This is first article from two part series looking at the seemingly easy task of setting up Internet connection to security DVR. While this article will focus on general steps involved in proper connection forwarding to CCTV DVR, the part two is all about dynamic DNS support and workarounds. Before we step into the main subject, I like to explain very briefly a few key aspects of Internet connection for those of us not familiar with term like IP address, DDNS, port forwarding or IP mapping.
Every computer or other network device, in our case CCTV recorder has its own address called IP address, much like your home address it allows the information to find its way in enormous world of internet. IP address has four groups of numbers separated by dots; the number range is between 0 and 255. There are two separate networks that we need to take into consideration, LAN for Local Area Network and WAN for Wide Area Network. LAN has its own IP addresses and handles connection on local network devices (computers or devices located in your home or office network), if WAN IP is your home address than LAN IP would be your apartment number.
WAN IP is an external address visible to every user on the Internet. We will explain rest of the terminology as we go along.
The best way to explain and clarify surveillance DVR connection setup is to use an example. In our example, we will setup DVR model VDV-074 from DVRExperts through Netopia Router/Modem combo currently used by AT&T DSL provider with static IP service, I will also use Linksys WRT54G Router for Cable DSL connection. Security DVR recorder needs to be connected to the Internet through Router and Modem, in some cases Router and Modem are all in one devices, for example Netopia Routers.
For standalone Modems please connect the Internet out to WAN port, on your Router. Connect CCTV DVR and computers to available ports on the Router as well. Your Router will need to be setup now to log in to the Internet service provider and establish connection.
Netopia Router users:
Open up browser on your computer and type into the address bar your routers default IP http://
192.168.1.254. User name and password window should appear; the default user name and password for Netopia Routers are admin for user and serial number of your Router for the password.
Select Configure followed by Quick start link, type your Internet service providers user name (email address) and your ISP password. Click submit and alert icon located in upper right corner (I know it is strange), finally select save and restart. Your connection should be up in minute or so, click home link to see your connection status.
Linksys Router users:
Open up browser on your computer and type into the address bar your routers default IP [http://192.168.1.1]. User name and password window should appear; the default user name and password for Linksys routers are admin for user and admin for the password.
The home page of the router has ISP settings, type in your email address as a user name and ISP password for the password, select save or submit. The Router will restart after minute or so, log in again and go to status page to see if your connection status is UP.
If everything is OK and your connection is UP, we can now proceed to fun part of the setup process
There is great number of different security Digital Video Recorders on the market, so please follow your DVR’s manual for details; I will only provide the proper settings. In the DVR menu, setup static LAN (Internal) IP for the DVR, in our example we have 3 computers and DVR. Each device has assigned LAN IP address as follows:
Computer 1 – 192.168.1.100
Computer 2 – 192.168.1.101
Computer 3 – 192.168.1.102
DVR – 192.168.1.103
The surveillance DVR will now be accessible within our network by typing its assigned internal IP (192.168.1.103) into browser or connection software. What we need now is to forward the connection from external IP (WAN) which is accessible from outside of our network to the LAN IP of the DVR (192.168.1.103).
Netopia Router users:
Select Configure followed by Advanced and finally IP Maps. IP map table should be empty, click on add and type into IP Map Entry Name text box the name of your DVR connection, in our example I just typed in DVR so I know what this IP map is for. In Internal IP address box type in 192.168.1.103, for external IP address refer to you ISP work sheet and find out what is your IP. In some cases ISP will provide more than one static IP, you can choose one of them.
Click submit and alert icon located in upper right corner, finally select save and restart.
From now on anyone requesting external IP will be forwarded to the internal IP of the DVR (192.168.1.103), therefore the connection should be established successfully.
Linksys Router users:
When setting up your DVR for access from the Internet, you will need to configure Port Forwarding on your Linksys Router. This can be accomplished in one of two ways, Specific Port Forwarding or the DMZ host. The DMZ host automatically forwards all incoming connection requests to a given IP address on your local network. Open the Applications & Gaming section of the router and choose DMZ. DMZ is not secure and should only be used with embedded, non-PC based CCTV recorders.
To expose the DVR to the Internet, enter the DVR local IP address (192.168.1.103) in the DMZ Host IP address box. In some cases you may just want to forward specific ports to your security DVR. If you are running any other device/server that hosts services available to the internet, you will want to use specific port forwarding instead of the DMZ Host, also if your DVR is PC based it is strongly recommended for security reasons, to only forward ports used by DVR connection. Open the applications & Gaming section of the router and choose Port Range Forwarding. Type in the name for the connection, starting port number, ending port number and internal IP of the DVR (192.168.1.103 in our example). Save and exit.
Your connection is now setup properly.
You probably noticed the term static IP in this article, and are wondering what that is.
Well, static IP is what the name suggests an IP that never changes. While there is no problem with internal IP selection; we can use whatever we want or prefer – the external IP, usually is dynamic. The static IP has to be requested from the ISP and is more expensive than dynamic IP. In our case we do want static IP so we have address for CCTV DVR connection that will never change.
Throughout this tutorial I have assumed that the external static IP is available.
Unfortunately in many areas it is not, or the cost is prohibitive. Don’t panic yet, there is at least couple of different ways around this problem and I will try to go over each approach in my next article “How to use free dynamic DNS services for DVR connection.”