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HOWTO: Register your Panasonic IP Camera with Viewnetcam.com Dynamic DNS Service

November 21st, 2007 by Greg

Panasonic Viewnetcam.com

Whenever a router is connected to the Internet it receives what is known as a public IP address. This is your identifier on the internet and is unique all over the world. However, internet service providers (ISPs) only have a set number of IP addresses which they can give to their customers. Because of this most ISPs will rotate their customers’ IP address each time they connect or reconnect to the internet, or as sometimes is the case, whenever they feel like it!

This can be a problem whenever you set up a camera using a domestic level broadband account. A fitting analogy would be to consider your home telephone number changing whenever BT felt like it. How would you be able to call home if you didn’t know your number?

There are however ways to combat this. You can often liaise with your ISP to secure yourself a static IP address, meaning your public IP address will never change, but you will often pay extra for this service.

The other alternative is to set up a dynamic DNS account. In order for this to operate a piece of software has to be set up on your router, camera or a local PC. This software periodically sends an update to the Dynamic DNS service to renew your IP address, keeping it current. It also has an added benefit of giving a meaningful name to your camera instead of an IP address making it easier to remember and will keep your camera connected to the Internet at all times, even if you change your ISP!

Many camera/router manufacturers support this feature in their devices. This article will look at how this is configured in a Panasonic camera using their free Dynamic DNS service: Viewnetcam.com.

This guide is suitable for the following Panasonic IP cameras:

  • BL-C1
  • BL-C20
  • BL-C10 (now discontinued, replaced with the BL-C111)
  • BL-C30 (now discontinued, replaced with the BL-C131)
  • BL-C111
  • BL-C131
  • BB-HCM311 (now discontinued, replaced with the BB-HCM511)
  • BB-HCM331 (now discontinued, replaced with the BB-HCM531)
  • BB-HCM511
  • BB-HCM515
  • BB-HCM531
  • BB-HCM381 (now discontinued, replaced with the BB-HCM580)
  • BB-HCE481 (now discontinued, replaced with the BB-HCM581)
  • BB-HCM580
  • BB-HCM581

Viewnetcam.com

Viewnetcam.com is an online service provided free by Panasonic which will automatically update your public IP address when your ISP changes it. The way it works is simple. The system is built into your Panasonic IP camera and when activated, your camera will make periodic connections to the Viewnetcam service supplying its current IP address.

We are basing this HOWTO: guide on the Panasonic BL-C10 camera. Other models have slightly different options and terminology but are essentially the same.

Step 1

We will already assume your camera is configured and you can access it on your local network and externally from another location over the Internet.

Step 2

Log into your camera as an administrator and enter the setup pages by clicking on the ‘setup’ tab.

Step 3

In the menu down the left hand side you will see a link which will either say ‘Viewnetcam.com’ or ‘Dynamic DNS’ depending on your model of camera. In our example this link says ‘Viewnetcam.com’. Click this link to configure the dynamic DNS settings.

Step 4

The page shown will be the page where you activate the Viewnetcam service in the camera.

Note: In some Panasonic models you are given the choice of using the Viewnetcam service or using a third-party Dynamic DNS service such as DynDNS.com. We would suggest using the Viewnetcam service unless you experience difficulty with it.

Viewnetcam setup page

Click the checkbox marked ‘Enable’ and click the ‘Save’ button to activate the Viewnetcam service.

You should get a message saying “Success!” and a button which will link you back to the previous page titled ‘Go to Viewnetcam.com page’. Click this button to return to the previous page.

Step 5

Now that your camera is activated you need to register with the online service. You do this by clicking on the link titled “Your Account Link” which is a specific link to take you directly to the Viewnetcam.com website.

Click the ‘new registration’ link.

You will need to enter your current email address, set a password and enter some personal information. Once this is done click “I agree”. You will then be asked to choose a name for your DNS address. Enter what you wish into the textbox. Remember that there can be no spaces and must contain only letters or numbers. Once this is entered click “choose”.

Step 6

And that’s all there is to it!

Use your new Viewnetcam address to access your IP camera from anywhere across the Internet.

More information

Panasonic Viewnetcam.com

Using the initial installation software to set up Viewnetcam.com

89 Responses to “HOWTO: Register your Panasonic IP Camera with Viewnetcam.com Dynamic DNS Service”

  1. John says:

    It is wierd that I have to have my home pc logged onto the camera and only then can i remotely access it from outside internet – Why does my homepc have to be on and logged into the viewnetcam?

  2. Greg says:

    Your home PC shouldn’t have anything to do with it John. As long as your camera and router are powered the Viewnetcam service will run independently of any PC on the network.

  3. Mohamed says:

    May I install the BL-c111 firmware in my BL-c10 ?
    Are there any improvement if so ?

  4. Greg says:

    No, that wouldn’t be possible I’m afraid.

  5. JOHN says:

    I went and had to upgrade from DSL to Cable modem, so i have to redo all my hard work setting this camera up! I am at the point where:
    The address above will be shown on Status page in the Maintenance section.
    Opening the Viewnetcam.com registration page. Please wait. Then continue the setup via the DynamicDNS setup screen.

    The viewnetcam page is not opening – Is there a link to get to this page w/o waiting for this to bring it up?

  6. Greg says:

    Hi John,

    As the Viewnetcam service is handled solely by the camera changing a router shouldn’t have any impact. Once the camera is reconnected to the cable router is should have started communicating again with the viewnetcam service, unless during the process you reset all the settings in the camera too.

  7. Paul says:

    I have -C131 camera, wireless router, and DSL modem. Viewing works fine wirelessly from home network. Have registered with viewnetcam; account is valid and DDNS is active. However, my ***.viewnetcam.com address always responds with page-not-found error. Have reads lots of FAQ’s on this topic, learned more about IP’s than I ever wanted to know; still can’t fix the problem. This probably isn’t available, but I’d love a straightforward checklist progression of types of settings to validate for each element(viewnetcam service, router, & camera) to allow internet viewing. Thanks.

  8. Greg says:

    Hi Paul,

    Here’s some trouble-shooting tips:

    1) Open a command prompt and ping your viewnetcam address by using the command “ping yourcameraname.viewnetcam.com” where ‘yourcameraname’ is your personal viewnetcam name. When you ping this it will show the public IP address associated with the viewnetcam entry. Now compare this to your real public IP address by visiting the website http://www.whatismyip.com from the same network the camera is on and if the addresses match then everything with viewnetcam is working and is ok.

    2) Also check the firewall rules in your router. No camera can be seen from the outside world with a rule added to the router to open access. You can gain instructions for every router type at http://www.portforward.com.

    3) Finally it’s worth noting that it could be extremely normal to not be able to access your camera from the same network using your viewnetcam address. This is a public address and most routers will block any request made by the same network trying to come back on its self. This is known as NAT loopback and is very common. In these circumstances you should test the external connection from another location and use your external address from there and use your local address for when you are on the same network as the camera.

  9. Paul says:

    Thanks for the tips, Greg. Surprisingly, my viewnetcam began working today from the same external-network pc that had failed on multiple previous attempts. I don’t know what changed. I do appreciate your feedback and will run through your suggestions anyway to try to becmoe a little smarter for the next time.

  10. kevin says:

    I brought a used blc-131 camera and when i went to reister with the online service viewnetcam. the previous owner’s email address cam up. How do I change the name and set my own DNS address of my choice.

  11. Greg says:

    Contact Panasonic. They will be able to reset the Viewnetcam account for you:

    Tel: 0870 907 0357 (Option 2)

  12. x-man says:

    Need some serious help! I tried unblock anonymous req from my router and portforwarding. But i can’t access my viewnetcam.com website from my work computer for the life of me! pls help!
    i have the wrt54g router w blc131 cam.

    thanks in advance

  13. Greg says:

    Your work may be blocking access? I’m sorry there’s not enough information to provide any further help.

    Try asking in our forums: http://forum.networkwebcams.com/

  14. Paul says:

    I’ve followed all the instructions and cannot get my viewnetcam domain to work. My router is netgear 384. I have remote wirless working within my home network only. I have successfully registered my domain and it is “active”. When I enter my domain into a web browser it asks for my user name and password. However I don’t have a username do I because my viewnetcam id is an email address right?

    I try to set up my netgear dns registration but that fails too. It says username and/or p/w are incorrect. But again – viewnetcam does not give me a username…. I have tried both netgear dns registration and no registration… no difference.

    Regards

    Paul.

  15. Greg says:

    double-check the password it is asking you for is actually the camera. If it’s the camera is will say something along the lines of “Please enter password to log in as a General User”. If it doesn’t say “General user” then it’s not the camera and will most likely be your router.

    Be aware that you probably wont be able to use your Viewnetcam.com address from your local network anyway. You normally have to use your ‘local’ IP address on the local network and your Viewnetcam address when you access the camera from the Internet.

    Also you can’t use the Viewnetcam details directly in a Netgear router. It’s actually asking for details from another free dynamic DNS service which you can register for at http://www.dyndns.com

    Rememeber you may have to enter some port-forwarding rules in your Netgear router too. Check this article for help:

    http://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/blog/2007/10/15/how-to-set-up-external-access-to-your-camera-using-a-netgear-router/

  16. Paul says:

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks very much for your quick response. I have progressed further – I didn’t set the camera port to the same as that in the example (4440)… I’ll match this up tonight so that when I get back to work tomorrrow I’ll see it….

    My netgear 684 does not have “Port Forwarding” on the advanced menu. I think your instructions are the equivelent to setting up port forwarding right?

    I’ll confirm everything is working tomorrow – I hope :-) Thanks again!

    Paul.

  17. Greg says:

    Some netgear routers can have slightly different terminology in the menus. Try going to http://www.portforward.com/english/routers/port_forwarding/routerindex.htm and find the model number which matches your router.

  18. Dan says:

    I have setup and registered my camera and it works fine. I have setup a 2nd camera and I can access both from my local PC’s but I cannot get to my 2nd camera via the web. I have setup the 2nd camera but when I try to access via the web I get an error, 14/12002, from that camera. Do I have setup put in a wan address when I setup that 2nd camera or register that camera or setup another viewnetcam address?

  19. Paul says:

    Hi Greg,
    Me again from June 25th. Still no luck. We have used Wire Shark to track the flow of packets between routers. My camera is on default port 8080. I have set the service on Netgear also to 8080 and added/enabled it on the Fire wall rules. Wire Shark says the service is unavailable when we try to accesss domain.viewnetcam.com:8080. If we try domain.viewnetcam.com:80 or domain.viewnetcam.com we don’t get the “no service” indication. So it looks like the service exists but the router thinks its dead (from the outside). However the wireless at home (from the inside) works fine. I have also enabled Port Forwarding on the camera too. Slowly getting there……. cheers Paul.

  20. Greg says:

    Dan:

    In your second camera: Go into the network settings and change the HTTP port number to something non-standard such as 4440. Then disable the viewnetcam service on the this (2nd) camera.

    To access it, use your original viewnetcam address and then add the non-standard port-number (in our example we would add ‘:4440′) to access the second camera from the Internet.

  21. Greg says:

    Paul: My guess is that it’s working fine. How are you testing your viewnetcam address? If you test it from the same local network as the camera you might find it will never work. That’s called NAT loopback and the router is blocking it. Have someone from the outside to test the viewnetcam address from another location over the Internet (remembering to add :8080 to the end of the address as 8080 is not the default port of the camera)

  22. Paul says:

    Greg,
    I’m testing externally to my home network. It still doesn’t work. I see from the camera’s maintenance page that Port 80 is used. Fine. But when I add the service onto netgear 684 it won’t let me saying the port is used by something else. That’s fine too, but I cannot see how to change the default port setting of the camera. Do you know how please? Are you sure this equipment works?…. :-) Paul.

  23. Paul says:

    Got it working Greg!! Hurrar!
    You cannot configure the Port address to force it to use a specific port, the camera finds/uses an unused Port auromatically when Port Forwarding is first enabled… The maintenance page tells you the Port it is using. Netgear 684 didn’t like me entering “80″ but did accept “0080″ :-( then it showed up as 80 in the service table… Thanks for your assistance. Paul.

  24. Darin says:

    Great information…thanks a bunch.

    I recently installed two cameras (wireless – BL-C131A and wired version) and all seemed to be cool until the morning after. I tried accessing my viewnetcam page and the cameras would not load. I could view them locally but not via my viewnetcam account. Since then, I’ve had to restart the cameras each morning in order for them to work. Not sure why, but it appears that they simply stop working at some point.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Darin

  25. Greg says:

    Hi Darin,

    It may be that they stop working when your public IP address changes. Try going into the viewnetcam settings in the camera and increasing the frequency of the updates. That my update the service quicker for you.

  26. Cary says:

    Help!
    I can view my viewnetcam page (on boat) from my work PC and from my kids laptop at home, but not my laptop at home.

    I enter the correct details and the page loads but all that is shown is a blue line across the top of the page.

    Probably something really silly, but it’s got me!!!

  27. Greg says:

    If your laptop at home is on the same network as your camera then it could be that you are suffering from NAT loopback. This is when your router blocks a request made to access the same network using the external address going out and then coming back in again. It’s fairly common. What you have to do is use a local IP address on the local network and a viewnetcam address from other locations on the Internet.

  28. mari says:

    HI
    I WANT TO GOUT FALOW SYSTEM TO MY CLIENT
    COULD YOU GUIDE ME PLAES
    I WANT TO CONNECT A NETWORK WIRELESS CAMERA AS BL-C30 TO GPRS MODEM AND SEND ONE IMAGE PER MINET TO MOBILE PHONE
    PLEASE TELL ME THAT I SHALL USE WICH PART NUMBER AND WICH WAY
    PLAES INTRUDUSE YOU’R PARTNER IN IRAN
    THAMK’S ALOT

  29. Maric says:

    Hi,
    I got network camera BL-C131A and sometime I can access online just sometime. Called custamer support and did port forwarding. It worked while we were talking on the phone. I logged off and tried to log in again at work but it doesn’t work again allthough I could log in but just sometime. Getting massage that server is not responding or stoped responding. Please help…What should I do?

  30. Greg says:

    Take a look at this article with help on accessing your camera externally: http://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/blog/2007/10/22/howto-port-forwarding-101/

  31. Dave says:

    Hello. I am using a BL-C131a in wifi mode with a Zyxel prestige adsl modem/router. All is well through the viewnetcam.com service, however, at work it is blocked. This could be from the port extension at the end of the viewnetcam.com address. Is there any way around this? Perhaps a paid camera server service which would not require adding the port number? Thanks for any info.

  32. Oli says:

    Hello,

    I am using a BL-C30 and I used to be able to view camera over the internet via DDNS Viewnetcam. For some reason, everytime I go to the camera link, it goes to my router home page only. Seems it is not port forwarding, even though it is enabled. My router is Siemens SE587, firewall disabled.

    Any advice?

    Cheers,

  33. freddy says:

    Hi,
    I got network camera BL-C131A and it works fine at home over the same network, but when I’ve tried at work using viewnetcam URL it give me a page of
    Grandstream Device Configuration with password option. and I don’t have a password for that. Please help. From where I can get that password.

    Thanks, in advance.

  34. Greg says:

    You need to set up a firewall rule in your router. This is known as port-forwarding. Check this article for more information: http://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/blog/2007/10/22/howto-port-forwarding-101/

  35. Luis says:

    I update my BL-C10 camera for a BL-131A and I sell the BL-C10.
    I reset the BL-C10 but the new owner can not change the name and personal camera url in the setup menu. How can he change it? can the BL-C10 be completly reset?

    Best regards
    Luis from Mexico

  36. Greg says:

    If you contact Panasonic they can reset the personal camera URL in the camera. It can’t be done from the camera.

  37. Shiheliu says:

    Hi, I have two BL-131A camera and setup very well. However, I can’t view them at same viewnetcam website. I have to have two web page to view them separately. Could you please let me know how to setup multi camera screen? Thanks so much! Shihe

  38. Sean says:

    Shiheliu,

    I’m not Greg, but maybe I can help. When you go to the multi-camera setup, make sure the address listed for the second camera is JUST xxx.viewnetcam.com (NO http://) and then the port number for that camera, mine is 50001. You can NOT use the internal IP for the second camera. (192.168.x.xxx).

  39. Sean says:

    Greg,

    Can these cameras be mixed and matched and still work on the SAME viewnetcam page. i.e. Can I have a BL-131A, BL-111A, AND a BL-C1 and have them show together on the Multi Screen.

    Thanks.
    Sean

  40. Richard says:

    Hi! I have two cam’s BL-C131 and BL-C30 the 131 works well but the c30 over night turns off so that every morning i have to restart it.
    http://scillywebcam.viewnetcam.com:50029/CgiStart

  41. Greg says:

    Sean,

    Yes you can do that. What I would suggest though is that if you have multiple cameras on the same network connection you should give them different port numbers (such as 8080, 8081 etc.) and only set up one of your cameras with the Viewnetcam service. This way you can use 1 viewnetcam address for all your cameras by changing the port number at the end. e.g. mycam.viewnetcam.com:8080, mycam.viewnetcam.com:8081 etc.

  42. Greg says:

    Richard,

    My first guess is a wireless issue. Is the BL-C30 further away from the wireless access point than the BL-C131 or in an area with more objects which could cause interference?

    See our guide to wireless interference: http://www.networkwebcams.com/ip-camera-learning-center/2008/05/09/howto-prevent-wireless-interference/

  43. Richard says:

    Sorry!,I should have added, ” can you help me with this issue ?
    cheers
    Richard

  44. Richard says:

    Ooops! that was qwik!!
    I already had these problems with this Camera before I got the other one.

  45. Richard says:

    seems to go off at midnight, I had it sorted a while ago but had to do a factory reset and forgot how I resolved it.

  46. Richard says:

    Sorry about all those posts, I was getting carried away! No its in the same place as the other camera, I’ve moved them both around to different places and its always the c30 that goes off line, like I said, it seems to be around midnight, I think i sorted it before by adjusting the “Operation Time” but I don’t remember how i did it, I’ll just keep twiddling it and see how I get on!!
    cheers

  47. Enrico says:

    Hi!
    I noticed that in my BL-C131 dynamic dns settings there’s also an option to set a third party dynamic dns instead of viewnetcam.. anyone knows how can I configure my BL-C131 to use dyndns.com (wich I prefer to viewnetcam)? I understand that I could simply configure my router to use dyndns isntead, but I can’t do it for technical reasons.

    —————————————————–

    For the curious ones, my “security router” is behind another “adsl router” and, whilst the cameras connected to it report the correct public ip address to viewnetcam, the security router doesn’t report the right ip to dyndns

    Internet

  48. Tom Frew says:

    hi, i’ve set up my camera and its all works locally and have registered with viewnetcam.com but when i try to login to domain.viewnetcam.com it asked for a username and password. I’ve tried everything i can think of but no success. It suggests generaluser/administrator but neither work as a user name.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Tom

  49. John V says:

    I got the camera (BL-C1A) hooked up and worked local fine. Tech service fixed the web problem. Had to change the camera port 80 to 5000 (it was the same as the router) Now everything works fine if I put Mycamxxx.viewnetcam.com:5000 The only problem is the green light on the camer is now fliasing red. Any issues with this or just ignore the light.

  50. Greg says:

    @Tom:

    Hi Tom,

    That definitely sounds like the camera you are trying to connect to. You should just enter the username and password for your camera in the boxes shown.

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