1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

How to transfer an image using FTP when motion is detected on a Y-cam

Home security is important to us all but luckily IP cameras can help protect your home in a number of ways. One popular feature you will find in almost every IP camera is the ability to detect motion or activity in the image. We are going to look at using this to generate images and store them, creating a simple, basic home security system.

Image transfer using FTP

This guide will answer the popular question of how to get your Y-cam White or Y-cam Black to transfer images to an FTP server whenever it detects motion.

This guide is suitable for Y-cam White or Y-cam Black.

We will assume for this guide that your Y-cam is set up and connected to your network and you can view the live images on a computer.

Background – what is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is the standard protocol for transferring files over the Internet. Really, that’s all it does and essentially this means you have an area of file storage, much like a hard disk in your computer, but stored remotely somewhere on the Internet.

If you have your own web site or received some free space when you signed up for your Internet service, you may have an FTP account which you can start using. Otherwise if you search around you may be able to find some free services online.

Step 1 – DNS settings

Let’s tackle the DNS settings first of all because in order to use your FTP host name you are going to have to have valid DNS addresses in your camera.

Log in to your camera and enter the “Settings” page.

In the right hand menu click “TCP/IP”. You have two options when setting your DNS server. You can select “Obtain DNS Server address automatically” and rely on your router having the correct information or you can manually enter your settings.

The information for the primary and secondary DNS address entries will be provided by your DSL provider. If you know them it would be best to enter these manually using the “Use the following DNS server address” option. If you don’t know your DNS addresses you can try the automatic setting and see if it works. If not you may have to contact your DSL provider for your details and enter them manually.

Step 2 – Setting your FTP trigger

On the right hand menu, click on “FTP Setup” to configure your FTP action.

Let’s take a look at each setting individually:

Motion detection: Select “enable” if you wish images to be transferred by FTP based on motion detection.

Periodical sending: Select “enable” if you wish the camera to transfer an image to an FTP server based on a timed schedule.

Interval time: Only used for periodical sending. Input the interval time you want to upload the images in hours, minutes or seconds.

FTP server name: Input your FTP server name (host name) in this box. You can use an IP address too if you know it.

FTP server port: Normally leave this set to 21 as this is the standard port number for FTP. Only change if you know that your FTP server uses a different port number.

Anonymous: Does your FTP server support anonymous access or do you require a username and password? Select anonymous access here. Most FTP servers will require a username and password.

Username: Input the username for your FTP server

Password: Input the password for your FTP server

Re-type password: Input your password again for a validation check

Passive mode: Select passive mode if your FTP server supports it, otherwise leave it off.

Remote path: Enter the path to where you want to store your images on your FTP server.

Our above example shows a typical configuration based on motion detection. It will transfer images whenever the Y-cam detects movement into our “ycam_images” folder on our FTP server at “ftp.myftpserver.com”.

The filename structure cannot be customized and is a standard date/time stamp. An example image will look like this on your server when the images are uploaded: “2008-04-11_16-14-43.jpg”.


And really that’s all there is to setting up your Y-cam to transfer images by FTP based on motion detection. One last thing to note, in order to reduce the amount of false alerts you recieve you might want to go into the motion detection settings of the camera and adjust them to suit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the IP address of FTP server instead of the host name?
Yes, you can use the IP address no problem. In fact if you use the IP address you don’t have to worry about having the correct DNS server addresses.

Published on April 11th, 2008 by Greg

4 Responses to “How to transfer an image using FTP when motion is detected on a Y-cam”

  1. Greg Innes says:


    It depends on which model you have and what software you are running. On the latest Y-cam cameras you can set a trigger time and FPS which lets you set the number of seconds the camera should keep sending images when an alarm has been triggered and the frame rate.

  2. mike says:

    is there a way to control the amout of the ftp files so that you do not have so many images sent to then delete?

  3. greg says:

    Hi Pete,

    I'm afraid it's not possible to upload video clips to an FTP server using the Y-cam. The video clips you produce will be stored locally to a selected hard disk drive.

    Keep an eye on our Resource Center, I'll do a guide on how to create video clips using the Y-cam soon.

  4. Pete R says:

    Great article – could you add on how to select video clips to be uploaded instead of just still images?