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Yesterday evening someone asked me to help with his IP camera. He has an Hikvision DS-2CD2132F-I (about € 300,- at that time)

I took the car and drove to the camera location. After a few minutes I noticed that it was probably ‘Reset back to Factory Defaults’ and for some reason it is then using a Static IP (NO DHCP!). I found the IP it was using via the Hikvision Tool (some sort of Camera Finder)

I set it back to DHCP, configured all the settings and wanted to connect it to Hikvision Cloud (sort of DDNS, named HIDDNS, located at: http://www.hik-online.com), so you can always connect to the camera even if your provider IP address changes.
After about 1 hour trying, I found this message, saying that “..The HiDDNS web portal will be discontinued on Dec. 30, 2016 … As of Feb. 16, 2017, no new devices can be registered using the current HiDDNS
platform..

Great,. now what? Well, the successor is: Hik-Connect. Advice is to “Upgrade device to proper firmware that supports Hik-Connect

I ran into the following troubles and think it might be a reason why you shouldn’t buy an Hikvision Camera:

  • First, they discontinued/killed their Cloud platform: HiDDNS because too many people were using it. Build a new one: Hik-Connect. They let their customers migrate/update firmware to access it.
  • But to upgrade to the latest firmware (I was on 5.4.0 and needed to go to 5.4.5), a two-step upgrade was needed according to Hikvision, otherwise the device might be damaged and not responding (first to 5.4.41_170312 and then to 5.4.5_170123)
  • Uploading new firmware to the device can only be done after downloading and installing the Browser plugin (which is also needed for viewing video)
  • The web interface is so extremely illogical! (I have 10+ years experience in IP cams but needed to exactly follow Youtube tutorials to set daylight mode, motion detection, automatic recording to work)
  • HTTPS is terribly slow! (looks like the CPU in the device is just not powerful)
  • Web interface is literally translated from English to Dutch and I couldn’t find an easy way to set it back to English, it probably takes it from Browser Language. I could hardly understand the parameters and settings because the translations total crap!
  • No ‘reset button’ for factory/password reset. Instead you need to download -another- tools (SADM) and export a file, send it to Hikvision,.. wait for response…
  • No or hard to find API documentation. I just want to get a static picture of the current view of the camera and needed