"did you know you have 3 heads?" stare, and decided to excuse myself. I also got
an email reply from them, Internet Support, which said could I call them, and
select Cable Internet as my option, as they may have to do live troubleshooting
an a tech may have to schedule a service appointment.
Clearly I was wasting my time with L1 support at my ISP. It is irritating. If my
satellite provider could get me my internet, the other idiots would be gone so fast
they wouldn't have time to change my IP address.
So, I got an email from the sales guy at DLink, who is very friendly and has some
knowledge of their products, and he suggested how their DDNS site works, sort of.
So I thought what the heck, and created an account (free), and created a hostname
(free), and entered my current WAN IP address. I then logged in to the router, and
found a DDNS option under the advanced settings, and after a bit of reading of the
margin notes, I added the website info to the router's DDNS function, and then saved it all.

I then opened a browser window, and using the URL window, pointed it at my hostname,
myname.dlinkddns.comort# and voila, my camera responded, through my router, with a
request for a userid and password. I didn't need to specify my router's WAN IP address, but was
able to reach my 3 cameras via the internet.

If I read the instructions, and added the correct account info into my router, and combined
them with what was in the "how to" info on the DLink DDNS site, I'm now thinking my router
may be able to auto-log onto the DLINKDDNS site whenever my IP address changes, and
update it somehow. At least, that's what I think will happen. Their website simply maintains
my current WAN IP address, when my router tells it to update it.
I'll let you know when it happens, if it does.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Who's minding the store??? (Home security camera related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Well, I'm having a crack at it. I picked up 3 DLink 920 IP Cameras at Best Buy.
They were on sale for C$79 + tax/each. I also upgraded to a newer router which
I also got at Best Buy for C$89 + tax. It's a DLink DIR 655 Gigabit N capable router.
I have just finished a semi-horrendous day trying to get some support from DLink
L1 support. One good call, one bad call, and one, I'm still not sure about.
The basic setup wasn't too bad, but it turns out the security settings caused some
problems for an older laptop we still use for email. Much trial and error and stress.
However, it's installed and our laptops are online.
Tomorrow, I tackle the cameras. I think it'll be uglier.

note: DLink has some newer cameras (1130 and 930L) that can access their DLink Viewing
DNS website, for people like me, who really don't know how to open router ports and apply
dynamic DNS to allow remote viewing of my cameras. I've decided to stick with the
920 cameras, as they might be a little harder to set up, but I like the learning curve
that goes with them, and they were on sale (regular C$119+tax).
This is a solution I might try because I really want to get home security systems setup at my place. I'd have to upgrade my DLink router though because it's probably way too old to work well with new cameras. My router is 6 years old or so. It sounds kind of frustrating to put this system together but it could be worth it if it would save me some cash in the long run. $79 CAD each is pretty reasonable for the cameras though. It would be a good project, I think.
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