To access your IP camera from an external Internet connection you need to know the IP address assigned to your connection by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). This address is known as the public or external IP address and is expressed in the form of four numbers between 0 and 255 separated by a point e.g. (126.96.36.199). You can easily find your current external IP address by visiting www.mycamIP.com.
However, most domestic ISPs give customers a Dynamic IP address which is likely to change if connection is lost, or change periodically without warning. This means that the external IP address you use to access your camera may frequently change leaving you unable to connect.
A Dynamic DNS service allows you access to your IP camera by acting as a go-between. You set your camera to automatically update the Dynamic DNS service with its current external IP address and when you use your Dynamic DNS address it will always link you to your camera. As an added benefit you can also choose a unique and memorable host name which is easier to remember than an IP address.
This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of setting up a Y-cam network camera with the free Dynamic DNS service from www.DynDNS.org. This will include the camera setup, choosing your host name and registration with DynDNS.com. We will then show you how to access your camera using your chosen host name.
Before we continue we have assumed that your Y-cam is configured for local access and that the firewall in your router is set to allow access through to the camera (see HOWTO: Port Forwarding 101 for more information)
Step 1 – Initial camera setup
Log into the camera using a web browser until you are shown the camera’s splash page.
From the splash page click on ‘settings’, this will open a new window.
Click on ‘Network’ from the menu on the right hand side, this will expand to give you further options. From those options click ‘DDNS Setup’.
The DDNS setup will open in the main area of the screen and will initially display one option DDNS: ‘Enable’ or ‘Disable’. Click ‘Enable’ and more options will appear.
For ‘Service provider’ select ‘dyndns.org’ from the dropdown box (other Dynamic DNS providers are available but this guide focuses on the dyndns.org service).
When you have selected ‘dyndns.org’, click ‘register’ next to the drop down box, this will open the DynDNS.com webpage.
Step 2 – Creating a host name and DynDNS account
In the middle of the page on the left hand side there is a box for ‘Free Dynamic DNS’, there is a text box with ‘example’ pre-entered, this is where you enter the first part of the host name you wish to use to access your camera. To the right there is a dropdown box with a list of host name extensions available, select the one you wish to use and click ‘Add’.
Note: It doesn’t matter which host name extension you select from the drop-down box, they all do the same job. It’s probably best to choose one which you find most memorable.
You may choose a host name which is already in use and you will be shown the screen above. Ignore all the other settings for now and select a different domain name or extension until you find one that is available, then click ‘Add To Cart’.
The cart will show your chosen host name and show no charge, this is a free service.
To create your DynDNS account you are required to enter a user name and password, and your email address which is required to activate your account. Select or deselect the newsletters you wish to receive. Copy the security text, tick to agree with the terms and conditions and click ‘Create Account’.
An email will be sent to your account, check your inbox for email from DynDNS.com
In the email there will be a link which you will need to either click or copy into your browser to confirm your email address and activate your account.
This will open the checkout again and should show your chosen host name. Click ‘Activate Services’ to start the Dynamic DNS service.
The next window will show you your account with the host services you have. The IP address will be pre-set to the external IP address you used to register your account.
Step 3 – Adding your DynDNS details to you Y-cam
Go back to the window with your Y-cam settings.
Enter the details you just registered with DynDNS.com: ‘host name’, ‘username’ and ‘password’. Click ‘Apply’.
The Dynamic DNS setup will indicate the setup has been successfully.
On an external connection enter your chosen host name e.g. ‘ipcamsi.dnydns.tv’ just as it is (no www needed), and you should be directed to the splash page of your Y-cam.
You may not be able to test your DynDNS host name on a local connection because routers have a feature called NAT loopback which blocks any attempt to access your camera using an external IP address from the same local network as the camera. This is very common. What you will find is that you should use your local IP address on the local network and your Dynamic DNS address from any other computer or mobile device across the Internet.
It is probably a good idea to test your Dynamic DNS address to ensure it is being updating by restarting your Internet modem/router and checking your camera updates the IP address in your DynDNS account.
If you are able to connect to your Y-cam with an external Internet connection and your IP address is being updated the setup is complete and fully working.