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A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Users can ask and answer questions regarding Foscam IP Cameras

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A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby TheUberOverLord » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:21 pm

The screen to SET a static IP address for your camera, should look something like this and is normally listed in the Admin menu of the Standard Camera Interface as "Basic Network Settings".

Image

1. Please see the additional information listed below, which also is very important to verify prior to doing any more of these steps.

2. You don't want the "Obtain IP address from DHCP server" checkbox checked, if you wish to assign the camera a static IP address.

3. Always use a unique IP address. Make sure no other computer/device is already using the IP address you are about to assign, to the camera, on that same local network.

4. Verify that you are in fact using the correct Subnet Mask, Gateway and DNS information in your cameras Basic Network Settings configuration.

Note: If you have a Windows System on your local network. You can open a command window on that system, by simply typing CMD in the textbox when you click the Start Button in the lower left of your screen. Once that command window opens, you can then type:

ipconfig /all

Then use the enter key. You will see the connection information for that Windows system on your network, where you can get the correct Subnet Mask, Gateway and DNS information you will need when you change the Basic Network Settings for the camera. If you don't know what those values should be.

Example: You many need to scroll down to locate this information.

Image

In this example, you now know what the values for these are for your local network:

Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.1.1
DNS: 192.168.1.1

5. Make sure you submit the changes for the changes to stick.

The OTHER important step many camera users forget to do!

Example of 1 DHCP address being allowed to be assigned and used which starts at .30
Image
This is an example of a Router/AP DHCP configuration screen.

Most Router/AP's that provide DHCP services allow you to specify, a maximum of IP addresses it will assign at any given time and what IP ("last three digits") to start with when using DHCP services.

So, here is an example:

Say your router has the IP Address ranges in 192.168.1.x

You could simply go into your camera general network settings and change a camera to be this:

IP Address for Camera: 192.168.1.3
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.1.1
DNS: 192.168.1.1

The issue with simply ONLY doing this is, that IF your Router/AP is using DHCP services to assign IP addresses for other computers/devices on your network and is configured to start, as one example, assigning IP addresses from 192.168.1.2 - 192.168.1.10 for a total of 9 maximum IP addresses at any given time.

The Router/AP has NO IDEA you have already assigned 192.168.1.3 to a camera, let alone any computer/device in your local network. Nobody told the Router/AP.

So as DHCP IP addresses need to be assigned by the Router/AP for other computers/devices on your local network, due to a new computer/device being added, a DHCP lease expiring ("DHCP IP addresses are assigned with a lease time, meaning they need to be renewed over time") or for example you power off a computer/device in your local network and then power it back on, reboot the Router/AP or have a power failure. The Router/AP will need to assign DHCP addresses from the pool ("Technical jargon for the range") of IP addresses ("It thinks is owned by it") anytime these things happen.

In this example, since the Router/AP THINKS it can use IP Addresses 192.168.1.2 thru 192.168.1.10 it could assign another computer or device on your local network IP Address 192.168.1.3. After all, it's never been told otherwise.

Now, and sometimes suddenly, you have 2 devices on the same local network, that have the same IP address. Whatever the computer/device the Router/AP DHCP service assigned IP address 192.168.1.3 and the camera.

This causes the Router/AP to become very confused, since it can receive requests from/to two different devices, who at the same time are claiming ownership of IP address 192.168.1.3.

Local networks can slowdown or completely lockup because of this. Rebooting the router won't help as well, since at some point in the near future, most likely, once again, two different computers/devices will be claiming ownership of 192.168.1.3 soon.

What needs to be done is, as one example.

Configure the Router/AP to start the IP addresses it will assign at for example 192.168.1.11 for a maximum number of whatever DHCP IP addresses. Now the very first possible lowest IP address the Router/AP can assign is 192.168.1.11 NOT 192.168.1.2.

This means, the Router/AP will never try to assign any IP address to any computer/device that is less than 11.

Now you can use IP addresses from 192.168.1.2 ("Normally the Router/AP uses 192.168.1.1 for itself so 1 cannot be assigned to a computer/device") to 192.168.1.10.

This now leaves you 9 local IP addresses that you can assign at anytime as static IP addresses and your Router/AP will never try to also use those same IP addresses and you avoid the issue above.

As you can see, the simple part is assigning a static IP address to the camera using the Standard Camera Interface. The complicated part, is the one MANY camera users forget. Suddenly and unexpectedly, their local network freezes up or slows down because of this missed step.

So as long as you do BOTH of these things, your local network won't run into these kind of teeth grinding situations caused by missing this addtional step when assigning a camera a static IP address, that can't seem to be explained or resolved or go away.

Note: If you already have been experiencing odd, strange slowdowns and/or complete lockups of your local network, where the only solution seems to be to power down/up the Router/AP. Prior to the cameras even being a device on that local network.

Then It would be worth the time to see, if computers/devices on your local network could be using the same static IP addresses already or a Static IP that the Router/AP can also be assigned to other computers/devices. It also could be possible that some IP address information, such as the subnet mask, Gateway or DNS could be incorrect for even 1 computer/device on your local network that could be causing issues for all computers/devices on that local network as well.

What happens if I don't assign static IP addresses for my cameras?

IMHO, you will have much grief in the future, if you wish to use your cameras remotely, especially with port forwarding. This is due to the possibility that the IP address changes for the ports you setup to be forwarded.

Even, if you wish to only use your cameras on your local network, you will need to hunt for cameras that have been assigned different IP addresses, from time to time.

So, IMHO, it's not only a good idea not to use Static IP addresses for your cameras, but it is equally just as important, that when doing so, to do it correctly.

Concepts

These same concepts apply to ANY Router/AP that will be providing DHCP services while also supporting Static IP Addresses for computers/devices in a local network. These same situations can happen with any computer/device on a local network, not just cameras.

Don
Last edited by TheUberOverLord on Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby grege » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:58 pm

Nice write up Don. I'm sure it will help many people.

Personally I prefer to assign static IP addresses from the DHCP server using MAC addresses but that may be too much for some of the users.
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby TheUberOverLord » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:08 pm

grege wrote:Nice write up Don. I'm sure it will help many people.

Personally I prefer to assign static IP addresses from the DHCP server using MAC addresses but that may be too much for some of the users.


Thanks.

Sadly, as I am sure you know, many older Router/AP's don't support a static IP address assignment, by MAC address.

Even if they do. It's NOT a good idea to use it. Because you want a "pure" Static IP Address for the camera. Using your method above, still requires the IP Camera to negotiate for DHCP services. Which is what you do NOT want to be doing, if possible.

Using your method above, still has the IP Camera configured for DHCP.

There is no defined Subnet Mask, DNS Server, Gateway or IP Address stored in the IP Camera configuration. Which means that the IP Camera is NOT really using a Static IP Address.

Don
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby johng1273 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:39 am

Good day, sir.

I'm not sure where to post my question and a reply to this seems as appropriate as anywhere else. I am not home so I can't check anything right now, but as of this morning, I cannot access my camera remotely. It's a FI8910W and it was working last night. My PC did reboot at some point last night so perhaps I'm having the issue you mention in your post. However, I've rebooted/restarted my PC many times and have not had this problem yet. I went home from work this morning after noticing it wasn't working and I rebooted camera as well as router. I can access the camera from my PC at home, but I can't from outside the home. So perhaps it's a router/port forwarding issue? I will have to look into it when I get home but any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you!
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby TheUberOverLord » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:47 pm

johng1273 wrote:Good day, sir.

I'm not sure where to post my question and a reply to this seems as appropriate as anywhere else. I am not home so I can't check anything right now, but as of this morning, I cannot access my camera remotely. It's a FI8910W and it was working last night. My PC did reboot at some point last night so perhaps I'm having the issue you mention in your post. However, I've rebooted/restarted my PC many times and have not had this problem yet. I went home from work this morning after noticing it wasn't working and I rebooted camera as well as router. I can access the camera from my PC at home, but I can't from outside the home. So perhaps it's a router/port forwarding issue? I will have to look into it when I get home but any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you!

Have you assigned a static IP Address in the cameras configuration?

Don
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby gadgetgeek » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:57 pm

Hi Don.

I own a Foscam 8921 with the latest firmare installed on a MAC with OSX 10.8.3. I'm trying to assign the camera a static IP using its MAC address in an Airport Extreme Router which does support this sort of IP assignment(s). I have it working correctly for an older 8910 camera that is on this same network.

However, the Foscam 8921 will not allow me to save my changes in its IP configuration. I get an error "IP format error, please re-input." (SEE ATTACHED).

I've tried all sorts of different IP's that are in the IP range specified by the Airport Extreme. However no luck.

Any suggestions? Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby Zanthexter » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:24 am

TheUberOverLord wrote:
grege wrote:Even if they do. It's NOT a good idea to use it. Because you want a "pure" Static IP Address for the camera. Using your method above, still requires the IP Camera to negotiate for DHCP services. Which is what you do NOT want to be doing, if possible.


While there may be a Foscam specific reason to configure a static IP address at the device itself, rather than assign one via DHCP, it's a heck of a lot easier to keep track of and manage multiple devices via DHCP. That's specifically WHY DHCP exists.

Most folks aren't going to thoroughly and carefully document their networks. 6 months later when something breaks, it's a royal pain in the arse to figure out whats going on. At a small business, it's even worse, because they often don't have consistent service by the same IT person.

When things are all managed in the router using DHCP, all the important information is now in the same location, and is easily found by whomever is working on things later. IP address conflicts won't be an issue either.

While you may have some Foscam camera specific reasons to recommend a static IP, the recommendation is not a good general approach to networking.
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby ekb847 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:48 pm

Gadgetgeek, In the 9821 you have to add your static DNS entry and save it BEFORE you can unselect the DHCP option.

Note: this has been fixed in the latest firmware update so that all the information is on the same page and is updated at the same time.
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby decko999 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:58 pm

Instead of telling the router to use IP addresses after the numbers you assign to your camera, I'm using the router's IP addresses reservation. Is this equally as good?
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Re: A "How To" Assign Static IP Addresses To Your Cameras

Postby TheUberOverLord » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:46 pm

Zanthexter wrote:
TheUberOverLord wrote:
grege wrote:Even if they do. It's NOT a good idea to use it. Because you want a "pure" Static IP Address for the camera. Using your method above, still requires the IP Camera to negotiate for DHCP services. Which is what you do NOT want to be doing, if possible.


While there may be a Foscam specific reason to configure a static IP address at the device itself, rather than assign one via DHCP, it's a heck of a lot easier to keep track of and manage multiple devices via DHCP. That's specifically WHY DHCP exists.

Most folks aren't going to thoroughly and carefully document their networks. 6 months later when something breaks, it's a royal pain in the arse to figure out whats going on. At a small business, it's even worse, because they often don't have consistent service by the same IT person.

When things are all managed in the router using DHCP, all the important information is now in the same location, and is easily found by whomever is working on things later. IP address conflicts won't be an issue either.

While you may have some Foscam camera specific reasons to recommend a static IP, the recommendation is not a good general approach to networking.

Actually. It's an excellent specific reason to recommend a static IP address.

DHCP is NOT a static IP Address. Using any DHCP methodology, requires DHCP negotiations, whereas static IP Addresses do not.

Also. These IP Cameras have two MAC Addresses, one for wired, one for wireless.

Don
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