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Video surveillance via the Internet: remote online viewing of IP cameras with recording.

Video surveillance via the Internet: remote online viewing of IP cameras with recording.

Video surveillance over the Internet is the easiest and most reliable way to remotely control any object. The system can be either a very simple one, consisting of one IP camera connected to a home router via a cable, or a complex hybrid one, including HD-TVI, Wi-Fi and PoE IP cameras, a switch, a video recorder, a monitoring station with Internet access..

What functions can it perform? What settings are needed? Why is a static IP address necessary?

What if you have a dynamic IP address and there is no way to switch to a permanent IP address? We will tell about all this in the article..

The choice of video surveillance and its capabilities.

To choose the right equipment, you will need to answer yourself a few questions:

What tasks are facing video surveillance?

What problem is it supposed to solve?

The result will depend on the desired functions and the allocated budget. For example, to look after a summer cottage or monitor the territory of a guarded parking lot, it is not necessary to use the same powerful and expensive equipment as to protect an object associated with financial risks..

However, even in this case, it is recommended not to be tempted by offers like “5 outdoor IP cameras for only 3 thousand rubles.” For that kind of money, you get a blurry, grainy picture with subtle silhouettes. It is clear that even if hacking or theft occurs, this information will not bring any benefit..

What functions does remote video surveillance perform and why is it needed:

Monitoring the situation in commercial buildings and premises: in shops, offices, warehouses, banks, pharmacies, hotels, medical clinics, schools, kindergartens.

Remote control of the street area of ​​business objects: parking lots, construction sites, gas stations, boarding houses, rest homes.

Personnel performance monitoring: control of labor discipline, customer service, compliance with safety regulations.

Ensuring the safety of staff and customers at the facility: monitoring the situation, preventing hooliganism and theft.

Remote monitoring of private property (in an apartment, residential building, in the country): protection against theft, control of children, domestic workers (nannies, housekeepers), four-legged pets.

Virtual concierge at the entrances of apartment buildings.

Organization of remote monitoring and protection of settlements, residential complexes, etc..

What does that require.

A video surveillance system is a set of equipment that solves a specific task:

Video recorder – receiving information from cameras and recording to a hard drive.

Router (home router) – providing access via Wi-Fi, IP address for video cameras, data transfer via the Internet to an external cloud storage or to some server.

Switch – connecting nodes into a single whole, that is, connecting any number of cameras (including different types), supplying power and transmitting data through the same cable (PoE technology for standard twisted pair), setting the power supply of each camera separately (for example, it will transmit 2 W to one camera, and 8 W to the other), notifications about camera failure in managed switches.

External storage – remote viewing in real time through any connected device (which has access rights) and recording information on the HDD.

Network cable – connecting devices to each other.

Microphone – sound recording (not widely used, but sometimes it is used, for example, as a speakerphone in video intercom systems, to record conversations between employees and clients, etc.).

Software – expanding the functionality of remote video surveillance.

For example, Ivideon has various programs:

Server for remote viewing of video from IP and webcams online and from the archive (installed on the main computer);

Client for remote access to video from conventional and IP cameras with built-in Ivideon software via a local network or the Internet (application for computers and mobile gadgets).

Also, the software allows you to make various settings: face recognition, organizing public broadcasting, push notifications or email messages to the phone when cameras are turned off or a potential threat arises (for example, intrusion of unauthorized persons into the territory) and much more..

System types.

There is no single generally accepted classification of systems for monitoring and remote control. They have a lot of differences, so they can be systematized and classified according to different criteria..

1. By type of video signal and equipment.

Combined (for example, with analog cameras, but a digital video recorder).

Hybrid, which uses 2 types of cameras (analog and digital IP cameras), hybrid type DVR.

2. By technology and protocol.

Local (may have an internal network).

Networked (with Internet access).

3. By the method of signal transmission.

We will not consider in detail the most primitive connection schemes, since they are hopelessly outdated, have limited capabilities, and do not provide a sufficient level of security. Let’s talk about organizing remote video surveillance via the Internet: choosing equipment, building architecture, organizing infrastructure.

Camera options.

At the place of installation, IP cameras are divided into intended ones:

For the street. They can have a waterproof and / or anti-vandal case, a thermal casing with a heating mode for the winter season.

IP camera parameters.

When choosing an IP camera, you need to decide on the following parameters and characteristics:

IP cameras in a standard case (with a stand), which are installed on a horizontal surface.

Dome IP cameras. Can be mounted on a wall, poles or ceiling, installed under a canopy. Their advantage is an all-round view, movement of the lens in the vertical and horizontal direction.

Bullet IP cameras. Wall or ceiling mounted.

PTZ IP cameras with panoramic view. Can track a suspicious object, such as a person in sight.

2. Resolution of the IP camera.

The higher the

resolution, the clearer the picture. However, before installing IP cameras with a resolution of 5 or 8 megapixels, you need to understand that the load on the equipment and the network, as well as the “weight” of the archive, will increase. And the equipment itself will cost much more (and the price will have to be multiplied by 4, 8, or, for example, 16 video cameras).

Therefore, it is necessary to choose the optimal values ​​even if your budget is not particularly limited..

Required values ​​for solving a specific problem:

Object detection and definition of its type (car, dog, person) – 20 pixels / m2;

Recognition (gender of a person, his clothes) – 100 pixels / m2;

Identification (face of a person or car number) – 500 pixels / m.

1 megapixel – enough for video surveillance in the office corridor;

2 Mp – suitable for a tracking system in a warehouse, in a foyer at the entrance to a business center, for protection of the territory;

4 Mp – can be installed in any large room, in a wide area, in front of the gate. But keep in mind that the picture will be clear only in good lighting or with IR illumination. Otherwise, noise can have the opposite effect, since the more pixels on the matrix, the smaller their physical size.

Accordingly, less light falls on each.

For video cameras installed in a room, the horizontal resolution is usually of greatest importance (for monitoring a corridor, the space between shelves in a warehouse or in a supermarket, an entrance with a turnstile). In this case, you should pay attention to the presence of corridor format in the IP camera (it is also called corridor mode). It makes it possible to obtain a vertically oriented image with a minimum of dead zones, that is, to use the matrix surfaces as efficiently as possible.

3. Light sensitivity.

This is the minimum illumination at which the camera will give a recognizable signal. The value is measured in lux. However, there are no clear criteria for recognizability..

Therefore, the following rules must be considered:

The higher the resolution, the smaller the physical size of the pixel and the lower the light sensitivity. In a poorly lit room, at dusk or dark outside, there is no point in installing high-resolution cameras.

Cameras with built-in IR illumination are more sensitive and can work in any light mode.

It is impossible to compare cameras from different manufacturers according to the numbers indicated in the characteristics in the “Light sensitivity” column – there are no evaluation criteria and recognition standards. It is better to watch commercials with shooting in low light mode and compare the picture.

4. Data compression standard.

MJPEG – frame-by-frame compression. Requires network bandwidth, but uses a minimum of resources for processing both in the IP camera itself and on the server. H.264.

The opposite is true here. A high compression ratio of a video stream is achieved at the expense of significant resources during decoding. This makes H.264 less bandwidth-hungry..

IP cameras can be powered by conventional 12V power supplies or connected via a regular cable or PoE, that is, use one cable for power and signal transmission.

6. IR illumination.

Night vision mode. Provides good signal quality in low light at dusk and at night.


Before installing a set of equipment, it is necessary to decide on the architecture, that is, to build an infrastructure for collecting, transferring, storing and viewing information at the facility. Classification can be carried out according to various parameters.

By equipment location:

NVR architecture, when all the equipment (or almost all) is at the owner’s site. Suitable for large organizations that have an IT staff, cyber security system, expensive equipment and a place to install it.

VSaaS – cloud video surveillance as a service. You do not need to have a static IP address for this. The object owner receives a fully managed and productive service from a service provider. The system does not require large investments.

It is as safe as possible, since it uses data encryption technologies during transmission, it is always serviceable and efficient. A minimum of equipment components (cameras, compact video recorder) are installed at the facility. Everything else is in the cloud.

By the number of subsystems:

Centralized, in which data from all cameras is sent to one physical machine on the server or to one cloud storage. This is a good option if the network can withstand the load and provides sufficient speed, and the server has software that can cope with the requirements of multitasking: recording, broadcasting, processing, sorting, etc..

Distributed, in which local subsystems are combined into a single whole (over LAN and WAN). Easily scalable and flexible, but more expensive.

It is good if the architecture supports the following features:

Cluster organization, in which the software monitors each IP camera, fixes failures and transfers the task to another camera (the closest to the failed one, which may be “catching up” from the broken one).

IP Watchdog is a watchdog. It is a function of monitoring system freeze and restart in automatic mode.

Multithreading support. Some modern IP video cameras can simultaneously form and transmit several data streams with different resolutions. In multi-window mode, streams with a lower resolution will be transmitted, in single-window mode – with a higher resolution..

Decoding the signal in MJPEG or H.264 to save resources (we wrote about this above).

Multitasking support. We are talking about server software that can distribute the load and execute several processes at the same time. Without such software, the most expensive multicore hardware will be useless, since its capabilities will simply not be used.

Why a static IP address is needed.

An IP address is a personal address of a device on the Internet (more precisely, a point or a node, the function of which is performed by a router). The IP address for connecting to the Internet is given to clients by the provider. The address can be static, that is, permanent, assigned to a specific subscriber. Also, the IP address can be dynamic.

This address changes every time you connect or reboot..

To remotely view information from cameras via the Internet directly, you need to know the IP address. And this is only possible if the IP address is permanent. What if you have a dynamic IP address and you cannot switch to a static IP address? In this case, you just need to connect to the cloud service. We will tell you how to do this further.

In this case, the type of address does not matter..

Options for organizing and configuring remote video surveillance via the Internet.

Setting up a simple system with one IP video camera.

This is the cheapest way to connect with simple settings, for which you need to buy the IP video camera itself and connect it to your existing home router, assign the correct address. There is nothing complicated in the settings of such a scheme, everything can be done by hand. The only condition is that you must have a permanent IP address..

For DIY configuration, connect the IP camera to the port of the router. Physically, this is a LAN port, that is, the socket to which the cable is connected. But we also need to know the network port, which can be assigned to the camera in the router settings.

By default, the value “Receive automatically” is set there, and we need to make a port forwarding.

To assign an IP address, you need to bind the local IP address of the camera in the router settings to an external IP address. For example, your ISP has assigned you the IP address Now you need to do port forwarding.

To do this, you need to connect the camera to the router through a computer that was previously connected and configured on the same network. To do this, in the port settings, you need to change the HTTP port number (in home routers it is 80) to any other, for example, 4321.

Next, you need to find the Virtual Server tab, add the selected Service Port (we have 4321) to it and specify the IP address of the camera for it. Usually the address is on a sticker on the box. Also, the address can be found in the instructions.

Everything, we have coped with all the settings. Now you can view video from an IP camera online from your smartphone or work computer. To do this, enter the address in the browser line:

This is our static address provided by the provider, and the port that we ourselves specified in the settings.

Setting up video surveillance with multiple IP cameras.

The router can have 4 or 8 LAN ports through which the equipment is connected using a network cable. That is, we can connect several cameras in the same way, assigning each its own IP address.

If there are not enough LAN ports, then a switch must be added to the connection diagram. You will also need to make settings: specify the IP address, subnet mask, network gateway (the IP address of the router itself).

However, both of these schemes cannot be called complete if they do not have a video archiving site and the ability to remotely view. To do this, you can use an Ivideon Bridge device, a video recorder with a hard drive or a home computer on which the Ivideon Server program is installed. It turns a simple home network into a complete professional remote video surveillance.

Now let’s look at the system with a video recorder and its settings..

Connecting and configuring a circuit with a recorder.

You need to add a recording device to this scheme, that is, a DVR with a hard drive. Next, connect cameras to it. And the registrar itself – to the router.

And make the necessary settings.

In this case, you can use IP and analog cameras, that is, make a combined scheme.

However, even such a remote control system will not be reliable without recording to external storage and the possibility of remote monitoring. The DVR can be stolen or damaged. Therefore, if you want to increase the level of security and make the most of the capabilities of your cameras, then you need to connect them to an external cloud storage with the ability to remotely view.

Why you need to connect to the cloud?

Any video recorder (NVR, DVR, HVR) is a perfectly suitable option for an object with round-the-clock security constantly sitting in front of the monitor. If it just stands at your facility, then it can all be stolen along with your property, smashed or pulled out a hard drive and taken with you. All this can happen in 10-20 minutes, while the guard lies down for a nap or moves away according to his needs..

Therefore, the only reliable option is the possibility of constant remote monitoring via the Internet and duplicating information to external storage, preferably to a cloud service. Firstly, it is suitable even for those who do not have a fixed static IP address. Secondly, you can remotely view data from the cloud storage (real-time video and archive recording) from any device: computer, smartphone, laptop. Thirdly, you will be able to monitor any number of objects and all cameras at each object, as well as differentiate access rights and make notification settings when a potential danger arises. At least Ivideon can do all this.

You will have to check the capabilities of other cloud services yourself.

Remote video surveillance system via cloud service.

New technologies make the system as reliable and safe as possible. In this case, all functions (recording to external media, providing access to the archive for viewing, etc.) are performed by a remote cloud service. At the owner’s facility there are only IP cameras that record video, and some kind of device that connects them into a single whole and connects to the Network.

You can connect any video cameras to a server in the cloud through the same DVR with HDD or Ivideon Bridge. The second option is much simpler and cheaper, it allows you to do without an expensive recorder (in this case, not a physical hardware recorder is used, but a software one that is in the cloud).

The advantages of a functional remote cloud service are many:

You only need to buy cameras and connect them to the cloud. You can do it yourself in 5-10 minutes..

Up to 16 cameras can be connected to the system at once.

There will be no need to understand the architecture and complex settings.

You do not need a permanent external IP address, for which ISPs often charge additional fees. For connection and settings, the dynamic IP address that you have is suitable.

Information is transferred to the cloud, encoded, compressed and stored in the archive. It is protected from unauthorized access, takes up little space there.

You can watch video from cameras online or view records from the archive, broadcast them to the site.

You do not need to monitor the situation at the facility around the clock. You can simply make the settings to send notifications of suspicious activity to your smartphone or email.

You will be able to connect your video surveillance to the ACS, use the function of determining license plates or face recognition.

Let’s sum up.

The remote video surveillance system must be:

Economically feasible – to have a cost adequate for a specific object.

Scalable – allowing you to add an additional camera if necessary, rather than change the entire system.

Safe – with reliable external storage that will not be broken by hooligans or taken away by thieves.

Accessible – providing the ability to remotely view information from any device.

Flexible – allowing you to replace any element in the event of a breakdown.

With differentiation of access rights – with the ability to provide employees with access to part or all of the information.

In this case, you do not have to buy a new set of equipment to replace or add another camera or change the settings. And video surveillance will cope with its functions and solve the tasks assigned to it.

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