How to use Yi Home Camera 2 outside of China, revisited

I have some Yi cameras (Xiaomi) and I quite satisfied with them, with only one complain: They make two versions of their cameras, one only for China and another one for the rest of the world (China version and International version). They both are identical in hardware and features, except for the price. International version is almost twice.

Xiaomi it’s making great efforts to ban using China version cameras outside of China. Originally China version worked outside China, but in a firmware upgrade they blocked it. Then the camera said “This camera can’t be used outside China” and then it was switched off. The fix was easy, make a firmware downgrade. But now, Xiaomi has improved the mechanism to detect China version cameras outside of China. Now the make it at server level, I think they check your serial and your IP address, so no firmware downgrade helps any more.  After this improvement, my camera keeps working, even you can pair it with your phone (Chinese Yi home app), the camera save the videos in the SD card, but you can’t use Live View. You can’t access the camera through Yi home, not even to change the configuration of the camera (switch off status light, change video quality…). When you try it it stucks at 50% and gives you a -20009 error.

So, after a deep search, I found how to bypass the outside China check. My first aproach was change my internet connection configuration to use a VPN with a China server, but this is only for testing purposes, it’s not a feasible solution, too complex. Finally I found a project in github where someone (niclet) got it. The project was not thought for this, its main target was to get some missing features for the camera, telnet, FTP, RTSP, change language, and timezone, but niclet also got setting a proxy. You can specify in a variable the proxy you want your camera use. If you specify a China proxy the -20009 problem is gone. The project is here. All merits for niclet.
To consider:

  • There is two Yi Home apps, one International (you get it in Play Store) and one Chinese (you get it in MI Store). If your camera is Chinese version you need Chinese app.
  • When you edit the configuration file yi-hack-v2.cfg to add a Chinese proxy don’t use Wordpad, it makes some format change that make the file unusable for the camera. I recommed using another editor, like Notepad++.
  • There is three Yi Home cameras, Yi Home Camera, Yi Home Camera 2, Yi Home Camera 1080p, each of these in various versions, Chinese or International (United States and European) . We are talking about Yi Home Camera 2 Chinese version.

So, summary, what you have to do is:

  1. Format SD card in FAT32
  2. Download yi-hack-v2 files from github project and copy the contents of sd folder into your SD card.
  3. Edit yi-hack-v2.cfg to set a Chinese proxy. You have to uncomment the last line of the file and add a Chinese proxy. I get the Chinese proxy from this site. Put attention at the protocol the proxy use, it’s the part of socks5h://. In the list you have the protocol. As an example this is mine:
    YI_HACK_PROXY=socks4://123.59.100.246:1080
  4. Insert the SD card into the camera, with the camera off, and switch the camera on. You don’t need to reset the camera to factory defaults (small back button).
  5. Now you can use Chinese Yi Home app perfectly, even Live View.

As a note, when the proxy stops working, you don’t have to get you sd card out to edit yi-hack-v2.cfg. As you now have telnet access you can do it comfortably from your PC, using vi. Then remember to reboot your camera, the script is executed in the boot process.

  20 comments for “How to use Yi Home Camera 2 outside of China, revisited

  1. Carlos Eduardo
    17 noviembre, 2017 at 11:15

    Hello my friends!
    I still with problem. I did all the phases but my camera still doesnt connect. Now it speaks French, but still does not connect with the Chinese app logged in with my Mi Account.
    I changed the last line of the file using Notepad ++ and yesterday I was able to connect the camera in the app, but the image did not load. But today, I can not even connect the camera anymore.
    What could be wrong? I’ve changed the protocol line a few more times, but nothing changes.

    • Tomás Crespo
      17 noviembre, 2017 at 14:17

      Did you try with the proxy mentioned in the article? Show us your code

      • Carlos Eduardo
        17 noviembre, 2017 at 16:18

        It was the first one I tried. =(
        YI_HACK_PROXY=socks4://123.59.100.246:1080

  2. Carlos Eduardo
    17 noviembre, 2017 at 12:05

    Hey, dear friends.
    Now I was able to connect the camera to the Chinese app again, but it does not load the image. I only get the message: “Establishing secure channel … 50%.” And then the following message: “Network connection failed, please check netword settings and reconnect it (-2009).
    What can I do?

    • Carlos Eduardo
      17 noviembre, 2017 at 13:13

      I already tryied:
      YI_HACK_PROXY=socks5://121.40.195.151:9999
      YI_HACK_PROXY=socks4://221.6.206.114:1080
      YI_HACK_PROXY=socks4://113.77.240.162:1080
      YI_HACK_PROXY=socks5://58.20.41.172:1080
      and a lot of other, but still not working.
      The camera still on blue light, but not connect.

      • Tomás Crespo
        17 noviembre, 2017 at 14:15

        Try with the same proxy I mention into the article. That mention is actually (November, 17 – 2017)working perfectly

    • Tomás Crespo
      17 noviembre, 2017 at 14:16

      Did you read the article? It solves exactly that problem

      • Carlos Eduardo
        17 noviembre, 2017 at 16:24

        I read the whole article and was very meticulous in following all the steps, but unfortunately I still with problems. By the way, I’ll have to leave the camera.

        • Tomás Crespo
          20 noviembre, 2017 at 07:44

          Ok Carlos, the only thing more I did was formating the SD card with a specifc fromating application, instead of the one integrated in Windows. I did it with HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool v2.2.3, but I don’t think this is necessary. Anyway, if your camera speaks to you in French (instead of Chinese) is a syntom that it’s reading the SD successfully.

      • Carlos Eduardo
        17 noviembre, 2017 at 16:29

        Anyway, thanks for the help.

        • Tomás Crespo
          20 noviembre, 2017 at 07:46

          You’re wellcome. Don’t hesitate asking me if you want to give it a second try

  3. Caline
    25 noviembre, 2017 at 16:17

    Hi,
    I have the same problem as Carlos Eduardo. I try the same proxy as you use and different one from the proxy website. But it doesn’t work. I still get “network connection failed. please check network settings and reconnect it (20009). Can you help? Thanks

    • Tomás Crespo
      3 diciembre, 2017 at 13:57

      When the hack is working the camera speaks French

    • Tomás Crespo
      3 diciembre, 2017 at 13:57

      What language are the camera messages?

  4. Sajad
    29 noviembre, 2017 at 09:29

    Hi guys
    My camera now not pairing with the phone
    The camera connect successfully to wifi but not pair with the phone

    • Tomás Crespo
      3 diciembre, 2017 at 13:58

      Retry, that works even with no hack

  5. Jörgen
    30 noviembre, 2017 at 07:34

    Hi I have the same problem as Carlos Eduardo. My camera now speak english so I guess the hack is working.

    • Tomás Crespo
      3 diciembre, 2017 at 13:56

      When the hack is working the camera must speak French (except if you changed the language in the configuration file).

      I think your problem could be in editing the file. I got problems when editing with notepad. Try Notepad++

      • Jörgen
        6 diciembre, 2017 at 13:56

        I have edit the file and it speak english now before Chinese.

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