Eliminating Port Forwarding and Firewall Settings for IP Security Devices

Garrett Savage

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On October 23rd In Networking, Video Surveillance
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CCTV Camera or surveillance technology on screen display

What would most likely be the answer if you asked a group of low-voltage contractors what the most troublesome aspect is of connecting IP devices to clients’ LAN and setting them up for Internet connectivity?  Most likely, the response would be programming the port forwarding and firewall settings to allow an authorized user to connect to local devices over the Internet using their smart device or a PC.

There are many possible pitfalls that dealers face when a client’s ISP box must be programmed to allow access through its firewall, and their network router must perform the proper port forwarding function.  Different clients will have different ISP services and routers, so technicians must have knowledge of a wide variety of devices from different manufacturers. Also, since you may be the last person to “touch” the client’s network hardware, you could end up catching the blame if there are any problems with their network in the next few months. Finally, the client may change their ISP provider, network router, or other LAN equipment which will consequently disable the ability for users outside the LAN to connect to a device over the Internet.  This creates an unwanted problem and most likely a truck roll that may or may not be billable.

The good news is that many industry manufacturers such as Honeywell Security, Axis Communications, FLIR, and others are providing “cloud” based services that eliminate the need to touch a client’s network devices to change settings. These services are typically free of cost or come for a low monthly fee.

For example, Honeywell Total Connect IP cameras, which come in Wi-Fi, wired, indoor and outdoor configurations can be simply connected to a client’s LAN.  After registering the specific camera’s MAC address to the clients Total Connect account, the camera only needs to be plugged into the network and powered up.  Wi-Fi cameras can be connected to the client’s wireless router with some simple programming, or a Honeywell Total Connect Wireless Access Point (WAP) can be plugged into the network switch providing a separate Wi-Fi channel for the camera(s). In either case, the camera(s) will obtain a dynamic LAN IP address and start transmitting video to the Honeywell Total Connect cloud service.  End users can then use smartphone apps to access their specific Total Connect account and live recorded video.

Using Total Connect IP cameras frees installation companies from having to access clients’ network hardware while ensuring that surveillance video services will continue even if the client changes their ISP or their network router.  As long as the IP cameras are powered and connected to the LAN, and the LAN is connected to the Internet, the service will continue to function.

Eliminating port forwarding and firewall settings when installing IP security devices will save your company time, aggravation, and should reduce unwanted service calls. If you have any questions about the best products to use for your next video surveillance installation, ADI’s Systems Sales & Support Team is here to help. You can contact the ADI System, Sales and Support Team at 1.800.ADI.SYS1.

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