This article is a explains how to configure a static IP address and port forwarding for remote Internet access to the ISY-99i Home Automation Controller.
How to configure a Static IP address for the ISY-99i Home Automation Controller
Problem with UPnP and Internet Access
The Linksys WRT-54G WiFi router supports Universal Plug-n-Play (UPnP), a feature that automatically detects and configures Internet access for the ISY-99i. However, I kept losing Internet access to the ISY-99i whenever my Internet Service Provider changed my DSL dynamic IP address – which happened every couple of days – even though I was using a DDNS service. I suspected a problem with UPnP and the recommendation from Universal Devices is to use a static IP address with port forwarding to bypass UPnP. Assigning a static IP address to the ISY-99i with port forwarding solved my Internet access reliability problem.
The ISY-99i support forum at Universal Devices, Inc. and the Support Wiki are really excellent resources, however I found myself studying different references to figure out what I needed to do. There are many “moving parts” and I found it necessary to create a network diagram (see above) that listed various parameters to sort it all out. Here’s the PowerPoint source file so you can sing along and update it with your particular values: Static IP Address Configuration Network Diagram (PowerPoint).
1: Create a Dynamic DNS (DDNS) Account
DDNS is way to access your home network using an easy to remember hostname like “myhomenetwork.homedns.org” that always resolves to the correct dynamic IP address for your DSL or cable modem broadband service. A software agent in the Linksys WRT-54G router “pings” the DDNS service provider every few minutes, so the service provider can track your current dynamic IP address.
Record the following parameters on the network diagram:
- Your DDNS account user name and password.
- Your DDNS hostname, e.g. “myisyhostname.homedns.org”
2: Pick a Static IP Address
The static IP address you choose for the ISY-99i is simply an IP address outside of the DHCP pool of IP addresses managed by the Linksys router.
Login to the Linksys administrator web page. The default URL is http://192.168.1.1, however I’ve change my router IP address to 192.168.2.1. Go to the Setup → Basic Setup web page.
Click on the image for a full size view.
Update the network diagram with your values for the following entries:
Router IP Address: 192.168.2.1 Netmask: 255.255.255.0 DHCP Starting IP: 192.168.2.100 # of DHCP Users: 50 DHCP Ending IP: 192.168.2.149
The DHCP Ending IP address is calculated by 149 = 100 + 50 – 1. The DHCP dynamic IP address pool here is the range 192.168.2.100 to 192.168.2.149. A good choice for a static IP address is anything above this range. I choose 192.168.2.200 as it’s well above the last .149 DHCP address. Note: You cannot use the first (x.x.x.0) and last (x.x.x.255) IP addresses in the range because these are the default host and broadcast addresses, respectively, for this subnet.
3: Optionally Configure Static DNS
I prefer to use the OpenDNS services instead of my Internet Service Providers (ISP) DNS servers because it’s more user friendly and gets me to the right place more often if I misspell a URL in the web browser.
Static DNS 1: 188.8.131.52 (OpenDNS) Static DNS 2: 184.108.40.206 (OpenDNS) Static DNS 3: 220.127.116.11 (Level 3)
Level 3 Networks is a backup DNS server in case OpenDNS were unavailable.
4: Configure DDNS on the Router
Go to the Setup → DDNS web page on the Linksys router:
Enter your values for the DDNS Service provider, User Name, Password and Host Name. Click Save Settings. The Linksys Router will login to your DDNS account and verify the service is working correctly.
You don’t really care about the Internet IP Address in the DDNS Setup display because this is your DSL or cable modem dynamic IP address that can change at any time.
5: Configure Port Forwarding on the Linksys Router
Port forwarding is a way to map incoming requests from the Internet to a specific IP address on the home network. In this example, the Linksys router will forward packets for port 5275 to the ISY-99i static IP address of 192.168.2.200. Using a different port than the default HTTPS port of 443 is a bit more secure, too.
If you’re wondering which port # to use, here’s the comprehensive list of IANA ports. Just search for “unassigned” and pick an unused port, preferably a higher port number in the four digit range.
Go to the Applications & Gaming → Port Range Forward web page:
I’ve got a couple of ports forwarded for various devices in my network. Enter the following values and record these on your network diagram:
- Application – enter a meaningful name, like “ISY”.
- Start and End Port # – I chose 5275.
- Protocol – TCP
- IP Address – the static IP you picked for the ISY.
- Enable – checked.
Click Save Settings.
Record you Port Forwarding values on the network diagram.
This tutorial is continued in Part 2.
Hope this helps,
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