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How To Connect Your DVR To The Outside World


by Jeff Fisher

Connecting your DVR to the internet so you can view the cameras from outside your home involves several steps.

Step 1: Determine Your IP Settings


First we must find out what address to assign to the DVR. To do this go to a computer that is connected to the same network as the DVR. What we want to do is bring up the command prompt. There are two ways to do this.

  1. Start > Run > type "cmd" Enter
  2. OR Start > Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt

Now on the command prompt we are going to enter a series of commands to get the information we need.

Type: "ipconfig /all" Enter

Keep in mind that everything before the ">" symbol is filled out by the computer and will differ from what is shown here.

Server does not support image manipulation.


Under the heading of Ethernet adapter local area connection copy down the following information as your computer shows it. The following numbers are just for reference.

IP Address
No image specified. One of the following parameters must be set: fileId, randomGalleryId, fgalId, attId, id, or src.

Subnet Mask

Server does not support image manipulation.


Gateway

Server does not support image manipulation.


DNS

Server does not support image manipulation.


Now before we move on to the DVR we need to find an IP address that is not in use. So back in the command prompt window do the following:

Type "ping" followed by the IP address you copied but add 1 to the last digit set.

For example: If your IP address from above Is 10.1.2.211 then you type:

Server does not support image manipulation.


Once you press enter you will get one of two responses. If it comes back and shows

Server does not support image manipulation.

That response means that there is something on the network that is already using that IP address. Redo the test and add another digit. (EX 102 becomes 103)
If it comes back and shows something like:

Server does not support image manipulation.

Copy down the IP address you just used. That will be the one we use on the DVR.
Nice and easy, right?

Step 2: Set Up The DVR

On the DVR we need to enter all this information. Using the remote press "Menu" Then on the screen under the "Setup" selection press the down key to bring up and select the main menu button. Here it might ask for the password for the DVR. The default password is "123456". Select the "Network Setup" button option to begin.

Of the Top three buttons at the top of the screen ("DSL", "DHCP", "LAN") select LAN and enter down the required information. The "Subnet mask", "Gateway", and "DNS" will be the same as what you copied off your computer earlier. The "IP Address" will be the address you found that returns the "Request timed out" response during the IP test. On that same page select "HTTP Server".

Make sure that the "Enable HTTP Server" is checked. Also reset the port number to something other then 80. Port 5400 or 51000 are common choices.

That concludes the DVR setup. You should now be able to view the DVR on the local network. Go to any computer on the local network and open your internet browser of choice and in the URL box type in the IP address you assigned to the DVR. For example lets say we gave address 192.168.1.3 to the DVR and port 5100. You should type in "http://192.168.1.3:5100". After a moment a login box should appear. The default login for the DVR is:

Username: admin
Password: 123456

From here you can download the small version of the desktop software and you can also view the cameras via JPEG images that update every 1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds.

Step 3: Configure Your Router For External Access

Now we need to poke a hole in your router between your DVR and the outside world. To log into your router take the Gateway address and type that into your web browser of choice. When you first try to login to the router it will ask for a user name and password. Sadly there is no standard login so you will have to call your provider if you don't know the login. (Some routers have a sticker on the bottom that has the password on it). Once you get in you move on to the next phase.

Now because all types of routers are different I can only describe the basic steps to set this up. Once you are logged in you need to find the section on port forwarding. This is usually located under a tab labeled LAN or Applications. Below is what the router normally needs to be able to open the port.

Name: This is just the name for this "Rule" Just enter something like "DVR"
Port: Enter the same port number that you selected in the DVR under the HTTP server screen
Type: Options are normally TCP / UDP / Both. Select Both or TCP
Local IP: This is the IP address of your DVR
Enable: This is normally a check box or pull down box, select yes or check the box to start the new rule running.

Step 4: Test The External Connection

YAY, it's an easy step. In fact its really easy.Open your web browser of choice and go to your search engine of choice and search for "My WAN IP" Select one of the first few and on that page it will say somewhere "Your WAN IP" followed by a seemingly random address. Write this down. This is your WAN or Wide area network address. If you are inside your house use the LAN or local area network address.

When trying to access your DVR from the outside world use the WAN address. NOTE: The WAN address WILL NOT WORK if you try to type it in while connected to the local area network! You MUST be outside the network for this to work. I use my 3G phone to test if the wan it working Lets say my WAN is 69.126.124.62 and I placed my DVR on port 5400. To access my DVR that is at home from my work I would open my web browser of choice and type into the URL bar: "http://69.126.124.62:5400" That should bring up the same login screen that you saw while inside the house. Enter the username and password and there are your cameras.

Step 5: DDNS (For External Access When You Have a Dynamic IP)

We will be covering how to setup a DDNS server in a future article but for now just do a search for DDNS to find one of the many free DDNS providers available.

Jeff

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