Remote Access Information you need to know, before you buy your high speed Ethernet connection.

The internet has been wonderful for some time on researching surveillance equipment, finding an installer in your area, and locating a manufacturer to purchase your equipment from. With in the last several years, the features offered by most stand alone DVR makers, has been exponentially advantageous.

As long as you have a high speed ethernet connection at the site of your DVR you can look at live images as they happen, access all of your archives saved on your hard drives, and manipulate the settings of your DVR like you were sitting in front of it. Some you can access through a regular web browser, some through CMS (Central Monitoring Software) and you can access multiple locations at the same time – as many as 65 live camera views on one screen, and some even have live access through your PDA and can send you emails when an alarm is tripped.

Picture yourself on vacation with your family. You’ve been looking forward to some time off for months and you are sitting in your hotel room relaxing and you get a frantic call from your new manager and you had a break in last night. Take a deep breath, get your laptop out, connect to the internet, launch your CMS software and pull up the data from last night. You can see all of your camera views, find the info you need, and make a back up right from your hotel room. You don’t have to leave your vacation early to make sure you get the footage off before it is recorded over.
OR Your PDA goes off at your ‘other job’ saying an alarm was tripped at the wash. Pull up your cameras on your PDA so you can see your brother already resetting the auto bay that tripped a breaker. He got the message first!

These features can save you time and money. Find a manufacturer that offers the type of access that you need or just find one that offers them all!

When you are trying to determine what Internet Service Provider you should go with to run your remote connection for your surveillance system – several things make a difference.

Download vs. Upload – You will be interested in the upload speed at the site of the DVR, and the download speed at the remote location you are wanting to see the cameras at. Which ever side is lower is your limiting factor. Some providers will say you are getting 512 service which is great, but then you find out that’s only download speed, and you are really getting less the 356 upload.
Make sure you ask about both.

Static vs. Dynamic – Static IPs are always going to be less hassle, and more reliable when it comes to your DVR. A lot of DVR manufacturers will have the ability to work with Dynamic IPs, and most do not charge for it. You effectively name your DVR and then access it by the name, which the registration server then keeps track of your IP address when it changes. Static is normally a few dollars more a month, and well worth it.

Unlimited Tech Support from the company you purchase your camera equipment from, can be worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to setting up your DVR and routers for remote access. I have heard it time and time again, customers will call their ISP to open ports to let their video through and the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t even know what port forwarding is. This is not a good sign.

So before you buy your DVR, make sure and ask if the tech support staff is equipped to help with the remote setup as well as the camera installation. You’ll be glad you did!

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