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I was in the process of setting up my IP camera port forwarding so I can view them remotely, but to my surprise, it's already working somewhat, but only if I am on a remote/external wifi, not on a non-wifi network such as my iphone data plan. How is this even possible!??

Here's my set up:

  • A Google Wifi is hardwired to my u-verse router. u-verse wifi is off so GWF is the exclusive wifi that my IP cams are connected to at home
  • I was able to view the cameras when I was at the home WIFI, but not when I am on data (as expected), so I proceeded to set up remote access/port forwarding
  • Did the static IP on both cameras GUI
  • Set up DHCP IP reservations and port forwarding on my GWI GUI(for only one of the cameras, just to ensure the first one would work)
  • Still couldn't see my camera on my iphone when it's on data plan. Was told by Google support that I would also need to port forward my GWF within the u-verse router, which I haven't done, but will do later tonight. So my cameras should still be protected, right?
  • To my surprise, when I am at work, thus using a different, external, and remote Wifi, I could actually see BOTH cameras. If I get off the work wifi, for example, using the phone's data network, I couldn't see the cameras (as I would expect until I complete step 5).

So how is this even possible? It's as if it's treating my work's wifi the same as my home wifi, which of course is impossible. The only thing that would give it away is the static IP and DHCP IP reservations, but why does it only work on wifi but not on data? Can someone please explain to me? Is there a security issue with my network? Thanks!

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It sounds as though the client application you are using on your phone is only allowing connections over WiFi and not via 3G. Video feeds do use quite a bit of data relative to other phone applications. This may be something you can configure within the app to allow the video feed to work via 3G.

Many phone applications treat their WiFi connections and the telcom network connections very differently in many ways. Not knowing more about your situation I would verify the app's settings and also it's support for streaming video over 3G.

On the security side: When you open this to the Internet you have given the world attack surface on your network. There are numerous bugs and security issues with typical remote cameras. Do be aware that other people may one day be able to access this as well. Likewise, do consider that they may also use this device to pivot into other devices on your network.

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