3G/4G Remote IP Surveillance

Earlier last year I was able to successfully resolve the challenge of accessing BlueIris via remote cellular connections.  The demo ignited several e-mails from readers asking me to accommodate mobile/remote scenarios that didn’t involve Dropcam and other cloud junk.  Construction sites, digital signage, cabins, et cetera. Direct IP access is extremely difficult without NAT capabilities.

Here’s the final product:

Let’s open the hood:

Bluetooth Keyboard/Mouse for those against touch screen:

Waterproof Pelican case: $20-30
PoE Injector: $7
Hotspot/WiFi bridge: $25-30 (Don’t spend a penny more. Buy used every time. **DO A SITE SURVEY to see if Xfinity WiFi or city wide WiFi access is available before considering data plans.)
Win8.1 Tablet: $41-50
USB Ethernet Adapter: $2

Total before camera: ~$100-115

IP Camera: $35-2,000 (PoE required for simplicity)

My Total after camera: $156 (Purchased the case for $7.  If you’re doing bulk installs, bear in mind the cost of these cases  and find a reasonable online source.)


The first question should be what am I running BlueIris off of and why/how does it only cost about $45???


Buy open box.  95% of the time, they are brand new with screen seals still applied.

A quick look at the specs will reveal why.  During the holidays, children and teenagers were given these tablets as gifts and were returned shortly after discovering that there is only 1GB RAM/16GB SSD.  Look–I’m a realist.  I understand those specs are not ideal — but consider that even for a tablet, will most people even exceed this use? Most tablet users store music in the cloud. And the 1GB RAM? It works well for just about any office productivity task.  The tablet will boot in seconds and opens apps just as fast as a conventional workstation.

The Winbook also features a full USB port, microHDMI out, MicroSD slot, easily removable battery, and small yet reliable build quality.

So now the results:

1080p @ 15FPS / 30 pre-frames, motion activation, direct-to-disk, service mode, Record to microSD, Web Stream: %70/1024kbps

CPU: Idles at %25, peaks at %37

Apply Hamachi and SoftEtherVPN as server and client (on boot), NAT to a central server if you wish; Otherwise simply dial directly to the box using Hamachi.


This solution allows you to view cameras and clips in real-time as well as have BlueIris e-mail you on motion events.


If your first reply is “What about cellular data usage???” Just know that I was able to do exactly the above for several months of continuous testing with under 1GB/mo allocated. This included 30 minute FTP POST updates to a central server.   1GB.