Adding Remote Access
[Updated January 2020] The Failover Address and Failover Port fields were updated in eKeypad version 3.4.16 to External Address and External Port.
The process of setting up remote access for eKeypad is straight forward but has several steps that must be performed. This help article outlines these steps. Please contact us if you run into issues or questions.
This process must start while connected to the local Wifi network where the equipment is located. Not doing so will make it much harder, if not impossible, to diagnose any issues that may arise.
You can quickly check basic Wifi vs Cellular connectivity by looking at the icons at the top of the iOS device screen. If you see the icon indicated, then the device is connected to a Wifi network.
For a more comprehensive check use the Config -> Status screen in eKeypad. At the top of the status screen the network connectivity details will be displayed.
This detail will tell you how the iOS device is connected to the network in plain text: “No Network”, “Ethernet”, “Cellular Data”, or “Wifi”. If connected to a Wifi network, the name of the SSID may also be provided.
The local IP Address assigned to the IOS device will also be displayed on the eKeypad status screen. The following will help you identify if an IPv4 or IPv6 address is being assigned.
- An IPv4 Address pattern consists of 4 numbers (between 0 and 254) separated by periods. It can not contain any letters. For example, “192.168.10.55”.
- An IPv6 Address pattern consists of multiple number and/or letter values separated by colons. For example, “1080::8:800:200C:417A”.
It is best if the iOS device is assigned an IPv4 address. If an IPv6 address is assigned, additional steps and troubleshooting steps may be required later. Due to the complexity of setting up an IPv6 network, it is recommended to always use IPv4 when possible. In most cases, IPv6 can be disabled in the router.
The first step in setting up remote access is to collect the necessary information about your network and the equipment you are trying to access remotely.
- Internal IP address of the equipment – The static IP address you or your installer has assign to your equipment.
- Port Number on the equipment – This number is defined by the equipment manufacturer or internet standards. In some cases it can changed in the equipment setup.
- Internal IP address of the router – This address can be obtained from the router configuration screens or from the Config -> Support -> Network Tools screen in eKeypad.
- External IP address of the router – This is the IP address assigned to your router by your internet provider. It can be obtained from the router configuration screens or from the Config -> Support -> Network Tools screen.
Several configuration settings in the equipment you are trying to access remotely must be set correctly for remote access to work correctly. In most cases, the programming software for your equipment or help from your installer will be required to verify or make changes to these settings.
- Static IP Address – The equipment you are trying to access remotely must be setup with a static IP address on the local network. Using a DHCP address or a DHCP server reservation will cause issues and should not be used.
- Default Gateway – The equipment you are trying to access remotely must be configured with the correct default gateway for the network. This setting will always be the Internal IP address of the router documented above.
- Port Forwarding – For remote access to work, an exception must be added for your equipment in your router. The Internal IP address and port number of the equipment are needed to setup port forwarding. If asked, only TCP traffic is required.
Given the large number of routers on the market it is not possible to give detailed directions for how to setup port forwarding but a good resource can be found at http://www.portforward.com
Port mapping, to change the port number of the equipment, is not recommended in the port forwarding setup. If the port number needs to be changed, it is important to change the port in the equipment you are trying to access.
Local Network Test
- Network Address – This setting should be set to the internal, static IP address assigned to the equipment.
- Port Number – This setting should be set to the port number documented earlier.
- Use Failover – This switch should be turned ON.
- Custom Subnets – Leave this setting unchanged. It is used to support complex networks under guidance from eKeypad.
- External Address – This setting should be set to the external address of the router. This field was labeled, “Failover Address”, in older versions.
- External Port – This setting should be set to the port number documented earlier. This field was labeled, “Failover Port”, in older versions.
If errors are encountered during the validation stage of saving these configuration changes in eKeypad, add the driver “Disabled” then perform the automated troubleshooting test built into eKeypad.
When the changes to the settings have been saved, an initial test should be performed to verify that everything is operating from the local Wifi network.
Remote Access Test
An additional test is necessary to complete the validation of the remote access setup. The steps up to this point have all occurred from the local Wifi network. The final test must occur while connected to Cellular data.
Start by exiting out of the eKeypad application back to the iOS home screen and unplugging any cables connected to the device. Next, disable Wifi.
Open the control panel on the device. The process to do this is different depending on the device being used but it will either be a swipe up from the bottom of the screen (older devices) or a swipe down from the top right corner of the screen (newer devices).
The look of this control panel will vary based on the version of iOS you are using, but the icons will be the similar.
DisableWifi by tapping on the Wifi icon. The icon will be Blue when Wifi is enabled and Gray when disabled.
Once the connection to the local network has been disabled, the iOS device will either be using cellular data or it will have no network connection at all. To determine which, look at the top of the screen.
If you have a cellular connection you will see a carrier name such as AT&T, Verizon, etc.
Make sure you have at least 2 bars in the meter to the left of the carriers name. If you have less than 2 bars, you will need to move the mobile device to a location with a stronger cellular signal.
If you have a cellular capable device, but no cellular service is available you will see the text “No Service”. You will need to move to another location or possibly outside of the building to obtain a working cellular signal/service.
If you are unable to obtain a working cellular signal, you may need to perform the remaining tests on a remote Wifi network or use a cellular hotspot. A working connection is required to complete the remote access testing.
Once you have a working Cellular connection, relaunch eKeypad and verify that everything is still operating correctly.
At this point you should have basic remote access working in eKeypad that can connect to your equipment from both the local Wifi network, remote Wifi networks or cellular data.
Setup Dynamic DNS Hostname
The last step in setting up remote access is necessary because the external IP Address of your router will change over time. There are several companies that offer dynamic DNS services (referred to as a DDNS). These services allow you to associate a hostname with your router so eKeypad is always able to locate it. One example of a DDNS service is here: http://www.dyndns.org
Once you have a dynamic DNS hostname service setup, including the client software, configured correctly eKeypad should be updated. In the configuration details the “External IP address of the Router” should be replaced with the DDNS hostname in the “External Address” field.
Be sure to save the changes and re-test eKeypad on both the local Wifi network and Cellular data. Your backup files should also be updated to add the configuration changes that have been made.