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HOWTO: Set up your Panasonic Camera to Work on your Wireless Network

October 22nd, 2007 by Greg

BL-C20Having a wireless IP camera is great. It allows you to place it practically anywhere in your home where there is a spare power supply. This is ideal for home security when you want to keep the camera as discreet, and unseen as possible.

But, if you’re having trouble setting up your camera to work wirelessly then it can sometimes be a thorn in your side. Not to worry though, we are at hand to make the whole process much easier and you’ll find that using the following guide means you can have your camera set up in a matter of minutes.

This guide will be suitable for the following cameras:

Initial Configuration

For the purposes of this guide we will assume that you have already configured your camera and that it is accessible locally on your network using a wired connection (Ethernet cable).

Wireless Differences

First let’s talk briefly about the extra settings we need to consider when moving from a wired ethernet connection to a wireless connection.

SSID: Short for Sevice Set IDentifier, the SSID is a unique name which identifies your wireless network (WLAN) from another. Devices which attach to your wireless network must use the SSID otherwise they won’t be able to communicate over the network at all. Important note: SSIDs are case sensitive. The SSID can be found in your wireless router. Your wireless router / access point will have an SSID set by default but this can be changed to anything you wish.

Encryption: Most commonly used is WEP, short for Wireless Equivalency Protocol, this is used to secure your WLAN by encrypting the data over radio waves while it’s being sent from one device to another. In order to achieve successful communication, a password, known as the ‘Key’, has to set up in the wireless router and the camera. Note that this feature is not enabled as standard in your wireless router but it should be one of the first things you do to keep your network secure, otherwise you may find everyone in your street using your internet connection and your home network may no longer be secure (we will discuss this in another article). If encryption is not set in your router as standard, we advise you set this up first, to keep your wireless network secure.

MAC Address Filtering: One final thing to note is that on some wireless networks there may be additional security in place which restricts which network devices can connect to the network. This is achieved by restricting devices based on their MAC Address. This feature is not enabled as standard on any routers so you only need to worry about this if you know you have set this up previously. However, if you can use this extra layer of security, we advise you to do so.

Example

Let’s look at an example configuration to see how it’s done. We’ll base our settings on the following:

  • We are using a Panasonic BL-C20
  • Our SSID will be ‘mynetwork’
  • We have set up WEP encryption, our Key is set to open authentication, 64bit strength with KEY1:AF67B9283C

If you are using an existing wireless router then all of this information can be gathered from the relevant wireless settings page. If you are using a new router then you will have to set these settings up in your router first to ensure your wireless network is secure.

Step 1 – Configuring your wireless IP address

The Panasonic BL-C20 has only one page to input the IP address and uses the same address for both wired and wireless connectivity.

Step 2 – Enter your wireless settings

Log in to your camera and enter the ‘Setup’ pages.

From the menu on the left choose ‘Wireless’. You will be presented with the following page:

Panasonic BL-C20 Wireless Page

This page initially shows the camera’s factory default wireless settings as above.
We need to enter our details into the camera:

SSID: We change the SSID to match the SSID which is configured in our router. In this example this would be ‘mynetwork’.

Communication Mode: Here you can choose to have the camera respond on 802.11b or g exclusively. It’s better to leave on the default setting 802.11b/g so that it can communicate on either.

Cipher: Using the drop-down box select your method of wireless encryption. Once you select your encryption protocol some further options will become available.

Panasonic BL-C20 Wireless Key Entry

Remember to select an encryption strength in the drop-down box under the input box where you enter the key. It is important that the strength of the key matches exactly what is in your router or you won’t be able to connect to your camera wirelessly.

In this example we are using WEP encryption, 64bit strength, with a key: AF67B9283C in the Key 1 position.

So with all our data input into the form as below, we are now ready to save the settings.

Panasonic BL-C20 Wireless Page

Click the ‘save’ button to save your wireless settings.

Step 3 – Connecting Wirelessly

You are almost ready to connect to unplug the cable from your camera and connect to it using your wireless network but there is just one final thing to remember with Panasonic IP cameras.

Panasonic BL-C20 Wireless Selector SwitchThere is a small selector switch all Panasonic wireless cameras which tells the camera it is connected using either an ethernet cable or using its wireless antenna. On a BL-C20 this is on the side of the camera as shown on the right.

On a BL-C30/131 you can find the switch on the bottom of the camera, close to where you plug in the power and ethernet cable.

Finish

So, to connect to your camera wirelessly first disconnect the power and the Ethernet cable. While the camera is still off flick the switch to wireless mode and power up the camera. After the camera boots up you should be able to access it wirelessly.

If you have any questions please leave a comment.

Note: If you follow all the above instructions and find you are still having no luck you should take a look at your SSID. If there are any special characters, spaces or puctuation in it then we would suggest removing them and just having a plain, one-word SSID. Even though your computers or laptops can cope fine a lot of IP cameras don’t like special characters in the SSID and will simply refuse to connect.

Remember though that by changing the SSID of your wireless network you will affect the connection of every other wireless device on the network. e.g. if you have a wireless laptop it will disconnect from the wireless network when you change the SSID. However it should just be a simple case of reconnecting using your wireless password.

42 Responses to “HOWTO: Set up your Panasonic Camera to Work on your Wireless Network”

  1. Norm says:

    Having connected up the camera to my wireless home network how do I access the image from other locations via my aol broadband connection?

  2. Greg says:

    Hi Norm,

    What you need to do is set up external access to your camera so you can view live images across the Internet. Take a look at our other article for more information: http://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/blog/2007/10/22/howto-port-forwarding-101/

  3. Norm says:

    Thanks Greg, that make it sound pretty easy really. Cheers.

  4. Hanna Foo says:

    I bought this Panasonic BL-C20 camera and am unable to make it wireless. I can connect it WIRED. Also, could it NOT be compatible with the MAC computers….because that is what I am using.

  5. Greg says:

    Should work fine with MACs. Just double-check all your settings. 9 times out of 10 there may just be a setting out of place. Ensure that the SSID is EXACTLY the same as what is shown in the router, remember that this is case-sensitive and that your wireless encryption is also the same.

    To troubleshoot, I would try temporarily turning off any encryption in the router and camera and see if the camera connects, then add it back on once you confirm it can.

  6. Jose says:

    I am trying to set up a BL-C20A with a mac. What software can I use to set it up.

  7. Greg says:

    Hi Jose,

    There is no software to help set up a BL-C20A for the MAC I’m afraid as the software supplied is Windows-based only.

    You can still set it up though. What you need to do is get hold of an Ethernet ‘Crossover’ cable. This cable is the same as a standard Ethernet cable but wired differently so you can connect the camera directly to the MAC without going through a switch or router.

    You will then need to change the IP address of your MAC to something in the 192.168.0.x range and then call up the camera in an Internet browser using the default IP address 192.168.0.253.

    Once into the camera you can configure it with more appropriate IP details using the camera’s built-in menus.

  8. cameti2 says:

    I lost my panasonic setup cd and want to set up again in another computer in other network.
    I have a BL-C30.
    How did I proceed?

  9. Greg says:

    Have you also lost the login details? If not you can re-configure the camera using its own setup pages.

    If you have forgotten the password you can download the installation software here:

    http://download.panasonic.co.uk/ccve/TECHNICAL/easyiptool.zip

  10. Patrick says:

    Hi – I’m in the same pickle as Cameti2 … lost my CD and need to setup on a new box.

    I tried the download you provided, Greg (the easyIPsetup) but ut’s not finding the camera. I’ve wired it up to the router and it’s on “Wired” setting, then I powered it up. The easy IP setup application never sees it, though.
    Is the full CD-ROM or setup software available? Or should I reset the camera and use the easy IP setup then?

    Thanks!

    Patrick

  11. Patrick says:

    Hi folks – sorry for the fire drill, found the CD!

    New question, though . . . looks like the BL-C20 only supports WEP for encryption. My router, however, is set up with WPA-TKIP. Can I not use this camera on that wireless network, then? Or is there a firmware update or something that allows the BL-C20 to use TKIP?
    thanks!

  12. Greg says:

    Hi Patrick,

    Sorry, the older BL-C20/C30 models only supports WEP encryption. This has been rectified in the new BL-C111/131 model but there has never been a firmware upgrade to add more encryption methods to the BL-C20/30 I’m afraid.

  13. Patrick says:

    Oh, that’s too bad! Thanks for the quick follow up, though. Guess I’ll have to get creative!

    Patrick

  14. Espen says:

    Hello. Thanks for usefull information on this site. I feel you guys have a lot of knowledge, so maybe you can help me. I have a BL-C111, and have lost the CD-ROM. Panasonic support is not answering support-calls. Do you know where I can find the configuration-sw on internet ?
    Best regards, Espen, Norway

  15. Greg says:

    Hi Espen,

    Please use the following link to download all the content from the CD for a BL-C111/C131:

    http://download.panasonic.co.uk/ccve/TECHNICAL/bl-c111_131.zip

  16. Will says:

    Good evening…

    I have the BL-C30 webcam and tonight I attempted to update firmware. When it looked like it was completing the update, the site was not able to open and not the camera appears ‘frozen’ and doing nothing… and the orange light on the front of the webcam is blinking steadily.

    Is there a way to master reset this? I have attempted powering down, resetting the camera via the reset button, but nothing….

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

  17. Greg says:

    First make sure to follow the correct factory reset procedure. To factory reset ensure the camera has power and press the reset button for a second.

    Next attempt to access the camera using the original setup tool provided on the CD-ROM. The camera may have reset back to it’s default IP address of 192.168.0.253 but if your network is on a different subnet you will only be able to confirm it’s connected by using the setup tool.

    If that fails I would consult your dealer or Panasonic directly.

  18. Richard says:

    Do you have the setup cd for a BL-C30C.
    Was given a camera but no CD or documentation.
    Thanks

  19. Greg says:

    You can download the CDROM contents for the non-wireless version here (BL-C10).

    http://download.panasonic.co.uk/ccve/TECHNICAL/BL-C10.zip

    It will contain the relevant software but the manual won’t cover any of the wireless features. You can always visit the Panasonic website for a PDF manual though:

    http://panasonic.co.jp/pcc/products/en/netwkcam/huc_index.html

  20. may says:

    im trying to set up the bl-c20a to my hp but unfortunatly i cannot log into it and it is wired what should i do?

  21. Greg says:

    factory reset the camera and use the setup tool provided on the CDROM to set up the initial IP address of the camera. The first time you log in to the camera it will ask you to set the password.

  22. erichazann says:

    If you have a mac:
    You don’t need a crossover cable or to change your network settings. You can plug the camera into your router and just access it at: 192.168.1.253 if you have standard/default settings of 192.168.1.x IPs on your network.. if you can’t find the IP of the camera, you can download nmap and do a port scan (nmap -sP 192.168.1.0/24) to find it. Then, just connect to that IP. I was able to set up the camera’s password this way and then access it on port 50000 (ie. 192.168.1.253:50000).

    Now everything is working fine WIRED. But I cannot get it work wirelessly. I have turned off all encryption and once the camera goes into wireless mode, it just doesn’t connect to the router. Is there anything I can do to troubleshoot? I am using it in Auto Setup so it still has the default IP, but it didn’t help changing it to DHCP either. When it’s in wireless mode and I do a port scan, it doesn’t show up. I have check 100 times the settings. Does my router have to broadcast on a certain channel? I didn’t have MAC restrictions on, but I turned it on and added the cameras wireless MAC and that didn’t help either. I had authentication type set to Auto, but changed it to opensystem, didn’t help either. This is so frustrating! Any tips?

  23. Greg says:

    Just as the article suggests. Ensure your camera is set with the correct SSID (this is case-sensitive), encryption key and if you are using MAC filtering remember that Panasonic cameras have two MAC addresses. The MAC address printed on the camera is for the wired interface. You find the MAC address for the wireless interface in the cameras system menus.

  24. mac_os says:

    Dear all,
    does anyone know where i can download the software for the Panasonic BL-C111 camera, not the recorder software but the one to configure the camera?

  25. Mark says:

    Has anyone managed to set up the motion detection to email facility? I have an AOL account and have tried numerous settings. Any help gratefully received. Thanks Mark

  26. Archie says:

    Dear Greg,

    Seems as though you and your team are the class act here on these webcams!! 🙂

    I have a BL-C131 and here’s my situation:
    1) Using a Macintosh Powerbook G4 running on Leopard with Airport Express b/g/n
    Yes, I’ve read your other posts including:
    http://www.networkwebcams.com/ip-camera-learning-center/2008/05/16/howto-set-up-a-panasonic-ip-camera-using-a-mac/

    2) I’m all set with wired mode accessing 192.168.0.253 with Safari
    I’ve figured out how to connect with ethernet cable directly to computer and also via router
    3) This is what I’m doing to setup wireless
    In the Panasonic software accessed with 192.168.0.253, under “Setup” (across the top), I select “Wireless” (on the left side)
    -SSID
    copy and paste from my “network preferences”/”airport” page
    -Communication mode
    802.11b/g
    -cipher and password
    use the EXACT same set-up as with my new wireless Epson printer. I’m not a computer guy so it took me a while to figure out WPA2_Personal on Mac is the same as WPA-PSK. TKID I figured out given that the password I have is an actual phrase, therefore not HEX
    -click on “save” button

    Turning to the camera, this is what I have done and in this order:
    -disconnect power
    -remove the ethernet cable on camera-end (router to camera)
    -remove the ethernet cable on computer-end (router to computer) So the ethernet cables are disconnected entirely
    -slide switch from “wired” to “wireless”
    -reconnect power (camera does a warm-up)
    -switched off Airport Express, wait 30 seconds (checking printer wifi signal as a double check), then switch it back on
    -confirmed Airport Express is online (green light) and menu bar update (again double with printer signal)
    -open Safari, type in “192.168.0.253” in the address bar
    -I wait several minutes, then I get the dreaded “Safari can’t open the page”

    I may be dealing with the same problem as erichazann September 2nd, 2008 1:59 am—what am I missing here?

    Do I need to do something with the MAC filtering? How do I do it?

    Thanks very much in advance. I’m sure I’m missing something really simple….

  27. Willmar says:

    I have a camera Panasonic BL-C30, I have connected it wired correctly, but when connect it wireless, continuous blinking orange, seems to me that I am not set up my Access Point D-Link DWL-G700AP correctly, if you please could give a hand me in this.
    Thank You

  28. Greg says:

    Sounds like either the SSID or wireless encryption is not set up correctly in the camera. The guide above gives step-by-step instructions.

  29. Danncl says:

    Dear all,
    I was having trouble connecting my BL-C20 to my Linksys WAG160N wirelessly after doing all the setup according to the above guide. This site has the most relevant postings but didn’t solve my problem. So to all those who swore they did it all by the book and got stuck right up to the wireless connection part, you can do what I did below. Might save you a couple of sleepless night trying to figure out what went wrong.

    Change the SSID from something like ‘MY_LAN’ to a simple name without any special character, capital letters or space like ‘mylan’.

  30. Greg says:

    @Danncl:

    It’s a very good point and one I missed from the main guide (I’ll add it in).

    In our experience IP cameras just don’t like special characters in the SSID. If you are having problems try removing any punctuation or spaces that may be in the SSID and try again. Remember this will affect ALL your wireless devices on the network.

    Thanks for the tip.

  31. chihc says:

    have a question. I was given a BL-C30 which I did manage to get working wirelessly, although i wish they would upgrade the encryption.
    Anyway… how do I re register the camera? I’ve done a complete reset and it still comes up on viewnetcam under the previous owners email. I cannot get any info as he is incapacitated.

    thanks

  32. Greg says:

    @chihc:

    You might need Panasonic to reset it. Try giving them a call.

  33. HL says:

    I have a BL-C111, and have lost the CD-ROM and it is a deadlink on in the above message. Cn you please repost the link where I can download the CD-ROM.

    Thanks
    HL@HK

  34. HL says:

    I lost my panasonic setup cd and want to set up again in another computer in other network.
    I have a BL-C111.
    How did I proceed?
    Thanks

  35. Pan says:

    Hi, I have a BL-C30 camera. It connects wired both intranet and internet. When setup for wireless, it can only be accessed through intranet.
    Why can not I access it through the internet?
    Regards,
    Pan

  36. Greg says:

    @Pan:

    Whether the camera is connected to your local network using an Ethernet cable or wirelessly it makes no difference to the Internet connection.

    See this guide for setting up a camera for external access: http://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/blog/2007/10/22/howto-port-forwarding-101/

  37. Jim says:

    My BLC-30C would not stop blinking orange and would not connect to my router (I got a new router and was re-configuring). After countless hours of trying everything on forums/manuals I gave up…. Then I opened up the camera. The switch for wireless/wired is actually a plastic plate that throws two switches on the board at once (one above one below the pcb). Well it turns out the plastic plate had lost a critical bit of plastic that meant only one of the switches was being thrown (one was stuck in wireless position) so I could never connect wired and I had factory reset so it would not connect wirelessly.
    I removed the plate and operate the two switches through the little hole with a paperclip and voila works fine now!

    Just a thought, if its a manufacturing fault weakness, others may have the same problem

  38. Kevin Bowyer says:

    That’s really good information and great piece of Mcguyver-esque fixing! I haven’t heard that anyone else has seen this problem, but if it’s happened once, it’s probably happened before and will happen again. Panasonic watch this blog, so they will see this. However, their newer cameras in the i-Pro range in particular have excellent build quality.

  39. suba says:

    hi
    when i connect the Panasonic BL-C20 to my wireless network. how am i gonna access the cam from another PC. what ip address should i use to connect ? i have configured my cam with a wired network with ip 192.168.1.10. if i try accessing the cam with this same ip on a wireless network it will not open.

    can you advice me please.

  40. suba says:

    hi

    and also it just support AES encryption. if my wireless is configured to WPA2 PSK how am i gonna connect the cam o the wireless network

    thanks

  41. DD says:

    I have my old Blc30E from mothballs and have set up great with cable however my router now has a passphrase and not a hex key etc. Ive found an online converter ? http://www.wepkey.com/ of Asci passphrase to hex ( 10) which gives 4 lines – no luck – am I on the right lines or is it a definate no go wirelessly now owing to the pasphrase being the stumbing block and I cannot convert it to Hex etc to trick it ? A reply from someone with real knowledge and not my stumbing detective work be great please – Thanks so much.

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