What software do I need for my IP Camera?
Starting with a question- what software do you (probably) already have? Correct- some flavour of Microsoft Windows, and Internet Explorer. That means that for like 90% of IP Camera, you already have MOST of what you’ll need.
Unfortunately for linux or BSD or other OS-users (AIX?), it’s gonna tough for you to use an IP Camera unless you’re particularly handy and clever. Even in Windows, its not always easy.
The main challenge is the video content, and how to display it. I see ACTIVE-X as the most common transport, which is both good and bad. The bad news- you probably don’t already have a compatible copy of Active-X on your system, which means you have to load it. Luckily you’ll probably get prompted to load it (if not you may have to fiddle with IE Security settings).
The other problem is, many suppliers offer unsigned-copies of Active-X, which likely means even MORE fiddling with security settings to get it loaded. In IE these settings are found in the CUSTOM ZONE menus. Look for the radio buttons that allow prompting for download of Active-X in various states (ie, unsigned).
Life can be a bit simpler if you need less functionality, and you elect another transport like server push, or VLC. Those may also need plug-in installs, but they can be less-daunting than Active-X.
If you’re actually INSTALLING the camera, you may also need the software from the camera seller, provided on CD, DVD, or downloaded from their site. It seems that unlike modern routers, you can’t just plug the camera into a CAT-V cable, type 192.168.1.N into a browser, and voila there it is! Loftek and others provide *discovery software* that sort of locates the camera, and leads you through some steps to do preliminary configuration. I believe much of this will soon vanish- early routers had this same issue, but quickly evolved past it. But for now you may need to install and run this from the Camera’s CD or website.
There are various other utilities and software you might need such as DDNS-disable, net-config, etc. These should be described on the camera webpage, or in the manual.
Once you’re set up and stable, you won’t need to worry about all of this again unless your settings go haywire. Pray that doesn’t happen!