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HOWTO: Set up your Panasonic IP Camera on your Wireless Network

July 3rd, 2008 by Greg Innes

Panasonic BL-C131Wireless IP cameras are perfect security devices for your small business or home as they can be placed virtually anywhere where there is a power outlet. This allows for some great covert monitoring around your home, placing the cameras in locations where intruders wouldn’t suspect.

This HOWTO: will provide a step-by-step guide showing how to set up your wireless Panasonic IP camera so that it can connect to your wireless network.

This guide is suitable for the following cameras:

  • BL-C20A
  • BL-C30A (now discontinued)
  • BL-C131A
  • BB-HCM371A

HOWTO:

It may seem obvious but to configure the wireless settings in the camera you first have to be able to access it over the cable (Ethernet connection). We will assume that you have setup your camera with IP address details using an Ethernet cable and can view a live image on your screen.

Step 1 – Entering the SSID

The SSID (short for ‘Service Set Indentifier’) is the unique identifier given to differentiate one wireless network from another. If this is not entered correctly in the camera then it won’t be able to connect to your wireless network at all.

To find the SSID you will need to log in to your wireless router or access point. The SSID associated with your wireless network should be set in the wireless settings page of your router.

Copy this exactly from your router (we recommend you use copy and paste if possible to avoid error) and enter it into the wireless settings page in your camera.

The wireless settings can be found in the camera by entering the setup pages and clicking the ‘Wireless’ menu option on the left hand side. You should have a screen similar to the one shown below:

Panasonic BL-C131 wireless settings page
Panasonic BL-C131 – Wireless settings page (firmware version 3.14R03)

Step 2 – Setting the communication mode

You have a choice of using the IEEE802.11b, IEEE802.11b/g or IEEE802.11g

The difference between IEEE802.11b and IEEE802.11g is the speed of transmission. ‘b’ will give speeds of up to 11Mbps and ‘g’ will give speeds of up to ’54Mbps’.

The standard setting for the camera set to work at both IEEE802.11b/g speeds but check what speeds your router is compatible with.

Step 3 – Setting the Wireless Encryption

The last setting to consider in the camera’s wireless page is the method of encryption. Wireless encryption is the method used to secure the wireless network from unwanted access by neighbors or people in your apartment building or neighborhood.

When considering encryption there are many different methods, some which are more secure than others. The Panasonic camera we are using for this guide supports: WEP, WPA-PSK (TKIP), WPA2-PSK (AES) method of encryption and most of the new Panasonic IP cameras do. Some of the oder models are limited to WEP so look out for that.

Wireless encryption acts just like a password. Without the password, or what is known as the ‘Key’, your camera will not be able to successfully connect to the wireless network.

The details of the method of wireless encryption can be found in the wireless settings of your router or access point. Copy these settings exactly into the camera for a successful connection.

Finish

That should be all there is to it. Remember to switch the external switch on the camera to the wireless position, remove the Ethernet cable and restart the camera. Hopefully when the camera comes back online you will be able to connect to it wirelessly!

Mac Address Filtering

There is a another thing to consider when setting up your camera. In some routers to further improve security can be set to only allow specific devices to connect wirelessly. Every network device has a serial number known as a MAC address and this is unique to every network device. It is possible in every wireless router to restrict wireless access to only those devices you have on your network, effectively blocking everyone else. This is done by using MAC addresses and is known as MAC Address Filtering.
The reason this isn’t covered in the main HOWTO guide is that this feature is not set up as standard in any router and requires configuration, therefore if someone has configured their router in this way they will know and already have taken this into consideration.

This is just a reminder to those who tried everything else but still having problems connecting.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have done everything but my camera still refuses to connect, what now?
We get this a lot and we find with the majority of people it’s down to not entering the correct information into the camera. We would advise people check their settings thoroughly remembering that the SSID is case-sensitive. If still no luck consider the possibility that the wireless network has restricted access by MAC address using MAC Address Filtering. If you haven’t configured this in the router yourself contact the person in charge of setting up the router. If no-one else has touched the router then chances are there is no filtering in place. If you still have no luck contact a member of technical support from the company you purchased the camera from for futher assisstance.

I think I may be experiencing interference on my wireless network, what can I do?
We’ve done a full guide on how to combat wireless interference. Check it out here: HOWTO: Prevent Wireless Interference

26 Responses to “HOWTO: Set up your Panasonic IP Camera on your Wireless Network”

  1. andy kimberlee says:

    I have a client who wants to be able to view 2 IP Cameras (Panasonic BL- C131) from within the LAN (off their Wireless Router) and also remotely from home. I know how to set up multi-camera in the panasonic menus but I assume that one of the cameras has to be set up for viewing on the LAN (i.e the IP addresses are 192.168.x.x:Port etc) and one camera has to be set up for viewing remoteley to the public IP address (i.e the IP addresses in the multi-camera set up are 95.x.x.x:port etc. Or is there any software that enables them to view both cameras on the lan without having to log into one camera or the other?

  2. Greg Innes says:

    The Panasonic cameras come with a built-in multi-camera viewing mode. The downside is that the mode can be configured with local IPs or public IPs but not both at the same time.

    This would lead you to using 1 of the cameras configured for local and 1 configued for public multi-camera display.

    However there is also the option to embed the camera images into a web page. See this article for more information: http://www.networkwebcams.com/ip-camera-learning-center/2009/04/23/howto-embed-the-live-image-from-your-ip-camera-in-your-web-page-part-2-panasonic/

  3. Victor says:

    Following Greg Innes suggestion – it works (embed the camera images into a web page). However, you end up setting the refresh for x number of seconds to get the images to update rather than realtime motion. Another thing it seems strange that the Panasonic network camera page that shows the various menu options (Single, Multi, Buffered Image, Setup, etc) allow you to select multi which then has a ‘Layout’ option to display 4, 9, 16 screens at a time on a single browser page. When you’re within the local network and login to a camera with proper setup you can view both on the same browser page – so the question is why can’t you do it from ‘outside’?

  4. Greg Innes says:

    @Victor:

    Yes, the example I gave was a simple Javascript refresh but the other examples which Panasonic provide provide other methods of integration.

    http://www.networkwebcams.com/ip-camera-learning-center/2009/04/23/howto-embed-the-live-image-from-your-ip-camera-in-your-web-page-part-2-panasonic/#comments

    You can set up multi-camera viewing from the outside. You just have to use external IP addresses instead of local IP addresses. (i.e. a viewnetcam.com address instead of a 192.168… address)

  5. Bill says:

    I have a Panasonic BL-C20A and I have configured it properly on the network with the Camera connected to the Router. I am able to connect to it. The address internally is 192.168.0.253:50000. I have configured the wireless and entered all the information including security key. When I switch the camera to wireless and restart, the camera connects to the network (Lights Green), but I am not able to connect to it wirelessly. Is there anything I need to change on the router like in the Gaming and Applications, or should I be using a different address from above?

    I have my MAC Address filter turned on to allow all PCs.

  6. Greg Innes says:

    If you are filtering devices by MAC address then you will need to add the camera too. Note that there are 2 MAC addresses for the camera. The one which is printed on the camera is the Ethernet port. To find the MAC address for wireless check the system menu.

  7. Bill says:

    Thanks Greg.

    I am not filtering by MAC Address. My router is setup to allow all except for a list of MAC Addresses. When I switch the Camera to Wireless, Reboot, it connects to the Router since the Light turn greeen. I am not able to connect to the Camera from inside the network or from outside and the vienetcam.com website shows the status as Active-waiting since it is not able to communicate with the camera.

  8. Greg Innes says:

    @Bill:

    If you have your router set up to only allow specific devices by MAC address then you ‘are’ filtering by MAC address.

    You need to add the MAC address of the camera to the list of allowed addresses. As my previous comment, it has to be the MAC address of the wireless module, not the Ethernet port.

  9. abolfath farahani says:

    i want to know how can i setup IP of panasonic network camera such as wv-nw960 – wv-np1000 – wv-np304 – wj-nd400 . help me please .

  10. Greg Innes says:

    @abolfath:

    Instructions should be provided with your camera. The CDROM will contains a setup tool called EasyIPsetup which will help configure the camera’s IP address.

  11. I have a BB-HCM371 (2 years) and a BL-C30 (3 years) but have just changed my IP and router. The new router is fixed to WPA-PSK security but both my IP cams only offer none or WEP. The cams are both running v1.3 firmware and I do not see any later versions. Is there any way I can set these cams to WPA-PSK?

    Thank you

  12. Greg Innes says:

    @Deric:

    The newer Panasonic models have this feature but I am afraid I am not aware of any firmware which will allow WPA-PSK encryption to be used with your cameras.

    Can you really not alter the encryption in your router?

  13. I have a Panasonic BL-C131A and I have configured it properly on the network with the Camera connected to the modem. I am able to connect to it.

    The address internally is 192.168.1.253. I have configured the wireless and entered all the information including security key. When I switch the camera to wireless and restart, the camera connects to the network (Lights Green), and works OK.

    But when I turn mac filtering on, on my modem (ZyXel) then it wil not connect.

    What am i doing wrong ?

    Is there anything I need to change on the modem or the camera ?

  14. Solution !

    I successfully installed the camera using the wireless function. I decided to use MAC filtering, and should note the camera would not connect with MAC filtering.

    After a thoroughly web search, I found that there are not one, but two MAC numbers for the camera that must be entered in the router or modem configuration.

    The camera is now 100% again, using MAC filtering. All in all, it works great.

    How to find the Mac addresses:

    1. Go to Mantenance – Status > Network and look at “Mac address”.

    2. Go to Mantenance – Wireless status > and look at “MAC address of Wireless module”.

  15. Greg Innes says:

    @Mick Brouwers:

    Yep indeed. This catches a lot of people out.

    I’ve not come across another brand of IP camera which have 2 MAC addresses (1 for the LAN port, 1 for the wireless LAN) other than Panasonic BL range yet.

  16. Robert McBride says:

    I have a Panasonic BL-230 and I am trying to view it using a Blackbery Storm. I cannot get it to work I get
    the message Gateway closed before command was done searching. Please tell me what I have to do to make it
    work on my smartphone.

    Thanks

  17. Gabriel says:

    I have installed my Panasonic BL-C131 at home and have registered for my personal address at http://www.viewnetcam.com.

    However, I still can’t access my URL xxxx.viewnetcam.com:50000 from my office. Error message is “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage”

    I asked my friend to try the my URL and he can access it from both his home computer and I-Phone. But when asking my other friend to try, he cannot access it.

    I am wondering if my office internet settings are somehow blocking the access. How can I check? What settings will block access to the website?

  18. Greg Innes says:

    @Gabriel:

    Could be your office is not permitting any traffic coming on port 50000.

    Try checking with your IT dept.

  19. Gabriel says:

    thanks for speedy reply. will it help if i try changing the port from 50000 to something else? can i just make up any number? IT dept of company is outsourced and not that convenient to get in touch with.

  20. Greg Innes says:

    @Gabriel:

    Try using port 80 if you can. That port shouldn’t be blocked as it is used for HTTP (web pages).

  21. Tim says:

    Greg, the BB-HCM371A does not support WPA, it is WEP only.

  22. Andrew says:

    I Have bbhcm371a and when plugged in to my E1500 Linksys router, it is not connecting at all? I have tried different cables that do work with other devices and different ports that also work with other devices. The router does not show it connected nor do the router port lights turn on, Any one have any idea on a resolution? thanks

  23. Kenny says:

    I tried to change the port number to 80 as my office is not allowing me to access port number 50000, and everything is going on static mode not automatic setup, and it ends up with the link of http. However, this http cannot be accessed, can you please kindly advice? Thanks!

  24. Mark Gan says:

    Is there any way to change the BL-C131 internal port from 80 to something else like 8080 ??

  25. Kenneth Leung says:

    To change the internal port of the camera, you need a PC, download and install the setup software from Panasonic, then connect the cam to your network, plug in the power for the cam. Only the first 15-20 mins after switch on you can use the software to access the cam and change the port. If you miss it, unplug the power from the cam and replug it.

  26. ealgumby says:

    Andrew or any others w/ the same question, the BBHCM371A does not always autonegotiate properly with some vendors’ products (e.g., Linksys and NetGear auto-sensing lines) while others seem to work just fine (e.g. D-Link). I am not 100% positive, but suspect the Panasonic implementation of 802.3u in this camera is not industry standard, so auto negotiation will not always work. They seem to have corrected the issue with all later models in their product line, as the newer ones do not have any such problems, and firmware update will not fix the problem in this model (I have tried). You *can* get it to work by manually selecting and matching the duplex mode on both ends, but you will need equipment capable of doing so. I have used switches where you can select 100 Mbps/duplex on a port, for example, and if the you set the same from the camera setup menu, you will get a good connection. The other available speed/duplex modes also work, but you’d probably want 100 w/ full duplex. If your equipment does not allow these manual settings, and auto-negotiation fails, you’ll need to get a different box to plug the camera into. If you don’t want to replace the router, you could plug the camera into a compatible switch, and plug the switch into the router. Either way, you will need different network equipment with this camera.

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