How to use Yi Home Camera 2 (1080p) outside of China, revisited

Firstly, this post is about Yi Home Camera 2. Currently Xiaoyi has various similar models. In each one of its models they make a Chinese version and an international version (same version but more expensive). Xiaoyi is making big efforts to block using Chinese models outside of China, forcing you to buy a international version.

I wrote an article some time ago to get this camera working, but after that Xiaomi enhanced its blocking procedure and this article is not valid any more.

Now Xiaomi has introduced a new change, checking if your camera is connecting to their servers from a Chinese IP address or not.

Description of the problem

Yi Home Camera 2 is paired with Yi app with no problem, the camera works and save video on the SD card, even notify you when there is some event, but you can NOT get live video. When you open Yi app it stucks at Establishing secure channel… 50% for a while and finally it shows the error message Network connection failed, please check network settings and reconnect it (-20009). So neither you  can watch your camera on live or browse through your records from the Yi app. However you can get out the SD card and review your videos in a PC.

The solution

In brief the solution is using a Chinese proxy, so Xiaomi will think your camera is in China. Easy, isn’t it?

Fortunately there is a project (yi-hack-v2) where someone (niclet) has made a custom firmware to get telnet and FTP working for this camera and, the most important for us, with an option to setup a proxy. So all the credits go for him/her.

The procedure to get your camera working again is:

  1. Download the files of niclet project and copy the contents of sd folder to the root of your SD card. The card has to be FAT32 (vfat) formated.
  2. Edit the file yi-hack-v2.cfg (in test folder) and uncomment the last line (remove the starting ‘#’), and set one Chinese server (I use this list)
  3. Put your SD card. All is done. Now you can pair it with your Yi Chinise phone app an get Live video with no problems

Note 1: The text editor to edit file yi-hack-v2.cfg is important. Its a linux file, someway different to a Windows one. I firstly used notepad and the hack doesn’t work. I then used Notepad++ and it worked perfectly. Mind this if you are having any trouble.

Note 2: If you have some trouble formatting you SD card with Windows, you could use HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

Note 3: You have to download the files of niclet project (yi-hack-2) from github, but if you have any problems they are here too.

Note 4: I’ve got better results pairing the camera without the SD card, and then inserting it (after pairing success).

Currently my last line of yi-hack-v2.cfg is:


and with this proxy the camera is working for three months.



How to use Yi Home Camera 2 (1080p) outside of China

UPDATE (11/11/2017): This process is not valid anymore, but you can use a new one. All info here.

I’ve been using a Yi Homme Camera for a long (aka Xiaomi/Xiaoyi Small Ants Camera). It’s a magnific camera with good quality (720p) and night vision at a stunning price. In my opinion, then only flaw is the lack of an wired Ethernet port. However, Xiaomi, firmware update after firmware update has made it a bit worse. First they blocked telnet access, RTSP and HTTP. And finally the blocked their Chinese hardware to be used only in China Mainland (from Nov 2015). Yes, they sell two versions, Chinese and International. Luckily you always can solve this limitations running some scripts or downgrading the firmware. There is a lot of info on the Internet.


Recently Xiaomi (Yi) launched a major upgrade for this product. They presented Yi Home Camera 2, with even better quality, 1080p @25fps 1.5Mbits, gesture detection and more. Obviusly I immediately bought one. However I got the same issue all people is having. It’s impossible to get it working. You can not pair it with the phone app. The camera gets the QR code, connect to your WIFI network (light steady blue light) but the pairing proccess never ends succesfully. You get “time out” both the camera (voice message) and the phone. Every people has the same problem. Some of them have tried to update the firmware, but this is even worse. Now they get a voice message “This camera can only be used in China”.

After some weeks of research I finally get mine working, using a specific firmware.

To install it you have to:

    1. Download this firmware (version 2.1.1-20160429113900) and put it in the root of your SDCARD (it has to be FAT32 formated). The name of the file has to be home.bin, otherwise camera won’t install it
    2. Turn on the camera
    3. Reset the camera to default values pressing the reset white button in the back
    4. Turn the camera off
    5. Insert the SD card with home.bin and turn it on

You will see the green led blinking for about one minute. After that you will be able to pair your camera with the app. Bear in mind that the app has to be Chinese version too.

And, of course, remember NOT to update your camera firmware even if the phone app invite you.

Next step: Enable telnet to allow RTSP and FTP.