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Sunday, October 29, 2017


 

IP Camera,Ctronics WIFI Wireless Security Camera Outdoor Bullet Home Surveillance Camera HD 720P Night Vision,Motion Detect,Email Alert,PC,Phone,Tablet,CMS Remote Review,Night Vision,Up to 128G SD

These cameras are inexpensive and work pretty well, clear pictures day and night and good WIFI performance.  All the functions operate as expected but are difficult to set up and the instructions are not much help.

Some tips from my experience.  I am very tech savvy and it took me a long time - months in fact-  to get the system up and operating the way I wanted.  I bought several done and bullet and used them for outdoor security in a suburban home.  I did find the field of view was narrower than I expected and needed more cameras to cover the area than I planned.

The bullet cameras are better than the dome.  The dome has several issues.  When it rains the done is exposed and drips trigger the motion sensor and blur the image.  Lots of garbage video in poor weather..  For the dome, pointing the camera means you have to take it apart. Mounting means you have to take it apart.  The camera and light ring would come apart and once the WIFI antenna wire came off making the camera refuse to connect to WIFI except for 2 inches away.  Trying to mount, point, not drop screws or parts from a ladder and you will be cussing.   Bullet cam is easy to mount.

Set cam up inside first before mounting.  Best way is by plugging it into the ethernet cable into your router and downloading the CamHi app from google play on an android phone.  The app is by far the most solid way to communicate with the camera at first.   App will find the cameras and you can set up the WIFI password, login information, names,  alarm settings easily.   After that you can unplug the ethernet cable and use via WIFI.

You need an SD card.  32Gb is best, UHC1 worked fine for about $15.  The camera works on WIFI without it but won't save pictures or video, and if you wifi goes down you will have nothing.   You have to open the camera with the allen wrench and the slot is inside.  You can check the SD settings from the app to be sure it was inserted properly.   Here is another place the bullet cam was better, opening the dome camera is tricky business.
You can save and view the data remotely several ways, each takes some setup and some patience.   You can set it to record on alarm or schedule.

Email pictures and video.  Googled around to figure it out.  Wasn't easy, gmail was the only way i got to work. The settings were tricky to get right.  Sorry for lack of detail but i abandoned this method very early because it sent tons of huge pictures and filled my email in no time.  This is not a good idea for outside, its ok for inside if you don't have a dog or cat.

Android app.   Works very solidly from anywhere.  You can view recordings on the SD card and look at any camera live.   If you leave it running it can notify you of alarms.  You will soon grow tired of the notifications and turn them off.   But you can't save anything from the app

FTP - this was the answer.  I used Filezilla ( https://filezilla-project.org/ ) and set up an FTP server on a computer in my home.  Now the computer must run 24/7 so put it in the basement.  Filezilla took a long time to figure out, open ports, etc.  Finally you have to set up an account for each camera, a home directory for each and they happily log in and transfer picture and video.    Get a cheap 15-20 refurb hard drive to fill up with all the data, it will fill your SSD in no time.

The only only way that ever worked to view the .264 video files the camera makes and uploads was the software that came on the CD or can be downloaded from the camhi website.  Pictures worked fine with no software.
http://www.ctronicssecuritycameras.com/download-center/

They have a utlity that gets loaded under HiP2P client folder called player than can view them, and a converter to change them to avi.    VLC media player does NOT work no matter what google says.  Wasted many hours.

Enter the IP address you find in each camera's system settings into a web browser and you will find you can view that camera from anywhere.   Start from the IP address because it has a bad habit of going into Chinese language by default.

HiP2P IP camera software is very confusing and poorly documented.  After a lot of experimenting i finally got it to work.  You can view all the cameras at once. make recordings, etc and pretend you are in the security office.  You have to add the cameras first, and the search function only ever found one of the cameras, not all.  Enter them manually by the long alphanumeric camera name you see when you search from the app.

My preference is still the FTP.  Then the files are all on the disk and you can open and view them easily.

I do worry a bit about hacking & cybersecurity.   The camera is accessible from any web browser, and if hacked into camera has wifi and ftp passwords stored.  Manufacturer i'm sure has a backdoor password.  So be careful using these anywhere that you can't afford to be hacked.  I don't know how vulnerable filezilla FTP is, i restricted it to one computer and separate WIFI netowrk with no data on it, but who knows.


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