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How to connect to your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to the internet using port forwarding
 

 

Last week, one of my neighbors asked me to help him connect his Abus Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to the internet. The whole concept of making devices available to the internet, is generally the same and can also be used with other devices such as "raspberry pi's", Laptops, etc. using whatever software like OwnCloud or Tonido, etc.

Before being able to connect your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to the internet you need to do 3 simple steps:

  • Create a local network and connect it to the internet
  • Connect your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to your local network
  • Configure your local network and Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

 

Create a local network and connect it to the internet:

  • Choose an internet provider and buy an account (ask around with your neighbors, to find the best provider).
  • Buy an access point or a Modem and hook it up to the internet.

 

Connect your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to your local network:

  • Connect your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to your local network using UTP cable (CAT-5 will do).
  • For now you can make use of DHCP.

 

Configure your local network and Digital Video Recorder (DVR):

Hookup your computer (or laptop) to the local network that you just created. The next thing we're going to configure is your modem (DHCP pool), a fixed IP address for your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and again your modem (port forwarding).

 

Configuring the DHCP pool on your modem:

  • Login to your modem (you will need: the IP-address of your modem, username and password) (connecting to your modem can often be done by using your web browser)
  • Later on you're going to configure a fixed ip address on your Digital Video Recorder (DVR), so we will have to make sure that the fixed ip address does not conflict with the current range of your DHCP server (ip addresses within a network must be unique).
  • Look in your modem settings for the DHCP settings and configure them in such a way that you have enough space for fixed IP addresses (in small business environments it should be save to use the following DHCP settings x.x.x.50 to x.x.x.150 (which gives you 49 fixed ip addresses and 100 flexible ip addresses to be managed by your DHCP server)). On many modems this is done by defining the “Starting IP-Address” of your DHCP server range and choosing the “Maximum Number of DHCP Users” (choose 100) if needed you can fill in the DNS servers of your provider (else you can choose those of Google (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4)).
  • Save your new modem settings!
  • Reboot your modem.
  • Connect your computer (or laptop) to the local network again (you'll get a new ip-address from the newly defined DHCP pool)

Configure a fixed ip address for your Digital Video Recorder (DVR):

  • Login to your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) (you will need: username and password)
  • Go to network settings
  • Disable DHCP
  • Choose a a fixed ip address (for instance x.x.x.35)
  • Use the IP-Address of your modem as gateway setting in your Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
  • Save the settings of your Digital Video Recorder (DVR)!

 

Configure "Port Forwarding" on your modem

In our case the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) uses port 8000 to connect to. So we need to connect port 8000 from the internet to port 8000 on the Digital Video Recorder (DVR):

  • Login to your modem (you will need: the IP-address of your modem, username and password and of course the fixed ip address for your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and the port number of your Digital Video Recorder (DVR)) (connecting to your modem can often be done by using your web browser).
  • With most modems you can do that by going to “Applications & Gaming” (sometimes you can choose from “Single Port Forwarding” and/or “Port Range Forward”).
  • If possible choose “Single Port Forwarding”. On the “External Port” choose 8000 and on the “Internal Port” choose 8000 as well. On the “To IP Adress” setting, choose the fixed ip address for your Digital Video Recorder (DVR). As “Protocol” choose “Both” (most likely  “TCP” will work as well, give it a try and let me know!?).
  • In case you can only use “Port Range Forward” select for both “Start” and “End” the value 8000, all other settings should be roughly the same as described in the “Single Port Forwarding” description (port 8000 from the internet, should connect to port 8000 of the fixed ip address for your Digital Video Recorder (DVR)) (sometimes you need to give the setting a name, choose something like “DVR”).
  • Save the settings of your modem!

 

The last thing is finding your modem on the internet. So on your computer that is connected to the network with the modem and Digital Video Recorder (DVR), open a internet browser and go to www.whatismyip.com

This website shows you the IP-Address of the modem on the internet. The website also enables you tot test the connection speed (the upload speed is the most important). Now you can connect the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) within your “video recorder software” (using the the IP-Address of the modem on the internet and port of the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that you forwarded).

And don't forget to create a special user account on your Digital Video Recorder (DVR)!

 

The concept of port forwarding can also be used with other devices such as "raspberry pi's", Laptops, etc. using whatever software like OwnCloud or Tonido, etc.

 

If you don't know how port forwarding works on you modem, make sure you check this website!!!

PS. Of course it's a better idea to use VPN connections instead of using port forwarding, because by using VPN connections you don’t have to worry about random port scans carried out by evil minions who are trying to find your security camera...

 

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