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DW Spectrum Remote Connection Issues

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DW Spectrum Remote Connection Issues

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Affected Roles:  Owner, Administrator

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum

Complexity:  Medium to High

Software Version:  DW Spectrum v3.0 or later

Last Edit:  April 17, 2020

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No Remote Access

In many cases, remote access cannot be accomplished for a variety of reasons.  Most commonly, remote accessibility issues are experienced when there is a lack of port forwarding or if there is a firewall blocking TCP/UDP communication.

This article will outline some things to check if you are encountering external connectivity issues while using either a direct-connection (port forwarding) or DW Cloud.

Note:  If you are encountering connection issues due to forgetting the login credentials for your DW Spectrum System, please submit a Password Recovery request.

Note:  “Server” in this article refers to the computer that the DW Spectrum Media Server program is installed on.  “System” refers to either the Server or a group of merged Servers.

Supported/Affected Devices

  1. DW Blackjack Series

Media Server Status

Confirm that the DW Spectrum Media Server service is running.  If this service is not running, your System will appear to be unreachable when you try to connect from your DW Spectrum Client.

To check this directly at the computer that DW Spectrum Server is installed on:

Windows

  1. Click on the Windows Service Tray on the Task Bar.
  2. Right-click on the orange DW icon, located in the System Service Tray.  Confirm that the DW Media Server shows as (started).
  3. If the DW Media Server shows as (stopped), click on Start Server (stopped).

Ubuntu/Linux

  1. Open the system Terminal (shortcut:  CTRL+ALT+T).
  2. Enter ps max| grep mediaserver into the Terminal, then press the Enter key.  If the DW Media Server is currently running, it will display in the Terminal.

  1. If the DW Media Server is not currently running and it does not display in the Terminal, enter service digitalwatchdog-mediaserver start to start the DW Media Server.

Traditional Port Forwarding

To connect remotely with a DW Spectrum Server, users can set up TCP Port Forwarding rules within the Server’s router (security/firewall settings) to allow external connections through an Internet connection.

If you are encountering external connection issues and are using forwarded ports for remote connection, please confirm the following:

  1. Confirm that the DW Spectrum Server program is running correctly at the Server itself.
    • For Windows or Ubuntu Servers (with GUI), open a web browser from the computer hosting the DW Spectrum Server program.

Enter http://localhost:7001 in the address bar, then press the Enter key.

If the Server is running correctly, the Server Web Client will display.  You should be able to enter your DW Spectrum login credentials to access the web client.

    • For ‘headless’ Ubuntu Servers (without GUI), open the system Terminal (shortcut:  CTRL+ALT+T).

Enter wget http://localhost:7001 into the Terminal, then press the Enter key

If the Server is running correctly, it will reply with index.html file.  If the Server is not running correctly, it will result in a connection refusal.

  1. Confirm that the Server has access to the network.  It must be able to communicate with the router (or any other host/device on the same LAN).

To test this, run the ping command using the Command Prompt or Terminal to determine that the Server is reachable over the LAN (Local Area Network).

Alternatively, open a web browser on the Server and confirm that there is Internet access.

  1. Confirm that the Server is accessible from a client computer.

On a computer, separate from the Server, open a web browser.

Connect with the server’s web client.  If the Server is accessible over LAN, the Server Web Client will display.  You should be able to enter your DW Spectrum login credentials to access the web client.

    • URL structure:  http://<Server_IP>:<Port>
    • Example URL:  http://192.168.21.195:7001

  1. Confirm that Port Forwarding is working.

Use a port checking tool like Ping.eu, YouGetSignal.com, or CanYouSeeMe.org to test and confirm the port forwarding status for remote access to the Server.

Note:  DW Spectrum used Port 7001 by default.  If you have changed the Server port, please test the port forwarding for that value.

If you have confirmed the above recommendations are working correctly and your remote connection issue still persists, please contact Digital Watchdog Technical Support for further assistance.

DW Cloud

DW Spectrum v3.0 introduced the DW Cloud connection feature, which allows users to connect with their System using a P2P (Peer-to-Peer) connection option.  This feature can be set up without having to port forward the Server for external access.

Note:  For more about DW Cloud, please read DW Cloud Setup.

If you are encountering issues connecting remotely to your System through DW Cloud:  

  1. Confirm that the Server has access to the network.  It must be able to communicate with the router (or any other host/device on the same LAN).

To test this, run the ping command using the Command Prompt or Terminal to determine that the Server is reachable over the LAN (Local Area Network).

Alternatively, open a web browser on the Server and confirm that there is Internet access.

  1. Use the DW Spectrum Client application on another device.

Log in to your DW Cloud account with the Client to see if the System appears accessible using DW Cloud.  This will be indicated by an orange cloud icon.

  1. DW Cloud is a P2P (Peer-to-Peer) feature, meaning that while port forwarding is not necessary, the Server still must be able to communicate with an external host.

Check the following service ports:

  • 80 (Conventional http Port) – this can be checked by trying to connect to http://dwspectrum.digital-watchdog.com in a web browser on the Server.
  • 443 (Conventional https Port) – this can be checked by trying to connect to http://dwspectrum.digital-watchdog.com in a web browser on the Server.
  • 3345 (Cloud Service Port) – this can be checked with any telnet client.  (e.g., using the Ubuntu Terminal, use command telnet mediator.vmsproxy.com 3345).  Only needed for DW Spectrum v3.1 or older.

Note:  If there is a Firewall or SonicWall present, TCP or UDP communication between the Server to the DW Cloud service is likely being blocked.  Please read FQDN or Whitelist For DW Spectrum Cloud Access for information on how to allow DW Cloud to function though a Firewall or SonicWall.

  1. Check the router’s NAT Mode.  DW Cloud will not work if the router for the Server or the router for client computers has a Symmetric NAT Mode enabled.  It is recommended to disable this feature in the router, if possible, for use with DW Cloud.

If you have confirmed the above recommendations are working correctly and your remote connection issue still persists, please contact Digital Watchdog Technical Support to report an issue with DW Cloud.

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  • 17-Apr-2020
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