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Many DVRs we stock are "network enabled" to allow the user to "remote view" their property. Connect the DVR up to a modem/router, configure the device and network settings on your router and you should be able to use Internet Explorer on a PC, or in some cases on a mobile phone, e.g. iPhone (e.g. with AVTech DVRs using "Eagle Eyes" software, or for Swann devices the free Aplayer app), BlackBerry*, Android*, Nokia Symbian*, and Windows Mobile 6*. Some features may be unavailable if using browsers that do not allow ActiveX plug-ins, e.g. Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome.
(*applications and instructions available on AVTech's Eagle Eyeswebsite for AVTech/IVS recorders and cameras)
Please note: You will need to set your Android phone to "Allow install of non-Market applications" to install this app. Instructions can be found below.
Remote viewing is possible on various platforms and devices, depending on the model and available software for that platform. These platforms include some or all of the following: Internet Explorer (PC), iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. Check the DVR or IP camera you are interested in is compatible with your device before purchasing.
How to set up your DVR for remote viewing
Network-capable DVRs will have an option in their menu screens for "Networking". You will need to change the IP address settings in here so that they match that of your network. For example, if you are using a router to manage your network, you will need to ensure that the router is in the IP range for that router. Please note that when we say "local IP" we mean the IP within your local network, NOT your Internet/WAN/Global IP address.
Finding your Local IP Information
The simplest way to find the IP range is as follows:
1) Using a Windows PC connected to your router, click on the "Start" button (XP) then choose "Run", then
2) In the "command prompt" window that appears, type ipconfig followed by pressing Enter. This should show you the IP configuration of your network:
Example of using Command Prompt (CMD) on a PC to find IP settings
Take a note of the IP Address, Subnet Mask and Gateway.
The IP address shown during this stage will be the IP address of your PC. Your DVR will need a similar address, but change the last number (after the final dot). For example, in the above the PC is on 192.168.2.5 so we will use this for the DVR but change the 5 to another number, e.g. 100, which will give us an IP of 192.168.2.100. A higher number is better as the router may try to automatically assign numbers to other devices on the network, so if we were to choose 192.168.2.6 (for example) this may have been already assigned to a device on the network, which may cause a conflict.
The "Gateway" is the address of your router. You may need this to access the router's configuration screen to change some settings on the router later.
Choosing an IP address for your DVR
Open the menu on your DVR and find the Networking options. This may vary from DVR to DVR, although the concept is the same.
Under IP address, enter a unique address on your network (e.g. NOT the same as your PC from the above step!). So for this example, where all devices will have an IP of 192.168.2.x, we will change the x to 100. Make a note of this.
You will also need to enter the Subnet Mask; this will be the same as shown on your PC: usually 255.255.255.0
Under "Gateway", enter the IP address shown on your PC. Your "Gateway" is your modem/router, and this address should also allow you to access the router's configuration screen va a web browser, e.g. http://192.168.2.1 (remembering to add the http://).
For DNS settings, often it is enough to just use the same IP as your Gateway for DNS1, and leave DNS2 as-is (e.g. 0.0.0.0). However, if you can find out the DNS settings for your Internet Service Provider, this may be preferable.
You will also see a box pertaining to the "port". By default this is usually "80", but we have found it more useful to change this port, particularly if connecting through a router. For example, change this to "1080". Note that this means you will need to carry out something called "port forwarding" on your router - essentially this means "please allow a path through my router's security for data to and from the DVR on port 1080".
To summarise, you should now have set up the following data on your DVR:
1) IP address (a unique number on your local network, e.g. 192.168.2.100 - it is the last digit that is important here as it must be unique on your network, and not assigned to another network device)
2) Subnet mask (usually 255.255.255.0)
3) Gateway (the IP address of your router, e.g. 192.168.2.1)
4) DNS1 set to the same address as your router/gateway (or your ISP's DNS data); DNS2 can be left blank (0.0.0.0) if DNS1 is the same as your gateway address.
5) Change Port to 1080 (or a value of your choosing, for this example we are sticking with 1080).
Those are all the settings required on the DVR. Next, we need to configure your router.
Configuring your modem/router
If you have been following these instructions, you should know the IP address of your "gateway". Open up a web browser on your PC and enter the IP address of the gateway, e.g. in our example it would be http://192.168.2.1 (remembering to add the http://).
Example of entering the router address in the browser
You will probably be prompted for a username and password. If your router was supplied by your Internet Provider, they should have given you this information - it may even be stuck on to the device. If not you will need to check the router's manual - although if you get stuck, many have the "username" of "admin" and a password of either "admin" or "password". A quick search on the Internet should allow you to find the default router configuration log-on details if you get stuck.
From here you will need to configure "port forwarding" for your DVR (using the local IP address of your DVR, e.g. from our example this would be 192.168.2.100). As every router manufacturer has a different configuration set-up, you may find the Portforward.com website useful here - it contains instructions on port forwarding for many different routers, and also includes default password information in case you are unsure of yours. Please note that if you are using a corporate router with custom firmware, they may have disabled the ability to configure port forwarding, in which case please talk to your IT specialist.
Once you have correctly set up portforwarding, you should be able to access the DVR locally using its IP address and the forwarded port. Either enter these details into software provided with the DVR (e.g. AVTech's "Anytime Anywhere" software, which is available for download at the top of this page), or into your mobile phone's DVR software (e.g. AVTech's Eagle Eye software, available from the App store on iPhones, or see EagleEyes Website
for more details), or into your web browser in the following format: http://ip address:port so in our example, we would enter http://192.168.2.100:1080 into the address bar. If you have successfully got this far you are a step closer to viewing the DVR remotely (from outside your private network) but you will need to know your Global IP address.
Finding Your Global IP Address
In order to access your DVR remotely you will need to know the Global IP address of your network. So far in these instructions we have been talking about "local" (or "private") IP addresses - these are the addresses used within your own network to communicate between those devices. The "Global" IP address is assigned by your Internet Service Provider, and can be communicated with from anywhere on the internet.
You can use websites such as whatismyipaddress.com or whatismyip.com to find the Global IP address of your network. However, there is a catch: you may have a "Dynamic" IP address. This means that your ISP will frequently re-assign you a new IP address from a pool, so your address will change. This makes remote access slightly more complicated, as you cannot simply enter the IP and connect to your network if it has changed since you last checked. It is far preferable to get a "Static" IP address from your ISP, although they may charge for this service. The other option is to use a free website such as www.no-ip.com* that will let you use a memorable name that will update as your IP address changes. Some routers offer a free Dynamic DNS name, for example DLink routers at dlinkddns.com. If you are to use a Dynamic DNS system, you will need to take a note of your "hostname" (e.g. yourchoiceofname.no-ip.org), your username for the Dynamic host service you choose (e.g. your login name for the no-ip.com website), and the password for the hosting service's website. These settings need to be added either on to the DVR, or on your router, in the DDNS configuration menu. Please note that some routers do not support DDNS, and some IPs disable the option in their routers. In this case, you should put the DDNS settings (hostname, username and password) directly on to the DDNS settings on the DVR itself.
You can find a how-to guide on setting up a DynamicDNS for your network here; although please note that these may be outdated as DynDNS have changed their site recently. An updated version will be available soon to accomodate for no-ip.com's settings.
For more information on dynamic and static IP addresses, try here: http://whatismyipaddress.com/dynamic-static
Use one of the websites to find your Global IP address and make a note of it. It will be a series of four numbers separated by dots, e.g. 18.104.22.168 (but not exactly that; yours will be unique).
If you have a dynamic IP address, use a website such as www.no-ip.com to create a dynamic DNS name for yourself, and make a note of that: for example, you may end up with something like mydvr.no-ip.org
*previously we recommended DynDNS.com; however they no longer offer free dynamic names, instead offering a free trial of their premium service. At the time of writing, no-ip.com still offer their service for free.
Details you will need to log in remotely
At this point you should have:
1) Set up the DVR with an IP address on your local network (e.g. 192.168.2.100)
2) Configured a "port" for traffic on the DVR (e.g. port 1080)
3) Configured the router to allow traffic through this port (port forwarding).
4) Found your Global IP address (e.g. 22.214.171.124) OR set up a dynamic DNS name via a free web service (e.g. mydvr.dyn.org)
You should also have the username and password that allow you to log on to your DVR. (By default this is often username: admin password: admin but we suggest you change this to something you will remember).
You will need this information to log in remotely. There are several methods you can use to log in remotely, including via a web browser, via standalone software on a PC, or via an application on a mobile phone (e.g. Eagle Eye for iPhone)
Logging in via Internet Explorer (PC)
Open up Internet Explorer, and enter your log-in address into the browser. You will need to do it in the following format: http://global_address:port so for our example, we would enter http://192.168.2.100:1080 (or if using the dynamic DNS system example, http://mydvr.dyn.org:1080).
You will be prompted for your DVR's username and password, so enter these and then proceed to the next step.
The first time you do this you may notice a yellow bar pop-up on the top of the Internet Explorer window, asking if you wish to install an ActiveX plug-in. You must accept this as it allows the data to be streamed to the Internet window. You may see 2-3 similar pop-ups. After accepting and installing them all, it is wise to shut down and then re-open Internet Explorer.
After you have installed the ActiveX controls and re-entered your IP address, you should be prompted for your username and password. Enter these and you should be connected. Logging in via dedicated software (PC) AVTech users can download the software at the top of this page (or here) to their PC. Install the software and use the IP address, port, and username/password settings that you have used from this guide to log-in. Remote Viewing via Iphone
For compatible Swann DVRs, search on the App Store for "Aplayer" (see this link). Use the IP address, port, and username/password settings that you have used from this guide to log-in.
For compatible AVTech DVRs, search on the App Store for "EagleEye". Use the IP address, port, and username/password settings that you have used from this guide to log-in.
Screenshot of Aplayer for iPhone
Screenshot of EagleEyes for iPhone
How to view video from Swann DVR 2500 series on 3G iPhone
AVTech video showing "Push Notification" setup on iPhone
Remote Viewing for Android Phones
AVTech have now released EagleEyes Lite for Android devices. The software can be downloaded from the EagleEyes site, or from the link at the top of this page. To install the software, you will need to enable installation of non-Market applications (as the software is downloaded and installed directly and not from the market).
To enable installation from "Unknown Sources" (i.e. applications that are downloaded directly and are not available in the Android Market): 1) Open your Android's main menu (e.g. on many phones this is via a "Menu" key)
2) Find and click "Settings"
3) Find the option for "Applications"
4) You should see an option with a tick-box for "Unknown sources", with the text below reading "Allow install of non-Market applications".
5) Tick this box and then leave the menu
You should then be able to download and install the EagleEyes software for Android. Detailed instructions can be found on their website here. Remote Viewing via Blackberry/Windows Mobile/Symbian
AVTech have recently released versions of their popular EagleEyes remote viewing software for Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian phones. More information on installing and operating can be found on the EagleEyes website.
more to follow... please check back soon.
This video from AVTech demonstrates their "EagleEyes" Remote Viewing applications for mobile phones.