Adding IP Cameras Over WAN
Note: Adding cameras and pulling streams over the WAN will heavily depend on available networking bandwidth to handle constant data streams. IP cameras continually push video through the network at high resolutions and multiple streams.
For this process, an External IP address of the network is required for the connection to the camera. An External IP address is a publicly routed IP address assigned by your ISP. It is what all the devices on a network use to talk to the Internet. Since all devices on a network come from the same modem, this information can be found on any device connected to the internet.
The External IP is found in various ways. For example, using Google Chrome, type “What is my IP” in the address bar. The browser should return with the correct address. Alternatively, IP Chicken is often used for this exact scenario. Follow this URL: IP Chicken - What is my IP address? Free public IP lookup.
Note: Most ISPs will cycle External IPs for customers on a weekly, monthly, or sometimes multi-monthly basis. Every time that External IP changes, the configuration will need to change as well to match the new IP address. This can be circumvented by using a static External IP. This often comes with associated costs from your ISP.
The first step will be setting up the camera. Boot up the camera and navigate to its webpage using its default IP address. If you are working on an Apex recorder, you can navigate to the camera using Camera Link. There are two things we’ll need to change here:
- The camera will need to have a static IP address. Navigate to the camera's network settings, and set a static IP address. If left on DHCP, the camera may re-lease an IP address, disconnecting the WAN connection to the camera.
- The HTTP and RTSP ports will need to be changed to something other than the default 80 and 554. Using the default HTTP port can cause communication issues during setup and operation. As for RTSP, it is very typical that ISPs will block any external communication on port 554 for security reasons.
Note: This image shows where to find the applicable settings in a current line OpenEye camera. These settings are found under Advanced > Network Setup.
Once completed, the camera will need to be Port Forwarded. Two Port Forwarding rules will need to be established:
- HTTP Port needs to be forwarded on TCP.
- RTSP Port needs to be forwarded on TCP and UDP.
More information on Port Forwarding will be found here: Configuring Port Forwarding on a Router
From here, the camera should now be accessible via the web. While on a separate network, you should now be able to connect to the camera’s GUI by inputting the External IP address and the designated HTTP port in a browser’s address bar (<External IP>:<Port>). This is how the camera’s settings will be accessible remotely.
Last step, getting the camera brought into the NVR.
- Looking at the Cameras page, select Add Camera from the top
- Next, navigate to the Manual tab
- You’ll want to add in the appropriate Username and Password, then change the Protocol to RTSP
- The Port will need to be the previously designated RTSP port
- You should now have the option to designate streams with URLs. Most manufacturers keep their URLs rather similar between models, but it can be a bit tricky to track down the correct one. See below for help with the RTSP URL
OpenEye Camera RTSP URL Format
Using OpenEye RTSP URL format, the streams for this situation are as follows:
High stream: rtsp://<Camera WAN IP>/media/video1
Low stream: rtsp://<Camera WAN IP>/media/video2
See this guide for more information on adding RTSP profiles: How to add a camera as RTSP
See this guide for our list of RTSP URLs broken down by manufacturer: List of RTSP URLs
See this guide for testing RTSP streams with VLC: Testing RTSP Streams with VLC
Here is an example of a Manually added Camera Profile just before hitting save. In this example, we're using an OpenEye Camera; the External IP is 126.96.36.199, and the custom RTSP port is 12345
Once done, you should now have an RTSP profile streaming over WAN. Keep in mind, the latency is most likely going to be naturally high. It may take a few seconds to load the stream each time the system connects to the camera for display in Live.