Are you wondering how to connect a single IP camera to the network using a non-PoE switch or a router? Well, that’s what will discuss in this article. It’s super easy and takes just a few minutes.
The wiring guide below shows how to wire an IP camera to a router or a non-PoE switch. The diagram is universal and can be applied to any IP camera regardless of the manufacturer or brand (Hikvision, Dahua, Axis, Uniview, etc).
Any camera that needs to be connected without the PoE feature needs to be powered with a 12V DC power supply. While via PoE you can power up and transmit the data via the same Ethernet cable, on non-PoE connections you need to run separate cables for the power and the data.
How to connect an IP camera to a router or non-PoE switch?
As shown on the diagram, the IP camera is powered up via the DC 12V power supply and then it’s plugged in at the back of the non-PoE switch via an Ethernet cable. Make sure you connect the camera on the regular ports of the switch and not in the WAN ports. Usually, the regular ports are labeled as such and grouped together.
The switch is connected to the router which brings the devices on the network and provides internet. On the same non-PoE switch, you can connect a computer/laptop or an NVR. If you have an NVR, it must be connected to the same switch or network.
After that, you can add the camera to the NVR via its local menu. If the camera and the NVR are on different networks, then these two devices cannot “see” each other. So, they must be plugged in on the same LAN.
If you are installing more than one IP camera, only connect and configure one camera at a time. Do not plug in all cameras at once. Once you get one camera configured, then you can plug in the next one for configuration and so on. Sometimes when you plug all the cameras at the same time, you may end up having IP conflicts issues.
Additionally, you may not even need an NVR if you plan to use the camera as a standalone. In this case, you can access the camera via the browser on your computer and perform all the necessary actions such as live view, playback, adjust settings, etc. You need to install a microSD card on the camera if you want to record the footage.
Common questions when connecting an IP camera to a non-PoE switch
Why do I have to power up the IP camera?
Because that’s a regular non-PoE switch which means the switch cannot power up the camera via ethernet cable. There are two factors to consider, the camera must support the PoE feature and the switch must provide PoE as well. Once both sides support PoE, then you can power up and transmit the data via the same cable.
How to find the IP address of the camera connected to a non-PoE switch?
Some IP cameras have their IP address noted on the box. If not, then you can install the IP finder tool on the laptop or computer (needs to be on the same network) and just scan the network. The tool will list the IP address of the camera and provide you with the options to modify it.
Each manufacturer comes with its own IP camera scanner. For example, Hikvision and their OEMs use the SADP tool to locate the IP address of the camera. Dahua uses Config Tool. For more information, check out this article: How to Find the IP Address of Your Security Camera.
Can I connect the laptop/computer via WiFi?
You can, as long as the computer or laptop are connected to the same network as the IP camera or the NVR. So, the WiFi coverage must be coming from the same router where the camera is getting the internet. Otherwise, the camera and the computer won’t be able to see each other and the camera’s IP address won’t show on the IP address finder tool.
How many cameras can I connect to this switch?
Technically you connect as many IP cameras as the switch allows. Let’s say you got a 4 port switch, then you can connect 4 cameras. If you have 8 ports, you can add 8 cameras and so on.
If you’re using an NVR, make sure the NVR has enough ports to accommodate all your IP cameras. NVRs come in 4, 8, 16, 32, and more ports.
How long can the run be when using an IP camera on a non-PoE switch?
Usually, it’s recommended to keep the run less than 120 feet. Longer than that, you may have problems with the connection, you may see drops and the camera may go off and on in a loop mode. If you need a longer run, make sure to use a repeater or another switch after 100-120 feet.
Another thing to consider is the quality of your cat5e or cat6 cable. Always go for quality cables that are properly rated. If installed outdoors, ensure the cable is outdoor rated.