Best approach for a surveillance camera?

Hi there. I have just acquired an IP surveillance camera and would like to have your opinion on the best approach to it.

I have:

  • desktop computer with Ethernet (Green zone) and Wifi, Wifi is currently not used
  • notebook running IPFire (Green, Blue and Red)
  • central modem/router (provided by ISP, gives me Internet access, Red zone)
  • three old Wifi routers, one running OpenWRT

The camera has both Wifi and an Ethernet port so I can choose between communicating with it over Wifi directly or leaving one of the routers close to it connected by cable, making the Wifi bridge between the camera and my computer.

So all my choices include:

  • Just using the own camera’s pure Wifi signal.
  • Having the camera connect to my desktop through IPFire.
  • Having the camera connect to my desktop only through one of the routers, no IPFire.
  • Having the camera connect to my desktop through a Wifi router and through IPFire, for an overdose of paranoia.

There is still one more aspect to consider. The camera can broadcast data to a central server that will forward the data to my cell phone (Blue zone). I work at home and leave the house very rarely, but when I do, I will want to have remote access to the camera. I’m not alone in the house, but I want the remote access. However, I just want to enable that when I do go out, because my ISP imposes a monthly quota on data use. So I don’t want to leave the camera broadcasting to the Red zone 24x7. I will use the local network (Green or Blue?) all the time, just enabling remote Internet access to the camera when I go out.

Also: I have an extra USB network adapter in case I need an extra network interface on either computer.

I kindly ask your opinion on the best approach in terms of security and convenience.

Thank you for reading.

I would separate the camera in a different network from other sensitive components. Take one of your other routers (not ipfire) and make the connection to your Phone for surveillance from the distance.

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I was thinking about putting it in the orange zone. I’m still not sure that is the correct option though.

I think the orange zone is definitely the right place for IOT items like a surveillance camera.

I have my smart thermostat and my TV connections in my orange zone.

You will need to create your own dhcp server for the orange zone if you want or need to provide dynamic ip addresses. I did that with a RPi running Arch Linux and it works fine with no problems.
In my case, the TV also gave the option to act as a dhcp server for the network, so I could have used that, but I disabled that as I want to be in control of the main software services in all the zones on my network.

Another alternative is to set fixed ip addresses in all the items going in the orange zone, as long as they give you the ability to do that.

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