Flussonic Agent is small-size and lightweight software that you can install on firmware of an IP camera to enable it working with Flussonic Watcher from NAT-ed network. A camera connects directly to Flussonic Watcher to port 80 or 443 bypassing any NAT and will stream video to Flussonic Media Server.
It is the best solution if you want to launch a video surveillance service with zero need to configure cameras and the network. Agent is better than white IP, port forwarding, and OpenVPN solutions.
How Flussonic Agent works
When launched, Agent gets connected to the pre-configured server with Flussonic Watcher on it, and reports that it is working and ready for video transmission.
The server with Flussonic Watcher only runs the Watcher web interface and the business logic. This server is a controlling one and is called endpoint in Agent terminology.
If Watcher recognizes Agent (mutual password verification has place), it tells Agent to connect to one of the running Flussonic Media Servers, to which the video will actually be transmitted. In Agent terminology, such Flussonic Media Server is called streampoint. Also, the endpoint can cause Agent to quickly switch to another streampoint in order to work over the situation with Flussonic Media Server breakdown. It is possible in a cluster of Flussonic servers with the managing server that runs Watcher.
After connecting to Flussonic Media Server (streampoint), Agent waits for the command to open the connection in a similar way it is arranged in SSH tunnel. When Flussonic decides to take video from camera, it sends to Agent a request to set a TCP tunnel. Both video stream from RTSP and screenshots from camera can be transmitted by this tunnel.
After installing and configuring the endpoint, we strongly recommend not to change its address.
Comparison of Agent with other solutions
There are the following alternatives to Flussonic Agent:
- gray IP in local network
- it is a very convenient way to connect to IP camera if you have this network. Usually it means that you are building enterprise network or that you are building something like a local city network for Safe City project in a ISP. This is not applicable for OTT providers or when you need to work with routers with NAT.
- white IP for camera
- it is the worst possible solution. Your camera will become part of Mirai botnet before the end of day.
- port forwarding
- If you give IP camera to a home user or to a small business, then you need to give instructions to people how to configure router for this. It is enormous amount of work and you really don't want to do explain to a home user how to find IP of camera in DHCP leases.
- Some vendors offer installation of openvpn on the camera to make a cloud service. It is not a best solution, because you will have to pay twice for hardware: OpenVPN is a very CPU consumptive thing, so it will require to install one hardware server per 300-400 cameras and install second server for streaming server. Also it is not very easy to balance users between streamers.
Flussonic Agent is better than any of the listed solutions because it doesn't require any configuration and allows cameras to connect directly to Flussonic Media Server.
Learn more about Agent installation and usage in the Flussonic Watcher documentation.