In this post I’m going to walk through the process of setting up the Axis M1011-W wireless IP camera.
The M1011-W is the cheapest wireless model in the M10 camera series. This model is nearly identical to the M1031-W which I reviewed last year except it doesn’t include a light, speaker, or microphone.
If you don’t need those features you can save about $100 and buy the M1011-W instead.
Here’s what you get with the camera.
- AC adapter
- Standard and clamp mount bases
- Mounting screws
- Drywall anchors
- Cable ties
- Surveillance in use sticker
Initial Network Connection
To get started with the setup I plugged in the AC adapter and connected an ethernet cable from the camera directly to my network. The direct ethernet connection is required in order to enter the wireless network settings into the camera.
Once the camera boots it will automatically obtain an IP address via DHCP.
Assigning an IP Address
I recommend assigning a static IP address to the camera for the best reliability. You could use a DHCP reservation but doing so adds a possible point of failure for the camera.
The first step to assign an IP address is to download the Axis IP utility. The IP utility will scan your network for any Axis cameras that have not been configured yet and allow a permanent IP to be assigned.
Right click on the camera and select ‘Assign IP Address’. Next enter the static IP address you wish to assign to the camera, then click ‘Assign’.
To complete the address assignment wait 30 seconds then power cycle the camera by disconnecting and reconnecting the AC adapter.
If the IP was successfully assigned then you’ll see a message like the one below. If you don’t see this message try to run the discovery utility again.
Assigning the Root Password
After assigning an IP address you can connect to the cameras web interface to complete the setup process. The first time you connect to the web interface you will see the screen below which prompts you to enter a new root password.
Don’t worry about creating the self-signed certificate just yet, it’s easier to create it later in the process. I had issues using a password that contained special characters so select a password that uses standard characters.
Updating the Firmware
I like to update the firmware on the cameras before going any further with them. You can download the latest firmware from the Axis support page.
To update the firmware access the camera setup page by clicking on the setup link in the upper right corner of the web interface. Then select ‘Maintenance’ under the system options menu.
In the upgrade server section select ‘Choose File’, then choose the bin file you downloaded from the Axis web site. Click the ‘Upgrade’ button to start the firmware update process.
The camera will automatically reboot after the upgrade is finished. It took about 2 minutes before I was able to access the web interface again.
Configuring Wireless Network Settings
To connect the IP camera to your wireless network click on the setup link in the upper right corner of the web interface. Then select the ‘Wireless’ link under the ‘Basic Settings’ menu.
The cameras software will scan for any wireless networks within range and list them on the page. To connect to a wireless network click on the SSID of the network you want to connect the camera to, then enter the encryption key and click save.
If you need to connect the camera to a network that isn’t broadcasting the SSID you can enter the information manually.
At this point you can disconnect the ethernet cable from the camera and test out the wireless connection.
Date and Time Settings
Having the correct date and time settings is important to ensure that time stamps are accurate and scheduled tasks happen at the correct time. To configure these settings select ‘Date & Time’ under the system options menu.
For the most accurate timing the camera can be configured to synchronize with an NTP server. If you don’t have a time server on your local network you can easily set up an NTP server using pfSense.
1. Select the appropriate time zone from the drop down menu.
2. Enable the check box for automatic daylight savings time changes.
3. Set the time mode to ‘Synchronize with NTP’.
Axis cameras default to using HTTP as the protocol for the web interface. I always change the protocol to HTTPS which provides secure transmission of passwords.
1. Click on the HTTPS menu item under system options.
2. Click ‘create self-signed certificate’
3. Fill out the certificate form, I set my expiration date to 3650 (10 years)
4. Change all of the HTTPS connection policies to ‘HTTPS only’
5. Click ‘set policy’ to save the changes
By default the camera’s LED will remain green when it’s functioning. I usually disable the LED because I think it draws unnecessary attention to the camera. The LED can also be set to flash when the video stream is being viewed.
If you want to change the behavior of the LED you can do so on the LED settings page in the web interface.
The great think about wireless cameras is you can place them anywhere as long as there is a nearby power outlet. The standard camera base works well for placing the camera on a window sill or other flat surface.
The camera also comes with a clamp style mount that allows the camera to be clamped on to a shelf or ledge.
Both mounting options allow a decent amount of tilt so you can position the lens at the proper location.
You can also easily mount this cam to a wall using the included mounting screws and drywall anchors but I prefer the flexibility of being able to re-position my cameras if needed.
I plan on continuing to expanding my network of Axis security cameras in the near future. I’ve been very happy with their reliability and performance. Currently I have two M1011-W cameras and one M1031-W that I use to monitor my home.
Axis also makes a high definition model (M1054) which isn’t wireless but it does support POE (power over ethernet).
If you’ve been using an IP camera to monitor your home or business please let me know which model you’ve been using in the comments.