This is a short guide for those struggling to set up their Y-cam IP camera to work on their wireless network.
This guide is suitable for the following IP cameras:
For this guide we will assume that the camera is configured and you can access the live image when it is connected to the network with an Ethernet cable (wired connection).
Before we start there are a few additional factors we need to consider when moving from a wired to a wireless connection. Without additional configuration your camera will not connect to your wireless network. There are three main areas to consider, let’s look at each in turn:
Short for ‘Service Set Indentifier’ this is essentially the name of your wireless network (WLAN). This is the name which is displayed when your computer searches for available wireless networks and it can be found in the wireless settings page of your router. NOTE: It’s very important to remember that your SSID entry is case-sensitive which means that when it is entered into the camera it much match exactly what it is shown in the router. We would suggest using copy and paste if possible to avoid errors.
It is very common for your wireless network to be secured using some form of encryption. This stops other people in the surrounding area using your wireless network to gain free Internet access. There are many different types of wireless encryption the most common being WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). The Y-cam supports WEP64, WEP128, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK which will cover most router encryption methods. The method of encryption as well as an encryption key need to be entered into the camera to allow the camera to work on the wireless network. These settings can be found in the wireless settings of your router. NOTE: When entering the wireless encryption settings into the camera make sure the method of encryption and the encryption key matches exactly that which is set in the router otherwise your camera will not connect to your wireless network.
MAC Address Filtering
MAC address filtering is another, more secure form of protection which can be set in your router. This method allows only certain devices to connect to the wireless network by permitting or denying a device based on their MAC address. A MAC address (Media Access Control) is a device’s unique hardware number and every network enabled device will have one. This allows users to set their wireless network to accept their own network devices to connect (by permitting their MAC addresses) and deny everyone elses. NOTE: This is not set up by default in the router so if you have not configured this in your router you will not need to worry about it. If you have configured your router to filter MAC addresses you will need to enter the MAC address of the camera into the list of permitted addresses before the camera will be able to connect to your wireless network.
Step 1 – Logging in to your router
To gain the necessary information to configure your camera to work on your wireless network you will need to log in to your router. If you have never done this before you can check the list of routers available on PortForward.com for default URL and login details: http://www.portforward.com/english/routers/port_forwarding/routerindex.htm
Step 2 – Setting the SSID
Log in to your router and access the wireless settings page. Take a note of your wireless network’s SSID remembering that it is case sensitive so any upper-case or lower-case letters should be copied exactly when entering them into your camera.
To enter the SSID, log in to your Y-cam and select the settings pages.
From the settings pages select the “Wireless Setup” option from the menu on the right hand side of the page.
You will be displayed with the wireless settings page as shown below:
In the box marked SSID, enter the SSID found in your router’s wireless settings page remember it must be an exact copy. Try copying and pasting the SSID if you can to avoid errors.
In our example we have used the SSID “NETGEAR” which was the default SSID in our Netgear router.
Step 3 – Selecting the Wireless Mode
In the mode panel select “Infrastructure” when using a wireless router. We will cover the “Adhoc” wireless mode in a future HOWTO guide.
Step 4 – Setting the Security Mode (Wireless Encryption)
By default the camera’s security mode is turned off. If your router uses no wireless security then you don’t need to configure any settings at this step. We do however strongly advise that your wireless network is secured to avoid unwanted use by unauthorized users.
The different encryption protocols available in the Y-cam are:
Each of these protocols come with their own individual settings.
To configure your wireless security settings you have to log in to your router and find out what it is set to. Then it’s simply a matter of copying the settings from the router to the camera.
As an example our Netgear router is set to WEP 64bit strength using a HEX key “ABCDE12345” in the “1” position. The resulting camera page would be as the example below:
The important thing to remember is that the security settings in the camera should match the settings in the router otherwise the camera will not connect to your wireless network.
Step 5 – MAC Address Filtering
If you have set up MAC address filtering on your wireless router then you will need to add the MAC address of your Y-cam to the table of permitted addresses.
To find the MAC address of your Y-cam you can either look on the back of the camera or by clicking the “System” option at the top right hand side of the settings screen to see a list of camera settings, as shown below:
And that’s all you have to do. Simply turn off the Y-cam at the wall and remove the Ethernet cable. Turn back on after 60 seconds and it should boot up and be accessible from your network, wirelessly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far does the wireless signal travel?
The manufacturer informed us that the wireless signal has been tested to 30m through 3 brick walls with no drop-out.
I have entered all the settings correctly but my camera will still not connect, what can I do?
Firstly, review all your settings. Seriously, you will be amazed how many users mistype the SSID or incorrectly specify their security settings. If all settings are completely correct you may have an issue with your wireless range or interference.
For a range issue look at where the camera is positioned in relation to the wireless router. Note how many walls the signal has to pass through as walls significantly reduce the range. Note the material the walls are made of. Big thick brick walls or walls with metal backed insulation (wireless signals do not like to pass through metal) cut the signal down far greater than simple partition walls. Also look at where your wireless router is positioned, try moving to a position near the center of your home at least six inches from any walls and not too low to the ground, away from metal objects such as refridgerators and microwaves. Your computer itself can cause interference, try to move your wireless router away from your computer if you have it near there.
For an interference issue look at what other wireless traffic is in the area and what other devices may be causing interference such as cordless phones, microwave ovens etc. Ways to combat interference:
- Moving the wireless router to a different position may help. Try walking around with the router while monitoring the signal strength to get the best signal.
- Not every wireless antenna has the same range of coverage, try moving it and adjusting the angle to see if the signal improves.
- If your neighbours have a wireless router they may be operating on the same channel. Change the channel in your wireless router settings pages to separate your wireless traffic from any other traffic in the area.
- If you are having problems with cordless phone interference consider purchasing a new phone in the 5Ghz range. This operates outside WiFi frequency and will not cause interference to your wireless network.
We will address the problem of wireless interference fully in a upcoming article.