5 Best NVR Security System for Homes & Businesses (2020 Review)

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Digital Video Recorder and NVR

You should always prioritize home and business security by installing the best NVR security system. With this system in place, you can monitor possible intruders or shoplifters.

Here, we enumerate five of the best security systems we found in the market. We discuss the different features, pros, and cons.


#1. Reolink 4K PoE Security Camera System

Reolink 4K PoE Security Camera System, 4pcs Wired 8MP Outdoor PoE IP...

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Reolink PoE NVR security system composes of high-quality cameras that can record 4k resolution videos in 20fps. It comes with a 2TB hard disk drive, four cameras, CAT5 cables, and other essential accessories.

The cameras have motion detection and night vision functionality, which can save storage space. The night vision coverage can reach up to 100ft. With this wide range, the camera can record crystal clear videos even in low light conditions.

The Reolink 4k PoE NVR security camera system is a wired type. Thus, you’ll need to make a careful and a bit of planning a layout.

Despite the system being a wired connection, it is a plug-and-play installation, and you can do it yourself even for a first-timer. A bit of reading the manual and a few tutorial videos, you can install it within a day.

The system doesn’t include a monitoring device. However, you can connect it to your laptop or any monitor with HDMI and VGA connections.

The system is upgradable up to 8TB, which is almost one to two months’ worth of recorded videos. This capacity is in the assumption that you used a maximum resolution with four installed IP cameras and H.264 codec. The actual number of video archives may still vary.

The NVR system has eight channels so that you can add 4 four more cameras. The quality of the video recording doesn’t change, but the capacity of the HDD to record videos decreases.

You can access your system remotely via a Reolink App using WiFi connectivity. You can view or download some video clips through the network video recorder.

Another feature is synchronous playback that allows you to view videos, real-time. With its microphone, you can also hear the sounds.

Features we like:
  • Upgradeable in storage for more recorded videos
  • A scalable network video recorder system where you can add more cameras for broader coverage
  • Supports multiple cameras with different MP resolutions for a more budget-friendly system
  • Remote access with an app for a real-time viewing anywhere, anytime
  • Three recording mode (continuous, motion detection, and scheduled) for flexibility and enhanced security camera systems

Features we do not like:
  • Incompatibility of other cameras for live streaming

 


#2. Hiseeu Wireless Security Camera System 8CH NVR

[Expandable 8CH] Hiseeu Wireless Security Camera System with 1TB Hard Drive...

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Hiseeu Wireless NVR Security Camera System is an 8-channel NVR system. It has a 1TB hard drive, pre-installed upon purchase. Despite the low storage capacity, your system saves space by recording in a motion detection mode.

This NVR system comes with 4 IP cameras, IP66 weatherproof certified. Thus, you won’t need a cable connection between the cameras and the network video recorder (NVR).

The NVR camera system has a 9DB extension antenna for an enhanced WiFi transmission, best for cameras installed outdoors. Your security camera system will never miss essential video records.

The system isn’t wire-free because the NVR still needs cables such as power adapter and cables for connection to the router. The wireless here is the transmission of the camera to the NVR.

Colorful and vivid, this system uses the H.265 codec to record videos, which has a higher compression rate compared to h.264. It means your NVR system can record more videos. Thus, it will take some time before you’ll need to upgrade the hard drive or delete video archives.

With a 1080P HD resolution, video recordings are crystal clear. Cameras will continue to capture bright as day videos even on low light conditions because of its night vision functionality.

When the camera loses video recording, the system triggers an alarm and sends an alert to your phone. This functionality requires setting up the NVR for sending and your phone for receiving notifications.

Unfortunately, the system doesn’t support live viewing from your phone. Available modes include remote access and playback for recorded videos.

Features we like:
  • Uses h.265 recording system for more recorded videos, saving storage space in the process
  • Night vision for continuous recording of crystal clear videos even on low light conditions
  • Video loss trigger alarm to notify you for cameras not recording videos
  • External antenna for enhanced wireless transmission of videos
  • Upgradeable up to 8 cameras and 6TB hard drive

Features we do not like:
  • System alarm might be too sensitive sensing false alarms


#3. HeimVision HM241 Wireless Security Camera System

HeimVision HM241 1080P Wireless Security Camera System, 8CH NVR 4Pcs...

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The Heimvision NVR security camera system has four 960p resolution cameras. The resolution is quite low, but still, the cameras can record clear videos.

The system doesn’t have a pre-installed hard drive, so you can only use it for live monitoring. However, you can later add a hard drive of up to 6TB capacity for recording video clips.

If you aren’t satisfied with the clarity of the cameras, you can always upgrade the system. The NVR supports 1080p cameras, and you can add four more.

With an IP66 certification, the cameras can withstand typical weather conditions. The protective housing is dust and moisture resistant, keeping your system last longer when installed outdoors.

This system is best for alerting you about suspicious disturbances with its motion detection functionality. You can set up this mode and receive notifications through your phone. Anytime, you can perform live monitoring on your phone by using WiFi with remote access.

With its night vision, you can monitor your surroundings even in the dark.

Features we like:
  • A low budget system with comparable performance with other best NVR systems
  • Night vision for surveillance even in low light conditions
  • Upgradeable up to 8 cameras with higher resolution than the bundle
  • Weatherproof certification for a long-lasting use especially when the installation of security camera for home is outdoors

Features we do not like:
  • Bundled IP cameras have lower resolution than other competitors of the same package
  • No pre-installed hard drive, which means you need to buy one


#4. ZOSI 8CH 1080P Wireless Security Camera System

ZOSI 8CH 1080P Wireless Security Cameras System With 1TB Hard Drive,H.265+...

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Zosi 1080P WiFi NVR security camera system has eight IP cameras bundled to it. Since it’s an eight-channel NVR, you can only upgrade the cameras with higher resolution. The system supports IP cameras with 1080p HD resolution and below.

The bundled IP camera is compatible with h. 265 compression rate, which means you can save more videos on the pre-installed hard drive.

Your system can record clear videos day and night. With the night vision, you get to view bright clips even with dark surroundings.

The system has a pre-installed hard drive with 1TB capacity. It isn’t upgradeable, but you can transfer or backup the recorded files to an external hard drive or other backup storages such as memory stick or flash drives.

With motion detection functionality, the system can save storage space. It records videos when it detects motion. Combined with an advance compression rate, the hard drive will take time to fill with video archives.

Modes for recording include continuous and motion detection. Alternatively, you can also set-up the overwrite mode. The system will delete old files automatically.

A true plug-and-play, beginners can install it just by reading the manual or following video tutorials.  You can connect your phone to the system using a dedicated software app.

Features we like:
  • Night vision of up to 65ft even dark surroundings
  • Easy to install, best for beginners to intermediate users
  • Customized motion detection for more recorded videos
  • Advanced compression rate (h.265) for utilizing more of the capacity storage

Features we do not like:
  • Does not support hard drive upgrade


#5. SMONET 8-Channel 1080P NVR

【2TB Hard Drive Pre-Installed】SMONET Wireless Security Camera...

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Smonet NVR is a wireless security camera system with four bundled IP cameras. IP cameras have 1080p resolution, capable of recording clear videos. Video compression is an h.264 codec.

Cameras have infrared led lights making the night vision a lot stronger than others without the led lights. With this mode, these cameras can still capture what’s happening even if the surrounding is pitch black.

With a 2TB hard drive, you can monitor your business, or your home 24/7. The system records videos when it detects motion. Thus, You won’t have to worry about full storage for weeks.

Alternatively, you can choose other recording modes. The surveillance system supports scheduled, continuous, and recycle record.

When you activate the recycle record mode, the system will automatically overwrite old files to save recent video clips. This function is excellent if you don’t have the patience to go over old video files. It is best for surveillance at home, but not in a business setting.

A plug and play, you can install and make the system running in a day. Of course, careful planning isn’t part of the installation day. You’ll need at least another day for that.

The system is wireless, using the latest 4G connections or 2.4Ghz connectivity.

For remote and live viewing with your smartphone, you’ll need to create an account with the manufacturer’s free app. In a few clicks, connect your phone, receive alerts, or view live.

With a weatherproof casing, the cameras can withstand dust accumulation, moisture, or windy conditions. Your system will last long, even if the cameras are outdoors.

Features we like:
  • Night vision, enabling video recording even in pitch black environment
  • Upgradeable up to 8 cameras and 4TB hard drive for more recordings
  • Supports different recording mode for each IP camera, thus, more flexibility on which area requires continuous recording

Features we do not like:
  • Not compatible with 5G connections

Editor Side Notes: Are you looking to have quality surveillance for your home and wanted the best nanny camera to protect your children? Click the link to read the latest guide about it.


Features to Consider When Buying

NVR and security camera isolated

A network video recorder (NVR) system is a security camera system where you install cameras in strategic places in your area. NVR system uses either h. 264 or h. 265 compression codec in saving the videos.

Aside from cameras, the other two general components are a recording device (NVR) and a monitoring device (HDTV or Super HD TV).

To understand more about security camera systems, let’s discuss the different features to consider when buying.

Number of Channels

Channels refer to the upgradability of the NVR system in terms of camera installation. A four-channel NVR can only support a maximum of four cameras. On the other hand, eight channels support eight cameras, and so on.

So far, the highest number is 64 to 128 ports. This type is best for large commercial buildings.

What channels should you choose? The answer depends on the area of your house or your business.

You can start with eight-channel NVR. The great thing about NVR is the scalability of the recording device.

The tip is to buy twice the number of planned installations. If you’re installing four cameras, get 8-channel NVR.

Supported Resolution

CCTVThe typical resolution that an NVR supports is 1080p HD. Some can go as high as 4K while others have as low as 720p. Mid-level products can have 960p.

Higher resolution means the superior quality of recorded videos. But, do you need the highest IP camera resolution for your NVR security camera system?

For home security camera systems, a 1080p HD resolution is enough. The security system yields crystal clear videos. You can already see the faces of the persons who come and go out of your home.

The clarity of images also depends on lightings. Thus, make sure your security cameras for home have night vision for low light conditions.

PoE or not PoE NVR System

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the use of a single network cable where the cameras connect to the NVR and draw electrical power from the same cable.

Many cameras are now PoE types, and NVR security camera systems have PoE ports on them. With this new technology, set up is easier to install and more convenient than with nonPoE.

If your existing set-up is non-PoE, it requires a PoE switch to inject electricity into the network cable. You don’t need to replace your old NVR for this kind of upgrade. Buy the PoE switch, and you can connect to the existing security camera system.

However, you’ll need some network cables to connect the camera to the switch and network video recorder (NVR). You might need a little help from a technician if you aren’t an expert on network cabling.

Storage Capacity

Often, an NVR has a hard drive pre-installed in it. The hard drive is where the network video recorder stores your video.

The default is 1TB capacity. Usually, an NVR security camera system is upgradeable, and an upgrade can go as high as 8TB.

Some NVR doesn’t support hard drive upgrade, and this limitation restricts the number of recorded videos. An alternative is to create an account with a cloud service.

Another option is to continually transfer your video archives to an external hard drive if the system has low storage and doesn’t allow an upgrade.

The storage capacity depends on the number of cameras installed, IP camera resolution, compression rate, and mode of recording. Higher resolution means more massive consumption of storage space. However, with an effective compression rate, the system can maximize the storage.

Motion detection

Motion detection is a standard functionality of home security camera systems. This function saves storage space. This feature is best for home installation. However, simple motion detection without any advanced algorithm can trigger many false alarms.

Here comes the newest technology: advanced motion detection. This capability of an NVR security camera system includes line crossing, and dwell detection mode. These algorithms can minimize false alerts and even save more storage space than standard motion detection.

This kind of advanced detection is best for crowded areas such as business establishments. You can also consider this feature when buying a surveillance system for your home security.

Advanced motion detection is best in alerting you for intruders, especially the dwell motion. Dwell motion sends a command to your system and specifies how long a person has to stay in a particular area. When a person stays more than usual, the NVR system triggers an alarm or notify you about suspicious activities within your premises.

Software Application

An NVR system comes with a software application. This application is where you control the functions of the system.

The best application should be user-friendly with easy to find icons.

If in case the icons of software applications aren’t the same with computer icons, they shouldn’t be too hard to remember.

Compatibility with smart hubs is an excellent bonus, especially if you’re planning to upgrade with intelligent home systems. Seamless integration would be an excellent addition to the features of your NVR system.

Transmission

Security cameraAn NVR security camera system is either wired, wireless, or wire-free. Often, people misunderstood the difference.

When a security system says wireless, it doesn’t mean wire-free. The system still needs wire for power adapters. The wireless feature refers to the transmission of data from the IP camera to the NVR.

A wire-free system still exists, but it’s not advisable for outdoor home security because you’ll need to change batteries often. Usually, a wire-free security camera system is best as a nanny cam.

So, should you choose wireless or wired? The answer depends on your security needs.

We recommend that you opt for both. Many NVR systems support both wired and wireless options.

Wired option is best for outdoor installation due to a high risk of lost transmission. With a wired NVR security camera system, one hindrance is a power outage for a continuous recording. You can solve this dilemma with backup power.

Remember, obstacles can limit the range of transmission for wireless security systems. Thus, wireless NVR security camera systems are best indoors.

Certification

Manufacturers of security camera systems need to include certification of their products. One of these certifications is either IP66 or IP67.

This IP66 certification means the cameras can withstand mild weather conditions. Cameras are weatherproof and waterproof.

What’s the difference? An IP67 camera is also weatherproof and waterproof.

The difference lies in the waterproof feature. IP66 is a waterproof certification to the extent of water splashes, while IP67 can withstand splashes and water immersion to some extent.

If you’re installing an NVR security camera system, just outside your door and in the shade, IP66 certification is enough. However, if you install an IP camera where exposure includes rain and snow, IP67 certification is much better than IP66.

The standard is IP66 certification. Some NVR security cameras may have a lower certification number, so watch out for it.

Don’t purchase anything below the standard if you’re planning to install a home security camera system outdoors.

Night Vision

Night VisionThis feature allows your NVR security camera to record videos and monitor the area with crystal clear reception. Often, cameras with this feature have LED lights built in them.

This feature is already a standard on security camera systems. The difference lies in the quality of recorded clips.

Some cameras even have an infrared vision for dark surroundings, enhancing the recorded clips more than an ordinary night vision capability.

You need this feature if the area of the installed IP camera doesn’t have good lighting. Maybe, you want to ensure and intensify your home security even during the night.

Remember, this feature adds up to the cost of the security camera system. The more powerful this feature is, the higher is the cost.

Audio Support

Some NVR security systems support two-way audio. So, if you want to record audio for your videos, opt for this one.

Most importantly, check if the bundled cameras have a built-in mic. The audio function of the NVR is useless if the cameras don’t have audio recording capabilities.

If the cameras don’t have a built-in mic, you can buy one that has it. But, you have to determine the best place to put an audio-enabled camera.

Field of View

Bundled security cameras with an NVR security camera system often have an average of 90 to 100 degrees. This limited view requires a strategic installation of cameras. Some users install these cameras a few feet from another to cover a whole area that needs monitoring.

Compression Codec

This codec is a software that an NVR uses to store video files in the hard drive. It is either h.264 or h.265. The latest is the h265, where an NVR compresses twice the standard rate of h.264 with the same quality.

With this technology, the NVR can save more storage space. Most systems use one of these two codecs. Some NVR security camera systems support dual compression rates.

We recommend that you choose a single compression rate even if the NVR supports two codecs.

Monitoring Device

MonitoringThis feature is the least of your concern, but it is still vital that NVR can support high definition monitoring device. Why? Because it’s useless to have full HD security cameras if you can’t view videos clearly in a monitor.

This device can either be your Super HD TV or your laptop computer. Most NVR systems can support ultra HD monitoring devices.

External alarm

Another excellent feature for some NVR systems is the capability to connect with an external alarm system. This capability might be a little more expensive. However, a properly configured motion detection is enough to catch intruders into your house.

Advanced Features

Pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) are three of the advanced features a security camera can have. However, these types of cameras are pricier than standard cameras. Read our guide on how to choose the best PTZ camera for outdoor home security camera systems.


Wrapping Up

The best NVR security system doesn’t need to have all of the features we mentioned above. Otherwise, having them all is an overkill. Besides, you can’t use all of these features anyway.

So, which features should you include in your purchase?

First, determine the purpose of installing an NVR. For example, you want to catch the intruder because every night, the alarm gets triggered.

With this purpose, you’ll need an NVR with cameras that have a night vision. Advanced motion detection is also helpful to make sure you catch the intruder.

Before the alarm goes off, the NVR system already sends a notification to your phone because you enabled dwell detection. Mobile integration is also an important feature based on our assumed purpose and situation.

If in case you can’t catch the intruder, you’ll want to go over the recorded videos to see who’s trying to break in your house. Thus, a high definition IP camera is a must so that you can watch crystal clear videos.

A 1080p HD resolution is an excellent choice. Higher than this standard might be too much for the purpose, but we aren’t hindering you if you want 4K HD resolution. If you’re going to zoom the clips, you’d want a non-pixelated image to see who’s giving you that sleepless nights.

By the way, never forget about tech support. No matter how knowledgeable you are, you will still need tech support for warranty purposes.

Of course, you can widen the scope. Lastly, make sure your budget is enough for the purchase of the products.


FAQ

To help you with your decision making, here are some questions that many people ask when buying NVR security camera systems.

What is the best NVR system?

The perfect NVR system should have high-resolution cameras, enough storage capacity, and weatherproof. Your budget is the only limitation of your purchasing power for NVR products.

You can also choose a night vision as part of the features. Alternatively, advanced motion detection is also an excellent addition.

Most importantly, the best one does not break your budget and does not compromise your home security.

Security Camera System

Which is better, NVR security camera system or DVR system?

In terms of scalability and ease of installation, an NVR system is better than DVR. For more details, please refer to our discussions on these topics. The comparison between the two requires a separate article.

How do you select the right NVR security camera system?

Your choice depends on your needs for home security, your budget, and the features you want. The important thing is the NVR security camera system covers critical areas for monitoring.

If your area is prone to intrusion at night, you can include super night vision and external alarm integration as the essential features. Mobile integration is best if you are always away from the location of your NVR or your home.

This integration sends alerts to your phone when triggers meet the set requirements for notifications. Some sophisticated NVR systems even allow sending signals of distress to the proper authority.

However, this kind of notification requires a special arrangement with security agencies. You can ask around if such services are available in your area.

You can use our guide above for more details.

Is an NVR necessary?

Well, yes, if you are afraid of your security. If you think that you are at risk every day, you can install the most sophisticated NVR security set-up in your home.

Nowadays, some businesses need to install a surveillance system. One reason is to intensify the security and safety of their customers. Another reason is the regulatory requirement imposed on them.

For homeowners, it’s entirely a preferential matter and not a mandatory requirement. It’s your discretion whether or not to install NVR for your home.

How many IP security cameras are enough?

The areas covered and the purpose of the NVR security camera system are the two main factors in deciding the number of cameras you need. Are you planning to monitor every exit or entry point in your home or business? Or, are you intending to monitor critical areas such as backyard (for home security purposes), or cashier area (for catching a thief)?

If you do, then the number of entry/exit points should correspond to the number of cameras. Often, a home surveillance system needs a minimum of four cameras. For small businesses, 8 or 16 surveillance cameras are sufficient to cover essential areas.