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Dummies Guide to watching a Security Camera System from the Internet

If you are not tech savvy and you are looking for an easy way to watch your security camera system from the internet then this guide is for you. Once you have your cameras connected to your recorder, and you can watch your cameras using a monitor connected to the recorder, then follow this guide on how to remotely view the system without any recurring fees.


 

Before you get started

Before you follow the guide below make sure you have the following:

  • You have a monitor connected to the security video recorder using the VGA or HDMI port
  • You can view cameras on the grid displayed on the monitor
  • You have a hard-wired broadband internet connection at the location of the recorder
  • You are currently at the location of the recorder.
  • Understand that the P2P remote connection does not work through a mesh network such as an Orbi, Google WiFi, or EERO.

The user is responsible for following this guide completely and thoroughly. Any attempts to skip the steps outlined below will only result in failure of the connection process. We advise customers to rewatch the videos and make sure they are not missing a step.
Make sure you are using a known good networking cable and that your network firewall or ISP is not blocking the recorder from connecting to the P2P server. If for some reason the recorder is unable to connect to the P2P services that means you have misconfigured network settings or your network environment is blocking the recorder. You would then need paid networking services as per our terms and conditions. Networking services are affordable and can be purchased here using NETHELP.

  1. The video above demonstrates the difference between a network switch and a router. The video shows an example of a 8-port network switch. A network switch will have only LAN ports and no port specifically designated for the internet. Your router has one port that is labeled internet or WAN and 4 numbered ports labeled LAN. Only use your router when connecting the recorder to the internet.
  2. Make sure your recorder is connected to one of the numbered LAN ports on your router. This connects your recorder to your local area network (LAN). Check to see that the lights on the back of your recorder are blinking. If those lights are not blinking then either your network cable is not plugged in correctly or your network cable is bad.
  3. If properly connected, you will be able to view your cameras over the internet following the steps below. We strongly suggest you avoid using switches entirely but, if you must, use only one switch. The video above shows how to incorporate a network switch with your router and recorder.

Step 2) Enable DHCP on your Recorder

  1. The video above demonstrates the steps to setup a dynamic IP address for your recorder. First, login to your recorder using the graphical password or using your username and password. All of our recorders have a default username and password stated on a label on the top of the recorder.
  2. After entering in the password, right click and go to main menu. Go to Network at the bottom of the main menu. To change the IP address go to the TCP/IP tab. Locate your recorder's IP address in the box. The default IP address will be 192.168.1.108 and which is a Static IP address. We want to set the DVR to DHCP which automatically gets a IP address from your router. Go to Edit which has a pencil icon, and then click on DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). Now, hit okay. Then, hit apply and okay.
  3. Restart your recorder for it to receive a new address from your router.
  4. If the IP address states 0.0.0.0 after setting the DHCP and restarting your recorder then you have incorrectly plugged in the network cable that goes into your recorder or have a bad network cable that will need to be replaced. Check that your network cable is plugged into the port labeled LAN and that there are blinking lights around the network connector. If the lights are not blinking, make sure the network cable is properly plugged into your router. You may also want to make sure you have a good Ethernet cable.

Step 3) Install the mobile App on your Smartphone

For iPhone and Android devices the app is the same. It is called DMSS on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

In this video our tech shows you how to install the remote viewing app. Creating an account in the app binds the system to an email account, and for security purposes the app does not allow more than one user to access the email account at the same time. We do not recommend creating an account in the app as it can prevent viewing from multiple devices at the same time.

Step 4) Connect your recorder to your Smartphone

The last step is to enable P2P networking services on your recorder and scan its QR code in to the App on your Smartphone. It is an easy process as shown in the video below.

Step 5) Connect your recorder to your the PC or Mac software

Finally you can also add the recorder to the PC or Mac software by using the P2P serial number. The P2P method makes it much easier to add for remote viewing without needing complicated networking.

Troubleshooting Remote Viewing Issues

Problem: P2P setting stays "Offline" and you're unable to get it to say "Online"

Reason: You will want to make sure the following have been done and are true:

a. You have successfully enabled DHCP. If the recorder does not get a new IP address right away, reboot the unit by using the software reboot button at the top right of the screen, or unplug and reconnect the recorder to power.

b. There are proper DNS settings enabled. By default if you set your recorder to DHCP it should automatically grab DNS settings. If it does not we recommend manually setting the DNS 1 to 8.8.8.8 and the DNS 2 to 8.8.4.4, aka primary and secondary DNS servers.

c. You are not using an Orbi, Google WiFi, or some other mesh network device that does not have good wired network support. Connect the recorder directly to the router or modem from your Internet Service Provider.

Problem: You see only one camera from a DVR or NVR when trying to watch video from the app

Reason: The device was not added correctly. When adding the device after scanning the P2P Serial Number you must select the correct device type. For DVRs and XVRs choose the DVR/XVR option. For NVRs, choose NVR. See the snapshot from the video below showing where to choose the appropriate device type.

Showing where to select the appropriate device type on the DMSS app

Still only seeing one or 4 cameras?: After you have successfully added the NVR or DVR with the correct device type and you still only see one or 4 cameras you will need to learn how to use the app. If the app connected then that means it has access to all of the cameras connected to the system. Click the following link to learn more about how to use the Live View and Playback functions of the app and cycle through channels, or change grid screen options to view more channels: iPhone iPad App for Remote Viewing your Security Cameras guide.

Problem: Remote Viewing doesn't work while away from your WiFi and you have an Anti-virus app on your phone

Reason: The Anti-virus is blocking the phone from accessing the remote viewing service. Make sure you add an exception for the app within the settings of your anti-virus software so the app can freely communicate over the internet. Without internet access, the app will always fail to access your system remotely.

is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading Security Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. His area of expertise is in designing professional security camera systems for medium and large scale businesses, schools, and government projects.

 

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