Affected Roles: Administrator
Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps: C3CMS
Software Version: v18.104.22.168 or later
Last Edit: March 12, 2020
The benefits of having your VMAX A1 Plus 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 Notifications, Pathfinder, Push-Notifications, etc).
While the VMAX A1 Plus supports a P2P (peer-to-peer) connection through Pathfinder, there may be circumstances (firewall, sonicwall, etc.) that prevent the use of P2P and require that DVR access be through direct connection only (by IP or URL). This guide will explain the basic steps for connecting the DVR to the network for LAN connection and for WAN connection.
VMAX A1 Plus Series
At the DVR itself, log in as an Admin, right-click with your mouse, and select Menu > Network > Network.
To have the DVR request an IP Address from the router, click the IP Detect tile that appears on this screen. Once the progress bar at the bottom of the menu reaches 100%, change the Network Type to Static, so that you will not need to worry about the address automatically changing.
Note: The values in this image below may appear differently than what is on your DVR, as it 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 Web Port value of anything other than 80, you will also need to specify the Web Port value in the address bar.
DVR IP: 192.168.100.102
TCP/IP Port: 9010
Web Port: 8245
Example URL for connecting from a browser: http://192.168.100.102:8245
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 Mobile+ or DW VMAX).
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 () 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 Web Port handy, as the port rule will be specified by device.
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 DVR’s Network menu. In our example, we are using 192.168.1.1 as the Gateway address.
On a local computer, enter the Gateway address into the address bar of a web browser.
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.
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”.
The information required varies depending on the router. The port number should be the same value as the Web Port found on the DVR’s Network menu. In our example, we are using port number 80.
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 192.168.1.102.
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.
Visit 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.
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: The TCP/IP Port value on this menu is for a special setup only. If you are using the DDNS server provided by Digital Watchdog, the setting from this menu does not apply to you.
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.mydwddns.net
Network Setup for the VMAX A1 Plus is complete! Remember that the address used for connection with the DVR is dependent on the type of network that is being used.