IP cameras are growing in popularity and are becoming much more cost-effective for home and small business use. Most of these devices have a pretty decent feature set, and often include some motion detection features and basic alert system, however to get the most value out of your camera, you’ll want to consider features such as:
- Cloud storage of recorded video or images
- Mobile connectivity from your smartphone
- Ability to view live video from anywhere, on any device
- Ability to manage multiple cameras easily
How do you get all these features? The answer is to connect the camera to the cloud and turn your standalone device into a cloud IP camera.
Getting these features on your own isn’t really feasible, or at best can be quite time consuming. The best idea is to use a 3rd party service; we offer one called Camcloud, but there are others. This way you’ll get more bells and whistles and have an easier time setting it up. Regardless of the approach, there are three steps required to setup a cloud IP camera:
- Enroll the camera with the cloud service.
- Set the camera up on your home network.
- Enter the cloud service settings into your camera.
(This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive guide, read our IP Camera Setup Guide for more details).
1. Enroll the camera with your cloud service. In our case, that involves signing-up for a free account at www.camcloud.com. From here, you need to tell the cloud service the IP address of the camera, as well as the camera login credentials. In the case of Axis cameras we provide a simple Axis auto-config tool which makes things easy.
2. Set the camera up on your home network. If you want to get live video from your camera to a mobile device or a web app, you’ll need to port forward your router to the IP camera so the cloud service has permission to access the camera. You’ll also need a static IP address – we have some recommendations on selecting a dynamic dns provider for this.
3. Enter the cloud service settings into your camera. Every camera is slightly different here, but the basic idea is the same – you need to supply the camera with the cloud service login credentials — either FTP credentials or other login credentials supplied by the cloud service. For example, in the case of Axis you need to create a ‘user’ and give it the username and password you selected in Step 1, along with setting up something known as an event server.