P2P setup and free cloud storage

Discussion in 'Networking' started by BiigRich, Sep 13, 2019 at 1:25 PM.

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  1. BiigRich

    BiigRich Young grasshopper

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    I installed a camera for maintenance reasons in my crawlspace and found out I can be anywhere, even miles away and still view my crawlspace. I was impressed but confused and concerned. I thought it was only accessible from my personal wifi but I guess not.

    If I'm in a town 20 miles away and open Amcrest View Pro on my smartphone, how does it find my camera?

    I'm not connected to a local wifi hotspot so the only way I can imagine is that it connects using cellular. Is that correct? The profile on my smartphone says the connection is P2P. Is this safe and secure since it was connected to my phone using the QR code I believe.

    Since then I bought 4 more cameras for surveillance (two Amcrest IP2M-841's and two IP3M- 943's). Can, should, I connect them all to my smartphone using P2P? I already can access them using my local wifi from the phone or my PC.

    Also, is it a reasonable idea to connect all the camera's outputs to free cloud storage like say, Google Drive or something like that?

    I like technology but I'm quite frugal as well. I would like to avoid paying for off site storage.

    This is not Fort Knox but if someone broke into my house and smashed the cameras I would like to have some videos of them that they could not reach.
     
  2. catcamstar

    catcamstar Getting comfortable

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    Define "reasonable idea". Everything is reasonable, without any doubt, but the question is: which level of "security/privacy/..." do you prefer?

    P2P is some kind of "VPN" from your camera to some (chinese?) cloud service. If you don't mind that these guys can (as easily as you can) watch your feeds, see your alarms, when you come home etc.. all is ok. But one out of three of your cams are doing that, you don't have full visibility anyhow.

    I always advice to deploy your "own" VPN environment, so ONLY YOU can view your feeds, on your wifi AND on 4g/hotspot whatever. Have a look at this: VPN Primer for Noobs

    Then you don't have to mind about (network) security and privacy at all.

    Hope this helps!
    CC
     
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  3. BiigRich

    BiigRich Young grasshopper

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    Wow, I didn't think that P2P was going through some foreign cloud, I thought it was just a network communications protocol. I doubt that Amcrest is giving me free cloud service without me even signing up for it or paying anything.

    As far as "reasonable idea". Since I have nothing to hide but my exact location, I guess I mean relatively untraceable. I know that technically, nothing is untraceable, so I just want to keep the low level thieves from knowing what's in the house they want to rob. If some strange dude in California can see me watching TV in my shorts I wouldn't like it but I would feel no threat either.

    So, reasonable for me is that you can't "case my house" for robbery using the video I provide. Noting that I don't care if you can see into my house as long as you don't know where the house is.
     
  4. jack7

    jack7 Young grasshopper

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    Amcrest P2P is an easy way to set up a connection between an Amcrest camera/NVR and a remote Amcrest device. The remote Amcrest P2P server used does not receive video data and resend it to a phone.

    Regarding Amcrest P2P, Amcrest says:
    "Amcrest Cameras are set by default to open connections to the Amcrest View P2P Portal (hosted by Amazon AWS in the US). All connections and data are secured using HTTPS and SSL encryption. Amcrest is an independently owned and operated United States company with all its shareholders being US citizens."

    If desired, P2P can be disabled in the camera using the Web UI.
     
  5. BiigRich

    BiigRich Young grasshopper

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    Jack7 said: "Amcrest P2P is an easy way to set up a connection between an Amcrest camera/NVR and a remote Amcrest device.
    Amcrest P2P is an easy way to set up a connection between an Amcrest camera/NVR and a remote Amcrest device. The remote Amcrest P2P server used does not receive video data and resend it to a phone."

    Oh, so it won't stream video via P2P but I can see what the camera sees and move/rotate the view like I do now with my first installed "Crawlspace" camera.

    I assume that means that if I want to set an indoor camera to start recording video when it senses motion that I need to use my home LAN and save the video to a cloud as if the cloud storage were a lettered drive on my PC. Is that correct?
     
  6. catcamstar

    catcamstar Getting comfortable

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    Why go through all that hassle (relying on 3rd party "P2P" services and "cloud storage"), if you can do all that on your own? If your cam has an SD card, or, if you have an NVR, a simple OpenVPN connection from your mobile to your home network gives you all that, without any security nor privacy concern... See link in my post above for more information.

    But feel free to ignore our best practices and guidances: use P2P, or even port forward, as you wish. But don't come complain when your cams go rogue, get hacked and become inaccessible (or part of botnets).

    Good luck!
    CC
     
  7. BiigRich

    BiigRich Young grasshopper

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    I may have the wrong idea but I really don't have any video content to 'hide' so there are no privacy issues for me. I totally believe that off site (well outside of the home in my case) is the ONLY answer.

    If someone did "bad things" to my home, like rob it or some malicious mischief, I want the recording to be off site. Otherwise the whole reason for having non-hosted surveillance is moot. Any moron could just remove the SD card, or steal the camera and/or NVR box and there goes any hope of knowing what the heck happened or who was involved.

    By "non-hosted surveillance", I mean not monitored by ADT or some other paid company.

    So, I think cloud storage has got to be the preferred "best practice" that you refer to.

    catcamstar, would you put a pointer to where it says that SD Cards or NVR is more secure than off site?

    I understand the scare factors of the cameras being hacked and being controlled by 'bots' but I think you still have to think of outside storage. I should, and probably will, upgrade to a router with integrated VPN, but I believe the HTTPS and SSL encryption backed by strong passwords should be acceptable "best practice".

    I'm still a novice and a beginner when it comes to surveillance cameras and all that goes along with them and the learning curve.
     
  8. jack7

    jack7 Young grasshopper

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    I understand that you want to store motion detection(MD) files offsite immediately when the motion event occurs. Here are two methods to consider. What might work for you would require some research and testing.
    1. Your Amcrest camera can be set up to send MD files directly to paid Amcrest Cloud service.
    2. Your Amcrest camera can be set up to send snapshots or MD files using FTP directly to a paid offsite FTP server service, or possibly to your own offsite PC with free Filezilla FTP server.
    There is probably a way to FTP to Google Cloud but I suspect you would be paying for it.
    With five Wifi(?) cameras, you will need to consider wifi usage and uptime, and also your ISP upload bandwidth for the data volume being sent offsite.
    I suppose if the bad guy first cuts power and internet cable supply to your house, not much would be recorded in any case.

    Another thing to think about is to attach a NVR to your LAN with an ethernet cable. Then put the NVR in a hidden or locked place somewhere in your house. An Amcrest NV4108-ES NVR and a 4TB HD would cost around $200 at Amazon. You may require less than 4TB.

    Hope there's some useful information above...
     
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  9. BiigRich

    BiigRich Young grasshopper

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    Thanks Jack7,

    Yes, I have 5 cameras, all wifi. Only 4 are for surveillance.

    I have pondered the idea of the hidden hard-wired NVR so that remains a strong possibility. The biggest drawback is hard work to get power and network cable to the hidden location. :secret:

    One of my cameras is positioned to "see" the area of my house where power and cable enter the building from underground. So, theoretically, the bad guy would already be recorded if he were to cut the cable or power. I'm not rich so my home would not draw super sophisticated thieves. If he/she/they wear masks then the only thing I get to do is call 911 if/when I get a smartphone alert.

    My cameras are positioned to be out of reach unless the perpetrator brings a ladder. Except for the one camera in my crawlspace which I only use for maintenance of the equipment down there. Again, by the time the bad guy were to climb the ladder, he should be recorded on disk so I'll know what kind of mask he's wearing.

    The other possibility is that one of my neighbors calls the cops because someone is walking around close to my house wearing a ski mask. :lol:

    I've been out of the tech world for a while now and I need to revisit offsite storage and FTP sites, etc. but thanks for the suggestion.

    I appreciate the input here and because of that, I should be able to come up with a solution that works.

    Thanks again all.
     
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