Disclaimer: While we do not perform the actual mounting of cameras, we do provide surveillance camera setup and remote viewing tips from the IT support perspective. We have partners that perform cable management, drops, the mounting of cameras, and the general surveillance setup for the cameras to not only view but record motion activated footage of situations that may be important to you.
With the disclaimer out of the way, the first thing that your IT support team is your internet connection and the router that is connected to it. Certain providers may provide an all in one router/modem. Others, simply provide the modem and let you purchase a generic router typically Linksys or Apple Airport for their basic routing needs.
Almost all residential users and more than 50% small businesses have internet that contain a dynamic WAN IP. That means you have a leased IP address from the internet and the lease may last a couple days to a couple months. The bottom line is the IP is changing and trying to find your surveillance system using a phone app or web browser from anywhere beyond being an “on-site” will be hopeless endeavor unless you get a static IP or subscribe to dynamic DNS.
Dynamic DNS Service Providers:
- org – agnostic service but learning curve is high for a novice user
- com – Easy setup used by some DVR surveillance systems
- me – if you have a Synology system
We can proceed once you have selected a domain name. In our example, we have chosen dvrlists.com. We make up a sub domain or FQDN that has not been used by some other user in the same scenario that needs a dynamic DNS. Fragglerock in this example is the subdomain we chose for a DynDNS subdomain.
While we have chosen a DynDNS provider and retain a FQDN, we have not placed the Dynamic DNS service into our Local Area Network. This service can sometimes be placed on the router or the DVR system itself. We will choose the DVR into scenario as displayed below. Connect a monitor and mouse for initial access to the DVR and used the checklist to complete the surveillance camera setup on the DVR.
- Provide a static IP to the system that is outside the DHCP scope to whatever is handing LAN IP addresses. Typically that DHCP range is 192.168.1.100 – 149. So we would choose 192.168.1.150 if that IP was not already reserved by another static IP device. Note admin access password is by default usually 1234 or 12345.
- Add a service account in addition to the generic admin account and change the admin password. I don’t like handing out the admin password to everyone. Therefore I create a “service account” as an alternative account for remote viewing.
- Discover what ports are being used for streaming services and what devices you will be using for viewing purposes. The less ports that are open, the more secure your system is against hackers. Read more about hacking surveillance cameras. It’s scary.
Here’s the web interface of a generic DVR surveillance system configured for http://192.168.1.150 access. This page would not come up if you are router network is not setup for the 192.168.1.0 network and you didn’t statically assign the correct IP above with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 and whatever the gateway IP is. Typically, it’s 192.168.1.1 but that varies as well. The external ports are important for identify web page access. Port 80 for http://192.168.1.150 and port 443 for https://192.168.1.150 for secure access to the console interface. While the interfaces are important, they may not ever need external access use because most of your viewing will be done from a mobile device such as an iPhone or Android. With that said, configure your router to reflect these suggestions. In our scenario, we are using a Linksys router with a http://192.168.1.1 access to the gateway interface or the router interface.
In the above example, we enabled ports 8000 and 8554 for streaming services and used both TCP and UDP transmission protocols to stream the service. Ports 443 and 80 are not enabled for Port Forwarding. While port forwarding is the most critical piece to get the surveillance camera setup to work remotely, it takes a series of steps before and after to achieve the final result.
There’s an app for that.
We downloaded off the iVMS-4500 iPhone or the IP Cam Viewer Pro app store for free to get fantastic streaming capability. All the hardware and software may vary but to get this example rolling that’s what we chose. Configuring is the next step.
Register Mode: IP Domain
Server Address: fragglerock.dvrlists.com
User Name: admin
Apply your own appropriate settings to the above DVR camera setup for the iPhone or Android and you should be set for services. Obviously, there are plenty more variables in more complex environments but this NetworkAntics introduction to a DVR surveillance setup. Enjoy!