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How to connect to your DVR over the Internet

Written By:
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

One of the first things that people want to know about their surveillance system is whether or not they have the ability to connect it to the internet for remote viewing. In the past, security systems had to be monitored by a guard who was locked away in a room all day watching the monitors to make sure nothing would happen. The other option was to come back and review footage after something has occurred but then the damage may already be done. It’s extremely important nowadays to be able to view your security system remotely so that you can view it in real-time. Technology has progressed so much that you’re able to get notifications sent directly to your cell phone or tablet to let you know that your security cameras are capturing an event. This can likely save you the trouble of having to replace damaged or stolen property. By having the ability to view your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) over the internet, you will have a much better chance at stopping a crime from happening.

Not everyone is tech savvy. I have learned over the years that many of the things that may seem simple to those who use computers on a daily basis may be like trying to learn another language for most others without the extensive experience. Either way, by the end of this article I hope to show you how to connect your DVR to the internet from top to bottom so that you have a complete understanding of how to hook it all up, configure all of the settings as needed, and also understand why you need to set it up this way. Many tutorials online which show you how to connect your security system to the internet are very short and not detailed enough for you to have an understanding of what you’re actually doing.

Viewing DVR Live Over The Internet

First, here are some of the benefits of connecting your DVR to your network.

  1. Being able to watch your security cameras while you are away from the location is one of the most important features of current DVRs. This will give you the ability to prevent crimes as well as keep an eye on what is currently happening in the locations that the cameras are watching over.
  2. Being able to review and back up footage from your DVR remotely so that you have a copy of what is happening even if the DVR ends up getting damaged or stolen.
  3. Being able to configure the DVR and specialized cameras remotely. This is handy if you notice that the DVR needs to have some of its configurations modified.
  4. Being able to change settings on cameras that are all of a sudden not able to see due to conditions changing. Some people have had issues where their cameras looked great the whole first week that they had them set up but then all of a sudden a big storm comes in and they can’t see anything anymore and one of the camera’s may have a setting which can compensate for this condition change. If you’re not able to reach the location where the DVR and cameras are installed, this will allow you to change the settings from wherever you are so that you don’t miss out on anything in the meantime. However, please note that some cameras do not have these features, but for the ones that do, being able to access them remotely is a great feature to have.

There are a few basic things you will need in order to get started.

  1. Live Internet Connection. This can come from any internet service provider in your area. The faster the speeds they are able to provide you with, the better. However, it’s still possible to view your system remotely with a slower connection such as DSL. Usually the internet service provider will provide you with the option to rent a modem from them unless you have your own available for setup.
    Internet Connection

    Internet Connection

  2. Router. A Router is a device which forwards the data between your network connections. This will allow you to connect multiple devices to your single internet connection. Many homes today currently have Wi-Fi Routers that will allow you to connect your devices to your internet wirelessly. You will not need a wireless router to access your DVR remotely, so just about any router will do. Some of the larger router brands are Linksys (Cisco), D-Link, Netgear, Belkin, and even Apple.
    Cisco Linksys Wireless-N Router wireless router
    Routers
  3. Ethernet Cables. These are usually sold as CAT5 (Category 5) cables which are used to connect you to the internet. Most DVR’s with the ability to be viewed remotely will come with a network port that you can attach your cat5 cable to. Sometimes the manufacturer will even include a cable with the system but unless you are planning on connecting your DVR near your router, most of the times the cable is too short. Be sure to measure out how many feet of cable you will need before purchasing your system. You will also need one Ethernet cable to connect the modem to the router. Routers usually come with their own short Ethernet cable as well.
    Ethernet Cable

    Ethernet Cable

  4. DVR with the ability to be remotely viewed. Not all DVRs have the ability to be viewed remotely. Some DVRs are just for recording and will not have the features that allow for you to connect to them through the internet. Make sure the DVR you have is capable of doing so by contacting the manufacturer or checking the manual that came with it.
    DVR

    DVR

  5. Monitor. For the initial setup, you will need some sort of monitor so that you can connect your DVR and view all of the settings you are configuring. Once these settings are configured, you will no longer need the monitor if you are only going to view the system remotely. Some DVRs have outputs that will also allow you to use a television as a monitor by connecting it using BNC, HDMI, VGA, or even composite RCA connections depending on the devices that you purchase.
    Monitor

    Monitor

Getting Started

  1. Make sure that your Modem is connected to the internet. Usually modems will have a series of lights on the front which are status lights to let you know that it’s currently working. All modems are different so many sure you get the information for yours from your service provider or its manual. Getting the model setup and connected is beyond the scope of this article and this step needs to be completed before moving forward.
  2. Connect your modem to the internet port on your router. Usually your router will have one port for the internet connection. This port is usually away from the other ports on the back of the router which are for the devices which will be connecting to the internet. Use a cat5 cable for this connection.
  3. Connect your DVR to one of the data ports of your router. Most routers come with at least 4 ports for hardware that will be connecting to the internet. You will also be using a cat5 cable for this connection. For the initial setup, you will not need the long cat5 cable if you are planning on relocating the DVR to a location that’s far away from the router. You may always move the DVR after the initial setup so the cable that came with your DVR should be fine.
    Internet Port On Router
  4. Connect your DVR to your monitor. This can be done using any of the methods available depending on the type of monitor you are using and DVR outputs available. If you have an HDMI or VGA port on both the DVR and Monitor, one of these are the preferable ones to be used.
    Back Ports On the DVR

    Now that you have your hardware setup and connected, make sure everything is powered on and working. Next, check out the next step to configure your router and DVR and you will soon be able to view it remotely. I will be using a Techpro Security DVR which I purchased from SecurityCameraKing.com. All of their DVRs have the same interface when you log into them so configuring them will be pretty much the same. Other DVR’s may have menus that look a bit different but the settings are all generally the same. Same goes for the Router settings.

Configure your DVR

    1. Log into your DVR using the username and password provided by the manufacturer. If this DVR has already been previously configured, use the admin login information.
      DVR Web Service Login Page

      DVR Web Service Login Page

    2. Select the menu for Network Settings. In this section you will be able to assign an IP address to the DVR. This will be an internal static IP address. (This usually begins with 192.168.XXX.X). I would suggest using these settings to get started, you can always change them later.
      • IP ADDRESS: 192.168.1.110 (This will be the ip address of the DVR)
      • SUBNET MASK: 255.255.255.0 (Leave this unless your network has a modified subnet)
      • GATEWAY: 192.168.1.1 (This will normally be the IP Address of your router)
      • TCP PORT: 37777
      • UDP PORT: 37778
      • HTTP PORT: 88 (You can use port 80 but there are some Internet Service providers which block the use of port 80. I usually just change it to be on the safe side.)
DVR Network Settings Menu

DVR Network Settings Menu

  1. Configure Your Browser’s Security Settings In Order To Download the DVR Web Service. In order for you to connect to your DVR internally or externally within your network, you’re going to have to make sure that your browser is able to download the web service from the DVR. Just go to Tools > Internet Options > Security.
    IE Tools Menu

    IE Tools Menu

    In this tab, you will see a button that says Custom Level.

    IE Security Custom Level Button

    IE Security Custom Level Button

    Click it and make sure that the option for “Download Unsigned ActiveX controls” has “Prompt” (or Enable) selected instead of Disable.

    Unsigned ActiveX Prompt

    Unsigned ActiveX Prompt

    This will make sure that when you access your DVR, the prompt will allow you to install the ActiveX web service that allows you to remotely access and configure your DVR. You can do the same for the other ActiveX settings as well. Once you are done, close Internet Explorer then restart it to make sure the settings have taken change.

  2. Connect to Your DVR Internally Using Internet Explorer. You should now be able to connect to your DVR internally within your network. This is a bit different from connecting to it externally. You will use the Static Internal IP Address and Port number that you configured on your DVR in order to do this. This will be ‘192.168.1.110:88′ as you have configured in the second step. The ‘:88′ at the end is the port that you’ll be using to connect to the web service of your DVR.
    DVR Web Service Login Page

    Log Back Into Your Web Service

  3. Port Forward Your Router. The next thing you’re going to want to do is port forward your router. This is going to be necessary in order to connect to your DVR from a remote location. If you were to just type your external IP address into the browser, your router is not going to know which device you are trying to reach. There could be multiple computers and devices on that network so you need to tell the router which one to specifically connect to by assigning a sort of map to all of the ports you have configured.
    • Log in to your router using the gateway IP address and username and password that has been set to it. By default, most routers have their default gateway IP address set to 192.168.1.1. This is what you will type into the URL bar of your browser. Once you put that in and hit Enter, a window should pop up asking you to log in. If you haven’t made any changes you should be able to put ‘admin’ into the username and ‘admin’ into the password field as well. Some Routers may have their password defaulted to ‘password’. You will have to check your router manual or with your network administrator to be sure. You can also search on Google to find out the defaults.
      Login to your Router

      Login to your Router

      Log In To Your router

      Use your Default Info If you Haven’t Changed It

    • Forward the Ports. Find the window or tab that is either called ‘port forwarding’ or ‘apps and gaming’. Go ahead and add a new port forwarding rule. The application name field is where you will put in anything you want that is descriptive to the device you’re port forwarding. In this case you can just put in “DVRWEB” to signify the DVR Web Service connection. External Port can be 88 (or whatever port you set it to on step 2), Internal Port is also set to 88, Protocol will be ‘both’ tcp/udp and the Device IP will be the IP of the DVR. In this case you will make sure it’s ‘192.168.1.110’. Make sure the rule is enabled by checking the box if there is one and save the rule. Then do the same for your TCP And UDP ports that were set on the DVR.You should have:
      • DVRWEB – 88 – 88 – BOTH – 192.168.1.110 – Enabled
      • DVRTCP – 37777 – 37777 – BOTH – 192.168.1.110 – Enabled
      • DVRUDP – 37778 – 37778 – BOTH – 192.168.1.110 – Enabled
      Port Forwarding Menu

      Port Forwarding Menu

    • Find out your External IP Address. Find the IP address of the network you’re currently setting up the DVR at by typing in “WHAT IS MY IP” into google. You will get your public IP Address and make sure to make a note of it. This is the address that you are going to use in order to connect to your DVR when you are in another location.
      Google What is my IP

      Find out your external IP

    • Connect from the Outside. When you have the ability to connect from outside of the network you are in, type in your Public IP Address into the URL bar on Internet explorer and make sure to add the ‘:88′ at the end. You should see the ActiveX web service prompt. If you are able to connect to the DVR internally but are unable to once you are outside of that network, it will more than likely be a port forwarding issue. Check your settings and try again.
      Connect To your DVR Externally

      Connect To your DVR Externally

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How To Enforce Security Measures During Concerts

Written By:
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

How To Enforce Security Measures During ConcertsIf you own your own concert venue, you probably know just how much fun and profitable it can be to host concerts and welcome guests onto your property. However, it is important for you to keep safety and security as a top priority, and you should understand that there is always a possibility that things can get out of hand when you gather a lot of exciting and possibly intoxicated individuals in one area to watch a concert. Therefore, you have to know how to enforce security measures during concerts in order to keep all of your patrons, staff members and yourself safe during your concerts and to maintain a reputation as a business owner who runs a clean, orderly and safe concert venue. By following these tips, you can help maintain order and enforce security measures during even the biggest of concerts.

Post Your Rules Online Ahead of Time

Letting everyone know about the rules that you have in place before the concert even begins is one good way to let people know that you are serious about maintaining order and security at your venue. Along with posting a list of rules and guidelines on your website, it is also a good idea to post printed copies near the entrances. You can even add a tagline with the most important rules on any flyers or other promotional materials prior to hosting your concerts. Letting everyone know how you expect for things to be done at your venue is only fair, and you might be surprised by just how many people it will deter from trying to break your rules and bring bad things and ideas into your venue.

Hire Security Guards Carefully

Hiring security guards is an essential. No matter how dedicated you are to promoting and maintaining security at your venue, there is no way that you and a small group of staff members can keep things under control when your venue gets busy. Therefore, you have to make sure that you hire security guards to help with these matters so that you can worry about other aspects of running your business during a concert.

You shouldn’t just hire the first security guards that you come across, however. If you do, you might end up with inexperienced individuals who don’t know much about how to keep an orderly concert venue. Instead, look for people who have experience in these matters if at all possible. You can look to hire individual security guards if you prefer, but another great option is to contact a security guard company to find out about hiring a crew to work your venue. If you decide to go this route, you can pay one flat fee to the company, and it will worry about finding and training security guards and providing them with the necessary uniforms and equipment. Then, all you have to worry about is paying for these guards and letting them know where your venue is and when your concert will be held. Although this can be a great option for one-day concerts, hiring your own crew might be preferable if you host a lot of concerts at your venue, and you can actually save money by doing so as well.

Make Sure That You Have Enough Security Guards

Hiring security guards to handle the security at your venue isn’t going to be enough. You also have to make sure that you have a sufficient amount of security guards to handle things; otherwise, the guards who are on duty might not be able to handle everything. Estimating the number of people who will be at your event is one good way to determine how many guards that you need, and you also have to take the size of your venue into consideration. If you are hosting the concert indoors in a relatively small building, for instance, you won’t need as many security guards as you will need if you are hosting a huge outdoor music festival at a very large venue. If you talk to someone from a security guard company and give them estimations of the size of your venue, the type of venue that you are running and the approximate number of people who will be attending your concert, however, someone from the company can probably give you a better idea of how many security guards you will need to hire.

Train Your Security Guards Well

Simply dressing a few large men up in uniforms and telling everyone that they are security guards won’t be sufficient if you really want to keep your concert venue safe and secure. Although it might fool some people into behaving and acting in an orderly fashion, others will want to try these guards out if they know that they aren’t well-trained. Therefore, it is important to send your security guards to training classes; if at all possible, try to send them to a type of training that will cover the bases about handling security at a concert venue. This is another reason why you might decide it is preferential to hire professional security guards from a security guard company. You can also screen any potential security guards to find out if they have experience in handling the security at these types of venues.

Monitor the Doors

One of the best ways to keep bad things out of your concert venue is to do a thorough check of the people who are entering it before they ever make it through the door. Although some people don’t particularly like to go through metal detectors, enforcing this type of security is one of the top ways that you can keep bad things and bad people from getting into your concert venue.

First of all, consider utilizing metal detectors. You can have everyone walk through a large metal detector that goes over everyone’s heads, or you can have your security guards use a wand to check for weapons. If your security guards find weapons, they can choose to either ask the individual to put them in their vehicles before entering the venue or ask them to leave. For small things, like pocket knives, you are probably safe to simply ask them to leave the item in their car. For larger and more serious weapons, however, you might decide that you don’t want their owners to enter your concert venue at all. When security guards are checking for weapons, make sure that they check carefully. Some people try to be clever by hiding weapons in their boots or elsewhere on their person, and it is important to catch these weapons before they ever make it in the door.

Along with using metal detectors to check for weapons, you should consider having your security guards look for other potential problems as well. For instance, you might decide that you don’t want to let overly intoxicated individuals into your venue because of the problems that they can cause and the trouble that you can potentially get into with alcohol enforcement agents. Those who seem to be violent can also pose a problem, and you might want to look for things like gang-related clothing when determining who can or can’t get into your venue.

Keep Watch on the Parking Lot

Along with being cautious about keeping an eye on your venue’s entrances and what is actually going on inside your venue during the concert, you should also consider keeping a close eye on the parking lot. People tend to get in fights and cause other problems in parking areas at concerts, and there is also a chance that people will be drinking or using drugs in their cars. You don’t want this type of behavior to be going on in the parking area of your venue, so consider posting surveillance cameras in the parking lot as well as inside the venue and hiring security guards who are specifically assigned to watch the parking lot. Doing so will not only help cut down on problems, but it can even help prevent car thefts and other similar crimes that sometimes occur outside of these concert venues.

Keep an Eye On Things Yourself With Surveillance Cameras

Hiring security guards is a great way to keep an eye on your venue, but one thing that you shouldn’t pass up is to utilize surveillance cameras in order to keep an eye on what is going on in and around your concert venue. There are lots of surveillance cameras on the market that are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, so you shouldn’t have a difficult time finding the equipment that you need.

Installing surveillance cameras at the entrances to your venue will help you help your security guards while they are monitoring the people who enter your venue. It will also allow you to keep tabs on who has gone in and out before, during and after the concert.

Posting surveillance cameras in various areas around your venue can also help you prevent problems. Make sure that you have cameras in both prominent areas and in hidden corners and other places where issues could arise, and make sure that your cameras are high-quality and that they capture good footage of everything that is going on during the concert. Along with helping deter people from committing crimes, breaking rules and causing other security-related issues simply by being there, these cameras can also make it easier for you and your security guards to see what is going on everywhere in the venue and can provide you with valuable physical proof in the event that something happens and you need to contact local law enforcement agents, press charges against someone or simply kick them out of your venue for the rules that they have broken.

Enforce Rules Properly

One of the main things that you can do in order to enforce security measures during concerts is to handle security-related issues right away. If you get a reputation for letting things slide, people will try to get away with a lot more. If you make it known that you have rules in place and that you don’t put up with people breaking them, however, a lot of people will be less likely to break the rules because they won’t want to get kicked out of your venue and because they won’t want to get in trouble with the law. This means that you might sometimes have to be the “bad guy,” but it will be worth it in the long run because you will have a much safer venue; overall, this will help you bring in more concert guests because people will feel safer at your venue and won’t think that things will get out of control, and it will help prevent you from breaking any laws, getting in trouble or getting involved in confrontations.

Don’t Be Afraid to Call the Police

If you have security measures well taken care of and have both high-quality surveillance cameras and well-trained security guards posted around your venue, you probably won’t have to worry about calling the police too often. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to call the police if you need to. If someone is breaking the law in your concert venue or if things seem out of control and you feel as if you will have a difficult time restoring order on your own or with the assistance of your security guards, you should certainly call your local law enforcement officers to see if you can get some assistance. it might even be a good idea to call and let you local police department know about big concerts that will be held at your venue so that they can keep an eye on things and even keep someone around who can help you if things escalate and get out of hand while the concert is going on. By following all of these tips, you can help maintain safety and security at your concert venue, no matter how big your concert might be.

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