CameraFTP Support

IP Camera Live Video Streaming    |    View Published Cameras


1. About IP Camera (or webcam) video streaming
2. Comparison of IP camera video streaming technologies
3. CameraFTP video streaming solution
4. If Internet connection is unavailable, how can I connect my camera to the Internet
5. Can 4G connection offer enough bandwidth? How much data will it need & what is the cost?
6. Private streaming, public broadcasting and playback
7. Embed or stream an IP camera from your own web page


1. About IP Camera (or webcam) video streaming


IP Camera Video Streaming means to view the live video of an IP camera (or webcam), usually from the Internet. Most IP video cameras support RTSP and H.264. To view the video stream from the same local network is very easy. You can use the desktop software (or mobile app) provided by the IP camera manufacturer, or use a web browser to log on to the camera and then view the IP camera's video stream. If you know the IP camera's RTSP URL, you can also connect it directly from VLC Player, a very popular open-source video player.

IP camera video streaming is often used for Private Viewing and Public Sharing/Broadcasting. CameraFTP supports both.


2. Comparison of IP camera video streaming technologies


Whether it is for private viewing or public sharing, video streaming within the local network is usually not enough. Users need to view their IP cameras anywhere, anytime. However, RTSP is usually blocked by your router (firewall). To view an IP camera remotely, there are mainly 3 technologies.

  • Directly connect to an IP camera or its RTSP stream from the Internet. The URL will be like:
       http://PUBLIC-IP-ADDRESS_OR_DDNS-NAME:PORT/
    or
       RTSP://PUBLIC-IP-ADDRESS_OR_DDNS-NAME:PORT/

    This method usually requires:
    - A static Public IP address (or DDNS service);
    - Opening certain ports on your router/firewall;
    - Configuring port forwarding to the IP camera. The IP camera also needs to be configured with a static internal IP address.

    This method usually can only support 1 or 2 concurrent connections. It is fine for private viewing, but not for public broadcasting.

  • Cloud relay or re-stream. In this case, your IP camera will automatically connect to (and communicate with) a cloud server. You can then connect to the cloud server, which will relay the video stream from the IP camera. Your camera does not need a static IP address, and no firewall/router configuration is needed since it only uses outbound connection.

    Cloud relay is usually a proprietary feature, i.e. the camera must be pre-configured with a cloud server from the same camera manufacturer. You must trust that the camera manufacturer will not be out of business, and its service is secure and reliable. Cloud relay usually can only support 1 or 2 concurrent connections. Thus it cannot be used for public broadcasting.

    If your camera does not support cloud relay, it is still possible to use some software on a PC in the same local network to enable cloud relay. The software must run continuously. It will connect to the camera's video stream, and also connect to a Cloud server.

    More advanced software & service can support cloud relay with re-stream. In this case, there is only one connection between the camera and the cloud server, but there are many connections between the cloud server and other users. This solution can be used for broadcasting a camera. However, without cloud recording, it cannot support playback.

  • Cloud record and re-stream. You can configure your camera to record footage to a cloud surveillance service (such as CameraFTP) first, then use its camera viewer to view the camera's video stream. This solution has several advantages:

    (1) Supports many concurrent connections. Can be used for broadcasting/publishing IP cameras.
    (2) Not limited by your local network bandwidth. The video will be streamed from CameraFTP server, which has virtually unlimited amount of bandwidth.

3. CameraFTP video streaming solution


CameraFTP currently uses Cloud Record and Re-Stream technology. First, users need to configure their IP cameras / DVRs to continuously record to CameraFTP's secure cloud storage; then they can use CameraFTP's browser-based viewer or mobile viewer app to view the recorded footage. You can have many users/devices viewing a camera at the same time.

CameraFTP supports most IP cameras. You can also use webcam, or smartphone/tablet as a network camera. It is very convenient using your smartphone as an IP camera. You can live stream it from anywhere using mobile Internet connection.

CameraFTP supports publishing cameras/webcams. If you publish a camera and enable searching, then anybody can view or play back the recorded footage. CameraFTP has web browser based viewer app and mobile viewer app for iOS, Android, Windows and Windows Mobile.

You can embed a published camera in your own web page. Thus, you can broadcast your camera from your own website.


4. If the location has no Internet connection, how can I connect my camera to the Internet?


If the location already has Internet connection, then it will be a trivial question. You just connect a network cable, or connect to a Wi-Fi router. For locations with no Internet connection, you can use Mobile data service. There are three options:

  • Use a 4G-capable IP camera and order a mobile data plan from your mobile operator.
    If you can find a right camera, this solution could work out very well. In reality, it may not be the best option: There are few choices for such cameras; they are significantly more expensive; dependent on your location and the camera model, they may not be compatible with your mobile service operator. Finally, each camera will need to be added to your mobile service plan, which increases the mobile service cost and requires more setup time.
  • Use a mobile 4G LTE broadband router and order a mobile data plan from your mobile operator
    You can search online for "mobile 4G broadband router" to find a lot of such devices. Make sure to buy one that is compatible with your mobile service operator. Most mobile 4G broadband routers support wired and wireless Internet connections. You can connect multiple IP cameras to the same router. This way, you have more choices on IP cameras. If you need multiple cameras, this option can save cost on both cameras and mobile data service.
  • Use your smartphone as an IP camera. Your smartphone is already connected to the Internet through your mobile operator.
    You can broadcast or host camera live stream from anywhere. Just install CameraFTP's mobile security camera app.

5. Can 4G connection offer enough bandwidth? How much data will it need and what is the cost?


The bandwidth requirement is usually dependent on your video quality, CODEC and how dynamic the scene is. With a 4G connection, we recommend recording and streaming it at 640x480 or 800x600. You can try 1280x720 or 1920x1080, but set a low bit rate and frame rate.

The mobile data service price is dependent on your mobile operator and your data plan. Video streaming can easily consume a lot of data. It is recommended that you have unlimited mobile data plan; otherwise, avoid using mobile Internet, or don't stream it for a long time. At 512Kbps, a camera can upload over 5GB of data/day.


6. Private streaming, public broadcasting and playback


By default, your cameras on CameraFTP are private. To view the camera, you must log on to cameraftp.com website, or use CameraFTP mobile viewer apps. All viewers support live viewing and playback.

If you published a camera, not only can it be added to CameraFTP's Published Camera Gallery, you can also embed it in your own website / webpage. For more detailed info about publishing, please visit the Publish Support Page.

Users don't need to log in or sign up to view published cameras. They can simply visit the Published Camera Gallery. They can also download CameraFTP Viewer APP. A CameraFTP account is not required to view published cameras. When embedding a camera in your own web page, you can customize the camera size to fit in your web page; you can also configure it to support playback and automatically start playing.


7. Embed or stream an IP camera from your own web page


One advantage of CameraFTP's live streaming service is you can embed a published camera in your own web page.