Hikvision Network Cameras Guide 2018

Network or IP security cameras

A network camera (often called an IP camera) is basically a CCTV or security camera that has a computer built-in. Most network cameras can independently monitor, detect and send (push) notifications to computers in a home network, or on the Internet, mobile phones, smart phones or any email address. Some can also record footage locally to SD cards or to Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives, upload snapshots to FTP and much more. In a sense they perform the function of a camera and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or Network Video Recorder (NVR) combination.

A quick note: This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and then purchase something, we may receive a fee. This does not cost you anything extra. Also note that Hikvision and Dahua do not consider certain platforms including Amazon as an authorized seller platform. So if you need warranty support please purchase from authorized resellers of Hikvision and Dahua products in your country.

Hikvision – who are they?

Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd. popularly known as simply Hikvision, is a Chinese surveillance product company started in 2001. It is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It claims to be the world’s largest supplier of video surveillance products and solutions including security cameras. Indeed, many of the popular security camera brands (such as Swann and older Lorex) are rebranded Hikvision products. Hikvision is a name that is quickly becoming popular in the home security and surveillance market owing mainly to their inexpensive but reliable and high performance network (or IP) security cameras and Network Video Recorders (NVR). In a crowded market with names such as Dahua and Foscam, Hikvision stands out as a great first choice for a network camera.

Network camera range

Hikvision divides their network cameras into three product lines, rather interestingly called 2-Line, 4-Line and 6-Line. Please note that these terms have nothing to do with the analog resolution term ‘lines’ (TVL). Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera models are not included in the scope of this guide, as they are more expensive and probably not of interest to the average homeowner.

What can these cameras do? As a standalone device, they do not need a computer to function. So if you are looking for an inexpensive, simple, energy bill friendly CCTV solution that you can monitor through email, FTP, or from your smartphone, without having to run a computer 24/7 the Hikvision cameras are perfect.

Model naming convention

The full Hikvision IP camera naming convention is:
‘DS-2CD’ ‘1234’ F/H/WD – I (A) (H) (P) (S) (W) (Z)

  • A fixed prefix:
    • ‘DS-’, then
    • ‘2CD’, then
  • 4 digits:
    • product line number 2,4,or 6
    • a digit from 0 to 5 representing the type of IP camera.
    • a digit representing the number of megapixels.
    • a digit representing – currently unknown.
  • The next set of alphabets of F, H or WD indicate the presence of certain features:
    • F indicates Flash memory. This means that the model has the on-board flash storage option. Remember you will have to add a suitable SD-Card.
    • H indicates a built-in heater.
    • WD indicates Wide Dynamic Range (WDR).
  • The suffices are:
    • I indicates a true IR cut filter with auto day/night switch.
    • A indicates Auto back focus.
    • H indicates HD resolution (1080p).
    • P indicates P-iris.
    • S indicates Sound or what Hikvision calls Smart Audio Detection – 2 way audio using either inputs or a mic and a built-in speaker as in some indoor models.
    • W indicates WiFi.
    • Z indicates a Motorized VF lens.
    • The last digit indicates the range of the camera infrared LEDs. Model specific details can be found below.

For the Hikvision NVR model naming convention, check our detailed NVR Buying Guide.

Product lines

We have grouped Hikvision’s network camera range so that you can easily find the model you are looking for.


Fixed focus / Standard IR LED

MegapixelsFixed BulletFixed DomeMini Dome / Turret / Eye-ball
DS-2CD2E20F (-W)

Fixed focus / EXIR LED

MegapixelsBullet (30M Range Dual EXIR)Bullet (50M Range Dual EXIR)Bullet (80M Range Dual EXIR)Mini Dome / Turret / Eye-ballCube

As one of our readers pointed out, the last digit in the DS-2CD2T32-I3 / DS-2CD2T32-I5 / DS-2CD2T32-I8 models represents the claimed range of the infrared LEDs:
I3 = 30 metres
I5 = 50 metres
I8 = 80 metres

Variable focus / Standard IR LED



Box camera

MPStandardWDRLow Light

Bullet camera

MPStandardWDRLow Light

Indoor Dome / Standard IR LED

MPStandardWDRLow Light

Outdoor Dome / Standard IR LED

MPStandardWDRLow Light


Ultra lowlight

Ultra lowlightFisheye IRCovertIntelligent
3MP-Not launched yet-Not launched yet

Where can I buy them?

Hikvision network cameras have good reviews on the Internet and we you can check out our reviews of the Hikvision 2CD-2132F-IS and the Hikvision 2CD-2542FWD-IS. The cameras are officially allowed to be sold via designated distributors only, however it is often cheaper to source them directly from China via AliExpress or via Amazon.


Check price on your local Amazon site

As always on an online marketplace, please ensure you are buying from a genuine seller.

More resources

Full product catalogue (PDF)
Hikvision Web catalogue

Daniel Ross

Daniel Ross

I am Daniel and VueVille is where I document my DIY smart home journey. I focus on 100% local-processing and local-storage because that’s the only way to secure my family’s safety and privacy. Oh and I don’t like monthly subscriptions!

  1. Hi,

    I was wondering what it means if a letter in the end is in brackets

  2. Hello,
    I’m new to the home security system . I’m building a new home so I wanted to put a couple of smart tracking cameras up. I have it narrowed down to 2 cameras that I have in mind, the first one is the hikvision ds-2de4a425iw-de and the other was the ds-2de4a225iw-de, I guessing they both have smart tracking also will the NVR ds-7608ni-12/8p series 8- channel 12mp NVR with 4tb of storage handle the two smart tracking cameras?
    Kindest regards

  3. Brilliant site! Great info/advice

    I’m looking at cameras for outdoor applications. Need 3 longer range cameras and was thinking 2CD2T42WD-I8 with a suitable lens to capture the desired angle. What day time range do you think this would achieve (image doesn’t need to be perfect at extent)? Im hoping to achieve 100m+.

    Also looking at the 2CD2342WD for shorter range coverage (30-40m). Must be good at nights. Is this the right camera? Don’t need audio. I assume the EXIR feature is something i need?

    Will run the cameras via 230V power and send image to NVR via wifi… which Wifi transmitter / receiver setup would you recommend? I will need to order the power cables as additional… how do they plug into the camera if they don’t come as standard?


    • 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.

  4. Hi,

    Glad to have found this site !!! – I’m learning what is needed for HickVision or similar system.

    Do the PoE cameras take audio back to the NVR via the RJ45 ethernet connector?

    • 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.

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