Viewing IP Camera Live Feed on a Mac

Most IP security cameras have a browser interface with a live feed.  On quite a few of them, the ip camera live feed requires a plugin.. and on some of the newer ones, this plugin doesn’t exist or isn’t available on recent Macs (Mac OS X Sierra or High Sierra, at least).  I have a set of Lorex LNB4421 cameras that are exactly like that.  I’ve heard that HIKVision and maybe Amcrest are similar.

Well, it is possible to view the live feed on a Mac.  Read on.

Plugin Not Found

This is what I see when I login to my Lorex cameras’ web interface:

Clicking on the link that says “Please click here to download and install the plugin-in” does nothing.  If I right-click on it and tell it to either Download the link or Open in another tab, I see this:

This example is for Safari, but you see the exact same thing with Firefox.

I sent a support request to the Lorex customer service, but it was utterly pointless. The first round of support couldn’t even understand what I was asking.  The second round just gave up and said that Lorex cameras are not supported on Macs.  Ridiculous.

Use Chrome

The path to finding a workable solution starts with using Chrome as your browser instead of Safari or Firefox.  I get the same text saying to click to download, but note that the actual URL is different:

That’s a link to the Google App Store.  That’s promising.  So I clicked the link and up popped this app:

An Alternative

Honestly, the app does look a little bit shady.  I have no idea who this “NACL Web Team” is.  NACL just refers to the fact that its a Google Chrome “Native” App, potentially.  This isn’t there only app, either.  Check out this one:

As far as I can tell, those two apps are the same fundamental app.  The Easy Viewer is newer and I believe it’s the one that pops up when you are using Chrome on Windows.

I’m assuming that if one of them works for you, then they both will.  If one doesn’t, then the other likely won’t, as well.

In any case, just install one of those apps.

Chrome Apps

When you want to view your camera’s live feed, just go to the Chrome Apps Page.  You can get there by opening up a New Tab and then clicking the “Show apps” icon in the upper left hand corner:

This will open up your Chrome Apps page.  In my case, I have both of the NACL Web Team apps installed.

Click on either one of them.  When you do, you will see a brand new browser window open up.  Yes, these plugins do not just magically make the live view work in Chrome.  Instead, they are their own browsers with the plugin support already embedded.

It looks like they support Tabs and such but they don’t.  Their About page is disabled.  It is a web browser, though, as you can go to any web site.

The only one I care about is the camera’s web interface, though.  I enter in my camera’s IP address and login and voila!

Closing Thoughts

On one hand, I’m glad this works at all, since Macs are so often forgotten with IP security camera software.  On the other hand, it’s a mild pain to have to jump through these hoops to get to it.  And since the two Chrome Apps aren’t full-fledged browsers, they don’t support Tabs.  You can open multiple instances of the App, though.

Hope this works for you!

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