Sometimes the recorder just has to go where a cat5 cable can't. It's the way it is - Client preference or reality of the install, sometimes it just happens. Few of even the newest Residential and Commercial recorders have a WiFi adapter in the box. A few support USB WiFi, but usually only a specific chipset. Most have no consideration for WiFi at all.
The 'Client Bridge' is the solution in some cases. Several small routers offer this mode in their list of capabilities. Note that there are also WiFi Extender Bridges, these are a whole different monster. A true Client Bridge is basically seen as a wire to the network once set up. Many of them do not show up on device lists or scans. The ones I like best usually take a reset to access them again via their web control panel.
This tutorial will attempt to guide you through setting up a Client Bridge to connect your Video Recorder (or any other device) to the internet.
There are literally dozens of devices out there that support Client Bridge. I've had some that apparently do not support something on some level because Port Forwarding failed using them. But many work just fine. I've been using a TPLink model that is about $35 at most office stores.
The first thing that we must do is set up the root router. In some cases the service provider modem has a router in it, in other cases the router is separate from the modem. In either case, THAT router is the 'root' router for the purpose of this discussion. If there are two routers in the system we will have what we call 'double NAT' which is an advanced setup and beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Generally speaking the default setup of any router is DHCP assignment of IP addresses to the clients. This is a good thing for setup even if you want to use all static IP's inside your network. We can connect a laptop or pc to the router and find the address of the router.
Make sure your computer network adapter is set to obtain an IP address via DHCP and physically connect to the router. Within a few moments you should be connected to the internet if your service is set up properly. The best way to check this is simply open a web browser and display a page that has constantly changing content.
You will need to log into your router so you need to determine its IP address.
Open a terminal emulator and type
Press and hold the Windows button and press the R key. This brings up a Command Prompt. Type
Click the Apple icon in the top left corner.
Click “System Preferences”.
Your default gateway will appear next to “Router.”
Now that we know the routers IP address, we can browse to it. Open a web browser and in the address line (NOT the search bar) and type the address of the default router. It is usually something like
192.168.0.1 172.16.0.1 10.0.10.1
If you type it in correctly you will get a login page. A HUGE number of routers have a default login of admin as a username and password as the password. Some are admin / admin. Yet others are more complex with a sticker on the side or bottom with the factory default admin password there. You can search your router for its default login credentials.
Set up your WiFi on the router so it is ready for your Client Bridge to connect. Make sure you know the security key and WiFi SSID. Test the connection with your laptop or wireless PC to make sure it is working.
At this point if you haven't determined what the IP of your Video Recorder is you will need to do so and follow (this tutorial coming soon) to set up port forwarding in your router. (A very few service providers will force you to use DHCP on your recorder and address it by its MAC, we will 'address' those situations in another tutorial.)
This needs to be done in order for your app to reach your recorder after the bridge is set up. We can do it after the bridge is set up, but I like to do it first so once the bridge is set up I get a faster confirmation that it worked.
Now we need to set up the Client Bridge itself. Connect your laptop or PC to the bridge using a cat5 cable and power up your Client Bridge. Be sure you have connected the cable to any port on the router EXCEPT the Internet or 'WAN' connection. Allow the unit to power up and after a reasonable time follow the instructions above to find the gateway address and lot into it.
Most Client Bridge devices are default a normal router - you will have to configure the router as a Client Bridge per the routers instructions. In most cases this is done by simply checking a box or selecting a drop-down menu that says 'client bridge' somewhere in a configuration menu. You may have to search a bit for the setting but once you activate it you should be directed to a page where you can either select the SSID from a list or enter the desired network to join. If it finds the network it will ask for your credentials and log into the WiFi network. Some devices will restart, some will just start working.
If successful you should be able to browse the internet with your laptop. You should be able to reboot and obtain a new or renewed IP address.
Now disconnect your laptop from the bridge and connect the recorder. Join your computer to the network and browse to the ipaddress:port of the recorder. If the bridge is working you should see a login page from your recorder. If your Port Forwarding is set up properly you should be able to get Success messages from port forwarding testers such as canyouseeme.org and yougetsignal.com.