BI with ATT 4g LTE Hotspot limited to 10 devices

TommyRay

n3wb
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
United States
Hey everyone,
I'm new to the forum and was looking for some advise on specking out a video surveillance system for my home. I live in a very secluded area and have had a prowler coming around at night for a couple months now and I've got to catch this piece of crap before he robs me. I was looking at a Lorex 8 camera, 4k system with color night vision, but I just returned 4 Lorex wifi cameras after a few days of headaches and frustration trying to keep them working so I'm hesitant to go with a preconfigured system and be stuck with it. I'd also like to be able to add additional cameras on demand without being stuck with one type of camera or brand.

Here's where I'm at:

I've decided to go with a PC based system and will most likely be using Blue Iris to manage it but I'm unsure about the limited devices and POE switch setup. I have been doing some reading on this but have yet to find any real clear illustrations or documentation on the process.

My unusual situation.

My Internet is ATT 4G LTE and I'm using a ZTE Velocity hotspot that won't allow a direct tether to my PC. It also only allows 10 connected devices, but I believe I may have found a way around that issue by using a software called Connectify, which apparently, by my understanding, takes over the IP provisioning and makes the ISP see everything as one device.

Will Blue Iris handle this situation with the limited connections allowed on my hotspot rather than using a third party software>

My solution. Will it work?

I had an idea that I may be able to connect to the internet using my PC and manage the connection using Connectify from there. Connectify would then push that connection out through ethernet cable to a wifi router with non-POE ethernet ports. At this point I could run ethernet cable to a couple points around my property and use POE switches from those points to branch off to my cameras.

Am I correctly understanding POE switch configuration and layouts?

Would anyone be able to provide any feedback on this scenario before I waste a lot of time and money on something that could be a headache or just not work?

Any advise or tips on the best way to go about this would really be appreciated.
 

SouthernYankee

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
3,523
Reaction score
2,380
Location
Houston Tx
Welcome to the forum.

Please read the cliff notes and other items in the wiki. The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page.

Read How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) in the wiki also.

Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras or ICPT Night eye cameras (https://store.ipcamtalk.com/) if you need good low light cameras.

Do not use wifi cameras.

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan

You should be using a home router and POE switches, the cameras should not be directly visible to the internet ( a major security problem). The only address visible to the internet is the BI address. Not sure about ATT, but a lot of wireless LTE systems do not expose or use an IP4 internet address, or allow for any inbound traffic. Search the forum for different solutions.
 

aristobrat

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
2,867
Reaction score
2,875
At this point I could run ethernet cable to a couple points around my property and use POE switches from those points to branch off to my cameras.
Nothing wrong with that, but it's more common to see all cameras home-run back to a central PoE switch. Depending on your physical layout, your way may make more sense.

If you can home-run all of your cameras back to a central PoE switch, then you can simply plug your Blue Iris PC into the same PoE switch. If you can't home-run everything, then your plan above should work. Either way, you should have no problems setting up a stand-alone Blue Iris install that has no Internet access... it should work fine (other than stuff that requires Internet access, like remote connectivity and the ability to send out alerts).

To get your BI system on the Internet ,if your BI PC has a WiFi card, I think then all you'd have to do is have the BI PC use WiFi to connect to your HotSpot. Only BI needs Internet access -- your cameras do not. But as @SouthernYankee mentioned, if the hotspot (or AT&T) don't allow incoming connections, you wouldn't be able to remotely manage your system (and push alerts w/ pictures may not work).
 
Last edited:

TonyR

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
5,535
Reaction score
5,745
Location
Alabama
My AT&T's 4G/LTE mobile hotspot is set up with carrier-grade NAT, so no public IP is available, meaning unless you employ ngrok or Hamachi, you cannot remote in via "normal" methods (the BI app, PC with browser and UI3).

However, I have no problem with my BI server sending out push notifications, SMS text or e-mail to my BI app or to my iPhone.
 

davej

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
203
Reaction score
39
[...]My Internet is ATT 4G LTE and I'm using a ZTE Velocity hotspot that won't allow a direct tether to my PC. It also only allows 10 connected devices...
Okay, but your pc will connect to this hotspot thing via wifi, right? And your pc also has an ethernet port, right? So you can run a cable from that port to a POE switch. Only the pc itself connects to the hotspot thing.
 

TommyRay

n3wb
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
United States
Thanks for the feedback and direction everyone. It's helped me to get a little more focus in my head to better deal with this setup.


@SouthernYankee, it's a good thing you mentioned not to use WiFi cameras, as that's what I was planning to do for one location. I guess I'll be hanging a wire drop across the road instead.

As far as the planning goes, I've been planning till my head's spinning but the resources in the wiki will be a big help. There's just a lot of bases to cover here and most of it's fairly new to me.

@aristobrat, that's what I was needing hear, that I was at least on the right path. I'd thought about bringing everything back to one hub, but my plans are to eventually cover the perimeter of a half acre piece of property. I may just reconsider doing direct drops as I do like the idea of eliminating those switches and cable is fairly cheap.

@TonyR, I can't say how glad I was to hear from someone who could give some insight into dealing with this hotspot. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but hey, at least I know now. I looked into setting up Hamachi and I think that's the way I'll be going once I get this system setup. I'd just feel a lot better if I could look in whenever I choose as I have no neighbors and this creep has been coming out of the woods on me in the middle of the night.

Thanks again everyone!
 

TommyRay

n3wb
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
United States
Okay, but your pc will connect to this hotspot thing via wifi, right? And your pc also has an ethernet port, right? So you can run a cable from that port to a POE switch. Only the pc itself connects to the hotspot thing.
Yeah that's how it would all be connected but I just thought that with each camera having a different IP that the router would consider each one as a different device, but I'm assuming that maybe BI would solve this issue itself. The Wireless Lorex cameras I had initially set up each showed as a device on the router and it's only provisioned for 10 devices.
 

TommyRay

n3wb
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
United States
Welcome to the forum.

Please read the cliff notes and other items in the wiki. The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page.

Read How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) in the wiki also.

Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras or ICPT Night eye cameras (https://store.ipcamtalk.com/) if you need good low light cameras.

Do not use wifi cameras.

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan

You should be using a home router and POE switches, the cameras should not be directly visible to the internet ( a major security problem). The only address visible to the internet is the BI address. Not sure about ATT, but a lot of wireless LTE systems do not expose or use an IP4 internet address, or allow for any inbound traffic. Search the forum for different solutions.
@SouthernYankee Would you mind giving me a general overview or point me towards some literature to better understand the vulnerabilities of WiFi cameras, and any ways one might secure them. I read a case study on the LTS website where they were used at a storage facility in conjunction with a hardwired system.

The reason I'm asking is because I'd eventually like the ability to place temporary, battery powered, WiFI cameras in the woods around my property to determine which way this trespasser is coming in on me.

Is the vulnerability related to the web accessibility, locally or both? Can they be isolated within the BI system to only provide local access?
 

aristobrat

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
2,867
Reaction score
2,875
IMO, WiFi cameras aren't necessarily more insecure than wired cameras. The challenge can be getting a reliable camera feed across a WiFi network. There are a lot of "location specific" variables that play into that. I'd imagine you don't have a lot of competing WIFi signals from close neighbors, so that's a plus for you. Doesn't sound like you have a lot of other WiFi devices trying to use the network, so that's another plus.

For a temporary camera in the woods, I'd probably give WIFI a try. For any permanently mounted camera I could get an Ethernet cable to, I would not use WiFi.

I haven't paid close attention to this thread, but you might find some useful info in it:
Wirefree - Solar Solutions
 

jaydeel

BIT Beta Team
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Messages
238
Reaction score
174
Location
SF Bay Area
The challenge can be getting a reliable camera feed across a WiFi network
This is my experience exactly!

Before I ran wire, I was running 5 cameras using only WiFi. This would work ‘fine’ for weeks at a time, until it didn’t. Randomly 1-2 cams would start acting up (droping offline and sometimes back online). Reeatablishing connection was a headache; sometimes power cycling would work, but often not...

I finally had enough. When I added 4 new starlights I also wired all but 1 one of my wifi cams. That lone, hard-to-wire outdoor WiFi cam was the one that used to cause me the most grief; now it is rock solid.

Tip: If you want to get some real gratification, I recommend downloading bp2008’s <pingtracer> utility now and run it on your WiFi connected cameras before you wire them, then after!
 
Last edited:

davej

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
203
Reaction score
39
IMO, WiFi cameras aren't necessarily more insecure than wired cameras. The challenge can be getting a reliable camera feed across a WiFi network.
Actually they are less secure, but unless your neighborhood kids are hackers this won't be your main problem.
 

SouthernYankee

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
3,523
Reaction score
2,380
Location
Houston Tx
if your cameras are for true security and you have assets that need to be protected, you need reliability. Blocking or jamming wifi is really not that hard. Wifi has a lot of interference, for outside sources, wireless phones, alarm system, microwaves, other wifi users, youtube, chromecast, roku... The problem with wifi is it is not reliable. It does have some security risk but who cares about your videos.

There are other technologies that can me used for wireless distance communication. search the forum, they have been discussed before.

Your first big problem is to get the hotspot to allow you to remote access the NVR/BI/Cameras with security.
 
Top