Configuring Wanscam IP Cameras Without Wanscam’s Software

The Problem

If you want to set up Wanscam cameras without using a Windows PC (eg. on a Mac, Linux machine, or in iOS or Android) or without using Wanscam software you might have some problems.  Their software may or may not be available for your platform (eg. currently the “OSX” software is actually their iOS app), or some of the necessary software (eg. IP scanner) may not be available for your platform.  So here’s a how-to:

The Solution

Here’s a basic overview of what you’ll be doing:  Connect the cameras one at a time via an ethernet cable to the same network as your device is on, find the camera’s IP address, log in to the camera using the default port (99 in most cases), and change settings.

The first, and most common, problem is finding the camera IP.  Supposedly these cameras come from factory configured to accept DHCP IP assignments, but I didn’t find that to be the case in one of my 2 cameras.  That caused a problem (more on that later).

The simplest way to find the IP is to log in to your router and check what IPs are connected.  Different routers have this information in different locations, but most place it under ARP or DHCP or LAN connections.  Remember, though, that if you don’t see it under DHCP it may be configured with a set IP address.  Hopefully, though, you can find it listed there.

The camera’s both had easily identifiable hostname (something like IPCam-cameraID).   So that made it easy to figure out which IP was for the camera.  If you don’t see that, you can try connecting to one IP after another (starting with the highest-numbered IP as that’s often the most recently assigned IP) at port 99.  To do that, in the browser of your choice type in the IP that you see there followed by a colon and 99 (for port 99), eg.

Another way to find what’s connected on your network in OSX or Linux/*nix, without logging in to the router, is to open terminal and issue these commands:

ifconfig | grep broadcast

ping addressListedAsBroadcastFromAboveCommand

arp -a 

That should give you a list of IPs that are active.  Another option, if you have nmap installed (you can download it for all major operating systems) is to issue this command (assuming your local network is set up to use 192.168.2.x – if not sure you can check by checking your computer’s assigned IP address):

nMap -sP

If you have Windows you could alternatively use the free network scanner at  In iOS/Android there are a number of network scanners in the app stores that should work as well.

One problem with this is if you have a camera with a preconfigured IP address.  In my case, my network is set up on the 192.168.2.x subnet, but the IP address of the camera was (found via my router’s list of active connections, not the DHCP table which had no listing, obviously).  Depending on how your router is configured you may or may not be able to reach it.  If not, you’re either going to have to reconfigure your router to use the same subnet, or connect the camera and computer to a temporary router using the subnet of the IP camera.   That’s what I chose to do, using an old WRT54G I had lying around.

Either way, once you get the IP everything else is fairly straight-forward.  Go to the address at port 99 (eg. in your browser.  Log in with the default username and password, listed on the card or sticker on your camera (in both cases with mine the default was admin:no password).  For iOS or OS X Safari use the Chrome login.  Then click the setup button (looks like a hammer and wrench crossed).   The key settings you’ll want are Basic Networking and Wireless Lan settings.

Under Basic Networking make sure Obtain IP from DHCP Server is checked.  You can also change the port to 80 if you don’t want to have to type :99 at the end of the address every time.  Click submit.

Under Wireless LAN click Scan if you want to set it up with a wireless connection.  After a few seconds it should find your wireless network.  Select it and it should fill in most of the settings below, except for the Share Key.  This is the password for your wireless network.  Type it in and click Submit.

If you configured wireless networking you can now disconnect the network cable.  Either way you should now cycle power on the camera to get it to retrieve a new lease from your router/DHCP server.

You may also want to log in to your router/DHCP server and assign a static IP to the camera(s).  This way, you never have to worry about going through these steps again.  See your router’s manual for information on assigning static IPs.