The Internet has had a major impact on how our surveillance systems are managed or viewed. The technology leap of remote viewing analog DVRs has made it possible to have access to surveillance systems from anywhere in the world. By simply adding a network port to a standard DVR, you can easily add this ability.
Like all new services and technology, there were a few bumps along the road. Some manufacturers required that you install client software onto the PC used to remote in, and there was a cost associated with this software. Other vendors had a downloadable JAVA file that was available on their website and was free of charge. Just load it onto the PC you want to use for remote access, and you were good to go.
Now the biggest challenge was that to get your DVR onto the Internet required a Static IP address and Internet Service Providers were charging steep prices for these addresses.
We’ve all heard that with time the price of technology goes down, and also improves. With the use of Dynamic Domain Naming Server services, properly equipped analog DVRs provide the ability to remote access surveillance systems without the higher cost of a static IP address.
Security dealers installing IP-enabled physical security devices such as IP cameras, DVRs, and NVRs should understand how Dynamic Domain Name Service (DDNS) technology is implemented, what this service does, and why it is necessary for many installations.
The “why” of DDNS is that this service provides the ability for end-users to communicate with their IP security devices when the remote local area network is connected to the Internet via a typical ISP service such as a DSL or cable modem. Basic ISP Internet service provides a dynamic public IP address, which can change at any time. If the customer wants to remotely connect with their devices, they need to know the current public IP address; otherwise they won’t be able to contact their remote network and devices.
Once set up, DDNS provides an address book function on the Internet. Instead of the client having to remember the specific public IP address of their network such as 188.8.131.52 they need only remember a name such as “bobscamera.dnsdvr.com.” This name can also be bookmarked in their browser for quick access.
This DDNS function is very similar to the phone number directory in your cell phone. You might not know the phone number of your child’s school but you previously input the number into your phone and labeled it “South Junior High School.” Now you just scroll to that name in the directory and press the “call” button to initiate the phone call.
Your cell phone’s directory requires you to manually input the phone number the first time. If the phone number of the school were to change, you would have to manually input the new number into the directory to enable you to click on the school’s name and have the call go through.
DDNS works the same way except that instead of manually entering the public IP address of the target network, a device within the local network is programmed to provide the public IP address of that specific network to the selected DDNS service. If the IP address is changed by the ISP, a properly programmed device will update the DDNS server within a relatively short period of time, perhaps 15 minutes or so.
In the next section we’ll take a look at exactly how DDNS works.