Port forwarding guide
You have received a IP camera thats compatible is with the HomeWizard and off course you would like to see the view on your smartphone if you are not at home. With the HomeWizard app you are used to that it is working everywhere. This is because you are using HomeWizard Online. Due to the bandwidth of the videostreams, we cannot all connections of the cameras letting go through HomeWizard Online. Therefor it is important that you that you setup 'port forwarding' for each camera that you would like to see in the app if you are not at home.
This tutorial has 2 pieces. First an explanation of what port forwarding is and how port numbers work. Second a plan of steps with all the information about how to setup an IP camera (and router) to see the feed in the HomeWizard app.
What is port forwarding? (background)
Below you see a picture how a home network is connected through the internet. As you can see, the router is the 'switch' between your home network and the internet.
All devices on a network communicate via an IP address. This is a number for a device, so another device on the same network can see that device. On this way every router gets an oen IP address. With this, the router can communicate with other devices that are connected with the internet. Therefor we call the IP address of the router, and external IP address.
The router itself sends other IP addresses to devices within your own home network. The MacBook on the picture gets the IP address 18.104.22.168 through this way. We call this an internal IP address. Within the home network, all the devices can communicate with those internal IP addresses with each other. For example it will be possible to see the camera pictures from you camera (with IP address 192.168.1.14) on your MacBook if you fill in the internal IP address in an internet browser.
If you go outside and you take the MacBook with you, and you have internet connection via a different WiFi router or 3G, then it does not work anymore. The IP address 192.168.1.14 does not exist at the other network. To have this work, you have to make sure that you refer to your own home network. Now you need your external IP address if you would like to do that. If you have an internet connection, you can communicate with your router via your external IP address, because that router in your home is directly connected with the internet. In this example the external IP address is 22.214.171.124. If you are using that IP address in your browser, you have connection with your home router, but not with the specific device in your home, because the router does not know which device you would like to see. SO, you have to tell your router to which device you would like to go. You can do this via 'port forwarding'.
Computers, smartphones and other devices on a network, using 'software enhanced ports' to get on the same time with different types of connections. If you would like ot open an internet browser for example, that is another question than open Outlook. To seperate those different communicates with each other, every 'sort of communication' needs his own port.
These days, most of the time the communication goes through port 80. This is a standard port to request a website (via the HTTP protocol). You can make contact with an IP camera at the same way. If you are using the internal IP address of the IP camera on your home network, than you will make connection with port 80 automatically. Because the camera has his own 'webserver software' you will see a webpage with the camera feed and the settings.
It is possible to setup cameras on different port number. For example port 2200. (basically you can use all kind of port number, but we advise to use a port between 1024 and 49151. Between this range there are no big functionality differences.) If you now type your internal IP address in your browser, you will get no connection anymore. This is because standard you will make connection with port 80. To declare that you would like to have connection with port 2200, you have to fill in your browser: 192.168.1.14:2200. So, after the internal IP address, you need to use a colon. After that, you will in the port number.
Now you can also use the port numbers if you are not at home, to see the IP camera on your home network. If you have more cameras, you need to give all cameras there own port number:
- Camera 1 on 192.168.1.14 port 2200
- Camera 2 on 192.168.1.16 port 2201
Think back about the situation that was clarified. You woul dlike to have a connection outside of your home with your camera. If you type your internal IP address in the browser, it will not work now. To fill in your external IP address in your browser, you could have access to your router, but this device does not know to which device you would like to go in your home network. This is possible if you use your port number. The setting that you have to change in your router, is called 'port forwarding'. Actually, you are telling to your router that all the connection from outside, that would like to have connection with port 2200, has to go to camera 1. Each connection that is coming from port 2201, should go to camera 2.
If you have setting up this right, you can make connection from outside. You can do this to fill in your external IP address in your browser and follow up with the port number. So, in this example it should be: 126.96.36.199:2200 to have access for camera 1 and 188.8.131.52:2201 to have connection with camera 2. If you would like ot see this in the HomeWizard app, you need to fill in exact all this information in the app!
Nice, but how can I set this up? (Plan of steps)
That is a good question. You have to do three things:
- Set the router to a different port number.
- Setup port forwarding in the router.
- Fill in the settings in the HomeWizard app.
1. Set up the camera to a different port
Assumed your camera has already connection with your router, you can fill in the internal IP address of the camera in a browser. Then you can log in with your username and password.
Go to: 'Device management > Basic Network Settings'.
Change in this section the 'http port' to the port number you would like. Again, this can be between 1024 and 49151. Make sure you have different port number for each camera if you have more cameras. Click on 'submit' to save the new settings. The camera will reboot. If this happened, you can reach the camera only with the new port number. Fill in the internal IP address in the browser. After that, you use a colon and the port number. Then you can login to that camera.
2. Setup Port forwarding on the router.
Unfortunately, router manufacturers does not have 'standards' to give the same view of router settings. Therefor it could be different per router, to set up port forwarding.
In any case, you have to log in to your router. This can by filling your internal IP address of your router (gateway) in the browser. In most cases this is: 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. This is standard for Netgear, Linksys, Asus, 3Com and Zyxel.
Other commonly used addresses:
In most cases you will asked now for a username and password. Mostly this is: username 'admin' and password is also 'admin' of '1234'. If you are not sure, take a look in the manual. Sometimes you will see those settings also under the router.
After you have logged in, you will see a webpage with settings of the router. You have to search for the settings for 'port forwarding'. Sometimes they call it: 'forwarding'. At Linksys routers you will see it most of the time under: 'Applications and Gaming'. You will see almost always (some of) the following options:
At a Ziggo Ubee modem you will see the following:
At Linksys routers you will see the following:
For other routers you will find on the internet a lot of information. Here some usefull links:
Port forwarding for Apple Airport/Timecapsule
Port forwarding for Netgear
Port forwarding for TP-Link
Mostly if you search via Google the router type and 'port forwarding', you have already very fast good results. You can check if you have configured port forwarding correctly, by filling in your external IP adddress, a colon and than the port number in your browser. If you will see the camera feed, you have successfully doing port forwarding!
3. Fill settings in the HomeWizard app.
The HomeWizard does not do anything different than requesting the video feed of the Camera. Therefor you need an external IP address and a Port number. If you run step 1 and 2 correctly, it is easy to set it up. Go to: 'Menu > Add sensor > Camera'. Now, fill in all the comparable information like you see on the pictures below.
If you have filled in the settings correct, you will see a camera feed in the app.
Congratulations, you are finished now and you can see the camera everywhere where you are in the app!