How to put your camera online in the Internet


There are four main steps you should take to put your camera online, whether it points to your baby, your pet, your garden or the street where you live. 



First I recommend you to buy an IP camera, preferably wireless 

You might do it with a common web camera, but you’ll need a server running on your machine, so the camera won’t work if you turn off your computer. So I strongly suggest an IP camera, because it has its own CPU running, receiving and sending image data packets. I used an Axis 207W but it is now discontinued. If you don’t need audio you may use for example an Axis M1011-W. Reliable and not expensive, it worth the price!

If you buy it wireless, you’ll need to configure it first connected with the ethernet cable. Go to your camera wireless configuration, choose one unused fixed IP on your LAN (192.168.1.33 for example), insert the router local IP and subnet mask, the SSID and password of your wireless network, and the camera shall be working with wireless mode. 

Configure your router

Your router has a local link named LAN (Local Area Network, which is your home network for instance) and a universal exterior link for the Internet named WAN (Wide Area Network). You need to configure your router so that any request from the exterior (WAN) on a specific port, for example 8080, (http://your_home.com:8080) is forwarded to the camera IP in the local area (LAN).  If you want to use your router Internet IP to show other people the camera view (just http://your_home.com), you shall use port 80, which is the HTTP default port.

To do port forwarding, normally you need to configure the NAT (Network Address Translations) settings in your router, which allows you to setup how the devices on your LAN, will communicate with any device on the WAN, i.e., on the Internet. In other routers it may be referred just as port forwarding. 

Get a dynamic domain service  

Usually ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) don’t give clients a fixed IP. So, you have to get a dynamic DNS service to forward a specific domain name (that you may choose) to your home router IP (your IP normally varies over time). You can get one free for example here at www.dyndns.com. This service will point, using a dynamic domain name that you choose, to your router at your home, because it updates the pointer constantly. Remember that your home IP normally changes over time (unless you have fixed IP).

So, when you type on your browser http://your_home.dyndns.org it will forward directly to your router WAN IP address, i.e. the IP your router has on the global Internet. Because your IP varies over time, you need to communicate those changes to the dynamic DNS provider, by installing a specific applicationThough, the majority of routers have also a Dynamic DNS (DDNS) setup configuration. On that configuration you input the information about your account, and the router will automatically send to the DDNS provider any IP changes.

You may not see your own camera through the DDNS service, so to confirm that everything is correct, ask some friend or use some external device (not connected in your LAN) to check if your domain (http://your_home.dyndns.org) is working properly.

Create a blog / site and add the camera HTML code 

You can create free blogs or free sites on many providers. I used blogger from Google. In the internal camera configuration page you will find the camera's HTML text code that you should copy and paste where you want to see the image on your site. Take that HTML text and put it on your website or in your blog and all your friends will see whatever your camera points to in real-time. Enjoy it!

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