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Network Setup for the VMAX IP Plus (DW-VP)

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How to Set Up Network Settings of a VMAX® IP Plus™

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Affected Roles:  Administrator

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  January 7, 2021

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Installation and Setup

The benefits of having your VMAX IP Plus recorder connected to your router include the ability to monitor the NVR from your phone or computer, access to the FTP server for firmware updates, and access to other functions of the NVR (Email Notification, Pathfinder, Push-Notifications, etc.).

This guide will explain the basic steps for connecting the VMAX IP Plus to a network for LAN connection and for WAN connection.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • VMAX® IP Plus™ Series

Local Area Network (LAN) Setup

The first portion of the Network Setup is to configure the NVR to communicate over the Local Area Network (LAN), so that you can view your system remotely when you are onsite.

  1. Connect the VMAX IP Plus to the router with Ethernet cable.  The Network Cable port (LAN/Ethernet port) can be found near the USB port and display ports on the rear panel of the NVR.

  1. Next, we will need to have the NVR retrieve an IP Address from your router, so that it can identify on your network and talk with your local computers, phones, tablets, etc.

At the NVR, log in as an Admin, right-click with your mouse, and select Menu > Network > Network.

  1. On the Network menu, set the NVR to a DHCP (Dynamic) Network Type. By default, the NVR is set to IP Address – 192.168.1.160 and Gateway – 192.168.1.1.

To have the NVR request an IP Address from the router, click the IP Detect button and allow the progress to complete.

  1. Once the progress bar has reached 100%, change the Network Type to Static, so that you will not need to worry about the address automatically changing.

The NVR’s IP Address will have changed as a result of running the IP Detect function.  This is an indicator that the NVR can successfully communicate through your router with other devices.

If there is another NVR on the network, make sure that neither NVR is assigned to the same IP Address or Web Port to avoid a network conflict.

Click Save to apply the settings.  The NVR is now set up on the Local Network.

**NOTE:  Network information in the included images may appear differently than what displays at your NVR.  This information is determined by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the router that you are using.

**NOTE:  If you are using a VMAX Flex Series NVR, you may need to manually correct the Gateway setting following an IP Detect.  Ensure that the Gateway setting is correctly entered.  Setting values can be manually entered if the Network Type is set to Static.

Testing LAN Connection (Optional)

It is recommended to test the communication between the NVR and a local device over the Local Area Network (LAN).

If you have a computer connected to the same LAN as the NVR, open a web browser and enter the NVR’s IP Address into the address bar.  If the NVR has been assigned a Web Port value of anything other than 80, you will also need to specify the Web Port value in the address bar.

Example:

NVR IP:  192.168.1.90

Web Port:  8245

Example URL for connecting from a browser:

If the address is entered correctly and the NVR is communicating over the LAN, the NVR’s Web Viewer will display.  The User ID and Password will be the same login that is used at the NVR as well (Default:  admin/--- (no password)).

**NOTE:  Please be aware that the Web Viewer requires the use of the ActiveX plugin "WebACS" to stream video to your browser. Use of Internet Explorer is recommended viewing streams from your browser is intended. Otherwise, you should still have access to the NVR's menus and settings.

Alternatively, you may test the LAN connection from a mobile application (DW Mobile Plus).

Wide Area Network (WAN) Setup

If your NVR communicates successful over LAN, the next step is to set up the network for Wide Area Network (WAN) connection, so that you can view your system when you are offsite.

Port Forwarding Example

Custom settings in your router called “Port Forwarding Rules” will need to be created for remote connection over WAN.  If you prefer to DIY, there are different self-help guides and websites that will walk you through the process.  For example, PortForward.com (https://portforward.com/router.htm) has a variety of guides available for different router manufacturers and models.

**NOTE:  If you are unfamiliar with router networking, we recommend that you contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or camera Installer for assistance.

To create Port Forwarding Rules, you will want to have the NVR’s IP Address, Gateway, and the Web Port handy, as the port rule will be specified by device.

  1. To set up Port Forwarding, you will need to access your router’s user interface on a local computer.  Use the Gateway address found in the NVR’s Network menu.  In our example, we are using 192.168.1 as the Gateway address.

  1. On a local computer, enter the Gateway address into the address bar of a web browser.

  1. By connecting with the Gateway address of the router, a prompt will display asking for the router’s login information.  This information is most commonly found physically on the router.  Enter the login information to access the router.

**NOTE:  The login information is not your Wi-Fi information.

  1. Depending on the router, this next step may be found in a different location in the router interface.  Locate the Port Forwarding section of the router.  In our example, this function is found under the Applications & Gaming > Advanced Routing section.

**NOTE:  Depending on the router, Port Forwarding may also be referred to as “Pinholes”, “Single-Port”, or “Port Range Forwarding”.

  1. The information required varies depending on the router.  The port number should be the same value as the Web Port found on the NVR’s Network menu.  In our example, we are using port number 80.

The address used is the NVR’s Local IP Address that was obtained during the IP Detect step of the LAN setup.  In our example, we are using 192.168.1.190. 

Enter the requested information, then Save the settings to apply the Port Forwarding rule.

Repeat the port forwarding process for the TCP/IP Port.

Checking Port Forwarding Status

Once the Port Forwarding rule has been created, you can test the port status.

  1. Visit CanYouSeeMe.org (https://canyouseeme.org) or another port checking website of your choice.  In the Port to Check box, enter the port value that you created the Port Forwarding Rule for in the router.  Then click Check Port.

This site pulls the Public IP Address of the router and allows you to test port forwarding rules. You will want your port to show successfully open.  If the status shows an error or failure, make sure that your NVR is still communicating over LAN and that there are not typos in the Port Forwarding Rule.

DDNS Address Setup

Routers will typically change their Public IP Addresses regularly, unless you are paying for a subscribed Static IP Address service with your ISP (Internet Service Provider).  Instead of having to regularly check that the Public IP Address of your network has not changed, we recommend the use of a DDNS address.

The DDNS is a static “stand-in” address for your router’s Public IP Address that can be configured through the NVR.

To set up a DDNS address for your NVR:

To set up a DDNS address:

  1. From the main screen, right-click and select “Menu” from the resulting context menu.

Select “Network”, then select the “DDNS” tab.

  1. In the DDNS menu, configure the following:
  • Use DDNS – enable this setting to activate the DDNS function. You will still need to configure the Host Name setting and to validate the settings.
  • DDNS Server – use the “MYDWDDNS.NET” option as this is the default DDNS service that is provided by Digital Watchdog.
  • TCP/IP – leave this setting as its default (80). The DDNS server that is provided by Digital Watchdog will use the TCP/IP port found in the Network menu. If you will be using a DDNS service that is not provided by DW, then you may need to change this value.
  • Host Name – enter a unique name (ex. “dw16220”) that will be used to help the DDNS service to identify the NVR. This value will embody the first part of the DDNS URL that can be used to connect with the NVR

After entering a Host Name, you must verify that the proposed entry is available for use. Click the “Check” button and allow the NVR to confirm that it has not already been claimed by another customer.

Upon a successful verification, click the “Save” button to retain the settings and apply the Host Name to the NVR.

**NOTE:  The DDNS will accept alphanumeric characters only. Do not use spaces or special characters (!?$&#@) in the Host Name.

  1. After successfully verifying and saving the DDNS address, the URL can be used to remotely connect with the NVR instead of a public IP address. The URL configuration is structured as follows:
    • URL Structure:  <Host_Name>.<DDNS_Server>
    • Example Host Name:  dw16220
    • Example DDNS URL:  dw16220.mydwddns.net

**NOTE:  The NVR will retain its Host Name registration with the DDNS server. However, be aware that if the NVR is left without Internet access for an extended period of time, the Host Name may need to be re-registered.

Setting Up Pathfinder (P2P)

The Pathfinder function offers an option for customers to connect with the VMAX IP Plus system through a proxy server which allows for the P2P (peer-to-peer) connection to be established more securely over wide networks.

To set up Pathfinder:

  1. In the Network menus, select the “Pathfinder” tab.

In the Pathfinder menu, enable the “Use Pathfinder” setting to activate the Pathfinder feature.

The “Status” message at the bottom of the menu will show as “Pathfinder Service Activated” if the P2P service can communicate between the NVR and the proxy server.

  1. Once activated, the VMAX IP Plus will generate a unique 12-character Pathfinder ID that can be used to connect with the unit from either the DW Mobile Plus application, which can be acquired from the Google Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iPhone).

To add the VMAX IP Plus to the DW Mobile Plus application:

  1. Tap the + symbol and create a new site.
  2. Enter a site Name for the VMAX IP Plus unit.
  3. Enter the TCP/IP Port of the NVR, which can be found in the VMAX IP Plus Network menu settings.
  4. Enter the Login and Password that is used to access the VMAX IP Plus.
  5. Next, tap the camera icon next to the Host (Required)” field and scan the Pathfinder Mobile Access QR Code. The DW Mobile Plus application will then automatically enter the Pathfinder ID of the NVR into the Host (required) field.

Tap the “Save” button in DW Mobile Plus to validate the connection with the NVR.

  1. After successfully creating and validating the new site in the mobile application, viewing the video streams will be available.

Summary

Network Setup for the VMAX NVR is complete!  Remember that the address used for connection with the NVR is dependent on the type of network that is being used.

  • Local IP Address – used for connecting with the NVR when your device is connected to the same internal network as the NVR.

Example:  192.168.1.190

  • DDNS – used for connecting with the NVR when your device is connected to an external network to the NVR.  This address is statically assigned to the NVR.

Example:  digitalwatchdog2015.dwddns.net

  • Public IP Address – used for connecting with the NVR when your device is connected to an external network to the NVR.  This address type is likely to change and will require checking for an updated Public IP Address. Contact your ISP for issues regarding public IP lease times.

Example:  47.180.64.226

  • Pathfinder (P2P) – used for connecting peer-to-peer (P2P) with the NVR over the Internet through a proxy server. This address type is statically assigned to the NVR.
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  • 25-Apr-2022
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