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How to Connect a DVR and NVR to the Internet: A Complete Walkthrough

Are you looking to connect your security surveillance system to the internet? Setting up a digital video recorder (DVR) and network video recorder (NVR) for the internet can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! With the right guidance and tools, you can easily and quickly connect your security system to the internet. ( see also wired vs wireless video surveillance systems)

In this article, we’ll provide a complete walkthrough on how to connect a DVR and NVR to the internet, so you can have secure and reliable access to your security surveillance system.

What is a DVR (Digital Video Recorder)?

Some people mistakenly call DVRs Digital Video Recorders, but DVRs aren’t really recording devices. They are more monitors that record to a hard drive. DVRs are most often used for surveillance purposes.

How do They work?

DVRs essentially record what’s being viewed on the monitor. They use built-in hard drives with the capacity to save hours of video. They typically don’t require any recording devices, such as cards or drives, which are sometimes necessary for traditional closed-circuit television (CCTV).

The DVR can record a variety of video feeds, including:

      • Main channel

      • Record key channel

      • Program channels

    DVRs can be expensive, and a professional installation is usually required. However, many DVRs these days are integrated with other systems, including smart security systems.

    What is an NVR (Network Video Recorder)?

    A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a central storage unit for all of your security cameras and surveillance footage. Instead of recording to each individual camera, an NVR records footage from multiple security cameras, which saves storage space and time(check also the difference between local and cloud storage) and can quickly be reviewed in times of emergency. Additionally, an NVR allows for portability as a surveillance camera can easily be moved to another NVR or NVR Server if necessary.

    Which NVR Devices Should You Look For?

    Many video equipment companies have created their own NVR devices. However, this model usually results in higher costs associated with firmware updates or a monthly fee. Depending on how many cameras you need, a Network Video Recorder can cost anywhere between $200 and $1,000.

    There are also third-party NVR systems, such as those from QNAP, Synology, and Digital Agility. These manufacturers have particularly great reputations for reliable systems, making them great budget choices. However, keep in mind that third-party NVR systems are currently more expensive than their camera-only counterparts.

    Cloud Storage

    Unlike an NVR, cloud storage does not record footage. Rather, it stores the video files in the cloud allowing for easy cloud storage access no matter where you are. Cloud storage allows footage to be downloaded onto computers and mobile devices, but can also be used for streaming the footage.

    Cloud storage does come with some limitations. For example, not all cloud storage providers allow the recording of 30 frames per second. Some also limit the length of footage that can be stored, and some charge per gigabyte or require high recurring monthly fees. This isn’t always ideal for someone wanting to store video footage long-term.

    Why Require an Internet Connection to Connect DVR and NVR?

    In order to let your DVR or NVR interact with the Internet using your existing internet service provider, it must have an IP address. Without an IP address, your Internet-connected NVR or DVR can’t function.

    Your NVR or DVR connects to the Internet by Wi-Fi. This allows it to receive, send, and download information to and from the cloud. If it doesn’t have a connected IP address, it won’t be able to interact.

    Even if you have a router with a built-in DHCP server, you might encounter problems connecting to the network. This can be caused if your NVR or DVR isn’t compatible with the router’s DHCP server.

    Since NVR and DVRs typically have multiple IP addresses, you can choose any one of these to use. Keep in mind that the DEFAULT IP address that your router assigns to your network is the first IP address on the assigned IP range. You can usually change the DHCP server to a different IP address.

    On the other hand, if you’re using a DDNS service, you should have an IP available.  In this case, you can manually configure the IP address for the DVR or NVR.

    Once you have the IP address assigned,  your NVR or DVR can interact with the Internet. Make sure to configure the settings on your device to ensure that it is secure. This includes setting up a username and admin password, as well as any other necessary security measures. 

    How to Setup Internet Connection for DVR and NVR?

    Whether your DVR or NVR is new or has been around for a while, getting it online for the first time is important. As our cameras began filling up with storage, we wanted to make sure they were recording over old footage. Even before the cameras were recording, we wanted to be able to see the feeds from our cameras via a web browser in real time.

    However, the DVR and NVR only come with a small built-in Wi-Fi antenna, which meant we needed to set up a stronger WiFi signal.

    Here’s how to connect your DVR or NVR to a strong wireless router WiFi signal: 

    1. Connect your DVR or NVR to your router with an Ethernet cable or network cable and connect it to the LAN port.

    2. Open the DVR or NVR  settings and find the “Network” or “Internet” tab.

    3. Configure the settings to connect to your router’s Wi-Fi network.

    4. Input your network’s name and password.

    5. Select the “Apply” or “Save” button. 

    6. The DVR or NVR should now be connected to your WiFi network.

    Once your DVR or NVR is connected to your WiFi network, you should be able to access your wireless security camera system feeds from any web browser in real-time. 

    Setup  NVR/DVR Remote Access and View Live Video Feed with Mobile Apps

    Once the DVR/DVR is set up to your existing network connection, you can configure remote access for your surveillance system with mobile apps. 

    1. Download and install the mobile app on your phone or tablet.

    2. Open the app and configure the settings to connect to your DVR/NVR.

    3. Input your DVR/NVR’s IP address, port number, user name, and password  4. Select the “Connect” button.

    5. You should now be able to view your live video feed from the mobile app.  If you need additional help configuring your DVR/NVR, refer to the user manual or contact the manufacturer’s technical support team.

    Bringing It All Together: Connect a DVR and NVR to the Internet via IP Cameras and Port Forwarding

    After you’ve gotten your DVR and NVR installed, you can connect them both to the internet and remotely access the cameras via a cloud-based video recorder. For this guide, we’ll be pairing a DVR with an NVR, but the process is the same for an NVR and a DVR.

    First, you’ll need to connect your router to your DVR. Power it on, log into your router via internet cable, and access the DHCP setting. From there, choose either a static IP address or a dynamic IP address (with static being preferable).

    Some routers will automatically assign IP addresses, but that still means there will be a specific number assigned to your DVR (usually on a network based on the MAC address). This, of course, isn’t ideal because it opens the door to attempted hacks.

    Give each device its own public IP address.  Next, make sure to turn off the DHCP server on the router if you don’t want it to automatically assign IPs. This also helps secure your system.

    Once each device has its own IP, you’ll need to create a port forwarding rule. This will allow the incoming traffic from the internet to access the DVR/NVR. Each router has its own way of doing this, but the general process is the same. 

    Follow this guide to create a port forwarding: 

    1. Log in to your router’s web interface.
    2. Look for the port forwarding section.
    3. Enter the IP address of your DVR/NVR.
    4. Enter the port that you want to open.
    5. Enter the protocol (usually TCP or UDP ).
    6. Click the “Save” button.

    Once you’ve done this, your DVR/NVR should be accessible from the internet. You may also need to configure your firewall to allow access from the internet.

    Finally, make sure that you have the correct IP address and port numbers for your DVR/NVR in the router’s port forwarding settings in order for it to work.


    Overall, connecting a DVR or NVR to the internet can be a complicated process, but with the right guidance and expertise, it can be made easy. If you are located in Maryland, USA, you can always rely on the professional video surveillance services of Go Safer Security for help.

    Our team of certified security experts can ensure that your DVR or NVR is securely connected to your internet network. So, don’t wait and contact us today to get your security solution set up today. Our experts are here to help you save time and money while providing you with the peace of mind you need.


    Connecting your NVR (Network Video Recorder) to the internet without a router may seem daunting, but it can be done! To get started, make sure you have all the necessary hardware, such as IP cameras and wireless security cameras. You’ll also need to adjust your router settings.

    Once you have the hardware, connecting your NVR to the internet without a router is relatively simple. First, you’ll need to assign a static IP address to your NVR. You can do this by accessing the NVR’s settings. Then, you’ll need to use port forwarding to make sure your NVR is accessible from anywhere on the internet. Finally, you’ll need to configure your firewall to allow incoming connections from the outside.

    The answer to the question is yes. NVRs, or Network Video Recorders, are surveillance systems that use IP cameras and a public IP address to stream video remotely. The NVR allows you to access the cameras and view the video feed remotely. This means that most NVRs have built-in Wi-Fi capabilities to allow for remote access.

    Using an NVR with built-in Wi-Fi makes it easy to set up a remote monitoring system. You can connect the cameras to the NVR, and then access the video feed remotely from anywhere. This makes it easy to check in on your property while on the go.

    The NVR’s Wi-Fi capabilities also make it easy to set up a secure network. When you access the camera remotely, the data is encrypted, meaning it won’t be visible to anyone else. This ensures your data is secure and safe from prying eyes.

    Overall, an NVR with built-in Wi-Fi is a great choice for anyone looking to set up a secure remote monitoring system. It’s easy to set up, and provides a secure way to access your cameras from anywhere.

    Yes, NVR does need to be connected to the Internet in order to access features like remote viewing. It may be done either through a run internet cable or through built-in WiFi support. NVRs are connected to the Internet to provide access to their features, such as remote viewing, through an app on your smartphone or tablet. This allows you to monitor your home security system from anywhere in the world.

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