What Is The Best Way To Upgrade An NVR On A Private Network That Does Not Allow Local Downloading?

This topic is more for Manufacturers than anyone else, but I would appreciate any and all constructive comments. Typically manufacturers have a place on their websites to download the latest greatest software, particularly upgrades. Techs (in the field) have to find a Starbucks or someplace that has wifi and download the upgrades, then upgrade he NVR's. Some of these files can be quite large (even when zipped), taking hours to download if one has to use a public shared wifi signal. If the tech is out of his normal service area, he/she simply does not have access to large bandwidth for downloads. Is there a more efficient way to get software to them if they need it, and don't have it? We burned 2.5 hours the other day getting a new, but "must have" upgrade.

I realize this is vastly better than we used to have, but I am always looking to improve. I am the type that stands in front of a microwave oven and shouts "hurry up".

Thanks in advance.


Mark, is the assumption that the NVR is not connected to the Internet and that the tech cannot borrow a computer on-site to do the download?

correct. Private network, no downloading allowed.

Have an office or warehouse manager maintain USB drives with up to date software for each manufacturer you use?

Basically, keep a central folder of that software and periodically collect the USB drives from field techs, and upgrade those drives to the latest / complete version of software.

We generally keep a central repository. This update was that new. It had just been released and the tech was 150 miles away.

I had integrators bring up this concern at VideoIQ, as we were initially distributing upgrades as "full downloads", with client software, firmware for multiple platforms, some release notes, etc. Files became quite large, not everyone had a solid Internet connection, and something a tech just needed a 15MB firmware image, not 250MB of new software.

A few thoughts:

1) The manufacturer should offer some form of proactive notification about new software, so that you can download it in advance. Make sure you're signed up for any tech email notifications, if they offer this.

2) Setup a corporate shared dropbox account for firmware files, that way one person can download the files, put it in the dropbox, and it will sync to all tech laptops when they are online. This way they hopefully have it before they need it

3) See if the downloads can be made smaller, which might be you contacting the support lead at the manufacturer to suggest this, or having someone on your staff that can keep up with downloads, and then unzip them and make individual files available on your own server

Why does a tech not have access to decent bandwidth "out of his normal service area"? Can they use a cellphone as a hotspot, or do you mean they end up in the boonies where there is no signal?

This guy was in the boonies.

I think Brian's idea of a Dropbox that is auto-synced is great. Was this a file that could have been anticipated ahead of time, or was it one of those out of the blue ones?

It was new and out of the blue. A new upgrade that added some cameras to the library.

For the manufacturers in the crowd, is it possible to just send those upgrades out (zipped of course) to a blind email?? From there they can be auto-forwarded to the tech staff and they would have them. Or, as an alternative, put a file into a synced folder, so that it would be on the tech's laptop when he needs it.

This was one we did not even know about.

Can a manufacturer just drop it in our folders?

For the manufacturers in the crowd, is it possible to just send those upgrades out (zipped of course) to a blind email??

It would certainly be *possible*, but it's not practical. Too many places have restrictions on email sizes, or attachments in various formats are not permitted. As a manufacturer it would be too much hassle to try and implement.

They could setup a shared folder scenario, using dropbox, box, etc., but I have a feeling that would be a hard sell.

When you, as a manufacturer, have hundreds of thousands of people accessing the files you want to find a single solution that works for the widest majority of users. That seems to be web (or sometimes ftp) downloads.

IMO, your best option is make sure you have a mechanism to be notified of new files, and then download/distribute them to your techs using your own internal process.

Store file in Dropbox shared folder and email link to everybody

Instead of using Starbucks, maybe there is an actual Internet cafe around offering a wired connection?

Related, there are some free WiFi finder apps, it does not always worked but I've used it a few times to randomly find a store to go (one time I was on the road and found a Staples of all places and it worked great).

That's a good ideas as well. My guess is he went to the closest, not knowing it was many MANY Mbs.

I have recently downloaded files while at a Starbucks and was amazed at the speeds of their Google provided internet.

I also recently installed a tethering app ($10) for my phone/PC to use my unlimited cell phone as an internet connection. It allows me to plug USB into my PC and have an instant internet connection at whatever speed my phone can achieve.

Some manufacturers provide a ZIP file with all current firmware. Others have a software that can download a local cache of firmware on the PC for easy upgrading.

"I also recently installed a tethering app ($10) for my phone/PC to use my unlimited cell phone"

Why do you have to pay?

My phone plan from work does not have tethering, but I have times that I need it on the road.

I found various apps that USB tether to your phone but they have limitations. Unlocking the app provides full functionality, and I have been impressed with the speed and how quick it connects my laptop to the Internet via cell.

I actually used Google credit that I built up with Google reward - answering surveys about places I have been to or demographic stuff.

With all the information provided, why was it a "must have"?

Surely if it's an isolated or airgapped network, then you could just schedule the update in the next maintenance call?

the update provided access to camera updates that were not already in the software.