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Network camera installation made easier with DHCP

Network camera installation made easier with DHCP

Installation of cameras, especially in large projects, can be a time-consuming proposition, and simplifying the process can be beneficial to installers. Against this backdrop, Arecont Vision recently announced that all cameras manufactured after October 20 now come with DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) enabled, instead of a static IP address.

“DHCP is a commonly used, standards-based protocol used on IP networks. With DHCP turned on, the camera requests the network router (enabled by the customer to act as a DHCP server) for an IP address to be assigned. When DHCP is not enabled, a default IP address set by the manufacturer at the factory is used. The installer will change that to a static (unchanging/fixed) IP address that conforms to their network,” said Jeff Whitney, VP of Marketing at Arecont Vision. “Arecont Vision cameras now leave our factory in Los Angeles, California with DHCP enabled.”

According to him, this decision was to facilitate installers who have become more and more network savvy.

“When Arecont Vision introduced the first megapixel network camera in 2004 to the industry, security installers, dealers, and integrators were not as sophisticated as they are today. They understood legacy coax cable-based analog networks, NVRs and DVRs, and analog cameras. IP networking, although already popular and common across the IT world, was an unknown. Today, the security installer, dealer, and integrator who installs IP-based video surveillance systems is much more sophisticated. They understand IP networking, and are looking for ways to make installation ever easier and faster,” Whitney said. “With DHCP turned on by default, this eliminates the need for the installer to log into the camera and change the default user ID assigned at the factory as a time-saving effort. For one camera, this would be a negligible amount of time, but for dozens, hundreds, or thousands of cameras that many of our customers have, this can be a major savings.”

According to Whitney, in the event of a DHCP server not being assigned by the customer, the camera uses the default IP address assigned at the factory. The installer can then use either the AV IP Utility software or the built-in camera web browser to change the default address to one that conforms to the customer environment as a static IP address.

Whitney stressed that DHCP plays a bigger role in optimizing network usage rather than protecting against cyber threats. “DHCP ensures that all devices on the network are dynamically assigned properly distributed addresses and other configuration parameters. This helps ensure the best use of the network, without as much intervention,” he said. “It is not directly related to network security, but it does standardize and optimize the use of the network.”

According to him, Arecont Vision takes cybersecurity very seriously. “Our engineers instituted 16-digit ASCII character passwords quite some time ago to increase security to limit unauthorized access to our cameras. We added this out of the box for new cameras we ship, and as firmware updates for older cameras that were already installed around the world. We also developed best practices guides, which we provide to customers and through Arecont Vision University and its integrator CPCP certification training program,” he said.

Product Adopted:
Network Cameras

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