User Posts: Daniel

Updated May 28, 2019 Introduction A few years ago, my wife and I decided that we needed a modern Internet-enabled CCTV security system. We didn't know much ...

Are you looking for a reliable wireless security camera that can act as a baby monitor, a nanny camera, or just to talk to your dog while you are away? The ...

Wireless Home Security Cameras As the dust settles from Black Friday and Cyber Monday is about to begin, what are the best-selling wireless security ...

Imagine getting a pop-up alert on your smartphone whenever your IP camera or Network Video Recorder (NVR) detects motion. Wherever you are, iOS or Android ...

A Digital Video Recorder (DVR) has always been an essential component of a good CCTV security solution. With the advent of network cameras (IP Cameras) ...

25 Awesome Gifts for Men this Christmas What do you gift a guy? It's a question that bugs women everywhere, every holiday season, or special occasion. ...

The 2018 version of this guide is now available separately for outdoor and indoor IP cameras! Yes I admit it, I am crazy about DIY home security. When ...

This tutorial will show you how to set up motion detection email alerts for your Hikvision camera such as the Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I. You can use these ...

One of the most common applications for Power over Ethernet (PoE) is to connect and power IP devices such as IP phones and IP cameras over a single network ...

Fortress S02-B Home Security System Wireless burglar alarm systems are a great option when you cannot installed a conventional fixed wired system. Maybe ...

Browsing All Comments By: Daniel
  1. I understand now. None of my Hikvision cameras can send a UDP command or JSON when motion is triggered. Its just not an available action. So I use my QNAP Surveillance Station as a middle man to detect the Hikvision motion detection and then send a JSON packet to my HomeSeer HS3 HA hub. I have detailed the process in this post.

  2. Sorry, I am not familiar with the Loxone system. Maybe check their user forums?

  3. Only if it is near a public area and may pick up public conversations – which they will because the microphones are very sensitive.

  4. Hi Marshall, the kit looks good. If you can get Hikvision retail, then definitely go with that. Do check the warranty on offer though. Hikvision themselves do not support retail customers for their Hikvision brand products. They are now aimed more at installers and system integrators.

  5. If you already have an existing home security system, then you get an interface to connect your alarm panel to your HA system. You do not need to buy any more window sensors (unless you want to).

  6. Thanks! I used just Imperihome & HomeSeer. You can create an event in Home Seer to wake up your tablet and switch it to the page of the camera that triggered the motion detection switch.

    I have not heard of Hubtist – do you have a link? I would like to check it out.

  7. Thank you! The image was not meant to be a connection diagram but merely representational. In a network it doesn’t matter where you connect the NAS – just one network port is enough to connect it to your network switch or Wi-Fi router.

  8. ‘Familiarity’ = a device that anybody in the family can use, just like using a DVR for recorded TV shows. Using the NAS is a shade more ‘complex’ than just operating an NVR especially for those who are not very tech-savvy. That’s all.

    QNAP can record audio but I am not because this is illegal in my jurisdiction. NAS as NVR can record audio if cameras have microphones.

  9. Glad you are finding my blog useful. I understand you are referring to my hybrid approach suggestion – a dedicated NVR backing up video to a NAS. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough – since most NVRs don’t have RAID support, you could configure the NAS as a real-time secondary storage location. This way even if your NAS hard drive gets corrupted or something, you will have a backup on your NAS. Does that make sense?

  10. I am still using the standard Surveillance Software app mainly because I have only 4 cameras to record and I will have to redo my HomeSeer integration if I move to QVR Pro now. Eventually I think I will because the QVR Pro has much faster playback forwarding/scrubbing speeds (80x vs. 8x).

  11. Hey there, try the Pale Moon browser. This is how I access the configuration page of my Hikvision cameras.

  12. Thanks CJ!

    1) I haven’t really explored saving clips to the cloud, because my whole reason for going the local storage route is to avoid the cloud for privacy reasons. I have however separately configured all my cameras which have SD cards to also record motion detection clips.

    2) Yes my setup still works well for up to 8 cameras without any extra license costs. QNAP has released a brand new free NAS app called QNAP QVR Pro which grants you 8 IP camera channels regardless of how many channels your QNAP NAS originally came with. Here’s a rundown of QVR Pro and how it compares to QNAP’s standard Surveillance Stations software.

  13. Hikvision was not selling their gear retail until recently, and so LaView was the best alternative given it was just rebranded Hikvision gear.

  14. Great idea, I will do one soon.

  15. Available on your Bosch DVR? Can’t say. But this feature is available on the QNAP Surveillance Station software.

  16. Only because Hikvision was not selling retail until recently. You can now get them officially through https://BHPhoto.com

  17. Yes you can replicate some of the functionality of a dedicated home alarm panel (like DSC) using HA gear (Z-Wave sensors and a Z-Wave hub). But then you are really going to end up with a jack of all trades, master of none situation when it comes to security. For anything to do with your security or safety, its best to use purpose-built hardware. There are two reasons I suggest this approach: 1) A dedicated alarm panel is built to a high degree of performance and reliability that means its more likely to do its job than your Z-Wave sensors, 2) If your HA hub fails, your entire security system fails whereas with a dedicated alarm panel, it will keep doing its job even if your HA hub fails.

    You asked ‘for example can you arm, disarm etc a classic alarm system using the HA system.’: Yes most definitely, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it. There are HomeSeer3 plugins that interface your HS3 based hub with DSC or other-brand dedicated security panels.

  18. Thanks for the heads-up, I will check it out.

  19. Have you tried factory resetting the camera?

  20. Glad to be of service. Sure you can use a WiFi camera but overall WiFi cameras are not the best because WiFi is by its very nature unreliable. It is prone to connection drop-outs and dropped frames. I have written more about it here: https://www.vueville.com/home-security/cctv/nvr/best-outdoor-wireless-security-camera-system-with-dvr/

    For the best cameras, check out this post: https://www.vueville.com/home-security/cctv/ip-cameras/best-outdoor-ip-camera-recommendations/

  21. Hey there, I am not using a 3rd party VPN service. My QNAP is the VPN server to which I connect. It simply puts me inside my home network. Now if I were to have my home network connected all the time to a 3rd party VPN service, I wouldn’t be able to reach my QNAP VPN server when I am outside the home. This is because I cannot VPN into my home network and access my local devices and simultaneously be connected to a 3rd party VPN service. At least not without venturing into VLANs and stuff like that.

  22. Hi this article was first written 3 years old, but I update it every few months 🙂
    Hikvision and Dahua are the best for enthusiasts, but Reolink is a great option. Check out my 2019 round-up of IP cameras for the latest camera selection advice: https://www.vueville.com/home-security/cctv/ip-cameras/best-outdoor-ip-camera-recommendations/

  23. Thanks! Yeah 5MP really ought to be enough for a long time to come I think. HD over analog BNC cables (HDCVI/HDTVI) is a decent alternative to IP cameras if you have the BNC cables wired up already because you are upgrading an older system. When power over coax eventually launches, BNC will definitely be a good alternative to PoE as it can do longer cable runs.

  24. Hey Adam, your understanding is correct. But there’s hope – you can try the Pale Moon browser which is what I use instead of IE, and it wokrs perfectly with all my older Hikvision cameras that work only with IE.

    Failing that, you can force Safari to identify itself as Internet Explorer using this method: https://www.imore.com/how-view-websites-your-mac-require-internet-explorer-or-pc

  25. Thanks for commenting – I have a plugin which automatically customizes the Amazon link based on your location. Since you are based in the UK (I can tell from your IP address), the plugin is attempting to redirect you to the same product on the Amazon UK site. But not all products sold on the Amazon US site are sold on the Amazon UK site – so you get an error. Sorry about that.

  26. Hey Pano, until recently Reolink advertised ONVIF support for their NVRs. However recently it seems they have stopped doing so. It looks like they are trying to lock down their NVRs by disabling ONVIF support at firmware level. However this only disables automatic camera detection. some people have still been able to add 3rd party cameras by configuring the cameras directly and adjusting H.264 / bitrate settings and using port 9000 (which is the Reolink default port). I will add this bit of info to the post.

  27. Hi Chris, no I do not upload to the cloud – I do not require it actually because I have the QNAP NAS set to email me with snapshots.

  28. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for stopping by! Yes I am familiar with Swann equipment and they have lots of good features. However the reason I do not recommend them is that their cameras and NVRs are locked down – they do not work with any other brand or manufacturer’s products. You can see under the compatible products section of the product page, they list only a few Swann NVRs. This is because they do not support the ONVIF standard which guarantees inter-operability. Or in other words you are stuck with them once you start buying their cameras/NVRs (similar to what Apple does with iOS). This is not at all the DIY spirit I subscribe to, so I avoid such brands.

    Now it is a good idea to combine PIR motion sensing with digital motion detection to reduce false alerts. However be advised this will not avoid animals like cats triggering motion detection. It will however avoid false alerts due to clouds, shadows, wind & trees etc. The ONVIF compliant alternatives with PIR onboard are: Vivotek IB8377-HT (Bullet), Vivotek FD8181 (Dome), Axis M1065, Vivotek FD9181-HT, Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-IW etc.

    True full-duplex 2-way audio is a premium feature and it is supported only by a few cameras – see suggestions here and here.

    Regarding NO/NC contacts, this are typically called Alarm in/out ports. There are models on this page that have alarm in/out ports, but I have personally not tried using this feature.

  29. Hi there. I have checked all the links and they are all working if you are from the US. My blog is US focused as most of the readers are from the US. For UK readers, the blog tries to find the closest match on the Amazon UK page but some products like the LaView do not exist on the Amazon UK site unfortunately.

    Reolink NVRs used to be advertised with ONVIF support, apparently they cannot guarantee or support with non-Reolink cameras but the still work with non-Reolink cameras. Note the word ‘designed’ – they don’t say it wont work.

    Advanced motion detection is typically a camera feature that only NVRs of the same brand as the camera can detect. They are often called Advanced Video Analytics or VCA events. The advanced motion detection methods such as line crossing, intrusion detection are very useful for reducing false alerts as detailed in this blog post.

    Yes at the moment, my NAS based NVR cannot detect the advance motion detection alerts coming from my Hikvision cameras for example.

  30. Hey there. I double checked and the link is working correctly for me. It is a current model, not dated at all. The 8 channel model I have described is LaView LV-KNX968E88W4-T2, and the link in the article takes you to the Amazon USA page of that product. Are you looking at a different Amazon website, maybe Amazon CA?

  31. Hey there! Glad you like my blog. I think running a low power laptop is better than relying on HS hardware. However if you go with Windows as the OS, make sure you get the Pro version which will allow you to decide when updates are installed. The non-Pro versions of Windows 10 force updates on you and force restarts which will stop HS3 from working properly.

  32. Glad to hear that.

    1. Yes I use cat 5 and cat 5e cables throughout my house. They do 1 Gbps without missing a beat.
    2. The extra QNAP licences are lifetime licences (one-off purchases), but do look into the QVR Pro option I have reviewed in this article: https://www.vueville.com/home-security/cctv/nvr/qnap-qvr-pro-vs-qnap-surveillance-station-nas-nvr-software-comparison/
    3. I recently switched from the Vera Plus to HS3 and if I got a do-over, I would just go straight to HS3.

  33. Hey Marc, glad you liked it! The IR illuminators are used to avoid insects getting attracted to the camera lens which causes false motion detection alerts. If you want to use a NAS NVR, motion detection is actually done by the camera but this is picked up by the NAS and used to trigger actions such as recording footage or sending email alerts.

  34. Hi, it sounds like you need to increase the sensitivity setting for the motion detection event you are using.

  35. Hi, before creating an event to do something at a particular time, test whether the thermostat reacts to your controls in realtime first. It could just be that the thermostat is too far from the Z-Wave controller. If it changes the temperature setpoint when you adjust it in HS3 in realtime, then you know the issue is with your events not the thermostat itself. Inverting the LCD display involves sending a specific command to the thermostat using the Z-Wave command section under the thermostat device properties – I don’t have a tutorial for it yet sorry.

  36. Sorry I didn’t have any such issue at all with the Secure SSR302 and Vera Plus. Have you contacted Vera Support?

  37. Yep all of this and more comes pre-loaded on the NAS. They are incredibly cheap for what they can do! Just remember that the number of IP camera licences that come bundled with the NAS depends on the specific model. For example my QNAP TS-253A has a very unusual 4 IP licenses. 2 is more common for 2-bay models. With the 64-bit x86 based QNAP models that have more than 4GB RAM, you can also install the free QVR Pro alternative to Surveillance Station that gives you 8 IP camera licences regardless of how many licences it came with originally. One downside of QVR Pro is that it can only play back the last 14 days of videos.

  38. I think the Synology software is just a bit more polished. I haven’t spent enough time playing with the Synology DSM software to comment on functionality unfortunately. My understanding is that the Synology and QNAP are evenly matched when it comes to Surveillance Station, VPN and just using it as a RAID server. The main difference is cost. In my experience, QNAP is up to 10-30% cheaper than the comparable Synology model. Plus some QNAPs come with more free IP camera licenses than Synologys. With QNAP you don’t need Blue Iris to connect your cameras to HomeSeer. I have written a tutorial that shows you can connect Surveillance Station directly to HomeSeer.

  39. I think the 253B will eventually replace the 253A, although at the moment both are available to purchase.

    Hardware differences: Apart from the updated processor(J3455 vs. N3160), the 253B also has the newer USB Type-C connector on the front. The 253B has an 8GB RAM variant. There’s an SD card slot and one extra USB 3.0 port on the 253-B. It can also be upgraded to a 10 Gigabit LAN port via a PCIe expansion card, which you cant do on the 253A. The front OLED display now shows you system information and has 2 capacitive touch buttons also.

    Software-wise, they are the same except for a voice assistant that makes system announcements.

    Personally I don’t care for USB Type-C or any of the updates the 253B has, so I would have still bought the 253A IF it was cheaper.

  40. Can you give me your camera model number and locale? I will see what I can find. But I would say since Hikvision do not sell retail and individual users like us are not their target audience, its understandable that finding firmware is not straightforward. When I used iVMS on my desktop back in the day I didn’t have to format my drive. I just picked a specific folder and that was it.

  41. Thanks Sash!

    1. Yeah firmware upgrades are manual and for a security camera this makes sense – you don’t want the camera taking some down time when you least expect it. Also what if the firmware upgrade fails and your camera becomes non-operational? Both of these scenarios affect the reliability of the camera. So automatic firmware upgrades on any device, especially a security-related device is a bad idea.

    You could contact the dealer that you bought the camera from, they should be able to point you to the latest firmware.

    2. Have you seen this iVMS 4200 user manual?

  42. Thanks for the feedback – everything you said is correct and normally I would insist on getting an NVR for the reasons you mentioned. However do bear in mind that the exchange you saw between the reader and me was heavily condensed, and there was quite a bit of going back and forth about the requirements and various options available. In fact the conversation has not ended, and we are discussing NVRs at this moment!

    In this case, the reader was already very aware of the benefits of going for an NVR and was working around a limited budget. If the decision came down to no cameras at all because of the cost of an NVR kit or one camera with on-board storage, I know which one I would pick. In fact this is exactly how I started 4 years ago and is one of the advantages of the DIY NAS NVR method.

    Also remember that motion detection email alerts cannot be touched by burglars (as long as the camera was able to fire them off before being vandalised). In subsequent emails, we discussed the advantages of NVRs, mitigating the risks of burglars taking away NVRs, NAS NVRs, offsite NAS storage, NAS to NAS replication and cloud backup storage.

    I do accept that I could have made the reader’s constraints and my NVR recommendation stronger, which I will edit. Thanks again for taking the time to write in and I strongly appreciate the feedback!

  43. Sure, set it to 28 deg C for 100% open and set it to 8 deg C for 0% open.

  44. Hi Kasper. Yes what I describe in this article can be done in Synology NAS models also. See this Synology guide where all the possible actions that can trigger a POST http request are listed. I don’t have a Synology NAS but the overall process should be the same.

    I have not upgraded to QVR Pro because I have only 4 IP cameras and don’t need more channels right now. I am not sure whether the setup will be carried over to QVR Pro.

    Yes QVR Pro has 8 free licenses regardless of how many free licences came with the QNAP NAS. I have not explored QVR Pro’s smart detection features yet so cannot comment. When time permits, I will try to reproduce the above in QVR Pro.

  45. No its the other way around, I moved from Vera to HS3.

  46. Thanks John! When I get the email or push notification that motion is detected at my front door, I can open the tinyCAM Monitor Pro app on my phone and listen to what they are saying. I have not installed a speaker so I cannot speak back. However there is an easier solution – a doorbell camera like the ones I have listed in this post or outdoor cameras with 2-way audio.

  47. Thanks! The higher-end Hiks and Dahuas have face detection which is effectively the same as people detection. However the issue is that these are advanced motion detection events that are not supported currently by QNAP Surveillance Station (or any other NAS). So we cannot use them as triggers that can be passed on to HS3.

    You can already create your dream HS3 rule – add an outdoor motion sensor and then create the event to fire only when the camera virtual device is triggered and the motion sensor is in ‘alert’ state.

    QNAP survelliance station supports ‘dewarping’ of fish eye cams.

  48. You can optionally do that as well. The aim of this article is to set up your system is such a way that Homeseer becomes aware of motion triggers from the security cameras and can then trigger HS3 actions.

  49. Yes the Arlo Smart subscription adds person detection for a fee. The Arlo Pro is the only one that can record locally without an Internet connection but there is no indication that Arlo Smart will work without the Internet. That’s the question – is the person detection algorithm performed locally or on the cloud? I feel its the latter.

    Sticking with the VueVille ethos (local data storage and local processing and smart home compatibility), for a camera that works with Homeseer HS3 and a NAS, I would use a Dahua and this method.

  50. No, you can configure the cameras through the NVR GUI. See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rdu4oWEBGk

  51. I don’t think this will work because Reolink explicitly states on their website “Reolink NVRs are designed for Reolink security cameras ONLY”.

  52. Thanks! These Chinese sensors are cheap so I am not surprised that there are a few niggles. That said, performance has been solid since I got it over 6 months ago.

  53. Most outdoor cameras I have seen from Hikvision/Dahua are rated for subzero operation (down to -22 °F) – for example the Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I or the Dahua IPC-HFW1420S.

  54. I do not have a Harmony remote but Vera does have a Harmony Hub plugin that you can explore: https://apps.mios.com/plugin.php?id=8066

  55. Thanks for the kind words! QNAP’s & Synology’s Surveillance Station apps can only detect simple motion detection triggers (as opposed to line crossing, people counting etc.) from IP cameras including Hikvision / Dahua. You can still define the regions that should trigger the alert. Check out this article where I have QNAP Surveillance Station, HomeSeer and my Hikvision cameras all talking to each other seamlessly to give me reliable region based motion detection. The beauty of using Surveillance Station is that HomeSeer need not support your cameras and in fact all you need is a virtual switch per camera.

  56. Line crossing is a feature of the camera.

  57. I have the Netgear switch plugged into my ISP router just to get more ports. No PoE involved. The ISP router has only 4 ports.

  58. Hey some ways to protect your data in case your NAS is stolen are the DIY route of replicating your NAS automatically to a remote NAS or use a cloud NAS backup solution.

  59. Thanks Todd! The 2CD2T42WD-I8 has been replaced by the DS-2CD2T43G0-I8 which should do the trick with a 8mm lens. The 2CD2342WD turret cams are great for night time thanks to the EXIR LEDs.

    These are PoE cameras, you need to feed them power using a PoE injector or a PoE network switch. I don’t recommend using Wi-Fi for security cameras, because Wi-Fi is not robust enough for security purposes. You can power the cameras by feeding them 12V but PoE is a far better option – see why in this blog post.

  60. IP cameras (with or without PoE) are by definition digital cameras. If they support audio, then the audio signal is digitally sent through the RJ45 cable just like the video data is sent.

  61. Hey there. Building your own smart home is fun and a Vera Plus is a great device for light duties.
    1. You can definitely do this – you just need to get a GlobalCache IR controller or such to fire the IR commands.
    2. This is also possible with the Vera’s built-in scene creator.
    3. There are a limited set of scenes you can trigger when more than one condition is true, but these are limited to things like time and as in point 2 above. If you want to create a complex event which has to test multiple conditions to trigger an event, the built-in scene editor stumbles. For example to create events for my VERA automated central heating system, I had to use the PLEG plugin to create an event like this: If Virtual Switch 1 is ON AND Virtual Switch 2 is ON AND time of the day is X AND if temperature is less than set point, then turn on the boiler.

  62. Thanks for reporting back!

  63. Hi Rohit, thanks! Yes, you can certainly use the NAS as you said. You could also use the Surveillance Station app as well.

  64. Thanks for dropping by! NVRs do not have the ability to act as VPN servers. So you the Amcrest NVR won’t be able to do this. Some Wi-Fi routers do (such as the Netgear Nighthawks, most NAS storage devices do. In this article I am using my QNAP TS-253A NAS as the VPN server.

  65. I don’t use any plugin. I use certain native features to let one control the other. I will be posting a detailed tutorial shortly on how to replicate this. EDIT: The how-to guide is now live here.

  66. Thanks and glad you found it useful.

  67. You are right, low-level crime seems to have increased quite a bit in my city recently. A similar crime heat map of the UK is next on my to-do list.

  68. Hey Mike, I briefly looked into it but didn’t like the 14 day-only access to recordings. An additional $399 gives you the ‘gold’ license which removes that limitation and gives you 16 camera channels. I need only 4 channels, so the standard Surveillance Station app is best for me. Additional camera licenses are $50 each, so I would need to have at least 12 cameras before the $399 gold licence becomes a better financial choice. Of course having the option to go up to 16 channels in the future is also what the $399 buys you.

  69. This is a very good dome camera and that’s why we awarded it the title of “Best Value Dome IP Camera” in our 2018 Outdoor IP Camera round-up. The same article also shows you the more expensive alternatives that have more features such as advanced motion detection (Dahua) and audio features (Vivotek).

  70. You’re welcome!
    1. No I do not have Zigbee devices but I have read several people reporting that it works as advertised.
    2. Yes you can set up users on the Vera Plus and then restrict view events/alarms rights to certain users only. This is managed using the getvera.com portal. There are 3 user levels: admin, notifications only and guest. I don’t think you can restrict camera viewing rights. Watch this official Vera video to learn more about what is possible. This webpage on the Vera support site is also good.

  71. Thanks for testing it, interesting find. That must be the Amazon AWS servers that a lot of companies use for their P2P and cloud services. I guess this sort of behaviour only emphasizes the point of my blog – these cameras really need to be locked down and isolated from the rest of your network if one values his/her privacy. I think I need to do the vLAN method sooner rather than later (and write a how-to).

  72. Thanks Vassil, I am using the C1 Pro as a baby monitor too and I’m pretty satisfied. Does your access point have an Ethernet port? If not, I don’t think the camera can connect to it as it requires a physical connection to the router/access point during setup.

  73. Sorry if I wasn’t clear earlier: P2P tech doesn’t need port forwarding at all and push technology uses P2P. P2P is the industry’s solution to avoid port forwarding, and to deal with the increasing possibility that port forwarding doesn’t work when more than one household shares the same external IPv4 IP address (because the Internet is running out of IPv4 addresses and ISPs assign the same IP addresses to more than one customer).

    It is alarming to hear that the Hikvision (and Amcrest) are able to send you push notifications outside the home network even when P2P and uPnP are disabled. Make sure the ‘Platform’ option is also disabled, they keep renaming these things from firmware to firmware and I do not have a brand new Hikvision at hand to double-check. If it still manages to connect out (you can confirm using a wiretap software like WireShark), the only option left is to use a vLAN to restrict network access to LAN and not WAN/Internet.

    My understanding of how push tech works is this: the main obstacle when your phone is outside the home network is that the Hikvision doesn’t know how to reach your phone. So the EZVIZ or HikConnect platform acts as an intermediary. The iVMS-4500 app on the phone connects out to the intermediary periodically and informs it how to reach your phone – this is an outgoing connection that your phone will see as ‘trustworthy’. Back home your camera will do the same – it will connect out to the intermediary whenever it wants to send a push notification. Since there are only outgoing connections at both camera and phone ends, port forwarding is avoided. I have omitted the steps above where the Hik mobile apps may use Apple’s or Google’s push service servers for getting as token to enable push on your mobile device in the first place.

  74. I haven’t tried QNAPs push service because it relies on their cloud platform.

    While it is irritating that the Amcrest is still managing to connect out, this is less of a problem than Amcrest’s servers tunneling into your network using P2P which is what I would be worried about. By default, most routers allow all outgoing connections because the underlying assumption is that you trust all devices on your network. When this is not the case (as in my Hikvision cameras), I lock down their ability to make outgoing connections (dialing home to Hik servers). Most routers also block all incoming connections by default because this is where the bigger risk lies, hence the need to open ports using port forwarding.

    The real solution to isolating a device on your network and cutting its internet access and allowing only LAN access is by using a firewall like pfSense to create vLANs (virtual LANs). This is one of my planned projects, I just need to make the time somehow!

    I wrote about setting up push notifications because it was not easy to get them to work and I had readers asking me how to set it up. I never used them myself because email alerts are enough for me + I use just Imperihome for smart home control and quick camera viewing, and tinyCAM monitor Pro for more involved camera viewing. Lately I have become wary of letting any company’s P2P servers connect to my home network and this resulted in the post above.

  75. Hi Brad, thanks for the comment! I minimise the number of holes I poke in my firewall for incoming connections. In fact there is just one – a custom OpenVPN port for the OpenVPN server. The reason I can lock down my cameras to the point that they cannot send anything out is because I do not make them send anything – they are not allowed to send email or push notifications.

    So as you may have guessed I do not have push notifications enabled at all. I use my QNAP NAS Surveillance Station to send motion detection email alerts which are sufficient for my needs. I have not found a way to send push notifications without relying on an external cloud or P2P service, but then I have not researched this much as I don’t care for it.

    I will be updating the security camera and home automation guides as I have now fully integrated these two sub-systems using what I call the pro-DIY approach to building a smart home.

  76. Yes it does depend on the camera model. In my older Hikvisions, I need to go to Configuration > Advanced Configuration > Events to find the line crossing and intrusion detection options. What model is your camera?

  77. Its up to you – if you leave both basic and smart enabled both type of events will fire. This is desirable in some cases – my QNAP NAS Surveillance Station responds only to the basic motion triggers so I keep this enabled. I still like the camera to record smart event motion detection clips to the onboard SD card so I keep the smart events also enabled.

  78. Login to your camera admin page, then navigate to Configuration and look for something like “Smart Event” under Events. Hikvision keeps renaming this so just look for “Line crossing” and “Intrusion Detection”.

  79. Hi, you are welcome! There are two ways of using Power over Ethernet – using a smart device such as a network switch which will automatically detect the power needs of the camera and provide it, or a dumb injector that takes a power source and a data source (Ethernet cable) puts them into a single Ethernet run and at the camera end, splits the two out again. With the first approach, you simply plug in the camera into the switch and you are done. You don’t have to worry about the length of the cable, the switch will increase the power output up to 25.5W if required by the camera (taking into account voltage drops over long Ethernet runs). With the second method you have to provide the correct power input but then you get to mess around with the power available at the camera end (say for powering an external microphone).

    This camera is of the 802.3at Power over Ethernet variety (up to 25.5 Watts per port) which my 802.3af PoE switch (up to 15.4W per port) doesn’t support. The difference is in the wattage each network port provides, which in turn depends on the voltage and current, because Power (Watts) = Voltage (Volts) x Current (Amps). I went for the dumb approach as I didn’t have an 802.3at network switch – I used the power adapter provided by Reolink together with a PoE injector/splitter cable combo (the white ones in the photo) I had lying around, this is why it didn’t work over long distances. The power adapter provided by Reolink had a power rating sufficient for the length of its cord which was just under 2 metres, and as I found out it is also fine for Ethernet runs of up to 30 feet (this depends on the quality of your Ethernet cable of course). It was not intended to be used with a 100 feet Ethernet cable because the voltage will drop markedly over such lengths and therefore total power at the camera end would be less than the 22W it needs to work properly. So if you use either a 802.3at PoE switch or injector, you can use the camera over a 100 feet long Ethernet cable.

    For audio, since this is a digital network camera, there is no need to run anything other than a single PoE Ethernet cable to your camera. Since it does not have a microphone on-board, you need to plug an audio source into the RCA plug at the camera end. You can use a powered external microphone like this one and plug it into the RCA port easily. The camera will add this audio input into the video streams it produces. You can play back the audio on any computer or mobile device, and record it on your NVR. Most probably you won’t have a separate power source for the microphone at the camera, so as I mentioned in the first paragraph of this comment, you may need to go for the dump PoE injector approach: at the camera end split the PoE into power and data and then further split off the power to the microphone and the camera. I haven’t tried this myself.

  80. Hi John, thanks for dropping by! I have been using the TS-253A for over a year now and I’m very pleased with it. Instead of rigid partitions, I use the shared folders concept where each shared folder can use as much space as it wants on the 3TB WD RED hard drives I use. So I have set a limit of 1.5TB of storage in the the Surveillance Station app. This equates to around 10 days of storage. The only downside to using it as an NVR is that it doesn’t support the advanced motion detection methods of the Hikvision and Dahua cameras that are crucial for reducing false alerts. But I record 24/7 anyway, so it doesn’t bother me too much. A dedicated NVR with redundant storage is very expensive – a NAS with redundant storage can be had for a fraction of that cost (as long as you don’t need more than 4-6 cameras). If you need more than 4-6 cameras, the total cost starts rising due to the extra licence per camera model QNAP and other NAS manufacturers follow. But as you have realised, a NAS can do so much more. The TS-253A also supports one-click virtual machines, so I have set up a Linux Ubuntu virtual machine to play round with as well. I run my OpenVPN server on it, apart from using the HDMI output to view my cameras on the TV. At the moment, the TS-253A gives the best bang for your buck because of the included 4 IP camera licences.

  81. There are a few different Z-Wave frequencies that exist depending on which country you live in – as long as you buy a sensor that works on the same frequency as your hub, it will work. So my Vera hub is the EU version which works on the 868.40 MHz frequency and all my Z-Wave sensors are also of the same frequency. So they work together very well. Israel is allotted a different frequency so you would have to by sensors that are certified to work in your country.

  82. Hi Ken, the Vera Plus is not cloud-reliant. It doesn’t require you to use the cloud service or even the Internet to function. The signup process is online and requires an Internet connection but is not needed after that point. I access it remotely over the QNAP VPN using openVPN on my phones.

  83. Hey you’re welcome! I had the same difficulty with Hikvision’s product range and wrote this guide some time ago. Also see my 2018 roundup of the best outdoor IP cameras.

  84. I haven’t had this problem, have you considered returning the camera for another unit?

  85. You’re welcome! I covered Ubiquiti security cameras in my IP camera round-up last year. They are great devices, especially for those who already have a Ubiquiti system set up. I excluded them from my 2018 roundup because they didn’t support RTSP at the time of publishing, but thanks to your comment I checked again and they recently added RTSP streaming support to their cameras! The downside is the price, they are expensive!

  86. Thanks, glad you found it useful. I have just looked at the video streams from both the Reolink C1 Pro and the Amcrest ProHD, Reolink’s stated 42 degrees seems spot on. The Amcrest 1080p seems to be slightly better. How far away is your camera going to be from your scene? Unless the camera is going to be less than 3-4 feet away from your target, I don’t think you will have a problem with either camera.

  87. I would never recommend WiFi for your main cameras – its just not as reliable and dependable as a hard wired Ethernet cable. Most consumer routers are poor at maintaining a steady WiFi signal which is not great for your home’s security, not to mention running all your cameras on the same WiFi network is going to max out your WiFI router bandwidth and probably cause dropped frames. Use WiFi for locations you cannot run cable to.

  88. Non-Hikvision NVRs that have advanced motion detection? Try Dahua.

  89. Just a Hikvision camera – it has an on-board NVR that can record to a network drive, on-board SD card or an FTP server. You don’t need any additional hardware or software the camera does it all. Yes you can get alerts on your phone when you are away from home – most cameras can do it in a plug and play manner or you can run your own VPN server at home for maximum security.

  90. Thanks, I mainly write about proven reliable brands like the ones I use myself daily. Swann and Lorex are mostly just dumbed-down rebranded Hikvision and Dahua and are the better options on your list. However Nightowl, Ezviz and Q-See are among the hundreds of brands that are very light on features and are built to a price. They may do the job for a while but the question is how reliable are they? You don’t want your cameras to crap out when you need them the most! That’s why it pays to go for a proven reputable brand.

  91. I haven’t come across a decent one with RTSP or MJPEG yet. There maybe some no-name brand cameras on Amazon and eBay that can do MJPEG though.

  92. Yes you can use push notifications through the Hikvision P2P system EZVIZ.

  93. You’re welcome! I use the Secure brand of thermostats, Aeotec and Fibaro for multi purpose sensors.

  94. Happy to help! My neighbours cat loves hanging out in our yard and I had the same issues till I figured out the advanced motion detection settings. Spiders and moths – check out this post.

  95. I use the tinyCAM Monitor app on my Android devices for just checking the live-view. The QNAP NAS monitors the cameras, records motion detection clips and informs HomeSeer whenever motion is detected.

  96. Thanks, check out this post for some recommendations.

  97. Thanks, I have the C1 Pro working over 30 feet away from my Wi-Fi router through 4 walls and they are on different floors. So you should definitely be getting more than 20 feet in an open area. Consider upgrading your Wi-Fi router to a more powerful model such as the Netgear Nighthawk.

  98. Yes the cameras with microphones or audio input connections can record a video clip with audio. Check your local laws regarding recording audio outside your home, as some counties do not allow this.

  99. Hi Edwin, the camera takes a standard 12V DC in and has a power requirement of 5W. So you could either get a power supply with these specs (like this http://amzn.to/2zInVdj ) or use a PoE injector (like this http://amzn.to/2E95Eco).

  100. Sorry this was a typo, I have corrected it. Thanks for letting me know!

  101. Sorry maybe I wasn’t clear, the smart plugs simply plug into your existing wall power outlets, so there’s no need for any wiring at all. They simply sit between your existing wall power outlets and your appliance. The neutral wire requirement comes into the picture only if you are actually trying to wire in a ZWave switch to replace an existing wall “switch” – I have not done this and you do not need to do it either. I have done zero wiring – the whole point of using smart plugs like the Greenwave I linked to is to avoid tampering with your home’s wiring.

  102. Hi really enjoyed reading your comment and thanks for the kind words. You must have a lot of stories to share from your law enforcement career!

    1) Having a lot of WiFi cameras in the house can slow down your Internet but this depends on how fast your connection is and only if you have cloud recording on, so the cameras need to stream the video over the Internet all the time.

    2)I would not recommend using Wi-Fi cameras only because I have found that WiFi cameras are not 100% reliable. I would use wired cameras and use wireless cameras only to reach places the wired ones cant go. Wi-Fi is not great for maintaining a 100% reliable connection at all times, it was never designed for that purpose. Plus your wireless cameras then are dependent on how good your WiFi router is. At some point Wi-Fi cameras will lose their connection to the Internet and have to reconnect, worst case they may fail to reconnect automatically and you may not realise they are down. I have got wired cameras running for nearly 2 years straight without as much as a reboot. You want reliability like that for your home security but you cant get that from wireless cameras. At least not yet.

    So I would rather go for a wired NVR kit like the LaView or Reolink sets you see in this article. A NAS as your NVR is great if you need all the extra tech features but otherwise may be overkill.

    3)I think the Reolink Argus battery powered camera would be ideal for catching vandals attacking your main security cameras because its battery powered and you can put it anywhere and disguise it too! Read my review of the Argus here. For something more discreet check out the various spy cameras you can get here.

    4) Smart locks – I have a smart home (smart sensors, smart plugs, cameras, heating, humidifiers, air purifiers, speakers) but the one thing I decided against is a smart lock mainly because I am afraid that it could be hacked and a burglar can waltz in easily.

    Hope this helps.

  103. Hi there, the Vera Plus can control your electric heaters based on temperature sensors in each room. I have a gas-fired central heating boiler so I use the Vera to tell my boiler to turn on and off based on the individual room sensors, but I do exactly what you are after for lights. After a certain time in the night, motion sensors in the hallway trigger lamps plugged into smart plugs. I have reviewed the Fibaro and Aeotec multi-sensors (temperature, motion, etc.) I use and the smart plugs I use. Both sensors are great but the Fibaro has a cool multicolour LED and the Aeotec has an extra humidity sensor. I use the humidity sensor to automatically turn on and off a humidifier in my baby’s nursery.

  104. Giles, no I have not integrated the Hikvision with the Vera yet. Hikvision seems to want to make it as difficult as possible by not opening up the API their cameras use. The Amcrest cameras on the other hand can be integrated with the Vera and is a great option.

  105. Guy, about viewing your local NVR remotely that’s why I have set up my QNAP NAS an openVPN server – this lets me securely connect to my network at home and it is as if I ever left the house. I have written about my NAS setup here and see how I do it in the QNAP NAS VPN tutorial here.

    I am wary of cloud solutions but I can see why you may want it. Since I use a NAS, I can set up a cloud backup service on the NAS such as ADrive, Google Cloud Storage, AWS, Amazon S3, Iron Mountain etc. I have not used any of these but Adrive start as $25 a month for 100GB.

  106. Greenberet, I have not had to use their support yet. While the Argus is very easy to use, I would not recommend a battery powered camera as your main security camera. You should instead get an AC powered WiFi camera such as the Reolink C1 Pro which I reviewed recently.

  107. Look up the specifications on the Hikvision website for the NVR models you are interested in, its listed there.

  108. I am not aware of any other non-doorbell cameras that can do both. If you absolutely need a speaker, check out my top doorbell camera recommendations.

  109. By the way, I am putting together a step by step tutorial on how to use QNAP Surveillance Station. I should add one downside of the NAS NVR solution is that it doesn’t support the advanced motion detection methods some cameras support such as the intrusion detection mode of Hikvisions. But I am not bothered as I run 24/7 recording with alarm recording on top so that I can scrub through just the alarm events.

  110. Hi Steve, thanks for dropping by! I call these NVR kits the EasyDIY solution to home CCTV but my preferred option is FullDIY where I run everything off one small NAS box, my QNAP TS-253A. I have 4 cameras and the QNAP Surveillance Station takes care of my needs nicely with redundant storage and an OpenVPN server all for under $500. The QNAP Surveillance STation software hasn’t changed much in the last 3 years but its reliable and does the job. You can check out a live demo on this page. It should give you a taste for the software. Synology is another option but I haven’t tried it personally.

  111. Hi Steve, I do not have an iOS device so can’t confirm my method would work but you can give it a shot using the openVPN Connect app for iOS.

  112. Hi, I have looked into this and the major difficulty is powering the speakers. If you have a power source nearby this is not an issue. Otherwise you will have to split the PoE into data and power and then tap into the power before it goes to the camera – messy. See my reply above where I commented on this and also look here to see how someone made it work: https://ipcamtalk.com/threads/help-with-sound-on-hikvision-ds-2cd2732f-i-s-camera.1905/page-2#post-22416

  113. Thanks for the kind words! Yes the DS-2CD2442FWD-IW supports push and email notifications through Hikvision’s IVMS4500 app. If you don’t want to use ethernet cables, you can use the camera over WiFi and use a DC12V power source. Hikvision cameras generally do not come with power cables. Yes you can also use a PoE injector such as the TP-LINK TL-PoE150S.

    You can point the camera out of a window and it will be fine during the daytime but at night if you keep the Infrared LED on, it will reflect off the glass and totally spoil the image. So your camera would be useless once dusk falls. Now you could keep it in day mode even at night by switching off the auto day/night switch and the IR LEDs, and install external IR LEDs such as this one to light up the scene.

  114. Thanks for commenting. I do care and doesn’t closed circuit only mean that it is not publicly broadcast. The technology used to form the ‘circuit’ whether it is VHS, analog, or digital IP is irrelevant, isn’t it? And if you look at my circuit it is not broadcast outside my home network. Technically since I use a VPN to connect to my home network from outside, my external device becomes part of the internal network (closed circuit). But I think we should also agree that the term closed circuit was created for an analog world where there was no Internet. CCTV is just that these days, an abbreviation for anything that is used for surveillance, even if it is broadcast to a command center (police control room for example)!

  115. Just one quick point – the Hikvision DS-2CD2442FWD-IW is not an outdoor camera though it may be fine under a porch and if the weather doesn’t get too cold or hot. For outdoor cameras with full duplex audio, look at my best doorbell camera reviews post.

  116. I have two suggestions: the Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-IW and the Reolink Argus Wire-free which is a battery operated camera. Both of these have true full-duplex audio capability.

  117. You’re welcome! I suggest going for the highest capacity card your camera can take, you will find this information in the camera specifications or the user manual. Most IP cameras today support up to 64 GB, but 32GB is fine as well. My 32GB cards give me 2 weeks of motion-triggered recording. Just watch out for the type of card supported: SDHC or SDXC. Up to 32GB microSD cards tend to be SDHC whereas the 64GB and above are of the SDXC variety.

    The only microSD card brand I use today is Sandisk and I have found the Ultra models to be the best value with high performance. This is the exact model I use: SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC

  118. Hi, as noted in the specifications table, the maximum bitrate of the RLC-423 is 8192 kbps or 8Mbps.

  119. Thanks for the detailed review and I agree that the biggest weakness of cloud cameras is that you hand over control and privacy to a 3rd party. That’s why I do not use them in my home. Some of the software features these days are gimmicky but I’m sure with advances in AI, these cameras will get better at machine learning.

  120. These security cameras are designed to minimize wind noise but its really unavoidable. The Hikvisions have a software feature which reduces wind noise but also makes the microphone less sensitive – there is always a trade-off for every software tweak.

  121. I think its a great successor to the 3MP model which was a huge success and a great camera in its own right.

  122. Thanks! I use the excellent tinyCAM Monitor Pro app on Android to live view all my cameras simultaneously. You can view a screenshot in my latest post on how to view your cameras remotely and securely. Hikvision cameras and others of its class are designed to run 24/7 and in fact do not have an on/off button. The only way to switch them off is to cut the power supply to them. Check out my 2017 list of recommended outdoor cameras for more suggestions.

  123. Hi Mark. Thanks for your comment and I welcome feedback, so I will look into adding BHP as an additional source. However I am afraid you have failed to notice that the Amazon buy links are to LTS branded cameras, not Hikvisions. I personally buy Hikision-branded cameras from Amazon and there are multiple warnings in the article against unauthorised sellers if for those who may be unaware:

    Right before the Amazon buy links:
    “Since Hikvision doesn’t support their cameras unless purchased through an authorised reseller, I recommend going through one. However, you can get the same camera re-branded by LTS(LT Security) on Amazon.”

    In the notice box at the top:
    “Also note that Hikvision and Dahua do not consider Amazon an authorised seller, but personally I don’t mind the often lower costs.”

    This is true as I have multiple Hikvisions which are 2-3 years old and none have failed. In my opinion, they are so reliable that the standard replacement buyer protection provided by Amazon is good enough for most users.

  124. Steve, I am so sorry to hear about the break-in. Glad that the cameras got the whole thing and nobody got hurt, hope the cops nail the guy. I am very happy with my ProHD cameras too, they are one of the best indoor cameras out there.

    You are spot on about the false alert problem, one option is using intelligent alerts such as line crossing and intrusion detection. The other option is using a camera with built-in PIR sensors as you say. Amcrest doesn’t have such a model, but Reolink has recently launched an outdoor battery powered camera called the Reolink Argus which has a PIR sensor. In fact I am currently testing it and in the process of writing a full review.

  125. One winner for July’s giveaway.

  126. Sorry I have no experience with this camera. I will try to get a review done.

  127. Hello, rather than thinking of the resolution needed (even 1080p will do), what is more important is how close you can get to the point at which the plate is will be from the camera. Two ways to do this – use a long focal length (12mm) and get the camera physically as close as possible to where the plate plate will be. Since you may not have much freedom with the physical distance (40 feet), I would look for a 3MP or 4MP varifocal Hikvision which can do at least 12mm at the telephoto end.

    Hik’s mobile software is not great in my opinion and pretty much hit or miss, but you can use either port forwarding or P2P to reach each camera from an external network. I use the QNAP Surveillance Software to record my cameras and tinyCAM monitor on my Android phone to watch the camera stream directly. I dont port forward each camera, rather I use the QNAP as an openVPN server to VPN into my home network. Then everything works as if you are inside your home network including your preferred camera viewer. Hope this helps.

  128. It seems the list price of the RLC-423 is $342.45 so the 27% off brings the price to $249.99
    Anyway we have secured an extra 10% off discount for VueVille readers – click on the “Get 10% OFF” button at the top of the page to get the coupon code and the shop link. Enjoy!

  129. Sorry about that, but the link doesn’t seem to be working for some reason and I have informed Reolink so that they can fix it. Meanwhile I have swapped it out for a link to their Amazon store.

  130. Hey Thomas, the Amcrest ProHD comes with a standard tripod mount (1/4″ – 20 threaded tripod screw hole), so any wall or ceiling fixing that has a standard tripod head can be used to attach the camera, like this one: http://amzn.to/2s40Ce8

  131. Thanks Rob, I have added this info to the tutorial.

  132. Thanks for the comment. Since I don’t have a rack system, I relied on the datasheet which claimed the US-8-150W is “Rackmountable with Rack-Mount Brackets (Included)”. Not sure why they claim this because the switch seems to be too short to fit in a standard rack anyway. Well at least it is wall-mountable. I have edited the article to clarify.

  133. I see the problem now, A.M is right – my network map was not intended to show the actual connections, but I will correct it to make it reflect the actual connections. My PoE switch is not connected to the NAS – it is connected to the ISP modem/router. If you have put the NAS in between your main Netgear PoE switch and your other router, it explains the problems you have been seeing. The NAS cannot pass through the camera traffic to the rest of your network.

    So if you want the cameras to be accessible throughout the network, don’t put their PoE switch behind the NAS (don’t connect them directly to the NAS): Cameras -> PoE switch -> main Netgear switch <- NAS. Your main Netgear switch then acts like the central hub. Now you will be able to access your cameras from the desktop or from your phones etc. In my case my ISP router is the central hub (more for convenience than anything else).

  134. Hi,

    All the cameras just need to be on the same network as the NAS. The PoE switch should be directly or indirectly connected to the NAS (via another router/switch). Is the NAS otherwise accessible – are you able to access the NAS management page from your PC? Also if your NAS has more than one network port, make sure you are using the right one. My QNAP TS-231+ has two ethernet ports, I only use the first one and this has to be selected in QNAP Surveillance Station. You can use the second NAS ethernet port exclusively for surveillance station but its a bit trickier to pull off.

    The only other thing I can think of is – are you using a managed or unmanaged PoE switch? If unmanaged, its plug and play. If its managed, you may have to configure it.

    Also are your cameras individually accessible from your PC?

    Kind regards,
    Daniel

  135. Hi Giles,

    Thanks. I don’t think the NAS out of the box has a feature whereby you can arm or disarm Surveillance Station. However you can use a home automation controller such as the one I use, the Vera Plus, to put individual cameras into arm/disarm mode. This effectively lets you control the QNAP NAS’ behaviour. One of my readers has made it work and has written about it in the comments on this post.

    Kind regards,
    Daniel

  136. Glad to see you are back 🙂 I really do like Hikvision, and I have a few of them. I looked at most PTZ cameras available in the market but couldn’t find any that had all the features I would like to see at prices that I felt were affordable. Yes the specific model that you mentioned doesn’t have IR and that’s the only major drawback I see in it. Can be easily overcome by using IR floodlights but onboard IR would be easier and more convenient.

  137. Hi there,

    In order to put your dedicated NVR (and the rest of your network) behind a VPN, some other device on the network needs to act as a VPN server (the Hikvision NVR doesn’t have VPN server functionality). That could be a PC, a laptop, a NAS or even a router such as the Netgear Nighthawk.

    Daniel

  138. Hi,

    The NVR versions of the NAS are aimed at small and medium size businesses and this explains the higher price points. They also tend to come with more camera licenses, the QNAP VS-4108-PRO+ for example has 8 licenses included. For home use I would still suggest going with a NAS as you can use it for so many other things as well.

    The biggest advantage of the NVR route is the RAID redundancy – to get the same feature in a traditional NVR like Hikvision’s will cost a lot more than a NAS.

    Daniel

  139. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the info, I am a big fan of your app and recommend it all the time!

    Daniel

  140. Hi Kim,

    Yes if the Avertx cameras are ONVIF compliant, you can use them with a QNAP/Synology NAS like I have, or with an NVR like this one from Amcrest.

    Daniel

  141. Hey Rich,

    Thanks for your kind words! If you are looking to get a PoE kit that has everything you need, a CCTV kit like this one from Reolink may be best:
    http://amzn.to/2jbMz1K

    But if you want more advanced motion detection features its better to put a Hikvision kit together.

    Daniel

  142. No, I haven’t had this problem. Seeing as it is 60 minutes, it may be a timeout value in Vera’s Amcrest camera setting? Or maybe a more generic timeout setting somewhere?

  143. Great idea to force the Amcrest into an alarm state – I am happy you got the concept to work!

  144. Hi Nathan,

    Sorry you are having to jump through hoops to get it working. No I didn’t have to do anything other than upload the xml file in the forum post to the Vera. Unless you want the Vera to respond to motion detection triggers from the Amcrest you don’t need to do anything else. I didnt add or edit any service or variable – I don’t think you should have to. All the custom settings are in the customised xml file already. You will know if the uploaded xml file is active if in the camera view in Vera Cameras section, you see the pan controls and 8 separate preset buttons -> these too work for me by the wya.

    I tried again the advanced scene editor method I described earlier and it simply works for me. I have a few presets defined in the Amcrest Camera management portal. When I run the scene that uses the GoToPreset command, the camera moves to the presets I have defined. I am a 100% sure the xml file should just work – others have also used this xml file successfully. I can only suggest removing the camera, deleting the xml file you previously uploaded to the camera, and redo it all over again, but without touching any of the settings?

  145. Nice to hear about your setup, I went for the Vera Plus. Which wall switches did you get? I have been looking for a decent one but haven’t found any I like.
    Q1: I remember seeing this initially but as I dont use the Web interface for anything other than adding new devices or programming, its not bothered me much. It has no effect on the usability of the camera feed in the Imperihome phone app.

    Q2: Yes I get this too but again I just ticked the box and its been fine since.

    I addressed this in another reply but for some cameras, Vera needs some manual configuration under device properties to force it to pull the RTSP stream from the Amcrest not the MJPEG one. But I feel this is unnecessary as I would rather stream the camera straight to my Imperihome/tinyCam Monitor Pro/QVR Client apps.

    Q3: The config files and steps are here.

  146. For getting the PTZ controls of the Amcrest working inside the Vera Web interface, I followed the instructions on here.

    You are right about RTSP, I have come to the same conclusion after fiddling with it for some time – I wouldn’t task the Vera with handling live RTSP streams. I use the Imperihome app on my phone and it can stream RTSP directly from the camera to your phone, bypassing the Vera. If you must though, you can manually force the Vera to pick the RTSP stream instead of the MJPEG by changing device variables.

  147. Hi Nathan,

    Sorry I couldn’t reply sooner. Its my last couple of days before I finish for Christmas and it has been so hectic!

    You have made a lot of progress in a very short time! Yes the Vera can send http commands to any device on your network, but the built-in scene editor lets you do it without using the http command also. I use this easier method to control my Denon receiver. Here’s how you do this: Assuming you are using the default Vera scene creator, start creating a scene using your desired trigger, and in “Step 3: Finish the Scene” click on ‘Advanced Editor’. Then ‘Add Action’, choose the Amcrest camera device. Now another drop down will appear and you will see a long list of actions you can tell the camera to do. One of them is “GoToPreset” and then you can enter your preset number in the box. Click ‘Add’ and Done. This should now do what you want.

    You can invoke http commands but using the LUUP code option in the scene editor, but this is a bit more difficult. Hope this helps.

  148. Hi,

    I will put together a step by step guide when I get time. With the year end approaching I have not been getting enough time to blog!

    I dislike both cloud and uPNP, but uPNP is far more dangerous than using the QNAP cloud. The reason is that uPNP for never intended to be used on external networks such as the Internet. I keep it disabled on my router and all devices that support it. uPNP is how insecure or compromised(hacked) devices can ‘dial home’ to their manufacturer or even used by hackers to spy on you.

    QNAP cloud – I never tried it because the QNAP openVPN server has been flawless and is very very fast. There is no middleman – my phone connects directly to my home network. Also by just using one app (openVPN client), my phone then is literally inside my home network – I can do everything as if I am am at home, plus all my internet traffic is routed over my home router (not public Wifi for example). I recommend using only the openVPN protocol because all other VPN protocols have been compromised by various governments and so safe to assume hackers as well. The official QNAP documentation is very good and should help with configuring the openVPN server. Some tips – default settings should be good, except under advanced settings use UDP (not TCP) and a random port (not 1194). Then get a dynamic DNS for your home router (noip.com is free, paid ones also exist). Then port forward that specific UDP port from router to NAS. Then download the QNAP configuration file and open it with the official openVPN client app, enter your dynamic DNS settings and login details and off you go. That’s about the gist of it.

    Daniel

  149. Hi Nathan,

    Glad to hear your setup is up and running. I love the VPN server feature and use it every day at work to check in on my cameras. Yes I have considered writing a how-to on setting up VPN access – its not difficult but has quite a few steps including the DDNS setup. I will put up a post shortly on how to do this.

    Yes Vmobile works for me, while it was not a beautiful app by any means, it is functional.

    Is there a particular step that you are stuck at?

    Daniel

  150. Thanks and you summed it up well. Hikvision is a brand that is targeted primarily at businesses and white-labelers, not homeowners. But their stuff is worth the extra money – you can pick and choose very high resolution cameras and at the same time not be tied to a particular brand for example. The mainstream market has always a year or so behind Hikvision in the past but the gap is narrowing. For a few years there were no retail brands that could do 3 megapixels for example, but now you have Reolink with 4MP capable cameras.

  151. Hi Jerry,

    I am also thinking of getting a Hikvision NVR as my primary NVR and then using the NAS as a secondary backup location.

    Hikvision NVRs actually have only the basic motion detection ability. They don’t do any advanced motion detection themselves such as Line crossing, Intrusion detection, face detection etc, which Hikvision calls VCA (Video Content Analysis). The NVR relies on the cameras sending specific VCA triggers to start and stop recording.

    Also note that not all Hikvision NVRs can recognise VCA triggers meaning they will just ignore the Line crossing, Intrusion detection, face detection etc. So you have to get an NVR which supports VCA. According to this manual for the 7600 series, these support the VCA feature. I am planning to get the 7608 model myself and intend to use the VCA features:
    http://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/downloads/hikvision/hikvision_ds-7604ni-e1_user-manual.pdf

    My QNAP surveillance station software can detect only the basic motion detection alerts from the Hikvision cameras, it simply ignores all the VCA event alerts. I am not sure about Synology, sorry.

  152. Hi,

    If your Swann NVR is ONVIF compliant, Hikvision cameras should work with the NVR. All the Hikvision cameras are ONVIF compliant. If you look up the spec list of your Swann NVR, you can find out whether it supports ONVIF or not.

    Daniel

  153. Hi,

    If you go for a reasonably powerful NAS like the QNAP TS-231+ or TS-251+, it can handle the decoding and recording of the camera streams without getting bogged down.

    Daniel

  154. Hi,
    Hikvision doesn’t maintain an authorised reseller list so its impossible to say whether a seller on Amazon is an authorised reseller or not. An example is Nelly’s Security who sell on Amazon but do not appear on any Hikvision list.

    If you want to make sure its a US market unit, the only way is to order direct from a distributor on Hikvision’s authorised distributor’s list.

    Daniel

  155. Yes, there is a plug and play concept called ONVIF. Vera can use the ONVIF protocol and pull an RTSP video stream also. Through ONVIF the Vera can view and control any ONVIF compatible device (security camera, NVR etc.). The Amcrest is ONVIF compatible and provides an RTSP stream also. Note that I had to use a custom configuration file created by a Vera forum member to enable the PTZ functions – the video stream works out of the box.

    When I log into the Vera from its web interface, the Vera mobile app, or any 3rd party home automation app which supports the Vera (such as Imperihome which is my choice), I can see a live stream from the Amcrest. I can manually ask the Vera to take a snapshot or video from that stream or use a trigger (say motion) to do the same.

    Regarding PoE or WiFi, the Vera can communicate with any device on the same network (wired or wireless), as long as that device supports standard protocols (uPNP) or has an API that can receive http commands. So for example, my Denon AVR has an http based API, so I just ask the Vera to issue a specific URL against the Denon’s IP address to make it do something like switch inputs.

    So you should be fine with the POE version which I believe is http://amzn.to/2h01GKR

  156. Thanks Nathan, I haven’t tried the alarm input trigger method. They are typically open/close contacts that a PIR motion detector would trigger. Amcrest has not release any info about this as far as I can see.

    I have a ZWave-based Vera Plus home automation system, so I would rather use my Fibaro ZWave motion detectors to detect motion which would then cause the Vera to either take a snapshot or instruct the Amcrest to start recording. The Amcrest works very well with the Vera Plus thanks to the Amcrest API.

    I am more a fan of using my Vera Plus as the brains rather than a particular camera – just makes the Home automation experience very seamless when I can connect my motion sensors to lights and multiple cameras.

    Daniel

  157. Hi Nick,

    I haven’t yet come across an off-the-shelf system that can do everything my setup can do. I would suggest asking a professional installer to give you a quote for a Hikvision based system – once it is installed and set up, its a doddle to use and very reliable. My uncle went this route and he is very happy with it, even though he is not at all tech-savvy.

    If however you are happy to go with a less powerful system in terms of advanced motion detection etc., I would recommend an Amcrest 3-Megapixel NVR system like this one.

    Daniel

  158. Hi, as far as I can see the speaker would need to be powered separately. You can use the PoE if it was passively injected (using an injector at the other end). If on the other hand, you have an active PoE source such as a PoE switch or use the NVR PoE ports, the camera auto-negotiates the power so I am not sure whether you can tap into it for power.

    Somebody on the ipcamtalk forum has figured it out and has a very helpful photo as well: https://ipcamtalk.com/threads/help-with-sound-on-hikvision-ds-2cd2732f-i-s-camera.1905/page-2#post-22416

  159. Thank you! Yes I have tested the audio from the built-in mic, it works well and seems to be quite sensitive. The environment noise filter also is useful in filtering out ambient static noise. I have updated the review with this information. If you add a speaker, yes it will let you have a conversation with somebody. This is one of my future plans actually. I already use this feature on my Amcrest camera using the excellent tinyCam Monitor pro app on my Android phone.

    Daniel

  160. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the kind words. Yes in fact my first Hikvision was a 2032-I China model from aliexpress. I successfully got it to record to my QNAP NAS. The trick was to give it its own volume, with its own user. Otherwise the Hikvision refused to recognise the NAS as a valid network location.

    Hope this works.

    Daniel

  161. Hi,

    The NVR should be able to log into the camera and auto-configure it as long as the camera is using the default username and password (admin and 12345). However, it seems in your case that the camera password is different. The easiest way to resolve this is to reset the Hikvision camera, and try plugging into the NVR again.

    If this works and you are sure you have not changed the username/password on your camera, what it suggests is that your camera has been previously used.

    If you need more assistance, please get in touch by email displayed on our contact page.

    Kind regards,
    Daniel

  162. Hi Gio
    The advantage of IP cameras is that you can benefit from the higher resolutions (3MP/4MP) that analog cameras cannot do.
    For a business, the Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I bullets and the Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS domes are good as visible deterrents. Yes, you will need a Hikvision NVR as well such as this one.
    Daniel

  163. Hi,

    Lorex is actually rebranded Dahua cameras. So don’t worry about the quality. Just bear in mind that you will have to buy cameras from the same brand if you want to expand later – this is true of most NVR systems.

    Daniel

  164. Hi Frank,

    The QCam brand is from Amcrest, and Amcrest kits are good quality. I have their cameras and am impressed by how well it works.

    Daniel

  165. Hi Frank,

    I would recommend the Qcam 1080p kit (http://amzn.to/2esNKcm) or the Amcrest 3 megapixel kit (http://amzn.to/2ehg52Z), both come with 4 PoE cameras.

    Daniel

  166. Hi Jordan,

    Most NVRs can do this. That’s the beauty of an NVR vs an analogue DVR. An NVR can accept video streams not just from PoE connected cameras, but also from wireless cameras on your network. The wireless cameras would of course be connected through your WiFi router.

    An example of such an NVR is the Hikvision DS-7608NI-E2/8P.

    Hope this helps.

    Daniel

  167. Hi,

    I use the 4 port PoE version of this 8 port PoE switch from TP-Link http://amzn.to/2dkus46

    Daniel

  168. Hi Marco,

    Thanks for the comment – have you seen my installation pic in this review here?
    https://www.vueville.com/home-security/cctv/ip-cameras/hikvision-ds-2cd2132f-iws-review/

    You are right about the Hikvisions – it is exactly as you said, a single lead which comes from the camera (which you can see in the pic) which splits into the different connections (alarm in/out, audio in/out, RJ-45 and power in).

    You can also see the connections clearly here http://amzn.to/2cVQtK7

    I haven’t tried to run it through a solid wall so haven’t faced this issue yet. I imagine you would be forced to leave the other connections outside the house. Even though mine run through the eaves, what I have done is to wrap them up in masking tape and cello tape to water-proof them. This has worked quite well.

    Daniel

  169. Hi,

    You are welcome!

    The QNAP Surveillance Station compatibility with a particular camera is not dependent on the NAS model – so QNAP doesn’t list camera compatibility by NAS model. You can find the QNAP Hikvision compatibility list here : https://www.qnap.com/en-in/compatibility-surveillance/?brand=HikVision

    As you can see Hikvision is well supported. What does depend on your NAS is the number of cameras it can support.

    I have the Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I and the now phased-out DS-2CD2132F-IS.

    Daniel

  170. Hi,

    Thanks! If your QNAP has an HDMI port, yes you can view the Live View on a TV. Mine doesn’t so I can’t see it on the TV. And yes an android TV box with tinyCam monitor Pro on it should work. Actually it is next on my purchase list – I am researching the various models right now.

    Daniel

  171. You are very welcome Andy!

    Daniel

  172. Thanks Rob! I hope you found the guide useful.

    Daniel

  173. Hi Ron,

    You can make the QNAP Surveillance Station send you email alerts with snapshots – however its far from straight forward and depends on how well your cameras are supported by QNAP. I have spent a lot of time trying to make it work the way I want, and this is what I learnt:

    When you add a camera and turn on motion detection alerts as described here under the “Configure Alarm Recording on the QNAP NAS” section, the NAS will login to your cameras and attempt to set up motion detection rules in the camera. Then when the camera sends an alert according to the rules defined by the NAS, Surveillance Station will receive them and then respond accordingly (start recording, put an event marker on the timeline, send email snapshot, send an SMS alert etc.).

    So the first key point is that your QNAP NAS actually doesn’t do any motion detection, it relies on the camera to do it. So you wont find any configuration options for those rules in your NAS – you will find it in your cacmera settings. This method is smart because your camera will usually have more advanced motion detection methods such as line detection, intrusion detection, PIR motion sensors etc to which the NAS can theoretically respond. I say theoretically because there is a downside – the NAS’s ability to respond to those alerts depends on how well QNAP supports your specific camera make and model. For eg. I have Hikvision cameras. The NAS will not respond to any motion detection alert other than the basic motion detection. So it ignores the line detection and intrusion detection alerts that I love because it cuts down false alerts massively.

    So then, assuming your camera is supported by QNAP partially/fully, how can you control the motion detection rules? First activate the motion detection rules in Surveillance Station for each camera. Then login to each camera and fine tune the rules, for example you can change the detection area.

    What have I done? I decided QNAP ignoring the Hikvision’s advanced motion detection rules is not something I can live with. So I set up my cameras to send me motion detection emails instead of the NAS. The NAS records 24/7 on a cycle of 10 days.

    Hopefully QNAP supports your cameras fully and you find that the NAS recognises all motion detection triggers (sound, motion, PIR infrared). Hope this helps.

    Daniel

  174. No, the NAS will automatically overwrite the oldest footage and continue recording on a loop. So you will always have the last X days of footage, depending on the size of the recordings share, quality settings etc.

  175. Hi Kristian,

    Thanks and I hope you found the posts useful. I really like the QNAP software because its stable and simply works. One thing I dont like however is that it is very slow to export clips if I ever need to do so. Its much faster to just browse to the share where the recordings are and just copy the file I need.

    Yes, the share I use for the QNAP surveillance centre is set to a limit of 1TB (on a 3TB drive). This is good for 10 days of storage for each camera running 24/7 @ 1080p, 6Mbps bitrate and 10fps.

    I use QNAP’s PC surveillance software to live view and review footage. Its a good piece of software and scrubbing through video is quick and efficient. I dont use the web interface although that’s pretty decent too. I recently upgraded the NAS to QTS 4.2 and am now testing the new surveillance centre app version.

    There is also a mobile app for surveillance centre – its not very polished but gets the job done.

    Do let me know what else you would like to see on the blog – I am looking for content ideas!

    Daniel

  176. Hi Puneet,

    You are on the right track with the requirements you have set – I would recommend at least 1080p preferably 3MP resolution, at least 2TB of storage and an 8 channel kit. 1TB is barely enough for 10 days storage with 2 cameras at 1080p resolution. I say 8 channel because once you get used to the 4 cameras, you may want to add more which you cannot do if you start with a 4 channel NVR.

    I would suggest wired because its one less thing to go wrong – you can have issues with range and dropouts on WiFi. You need your CCTV to be reliable and rock stable – WiFi cannot deliver that yet.

    For sure, go with PoE – saves you running two sets of cables and increases compatibility with cameras you may want to add in future.

    So I would recommend an affordable kit like this one:
    http://amzn.to/2bneOWw

    Daniel

  177. Hi Nhino,

    Nice to hear from you! I usually recommend Hikvisions because I am continually impressed by how well my Hiks perform. However there are some other slightly cheaper brands such as Amcrest and recently Reolink. I would suggest looking at these models:
    http://amzn.to/2bvQz7c
    http://amzn.to/2bneqqW
    http://amzn.to/2bVfuls

    Daniel

  178. Hi Jan,

    Other readers of my blog have reported similar issues – it seems to be a camera firmware limitation. Have you tried updating the firmware (assuming its not a Chinese-origin camera)?

    Daniel

  179. Hi, the DS-2CD2T42WD-I5 would be my choice due to the extended IR range of 50m over the DS-2CD2042WD-I’s 30 metres. If you are using external IR lamps however, this point would be moot. Also the DS-2CD2T42WD-I5 uses EXIR LEDs that will last longer before fading compared to the DS-2CD2042WD-I’s ring type LEDs. But other than this, I would go for whichever is cheaper!

    Daniel

  180. Hi Paul,

    Thanks, and I’m sorry for the delay in replying. Would this support article be of help?
    https://support.amcrest.com/hc/en-us/articles/214633717-Email-Setup-IP2M-841-

    Daniel

  181. Hi Barclay,

    The iVMS app is a bit buggy in my opinion and that could just be the issue as the cameras seem to be working otherwise. If you have followed all the steps I have written above, try removing the cameras, re-adding them and then enabling the push alarms again.

    Daniel

  182. Hi Simon,

    The alarm connections of an IP camera are useful for integration with a dedicated home security alarm system. But if you are using BlueIris, you don’t need these alarm in/out connections.

    Lets see how the alarm in/out would potentially work with a home security alarm system. Let’s take the alarm in first – if your home security system’s alarm goes off for whatever reason (door/window sensor/PIR motion detector), the Hikvision would then start recording immediately. If we look at the alarm out connection, whenever the Hikvision detects motion as per your defined rules, it would trigger your home security alarm.

    I believe you are thinking of using the Alarm out connection to trigger an alarm. If you have a home alarm system that can take an input trigger, that’s great. If you are going to use BluIris, you do not need a home alarm system or a camera with alarm out connections. You can simply use BlueIris to play an alarm sound whenever it detects motion. Because BlueIris does the motion detection, all it needs is a video feed which the Hikvision DS-2CD2032F-IW can provide.

    Hope this helps,
    Daniel

  183. Hi Matt

    No personal experience with these, but here’s my opinion based on the specs.

    The DS-2CD2T42WD-I5 has true Wide Dynamic Range (120dB) whereas the DS-2CD2232-I5 has only digital WDR. This should give the former an edge in night time quality. The WD in the model name means the camera has true WDR.

    The inside camera – would you want to record audio? If so the DS-2CD2142FWD-I doesn’t support audio. You would need the -IS version of the camera for audio support.

    The NVR is exactly what I would go for, you will have the option to add more cameras in the future.

    Cheers
    Daniel

  184. Hello,

    Good point, since its an indoors camera I didn’t think about PoE. I had it in mind when I knocked the features rating down, but missed it in t he summary box.

    Well the free Amcrest app didn’t have push notifications when I reviewed it, Hikvision’s apps have this. But I must say when I tried the Amcrest free app, it did work as advertised and was stable. Anyway I use the tinyCAM Monitor Pro app as it is more powerful, flexible and lets me watch all the cameras I have simultaneously.

    Daniel

  185. Hi Dani,

    Thank you for the kind words! I would go for the Amcrest due to its Pan/Tilt feature, which will let me move and point the camera around the room. Since both cameras are on Synology’s official compatibility list, the only other consideration would be the price difference between the two.

    Hope this helps!

    Daniel

  186. Hi Steve,

    Thank you and glad that I could help. I have not been posting much lately due to our first baby but I will soon start updating the blog more often. In fact he is helping me type this reply 🙂

    Great question about video storage – I would say it mostly comes down to 3 reasons – personal preference, how motion detection works and the risk.
    1. Personal preference – I started out recording just motion detection clips to my NAS NVR, just as I do on the Hikvisions with SD cards inside. But sometimes I felt like I wanted to see a bit more of what happened before and after the motion detection event. An example – I sometimes get people ringing the doorbell and walking away. Now the Hikvision cameras record 30 seconds before and after the motion trigger. In the unlikely case that it is a burglar casing my house, I would like to know whether he came in a car, what colour the car was, hopefully a plate, and where he parked. With the 30 sec pre and post record, I may or may not get all of these details. But with the NAS recording 24/7, if I want more details than just the pre and post record images sent to me by the Hikvisions by email alert, I can log into the NAS and check out the full video. I am happy with the last 10 days of recording on the NAS for now (1.5 TB space allocated), but I can easily up it to 20-30 days by getting a bigger hard drive.

    2. How motion detection recording works – Since the NAS provides a pre-recording feature, it means that it is actually recording everything it is receiving from the camera, holding on to it for the duration of the pre-record (1 min in our example) in case motion is detected. If there is no alert it has no reason to save the clip and it deletes it. This happens on a rolling basis. My only concern with 24/7 recording was that I would wear out the hard drive quicker – but then if it is in any case recording everything for the pre-recording feature, I cannot do any more harm by recording 24/7. Hope this reasoning makes sense!

    3. Risk – If for some reason, the motion detection didn’t trigger, there is a risk that I may miss important footage. A small risk but worth considering anyhow.

    These are my thoughts on the matter 🙂

    Daniel

  187. Hi Scott,

    Thank you! I have only two cameras connected to the NAS so the included 2 licenses are fine for me.
    Yes, you can record the camera streams without an SD card in the camera. Any RTSP stream from an ONVIF compliant camera can be recorded by the QNAP NAS.

    Daniel

  188. Hello,

    Yes we are based in the UK. Have you seen this camera?
    http://amzn.to/293gyk5

    Daniel

  189. Thanks for posting back with your findings. I have never used EZVIZ – too paranoid to use cloud solutions.

    Daniel

  190. Thanks for pointing out this typo, I meant Lorex at the time. However newer Lorex cameras seem to be rebranded Dahuas.
    Daniel

  191. Hi Rob,

    Hikvision puts a -S in the camera model name if it either has two way sound inputs or it actually has an onboard microphone. Confusing, I know. The only way to know for sure is to look at the datasheet. None of the outdoor models have a built-in speaker, that’s for sure. For example, the 2142FWD-IWS and DS-2CD2742FWD-IS domes have audio in and out connectors, you have to add the actual mic and speaker. But the DS-2CD2532F-IWS has a built-in mic! Note all 3 examples have the -S. What I have noticed is that among outdoor cameras, the mini-domes tend to have on-board mics. Use the network camera comparison table here to find ones with the features you want.

    Daniel

  192. Hi Leo,

    If there is virtually no price difference, the 4MP may be the better choice. However from what I have read so far, there doesn’t seem to be practically much difference in image quality.

    Daniel

  193. Hi JF,

    Thanks for your kind comments. With my NAS I can access the actual recorded video files and copy them over. With the NVR, I would think this is not very straight forward, but I have not tried it.

    Daniel

  194. Hi, the DS-2CD2132F-IS dome camera or the DS-2CD2332-I with a 2.8 mm lens would be ideal – this is what I use!

    Daniel

  195. As far as we know, yes. We haven’t tried this but hey it’s an IP camera, it should work anywhere in the world.

  196. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your kind comment. You are right, there are two official versions of Hikvision cameras – the Chinese versions and the International verions. The cameras sold on AliExpress/EBay with the warning not to upgrade the firmware are the Chinese versions hacked to enable the “Multi-language” options. When you upgrade these cameras’ firmware, the language will return to Chinese. This is the main reason that the sellers do not advise upgrading the FW.

    There is also a chance that the cameras may get bricked if the wrong/incorrect FW is flashed onto them. This is why we recommend buying the international versions from Amazon or other reputed local distributors.

    VueVille

VueVille