- 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 ans now the iPad.
In order to make the connection, some equipment 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 orsmall 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.
- DVR: Set up 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 PPPoE option and type in the user name and password in the setting page, then, apply the setting. Note that the user name and password here are the ones given by the ISP when you applied for the internet service.
Moreover, if the DVR came with a default port number, then, just stick with that number. However, I deliberately changed the port number to 5566 for the purpose of highlighting the port-forwarding concept which we will come across in the second configuration.
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 as 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. So 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 and Port number.
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 PPPoE setup stage as well as the Port number. In this case, it is "http://126.96.36.199:5566". 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
We have now established remote access for the DVR; however, since the DVR's IP address changes from time to time, it is not realistic to check on its IP locally when you need to access it. Thus, we need to set up DDNS service for the DVR. There are a couple of free DDNS services to choose from. In this example, we'll use dyndns service. Go to the website http://www.dyndns.com and register for a free domain name. To do the registration, you'll need a valid email address, a user name and a password. Note that for the registration to be effective, you'll need to confirm it through the email sent from the dyndns server.
There are a couple of free DDNS services to choose from. In this example, we'll use dyndns service. Go to the website http://www.dyndns.com and register for a free domain name. To do the registration, you'll need a valid email address, a user name and a password. Note that for the registration to be effective, you'll need to confirm it through the email sent from the dyndns server.
Unfortunately, the AVTech series DVRs do not provide local user interface for the DDNS service; however, we can still configure it through its remote IE interface. The problem is we need to do it from an internet computer. So, write down the router's public IP and Port number, and defer the DDNS setup until we have access to an internet computer.
To configure DDNS from an internet computer, start IE and connect to the DVR as described in the previous section, click on thesystem icon and select DDNS. And, assume the domain name obtained is "safewaredns.dyndns.tv"; Fill in the DDNS setup fields in the DVR accordingly.
To test the DDNS service using IE, type in the domain name "http://safewaredns.dyndns.tv:5566", the same login window should now be displayed.
Note that the Port 5566 used in this example can be freely assigned. Just avoid the range from 0 to 1024 with the exception of 80. Since port 80 is the default port used in a Web server, thus, if you assigned the DVR's port number to 80, you can access you DVR by type in "http://safewaredns.dyndns.tv" in IE.
- Router: Set up PPPoE
In this case, we'll use D-Link DIR-615 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, and the port number to 5566. Again, the IP and Port number are for reference only. Just stick with the original values if there is one on the DVR. Write down the IP and Port value 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 is 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 DHCP sever in the router.
- Router: Set up port-forwarding
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 5566, which is the one we set during DVR's static IP setup.For more information regarding port-forwarding for different routers, please refer to http://portforward.com.
- DVR: Set up DDNS Finally, to resolve the dynamic IP problem, set up DDNS service as described in the previous configuration.
- 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 it listens to TCP Port 5566. The second one's IP is 192.168.0.11, and it also listens to port 5566.
The following graph shows how the router's port-forwarding is configured.Assume the DDNS domain name we have is "safewaredns.dyndns.tv". To access the first DVR by IE, simply use the address http://safewaredns.dyndns.tv. To access the second DVR, type http://safewaredns.dyndns.tv: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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