Imagine getting a pop-up alert on your smartphone whenever your IP camera or Network Video Recorder (NVR) detects motion. Wherever you are, iOS or Android device, on WiFi, 3G or 4G, it doesn’t matter. It could be an indoor IP camera that you are using as a baby monitor, an outdoor security camera monitoring your backyard, garage or your office or an NVR monitoring multiple cameras. Welcome to the world of Push Notifications and we will show you how to activate them on your security system.
Alarm Push Notifications
A push notification occurs when an app running in the background on your smartphone alerts you in the form of a pop-up alert or a badge in the notification bar. Your phone does not have to check in periodically with the camera or NVR to receive this notification (this is called a pull request); rather the alert is pushed to your phone from the camera or NVR – hence the term push notification.
Motion detection alarm push notifications are a very useful feature as you get an instantaneous alert on your mobile device much faster than an email alert can usually reach you (especially if you have turned on snapshot attachments).
A push notification occurs when a background app on your phone alerts you through a pop-up alert or a badge.
If you use Gmail, Yahoo or a modern email client on your smartphone, you can set up push alarm email alerts whenever your IP cameras detect motion.
You can set up both alarm email alerts and alarm push notifications simultaneously on each of your IP cameras if you do not use an NVR. So when you receive a push notification, you can either check your email alert or log into the camera to view a live video steam.
For this how-to, we will assume that you want to set up push notifications for a few IP cameras without an NVR. The following steps apply if you are using an NVR also, wherever a camera is mentioned you would apply the same step to your NVR instead.
Port Forwarding or DDNS?
When your phone is connected to your WiFi network at home, it knows how to reach the IP camera which is in the same network because the app is configured with your camera’s local IP address (such as 192.168.1.50). But when you leave your home and use a different method to connect to the Internet, such as your office WiFi or a café’s public WiFi, your phone can no longer reach the camera back home. This is where you need to do 1 of 2 things to let your smartphone connect to the IP camera back home:
- Your router has an external public IP address assigned by your Internet Service Provider. Forward your camera’s ports to an external port on your router and these external ports are accessible from the Internet and thus from your smartphone. Now unless you have purchased a static IP from your ISP, your router’s public IP address will change ever few days or so.
This means you will have to update the app on your phone accordingly each time – this is a hassle. Thankfully there is a way around this prickly problem, you can use a Dynamic DNS (DDNS) service to give your home network a friendly network name such as abcde.ddns.net which can be used to access your home network. We recommend the excellent free No-IP service.
- Use EZVIZ/Hik-Connect Cloud P2P which does away with port forwarding by using P2P technology.
We will explore the second option today: Using the P2P method.
What you will need
- iVMS-4500 HD app (Android, iOS)
- A smartphone that supports the above app
- At least one Hikvision camera such as the popular new LTS/Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I. Also see my list of recommended IP Cameras, if you are undecided on which camera to get.
We assume that you have performed the initial setup of the camera and that you are able to access it through your web browser or video surveillance software.
1. In each camera:
- Log into the web admin page.
- In each of your cameras’ motion alert settings pages, make sure ‘Notify Surveillance Centre’ is checked.
For example, Basic Event > Motion Detection
- Network > uPNP should also be enabled.
- Also go to Network > NAT and make sure: ‘Enable Port mapping’ is checked.
- Network > Platform access should be checked.
NOTE: You do not need DDNS enabled.
3. On your smartphone:
- Download and install the iVMS-4500 HD app from the Android Google Play Store or iOS App Store.
- Adding your cameras to the app.Click on the settings tab and select ‘Devices’.Click the + button at the top right to start adding your camera.Fill in all the fields. Use the IP address and server ports that you have configured for your camera. The default server port is 8000, so unless you have changed it yourself, you should use 8000. Save your setting by touching the save button at the top right.
When you have added the first camera, the screen should look like this:
Add all your cameras one by one.
- Go to the Push Notifications tab. You will see the cameras that you have added here with a toggle next to each one.
Move each toggle to the right to activate alarm push notifications for each camera.
4. Test by setting off the motion detection.
5. You should see a notification like this within 1-5 seconds.
Congratulations, you have now set up alarm push notifications on your smartphone. Also, if you have set up the port forwarding rules correctly on your router, you should receive push notifications outside your local network as well, i.e on the Wide Area Network (WAN).
If you do not get push notifications when the motion alarm is set off, try the following:
- Make sure the account you are using to set up the camera in iVMS-4500 HD is an administrator account.
- Uninstall the iVMS-4500 HD app, re-install the app and then try the setup steps above.
If you face any problems or difficulties, please tell us through the comment field below. We love hearing from you!
A quick note: This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and then purchase something, we may receive a fee. This does not cost you anything extra. Also note that Hikvision and Dahua do not consider certain platforms including Amazon as an authorized seller platform. So if you need warranty support please purchase from authorized resellers of Hikvision and Dahua products in your country.