Support Center

Confirming Your Network Configuration

Aug 25, 2014

Why this matters

Some networks are divided into separate sub-networks ("subnets"), for efficiency or security purposes. If your camera is on a different subnet than your PC, you will not be able to access it from your PC. This section describes how to determine if this applies to you, and if so what to do about it.

A simple network

Networks that have only a few computers and printers are usually set up as a single network. In the example below, the modem connects to the router, which connects to a PC, a printer and a network camera. The three devices can either be plugged into the router or connected wirelessly. In this situation, all devices can "see" all other devices. (Each can check if other devices are connected, and find an "IP address," which is like a phone number to send and receive data). If this is how your network is set up, the standard install procedure should work, so you can click the Back button of your browser and continue.
basic network

A larger network of subnets

As described above, larger networks tend to divide into subnet groups. A device in one subnet cannot see any devices in other subnets. It can send information to other devices, though, if it happens to know what that IP address is. Normally this division is not required in small networks. basic subnet network

Why your small network may have subnets

There is one common setup, however, that can result in a subnet configuration. If your DSL or cable modem has multiple Ethernet ports, it probably can also serve as a router. (In fact these types of modems are simply called routers also, which shouldn't be confused with routers that are not modems.)

router

If your computer and wireless router are both plugged into your modem, devices connected to them are probably on different subnets. As a result, your computer will not be able to see any devices plugged in or connected wirelessly to your wireless routerIn other words, if your network is configured like this, Sighthound Video will not be able to do anything with your camera.
modem subnet

Why your multi-router network may not have subnets

On the other hand, just because you have multiple routers does not mean that you have subnets. Your additional router(s) may be configured in what is called a "bridge" mode. This means that instead of separating groups of devices, it extends the functionality of the first router to connect all of the devices. In this case, all devices can see all other devices, as if there were only one router. Bridge mode is designed to extend the range of a network, so the Wi-Fi signal can reach devices out of range of the primary wireless router. If your configuration is like this, the standard install process should work, so you can click the Back button of your browser and continue. bridge network

What to do about it

For Sighthound Video to work with your network camera, you need to either get your computer and camera on the same subnet, or if that is not possible you can set a specific IP Address for your camera and tell your wireless router (and Sighthound Video) what that IP address is. That way, even though Sighthound Video cannot "look up" the camera, it knows what number to use to connect to it. Which option you choose depends on what your specific network configuration is.

​Connect your computer and camera to the same wireless router

If your network setup is simple enough, it may be easiest to make sure the computer running Sighthound Video is connected to the same router as your camera. For example, if your computer is plugged into your modem, plug it into your wireless router instead. Or if you have several computers, install the software on the computer that is closest to your camera (which means it is most likely to be connected wirelessly to the same router).

Change your router to bridge mode

If you have multiple routers that have created subnets, it should be possible to change the router's settings to make it a bridge router. See your router's documentation or website for specific instructions.

Temporarily put your camera on the same router as your computer, and manually assign an IP address

This gets a little complicated, but in some network configurations, you can temporarily plug your computer into the router that the camera uses. This will put it on the same subnet so it can find the camera. Once in this state you can permanently assign the IP address of the camera, so that you can find it after you return your computer to its original location (where it normally can't see the camera). The complication is that subnets are designed for communication to flow in one direction. You want your any device on your network to initiate communications out to the Internet, but firewalls prevent unknown people from the Internet reaching into your network. Routers follow these same rules within your network: devices "farther from the Internet" can initiate communication with devices "closer to the Internet," but not vice versa. In the above diagrams, "closer" to the Internet means higher in the hierarchy, where the modem is the closest because it is directly connected to the Internet. For example, in the small subnet diagram above, the laptop computer would not be able to communicate with the grayed out camera, even if it knows the IP address. But if they switched positions on the network, the laptop would be able to. The steps to find the IP address and permanently assign it to the router are described here.

Connect your camera directly to your computer temporarily, and manually assign an IP address (advanced)

If your wireless router does not have an Ethernet port to begin with (except the one to connect to your modem), it may be possible to connect your camera directly to your PC. You can temporarily put them both on the same subnet and assign the IP address of the camera, although it involves more complex steps as described below. WARNING: This process involves changing network settings that will prevent your computer from accessing the Internet until you return to the original settings. You should only attempt this if you feel very comfortable with changing network settings.

  1. Find out what your camera's default IP address is. Check your camera's documentation or Google "default IP address" and your camera's model number.
  2. Find an IP address to assign to your camera that will work with your network. You need to find a static IP on your router that you know will not be used. In addition, you need to make sure that you assign an address outside of the reserved range of DHCP addresses that your router can assign. This involves opening your wireless router software or web page and doing the following:
    • Find an IP address in the reserved range (outside of the DHCP range). Refer to your router's user manual to find out how to do this, but usually there is a section that refers to "dynamic IP range," or "DHCP beginning address end addresses," with a series of IP address numbers (e.g.,192.168.11.2 to 192.168.11.200). This refers to the range of addresses the router assigns to devices, and therefore you cannot use. In this example, it is safe to use addresses outside of this range, i.e., 192.168.11.201 to 192.168.11.254.
    • If there are none available, you need to modify the range of reserved IP addresses to increase the number of available addresses.
    • Once you have found an IP address that you know is in the reserved range, and not dedicated to another device, write it down and proceed to the next step (assigning that IP address to your camera).
  3. To connect a computer directly to a device, the wiring on the Ethernet cable has to be different. You need to either a special cable (called a "crossover" Ethernet cable, because it crosses two of the wires) or a computer that supports a feature called "Auto-MDIX" (which means the computer can detect and cross the signals from those wires automatically). You can verify this by finding your computer's detailed specifications. All currently shipping Macintosh models support this feature (for details, see Apple's support site.)
  4. Next, temporarily change the IP address of your computer to force it to be on the same subnet as your camera's default IP address. On different versions of Windows the steps vary, but the general idea is to do the following:
    • Change the IP address of your computer back to what it originally was.
    • Unplug your camera from your computer, and unplug it from the power source.
    • Assign the IP address that you determined in step 2 above.
    • On this web page, find the section that lets you assign an IP address to your camera.
    • This will take you to the configuration web page of your camera. You will be asked to create a password and probably given a default user ID.
    • Open your web browser and type in the default IP address where you would normally type a website's name, with the "http://" but without the "www." For example, if the default IP address was 192.168.0.90, you would enter http://192.168.0.90.
    • Plug your camera into a power source.
    • Connect your camera. Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into the camera, and the other into your computer's Ethernet port.
    • Enter 255.255.255.0 for the Subnet mask
    • In the IP address field, enter the same IP address as the default camera address BUT change the last digit to 10. For example, the default IP Address for an Axis camera is 192.168.0.90, so you would enter 192.168.0.10. You would enter the same value for a Panasonic camera, which has a default IP address of 192.168.0.253.
    • Find a properties tab and change Obtain an IP address automatically to Use the following IP address.
    • Find Local Area Connection in the Control panel.
    • IMPORTANT: Determine the IP address of your computer and write it down, because you will temporarily change it.
    • On Macintosh computers:
      • Go to System Preferences > Network
      • IMPORTANT: write down what the current IP address is, because you will temporarily change it.
      • Select Ethernet (called "Built-in Ethernet" on some versions)
      • Set the Configure pop-up (or "Configure IPv4") to Manually
      • In the IP address field, enter the same IP address as the default camera address BUT change the last digit to 10. For example, the default IP Address for an Axis camera is 192.168.0.90, so you would enter 192.168.0.10. You would enter the same value for a Panasonic camera, which has a default IP address of 192.168.0.253.
      • Enter 255.255.255.0 for the Subnet mask
      • Connect your camera. Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into the camera, and the other into your computer's Ethernet port.
      • Plug your camera into a power source.
      • Open your web browser and type in the default IP address where you would normally type a website's name, with the "http://" but without the "www." For example, if the default IP address was 192.168.0.90, you would enter http://192.168.0.90.
      • This will take you to the configuration web page of your camera. You will be asked to create a password and probably given a default user ID.
      • On this web page, find the section that lets you assign an IP address to your camera.
      • Assign the IP address that you determined in step 2 above.
      • Unplug your camera from your computer, and unplug it from the power source.
      • Change the IP address of your computer back to what it originally was.

Your camera should now be configured, and you can continue with the Sighthound Video setup by going here.