Best IP Camera 2016 Recommendations

The 2017 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 I started researching home security and IP cameras, my goal was to find the best solutions to keep my family and home safe and secure. What started out as market research has turned into my passion and this blog!

From my experience of trying to make sense of it all, choosing the right security camera can seem very difficult. But it is something that we just can’t afford to get wrong, is it? So I strongly recommend taking the time to research and understand the various options you have before spending your hard earned money. I have taken all my notes and condensed it into this single buying guide which I hope you will find helpful.

My top 3 recommendations for outdoor security cameras are:

My top recommendation for an indoor security camera is the Amcrest IP2M-841B.

Best Outdoor IP Camera 2016 Recommendations: Summary

As part of a well-planned security system, outdoor security cameras are an effective deterrent against would-be intruders and, if God forbid the worst happens, immensely helpful in assisting the police tracking down troublemakers. Surveillance cameras are not just for companies and large organisations anymore. You can get yourself a good High Definition IP camera (also called a network camera) for not much money. Indeed, its never been better for those who are interested in home security without paying a monthly fee.

Many of these IP cameras work perfectly fine on their own without an NVR (Network Video Recorder) as they have built-in recording capabilities. They can also be easily integrated into either dedicated NVRs or PCs running surveillance software such as BlueIris.

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How this list is structured

There are so many ways of categorising IP cameras – we have chosen form factor as we believe this is one of the first decisions to make while choosing an IP camera. Bullet style, dome style or mini-dome, this will depend primarily on the location of installation and how visible you want the camera to be.

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Bullet style camera

The typical CCTV camera look which is not discreet and serves as a visible deterrent. Very flexible as it can be aimed after installation. However, it is not resistant to vandalism.

Best value: Amcrest IP2M-842E

Features

  • 2MP (1080p) CMOS image sensor
  • 72° Viewing Angle
  • 30m (98 feet) IR range
  • Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • ONVIF and RTSP protocols supported
  • IP67 weatherproof rating

PROS:
  • Very good video quality with 1080p Full HD resolution
  • SD card slot, PoE, WiFi optional
  • Simply superb value

CONS:
  • No audio/alarm connections

View on Amazon

This excellent little IP camera from Amcrest is hands-down the best value IP camera we could find. Don’t waste your time, money, and sanity buying cheap knock-offs for a few dollars less than this camera. On the hardware front, this Amcrest camera seems to be a rebranded Dahua which is great because Dahua is one of the top security camera manufacturers in the world. It supports PoE and this is our recommended way of powering the camera and data communication (use a PoE switch like this one). Amcrest software is very professional, and simply works. The other strong reason to go with Amcrest is their extensive US and European support networks. Check out our Amcrest Camera Guide to learn more about who Amcrest are and why we love their cameras.

If you prefer having the Wifi option as well, the Amcrest IP2M-842B is also available.

Great value: Hikvision DS-2CD2032F-IW (Also re-branded as Swann)

Features

  • 3MP CMOS image sensor
  • Up to 79° Viewing Angle
  • 30m (98 feet) IR range
  • Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE), Wi-Fi
  • On-board storage (SD card)
  • ONVIF and RTSP protocols supported
  • IP66 weatherproof rating

PROS:
  • 3MP, excellent image quality
  • SD card slot & WiFi
  • Superb value

CONS:
  • No audio/alarm connections

View on Amazon

Hikvision is a manufacturer that many of us venturing into home security may not have heard of. However, rest assured this company has produced some brilliant cameras and this little bullet camera has been one of their best-selling ever. Have a look at our Hikvision product guide to learn more about their product range.

As our first IP camera purchase, we were surprised at how much camera you get for the money with the DS-2CD2032F-IW. With a 3MP Sony sensor, it has very good image quality, both during the day and at night. The full metal body is of solid construction and comes with a choice of lens sizes. The Sony image sensor contributes to stellar low light performance. Adding just a network storage location lets you use the built-in NVR feature if you are aiming at a single-camera setup initially. While it has POE and an SD card slot, it does not have audio or alarm features. Also available is the DS-2CD2032-I which is slightly cheaper at as it doesn’t have an SD card slot or WiFi. If you need higher resolution, there is a 4MP model available. See how you can set up motion detection alerts for any Hikvision camera.

Great value: Dahua IPC-HFW4300S (Also re-branded as Lorex)

Features

  • 3MP CMOS image sensor
  • Up to 97.6° Viewing Angle
  • 30m (98 feet) IR range
  • Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • ONVIF and RTSP protocols supported
  • IP66 weatherproof rating

PROS:
  • 3MP, good image quality
  • Good value

CONS:
  • No audio/alarm connections
  • No SD card slot

View on Amazon

Dahua is another respected manufacturer of high quality surveillance equipment. The 3MP Dahua IPC-HFW4300S is similar to the Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I above in technical specifications with POE and no audio or alarm connections, but is considerably longer in size. Even though it uses a different ‘Aptina’ sensor, image quality is very close too, with the Hikvision said to have the edge. The Dahua however has been reported to have slightly better low light performance. The eco-sensor lets the camera operate with just 5.5W of power vs. 7.5W of the Hikvision bullet. Both cameras have been reviewed highly favourably by users on the popular internet forums, so the buying decision can really be boiled down to the rest of your CCTV landscape and price. Also consider the IPC-HFW5300C which adds a 2.7-12mm varifocal lens, audio/alarm connections and an SD card slot.

Full-featured: Hikvision DS-2CD2632F-IS

Features

  • 3MP CMOS image sensor
  • 2.8-12mm varifocal zoom lens
  • 105.2°-31.9° Viewing Angle
  • 30m (98 feet) IR range
  • Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • On-board storage (SD card)
  • ONVIF and RTSP protocols supported
  • IP66 weatherproof rating

PROS:
  • 3MP, excellent image quality
  • Varifocal lens
  • Audio and alarm connections
  • SD card slot

CONS:
  • None

View on Amazon

This 3MP Hikvision model has a unique feature – it has variable focal lengths from 2.8mm to 12mm. While this gives you immense flexibility in camera placement and testing, it does however push the price up but the camera remains great value at current prices. POE, audio and alarm inputs and onboard storage are standard.

High-end: Vivotek IB8168

Features

  • 2MP CMOS image sensor
  • 97° Viewing Angle
  • Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • On-board storage (SD card)
  • ONVIF and RTSP protocols supported
  • IP66 weatherproof rating

PROS:
  • Superior image quality
  • SD card slot

CONS:
  • No audio or alarm connections
  • No InfraRed night vision

View on Amazon

Vivotek is a Taiwanese brand and as such their cameras are priced higher than the Chinese manufacturers such as Hikvision or Dahua. There is a large range of cameras available from this high quality manufacturer. The Vivotek IB8168 is a 2MP model with POE and a built-in SD card slot. A 3MP version is also available, the Vivotek IP8371E model which boasts 30fps at 3MP resolution which is uncommon.

Also consider: Amcrest Qcam 3MP Bullet

PROS:
  • Good reviews from users
  • Amcrest is on the Blueiris compatibility list

CONS:
  • No audio or alarm connections
  • No SD card slot

View on Amazon

Amcrest is an American company from the same team that founded the popular Foscam brand. So these guys are not exactly new to the CCTV game and are already creating a name for themselves with excellent customer service and support. The Amcrest Qcam 3MP bullet has very positive reviews on Amazon.

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Dome style cameras

These cameras are designed to be vandal-proof and are also a good deterrent.

Best value: Hikvision DS-2CD2132F-I(W)(S)


PROS:
  • 3MP, good image quality
  • Audio & alarm connections
  • Onboard storage

CONS:
  • Image quality not as good as the Hikvision bullet
  • IR bleed experienced by some users

View on Amazon

A dome camera is ideal for areas that may be vulnerable to vandals/damage. The DS-2CD2132F-IS dome comes in two flavours, with and without WiFi. However, we do not recommend using the optional WiFi as it is less reliable than a wired ethernet connection and prone to dropped frames. This camera has POE, onboard SD storage, audio and alarm inputs/outputs. Image quality is nearly as good as the Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I bullet above, but there is a noticeable difference. Some users had reported IR bleed in this model’s predecessor but our extensive testing reveals that this is no longer an issue. See how you can set up motion detection alerts for any Hikvision.

Great value: Dahua IPC-HDBW4300E


PROS:
  • 3MP, good image quality
  • Audio & alarm connections
  • Onboard storage
  • Energy-efficient

CONS:
  • Image quality reportedly not as good as the Hikvision dome

View on Amazon

This 3MP Dahua has good image quality and supports POE and audio/alarm connections. It also has a local storage option in the form of an SD card slot. It is also very efficient and consumes just 4W in operation vs. the 7.5W of the Hikvision dome. Also consider the Dahua IPC-HDBW5300 which has a 2.7-12mm varifocal lens.

Full-featured: Vivotek FD8167 SNV

PROS:
  • Superior image quality
  • PIR motion sensor
  • Varifocal lens
  • Audio & alarm connections
  • 30m IR range
  • Onboard storage

CONS:
  • None

View on Amazon

The 2MP Vivotek FD8167 has two very interesting features – firstly, it is an outdoor camera that has a built-in PIR sensor. This means you can avoid one of the biggest hassles with automatic motion detection – false positives. Using the PIR sensor should greatly reduce false notifications and thus make it likelier that you will pay attention to motion detection alerts. Of course you can modify any camera with an alarm input to achieve the same result but its just easier if it has this function out of the box. Secondly, it is varifocal (2.8mm – 12mm), greatly increasing the flexibility of installation location and it supports POE and audio/alarm connections as standard. The SNV models such as this one, have increased IR range of up to 30 metres.

High-end: Axis M3005-V

PROS:
  • Superior image quality
  • Audio alarm connections
  • Onboard storage, supports edge recording

CONS:
  • None

View on Amazon

Axis is the Swedish company that invented the network camera in 1996. As it is a European company, you can expect prices to be higher but what sets Axis apart from the Asian manufacturers is the quality of their products and their global support network. The Axis M3005-V is a 2MP camera with a tiny footprint, POE and a built-in SD card for storage.

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Turret/Mini-dome style cameras

The best of both worlds – easy to aim and set up, and somewhat resistant to vandalism.

Best value: Hikvision DS-2CD2332-I

PROS:
  • Great image quality
  • Bright EXIR LEDs

CONS:
  • No audio/alarm features
  • No onboard storage

View on Amazon

Turret or mini-dome style cameras have the advantage of being able to use EXIR LEDs instead of the classic ring style LEDs. EXIR LEDs last longer and are brighter thus contributing to the higher IR ranges on these models. This 3MP turret is a big favourite for its great value and small size. It supports POE but does not have audio, alarm connections or any on-board storage.

Great value: Dahua IPC-HDW4300C

PROS:
  • Good image quality
  • Bright EXIR LEDs
  • Built-in microphone
  • Low power consumption

CONS:
  • No alarm features
  • No onboard storage
  • Max. bitrate only 8Mbps

View on Amazon

This 3MP Dahua is similar to the Hikvision DS-2CD2332-I turret above but has a built-in mic as well which is great if you need the audio feature. It also claims to use just 4.5W of power vs. the Hikvision’s 7.5W. However, it supports only a rather average maximum bitrate of 8Mbps vs. the 16Mbps of the Hikvision.

Full-featured: Hikvision DS-2CD2532F-I(W)(S)

PROS:
  • Extremely compact and discreet
  • Very good low-light performance
  • SD card slot

CONS:
  • Weak IR LED illumination

View on Amazon

This 3MP camera has a very discreet look and very good low light performance. It is perfect for those locations where you don’t want your camera to stick out like a sore thumb. It supports POE and also has an SD card slot for internal storage.

High-end: Vivotek FD8166

PROS:
  • Extremely small footprint
  • Very good low-light performance
  • Built-in microphone
  • SD card slot

CONS:
  • No alarm features
  • No on-board IR LEDs

View on Amazon

This Vivotek camera comes with a 2MP sensor and is highly rated for its low light performance. It is also difficult to spot due to its tiny footprint of just 90 millimetres. It supports POE, has an SD card slot for internal storage and even manages a built-in microphone!

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Indoor security camera

These are designed to be used in indoor locations and may not be waterproof or weather-resistant. They also tend to have 2 way audio and PIR based motion detection.

Best Value: Amcrest ProHD 1080p Pan-Tilt Indoor Security Camera

PROS:
  • Good image quality and 1080p resolution
  • Very clear and loud two-way audio with mic and speaker built-in
  • WiFi and RJ-45 Ethernet port
  • IR Leds provide night vision capability
  • 360 degree Pan-Tilt feature
  • Support for SD card, NAS, NVR, FTP and Cloud storage locations
  • Very good value for money

CONS:
  • Doesn’t have Power over Ethernet feature
  • Smartphone apps could be better – free Amcrest apps lack basic features such as push notifications

Check Price on Amazon

The Amcrest IP2M-841B did very well in our hands-on review and I like it so much that it is now serving as our full-time baby monitor. It has a network port, WiFi, built-in InfraRed LEDs for very good night vision, loud and clear 2-way audio with mic and speaker, built-in SD card local storage, and very good low-light performance. A non-WiFi PoE-enabled IP2M-841EB version is also available.

Read our full review of this wonderful IP camera below:

Hands-on Review: Amcrest ProHD 1080p Wireless Indoor IP PTZ Camera (IP2M-841)

Are you looking for a reliable wireless security camera that can act as a baby monitor, a nanny camera, or just to talk ...

User rating:
8.4

Great Value: Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-I(W)

PROS:
  • Great image quality
  • Good low-light performance
  • Bright EXIR LED
  • Built-in microphone and speaker
  • SD card slot
  • PIR sensor
  • Alarm In/Out connections
  • True 2-way audio (full-duplex)

CONS:
  • No Pan-Tilt-Zoom

View on Amazon

This 3MP Hikvision cube is the best balance of image quality, features and price for an indoor IP camera. It has POE, WiFi, built-in EXIR LEDs for IR illumination, true 2-way audio with speaker, built-in SD storage, a PIR sensor for accurate motion detection, good low-light performance and looks good too. A non-WiFi enabled DS-2CD2432F-I version is also available in the US, but is only marginally cheaper.

Full-featured: Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-I(W)

The Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-I(W) above has all the features you will ever need for an indoor camera and so gets this title as well.

Also consider: Samsung SmartCam HD Pro / SNH-P6410BN

PROS:
  • Good image quality
  • Built-in microphone and speaker
  • SD card slot
  • 128 degree wide-angle lens
  • Push notifications on mobile app

CONS:
  • Default remote monitoring cloud based
  • No PIR sensor
  • Not POE enabled
  • No alarm connections
  • Audio is only one-way at a time (half-duplex)
  • 11W power consumption is high

View on Amazon

This 2MP Samsung camera is the consumer electronics giant’s first foray into home security and in our opinion is one of the better mainstream options. It should have good daytime image quality based on the Sony 2MP sensor, and supports 2-way audio with a built-in mic and speaker just like the Hikvision. It has an SD card slot for local storage and built-in IR illumination, so night visibility should not be compromised. POE would have been a nice to have but is not critical considering it is an indoor camera. There is also no PIR sensor which the Hikvision has. It should be noted that the default remote monitoring website is set up on Samsung’s servers so is not great from a security and privacy standpoint. However, integration with 3rd party NVRs is possible and this camera is listed on BlueIris Software’s compatibility list.

High-end: Axis M1025

PROS:
  • Excellent image quality
  • Great low-light performance
  • Built-in HDMI port
  • SD card slot
  • True 2-way audio (full-duplex)

CONS:
  • No PIR sensor
  • No alarm connections
  • No on-board IR LEDs

View on Amazon

The Axis M1025 cube camera sports a 2MP sensor giving upto 1080p Full HD resolution and has an SD card slot as well. An interesting feature is the on-board mini HDMI port that lets you hook up the camera directly to your HDTV.

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What about Dropcam/Nest etc.?

Dropcam, Arlo (a Netgear brand), Nest, Oco etc. are not our first choice because they are mostly designed to tie you into their monthly cloud recording/home monitoring plans. So while they may seem cheaper initially, the operating costs add up quickly. These devices may be simpler to set up and maintain as most of them run off the cloud, so may be the best solution for those who want a plug and play option. But if you are prepared for a slightly more hands-on experience, we think more robust, standalone, local-recording solutions that are in your full control and ensure total privacy are the way to go (anything you put on the cloud is open to hacking and potential misuse – remember the iCloud hack or the ransomware attacks?)

If you must however go for one of these mainstream solutions, make sure you go for one that offers the local storage option instead of a pure cloud storage approach. We echo the advice in the articles above:

The only real way to keep sensitive data secure is not put it online in the first place - Chris Boyd Click To Tweet

Here is a quick overview of the most popular cloud based security cameras:

Dropcam (now acquired by Nest):

Local storage: No, cloud storage only (Paid subscription required for video archives of any length)

Highest resolution: 1080p

Subscription: Paid subscription required per camera for video archives

Oco:

Local storage: No, cloud storage only (Paid subscription required for video archives of any length)

Highest resolution: 720p

Subscription: Paid subscription required for video archives.

Arlo (battery powered cameras from Netgear):

Local storage: No, cloud storage only (Paid subscription required for video archives)

Highest resolution: 720p

Subscription: Paid subscription required per camera for video archives.

Belkin Netcam:

Local storage: No, cloud storage only (Paid subscription required for video archives)

Highest resolution: 720p

Subscription:Paid subscription required per camera for video archives.

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Choosing the best IP camera for your needs

The myriad of IP camera brands, models and jargon can trip up even the most determined shopper, but we are here to help. Your choice of a camera depends on the area you want to observe, the location of installation, and specific features required such as onboard storage, motion detection method, audio etc.

In any case the camera should produce video footage that is good enough to positively identify a suspect – the threshold for a positive identification required by the police and courts is much higher than what you might assume it to be.

There are a few minimum requirements for an IP camera if you want a good quality system that can easily identify a suspect:

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Why these particular IP Cameras?

Best IP Camera 2016 Recommendations - VueVille.com

We have deliberately avoided the hundreds of dodgy brands that make up the ‘most popular’ lists of Amazon and the like, for one simple reason – when you are spending your hard earned money on something to protect your family and your home, you want it to be rock solid when it comes to reliability and performance.

What you do not want is having to spend countless hours setting it up, or troubleshooting to get it up and running only to then experience unreliable performance. An IP camera should mostly be a set and forget item in your network. It needs to give you the confidence that it’s running in the background and will pay for itself, if God forbid, you need to provide video evidence to the police.

If you are currently using a generic IP camera, you have probably not yet experienced the incredible power and advanced features that quality IP cameras bring. Many of us have gone down that route, trying something cheap and cheerful only to find that for some things in life you get what you pay for.

So we recommend only reliable manufacturers with a track record of quality products. We have used some of these IP cameras, and our recommendations are backed up by the real life experience of thousands of users on the popular Internet forums.

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Technical terms or IP Camera Jargon

Here’s a quick overview of the technical terms you will find in this article:

IP camera: Internet Protocol or network camera as opposed to an analog camera.

Megapixels (MP) : A measure of resolution, we recommend going for at least 2MP (1080p), and 3MP is quickly becoming very popular as prices are steadily falling. Even 4MP cameras are now available at affordable prices but we suggest 3MP as the optimum balance of detail and storage requirements.

Frames Per Second (FPS): The higher the FPS, smoother the motion will be. Most cameras offer 20fps at 3MP and 30fps at 2MP resolution. We recommend you set your cameras to record at a minimum of 10 fps to capture adequate detail.

POE-enabled: Power over Ethernet, the recommended way to provide power and data connection to the camera over a regular ethernet cable. The easiest way to achieve this is by using a POE enabled switch such as the highly recommended TP-Link TL-SG1008P 8-port gigabit switch we reviewed this year. This saves you having to run a separate power cable and thus improves reliability and troubleshooting.

Lens focal length (mm): The focal length of the lens which is expressed in millimetres (mm) affects the angle of the coverage area. For example the standard lens is 4mm, 2.8mm is great for wide-angle and 6mm onwards is great for a zoomed-in view. Of course some cameras have variable focal lengths (varifocal) and hence give the greatest flexibility but at added cost.

PIR sensor: Passive Infrared sensor (PIR) – a method of detecting changes in heat in a scene and thus detecting motion. The advantage is that it is far more accurate than image based motion detection, and thus cuts down the number of false alerts.

Network Video Recorder: A device that records IP camera streams usually to its build-in hard drive(s). The main advantage of using an NVR is that it enables you to record your cameras as well as bring all your cameras together in a single multi-channel live-view screen that you can access locally within your network or remotely.

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Is there an alternative to cloud connected cameras that can still be accessed over the Internet?

Definitely and that’s precisely what we have at our home. We have a few Hikvision IP cameras hooked up to a TP-Link TL-SG1008P 8-port gigabit POE switch. These cameras are individually set up to send email alerts on motion detection. We also have a QNAP TS-231+ Network Attached Storage system running Surveillance Station that records these IP cameras 24/7 365 days a year.

For enhanced security, we remotely access our home network only over a VPN connection – the QNAP NAS acts as a VPN server. You can also set up a VPN server on your router (such as the Asus RT-AC68U) if it supports this function. When we are away from home, our Android phones, tablets and Windows laptops can connect to the QNAP over VPN and so access the entire home network including the Hikvisions. This lets me access a multi-channel live view of all our cameras (either via the QNAP’s Android app or any other Android IP camera app such as our personal choice tinyCamMonitor Pro). This system is secure and reliable. We can optionally back up the recordings to the cloud.

The NAS and VPN are optional, you could simply port forward your IP cameras to your router and achieve the same multi-channel view on your phone or computer. However anybody on the Internet could easily attempt a brute force hack attempt on your IP cameras. Our own IP cameras were attacked in this manner and that’s why we got the QNAP NAS with a view to securely remote access our home network and IP cameras. Read more about our DIY home security setup here.

We hope this IP camera roundup has helped you to choose the best IP security camera for your needs. If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

A quick note: Notice the lack of ads on our blog? This article contains links to Amazon instead. Reason is I don’t like ads and I’m sure you don’t either but we still have to pay the bills. Moreover linking to Amazon ensures a distraction-free experience for you, my dear reader. So if you click on one of these links and then purchase something from Amazon, I will receive a fee for referring you to Amazon. This goes towards the costs of hosting and running this website and does not affect you in any way, promise! Thanks for your understanding and I hope I have been of some help to you today!

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31 Comments
  1. Reply
    Nav November 20, 2015 at 2:42 am

    very useful article, i am going to go with value of the hikvision dome and turret cameras. do you recommend the hikvision nvr’s? i may in the future, change to a dedicated computer with blue iris, but for now, was hoping i can get up and running easily with a hikvision nvr also.

    • Reply
      VueVille November 20, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Hi, thanks for your comment. Yes, we would definitely recommend the Hikvision NVRs. The 8 channel POE-enabled DS-7608NI-E2/8P model is the best balance of flexibility and value. The 4 channel model DS-7604NI-SE/P is not much cheaper. If you buy Hikvision cameras as well, the setup becomes quick and easy as thats what the NVR is primarily designed for. Interestingly, the Hikvision NVRs work with a number of IP cameras from other manufacturers also. Make sure you buy compatible hard drives. Between the 2 popular brands, we recommend WD over Seagate because WD has a far better reputation for quality. You can also configure the NVR such that you can remotely access it over the internet and live-view or review recordings. When you decide to go for the BlueIris setup, you can use the NVR as a second recording device, thus giving you redundant storage as well.

      Hope this helps, and just ask us if you have any more questions!

  2. Reply
    Leo June 2, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Would you recommend Hikvision DS-2CD2342WD-I instead of DS-2CD2332-I? It’s a bit newer and in theory has better image quality. The price is only marginally higher.

    • Reply
      Daniel June 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      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

  3. Reply
    Simon August 3, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Hi,

    I just need two cameras to cover my area of interest and don’t really care about picking up audio. However I would like to link a siren or light to my system as a further deterrent to would be intruders. I was thinking about going with your recommended Hikvision DS-2cd2032f-iw but it says no alarm connections. What does this exactly mean? …I have a spare computer from which I was thinking about using Blue Iris instead of a NVR.

    Any thoughts

    Cheers

    • Reply
      Daniel August 3, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      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

  4. Reply
    Nhino A. Padilla August 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Hello Daniel,

    I am planning to puchase and install a DIY IP Cameras at home wherein I can closely monitor wherever whenver I had a chance to do so due to the nature of my seafaring career.
    I prefer to install both good for outdoor and indoor designs, with a day and night capability, android ready easy to install like a plug and play option. Very good video quality is also highly preferred. Could you recommend me any of these brands which will just fit to my midrange budget not necessarily going to high end ones.

    Many Thanks,

    Nhino

  5. Reply
    Alex September 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Nothing about fisheye camera ? *disappointed*

  6. Reply
    Marco September 18, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Hi Daniel,

    Very informative list of cameras and nice write up!

    I am looking to set up a couple of cameras at home and link to Blue Iris or something similar on my NAS via POE. There is just one missing bit of information that I can’t seem to find anywhere on the web including your review and I was hope you might have an opinion on it. It’s in regards to the connection terminals and the physical installation of the cameras. I was mainly looking at Axis and Hikvision. They both seem to have a lot of specs on their pages and good access to drivers. The only thing is that Hikvision are a bit blurry on how the physical connection works. I think most of Hikvision’s cameras have a lead coming out that splits to RJ45 and power-in and the Axis’s cams have a full RJ45 socket. I don’t know if you can remove the extension part on the Hikvision though… it seems that if I want to feed a small RJ45 through a wall or ceiling and hook it up that with the Hikvision I need to somehow tuck all of the connection sockets into the wall too, which seems a bit annoying for solid walls… is that right? Would be very nice if you could maybe talk from your experience.

    Also I know from a friend that after someone broke into their shop the thief cut all of the cables off and stole the NVR. If someone did that to the Hikvision cam then I assume they would be much harder to repair.

    Kind Regards,
    Marco

    • Reply
      Daniel September 18, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      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

  7. Reply
    RLT September 18, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Hi:

    Thanks for the article. Which Hikvision cameras do you use with the QNAP? I have the same NAS but the info I could find on compatible cameras for the TS231+ doesn’t suggest the Hikvision. Any other quality but low cost cameras you suggest for the QNAP?

    thanks

    • Reply
      Daniel September 18, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      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

  8. Reply
    Jordan Teller September 24, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    I’m looking for a system that can do both PoE wired and also can handle wireless cameras all in one NVR. Anyone every found anything like that?

    • Reply
      Daniel September 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      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

  9. Reply
    Frank October 22, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Hi Daniel.
    I am looking for the NVR POE with 4 camera security system must be 1080 or over. Do you have any branch to recommend? Thanks

  10. Reply
    Frank October 25, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks, Daniel.
    Do you know 3MP Amcrest kit have available in 3 cameras. I’m looking to spend little low than 650.00
    and is their software support for Ipad and Iphone?

  11. Reply
    Frank October 25, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Daniel
    I found 3MP from Qcam with affordable price for me but not sure about QCAM branch are they good? Thanks

    http://amzn.to/2ghyldA

    • Reply
      Daniel October 25, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      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

  12. Reply
    Frank October 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks Daniel
    I found one of the Lorex look like it affordable price for me. May I have opinion about this system?
    Thanks Daniel

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lorex-LNR1182TC4-8Ch-2TB-NVR-Flir-Cloud-Connect-with-4-x-1080p-HD-Cameras-/252577416595?hash=item3acec98593:g:FqwAAOSwZJBX-upN

    • Reply
      Daniel October 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      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

  13. Reply
    Gio November 7, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Hi, looking to setup 4-6 cameras in a 12kish space of our business. Starting from scratch with not a ton of existing knowledge on network cameras beyond what ive read within your fantastic resources here! We were initially thinking of going with a simple analog system such as the Amcrest 720p; but would also like to have a few recommendations on hikvision domes or turrents if possible. If we go with hikvision, we do plan on incorporating an NVR as well.

  14. Reply
    Jose November 8, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Hi,

    I purchased Hikvision dome cameras and the NVR. When I plug in the camera to the NVR, it detects the camera but gives me an error. “Username and password is not correct”. How can I fix this?

    • Reply
      Daniel November 8, 2016 at 10:33 am

      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

  15. Reply
    Rich December 31, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Great post man. So good I want to be certain you get a kickback on my purchase. My budget is about $600 but I have room to go higher. I want POE & an 8 channel is fine. Thinking of running 4-6 cameras. I prefer a kit as a single purchase all in one. But if you don’t have a amazon link for a nice complete pkg I can buy them separately. I just literally no nada about this stuff. I read all your info but I’m unsure of myself as far as ordering everything & not leaving something out. Would like to have the uncertainty removed. All cameras will be outdoor btw. Thank you

    • Reply
      Daniel January 12, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      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

  16. Reply
    Rich December 31, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I just saw your reply to Daniel above. There is quite a big price difference between those two systems. $400 if I’m not mistaken. cam you elaborate a bit as to why it’s such a big difference please. Thanks

  17. Reply
    Kevin June 26, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Hi, looking to setup a home system and will be using HikVision cameras since I have a local supplier. What is the minimum resolution needed in order to read a vehicle’s license plate at night from about 40′ away at about a 45 degree angle? Also, I have a Qnap 659 Pro+ with about 8 terabytes of storage so I certainly want to leverage that for storage, but not sure if Surveillance Station is going to work for me because I want the ability to see live images on my iPhone. If I understand correctly, I can using Hik’s mobile software to view each camera, but I would have to setup port forwarding for each camera for it to work….. is that correct? Do I have the ability to setup static IP’s for each camera? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Daniel June 29, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      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.

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