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KnowledgeBase - CCTV

Getting to Know Surveillance
DVR Remote Monitor/Access Setup


DVR Remote Monitor/Access Setup

Overview

Nowadays, most DVRs are, in certain degree, providing networking functions. Users are able to access their DVRs from a remote computer or a smartphone such as Windows Mobile or iPhone.

In order to make the connection, some equipments and services are required. First a DVR with remote access/view function is necessary. Secondly, a broadband internet service will come in handy. And an internet computer or smartphone will be used for remote access. Generally a minimum of 800kbps download speed is required for basic video transmission, and 3Mbps is recommended for smooth remote video. Moreover, depending on whether the internet service comes with a fixed IP address and whether you want to share internet access, you'll need Dynamic Domain Name Service (DDNS), a router or both.

There are a lot of different configurations in setting up remote DVR access. In this document, we will focus on setting up home or small store/office single DVR for remote access.

The presumed configuration is a network DVR at home, a computer in the office or vice versa, and a broadband internet service based on a DSL/ADSL modem with dynamic IP address.

Under the above condition, we start with checking whether the DSL/ADSL modem is equipped with router function. A shortcut to this is to check if the modem supports Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server service. Another trick is to see if the modem supports Network Address Translator (NAT) or Virtual Server. The aforementioned services are indicators of a routing device.

If there is difficulty in locating the features of the modem, the number of RJ45 jack could also provide a hint regarding its routing capability. If the device contains more than 2 RJ45 jacks as the following graph shows, then it should be able to work as a router, but not the other way around.

 

  • Configuration 1: Single DVR, DSL/ADSL Modem, Router, Dynamic IP
  • Configuration 2: Single DVR, DSL/ADSL Modem, Dynamic IP
  • Configuration 3: Hosting multiple DVRs
  •  

    Configuration 1: Single DVR, Modem, Router, Dynamic IP

    If there is a router, either included in the modem or as an independent device, it is favourable to configure a local area network which shares internet access with multiple network devices such as DVRs or computers.


  • Router: Set up PPPoE
  • In this case, we'll use D-Link DIR-655 in our example. First, connect the router with the modem as described in the router's user manual, and connect a computer to the router. Start IE in the computer and type in the default IP address of the router in the browser. Most of the router's default IP address is "192.168.0.1". Check on the router's manual if it doesn't connect.

    Next, locate the network setup page on the router and select PPPoE, then, type in the user name and password provided by the ISP.

    Next, check the internet status to see if the connection is established.

    Note that the IP address above is the router's Public IP address, and it will be used in a test from an internet computer later.


  • DVR: Set up Static IP
  • Next, configure the DVR's network setting as follows,

    Set the DVR's IP to 192.168.0.10 and the Gateway to the router's Private IP address, which in this case is 192.168.0.1. Note that the IP is for reference only. Just stick with the original values if there is one on the DVR. Write down the IP for the next step, port-forwarding.

    Two things are worth noting here; first, make sure the DVR and the router belong to the same subnet, which means, only the last number of their IPs are different.

    Second, make sure the DVR's IP is not used by other networking devices, i.e. excluded from the IP address range managed by the router's DHCP sever.


  • Router: Set up port-forwarding, or Virtual Server
  • The next step is to configure port-forwarding on the router. Basically, hosting a DVR server is the same as hosting a Web Server. Select a pre-configured Web (HTTP) Server, if there is one, and forward the port 80 to the DVR's IP address and TCP port. Or, try routing the router's Public IP address at TCP port 80 to the DVR's IP address at Port 80.

    For more information regarding port-forwarding for different routers, please refer to http://portforward.com.


  • DVR: Set up DDNS
  • We have now established remote access for the DVR; however, since the DVR's IP address changes at each reboot, we need to set up DDNS service to track the dynamically changing IP.

    There are a couple of free DDNS services to choose from. In this example, we'll use i-dvr.net service. Find the DDNS account information on the CD cover. Login to http://i-dvr.net/logon.asp with the account info and define your own domain name. We'll use "safewaredns" in this example.

    Now, set up the DDNS on the router as following.

    Now, we'll test the DDNS service on IE. Type in the domain name "http://safewaredns.i-dvr.net", and a login window should now be displayed.

     

    Configuration 2: Single DVR, DSL/ADSL Modem, Dynamic IP


  • DVR: Set up ADSL(PPPoE)
  • If the modem doesn't support router function, and, if the network is solely for the purpose of the DVR's remote access, then we'll configure the DVR's network setting into Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) as the following graph shows.

    First, we need to physically connect the DVR to the modem using the CAT5 cable that comes with the modem. Then, in the DVR's menu, select the network page, locate and select ADSL option and type in the user name and password in the setting page and apply the setting. Note that the user name and password here are the one given by the ISP when you applied for the internet service.

    After the ADSL setting, go to the Diagnostic page and see if the IP is successfully set. The above graph shows that the DVR has connected to the internet and has been assigned a dynamic IP address by the ISP. If the IP address didn't show up, or if it stays at 000.000.000.000, try rebooting both DVR and Modem and recheck the DVR network setting. Note that it could take a couple minutes for the modem to establish internet connection. If it doesn't connect, check the physical wire connection, the user name and password; wait for five minutes and check the network setting again. After successful connection, write down the IP address.

    Now, we'll test the DVR's internet connection from a computer, presumably located in another place with internet access. Start Internet Explorer on the computer and type in the IP address we obtained in the ADSL setup. In this case, it is "http://69.31.192.22". At this moment, accept whatever IE tells you to run, and then, a login window will pop up. Now, you can type in the DVR's remote user name and password.

    Since the presumption is based on a dynamic IP, the DVRs IP address could change every time the modem is restarted. In that case, check on the DVR's Network section for its new IP address.


  • DVR: Set up DDNS
  • Finally, to resolve the dynamic IP problem, set up DDNS service provided by the DVR.

     

    Configuration 3: Hosting multiple DVRs

  • Router: Set up port-forwarding
  • To host multiple DVRs, a router or a modem with router function is required. In this scenario, most of the setup steps are the same as configuration 2; only the port-forwarding part is different.

    Assume there are two DVRs. The first one's IP is 192.168.0.10, and the second one's IP is 192.168.0.11.

    The following graph shows how the router's port-forwarding is configured.

    Assume the DDNS domain name we have is "safewaredns.i-dvr.net". To access the first DVR by IE, simply use the address http://safewaredns.dyndns.tv. To access the second DVR, type http://safewaredns.i-dvr.net:8000.

    However, for multiple DVR access, most people will opt to use CMS software for centralized management; still, the same router configuration is applicable.

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