< <
OUR NETWORK:TechLore Explore3DTV MyOpenRouter MediaSmart home TiVoCommunity See all... About UsAdvertiseContact Us

How To Set Up External Access Over The Internet For Your WowWee Rovio

One of the most common questions I am seeing on RoboCommunity is: "How do I set up my Rovio to work from over the Internet?"

Truly, the "awesome" factor of the Rovio really comes in when you access it from a computer outside of your network, and get to spy on what's going on back at your lair while you're away.  However, getting this to work can be tricky at first, especially if you're new to networking.

Now, I'm no networking "genius," but I have spent a lot of time playing with and enjoying my Rovio from external connections, and would like to share how I was able to get my setup running smoothly.  I would also love to hear from other members who have had good experiences accessing their Rovios from external networks.

Background on Port Forwarding

I'm guessing that a lot of you had your eyes glaze over just now.  Certainly, setting up port forwarding doesn't sound like a lot of fun.  If you're familiar with networking, also, you know how much of a pain it can be.

Especially if you have a cheap, entry-level router like I do.  If you can get port forwarding set up on my cheap hunk of junk, you can set it up on anything!  (For the record, it's a Zonet ZSR1134WE.  It works but is very basic.)

So, the first thing you need to do is "open" up the ports that you'll need to access your Rovio.  You have to do this because your router will automatically block traffic from outside your network to the ports where your Rovio resides, for security purposes.

Do you remember the IP address that you assigned your Rovio during setup?  Personally, I use an alternate IP address, but the default that is used by Rovio is 192.168.1.18. 

Note:  If you went with the "recommended" setting during setup, your Rovio may dynamically get different IP's, making it much more difficult to do this.  I would always assign it a static IP.

Setting Up Port Forwarding for your Rovio

Now, to the fun part.  Every router will be different, but usually, you can access your router's "Control Panel" via the IP address 192.168.1.1.  It is here that you will need to search for the place to modify your port forwarding settings.

Chances are, your router makes it easier to find.  My settings could be found under NAT => Port Trigger => Virtual Server Setup.  When I got there, I saw this screen:

Setting Up Port Forwarding to WowWee Rovio

See the parts at the bottom?  These are the ports you'll need to open to be able to access your Rovio over the Internet.  You can see the section to add them above, and as I clicked the "add" button for each one, they populated in the list.  Make sure that no matter what router you are using, that you save your settings.

Note the part where it asks for your Internal IP - this is the IP address that you assigned to Rovio during setup.  If you forgot to give Rovio a manual (i.e., unchanging)IP, you can change the settings under the Network tab in Rovio's settings screen as seen below.

*** IMPORTANT *** Many ISP's block port 80 by default.  You can change this in the setup screen below to an alternate port, such as 8080, which is what I have used in the past.  When you do this, you will have to type the port address after your DynDNS or WAN IP when you want to access your Rovio.  For example: myrovio.ath.cx:8080

Assing Rovio a Manual IP Address

Your WAN IP

At this point, you're probably thinking this is all good. 

"But, but... I still don't know how to get to my Rovio from another computer" is what I hear you saying right now.  Obviously, you can't simply type in "192.168.1.?" and punch into your home network, right?

The secret lies in your WAN IP address.  See, Rovio should already set up to be triggered when you try to access your WAN from an external network.  I'm betting that if you knew your WAN IP, and typed it in your browser while you're off of your network, you'd be able to log into your Rovio.

You can usually find your WAN IP from going to the main "system" page of your wireless router.  My WAN IP is displayed on the first page, as you can see from the screenshot.  Type this in your external browser, and you should be able to access your Rovio.

Using WAN IP With Rovio

Getting a Custom URL With DynDNS for your Rovio

Hopefully, you're happily roaming away with your remote Rovio connection.  But what if you're sick of typing in a boring old number?  Your Rovio has more character than that!

Fortunately, there's a service called DynDNS that basically, will allow you to get a custom URL that you can type in to your browser in order to access your Rovio over the Web.  Here's how!

First, go to DynDNS.com and set up an account.  They provide a range of services, but the service you need is called DDNS - or Dynamic DNS.  DynDNS has been providing this service for free for nearly 10 years.  What a deal!

After you set up your account, go to your "Account" page, and look for "Host Services" in the option panel on the left of your page.  Click there, and then on "Add New Hostname," which will pop up in about the top middle of your page.  You'll be met with a screen like this:

With any luck, your WAN IP will have been automatically detected.  Click on the blue link to populate your WAN IP in the field.

Now the fun part - you get to pick what URL you would like to use to access your Rovio.  The drop down box offers a huge list of domain names to choose from. 

Setting up Rovio to Use Your New Custom URL

Hold your three-wheeled bases... we're not quite done yet! (That was a bad joke, I know, but couldn't resist.)  You still have to make sure Rovio knows what your new URL is.

Head into your Rovio's setup screen and click on the Domain tab, you will see the screen below:

You'll need to input your custom URL as well as the username and password that you used for DynDNS.  Once you do this, you should be all set to go!

Note:  I was unable to access my Rovio's custom IP from my internal network - so don't be discouraged if it doesn't work.  Try accessing your custom URL from outside of your network and it should work.

***REMEMBER*** If you needed to set an alternate web port, such as 8080, make sure that you append it to your DynDNS address or WAN IP when accessing Rovio.  I.E., myrovio.ath.cx:8080

Conclusion

I'm sincerely hoping that this short guide helps you get up and running with your Rovio.  Unfortunately, there are many problems that can happen with networking that are outside of your Rovio's control, such as issues with your ISP, wireless router settings, and others.

I'd love to hear experiences from others who have had good luck setting up external access, and any tips or tricks for other routers that may help Rovio users.  Good luck!


[Read more about Rovio]

[Talk About Rovio on the RoboCommunity Forums]

[Purchase a Rovio]

Tags : dyndnsexternal accessexternal networkrovio

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-15 of 117 | Latest Comment | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next »

November 10, 2008 5:44 PM

Very helpful, thanks for doing this!

BTW, have you tested and confirmed that Rovio updates DynDNS when your domain changes? I have it all set-up, but for some reason, feel less than confident it will work.

November 10, 2008 5:59 PM

Good question... I haven't "confirmed" it yet so to speak, but have been using this address with Rovio for some time and haven't needed to manually tweak it, and I know I have a dynamic IP since I am on Comcast Cable. I know that one main purpose of DynDNS is to work with dynamic IP's, and that they have been providing solutions for almost 10 years for that, so I'm pretty confident!

If I encounter any issues, I'll be sure to look for (and post) a solution, but so far it's been working just fine!

Peter Redmer
Administrator
Blog | Twitter

November 10, 2008 7:38 PM updated: November 10, 2008 7:46 PM

I guess I'm less than confident Rovio will send the update info. I have no concern about DynDNS doing it's job. Is Rovio the only way your DynDNS is updated, or is your router set up to serve that function also (or do you have software than does that)?

BTW,I have Time Warner / RoadRunner Cable, and my IP changes about every 4 months, unless I do something to change it (like unplug the cable modem for awhile).

November 10, 2008 9:05 PM

Very good this should help the newbies. One thing though, you can't set up a DynDns if you are forced to use a port other then 80. Reason being you have to use the port number with a colon after your IP address...I have been unable to do this with DynDns or any others I can find :(

November 10, 2008 9:14 PM

crmfghtr said: Very good this should help the newbies. One thing though, you can't set up a DynDns if you are forced to use a port other then 80. Reason being you have to use the port number with a colon after your IP address...I have been unable to do this with DynDns or any others I can find :(

I have no problem, I just enter the port info like this and it works all the time:

mrfun.dyndns.com:8080

November 11, 2008 11:00 AM

oh duh, I didn't think of that thought it had to be in registered domain, thanks for the tip!

November 16, 2008 12:47 PM

Thank You, thank you, thank you!!!!!!
I can't thank you enough for going through the set up for accessing Rovio from outside your network. I'm not a total newbie to the pc world but when you start talking about IP addresses and static IP addresses, etc. I kinda get lost. But with your step by step instructions it was a breeze. I am up and running from outside my network just fine. I set up my own URL with DynDns just like you instructed.
Just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!!!
Happy

November 16, 2008 1:48 PM

Awesome... I'm glad that this worked for you - happy to help :)

Peter Redmer
Administrator
Blog | Twitter

November 18, 2008 7:06 PM

I just got this rovio today.And it SUCKSSSSS!!!!!.Let's see tech support???WHAT tech support.close at 5:30 pm eastern.My computer 3 of them mic's do not come out of rovio speaker.And it is to stupid to find dock.Well at least it keep bumping the dock.OL yea my remote set up to control this hunk of junk doesn't work.Hell i had linksys tech support double and triple check the router WRT54GX2.VERSION 2.UPDATED FIRMWARE. No luck. myip example
http://67.- - - -.- -.- - -:80
http://67.- - -.- -.- - -:8080
http://67.- - -.- -.- - -:554


NOTHING. web page not found etc.5 people have tried to help. 2 linksys techs,1 friend computer programmer.ME.

Anyone can help.Because tech support will not.I may take back and wait for the iconnect from irobot.

James Taylor
realtydevelopment@gmail.com

November 18, 2008 7:06 PM

I just got this rovio today.And it SUCKSSSSS!!!!!.Let's see tech support???WHAT tech support.close at 5:30 pm eastern.My computer 3 of them mic's do not come out of rovio speaker.And it is to stupid to find dock.Well at least it keep bumping the dock.OL yea my remote set up to control this hunk of junk doesn't work.Hell i had linksys tech support double and triple check the router WRT54GX2.VERSION 2.UPDATED FIRMWARE. No luck. myip example
http://67.- - - -.- -.- - -:80
http://67.- - -.- -.- - -:8080
http://67.- - -.- -.- - -:554


NOTHING. web page not found etc.5 people have tried to help. 2 linksys techs,1 friend computer programmer.ME.

Anyone can help.Because tech support will not.I may take back and wait for the iconnect from irobot.

James Taylor
realtydevelopment@gmail.com

November 18, 2008 7:13 PM

I just got this rovio today.And it SUCKSSSSS!!!!!.Let's see tech support???WHAT tech support.close at 5:30 pm eastern.My computer 3 of them mic's do not come out of rovio speaker.And it is to stupid to find dock.Well at least it keep bumping the dock.OL yea my remote set up to control this hunk of junk doesn't work.Hell i had linksys tech support double and triple check the router WRT54GX2.VERSION 2.UPDATED FIRMWARE. No luck. myip example
http://67.- - - -.- -.- - -:80
http://67.- - -.- -.- - -:8080
http://67.- - -.- -.- - -:554


NOTHING. web page not found etc.5 people have tried to help. 2 linksys techs,1 friend computer programmer.ME.

Anyone can help.Because tech support will not.I may take back and wait for the iconnect from irobot.

James Taylor
realtydevelopment@gmail.com

November 18, 2008 7:19 PM updated: November 18, 2008 7:21 PM

James, I understand your frustration, but everything, including your ID "my ROVIO sux" is so negative. My advice is, you should return you Rovio and use the money for something that doesn't suck, isn't stupid, and you don't feel is a hunk of junk.

November 18, 2008 9:01 PM

Thanks for the help.I will post base on the the unit it's self.
#1.Mic from several computers doesn't work tru the rovio and used all 4 major browsers.
#.2 The unit couldn't dock even when it ran into it for 7 min and then i got tired of it and put on the dock.
#3.The off network controlling of the unit doesn't work.(EASY)as i said 2 tech guys.my friend a programmer and me. had to say for get it.
#4. Tech support for a new product ????? Please explain the lack of it.
I am willing to try new stuff and spend my hard earn money on it.But i expect some costumer loyalty as well.

Do you have any idea were i can PAY to have someone remote access my router and set up the unit? I don't mind beta testing products.(MICROSOFT VISTA???) But at least make it work somewhat?

Thanks,

November 18, 2008 10:09 PM updated: November 18, 2008 10:11 PM

Guys i have kept trying to just use the rovio on network.yes it works.but let's see.
#1. At night low lighting.NOT DARK.It is useless.and he transmitting of my audio is never worked.#.2 And telling the unit to dock.FORGET IT..In fact i see a post were people are having to add there on head lights.I would love to know if they ever test the unit in a real house.NOT open room with ball filed lighting.So to conclude.I will never buy from them again.I warn people to do there home work on it.And in a side by side test. My cheap roombia.Bottom of the line.can clean and dock and has never missed yet.I guess that is why the iconnect will cost over $500.00 from a company that builds military devices.and not $249.99 like i paid from a toy company.I am very sorry for the fustration.But 5 minutes of using this i can tell they decided to cut corners,Not test the unit in real time enviroments.And will problem discontinue the unites after christmas.

I am very ticked off.BUYERS BEWARE IS MY NEW POSTING.Maybe a youtube segiment.(When companies cheap out)

Thanks guys.

November 19, 2008 1:44 PM

It is up and ruinning.Sorry to vent.Will test now.

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 1-15 of 117 | Latest Comment | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next »

Add Your Reply

(will not be displayed)

Email me when comments are added to this thread

 
 

Please log in or register to participate in this community!

Log In

Remember

Not a member? Sign up!

Did you forget your password?

You can also log in using OpenID.

close this window
close this window