Port forwarding for DVRs and security cameras

Let's talk about port forwarding for DVRs and security cameras.

The concept also works for other smart home devices you may have. 

In this article, you will learn how to set up your router for port forwarding in less than 5 minutes. Just keep reading to understand the basic principles.

Here's a quick recap of the idea...

What is port forwarding?

Port forwarding is the process of intercepting requests for a particular IP/port combination and redirecting them to a different IP and/or port. It's commonly used to allow devices from the Internet to access devices on a private network.

Take a look at the picture below to understand the overall idea.

Port Forwarding Diagram

On the left side of the diagram, you can see a security camera connected to a recorder (DVR/NVR), which is connected to a router with access to the Internet. 

Suppose you are on the right side of the diagram and want to use your laptop to access the recorder and security camera; the router has to forward the request from the Internet to the devices in your internal network.

You only need to log in to the router and create some rules.

Traditional Port Forwarding Method Diagram

It's not complicated, right?

A request comes from the Internet and reaches the router. Based in a table with rules, the router redirects the traffic to the device located in the internal network.

Let's take a look at how it's done.

How to set up the port forwarding

Here's the step-by-step to set up port forwarding on your router.

  • Get the IP/port information from your devices;
  • Log into your router;
  • Create the port forwarding rules;
  • Test the port forwarding rules.

See the following sections for more details...

Get the devices IP/port information

Log in to your security camera, DVR, NVR, or server you want to have the Internet's traffic directed to via port forwarding.

The picture below shows an example of a Hikvision DVR port number.

DVR port number

As you can see, the ports are 8082, 554, 8000, and 443.

You can create rules on the router for the specific port you want to use.

In this example, port 8082 is for HTTP access, which is useful if you want to have remote access to the device via a web browser.

The 554 port is used for the RTSP protocol. If the software on your remote laptop uses such a protocol, you need to place a rule on your router.

To use proprietary software, use the server port, which is 8000 in this example.

And finally, you can see the port 443 which is used for HTTPS access.

Don't worry, it's simple. You can create a separeted rule for each of them.

Most of the time you just need a rule for the HTTP and server port.

Create the port forwarding rule in the router

Log in to your router and look for the "Port Forwarding" menu.

Depending on the router you are using, the menu is a little bit different, and you can find it under names such as "virtual server", "Application and games," or "PAT."

The picture below shows the menu in a Netgear C6300 Wi-Fi router.

Port Forwarding menu on a Netgear router

As you can see, there's a rule for the 8082 and 8000 ports.

Any request that arrives for these ports will be redirected to the IP, the DVR. That's all, just like that 😉

How to test the port forwarding rule

How to tell if the ports on your security camera system are opened or forwarded?

You can use free services on the Internet to test the port forwarding rules.

Visit the website CanYouSeeMe.org and to check if the port is open or blocked. 

Enter the port number in “Port to Check” and click the “Check Port” button.

CanYouSeeMe Check Port Forwarding

The website tests the port and gives me a "success" message. Cool, huh ?

And that's all. Now you can do yours.

Take a look at the following video for a better understanding...

Video: Port forwarding in 5 minutes

In this video, I explain the concept of port forwarding, and then I show how to set up your router. The example is for a different router and camera.

Easy stuff.

Please share this information with your friends.

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