If you own a security camera or a CCTV system, probably you have heard about port forwarding or as they say sometimes “opening the ports”. In order to view a security camera system remotely you need to open certain ports on the router and allow (establish) the traffic/communication between your security devices and the phone app.
By opening the port you’re authorizing your router to communicate with a security phone app (or software). Each security system has specific ports that need to be open, usually grouped in three types: HTTP ports, RTSP ports and Server ports.
Basically, to open a port means to access your router, find the Port Forwarding section and do the settings such as adding the port (for example HTTP port 82), adding the IP address of the camera or NVR/DVR, type (UDP/TCP) etc. Before you start you need to know the IP address of the device that will be forwarded and the port numbers as well.
Once you’re done, it’s important to check whether the ports are opened correctly. You may think it’s open but actually it’s not. This easy guide shows how to check if the ports are opened or forwarded for your NVR, DVR or IP camera. It’s an easy procedure that can be done in 2 minutes.
How to tell if the ports on your security camera system are opened or forwarded?
The easy and the quick way is to check the ports by using online port checkers. You enter the port and the tools check if the communication is successful, hence opened. Below we’ve demonstrated two methods.
After opening the ports on your router, go to this website (CanYouSeeMe.org) and to check if the port is open or blocked. You may change the port in “Port to Check” to check all your ports. Select “Check Port” to confirm if your ports are opened.
If it indicates your ports are open, you have successfully opened the ports. If it shows the message “error”, it means the ports are closed.
Note: a drawback of this online tool is that you need to be on the same network (Internet) as the security system you’re checking the ports. If you’re in a different location, then it won’t work. Try the next tool shown below.
This online port checker (yougetsignal.com/tools/open-ports/) allows you to check the forwarded ports locally and remotely as well. If your camera is somewhere else, you can type the external IP address of the camera and the port and hit check to see if the port is “open” or “closed”. A sample is shown below.
Note: If your ports are still closed even after you did the port forwarding correctly, we recommend contacting your Internet Service Provider for further assistance. Some ISPs automatically block any ports, no matter if you have forwarded them.
I have a DDNS address for my CCTV system, how to find the external IP address?
Let’s say you have the DDNS address for your security camera system. How to locate the IP address which you’ll need to enter to the port checker tools shown above?
That’s quite easy. Open up the cmd command and ping the DDNS address. Simply type “cmd” (without brackets) on the Windows computer/laptop search box and the prompter will show automatically. Enter the command as follows: ping your.ddns.com
Don’t add www in front of the DDNS address. The computer will ping it and] will list the IP address over there which is the external IP address of your security camera system. Use this IP address on the aforementioned port checker tools.