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How to connect a wireless IP camera

Updated February 21, 2017

Wireless IP cameras allow you to monitor (or spy on) the goings on in another room or even in another part of the country. They work by sending out a wireless signal, which you can then view with a web browser. It's even possible to configure wireless IP cameras to work through the Internet so you can see what your kids are up to, even if you're a thousand miles away. Connecting a wireless IP camera is a fairly simple task that can be done in just a few minutes.

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  1. Find a location for the camera. Unless you have a self powered camera (with batteries or solar), you will need an AC power source. The camera also needs to be within the range of your wireless router in order to be assigned an IP address. Keep both of these factors in mind when setting up your camera.

  2. Set the camera up and plug it into the AC power source (if needed).

  3. Choose a computer already on the network to assist in setting up the IP camera. Install any software that came with your wireless IP camera.

  4. Navigate to the camera in order to set up your preferences. In some models, this is done by opening up "My Network" and opening the camera. Other models you will need to access through a web browser at the default IP address included in the instructions.

  5. Configure your camera with any settings you would like to change. Such as the administrator password, network name, IP address and default gateway. Make a note of the camera's IP address.

  6. Test the camera by navigating to its IP address with a browser. If you will be accessing this IP camera from an internal network, you are finished. If, however, you would like to access this camera while you are away, say from the office or while you are on vacation, continue to Step 7.

  7. Configure your router for port forwarding. This will allow you to access the IP camera from outside your home network. Navigate to the IP address of your router; in most cases, this is "". Click the "Advanced" or "Expert" settings and then the "Port Forwarding" feature. You will be prompted for a name for this service. Call it "IP camera" or something similar. In the "Port beginning" and "Port ending" section, type in "80". For "Server" or "Computer" name, type in the IP address of your wireless camera. You will need to do this for both the "TCP" and "UDP" connection type.

  8. While in the router configuration screen, find your router's IP address. This will usually be on the "Startup" or "General" screens. Write this down.

  9. Test your configuration by connecting with a web browser. In the address bar type in your router's IP address. You do not need to add the port number, as "80" is the default port for web services.

  10. Tip

    If you are already running a web server on your internal network, you will need to change the port address of the wireless IP camera to something different, such as "82". Be sure to change these when you are doing your port forwarding as well.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wireless IP camera
  • Power source
  • Local area network
  • Computer on network
  • Router (if configuring for remote access)

About the Author

Nathan McGinty

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.

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