Hikvision Discontinued 'Migration' To Hik-Connect Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Dec 16, 2016

In 2 weeks, Hikvision's online service web portal will be discontinued. Hikvision has now framed it as a 'migration', though the transition will be a completely manual process for dealers.

However, Hikvision says the other platform (Ezviz / Hik-Connect / Hicloudcam.com) is better.

We tested this platform, focusing on how dealers can make use out of it, and found key strengths:

  • Simplified setup
  • Centralized viewing
  • Potentially improved security

And weaknesses:

  • Remote management
  • User management
  • Migration process

Inside, we examine each of these points.

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Limitation: ** ****** **********

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Advantages: ********** *****

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Key *********: *********** *******

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Hikvision ****** *****

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Hik-Online ********

*** ******* *****, ********* *** ******* ***-******/****** ********* ** ***** users/dealers. **** ******* ******* ***** ** ****** * ****** ****** name ** ********* *********, **** **** *******'* ** ******* ************* kept ** ** **** ** ** *******.

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**** ***** ***** *** **** ********* ** ***-****** **** *** test ******** ******:

EZVIZ/Hik-Connect ****** ********** ***********

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Comments (19)

2 thoughts:

  • Positive: Once Hikvision gets the 'fully featured' / complete management release live, this is going to be very competitively attractive. A no networking configuration, cloud based video surveillance offering for free (meaning no monthly fee) solves a lot of historical problems. Plus, most of their Western competitors have essentially nothing for the cloud (here's looking at Exacq and Milestone to name 2 big ones).
  • Negative: The transition is going to be painful, especially until they get the full featured version out. Giving people such short notice, over the holidays (Western, not Chinese) is a recipe for problems.

Thank you for this very detailed analysis. I'm still a little foggy on one thing. If I have a customer that is currently using IVMS to access their DVR/NVR remotely using the HiDDNs (xyzcompany.hik-online.com) with port forwarding, what will happen to them over the next 6-12 months if I do nothing.

Secondly, if I do migrate them to the new service in the next few weeks, you mention lack of remote management. Will that feature (that is currently native in IVMS 4200) not be available due to linking via the new p2p connection?

If I have a customer that is currently using IVMS to access their DVR/NVR remotely using the HiDDNs (xyzcompany.hik-online.com) with port forwarding, what will happen to them over the next 6-12 months if I do nothing.

We don't know. Hikvision has not explicitly stated that they will shut down the HiDDNS service completely, but if they are disabling new account creation and logins, and then disable new device registration, it does not seem like the end game is to let existing devices run forever. So it may be in the next 6-12 months or may not, but I'd expect those devices to go offline at some point.

Will that feature (that is currently native in IVMS 4200) not be available due to linking via the new p2p connection?

Correct, if you switch today, remote management will not work. I was able to make some simple changes to an NVR using the remote management menu...sometimes. It didn't always work. It seems like it's Hikvision's intention to move these functions to the cloud, but there is nothing concrete on that. They have only stated the service will be "fully featured" and enable remote management, but not the specifics of how it's done.

Thanks Ethan, just to clarify, are you referring to the remote management within the new HIK-connect web interface, or the device management within IVMS 4200?

Maybe a better question is does IVMS 4200 still work with the new connection and have the features within that thick client been reduced (such as remote management)? I manage a lot of my customer's equipment from my office using IVMS-4200. Trying to understand how the new p2p will affect the functionality of that software.

If you login to a P2P account in 4200, you can click "remote management" on a device in the list, and from what I've seen it will load settings just fine, but if you try to make changes, it throws errors or even crashes. According to their support, it's not supported at all yet, but it clearly sort of works.

So compared to what you have with devices manually added via DDNS connections, you're going to be very limited. Live viewing and playback work. Alarms might work, but I haven't tried them lately with a cloud device. But remote management isn't going to work at all, for practical purposes.

For what it's worth, it would have made much more sense for Hikvision to improve that platform and get users adjusted to it prior to sending out this notice about HiDDNS. But they didn't, which is causing all this heartburn among Hik dealers.

I set up a single HIK camera on a buddy's shop. Tried to set up him with EZVIZ. What a gong show. Created myself an account, added the camera, that all worked... eventually. Then I had to walk HIM through creating his own account, then "share" the camera with him, then help him figure out how to accept the share.... because once a device is attached to an account, it can't be simply added to another account.

I can see this being a major headache, if I have to create a new EZVIZ account for clients who want remote access, then share them with my account if they want me to be able to remote-manage their systems... then have co-workers create accounts as well, and share the sites with them... and so on. And then if they have staff that they want to have limited access to some sites or devices, they'll each need their own EZVIZ accounts, and management will have to share the appropriate devices with them...

Unless they've changed operation of this thing significantly in the past year... iVMS has been working well so I haven't bothered myself with the EZVIZ headache.

In a fabled attempt at trying to get EZVIZ working, I found that it is a very consumerish, cheap interface. It's somewhat simple to use, if for no other reason than you can't really do much.

I also tried a new beta firmware (3.4.3) that allowed and end to end encryption of the video streams for each camera connected to the NVR. This was a simple checkbox to enable it. However, in the web browser and iVMS you had to manually input the encryption code to be able to view the cameras. It was a simple extra step that made sure that the video streams were encrypted.

By encryption code, do you mean verification code?

Dear Ethan

what do you think about speed of Hik-connect? (compare with HiDDNS).

We have not directly tested the two side by side to measure exact latency, but Hik-Connect is generally a little bit slower than port forwarded cameras in my experience (and based on others' comments). This depends greatly upon the user's internet connections on both ends, though.

For example, I have a remote 3MP camera connected via EZVIZ/Hik-Connect and it takes about 2 seconds to load right now, which is about normal. But in our Hikvision vs Dahua Mobile Apps Tested, ~1 second was average when loading video. Though at times, 2-3 seconds was not out of the question.

I don't have a lot of experience comparing both for playback, so if any other users do, we'd be interested to hear opinions.

Does the video go through a Hik cloud with Hik connect?

Hikvision has released a "How to Use Third Party DDNS Services" Guide to help those 'migrating' elsewhere.

They've also started some changes to differentiate the Hik-Connect mobile app from the EZVIZ one. They used to simply be palette swapped. But in the latest release they've added the ability to view 9, 12, and 16 cameras simultaneously. EZVIZ maxes at 4. This is seemingly a small thing, but for commercial users with more cameras than the typical home, I expect this move is important.

So I normally connect a newly installed system to my phone for camera adjustment.

If the customer creates an account can both of us log in with the same credentials? Another words can I do the setup then use the same info to setup their app for remote viewing for the customer? Or will I have to use my tester to adjust all the cameras which will be a problem because a lot of times the pigtail is not accessible :(

It is now Dec 31st and according to Hikvision new user registration and access to status and management should be blocked:

However, I was just able to register a new user and check status and management. Not clear if this means they are formally extending it for some time or have just not yet turned it off.

More confusion but, on the plus side, allowing this for now will certainly make things easier for dealers.

Alternate explanation:

They meant the 31st.

Edit: Though admittedly they don't shy away from seemingly arbitrary dates like Feb. 16

Alternate explanation:

They meant the 31st.

It is now January 1st everywhere in the world and Hik-online still allows new user registration, plus status and management functionality.

Btw, I am not sure if you are helping Hikvision by offering a defense that is essentially "Hikvision could not tell the difference between the number 30 and 31".

More importantly, what does this mean? They set a clear public date, it is now clearly past it. So have they changed their mind?

Does 4500 communicate via ISO Layer 2 for initial cam discovery? Setting up the initial IP address was a very confusing process.. perhaps this has been improved on with later camera firmware. Been a year since I've setup and new HIK.

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