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!


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Comments

my_ROVIO's picture

WRT54G router set up pictures.will be active for 24 hours if you want to download them.or email me

https://www.transferbigfiles.com/b14d8639-28c4-441c-abe2-3aaa46f680bc?ri...

N00B's picture

hello, i am trying to get a rovio connection over the internet. checked the forums and saw something about the linksys wrt54gl router. about a year ago it was posted (in this forum) that this router doesn't support the forwarding cause I can't fill in a internet and externet port. Anyway, I also read about the softwareinstaller that 2.3 also fixed the linksys problem. am I still screwed and is an other router the only solution or is there a chance to get it fized.. i opened the 80 port, enabled forwarding but it is still giving an http status 403 error.... pleeease help me

in home it works fine btw

webwakko's picture

Hi,

I bought the rovio couple of days ago...
When setting in up in my home, using the software it works.... even the going home :)))
but when following the NICE explained step by step guide from above it fails somewhere..

I've followed every step as it should, but for some reason I'm unable to connect to it trought the internet and even the local ip (inside my network) is failing now.. Already tried several times.. Reinstalling the soft... but no luck
Any idea why this happens ?

Oliver de Peyer's picture

Hi Webwakko,
Perhaps your router is set up for DHCP and it got reset somehow? That would mean it might now have assigned a different IP to the Rovio internally. It probably also changed your external IP.
You can probably delve into the router at 192.168.1.1 and set a static IP for the Rovio internally.
With any luck, there will be a setting for your router to upload it's current external IP to some external service - in my router's case it was www.dyndns.org. You can set up www.dyndns.org to give you the domain name of your choice... webwakkorovio.com or whatever!
I think the Rovio can also do this itself? But I'm not too sure how that page of the setup works. I pay to see my www.dyndns.org log and I can see both the router and, occasionally, the Rovio itself updating the external IP address as it changes.
If all else fails, turn the Rovio off, and then on again. I think sometimes it gets stuck on the wrong IP address. For instance, if I have to reset my router manually, the Rovio needs to be cycled as well.

Philip, sorry to reply so late - everything that I posted WAS on a Mac. It is really computer-independent - it is all down to your router, and most routers can be accessed at 192.168.1.1. Change router settings at your peril! :-)
All the routers have different setup pages and options... I can only say what I needed to do to defeat mine and get route from my Rovio to the outside world...

webwakko's picture

 

Oliver de Peyer said: Hi Webwakko, Perhaps your router is set up for DHCP and it got reset somehow? That would mean it might now have assigned a different IP to the Rovio internally. It probably also changed your external IP. You can probably delve into the router at 192.168.1.1 and set a static IP for the Rovio internally. With any luck, there will be a setting for your router to upload it's current external IP to some external service - in my router's case it was www.dyndns.org. You can set up www.dyndns.org to give you the domain name of your choice... webwakkorovio.com or whatever! I think the Rovio can also do this itself? But I'm not too sure how that page of the setup works. I pay to see my www.dyndns.org log and I can see both the router and, occasionally, the Rovio itself updating the external IP address as it changes. If all else fails, turn the Rovio off, and then on again. I think sometimes it gets stuck on the wrong IP address. For instance, if I have to reset my router manually, the Rovio needs to be cycled as well. Philip, sorry to reply so late - everything that I posted WAS on a Mac. It is really computer-independent - it is all down to your router, and most routers can be accessed at 192.168.1.1. Change router settings at your peril! :-) All the routers have different setup pages and options... I can only say what I needed to do to defeat mine and get route from my Rovio to the outside world...

 

The configuration for my modem / router has to be done online trough my provider.. 

I'm able to forward ports and it's indeed DHCP...  but I already fixed the IP for my Rovio, like all my other hardware connecting on my wireless inhouse...

I installed the software for the Rovio and used the Rovio Finder.. but it does not detect my Rovio... So my guess is that it is configured by default... I read that the Rovio has some default settings.. like 192.186.10.X my range is 192.168.0.X.... could this be the problem ?

I also configurered a DynDNS address, but this won't work if the Rovio can't even be accessed from inside the network..  :(

 

UPDATE : I restarted the Rovio and It's running inhouse again.. now I'm trying to get the Outhouse working trough http://wakkorovio.dyndns.tv, no luck so far...

 

ANOTHER UPDATE : I get a message, after setting up the DYNDNS info :

domain's IP address failed to update or failed to get IP address 

 

AND ANOTHER UPDATE: 

this is what the info for the Rovio says :

"Forward 2 ports on your internet router to ports 80 and 554 on your Rovio (if UPnP is enabled on your router this can be done automatically)"

But the problem is that my provider does not allow to open ports below 1023 ... maybe that's the problem ???

 

EUREKA ! FINAL UPDATE :

I managed to get access trough the internet, I just had to setup a DMZ address pointing to the fixed IP from the Rovio and VOILA !

mr.roboto's picture

Having trouble with my friends rovio. I managed to get everything working: for example - turn your pc-date back to march 2010 , then go on you rovios setup page and the activeX element is installed, because the cert back then was valid.... you could try and put your rovios IP in IE8 or 9 to the SafeSites and so on.

But I cant get the video stream working in Win7 / IE8 , the remote control works. ActiveX Plug-in is loaded.

When accessing from internal network, works on IE like a charm. When coming from external IP , remote control works, but there only is a Progress-Bar where the video should be.

I tried thousands of configs: Portforwarding etc... my isp is not blocking any ports.... Firewalls all turned down. I even made a regsvr32 on the WebSee.dll etc. And I can tell that the ActiveXelemtent is fully loaded.

Does anybody have a suggestion, what ports are needed for that video stream?

Oh and btw, firefox works on internal and external .... but old problem .... no sound !!!

Cheers Andre

PS: I am a Networker and Admin... this is a geektoy but it serously is not worth that money. Really big lack of support doe... well at least it workes in FF .......

gannboy's picture

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your sharing...

I am a total newbie in port forwarding and using DNS...

From your thread, I noticed that you mentioned this :

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!

When I go to the URL : DynDNS.com, I noticed isn't any FREE service anymore.

May I ask where can I get a free service?

Thanks all for moment and really appreciate all the help I can get. I will reply to this thread once I started following the step-by-step of accessing Rovio from the anywhere in the world using any internet connection.

Thanks.

Eddy

gannboy's picture

Hi Peter or anyone...

I have created a DynDNS account and my Custom URL With DynDNS for my Rovio :

myroviogannboy.dyndns.org

I am not able to see the login page, any idea what happen here. I have followed step-by-step of this thread created by Peter.

Please advise urgently.

Thank you.

Eddy

Vax's picture

Having to much hassle setting up my rovio on a seperate router and modem.....

can anyone recommend a combined router/modem which sets up easly with the rovio.

Thanks

sid's picture

Just had my rovio two days trying to to connect to it externally; until I read this article. Your tip works great particularly on the port forwarding. I'm presently using No-ip. Now I can control rovio from practically anywhere. Exept for the poor video of course.

thanks again! for the article.

sid

sid's picture

Vax said: Having to much hassle setting up my rovio on a seperate router and modem..... can anyone recommend a combined router/modem which sets up easly with the rovio. Thanks

Hi Vax,

I'm using a cheap Asus RT-10+ wireless router N150; with a DSL modem supplied by our provider. I can help out on the set-up if you have not yet resolved the problem.

sid

serganator's picture

For a week I am suffering. I can not connect over the Internet. Who can help me? Already at the end of the psyche ...

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