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HOWTO: Set up a wireless connection in your Y-cam IP camera

April 10th, 2008 by Greg Innes

Y-cam Black and Y-cam WhiteThis 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:

Y-cam White
Y-cam Black
Y-cam Bullet
Y-cam Bullet HD

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).

Background

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:

SSID

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.

Wireless Encryption

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.

HOWTO:

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:

Y-cam IP camera wireless settings page

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

Infrastructure mode drop-down box setting

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:

  • WEP64bit
  • WEP128bit
  • WPA-PSK
  • WPA2-PSK

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:

Y-cam IP camera wireless encryption settings page

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:

Y-cam IP camera system page

Finish

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.

15 Responses to “HOWTO: Set up a wireless connection in your Y-cam IP camera”

  1. [...] If you have a wireless router you might want to take this opportunity to configure the wireless settings in the camera. See the following HOWTO: guide for help in setting up the wireless connection: HOWTO: Set up a wireless connection in your Y-cam IP camera [...]

  2. Han says:

    This is not working for me. The Y-Cam Black’s wireless setup screen has a Test button next to the Apply button. And when doing that with what should be the correct settings, it says “Wireless testing successfully” and “Wireless connected !!!” After pressing the Apply button, I unplug the camera for 60+ seconds, and unplug the ethernet wire. When I plug the power back to the camera, it never shows up on the Y-Cam Setup utility or using the live viewing screen previously used with a wired connection.

    The camera is 3 feet from the wireless router. MAC filtering is turned off. I can sit the camera on top of the router, and the “testing” mode works, but the process of unplugging and turning back on, it still doesn’t work wirelessly.

  3. Greg Innes says:

    Hi Han,

    Have you input the correct wireless encryption? i.e. if you are using WEP or WPA encryption then the camera may say that it has tested fine when connected to the wireless network but it won’t communicate with it if you haven’t supplied the right WEP or WPA encryption details.

  4. Oper says:

    Having same issue i’m possitive about the SSID and Encruption also whne you press the Test it says “Wireless testing successfully” but if i turn on the Cam without the Cable Pluged the led Is Green without blinking or anything.

    Even Tested without any passowrd or Wiress security encryption used.

    Camera is like 2 feet from router.

    Test Different Channel

    Wireless is not working at all.

  5. Greg Innes says:

    Hi Oper,

    Can you tell me what firmware you have in your camera?

  6. Ian says:

    Hi,

    When I connect the mains to my (wirelessly connected) y-cam knight my wireless router shuts down and reboots ! The camera is effectivly a reset button.
    Any ideas, anyone ?

  7. Greg Innes says:

    That’s a strange one Ian. I’ve never heard of that before. Are you sure it’s related to the camera? Does it do the same if you plug it in with a cable?

  8. Md. Humayun Rashed says:

    Hi,what is requirement for IP Camera. Suppose, I want to set in BUS the camera. Then what will be need with IP Camera?
    Is there need
    one PC,
    one IP Camera,
    one Router???
    That means always one computer and one router should connected to the IP camera?
    Please, send me full idea for connection to setup the IP camera in BUS and what is requirement.

    Thank you.

  9. Greg Innes says:

    Normally an IP camera would need to be connected to a router to gain access to the Internet for remote viewing, however some cameras can record straight to memory cards without the need for a network connection.

    Check out the Axis 209FD-R. That might suit your needs.

  10. peter says:

    WLAn doesnt work with y-cam black. Great [profanity removed]

  11. Greg Innes says:

    @peter:

    The wireless connectivity on a Y-cam Black should work fine. Try checking your settings using the above guide.

  12. kamran says:

    i want to control 60 ip cameras by hnp15 every thing is fine but when i connect my net cable to system it going very slow each function gets slow but when i disconnect my net cable again every thing becomes ok. please reply me as soon as possible

  13. Greg Innes says:

    @kamran:

    Your question relates to Panasonic but this is a Y-cam article. Please post your question on our forum and we’ll be happy to help:

    http://forum.networkwebcams.com/index.php

  14. Ben says:

    Hi,

    i plug in my power and ethernet cable and either:

    a, the power led comes on for 3sec and then goes off
    b, the power led comes on and stays on.

    in both scenarios i cant access the cam?

    help!

  15. Greg Innes says:

    @Ben:

    If you haven’t opted to turn the LED off in the camera then it sounds like a fault somewhere. I’d contact your retailer for further help.

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