Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles ’ Category



A Guide for License plate cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

License plate cameras, why do we need them!? Well…..self-explanatory, to record license plates. Since a vehicle tag is a very valuable piece of information in any criminal investigation, it is understandable why private and commercial customers would want to implement a device that records it as part of their security system. Now, some of you will say “Why can’t I just use a regular high resolution camera. It can obviously record a vehicle tag from a distance?!” Well…. it’s not that simple! The license plate cameras have certain unique features that classify them as license plate cameras.

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Before I go into those unique features, a quick class in basic videography is needed.

The key of any video scene is the light that affects any video footage that we are recording.  Before the camera records a certain scene, there is an automatic process that is done by the cameras internal mechanism. The sensor calculates the existing conditions like the colors, amount of light, differences between highlights and shadows at the scenery and configures the camera’s shutter and iris to an average configuration that was programmed by the manufacturer. The shutter and the iris both are responsible for the amount of light that enters the camera by controlling its speed and opening. The faster the shutter works, the less light is caught by the sensor. The larger iris opening will let more light in. By default, this process is automated by a camera’s processor.

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Going back to our case…… maybe this average setup is good for general video recording but it is not good enough if we need to record something very specific like a vehicle’s license plate. Besides that, there is another problem. We know that an average CCTV camera has IR illuminators that turn on as soon as it becomes dark at the scene and the camera switches to infra-red mode so the IRs can illuminate the dark scene. That does not help us since the license plate that we want to catch is reflective as required by law and the light reflects back into the camera and distorts the video/image.

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So we need an ability to record the tag in any light conditions, day or night. That’s where the specialized license plate cameras come in. These cameras have  options that are designed to help solve issues that were mentioned earlier. The controls can be manipulated by the user manually and to the point that is desired by the user and to his needs. A good license plate camera will have all or some of these options:

  1. Manual shutter
  2. Manual iris
  3. Option to turn off the cameras IR mode
  4. Varifocal lens
  5. Manual focus

You’re wondering why we need those manual adjustments and how can we use them? We are going to use those manual adjustments to record the piece of information that is important for us, the vehicle tag. In the beginning, there’s a very important part of the installation and that’s the positioning of the camera. It is obvious that the installer needs to install the camera in a way that the vehicle’s license plate will be visible at a certain point by that camera or pass through the scene that the camera is viewing. This will be done by using proper focus, varifocal lens and axis movements that the camera has. In the second phase of the installation, we need to make sure that we configure the camera in a way that it will record the tag by using manual adjustments like shutter, iris or both.

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Security Camera King currently sells 2 different models of license plate cameras. These cameras have the abilities that were described earlier in this article and can be used successfully to record vehicle tags. The second part of this article will guide you through how to set up these cameras as license plate cameras.

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This camera is from our TP series of cameras and it is a CVI camera. This camera is a long range, varifocal, weatherproof camera that can work as a license plate camera. It has all the necessary features that will make it a license plate camera and here are the adjustments that need to be made.

Start working with the camera by viewing the camera full screen on your DVR. Click the right mouse to bring up a menu and choose ‘PTZ’. Click again on the small arrow that is located on the right side of this menu and another menu will open. Click on the camera icon in the upper right corner and this will bring up the OSD menu.

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Use the arrows on the menu to go to ‘Exposure’ and click ‘Enter’ to choose it. In the ‘Exposure’ menu choose ‘Shutter’ and the next menu will allow you to manually adjust the shutter. There are no exact settings that the shutter will need to be set at. It’s all trial and error so you will need to play with it so you can find the right adjustment.

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Go back to the ‘Main Menu’ and choose ‘Day & Night’. Click on the right arrow of the menu to change it to ‘Color’.

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The last adjustment should be the intensity of your IR illuminators. On the bottom part of the camera there is a cover that covers the knob that controls that adjustment. Turn the knob to the minimum so the IR illuminators will not interfere with the license plate light.

IPOB-TP2MP250L660-W

This camera is also from our TP series and it is an IP camera. Similar to the previous camera, this camera is also a long range, varifocal, weatherproof camera that can work as a license plate camera.

You will need to log into the web-interface of the IP camera to setup the necessary adjustments. Once there you will find ‘Video Settings’ on the Main Menu and click it. Choose ‘Video Parameters” and then go to tab “Advanced”. Change the ‘Exposure Time’ to a higher value to close the shutter on the camera. Again, this will be a trial and error method. You need to try so you can find the right adjustment.

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Choose the ‘IR’ tab and change the ‘IR mode’ to ‘Time Detection’. Then change the time to 0:0:0 a day to 23:59:59 a night. The ‘IR’ should be changed to ‘Low Level’ and you are all done.

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Remember, a license plate camera by itself is not sufficient. As a license plate capture solution it would be wise to pair it up with more cameras that would have an overall view of the general scene.

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Prevent tampering on your new TechPro Security Recorders & Lock Boxes.

Written By:
Friday, November 6th, 2015

lockbox lockpicking

Prevent tampering on your new TechPro Security Recorders & Lock Boxes. There are times that a bit of security for your security equipment is needed more than the normal Lockbox or locked room, these can be easily accessed by someone with lock picking skills or having access to bypassing tools to gain access to these devices. In these cases they can alter or damage the equipment in order to do their nefarious acts. For this I have a simple solution that will provide you with alerts via email, audible alerts from the built in recorder and/or an external alarm connected to one of the relays built into many of our recorders.

Lets start by gathering what we need.

We first need the Micro Switch that will be used to trigger the signal.

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We also need screws (Check Size for best fitment) I used the nut and bolt solution.

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Here is Duct Strip for mounting the sensor in the best spot you can find.

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We will also use 18 AWG cable.  500ft-18-2-awg-power-wiresecurity-camera-cable-discount-58884sma

Now the position of the sensor depends on the recorder itself. We carry a variety of options to choose from and one is the Prime Series that has a lid that needs to be slid back to remove the top and vice versa when locking it, this is why we are utilizing the Micro Switch with a roller so that the roller helps with the lids movement without causing any harm to the lid or the switch itself.

 

Locking the recorder with a sliding Lid.

Unlocking the recorder with a sliding lid.

Once we have found the perfect position so that the roller and the lid have enough clearance and no other parts are touching, we can move on to choosing what type of circuit we will be using. You can choose a normally open or normally closed circuit. For our purpose I suggest a normally closed circuit. This way, if the leads that are going back to the input/output are cut or tampered with, the circuit will open and send an audible alert or an email if you choose to receive them.

Microswitch

This is an image of an older project with the same switch. This is what we are going to do but in this case we will have one of the leads on the normally closed pin instead of the normally open pin like this image illustrates. microswitch diagram

Micro switches are very popular. It basically has a common connection and a N.O and an N.C that send the voltage from one pin to the other with the mechanical input of the arm which in our case has the roller ball attached to it.

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In the above image we can see what terminals I will be using for this demonstration. The black lead is going to the ground/common and the red lead is going to input number 16.

We run the leads as best as possible into the case of the recorder, there are many holes you can choose from. If you choose to, you can make a better connection inside of the unit by soldering the leads to the common and input of your choice. Ensure that the terminal block has these blocked by either filling the block with epoxy or simply cutting the block itself.

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Here are some images where you can mount the micro switch on a CVI Recorder , now I utilized some 3m double sided tape just for this demonstration. If I were to add this I would counter sink the hole that already exists there adding a piece of strap to that, connect the strap to that hole with an angled screw so as to not interfere with the lid and then add the micro switch to it.

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Here you can see the clearance of the switch with the lid.

In this video you will see the switch in action. I am doing some steps before turning the recorder and ensuring none of my test leads are touching the case . I used an LED flashlight I got for free when I purchased the micro-switch at Radioshack since the ones I ordered online were delayed and there was an immediate need for these.

 

 

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We can do the same with a lock box as shown here.

Now that we have the recorder working with this setup , we need to configure the recorder so it sends us an email, beeps and operates a siren if you choose to add it. In the case of the lock box you can mount the strip to the top lid as the side lid is the first thing that needs to be opened.

 

 

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I had to switch to an analog recorder since I was not able to make any changes to the other without changing what was there already. For any other recorder it is similar to this Go to the ALARM section and under “Event Type” select “Local Alarm” and check the box with the label “Enable”. Next, select the number of “Alarm in”, in this case we are setting it to 16 and we are just looking for a beep to ensure it was functioning.

For Email, check the box labeled “Show Message” and then check “Send Email”.

For Snapshot (saves an image from the camera that is near the recorder) make sure you select the correct channel here.

Buzzer, will enable the internal buzzer. (not as loud as you would think)

Alarm Out, this is where you can add the rule where a siren can be installed. When using this, add the siren and use the common and other to the 1,2,3 outputs. (This will turn on the siren when the micro switch is triggered)

Save this and you are all set unless you want an email. In this case you will need to do the following:

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On the bottom of the NETWORK page you must pick EMAIL to enable Email, and  then double click on the word “EMAIL” and this will bring up another window where you can add your settings for email output.

 

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In my case I am using the Gmail Servers. Make sure you select Port 465, add your username and password, and select SSL Encryption. Everything else is self explanatory. Once the recorder is tampered with your will receive an email and any other notifications or alarms . You can select the title of the email to reflect something like ” Recorder Tampered With!”

welcome

 

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Options for Converting and Decrypting your CCTV video

Written By:
Thursday, November 5th, 2015

cctv

If you’ve ever tried retrieving CCTV video and playing it back on a standard video player, you’ve probably had the harrowing experience of trying to open these tricky little .DAV files in your everyday, run of the mill video player and… Rats! It just won’t play. Why is that? Because for super-secret-safety reasons that would take hours and endless bar graphs to explain.. these files are usually encoded thus unplayable in your regular old player but there are Options for Converting and Decrypting your CCTV video.

Sadly… you’ll now have to spend an extra few hundred seconds more of your life to decipher them. I know, it’s a drag.. but we’re here to help walk you through it.

Now, depending on the type of camera (whether it be Analog, HD-CVI, HD-TVI, or Network IP) and the DVR, some converters will need more than one pass as conversion to fully decrypt the video. Some might only need one conversion but almost 98 percent of the time (from my own experience) it’s two. Most of the time.. you’ll only need 2 pieces of software to do this, but depending on how often you need to do this, and how many cameras and DVRs you’re dealing with.. having a backup converter comes in handy, just in case (kinda like a fire axe in the glass case . . .  you’ll probably never need it, but you feel fuzzy inside knowing it’s there). Luckily, there are several freeware options for making sure your video is fully converted, decrypted, and useful.

First, you’ll have to scan through your video and find the relevant sections you want to convert, leaving yourself about 30 seconds extra space before and after for safety. This can be done through the DVR user interlace, or via your computer or smart device if you’re dealing with an Network Video Recorder. Once you’ve selected the file, you may have to locate where the file has been sent to… which could be in several different locations, but it’s usually in the C drive directory, where it’s usually stored in a folder “RecordDownload”.

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But it may be in your “Users” folder.. in which case, look in Users/Username/Web/Recordfiles. But if you still can’t find it, just look in your DVR settings for the save / write directory.

Ok, so you’ve located the files… now comes the fun part (ok, not really). Start by going Here and scrolling down to near the bottom of the page to where it says “Video Player and Converter Downloads”, and select download, then run the install file.

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It’s a program simply called “Player” (such a creative name. And yes, I’m being very sarcastic), but it it’s also a handy little file converter that can handle converting your DAV files to AVI video files.

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To get a video ready to convert, click the “Open file” icon on the left side (the up arrow button), and select a file to upload. Scrub thourhg it to make sure the video is correct, then click on the “AVI” button.

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Select where you want to save your file, then click Convert. Step one is over, but odds are, you’ll have to put it through one more conversion to be able to use it in a a standard video player. Even though it’s now an AVI file, it’s still encrypted. Even some well known video converters, such as Adobe’s Media Encoder can have issues reading these kinds of files. So . . . what are the options from here?

1) Xilisoft Video Converter
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Xilisoft is quite a robust video converter.. sort of a Swiss Army Knife (wielded by MacGuyver) for video, but unfortunately it’s not freeware.. so sadly you may have to purchase it (which is a good thing as it helps keep the economy going strong). Otherwise, it will only convert up to 3 minutes of your videos. However, if you’re okay with this, and the sections of video you’re converting are shorter than that (and really… who wants to watch more than 3 minutes of security video these days), then this software should work just fine. The advantage Xilisoft offers is the sheer number of formats and options that can be utilized. But generally you’ll want to stick with the standard video export formats like AVI and MP4.

2) Any Video Converter (A.V.C.)
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No, not literally “Any video converter”.. that’s actually what it’s called. Sometimes, there are issues converting some types of videos on one converter.. so it pays to have a backup.

That’s how we discovered this piece of software.. a newer camera format (which shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) started producing video files that would sometimes cause Xilisoft to hang and then crash… or they would only convert a few seconds of video, rather than the entire recording.. so, obviously.. this would not do. We needed an alternative and we needed it fast. So.. after a blistering 90 seconds of searching on the inter-webs, we found this handy little program. And much to our delight, unlike Xilisoft’s Video Converter, this one is freeware. While it’s not quite as feature packed as that converter, it allows you to even burn video DVDs of the files from right within the program itself, which can definitely come in handy and expedite the process of producing a hard copy of a video if it’s necessary.

3) FREEMAKE VIDEO CONVERTER

Here’s another freeware video converter that’s has a user interface that’s even more visually simplified than “Any Video Converter” (mentioned above).
But the simplicity of it’s interface is deceptive because it too outputs to dozens of video formats (mentioned above) but it also happens to handle a wide variety of files that may cause other converters to crash. Another thing it shares with AVC is the ability to burn a DVD right from the software, and even add a simple DVD menu if necessary.


And that folks, is about all there is to it. Here’s the simplified Cliff Notes version..
1) use the “Player” software to convert the .DAV file to AVI,
2) The another converter to take out that nasty encryption.
And it just so happens.. we have a handy play by play video on how to do that…

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How to set up your TechproDDNS Acct

Written By:
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

How to set up your DVR for use with a TechProDDNS Domain

One of the problems with viewing your DVR remotely is that if your Internet service Provider or (ISP) changes your IP address, you may no longer be able to access your DVR.  Once properly configured, the TechPro DDNS (Dynamic DNS) service eliminates this common issue.

The way it works is by providing you with a domain name, like the following “MyDVR.techproddns.com”, that will always resolve to your current IP address. If the IP address changes, the DDNS service is notified by the DVR and updates the domain name to point to the new IP. Put simply, you can always reach your DVR by going to “MyDVR.techproddns.com”.

This document will show you how to setup your TechPro Security Products DVR in conjunction with a TechProDDNS domain name. It is important to note that some brands of DVRs may not work with DDNS, but all TechPro Security Products DVRs have this capability built-in.

Step 1 – Register for a TechPro DDNS Account.    

Step 2 – Set up a Domain Name.
Once your TechProDDNS account is set up, you will need to set up your domain name.

DDNS_Info

In the example above we chose the domain name “MyDRV.techproddns.com”, User ID: UserID1 and a Password: Password1.

You can choose any Domain Name, User ID and Password that you like, but they should be unique for each DVR.

Note: In Step 3 (the next step) you will have 2 options for configuring the DVR.

Option 1 is using the DVR Local interface and Option 2 is using the “Web Service” via Internet Explorer.

 If you use option 2, the web service, you must have the web service ActiveX Add-on, properly installed on Internet Explorer and your DVR must be on the same network as the computer you are using to access it.

Step 3 – Setup your DVR

Option 1 – DVR Local interface.
With a monitor and mouse connected to your DVR, login to the DVR Local Interface.

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Select “Settings” icon from the Main Menu.

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Next Select “Network” icon.

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Note: The example below assumes that your network IP scheme follows the 192.168.1.? Convention. This is normally the case.   It also assumes that your Default Gateway (typically your router) has an IP address of 192.168.1.1

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TechPro DVRs come with a default static IP address of 192.168.1.108. This is normally fine and for the purposes of this document we are going to leave it that way. Do not check DHCP as we want this DVR to ALWAYS have the 192.168.1.108 IP. If DHCP is selected it may pick up a random IP from you router.

Note: Just be sure that 192.168.1.108 is not in your routers DHCP range. If it is another device on that network may get 192.168.1.108 assigned to it and cause conflicts.

We also recommend that you change the HTTP Port from the default 80 to 88. Port 80 is the default HTTP port for many devices and may also be blocked or cause conflicts.

Once you are done scroll to the bottom of the page an turn on the checkbox, next to “DDNS”.
Then double click on “DDNS” to open the DDNS Settings.

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Select “Dyndns DDNS” from the “DDNS Type” dropdown and turn on the “Enable” checkmark next to it. Now enter the following information.

Server IP: techproddns.com
Port: Do Not Change this. Unlike the HTTP Incoming Port, this should remain 80
Domain Name: MyDVR.techproddns.com
User Name: UserName1
Password: Password1

Select “Save” at the bottom of the “DDNS Settings” popup and “Save” at the bottom of the “Network Setting” Page.

 

Option 2 – Web Service (via Internet Explorer).
The setup is identical to the setting above but, the user interface of the web service is a bit different. In Internet Explorer go to http://192.168.1.108, and login to your DVR.

WEB

Next Select “Network” from the navigation bar on the left.

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Note: The example above assumes that your network IP scheme follows the 192.168.1.? Convention. This is normally the case.   It also assumes that your Default Gateway (typically your router) has an IP address of 192.168.1.1

TechPro DVRs come with a default static IP address of 192.168.1.108. This is normally fine and for the purpose of this document we are going to leave it that way. Do not check DHCP since we want this DVR to ALWAYS have the 192.168.1.108 IP. If DHCP is selected it may pick up a random IP from your router.

Note: Just be sure that 192.168.1.108 is not in your routers DHCP range. If it is, another device on that network may get 192.168.1.108 assigned to it and cause conflicts.

We also recommend that you change the HTTP Port from the default 80 to 88. Port 80 is the default HTTP port for many devices and may also be blocked or cause conflicts.

Once that is done, scroll to the bottom of the page and check the box next to “DDNS”.

Select “Save” at the bottom of the page.

Now Select “DDNS” under the “Network” Menu.

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First select “Dyndns DDNS” from the “DDNS Type” Dropdown and check the “Enable” box next to it.

Now enter the following information:

Server IP: techproddns.com
Port: Do Not Change this. Unlike the HTTP Incoming Port, this should remain 80
Device Alias: MyDVR.techproddns.com
User Name: UserName1
Password: Password1

Select “Save” at the bottom of the page.

Step 4 – Port Forward your Router to your DVR.
OK, now you have configured your DVR to communicate with the DDNS server and keep it up to date with your current IP address.

The last thing we have to do is set up port forwarding in your router. Doing this tells the router that when a request comes in from “MyDVR.techProDDNS.com” on port “88”, to forward us to the DVR.

The user interface may vary depending on the specific router, but port forwarding is usually set up similar to this example. Here I am using a Linksys E1000 wireless router as shown below.

rOUTER

Most routers will have options for “Single Port Forwarding” and “Port Range Forwarding”.  In this example we will use “Single Port Forwarding”.

You may have noticed earlier, when we changed the “HTTP port” to “88” that there was also a “TCP port” set to “37777”.  We will need to port forward both of them. The HTTP port (88) is used by the “Web Service” when accessing the DVR from a browser, like Internet Explorer and the TCP port (37777) is used by software or mobile apps that will be accessing your DVR.

Once you find the area in your router for “Single Port Forwarding”, you will want to set things up similar to the settings shown above.

First, you will assign a descriptive name to each port forward. I used “DVR Web” for port”88” and “DVR Software” for port “37777”.

In the “External Port” and “Internal Port” fields you want to specify the port that the request will be coming in on “88” or “37777”.

Under the “Protocol” drop down there are usually 3 options, TCP, UDP and Both. We really only need to select “TCP” but selecting “Both” won’t hurt and covers all bases.

Now you need to tell the router the IP of the device you want to forward your request to. In this case it’s the DVR “192.168.1.108”. That’s why earlier we mentioned we do not want to check the “DHCP” option, this will ensure that the DVR is always “192.168.1.108”.

Last, you want to “Enable” or make sure this rule is “Active”.

 

Testing To See If Everything Works.
At this point if everything is setup correctly, you should be able to test it by launching “Internet Explorer” and going to the following domain:

HTTP://MyDVR.techProDDNS.com:88

If you get the “Web Service” login screen, then it’s all good!

WEB

One Last Note: Notice that we had to specify: 88 at the end of the domain name. This is because we change out HTTP port to 88. If we did not add: 88 the router would not know which rule to use to port forward our request. 

 

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NAT and Port Forwarding Part 2

Written By:
Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

How do I know if I have Double NAT or Triple NAT?

In my last article we talked about NAT and what it does, and Port Forwarding and what that is. This article is the second in that series.
It should be easy enough to get your DVR/NVR up and accessible on the LAN (Local Area Network) by inputting a valid LAN address in the DVR/NVR setup. Now the question is – how do we make it accessible from off site. I mentioned in the previous article – while we were in the router, we should check for it’s ‘External IP Address’ to see what is showing there. This is usually in the ‘Status’ section or ‘WAN’ setup. Now you will need to know what you found there. The WAN or Internet status will tell us a couple of things.

1. Is it a static or dynamic address? If you see something like ‘DHCP’ / ‘Obtain Automatically’ / or you just can’t find an address anywhere, then most likely the address is dynamic. For Port Forwarding purposes, we don’t want anything to be dynamic unless it absolutely has to be. In a dynamic address scenario, your IP address can change, and then your Port Forwarding is broken. If your router shows ‘DHCP’ or ‘Obtain Address Automatically’ it may not show the address it has. This then, becomes a little tricky to figure out.

A good way to test for Double/Triple NAT, if you are comfortable working in the DOS Command prompt – run a ‘tracert’ command. (Trace Route) Trace route shows every node , or device that you pass through on your way to a certain web site. (Try it on your favorite web site sometime – you might be amazed at how far your signal travels to get to a site that is physically hosted only a few miles away) The first ‘hops’ it shows may reveal Internal Addresses replying. This is a clear indication of how many routers you are passing through on your way to the Internet. To run a trace route command – open the Command prompt and type “tracert www.yahoo.com” without the quotes, and be sure to leave a space between tracert and the www (you can use any site you want, I just always use Yahoo or Google). To open a command prompt – Press and hold the Windows ‘Flying Flag’ key between Ctrl and Alt on your keyboard – this will pop up a ‘Run’ dialog. Type “cmd” (without quotes) and click Enter. This will open your Command Prompt. Then just type in “tracert www.yahoo.com” (without quotes) Make sure to leave a space after ‘tracert’. That will return a series of IP Addresses similar to this =

tracert

As you can see, the first hop shows 192.168.2.1 (Class C Internal Address) The second hop shows an address of 96.88.74.138 (NOT an Internal Address) and it also shows Comcast information as well, confirming that it is an External Address. This shows me that I have only one router in line before I get to the Internet, so only single NAT on my system. If you see two or three hops showing an Internal Address, then you have Double or Triple NAT or Quadruple NAT or…? The point being, if you see more than one Internal Address, your task just became a little more difficult.

Another method, if you can do it without taking the customers business offline, unplug the Cat-5 cable coming in to the ‘WAN’ or ‘Internet’ port on your router, and plug directly in to your PC. Restart your PC, then run an ‘ipconfig /all’ command from a DOS prompt and check the IP Address you find there. (Try to connect to the Internet with a browser to verify you are getting a valid address when you test this way.) Hopefully you will see an ‘Internet Address’, then you know there is nothing else in line to worry about. If, however you see an ‘Internal Address’ Make a quick note of the IP Address, Subnet Mask, Gateway, and DNS Servers you see there – we can use them in the router you are connected to. As soon as you have the information you need, pull that cable and disconnect from the Internet. (It is risky to connect directly to the Internet so keep your test as brief as possible)

2. If you see the IP address is set to ‘Static’ in your router, you WILL be seeing an IP address. Check to see if that IP address is a ‘Private Range’ address =
Class A = 10.0.0.0 through 10.255.255.255
Class B = 172.16.0.0 through 172.31.255.255
Class C = 192.168.0.0 through 192.168.255.255
When you see this on your WAN status (or WAN Address or Internet Address) –There is another device in line between you and the Internet that is performing NAT and you will have to Port Forward that device to the device you are looking at. To accomplish this you will need to set the router to a ‘Static’ address. The quick and dirty way is to take the IP address , Subnet mask, and Gateway that you discovered in the test above (connecting the routers’ WAN cable directly to your PC) and use them in the router you are working on. For DNS servers, use the ‘Gateway IP address’ or whatever you saw in the ipconfig test. (If you ran ‘ipconfig /all’ you will see DNS servers listed)
It is important to know that a modem with only a single LAN connection can also be a router. Even if it has only one port to connect to, it can be performing NAT and you’ll need to Port Forward it as well. (This is not usually the case on a cable connection – cable modems are generally set to ‘Bridge Mode’ so they are transparent on the network) This is where the ‘Status’ page of a router helps, if its WAN address is a private IP address, then your modem is also a router and it is supplying that address. Or , even more common, you will find another router in line between you and the Internet.

The easiest test here is to look for the ‘Gateway’ address showing on the WAN status. The gateway you see there will be the next router in line. Put in that address and see if you get a logon prompt. If you see another router, log into it and then run the same tests to see if it is directly connected to the Internet or not. Keep going until you no longer see private addresses on the router’s WAN connection. Start making a diagram of what you find and the different ranges of IP addresses you see on each one. You will need this information to map out your port forwarding. If you find only one router, you are golden – port forward it and call it done. If you find two or three routers in line – you are going to have to port forward every one of them.

Ports are forwarded directionally from the Internet toward your device.
The important thing to remember in Port Forwarding is that you must forward in ‘Daisy Chain’ fashion through all devices in your path.
Port Forward your ports from the modem to your first router – from your first  router to the next router – and so on until you get to the router where your device is connected. That last router will then be forwarded to your device.
**The most common mistake in port forwarding is to try to forward the first device in line directly to the camera or DVR IP Address instead of porting through the chain of devices.

Double NAT or Triple NAT can be tedious to set up because it takes extra time and you need to be sure of the connection sequence of your devices, and in some cases, you may find the customers network is not set up correctly. In my next article I will show you what to look for and how to fix it, as well as a detailed example of how to ‘Port Forward’ through a series of routers.
Happy Networking!

Previous Article in this series NAT and Port Forwarding Part 1

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