Remote Viewing of CCTV Part 2 – Port Forwarding
Hi everyone, thanks for joining us today for the second part of our two-part article series on CCTV Remote Viewing. First, it’s important to understand what this process even is, and how it can benefit you. CCTV Remote Viewing, simply put, is the ability of the operator/administrator of a CCTV system to view the streaming live footage of that system over the internet on a device such as a Personal Computer, or a Smartphone. With remote viewing, you can look at live footage as it is occurring, download footage to the smart-device or PC to be viewed later, receive notifications for alerts such as motion or IVS trigger rules, control PTZ cameras, and much, much more. With our recorders, and in fact most recorders, there are two ways to accomplish this. One method is called P2P or Nat and this is usually our more recommended method of Setting up remote viewing as it is simpler and requires no networking knowledge. However, there may be situations where you’re on-site network doesn’t allow NAT or p2p traffic, and you may have to manually allow communication to and from the recorder through your network and out to the internet. This process is called Port Forwarding.
Port Forwarding will require a little bit of network knowhow. We’re going to discuss port forwarding today, but we suggest you try P2P first and there is a link to that article at the bottom of the page. If p2p is unsuccessful, or you have a circumstance in which you know port forwarding is going to be the better method, read on to learn the basics.
What is Port Forwarding?
Every device on your network has a LAN (Local Area Network) IP address, and, your internet connection generally has a single WAN (wide area network) IP address. The Local IP address is for each device within the network, and the WAN represents your network’s address on the web- kind of like an internet street address. Devices inside the same network, generally talk to each other using their LAN IP addresses, a lot like looking to a family member inside the house at the same address and getting their attention using their first name. However, this becomes more difficult for a device that wants to communicate with a different device on a totally different network. Just like if someone wanted to send you a letter from a different city, they couldn’t simply write your first name (local IP address) on an envelope and send it out. The mail carrier (internet) wouldn’t know where to take the letter. To make this work, you need to assign a port number, or numbers to the device’s network settings communicating out from your network. After that, you have to tell your router to allow communication out on that port, to the local IP address, out to the web. Then when someone wants to reach this device from a different network, they would input your network’s Public IP address- very much like sending that same letter but this time with your street address on it, and a port number as well. This way when the request goes out it first knows where in the world to go- your WAN IP – and then once it gets there it has a port its looking for which your router will then direct to the correct local IP.
What do I need?
Port Forwarding is a rather complex process if you aren’t familiar with navigating network settings on a PC and within a router. For that reason, rather than writing out an elaborate text-based guide, we have a setup video for you that will guide you through the process. Before you watch the video though, there are a few things you’re going to need in order to get started. After the video, we also have two more video guides on adding your newly port-forwarded recorder to your PC or Smartphone for Remote viewing of CCTV footage. First, Here is your Port Forwarding Checklist
So as with any setup- before we get started there are a few tools we will need, some software to install, and some information we’ll have to have handy as well. So first let’s run down that Setup Checklist!
- First! Make sure your recorder is powered on, and you can see your cameras on the local display.
- Next! Make sure there is an Ethernet Cable connected to the LAN port on the recorder, and that the cable is also firmly connected to the internet supplying router. If you are using an NVR with more than one LAN Port, use LAN-1.
-DO NOT USE ANY OF THE POE PORTS ON AN NVR FOR THIS PURPOSE, THOSE PORTS ARE FOR CAMERAS ONLY-
- We will also need a PC, connected to the same router as the recorder either by Ethernet Cable or Wifi.
- As far as software goes – we will need to download and extract the Elite Configuration tool. This tool can scan the network to find our recorder, and help us access it from our PC. This handy program can be found in the download section of our website. After the program is extracted make sure you can locate it, a good way to do this is to simply put a shortcut to the Config Tool on your Desktop
- You will need the username and password for your recorder. It’s a good idea to log into the recorder locally at least once, then log out- just to test this info is correct and working. The login pattern will work for this purpose.
- You will need the username and password for your router’s setup page.
This is NOT the same as your Wifi network and password. Often this info can be found on the side of your ISPs router.
Without these two pieces of info, we won’t be able to complete this setup, so they are extremely important! If you cannot locate your router’s username and password, contact your ISP to retrieve it.
How To Port Forward:
Once you have the checklist above completed, watch the video guide. Then check out the two videos below to add the recorder to our app EVP and SmartPSS for the PC
Adding Recorder to EVP and SmartPSS:
Both of these videos cover both P2P and port forwarding, you can ignore the sections regarding P2P.
Port Forwarding, Complete!
Thanks for joining us, and reading our article series on CCTV Remote Viewing. For more information on our products, or for technical support please call 561-288-5258. Check out the links below for Smart PSS software. and our guide on setting up P2P. If you enjoyed the videos or found them helpful, don’t forget to toss us a like and hit subscribe for more content! Until next time- stay Safe!
Remote Viewing of CCTV Part 1 – P2P