Affected Roles: Administrator
Last Edit: March 9, 2020
The benefits of having your VMAX A1 recorder connected to your router include the ability to monitor the DVR from your phone or computer, access to the FTP server for firmware updates, and access to other functions of the DVR (Email Notification, Pathfinder, Push-Notifications, etc).
This guide will explain the basic steps for connecting the VMAX A1 to a network for LAN connection and for WAN connection.
The first portion of the Network Setup is to configure the DVR to communicate over the Local Area Network (LAN), so that you can view your system remotely when you are onsite.
At the DVR, log in as an Admin, right-click with your mouse, and select Setup Menu > Network > Network.
To have the DVR request an IP Address from the router, click the IP Detect button and allow the progress to complete.
The DVR’s IP Address will have changed as a result of running the IP Detect function. This is an indicator that the DVR can successfully communicate through your router with other devices.
If there is another DVR on the network, make sure that neither DVR is assigned to the same IP Address or Network Port to avoid a network conflict.
Click Save to apply the settings. The DVR is now set up on the Local Network.
Note: Network information in the included images may appear differently than what displays at your DVR. This information is determined by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the router that you are using.
It is recommended to test the communication between the DVR and a local device over the Local Area Network (LAN).
If you have a computer connected to the same LAN as the DVR, open a web browser and enter the DVR’s IP Address into the address bar. If the DVR has been assigned a Network Port value of anything other than 80, you will also need to specify the Network Port value in the address bar.
DVR IP: 192.168.1.90
Network Port: 8245
Example URL for connecting from a browser: http://192.168.1.90:8245
If the address is entered correctly and the DVR is communicating over the LAN, the DVR’s Web Viewer will display. The User ID and Password will be the same login that is used at the DVR 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 DVR's menus and settings.
Alternatively, you may test the LAN connection from a mobile application (DW VMAX or DW Mobile).
If your DVR 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 DVR’s IP Address, Gateway, and the Network Port handy, as the port rule will be specified by device.
Note: The login information is not your Wi-Fi information.
Note: Depending on the router, Port Forwarding may also be referred to as “Pinholes”, “Single-Port”, or “Port Range Forwarding”.
The address used is the DVR’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.
Checking Port Forwarding Status
Once the Port Forwarding rule has been created, you can test the port status.
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 DVR is still communicating over LAN and that there are not typos in the Port Forwarding Rule.
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 DVR.
To set up a DDNS address for your DVR:
Note: Use of dyndns.com as the server is for a special setup if a third-party DDNS service will be utilized for remote connection with the DVR.
For our example, we are using “digitalwatchdog2015” as our Host Name.
Note: The DDNS will accept alphanumeric characters only. Do not use spaces or special characters (!?$&#@) in the Host Name.
The complete URL for connecting with the DVR remotely over WAN is <Host_Name>.<DDNS Server>.
For example: digitalwatchdog2015.dwddns2.net
Network Setup for the VMAX A1 is complete! Remember that the address used for connection with the DVR is dependent on the type of network that is being used.