How to remotely view cam's and use NVR from portable devices?

mat-with-one-t

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Hi again all and I hope all is well! I've left my NVR/cam's alone for a while to just see if they all work well enough, and so far so good. So next is to sort out remote access - am I correct in saying a VPN setup is the best way to do this? If so, I'm new to VPN's and would love a little help! If not, how else does one go about it?

Initially I'll aim for ability to use SmartPSS on a remote device (iphone, ipad, laptop (mac or pc), etc) to look at cams and NVR recordings. Eventually I'll aim for a more comprehensive remote access, where I can also look at my NAS (yet to be set up) remotely. Small steps though! I assume I'll need to set up a VPN to do all this securely, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

The gear:
NVR: Dahua DHI-NVR5216-16p-4ks2e
Cam's: a range of Dahua units
Router: Asus RT-AX86U
All above gear at home is hard-wired with Cat6 ethernet cable

Now, my router has a VPN section, where I don't think I should require any further software or subscriptions (or do I?).

It has 3 choices under "VPN server":
  • VPN Server PPTP
  • VPN Server OpenVPN
  • VPN Server IPSec VPN

After that, there's a tab for "VPN client"

There's also an option called "Instant guard", but I'm not sure what that's about?

Anyway, some basic help would be appreciate, or even let me know if I'm going about this the wrong way! I'll add some screenshots to show what I'm seeing on my router. Thanks in advance! Mat

asus VPN.png


Screenshot (108).png

Screenshot (109).png
 
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wittaj

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OpenVPN is the way to go.

OpenVPN is simple, but we make it way more difficult than it needs to be lol.

I was there too once with OpenVPN...tried to do all this research to find directions and got to the point I said screw it and just enabled it and kinda of followed what it was asking and it worked.

Just go to OpenVPN and enable it and see what it says - probably asks you to create a user/PW, DDNS name, encryption method, and create certificate. Then email that certificate to you and save the certificate on your mobile device. Then install the OpenVPN app and select the certificate and then connect and you are on your home network.

It really is simpler than our minds make it out to be.

This guide will help.

 

toastie

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I setup a Raspberry Pi server running Wireguard. I can use my Android phone to access my home LAN, so when away I can access my Hikvision NVR, Blue Iris PC etc, though mostly I use it for BI's UI3 interface on my Android phone.
I previously had an RPi running openvpn server, (not for CCTV), so had my modem-router's settings all ready. There's a script to install Wireguard or openvpn on the RPi which now makes things far easier than a few years back. It all works rather well.

My main modem-router doesn't have openvpn, and I connected a second m-r on DDWRT running and openvpn client to occasionally access a commercial VPN.

 
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Swampledge

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Great guidance from wittaj! When I set up OpenVPN on my Netgear router, I found a how-to on the Netgear support forum. It was very simple. I only ran into difficulties when it came time to add my certificates to the OVPN client for my iPhone. My router had produced 3 separate certificate files, but my client app expected to see a single “unified” .ovpn file with the cert and key already embedded. A quick web search showed that I could create that unified file by cutting and pasting the files I had using a text editor. That worked first try!
 

mat-with-one-t

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Thanks guys. Most helpful. I'll have a go at OpenVPN.

- Flint, they are screenshots of my Router's GUI. It has the three VPN configurations on offer, built into the router it seems

- Toastie, as a beginner, I'm afraid I didn't follow a single word of your post! I'm also unfamiliar with Android devices and Raspberry Pi's, so all was lost on me! Thankyou either way for the quick response!

- Wittaj, I'll work the the link you kindly provided and report back. I'm sure I'll have a stack of questions as I go, so keep an eye out on the thread!
 

mat-with-one-t

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Ok. 1st issue. I initiated the Open VPN following the link above from Wittaj, which seemed to go ok. One problem now is for some reason I cannot login to my Asus router's GUI as I normally do. It usually resides at 192.168.50.1, where my home network is 192.168.50.xxx. I just get "unable to connect". The only thing I've changed is initialising the Open VPN.
I've tried manually resetiing it - no go. It seems to be functioning fine.
I can log into any other device (such as my Dahua NVR at 102.168.50.2) without an issue.
Thoughts?
 

mat-with-one-t

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Tried both. Also tried a laptop directly into router via Ethernet to make sure it wasn’t switch or something else.....
Addit:
So went back to the guide (above) and, rather than logging into my router with 192.168.50.xxx, I used https://[name of my VPN}.asuscomm.com:8443
This got me back into the router (whew!).
Question: If I'm at home, and the VPN is not installed on a client (or is installed and turned off), shouldn't I be able to access my router at its "normal" address (192.168........)?
 
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mat-with-one-t

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Ok. Next questions that are hurting my head guys!

1. If I'm at home, and the VPN is not installed on a client (or is installed and turned off), shouldn't I be able to access my router at its "normal" address (192.168........)?

2. The VPN seems to work (I trialed a username and password on my iphone), BUT only when I'm on the home WiFi, which kinda defeats the point! My goal here is to be able to access the home network when I'm elsewhere, as if I were still home (such as look at my cams via SmartPSS). What have I missed? I don't see the need to use the VPN whilst at home on the network (wifi or ethernet), just whilst elsewhere....
 

mat-with-one-t

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Further:
- all working now. It turned out to be an issue with the WAN address issued by my interwebs provider. Now all working well, and I can see my cams via my Dahua NVR using the DMSS app. Great!
I just worked my way through the link provided. Thanks guys. Now onto remote access to Synology NAS on the VPN setup.....
 

mat-with-one-t

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As is my modus-operandi, I make sure that when I get something working, I break something else!!

New issue:
- since I got OpenVPI up and running, I can't access cams individually. That is, if I log into the NVR (192.168.50.xxx), no worries. But if I then go to "Cameras", I get the usual list of cam's with green dots throughout and the blue symbol to log into each. When I click on the blue symbol, however, I get "pop-up window is blocked", or I get (depending on browser),
"The web page at might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address."

ERR_UNSAFE_PORT
I have tried Safari, Firefox, IE. I have tried rebooting the NVR. Ideas? Is this something to do with the change with the VPI setup, where I can no longer log into my router with a "usual" number (192.168.50.xxx), but rather I now have to login via https/:[username]asuscomm.com:8443 ??
 

mat-with-one-t

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Right. For some reason all the popup window settings changed when I got the VPN going. I "allowed popups" for my NVR address and now working. Go figure!?
Problem is, may cam's are 192.168.50.xxx:10080...10081....10082.....
I can open all except the 1st, withe abovementioned error of a warning about unsafe. Ideas?
 
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