Do you use, maintain or manage video surveillance for a small business, your home, school campus, outdoor project, or other location or building that requires monitoring? Wouldn’t it be great to see multiple locations with the touch of a button? Using the steps below, you’ll be able to view your DVR (Digital Video Recorder) remotely via your iPhone, giving you constant access to your video feeds.
How Does it Work?
There is a program or app that the phone uses to connect to the DVR over the internet via Internet Protocol (IP). Once it connects to the internet, it pulls the video footage and relays it back to your phone. Of course, when setting it up, there are a couple of steps that you must follow. I will be going over that with you to give you an idea on how to set up your DVR.
Setting up your DVR
Keep in mind that all DVRs are different. I would estimate about 90 percent of the DVRs that I’ve worked with use the same process in remote viewing.
Connect the DVR to network Port Forward Download Manufacturer App App setup
Above is the process you would need to take in order to setup your DVR. The first step is the simplest, and that is physically connecting your DVR to your router with an Ethernet cable. Once it is connected, go to your DVR and look for “networking” in the setup menu. Write down the IP address shown on screen.
Troubleshooting tips: If your DVR is not getting an IP address check the cable. If the problem persists, check the port on the router and the DVR. Most DVRs should have an indicator light and it should be blinking. Lastly, check if it is on static. If it is set to static, change it to DHCP or obtain an IP address automatically.
Once you have the IP address of the DVR, the next step is to port forward. Port forwarding is the most important step when it comes to this whole process. The reason you have to port forward is to allow external connections to communicate with the DVR. Without doing this step, your router will block any incoming traffic. To do this you must know the port number that is built in to the DVR and how to navigate through your router. Visit www.portfoward.com , the guide to your router will most likely be provided.
Troubleshooting tips: A good way to see if your ports are open is to go to www.canyouseeme.org and type in the port number and click check. If the ports are shown to be closed, the first thing is to check if the DVR is on. Second, check if you can communicate with the DVR within the network by typing in the IP address of the DVR on a web browser. Lastly, go into your router’s setting and make sure you typed in the right IP address and the right port number.
Downloading the App
Not all DVRs are built the same, even though the overall functionality is going to be the same. Most of the time, they use different apps and procedures to get the mobile viewing to work. I would strongly recommend for you to refer to the manual to see how your DVR works. But from my personal experience, most of the DVRs that are on today’s market either use the mobile web browser or work by downloading the app from the app store or the Android market place. After you have downloaded your app you must know the username and login of your DVR and your public IP address. You can obtain your public IP address by going to whatsmyip.com. Type in the information that the app asks for and hit the connect button.
Troubleshooting tips: If it is still not letting you view your camera and you are absolutely sure all the ports are forwarded and you are typing in the correct IP address, then the next thing to check is whether or not you are outside of your network when you are trying to connect. For example, most of the time, you cannot view your cameras if you are connected to the same router as the DVR. This will cause a loop and will not allow you to connect. So just log off of your Wi-Fi and make sure you are using your 3G or 4G when trying to connect.
That basically sums up how to setup remote viewing for your DVR. With the explosion of smart phones in the last few years, along with the affordable prices of surveillance systems, more residential and small business owners are leveraging the use of smart phone technology to help them monitor their house or business.
About the Author:
This article was written by Loc Nguyen, technical engineer for 2M CCTV, a security dealer and retailer of DVRs and surveillance equipment. They are located in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. Loc has assisted many through the remote viewing process. You can contact him at Loc (at) 2mcctv.com