Hik-Connect is a service that allows Hikvision devices such as security cameras and recorders to connect to the Internet and stream video without router configuration since it uses a P2P (Peer-to-Peer) method that it's easier to setup.
By using this service you can view your security cameras remotely from your mobile phone without the need of port forwarding configuration.
The Hik-connect replaces the iVMS-4500 platform with better features.
The old method (router configuration)
Setup a security camera, DVR or NVR to stream video over the Internet used to be a nightmare before the Hik-connect platform comes into the picture.
Security camera system installers used to configure the router to enable port forwarding to allow the communication from the devices located in the local computer network to the mobile device (phone, tablet or laptop) on the Internet.
To make things work properly was necessary to have some computer network skills to deal with different types of problems.
The router (2) used to have a routing table with the necessary information.
In a nutshell, the port forwarding method is a way of saying to the router that any request coming from the Internet to a specific Internet IP address/port must be routed to the camera/recorder IP address/port inside the local network.
Hik-connect, the new method
Before creating the Hik-connect platform, Hikvision developed the iVM-4500 to work with the P2P concept and the idea of zero router configuration.
==> The Hik-connect is the evolution of the iVMS-4500, so it's much better.
How does the Hik-connect work?
With this new method, an IP security camera or recorder comes ready to initiate a connection to a Hikvision server located somewhere on the Internet.
The diagram shows an IP camera that initiates a connection from a local network to the Hik-connect server, which can communicate with a remote mobile device.
This allows the system to work without any router configuration since the request initiates from the local network to the Internet (and not the opposite way).
After the first step, the mobile device connects to the Hik-connect server which handles the communication between both devices via P2P (Point-to-Point).
So, if you are using the old iVMS-4500, please replace it with the Hik-connect.
How to enable Hik-Connect in the device
At first, the Hikvision devices come with the service disabled, so you need to login into the camera or recorder and enabled it in the advanced settings tab.
Just follow the steps below to enable the Hik-connect service:
- Use a web browser and login into the device.
- Go to Configuration > Network > Advanced Settings > Platform Access.
- Enable the service in the checkbox.
After enabling the service it's necessary to create a verification code, just create one with 6 to 12 letters or numbers (they are case sensitive).
The last step is to Hit OK and save the configuration.
The procedure is similar when using a DVR (see the picture below).
OK, now you are ready to configure the mobile device or computer.
How to use the Hik-connect app
After installing the app it's necessary to have a Hikvision account to login and register your devices (IP cameras, DVRs and NVRs).
Open the app and click the button to select the country you live in.
The next screen shows you a list of countries. You need to choose the correct one to receive the code via mobile phone.
Click the country to check it and later click the confirm sign at the top right.
If this is the first time you are using the app, you need to create an account in the platform, just ignore the red login button and click register.
There are two methods to create your account, you can use a mobile phone number or an email address. Just choose the method you prefer to receive a code you will need to enable your Hik-connect account.
Don't forget to check the box to agree with the Terms and Service.
If you choose the to register the phone number (the way I did), the next screen will show you the region (based on the country you chose), and a space to let you type the phone number you want to use to register your account.
Just type your phone number and press the "Get Verification Code" button.
Input the number you received on your phone and click the "Next" button.
The next step is to create a User Name and Password.
Just create a strong password and type it twice to confirm.
And you are done, Your account is created.
How to add devices in the Hik-connect app
Now that you have created your account, you just need to use the app to scan a QR Code in your DVR and register your device. This is a simple process.
Just hit the button "Add Device" to open the QR Code reader
Just hit the button "Add Device" to open the QR Code reader
After scanning the QR code, the device will be listed in the app.
Hik-connect Visitor Mode
If you don't have a Hik-connect account and want to quickly setup your device, just use the Visitor Mode available in the app, as shown in the picture below.
By using the visitor mode it's possible to go directly to the device configuration.
==> This option is only available in the Hik-connect version 3.5 and above.
My QR code
The version 3.5 allows to share the devices among different accounts by using a QR code, so it's very easy to register a camera or recorder for a group of people.
Hik-connect push notification
The app can send alerts via push notification when some event occurs in the camera or recorder such as motion detection, video analytics, and alarms.
The alerts show the date/time, camera name and type of notification.
Events are generated by the IP cameras, and recorders according to their capabilities, if there's intelligent video analytics available in the device it can trigger the alert when somebody is entering or exiting a specific area, crossing a virtual line or leaving an object in a demarcated area.
Hik-connect web platform
You can check all the devices that are connected in your system using the online web interface. Just visit the website and login with in your account.
Usually, when you install a new app or service there are a lot of questions that may arise regarding the use of the system and issue, so let's discuss some of them.
What happens when a person registers the Hik-connect as a visitor and loses the mobile phone ?
It's possible to connect in the platform and remove the visitor account to protect against somebody that could use the lost mobile phone.
Can I share only a few cameras from my DVR using the Hik-connect platform ?
Yes, you can. Let's say you have a DVR with 16 cameras, you can share only 4 of them to a person A and share 12 of them to person B.
The Hik-connect push notification is not working, what is wrong ?
To receive push notifications follow the steps:
- Make sure the motion detection or V.A. events are enabled in the device;
- In the Hik-connect app settings enable the "Message Push Notification"
- Make sure the "Alarm Notification" is enabled for the device in the App.
When trying to add a new device I see the error "The device is offline. No search result is found.’
Log into your camera or recorder and make sure the Hik-connect is enabled.
You also need to check the network and make sure everything is correctly configured and there's no rule in the router that could block the connection.
Want to learn more ?
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Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 15+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.