Affected Roles: Administrator, Owner
Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps: DW Mobile Plus (iOS & Android)
Last Edit: March 25, 2022
The PathFinder™ peer-to-peer (P2P) connection service offers an easy-to-use option to securely connect with a VMAX® A1 Plus™ system from the comfort of your iOS, Android mobile device, or with the C3™ CMS desktop software. This can be done by either scanning a QR code or by manually entering the Pathfinder ID that can be generated in the recorder’s Network settings menu. This allows users to connect, view live video, review playback, and search recorded video from a mobile device.
This article will outline the Pathfinder™ service, how to set up the P2P service with your VMAX® A1 Plus™ recording unit, and how to connect with the DW Mobile Plus™ mobile application (iOS & Android).
Please be aware that the previous PathFinder v1.0 utility in the VMAX A1 Plus models will have been replaced as of January 17, 2022.
PathFinder v1.0 remained available for use up until January 2022. Past this point, the recorder must be updated to the VMAX A1 Plus firmware v220.127.116.11 (or newer) in order to utilize PathFinder v2.0 with your system and use the updated P2P service.
The VMAX A1 Plus PathFinder feature offers a secure peer-to-peer (P2P) service that can be used to establish a connection between the VMAX A1 Plus and incoming connection requests – i.e. a customer viewing their VMAX A1 Plus camera streams from an iOS or Android mobile device. This can be done by either scanning a QR code or by manually entering the PathFinder ID that can be generated in the recorder’s Network settings. This allows users to connect with the standalone DVR to view live video and replay recorded video from the mobile application.
PathFinder™ is a P2P (peer-to-peer) service that requires a strong Internet connection to work correctly. If the Internet connection is poor, is slow/bottlenecked within the local network (LAN) by low bandwidth or faulty network hardware (network switch, router, etc.), or if a VPN is in use, you may encounter connection issues through the PathFinder function.
If the VMAX A1 Plus does not have access to the Internet or data packets are being blocked, you may use an IP address for a direct connection with the VMAX A1 Plus or create a DDNS address instead of using PathFinder service.
To set up a PathFinder connection at a VMAX A1 Plus:
Right-click in the Live View area, then select “Menu”.
Next, click on “Network” and select the “Pathfinder” menu.
Enable the “Use Pathfinder” setting to activate the PathFinder (P2P) service. The Status at the bottom of the window will indicate if a P2P connection with the recorder is available.
Next, you must configure the site information in the DW Mobile Plus application to use the new PathFinder ID.
**NOTE: If the Status does not show that the function is activated, make sure that you have saved the settings after enabling PathFinder. Additionally, confirm that the VMAX A1 Plus firmware is up-to-date and check the DVR’s Network settings for errors. Outdated firmware or incorrect IP address information can be a common cause of connection issues.
Each standalone recording unit comes equipped with its own integrated web server. This function can be utilized to gain access to the PathFinder ID information through a computer, instead of having to be physically in front of the recording unit.
**NOTE: To gain access to the PathFinder page in the Web Viewer, Port 8080 must be OPEN through the router. Otherwise, the PathFinder menu will only be available for use at the recording unit itself.
To connect to a recorder with PathFinder through the Web Viewer:
The System Status menu will display. Next, click on the “Network” tab, then select the “Pathfinder” menu.
The P2P menu will display the recorder’s PathFinder ID and QR Code. You can use the P2P ID connect the DW Mobile Plus application to the DVR.
Next, you must configure the site information in the DW Mobile Plus application.
To connect your DW Mobile Plus™ (iOS & Android) mobile application to the VMAX® A1 Plus™ using PathFinder™:
Once installed, launch the DW Mobile Plus™ application on the mobile device.
Configure the following settings:
Alternatively, you may enter the new PathFinder ID manually into the Host field. Be sure to include the dashes “–“ when manually entering the PathFinder ID
This information can be found in the recorder’s Network settings.
After configuring the site information, tap the “Save” button.
Select the recording site to begin viewing video with the updated PathFinder connection.
VMAX A1 Plus users can view the recorder’s video streams through a web browser.
Live video streams will display in the viewing area.
To review playback, select the “Play” tab.
To disconnect from the system, click the “Disconnect” button.