DIY Home Security Part 3 – DYNDNS, Port Forwarding
As I mentioned in Part 1, setting up the D-Link IP cameras (and IP camera in general most likely) is easy if you have a simple network. This means you
1. Only have 1 camera
2. Don’t need to access the camera either directly or through any software from outside your own home network
3. Don’t already have a web server running on the default port 80 (if your provider does not block this port)
If you are serious about DIY Home Security/Surveillance, you will need to configure multiple cameras on multiple ports, set up dynamic DNS (if you don’t have his setup already) and forward ports on your router. On your router, you should set up DNS reservations for your cameras, and if using a desktop software controller, a reservation for that computer and port forwarding for the port you are using for the desktop controller software web server. You can get free dynamic DNS from the folks at dyndns.com and if you have a decent router, there should be a place to enter your dyndns host name and password and the router will do the work of ensuring that if your Internet DHCP IP changes, updates are made seamlessly. D-Link actually offers a private branded dynamic DNS set up service from inside their admin interface. It should be ok to use this (last time I checked they were using the services of dyndns.com).
D-Link provides a login to a cloud based app to monitor your cameras (in addition to the dysfunctional Windows software) at mydlink.com and offers an iPhone app (free) called MyDlinkLite and a paid version for the iPad. Don’t even bother with these, they only work with port 80. I will post some info on monitoring from an iPxx device later in this series. There are other options.
So to get started, you will need to configure each camera on a unique port in the D-Link admin page.
In this case, I’ve put the Living Room camera on port 8006. Each of my 4 cameras is on a unique port.
Once you have dynamic DNS set up, use this host name instead of internal IPs. If you can’t reach the web server for your camera with the dynamic host name, you have a brain dead router hat doesn’t support loopback (like some older Netgear routers), and it’s time to replace that router. You shoud be able to reach the camera inside or outside your home in a web browser by using http://your-dyndns-hostname.xxx:port# (e.g.: http://yourhost.dyndns.info:8006 )
Similarly, in the Blue Iris desktop controller, cameras need to be set up with the correct port AND the path to the jpg image.
Hopefully, you will be able to find the Path info within the camera’s GUI. If not, Google or Bing..
D-Link’s DCS-932L uses /image.jpg and the DCS-942L uses image/jpeg.cgi
Be sure to able authentication (password protection) on all camera’s and for the desktop controller.
You can see why no one offers retail Home Surveillance kits – the networking set up requirements are beyond the skill set of most consumers. You can pay an installer, buy a plan from ADT or your ISP, etc. but if you are willing to do the work, you CAN roll your own.