THEFT, VANDALISM, HEALTH and SAFETY NEGLECT plague the construction industry. Utilize Cloud based security solutions with Angelcam to monitor and report activity on your site.
Studies from the Chartered Institute of Building* show that theft in the UK construction industry effect 42.7% of participants on a monthly basis. Vandalism shows similar results with 42.8% on a monthly basis. 90% of participants are aware of ongoing health and safety neglect precipitating in a staggering 60% occurence rate per month.
As in all industries practices change and evolve over time. Main contractors look at security through an antiquated lens. On site security guards, local CCTV systems, and barriers all have one thing in common. They are susceptible to tampering and outside influence. More importantly, they are widely accepted as unreliable. Due to these factors security budgets are consistently mitigated precipitating the crime figures above resulting in a perpetual cycle of loss and damaged property. Why not approach the problem with a 21st century solution?
Our clients have evolved and in doing so solved their security issues while saving on expenses. With Angelcam’s services our clients have utilized the cloud to supplement their existing security system, drastically diminish false alarms, reliably identifying intruders, and preventing loss or tampering of footage.
Angelcam can give you the oversight and peace of mind you need while managing your construction sites. Report, retain, and mitigate criminal activity through remote video monitoring. View your site at any time with our user-friendly web app or Android / IOS mobile app. Create clips and download them from the cloud when you like.
Source: Crime in the construction industry – CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) survey 2016
How are you tackling crime activities on your site? Contact us and get a free consultation
Tired of flicking from one camera to another, trying to keep an active eye on all of your feeds at a given time? With our brand new Video Wall feature, you no longer have to.
Easily create an overview that displays your camera feeds on one screen, customizing it according to your specific needs. Best of all, not only can you watch up to 10 cameras on one Video Wall, but you can create an unlimited amount of Video Walls and conveniently switch between them.
Use this great new feature to create your own video monitoring station or just quickly and easily check if all your cameras are online.
To get started creating your first video wall, follow these simple steps:
Not only have construction companies requested it as a means to record site progress for themselves or clients, but event agencies and conference organizers appreciate creating these time-lapse videos to show the various evolutions of their events.
A bit of inspiration, how you can use your timelapse video:
We have noticed an increasing number of Hikvision cameras being hacked over the last few weeks. If you’re using a Hikvision camera, please pay attention to this post and check if your camera is safe.
The main reason why we are informing end users about this particular security issue is due to how easy it is to gain access into affected devices. It is called a “Hollywood hack”, one press of a button and they’re in. The ease of use combined with the fact that it is a widely known and discussed issue means that it poses a real threat to many users.
Was I hacked?
In most cases, your camera settings will get changed for no apparent reason or the camera will be reset to its factory defaults. A hacked camera might even appear to work completely fine, so we recommend securing your camera anyway.
Please note that this is a tech article, if you’re not familiar with some of the processes below, please try using our AngelBox for additional security or contact your local dealer/camera manufacturer.
Which devices are vulnerable and how are they being attacked?
Certain Hikvision firmware versions have a static password hard-coded into the firmware. This means that no matter how complex the password, every camera can be directly accessed. Most cameras will end up being reset to their factory defaults, in certain cases, the attacker might use the gained access to take over the camera for their own purposes or try to access your network.
For the camera to be vulnerable, its HTTP port (usually port 80, where you access the configuration page of your camera) has to be publicly available. This means that you either have to have it forwarded on your router for remote access or you need to have UPnP enabled in the camera and in the router, as well.
Cameras NOT affected: cameras which are used in closed local networks only, cameras which are only streaming to public through RTSP port or cameras connected to Angelcam through AngelBox.
Both official Hikvision devices and OEM brands selling Hikvision hardware are affected. The brands include, for example, some models from Annke, Digital Watchdog, Hunt, Lorex, Swann, TrendNet and so on.
What to do to secure your cameras?
First, please be warned that you’re performing all these actions at your own risk. We are not responsible for any damage or failures resulting from following the recommendations.
If you’re not familiar with the following, we recommend contacting your local distributor and asking them for an assistance.
To make this matter even more complicated, there are two version of Hikvision devices.
-Devices sold officially through authorized security dealers
-Grey imports usually sold on Amazon, Ebay or Alibaba
The grey imports tend to be translated Chinese versions. Upgrading firmware in such cameras results in “bricking” them (effectively destroying their software completely). These cameras have a “CH” in their serial number. If you have such cameras, you can try any following recommendations except for a firmware upgrade. To upgrade your firmware, please contact your dealer/seller or try following one of many online guides at your own risk.
If you have a HTTP port remotely accessible and you don’t need it, close the port.
In addition to point 1, disable UPnP in your camera network settings and disable UPnP in your router settings as well. It will prevent local devices from opening ports on the router automatically. This feature is usually disabled by default, so just make sure it stays that way.
If you either can’t change anything mentioned above or if you simply want to improve the general level of security when using Angelcam, try using our AngelBox – a device with end to end video encryption which makes it effectively impossible for the camera to be hacked.
As an additional option, we recommend setting up a VLAN for your security system and disabling the devices from this VLAN to access the rest of your local network. Even if the cameras get hacked, the hacker won’t be able to gain access to the rest of your network.
At Angelcam we’re dedicated to continuously enhancing your user experience. To that end, our most recent efforts have just come to fruition and we’re bringing you a bunch of new updates and features:
Live camera overview
Users have been utilizing our smart multi-camera view on mobile devices for a while now, and we’re excited to announce that our web app will be following suit and integrating this popular feature. For those unfamiliar with it, the multi-camera view provides an instant overview of all your streams at once. You’ll be able to utilize this new functionality directly from your camera dashboard. With that, we replaced the static snapshots with a live snapshot stream (see example below).
Remote camera administration
Managing your cameras just got a lot easier because now all cameras connected to an Angelbox are manageable via a remote connection. Here’s a glimpse of what you would see from your camera’s administration panel.
Take your cameras to the next level
All cameras using Angelcam are now IFTTT-ready (if you’re unfamiliar with the magic of IFTTT, you can learn more about it on our blog). With that, it’s now possible to create an event on the timeline of your mobile app using any IFTTT-compatible device. To see if your IFTTT-compatible sensor, lock, or automation system are Angelcam-ready, have a look at this compatibility list. With IFTTT and Angelcam working in tandem, the only thing that limits your cloud-recording experience is your imagination 🙂
Navigation between IFTTT events in mobile app
Jump from one event to another to quickly go through important moments your camera recorded.
We know if you say, “I need help”, that you really need help, ideally immediately. Because of that, we are now offering new Camera Connection Assistance. For a deposit of $30, you’ll be able to schedule time with one of our experienced technicians, who will help you solve any technical issues – may that be connecting your camera, embedding a stream, managing your ports, etc. If the technician is successfully able to assist you, then you’ll be provided a credit of $30 for our cloud services. If the technician is unable to assist you and get your cameras/NVR up and running at Angelcam, your deposit will be fully refunded.
We are happy to announce that beta testing is finally open to all interested users. If you’re up for helping us improve our products and services, delivering an even better experience for all of our users, you can apply to the beta testing program by simply sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include, “Beta testing program,” in the subject line.
What’s new in the BETA? Create events from e-mail
Every camera will now have a unique email address, when upon receiving an email, an event will be created on the camera’s timeline within the mobile app, ready for you to discover. Learn more.
How has Angelcam helped you? We’d like to know! Please send us an email and share your story with us.
We are excited to announce that Angelcam is now integrated with IFTTT, which means your Angelcam-connected cameras just became IFTTT-compatible!
You asked, and we listened! Integration with IFTTT was a top user request, and now your compatible cameras, doorbells, and other video devices are all capable of integrating with other smart home/IoT devices, including sensors and plenty of other IFTTT products and services.
For those unfamiliar, IFTTTis a free service that allows you to automate interactions between your cameras and other devices and services. For example, you can have your cameras start recording automatically upon leaving your house. How do they know you’ve left? Perhaps it was your Nest Thermostat’s schedule, the usage of your Nukidoor locks, or any other IFTTT-compatible device’s event that could have triggered it. Even something as simple as leaving your home Wifi network can initiate your security cameras. For those that prefer manual control over recording, you’re set as well as you can easily set up a button in the widget area of your IFTTT mobile app and enable it with that.
You can mark events on a camera’s cloud-recording timeline with any IFTTT-compatible sensor (i.e. the D-Link Motion Sensor), allowing you to track events and watch related recordings at a later time (currently only available on the mobile app).
Want to be sure your garage doors are closed after you’ve left home? Capture a snapshot each time your garage doors close, giving you peace of mind.
How about scheduled cloud recordings to save bandwidth or protect your privacy? Maybe a scheduled public broadcast of your camera? Or even receive a text message when your camera goes offline? With IFTTT, you can do all of these things easily through the creation of custom applets.
Ultimately, with prices of IFTTT-compatible sensors starting at $30, combining Angelcam with IFTTT is a very cost-effective way to unlock some unique and powerful possibilities for your cloud-recording solutions.
Have you used IFTTT and Angelcam? Share your experiences with us!
If you’ve been using Angelcam for a while now, you already know we believe in the “always evolving” approach to our products and services. So much so that updates to many things that are “under the hood”, which are hardly noticed by our customers, go unannounced.
Take the recent update of our Camera Detector for example. While it went live largely unannounced, this update will go a long way to better helping you connect your cameras faster and in a much more convenient manner, regardless of whether you’re connecting directly, via an NVR, or through an AngelBox. More specifically, here’s what’s been updated:
We have added or updated the video stream path for more than 60 camera brands, including AVTech, Hikvision, Dahua, Ubiquiti, Vivotek, Amcrest, Edimax and more.
When the Camera Detector finds multiple video streams on a camera, the primary stream is now used (not the secondary, as we did in past).
If you own a security camera and want to monitor your home or business, no matter where you are, then we have a brand new mobile app for you – the Angelcam mobile app!
Here’s how it will help you:
Utilize the real-time view and see what your cameras are capturing, recording, or streaming, anytime and anywhere you are. View your cameras in full-screen view, available in both landscape or portrait, or use the smartmulti-camera view* (check more details Q&As below) and see all your camera feeds together on one screen.
With a subscription to the Cloud Recording app, you can access your past recordings and search through them by simply swiping through the timeline or quickly jump to a specific moment in time with the help of a calendar.
With access to both your live and past recordings, Angelcam’s mobile app becomes your complete on-the-go solution for staying on top of your feeds. Best of all, it’s FREE to use for all Angelcam users!
Download it today oniTunes orGoogle Play (for iOS 10 or Android 4.4 and newer).
Once you try it, be sure to let us know what you think about the app by leaving us a comment on the app store page.
We hope you enjoy!
Ivana from Angelcam
BUT WAIT! There’s more! We’re currently finishing up work on some unreleased features, including an extension to the mobile app that will allow you to view events on the timeline, IFTTT integration into our platform, and soon, camera sharing. Stay tuned and be sure to let us know which features you’re most interested in seeing in the future.
Mobile App Q&As:
Q:Which cameras are compatible with the new mobile app?
A: The new mobile app is compatible with any camera brand that supports MJPEG & h.264 (including sound). You can view one or several cameras at once, from one or even multiple locations.
Q: What is Smart multi-camera view?
A: This view allows you to see multiple cameras on one screen, even with a very slow internet connection. With multi-camera view you’ll essentially be seeing snapshots, but continually refreshed automatically (frequency based on your device capabilities and internet connection).
If your device is not connected to WiFi, the refresh rate is a maximum of 10 seconds (to save your mobile data), but it could be more on slower connections. Regardless of the frequency, you will be able to see what’s happening on your cams quickly and easily, even when traveling and using your international data roaming.
On the other side, if your device is connected via WiFi, there is no hard limit on the snapshot refresh rate. (Note: if you have a powerful device and a fast WiFi connection and still experience a low refresh rate, check out this post on our FAQ).
Q: How can I find a past moment with the mobile app?
A: To be able review your past recordings, add the Cloud Recording app to your camera. Once setup, you will be able to search through recordings by swiping through the timeline (to be found below the preview window) or find a specific moment by choosing the time and date from the calendar. No need for downloading clips or waiting for assistance – searching for a specific moment from the past has never been faster or easier.
Q: How much mobile data is needed for watching your cameras live?
If you want to save your mobile data, we suggest that you primarily watch your cameras while you’re connected via WiFi. Snapshots are being refreshed every few seconds, which might be alright even if you’re not on WiFi, but with the real-time view of your camera stream (in camera detail), your data usage can increase very quickly, especially if you’ve set up your FUP for 300 (watching your stream in full HD uses a lot of data). So please keep your mobile data limits in mind when accessing the live stream from your camera.
A: The Cloud Recording app, with cloud storage for your security cameras and DVRs, starts at $3.99 per month. If you wish to try it first, be sure to take advantage of our 30-Day Trial of the Starter 7 plan with 7 days retention.
The fact is that security cameras don’t operate continuously and this is something nearly impossible to prevent. Reasons vary from the camera restarting, lost internet connection, or no power, to the camera being damaged. But what you can do is increase your awareness about it. If anything goes wrong with your camera you should be notified immediately so you or your dealer can react in time.
That’s the reason why we’ve introduced Camera status feature.
We check your camera status every few minutes (5-15 minutes intervals)
The feature works for all cameras connected to Angelcam having Cloud Recording or Broadcasting app installed.
We notify you via email anytime your camera gets offline for more than 20 minutes. Once the camera is back in online status, a confirmation email will notify you again.
This feature is free of charge.
Sounds good? Please follow these steps to enable your Camera status notifications:
Click on “Disabled” next to Email notifications for camera status updates in Camera settings
Tick the box “Enable Camera status email notifications”
Fill in your email address and a second email (if you want to have eg. a security service, an installer or a dealer in copy)
Finish the settings by clicking on “Save settings” button
Set up forwarding of emails from Angelcam to your phone number if you need to be notified on your phone. Try Zapier or Clickatell.
Please note: This is a beta version and we’d love to hear feedback from you. If you miss any particular function, please let us know. At this moment we’re planning SMS notifications, snooze mode, repeated reminders and failure reports. But we can add even more based on your feedback.
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 includesproduct 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 intouch.