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Tip & Tricks

maldives

Stay safe while on vacation with Angelcam

Pre-vacation blues got you down? You know the feeling. Your plans are all set, tickets are all booked, and sunscreen is all secured, but what about that sinking feeling you have about your home? How can you ensure its safety while you’re away and rest easier knowing that while your vacation will eventually come to an end, that your home will be just as you left it when you return?Believe it or not, it’s much easier than you think and to show you we’ve put together five savvy tips on how you can better secure your home while you’re gone.

#1: Share your camera feeds with family, friends, or trusted  neighbors

Angelcam offers the ability to share your camera’s livestream or cloud recording capabilities with other Angelcam accounts. By doing so, you can rest easier knowing you have a second, third, or even more pairs of eyes on your property or belongings. This is especially useful if you plan to be without internet access at any point while you’re away.

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Connect your Axis cameras to the Angelcam Cloud in less than 3 minutes.

We’ve got some news to share that AXIS camera owners are going to simply love!

Starting today, you can now connect your AXIS cameras to the Angelcam Cloud in less than 3 mins! That means absolutely no port forwarding, static and public IP addresses, firewalls, or any other technical prerequisites are required. It’s plug-and-play cloud connection.

With it, you’ll not only save time, but you’ll also ensure your stream remains secure with our top of the line encryption. 

Watch & Share 

watch and share
  • Utilize our suite of mobile and web apps for services such as live remote monitoring and camera sharing
  • Works with an unlimited number of cameras and sites
  • Smart multi-camera view works with even the slowest internet connection

Find Out What Happened

record and access
  • Continuous video recording with up to 8x speed playback capabilities and up to 2 years of retention
  • Identifying and jumping to key, triggered events in your timeline is made easy thanks to cross-compatibility with IFTTT devices, alarm panels, and other smart devices and sensors
  • Clips can be downloaded, shared, or stored easily in our secure cloud Clip Vault indefinitely

Protect What you Care About

emergencies won't wait
  • With our Real-time Monitoring service, you can rest easy knowing a professional operator is monitoring your cameras when you need them to. (Selected markets only)
  • Remotely arm and disarm a site, perform video verification, and engage your family members.

Want to get started? Learn more about and install the Angelcam Connector APP for your AXIS cameras here:

Stay safe with Angelcam!

Getting started with smart home security

With over 3 million home burglaries every year in the US alone, homeowners are driven to find a viable, preventative home security solution. With modern technology, they can look beyond the old, passive solutions and discover an opportunity to enhance their security, installing a system that is truly proactive and reactive. A means of not only more effectively preventing break-ins, but also enabling fast, reliable emergency assistance, gaining deeper knowledge of all triggered events at their home, providing better ease-of-use for family and friends, and much more.

While these smart security solutions provide a multitude of advanced features and functionality, making for a powerful, user-friendly security system, they also present homeowners with a difficult, time-consuming process of identifying where to start. That’s where we come in! We want to help get you familiar with some of these cutting-edge options by outlining some practical ways you can upgrade your home security, along with some recommended products and services.

It All Starts at your Front Door

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10 reasons for cloud backup – part II.

Do you want to know more about advantages of connecting a security camera to the cloud? Let’s continue.
(Missed the part one? Read it here.)

6. THE LOWEST TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP (TCO) 

When comparing the cost of any two options (cloud vs. NVRs), one must look at all the costs involved, even the ones that are not so apparent. Below we’ve listed all possible costs you should be aware of:

  • Hardware – The cost of the NVR
  • Maintenance – The cost for upgrades, expedited service, license renewals, training, and security audits and inspections
  • Installation – You’ll have to consider the cost of installation, wiring, power, configuration, and training
  • IT department’s time/cost to implement installation – This includes product evaluations, vendor selection, setting up network security configurations, collecting and drafting documentation, and finding rack space, power, and a network. This all combined with the loss of working hours, which could be better spent on critical tasks.
  • Scaling the business – The cost related to the operational inefficiencies and ongoing labor associated with having different systems, often found in organizations experiencing quick growth or those which have multiple branches or offices (see “Scaling and Flexibility” below).
  • Capital Cost for redundant / protected storage RAID Storage option on NVR or external storage arrays
  • Cost due to electricity consumption – The power consumption of an NVR will vary greatly and a lot depends on the number of HDDs installed. A typical 16 channel NVR will consume anywhere from 30 to 250 watts (per what?). At $0.10 per kWh, this equates to an annual cost of anywhere from $26.00 to $219.00.
  • Risk / Cost associated with theft floods and fire – What is the cost of time spent trying to recover your lost video(s)? Will this missing footage cause a loss in revenue? Will this hurt your company’s goodwill or brand?
  • Physically protecting the NVR – This may include the acquisition of a secure location, door locks, card access to storage room, lock box, etc.
  • Productivity cost associated with NVR downtime – Lost productivity associated with NVR failures, updates, license renewals and general maintenance. There may also need to be overtime paid to employees that manage these interruptions.
  • Annual NVR software upgrades – IT Department’s time for doing security due diligence, coordinating activities, upgrading software, and implementing security procedures, patches and documentation. This also includes the maintenance fees paid to the security integrator.
  • Replacement – You may need to eventually replace your NVRs when they fail or become obsolete. This includes the time needed to re-evaluate business needs, make a proper product selection, acquire RFPs, and the costs of the new NVRs themselves.
  • Acquiring capital – Cost associated with obtaining capital, including interest on a loan or leasing fees.
  • Saving video clips – Cost associated with safely securing selected video clips and sharing them, including the time needed to save & download, establish security protocols to maintain the chain of evidence, and for protected storage.

When all that is considered, using a cloud service, such as Angelcam, brings down the overall TCO.

 

7. SIMPLE PREDICTABLE BUDGET 

Sometimes it is difficult to make a TCO calculation (see above), and with evolving technology and ever-changing business needs and regulations, many simply want to lower the risk of their video surveillance investment and have a more predictable and scalable solution.

Angelcam Cloud recording is subscription based and therefore, eliminates much of the cost associated with servers, installation, maintenance and software licenses. It also does away with the cost of IT personnel constantly maintaining server security, software updates, license renewals, infrastructure, and data protection. Cloud-based recording eliminates all of these costs and therefore allows for simpler budgeting.

In addition, cloud-based recording offers the most scalable storage solution possible. With Angelcam, there is no constraint on the amount of data coming from a camera. As long as you have adequate upload speeds, you can send the highest quality streams for recording and no longer need to worry if you will exceed your storage capacity.

 

8. SCALABLE & FLEXIBLE SOLUTION FOR YOUR GROWING BUSINESS 

Growing businesses, especially those that expand to different locations, need to consider the lifetime cost of scaling. For example, if you were to purchase an NVR one year and then the following year add the same surveillance at other locations, those new cameras may not be compatible with the new locations. On the other hand, if you were to purchase different camera brands for multiple locations, those new cameras may not be compatible with each other or your previous ones.

Even if the brand you choose can accommodate these new locations, consider that NVRs are constantly being updated and discontinued. So the cost of scaling will likely include the cost associated with managing different hardware, ongoing network security, software licenses, training, and installations.

In contrast, recording to the cloud with Angelcam not only eliminates all of these costs, but also provides operational efficiencies, a single interface for all users, and, best of all, a future-proof solution that will forever evolve and improve without wasting your organization’s time.

 

9. HIGHLY SECURE

It is understandable why some people are concerned with the security of videos in the cloud, but cloud companies are aware of the dangers of the internet, and they invest heavily to insure data is not compromised and that their users are protected from viruses and malware. Angelcam utilizes Amazon’s S3 cloud, so our customers receive the security benefits of this leading cloud provider.

When one considers all aspects of cloud security they may discover that cloud recording is the safer and more cost-effective solution.

 

10. FALSE ALARM REDUCTION WITH VIDEO VERIFICATION 

Did you know that 99% of alarms are false alarms? Video Verification is a feature that aims to reduce the number of false reports, by verifying the existence of an emergency before alerting the authorities. This is accomplished by sending a video to the user and central monitoring station when an alarm is triggered. This ultimately results is a much faster response time and avoids fines associated with false alarms, which exist in some municipalities.

Traditional video verification solutions are proprietary and only work with certain cameras. Additionally, there are indirect expenses related to the integration of these alarms to the central monitoring stations. The result is generally an expensive solution, which many times does not match the needs of the user.

Launching soon in the US, Angelcam’s Video verification product will feature all the benefits of our cloud architecture, including working with most cameras and not requiring expensive integration with CMS software. This will help pave the way for a more cost-effective and flexible video verification solution.

When you consider just these 10 reasons, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses and individuals are connecting to the cloud every day and taking advantage of all the benefits that come with that. If you have any further questions, about cloud solutions or the compatibility of your camera with the cloud, please contact our support team at any time, as they’ll be happy to help you.

 

Mike Farnan
Vice President of Sales at Angelcam

Mike is an experienced industry expert, who has spent years in the Security Camera division of Philips and Bosch, where he was responsible for Product Management, Sales, and Partner Relations. He also co-founded App-Tech Corporation, a security integration company, where he spent the past 10 years before joining Angelcam. Mike is always excited to “talk shop”, so if you ever wish to discuss industry challenges or your company’s cloud future, feel free to get in touch.

 

 

10 reasons for cloud backup

Ever wondered why there is such a fuss about the cloud these days? How someone can possibly trust in something that’s intangible and send a stream from their IP camera there? Well, you might be surprised, but there is actually “something” about it. Read our expert Mike’s comparison of cloud and DVR/NVRs that are commonly used, mainly because of habit.

The advantages of the cloud in a nutshell:

1. Opens up new features and functionality for your camera, which are easily customizable and scalable 
2. Keeps your video footage safe and secure, thanks to services such as Amazon’s S3 cloud
3. It will never become obsolete, as new features can be continually added over time
In addition, there is no need to pay for extra electricity, or additional maintenance and support. Put simply, it’s a cost-effective, highly efficient service that opens up a wealth of options for you and your surveillance needs.


1. Protection against hard drive failures


NVRDVR/NVR‘s record video on hard drives
that will eventually fail and many times these failures are discovered right when you need the video.
DVRs/NVRs can provide an extra level of protection by utilizing redundant storage space but this adds significant cost. In addition, these systems require more rack space, generate more noise, heat and consume more electricity.

 

2. Long retention time


DVRs and NVRs have limited storage capacity.
Inevitably, as more cameras are added and higher resolution cameras employed, the overall retention time of the NVR is reduced. In other cases, you might simply want one, two or more years of storage from just a few cameras to protect yourself against fraudulent claims, product recalls or for any number of other reasons.
With cloud recording, you have the most flexible and scalable storage solution. Simply select the retention time needed for each camera and know that it is safely stored in the cloud.

 

3. Protection against fire & theft

burglary-2022162_960_720

The most obvious reason for cloud recording is to ensure that video evidence won’t be lost or stolen. However DVRs/NVRs can easily be stolen, fires and floods can destroy them.

 

 

 

 

4. Compliance


Some industries are regulating security
. The cannabis industry is one example. Each state that has legalized marijuana has included specifications for security and ensures compliance with state inspections. Since the loss of video evidence is not tolerated in this industry, many states have direct or indirect requirements for off-site backup storage.
With cloud recording, the video is stored in real-time at an offsite location. Therefore if there is a theft, fire or flood, the video is safe.

 

 

5. Easy access & sharing

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 15.32.29People today are always on the move and for them to remain productive and responsive, they need easy and immediate access to their video – no matter where they are. Once an important piece of video is discovered, it will then need to be shared with others. Traditional NVR systems can do all of this, but they require a connection back to the NVR system.
To make sure these remote connections are secure, your IT department or security vendor needs time and diligence to do things properly. This may include firewall, router and NVR configurations along with software installations, PC configurations, and training. In addition, each connection back to the NVR will consume bandwidth and rob performance from the NVR, so if you have multiple remote connections you may experience a slow and unresponsive system.

In contrast, with cloud-based storage systems, the video resides in a cloud, so many users can simultaneously access the live or recorded video stream without any performance degradation.

For instance, if you have a camera with build in Angelcam ready firmware, it’s safely connected to Angelcam cloud by using an encrypted channel. So it’s only you who can remotely view and store a video from it. The magic is in no port forwarding, no exposure a stream of your camera to the public internet. Angelcam stores videos in Amazon S3, the industry’s most-trusted service. Everything happens through HTTPS to protecting your data and privacy.

In addition, sharing video clips couldn’t be easier. Once a video clip is saved, all one needs to do is enter the email addresses of the individuals that you want to share the video with. These users will get a link (no downloads necessary) and be able to play the video from any device with any internet connection.

 

Wondering what other five reasons might be? The hint is that they are related to cost and business issues. Read about them here.

And don’t forget to visit our website www.angelcam.com to see how we can help connect your camera to the cloud.

 

Mike_BW_S
Mike Farnan
Vice President of Sales at Angelcam

Mike is an experienced industry expert, who has spent years in the Security Camera division of Philips and Bosch, where he was responsible for Product Management, Sales, and Partner Relations. He also co-founded App-Tech Corporation, a security integration company, where he spent the past 10 years before joining Angelcam. Mike is always excited to “talk shop”, so if you ever wish to discuss industry challenges or your company’s cloud future, feel free to get in touch.

 

 

 

Cameras that love Angelcam

Check out the list of compatible cameras at “Connect a camera”. If you can’t find yours in the list, your camera may still be compatible. Just read this article to find out!

Most IP cameras support H.264 encoding and RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) – the standard,most compatible and reliable service for streaming. You will need a device that has these features to use our Cloud recording app.
We also support MJPEG mode but only for our Live Streaming app (we may include further support for MJPEG cameras in the future).

Check your camera specifications for compatibility (in its manual or on the web). If you find RTSP among the specs, H.264 is usually supported as well. But double check! In this screenshot from the manual of an Axis camera, you can find the H.264 under video specifications.

Screen-Shot-2016-06-13-at-08.10.35

RTSP can be found under Network or sometimes Protocols.

Screen-Shot-2016-06-13-at-08.10.52

Be aware, some un-branded or cheaper devices will mention RTSP support, but may be missing or very unstable. Use our list below to assist you.

Recommended cameras

We listed some of our favourite brands here:



axis

Axis

Most cameras have required protocols as well as a service called AVHS allowing you to connect using “one click” technology. No router configuration is required and with Axis, although the price may be higher, you always get a quality product with good support, great image quality and configuration options.



foscam

Foscam

Another well known brand which offers good image quality for a good price. The configuration is not very detailed, but it gets the job done for most users. Look for camera models marked 9xxx, the older ones don’t support h264 encoding.




dahua

Dahua

As currently the world’s biggest IP camera manufacturer, Dahua offers a wide range of devices for various applications at a great value for money with the price of basic models starting under $99.

However, Dahua devices are often unofficially distributed, meaning there’s no firmware upgrade option, or various glitches may occur in the settings.



tp-link

TP-link

A good choice for a home user.




ipcc

IPCC

One of the few low-cost brands which actually works: A nice user interface with all the basic settings. Great value for money – price can be as low as $40, international shipping included.



vivotek

Vivotek

A well known manufacturer, good quality and acceptable price. Good support.




sony

Sony

Great image quality, some neat features. Higher price.



hikvision

Hikvision

Another big manufacturer, it is similar to Dahua with all pros and cons.


 

Other brands: Samsung, Geovision, AirLive, Bosch, Panasonic, Pelco

There are many other brands, and generic devices which function perfectly with Angelcam.

Not recommended cameras

Xiaomi Small Ants (Also known as YiCam, MiCam): this brand commonly has issues with it’s RTSP streaming and is usually not stable or working on our Cloud recording app. This device also comes with various firmware versions, some of which don’t even support RTSP. You can run into many more similar Dropcam/Nest clones with the same problem.

NEST cam (Dropcam): Restricted access for mainly their own services. Incompatible with Angelcam.

TP-Link NC200: Although this device does not work on angelcam, newer versions, such as the NC220 are working without issues.

D-Link DCS-931L, 932L, DCS 5020L: no RTSP support, unstable MJPEG stream. Some other D-Link models have stability issues as well

Cantonk: The camera restarts when we try to initiate a new connection

Escam: Cameras keep restarting

Cameras that require an extra step in the setup process

AEvision & Vstarcam & Anran: Are not currently detected by Angelcam due to specific authentication requirements. RTSP address should be set manually.

 

 

Optimizing Your Camera for Smooth Streaming: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know in 1262 words

You’re here because you need your camera to be streaming properly. We get that, so let’s skip the usual opening chit-chat and get straight to business.

Ready? Let’s go.

When configuring your camera stream, your main goal is clear: to find the best possible streaming quality while keeping your Internet connection limits in mind and then to provide a satisfactory quality / bandwidth ratio for your viewers (note that some of them will be watching your stream on their mobile devices).

We would love to tell you that things are very much straightforward and there’s one single most important attribute of any stream that you should focus on. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

What matters most is the purpose of the stream. Are you going to broadcast a live stream from a concert? Or are you interested in streaming “just” for security reasons? Once you’ve determined this, there are three key attributes of your stream that matter most.

Resolution

You likely know a thing or two about this, but let’s sum it up anyway. Repetition has never killed anyone, right?

The optimal resolution which delivers a high-quality stream is 1280×720 pixels. You and your viewers should be fine with that. However, if you start experiencing connection issues, lower it right away to keep the stream running smoothly – ideally to VGA resolution, which is 640×480 pixels.

If the opposite is the case, meaning you have a solid Internet connection and want viewers to enjoy higher image quality (in fullscreen, for example), switch to 1920×1080 pixels, that should do. Such resolution is particularly useful when you or your viewers will likely be zooming in when watching the recorded footage.

By now, a question might have popped up in your head. What does “solid” connection really mean? Let’s have a brief look at Internet speeds. If you’re already familiar with this subtopic, feel free to skip to the next chapter titled Compression.

Internet speeds

Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) should be able to tell you what your Internet speed should be. It always includes two numbers:

  • Download (usually the higher number)
  • Upload (usually the lower number)

If you are trying to stream your camera over the Internet, you should mainly worry about the Upload speed, as this is the speed which will limit you in how much data or camera streams you will be able to stream. It is good to measure your real-life speed, for example at www.speedtest.net.

For a 720p camera with h.264 stream, we recommend an upload speed of around 1Mbps, in order to maintain decent video quality. For each additional camera, you would have to multiply that number of course.

All clear so far? Good, let’s move on.

Compression

Compression is the second of the three key attributes of your stream. And – just to give you a heads up – it’s also the point where things start to get a bit nasty, technical jargon-wise. No worries, though, you’ll be fine!

When it comes to compression, you get to choose from three options:

  • MJPEG
  • MPEG4
  • h.264

The most suitable one? Opt for h.264. It consumes a lot less bandwidth than the remaining two while maintaining the same image quality. Interested in details? Read the compression types comparison below. If you’re fine with just knowing that the three options exist, feel free to skip it.

Compression types comparison

MJPEG

+ compatibility
+ supported by most cameras
+ low decoding demands
– consumes significantly more bandwidth than h.264
– lower quality of the stream
– not supported by our recording app
– no audio support

h.264:

+ best widely supported compression type available
+ reduces bandwidth usage
+ high quality picture
+ can include audio
+ can be used with cloud recording app
– higher hardware demands for decoding
– the picture might be temporarily corrupted when packets get lost

MPEG4

– not widely supported (like most platforms, we don’t support MPEG4 either)
– it is a compression similar to h.264 but not as efficient

Along with h.264 comparison, we also recommend you to go for either of these two options:

  • CBR (constant bitrate) set to a lower value than the upload speed of your Internet connection.
  • VBR (variable bitrate) with a fixed maximum value which won’t be exceeded.
    This way, you will decrease the bandwidth when there is no movement in the picture. That proves useful especially when streaming for security reasons.

If you use fixed quality settings, you can run into trouble with your stream when the traffic increases significantly, e.g. at night or when there’s sudden, unexpected movement in the stream, which either exceeds the upload bandwidth or the camera itself can’t handle.

Framerate

Almost there! We’ve already discussed resolution and compression, let’s close it with the third attribute of a stream – the frame rate.

Most cameras allow you to choose frame rate on a scale from 1 to 30 FPS (frames per second). The higher the frame rate (more FPS), the more fluid your streaming is.

Sounds logical, right?

Lower frame rate results in using less bandwidth, but also for a choppy video. We recommend it when there’s not much movement in the picture because then you can save some bandwidth or use the same bandwidth to keep the stream fluid.

Higher frame rate consumes more bandwidth and, not surprisingly, results in a more fluid video. It should be your option of choice when you’re about to stream fast action and a lot of movement. In order to avoid using too much bandwidth while keeping the picture fluid, we suggest lowering the resolution or compression quality.

When streaming for security purposes, it’s usually sufficient to opt for a frame rate of 10 – 15 FPS. Some cameras will even lower the frame rate during nighttime as they increase the exposure time in order to reduce the noise in the picture.

That’s it!

Got what you came here for? Great! Need to go deeper? Leave a comment, our camera guru, Paul, will be in touch.

For those of you who are still hungry for more information, we prepared a glossary with the most widespread expressions you can possibly come across when dealing with streaming and cameras in general. We’ve covered some of them earlier in this blog post, some might be new to you.

The glossary

FPS = Frames Per Second

How many frames per second your camera encodes. It can usually be set to 1 to 30. The higher the value, the more fluid the video is.

CBR = Constant BitRate

Also known as fixed bitrate. The camera will keep the bitrate constant, thus the video quality will vary.

VBR = Variable BitRate

Also known as fixed quality. The camera will keep the quality constant, thus the video bitrate will vary.

GOP = Group Of Pictures

Also known as I-Frame interval, keyframe interval. It can be expressed and set in seconds (1/30 to 2s) or in frames (1 to 60). This value identifies how frequently the keyframe (complete picture) will be used in comparison with predictive frames (incomplete pictures, carrying only data which differ from the keyframe)

More frequent keyframes are used for videos with a lot of motion, which reduces a potential chance of frame corruption. Less frequent keyframes are used for more static videos, where it can significantly reduce the bandwidth or improve image quality while maintaining the bandwidth.

GOV = GOP Compression

Image quality can be set in percentage (0-100) or in steps from low to high. It influences the overall image quality and bandwidth usage.

High value = high quality, high bandwidth usage.

Low value = blocky / blurry image, low detail, low bandwidth usage.

Powerline frequency

It reduces flickering when used in combination with artificial light (fluorescent lamp). 50/60Hz (EU/US), anti-flicker.

OK, now that really is it. We hope we’ve made things clearer to you!
We would love if you take a look at our solution for cameras!

How to save bandwidth without lowering stream quality

There are numerous ways to save bandwidth when streaming video. Most of them, however, have a direct negative impact on the quality of the stream (e.g. lowering bit rate, frame rate or resolution).

Luckily, you can seek out more sophisticated forms of saving bandwidth, ones that have no or very little negative consequences.

The most well known technology is Zipstream by AXIS. It’s supposed to save about 50% of transferred data without lowering the quality of your stream. And our own tests confirm that you can really achieve these savings with AXIS.

Zipstream turns out to be most useful for night scenes and static scenes.

You can turn it on in your camera settings via the Video Stream Settings / Zipstream section. Turn H.264 bitrate reduction to High and turn on Dynamic GOP (Zipstream can only be used with newer camera models).

Other camera manufacturers certainly don’t want to be left behind, so you can check out technologies like Vivotek Smart Stream, Hikvision Smart H.264 and Arecont Bandwidth Saving Mode.

Port Forwarding: The Solid Guide You’ve Been Looking for

It can be a tricky thing, this port forwarding! No worries, though, with this guide you’ll manage to set it up on your camera before your coffee cools down.

Let’s start with a bit of theory to get you warmed up.

It’s your router that matters

Every device, which is a part of your local network, has its own local IP address. To make things interesting (meaning more confusing), this address only works within your local network. Should you want to access your camera remotely, you’ll need a different one. Configuring your router is step number one. Your router has a unique IP address, assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

All incoming communication ends in the router, and if you want to access any device from your local network remotely, you will need to tell the router which device should the request go to.

You guessed correctly: this process is called port forwarding. The following guide will help you get it up and running.

The guide itself

We covered the theoretical basics of port forwarding, now let’s move on and put it into practice. The first thing you need to know is that apart from the IP address, there is an additional form of identification called the port number. It looks like this: 192.168.1.1:554.

This port number lets you access different services (for example a web server, mail server, FTP server, servers for online games, chat clients, etc.) and even more devices (for example different computers within your local network) with the same service using just one public IP address. With an IP camera, you are most likely to encounter HTTP port (80) for configuration access and MJPEG streaming, and RTSP port (554) for RTSP streaming. If your camera supports RTSP (you can find it in its specification sheet), lucky you – it’s the only port you will need to use.

Setting up port forwarding step by step

  • Look up your router brand and model. Each brand and type has a slightly different user interface.
  • Here’s where you find guides for the majority of routers. Just select the brand, the model and correct service type (RTSP for h.264 cameras or HTTP for MJPEG cameras). Feeling lost? You’ll find dozens of video tutorials on YouTube when you search for “port forwarding BRAND MODEL”
  • Generally speaking, the first thing you need to find is your router’s IP address. This is usually to be found on 192.168.1.1; 192.168.0.1; 192.168.0.254; 192.168.11.1, 10.0.0.1. Just simply enter this address into your web browser while you’re connected to your local network, a login screen should pop up. Can’t find it? Please check your network settings. The router address should be defined as “gateway address”.
  • After you’ve logged in to the configuration interface, look up a tab named “Port forwarding”, “Virtual server”, “NAT” or “Firewall”. In this tab you’ll need to specify the following:- public port: 554 (or 554-554 when a range is required)
    – internal port: 554 (or 554-554 when a range is required)
    protocol: TCP and UDP (or ANY, BOTH)
    – IP address: the private IP address of your camera (192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x)

    Please note that for MJPEG cameras you’ll need to use port 80 instead of 554. Should you be using multiple cameras in one location, each camera will need to have its own unique port. Feel free to contact our support team if this is the case, we’ll do our best to help you out.

  • When you’re done with these configurations, it’s time to verify that everything’s fine and whether the port is open. You can do it in this open port check tool
  • If you’ve managed to open the port (and we certainly believe you have), your camera should now be detected automatically.

Experiencing any kind of problems during the port forwarding configuration process? Feel free to reach out, we’re always here for you!

What is the difference between MJPEG and H.264?

 

If your IP camera supports both H.264 and MJPEG, you might be asking yourself: which format should I choose?

Let us help.

The technical side of things
The main difference between H.264 and MJPEG is that MJPEG only compresses individual frames of video, while H.264 compresses across frames.

MJPEG is the compilation of separately compressed JPEGs in a sequence, which leads to high quality outcome in terms of resolution.

With H.264, on the other hand, only some frames are compressed by themselves, while most of them only record changes from the previous frame. This can save a significant amount of bandwidth compared to MJPEG (which encodes each frame as new), but results in a video of lower quality.

H.264 pros/cons
+ reduces bandwidth and storage consumption significantly
+ adaptive video quality based on bandwidth
+ suitable for storage
+ / –  complexity setup – sometimes tricky to set up – streaming quality, frame rate and i frame rate. GOP, VBR, CBR etc.

MJPEG pros/cons
+ consistently great image quality
+ robustness, if one frame is dropped, then it does not affect the video
– no sound
– consumes much more bandwidth and storage
– no storage support at angelcam

In conclusion, when it comes to deciding whether to use MJPEG or H.264, it always comes down to what the consumer is looking for and where the camera is being installed. Although H.264 will be the preferred way for many, MJPEG may be a format of choice for those who seek higher quality with crisp details, but can’t support the H.264 stream.