Outdoor Wireless IP Cameras

Most home and business surveillance cameras just record what is going on at the time so no one witnesses any incident until after the fact. Outdoor wireless IP cameras can connect directly to the internet using the local wireless router and thereby enable realtime viewing of the camera’s view from apps and browsers.. Audio as well as video can be recorded and viewed live at the same time.   These cameras are easy to install and the apps and software comes as part of the package, or they can be bought from third parties who create similar software that does the same job.

Outdoor IP Cameras

Obviously outdoor IP cameras need to be weatherproof and dust resistant so it’s worth checking theses standards in detail before making any purchase.  There are degrees of both and some may be built to a higher specification than others. As well as protection from the incursion of moisture from rain or snow they should also have a casing that stops dust and insects from reaching the vital parts, and they should be able to operate in both extremes of temperature i.e. the direct sun of a hottest summer’s day and the worse of the winter frosts.  Even if the manufacturer’s specifications given these assurances it’s still worth protecting them still further by installing them under the eaves or in shade so that they are protected from the worse of the weather.

The term “wireless” refers to the signal from the camera to the software in the PC or monitoring station, but they still need a power source, so unless you are confident in drilling through external walls to fit a power cable you may wish to ask a qualified electrician to do this for you as the job may also involve adding a new power socket on the internal wall.  Make sure it’s a double socket so that you can use the second socket  for a PoE connection if you need it.  Alternatively you can fit an external power socket but the drilling will still be required and this could work out the more expensive of the two options for power.

IP Camera Essentials

Every device on a network will have a MAC address and most will have an IP address to.  Your IP camera is no exception and although it can work without an IP address it’s easier to manage if you allocate a fixed IP address to it.  It it highly likely that the IP address will be in the RFC 1918 range of private addresses e.g. 192.168.1.100 255.255.255.0.  It will pick up an address dynamically via DHCP, just like any other device you connect to the LAN (Local Area Network) that was created the moment you powered up the router.  However, your IP camera software should also have an administration area (accessible through a web browser) and in the setup or configuration sections you should be able to allocate a fixed IP address.

It’s worth spending some time getting to know all the various parts of the administration area.  This is where you can control the username and password for the camera, add new users, upgrade the firmware, and change various other settings.  Although most cameras are designed to be plug and play, and will work with little or no configuration, it may be important for you to harden the security and to change things from the default settings.

Where are IP Cameras Used?

Home outdoor IP cameras are used for other purposes beside deterring would-be intruders from entering the main property.  They can also maintain a watchful eye on cats and dogs housed outdoors in kennels. ponies, horses, or any kind of livestock, outdoor property that is vulnerable to theft of vandalism, or for capturing footage of wildlife, particularly at night using the camera’s infra red capabilities.  Deer, foxes, and badgers are often filmed in urban areas as well as in the countryside.

The fact is that you can use these cameras in ways that make them a useful asset as opposed to an expense that only has one purpose.  Get to know your camera’s functions and features.  Check the recordings and you may soon find you have enough footage to create a video montage of the wildlife that passes by, both day and night.

Ben

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