3 Reasons why you should be port forwarding and not using the cloud setup for mobile viewing with your DVR or NVR. Although Cloud setup / P2P is boasted as a big selling point by many DVR manufacturers, I do not recommended connecting your Video Recorder through these methods. The quick-“qr scan”-and-connect-your-device type of setups can be sluggish and unreliable and put you under unecessary exposure.
These easy scan methods make things a lot easier for a novice to get his CCTV on his phone – it has many drawbacks. This solution was the dvr manufactureres answer for the masses who quickly wanted “plug and play” type of remote access to their CCTV system.
Disadvantages of Cloud based Remote-Viewing Setup
- Slower – Latency, slow server, network congestion, distance to server
- Privacy Risk– Your data is travelling through a third party server/p2p
- Reliability – Reliant on the manufacturer to keep the cloud server running
1. Slower – Much slower to open your video
When you connect to your DVR using a cloud-based service your DVR is effectively creating an outbound connection to the manufacturers cloud server. When you connect your DVR to the internet and enable the cloud service. The DVR will connect to the manufacturers cloud server and send your real IP and its serial number or identifier.
When you fire up your remote app, and scan the barcode to see your video, the app connects to the manufacturers cloud server, and requests the video for the serial number it has provided. If your DVR is online it will already have a connection to your DVR. It will then initiate a stream either through itself or through a p2p network (which it has created from similar users) to transfer video to your device.
Naturally, most of these cloud servers are based in China where the devices are manufactured and connectivity between China and Europe/ USA is not very good for real-time applications due to the distance and ofcourse the great China Firewall.
Some of these apps I have tested take over 1 minute to make the initial connection and the video to appear in your app!
2. Privacy – Your CCTV stream is being sent through third party
Data which is streamed from your CCTV DVR is available to the cloud server and the company running the cloud – should they want to see it. With a traditional cloud-based setup the data from all your cameras is streamed onto the internet and then diverted to your mobile device adding a layer of risk.
I am a believer that data should be transferred between 2 parties of interest rather than through a third party for the sake of “making it easy”
3. Reliant on 3rd Party Servers
Streaming video onto third party servers creates a significant overhead on the servers involved. It also means that you are totally relying on third party cloud servers to be up 24/7. I have seen numerous manufacturers turn off cloud servers a year after they’ve sold their current stock or simply not pay much attention to their international clients who may have geographic network-related connectivity problems with their cloud servers, often which they dont understand or have the expertise to diagnose.
The EZViz service for example limits the number of concurrent streams you can view when you are connected through the cloud service.