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Top 5 most frequently asked technical questions about network cameras

Technical FAQsThe Network Webcams technical support team gets asked thousands of questions every year.

While many questions are specific to a particular system’s installation, there are others that crop up frequently.

In fact, most technical support questions fall into a handful of issues.

Without further ado, let’s delve into what these issues are and how to resolve them…

What is the default username and password for my camera?

As you can imagine, the default credentials vary by manufacturer. In some cases, the defaults have changed over time, so this is the list of the ones we know about:

Manufacturer Default username Default password
Axis root pass
Bosch service
Hikvision admin 12345
Lilin admin pass
Mobotix admin meinsm
Panasonic admin
Sony admin admin
Vivotek root
Wisenet admin 4321

There is a growing trend to remove default login credentials from network devices which we wholly encourage. This has already started in more recent firmware updates from some manufacturers.

We’ve included previous default details as many, many devices will be in use but unable to accept new firmware. This why it’s best practice to use other methods to secure your cameras.

Once you’ve completed initial setup, it’s best practice to change the username and password to a strong, randomly generated one. In fact, most cameras now prompt you to do this on first access.

What browser should I use for my device?

When you’re setting up your camera, or you want to change your settings, this is typically done through a web browser.

Some manufacturers force you to use a particular browser, but this requirement is decreasing as many are building their UIs for popular browsers.

In the list below ‘Google Chrome’ refers to all Chromium or Mozilla-based browsers:

Manufacturer Google Chrome Internet Explorer (IE)*
Axis green dot**
Bosch green dot
Hikvision green dot***
Lilin green dot
Mobotix green dot
Panasonic green dot
Sony green dot
Wisenet green dot

* NB. This refers to the original Internet Explorer (not Edge) in compatibility mode. This browser is on most PCs and can be found if you search your Windows PC or server.

** Some older Axis models required IE for some operations due to ActiveX and Java dependencies.

*** Newer Hikvision models work in Chrome, but older ones use Internet Explorer.

How can I access my camera online?

This is by far the most common question we are asked. The answer is usually port forwarding, however, sometimes you also need dynamic DNS or a static IP address.

Port forwarding

This isn’t a simple process. The method often requires some sort of router configuration, as well as an update to your camera settings.

For single-camera installations or small security systems, some form of external access is usually required. This is what port forwarding does.

The trouble is, every router brand has its own unique way of setting up port forwarding. To complicate matters sometimes models from the same brand can have different port forwarding methods.

To help you make sense of this, we have a guide on setting up port-forwarding which you should find helpful. The guide walks you through how to configure your router and set up port forwarding to access your network camera online.

Dynamic DNS

Every time your router loses power or disconnects from the internet, your router usually picks up a new address. Therefore, your port forwarding will be pointing to the wrong place and won’t allow you to see your camera. If this happens to you frequently, then Dynamic DNS can help.

Dynamic DNS helps millions of network cameras remain contactable through thick and thin. It is the unsung hero of IP video – here’s why.

Each time you connect to the internet you have an IP address. In standard broadband accounts, this address is normally assigned to your router and changes frequently when you go online.

The issue is when you want to connect your IP camera you would need to know this current, ever-changing IP. Not ideal.

A dynamic DNS service automatically updates the IP address of your camera, when it changes, to a server. You then access your camera using a pre-defined address, for example, http://mydnsaddress.axiscam.net. Therefore, you should always be able to access your camera with one URL.

Here’s a couple of examples of dynamic DNS services: dyndns.org, noip.com.

We have a couple of in-depth guides on setting this up:

Many DDNS services that used to be free are either disappearing or becoming subscription-based. Likewise, some camera manufacturers are turning off their DDNS systems for security reasons and moving to secure HTTP tunnelling.

Secure HTTP tunnelling is a cloud service for remote access, for example Axis cameras with the Morphean platform. Here, you don’t need to adjust your router or any firewalls. As long as your camera has an internet connection, you will be able to get secure, remote access.

How do I install Milestone XProtect? How do I get a .lic file?

Milestone XProtect is a world-leading video management system packed with features. The installation process, however, could be a little more user-friendly.

You are sent two sets of files – SLCs and .lic, therefore even for more experienced customers it can be quite confusing. Never fear though, we’ve written a clear step-by-step walk-through of the whole process.

The guide uses XProtect Express+, but the installation process is similar for all XProtect versions.

How can I receive emails from my camera, when motion is detected?

Email alerts are a very useful feature found in most IP cameras.

You can configure alerts to notify you when movement is detected, for example, someone entering a designated area. Cameras can be set up to detect this and send you an email as a notification. Simply log in to your camera to see what’s possible in your device.

Email alerts are relatively easy to set up. We have a couple of guides which you can find below:

If you need some technical assistance, give us a call on 0151 633 2111 or raise a support ticket.

Published on December 17th, 2012 by Network Webcams

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