CameraFTP Service

How to Get Started

Assuming you already have a network camera that supports FTP and you have a broadband Internet connection, then it is very easy to setup CameraFTP service for offsite storage, remote playback and real-time monitoring. If you don't have a security camera, you can still use our WebCam FTP Service to monitor your home, your kids, your old parents or your pets.

Step 1: Order a network camera(s), or download WebCam FTP Service or Mobile Security Camera

So the first step is to order a network camera that supports FTP. You can order a network security camera for only $50-$100. Almost all network cameras support FTP. For more information about which FTP camera to choose, please visit Supported Cameras.

If you don't want to buy a security camera, you can use a webcam, a smartphone or a tablet as a security camera by installing our software.

Step 2: Make sure you have a high speed Internet connection.

Make sure you have a high-speed Internet connection. Because cameras automatically upload images to our FTP server, they can use a lot of upload bandwidth. The required bandwidth is dependent on your image size, frame rate and number of cameras.

Please note broadband connections such as ADSL and Cable Modem are asymmetric. Even though the download speed is very fast, the upload speed could be much slower. In general, the available upload bandwidth should be at least 25% more than the bandwidth required by your cameras.

Step 3: Order CameraFTP service and configure your network camera(s)

Order CameraFTP service or sign up for 3-day free trial. After you have signed up a CameraFTP account, you can configure your cameras to upload images to the CameraFTP server.

Most network cameras have a web browser-based configuration website. Open a web browser and visit the configuration website, then log on using your Camera’s username and password (Note: it is not the same as your CameraFTP username / password), you can then make changes to your camera configurations.

Different cameras have different configuration websites. Most of times, it is not hard to figure it out yourself. In general, you just need to configure the following parameters:

FTP Server:
Port number: 21
Username: Your CameraFTP account username
Password: Your CameraFTP account password
FTP Mode: Passive
Folder or directory name: Use any meaningful name, such as: FrontDoor or Backyard

Other than the above parameters, usually you also need to configure the following parameters:
(1) Picture Resolution
(2) Frame Rate: ( X images per second or 1 image per Y second )

For most users, 320x240 probably is a good picture resolution. It can help minimize the upload bandwidth requirement, esp. if you have more than 2 cameras. The cost is also significantly lower than choosing larger image sizes. For frame rate, usually you can choose 1 image per second or 1 image per 2 seconds. To lower the cost more, you can set it to 1 image per 5 seconds.

If you need better quality pictures, you can choose 640x480 or 800x600. The picture quality tends to be much better at this resolution. Please click here for an example.

In certain special cases, if you need the picture quality to be even better, you can choose 1280x960. Please note each picture file size can be 16 times larger than a 320x240 picture. This requires a lot more upload bandwidth and can significantly increase your cost.

Motion Detection

Many cameras now support Motion Detection. If your camera supports motion detection, it is recommended to turn it on. Motion detection can significantly reduce storage usage and bandwidth usage. Usually you can configure it from your camera’s configuration website. Many cameras also allow you to configure a “threshold” for motion detection. This helps filter certain “fake motions” (for example, minor scene changes caused by wind, light or birds, etc.)

Step 4: Test your setup.

Assuming your configuration is correct, your camera should be uploading images to CameraFTP site now. Log on website, you should see zip files in your camera folder after a couple minutes. (Note images are being uploaded every few seconds, however, CameraFTP server may cache the images for a couple minutes before a zip file is saved in the camera folder.)