Mangocam Blog

Is Power over Ethernet (PoE) suitable for IP CCTV cameras

Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2018

IP cameras need power to function. The vast majority of units require conventional mains or PoE power.

In order to help choose whether to power or use PoE – we have listed some pros and cons for consideration.

PoE pros

  • You do not require an electrician for power provisioning to CCTV units – which is a cost and time saving and is ideal for DIY installation
  • PoE as power source for IP cameras or other network devices is generally very stable combined with a more stable network connection
  • PoE reduces overall electricity consumption by using less but more efficient power supplies
  • PoE requires less maintenance - only one cable is required for power and data, there is no WiFi configuration to maintain

PoE cons

  • You will have to purchase a PoE power source (switch or injectors) and Cat5 or better cable to set up your system
  • The maximum distance from the PoE power source is limited by the network cable length specifications

How do I check to see if my WiFi signal is adequate for IP CCTV camera set up

Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018

To check to see if you have adequate WiFi coverage to run your WiFi IP cameras, all you need to do is place a smartphone in the location that you wish to place your WiFi IP camera. If you have full bars then the location is optimal and ideal for IP CCTV placement.

If your coverage is one bar less than full strength, then this should be ok as well – however please note that you will most likely not be able to stream at the full bandwidth.

If your WiFi signal is not optimal, then we suggest wiring. Cat5 cable or above is required for this.

To wire or not to wire IP CCTV cameras

Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Your CCTV camera will not record footage if your camera is not connected to the network and this could happen at a critical moment. Therefore where possible, we always recommend wiring your IP CCTV cameras, to ensure the highest level of connectivity between your camera and your Internet source.

This being said, if you have a full WiFi signal in the area that you wish to place your CCTV camera, this of course will still work and is the best non wired choice should you wish to go WiFi and not be able to wire.

NVR vs. DVR

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017

The difference between a NVR and DVR can be confusing to many. The main difference is that NVRs connect to and record from IP (smart) cameras and DVRs connect and record from analogue (dumb) cameras. The main advantages of NVRs is that the IP cameras connected are capable of motion detection, sending emails and direct remote access, so the cameras can be used independently. If they are Onvif compatible, different vendor brands can be combined as required.

Mangocam can access streams via DVR's (digitized analogue images) or NVR's as well as directly to IP cameras connected to an NVR. The preferred method is to access (and port forward) each camera independently, as this will reduce load on the NVR and also eliminate the NVR as single point of failure. NVRs and IP cameras are the future, slowly replacing analogue cameras and DVRs.


Port forwarding

Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016

Port forwarding allows remote computers (for example, computers on the Internet) to connect to a specific computer or service within a private local-area network (LAN). For Mangocam to be able to access IP cameras, NVRs and DVRs remotely (in direct stream mode), the configuration of port forwarding is essential.

Port forwarding is a function of your modem or Internet router (almost all devices on the market support this) and needs to be setup for every internal device that requires external access. If you have three cameras, you will also need to configure three port forwarding rules in order to access these over the Internet. Most private and small business Internet connections only provide one external (routable) IP address, which is fine for outgoing Internet connections like web surfing and email, but makes it harder to actually host / provide services. Port forwarding will configure your modem / router to listen on a specified external network port and forward all external traffic accessing this port to an internal IP address and port - effectively allowing your internal devices like an IP camera to be accessible remotely and allowing it to provide web or RTSP services.

A typical router requires four parameters in order to forward a single port / device:

  • The internal IP address of the device (your IP camera) - usually starting with 10.* or 192.168.*
  • The internal port of the device (your IP camera) - usually 80 (HTTP) for jpeg/mjpeg cameras or 554 (RTSP) for H.264 cameras
  • The external port (use an external port between 10000 and 60000, as some lower ports may be blocked by your ISP and are reserved - also using the default service port like 80 or 554 may expose your camera)
  • The transport protocol - TCP, UDP or both - usually TCP, but both is fine too
Port forwarding of TP-Link router

The external IP addres is not required, as there is usually only one. This screenshot shows the IP forwarding (virtual server) configuration of a TP-Link router with 6 different forwarding rules for IP cameras. Two cameras (runnig on 10.1.1.53 and 10.1.1.84) are having two ports each forwarded - for HTTP and RTSP stream access.

If the router asks for start and end ports (some require a range to be entered), please use the same port number for both (only one port needs to be forwarded per camera).

Detailed and free instructions for port forwarding on almost any router can be found on portforward.com. We are also recommending the use of whatsmyip.org to find your external IP address as well as canyouseeme.org to check / verify if your port is open / available. Furthermore there are many videos regarding port forwarding configuration on youtube.com.

For multiple cameras, please map each camera's RTSP port (554/tcp+udp for example) to a high external port number (ideally a random port between 10000 and 60000).

camera1 internal 554 -> external 11554
camera2 internal 554 -> external 12554
camera3 internal 554 -> external 13554
camera4 internal 554 -> external 14554

If your modem / router does not support a different external from internal port, then please change your camera's RTSP port to 11554, 12554 etc. and map the port as is. Please also be aware that some routers won't let you access the externally forwarded port from your internal network.


Foscam HD camera stream selection and RTSP ports

Posted: Monday, July 11, 2016

Foscam HD cameras such as the Foscam FI9* series, FosBaby, C1, C2 and R2 offer jpeg, motion jpeg and RTSP / H.264 video streams. We are concentrating on H.264/RTSP here, as this provides the best frame rate and quality combined with much lower bandwidth than jpeg compression based streams due to inter frame compression. All Foscam HD cameras offer two separate H.264 stream profiles, the sub stream (geared towards lower quality Internet streaming) and the main stream (for local / LAN viewing and recording).

Foscam network ports

Most models are using the HTTP port (88/tcp by default) for RTSP traffic as well - they don't show a dedicated RTSP port number selector on the Settings > Network > Port configuration (or Settings > Network > Onvif) screen (see image). For these cameras, please port forward port 88/tcp on your router / modem for Mangocam to access the H.264 video stream via RTSP.


However, other models (using the Ambarella chipset) are using port 554/tcp (the default RTSP port) for RTSP/H.264 video - and port 88/tcp for web / HTTP traffic only. For these models, port 554/tcp (or whichever port is configured as RTSP port on this configuration screen) is required to be forwarded to access the streams.


Foscam stream selection

All Foscam HD cameras feature two streams, which are labeled sub and main stream. These can be configured separately in regards to resolution, frame rate, bandwidth etc. By default, the main stream may be configured to exceed 4 Mbps bandwidth and is not recommended for remote (Internet) access as is.

Please keep in mind that this is upload bandwidth, which may exceed the maximum data upload speed of your Internet connection. In most cases this can be lowered to less than 1 Mbps without significant loss in image quality. Please find our recommended stream configuration settings here.

The main stream (higher bandwidth) is normally used for viewing in the web browser and for NVR's. Assuming the image quality and resolution of the sub stream is sufficient (some Foscam models may only allow 320x240 pixels here, even though the main stream allow 720, 960 or 1080p), we are recommending to use sub stream profiles (labeled as sub) for Mangocam.

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