I was thinking it would be wise to go for a cheapo version first so I won't be regretting my purchases. So I went to CR-R King and found the Wireless Network Camera CW-IP01W. Here.
Possible Surveillance Systems Set-up:
1. Cameras --> DVR --> Internet --> Monitoring or Recording
2. IP Cameras --> Internet --> Monitoring and Recording
I choose setup no. 2, simply because I wont need a DVR, which costs a leg and it simply contradicts the sense of security, mainly if its for a small time grocery store. Anyone could steal the actual DVR onsite if the plan to do robbery right? Another security risk would be electricity. If I was a robber, I would simply cut off the electricity on a store to lessen their security. So having just a few devices to power up, I can use a UPS to power up just the IP Cameras, Router and Modem. If I had setup no. 1, I would have another device to power up on blackouts, which is the DVR. The lesser power consumption, the longer your surveillance would be doing its job. On setup no. 2, monitoring and recording is simply done on your computer.
I used to work at Link2Support, where we supported IP Cameras and Routers for Sisco Linksys. I wasn't really paying attention that DDNS was really a big deal in Surveillance Systems. I just lately knew that the customers I used to refer to their ISPs were paying a big deal of money just to have them subscribed to Static IP Addresses.
What is Dynamic DNS? Why do you need it to setup a Surviellance System?
I'm not sure how much Static IP Address costs here in the Philippines, but having a DDNS account setup is the cheaper way. Simply, if you have an existing Internet Subscription for PLDT, Globe, SmartBro or Sky Broadband, they would be giving you a Dynamic IP Address. Because its dynamic, the IP address you have today may change tomorrow or even in a few hours, making it difficult to access your IP camera remotely. With the help of a free service like this, instead of typing an IP Address, you can use http://
This IP Camera is featured with wireless, but also has an Ethernet Port. I had to hook it up to my sisters Computer Shop first to set it up.
1. I took an Ethernet Cable, plugged it in an available Port on the Switch/Router.
2. Powered on the device and ran a program from the bundled CD called Find IP.
3. From there, I was able to set the IP Address to Dynamic, but I preferred setting it to a Static IP.
4. Our routers DHCP Server gave the computers 192.168.2.x IP Addresses and started from 100.
5. So I set my IP Cameras IP to a Static IP of 192.168.2.30 to avoid conficts with other computers.
From that setup, I was already able to access the Web Setup of the IP Camera on any computers within the Computer Shops network. Even running the program from any computers was no problem.
Now, since we are subscribed to PLDTs Business Plan, I get a sweet connection of 2 mbps and is feeding our router as its main connection.
I recently swap our Linksys Router with a NetGear Router because it just had more features in it. I accessed the setup page of the router which was 192.168.2.1 and found the WAN IP Address from there.
Port Forwarding, I opened port 8080 to be directed to 192.168.1.30 which is my camera.
If I had a WAN IP Address of 126.96.36.199, I should be able to access the IP Camera anywhere by typing http://188.8.131.52:8080.
The router featured a Dynamic DNS function, so what it does is, every time the ISP changes your IP Address, it will send the new IP Address to your host, in my case DynDNS. The router had a separate page to enter details for this, e.g. host, address, username and password.
I was out of luck having to go home, which was around half a mile to check if it was accessible for around 10 times. Just to find out that my sister in the US was already able to access it. It makes pure sense that it was my PLDT subscription at home that was messing up my setup. I was already hooked directly to the modem and still wasn't able to access the IP Camera. When I got to our home in Manila, I was able to access my IP Camera with no problems knowing that it was of a different ISP, Sky Broadband.
Anyway, I was able to install the software bundled with the IP Camera, which featured Motion Detection. I find it a sweet feature, because having to record raw video 24/7, eats your computers HDD like there's no tomorrow.
What I found lacking though is the limitations of the IP Camera I bought. I didn't have mobile view feature nor Night Vision (IR). I just wish that the clerks in CR-King are knowledgeable enough to know what mobile view means on my next visit, or if they would allow quick demos for their surveillance devices.