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Using DDNS Service & Dynamic IP Addresses in Surveillance Systems

Most users of video surveillance systems want to be able to view their cameras remotely over the Internet. In order to do this, a high speed Internet connection must be available both at the location of the surveillance system and the location where the user wants to view the cameras remotely from. If you have a cable or DSL Internet connection, your Internet service provider (ISP) may be assigning your Internet connection a static or dynamic IP address. This article will first discuss what the difference is between the two and then how it affects installing a surveillance system with remote viewing capability.

  • Static IP Address – A static IP address is used when your ISP always assigns your cable or DSL modem (your Internet connection) the same IP address every time the modem connects to the Internet service.
  • Dynamic IP Address - A dynamic IP address is used then your ISP may change your IP address anytime you connect to the Internet.

When installing a business or home surveillance system including a network-able DVR, it is important to know whether you have a static or dynamic IP address if you intend on using the network / Internet capability of the DVR. The networking functionality of the DVR allows you to make a remote connection to your DVR over the Internet so that you can control the system and view your security cameras remotely.

If you have a static IP address at the location of your DVR, you can always connect to your surveillance system remotely using the same IP address. If you have a dynamic IP address, things can be a little bit more complicated, especially if your DVR or IP camera does not have built-in DDNS support, because you never know when your IP address is going to be changed by your ISP. In order to keep track of any changes to the dynamic IP, you will likely want to subscribe to a dynamic DNS service (DDNS) that keeps track of it for you. The most popular DDNS service is and lucky for everyone, it is a free service.

DVRs and IP Cameras with Built-in DDNS

Some surveillance DVRs and IP cameras have built-in dynamic DNS support. This means that the manufacturer of the DVR or IP camera provides you with a free hostname used to access your security cameras or entire surveillance system. Here are a few product lines that have built-in DDNS support

DDNS Service

If you have a DVR or IP camera that does not include DDNS support, you can use a third party service and manage the IP updates on your router. When you register with a DDNS service, you can create a host name, for example something like “”, just like the domain names and hostnames that you use to access a website on the Internet. You then associate that host name with the IP address of your Internet service connection. One way this can be done is by using a router that supports DDNS. Most routers on the market do. Log into your router and locate the DDNS setup screen. The location will vary by router manufacturer. Enter your DDNS account settings, including your login, password, and the host name that you registered. Now, anytime your router detects that your IP address has changed from your ISP, the router will notify the DDNS service about the change by telling it what your new IP address is. This allows you to always use the hostname that you registered to connect to your DVR remotely over the Internet. There is no need to remember or keep track of your IP address.

CCTV Camera Pros has documented specific dynamic DNS setup instructions for LinkSys and D-Link routers. The instructions are based on certain models, but are likely the same or close to the same for other models of D-Link and LinkSys routers. If you need specific instructions for you router, please consult the manual that came with your router and look under the section for DDNS or Dynamic DNS.

Here are the DDNS setup instructions that we have documented:

This article was written by , co-founder and managing partner of CCTV Camera Pros. If you found it useful, please share it.