Recommendations For Home Security Camera Systems?
July 26, 2016 7:16 PM   Subscribe

Finding systems with great DVRs and cameras (hardware) is easy. Finding a system that is supported by remote viewing software for smartphones/internet is not happening for me. My google-fu has failed. I need assistance, advice and recommendations from anyone with some personal experience.

I don't need a massive system but I'm willing to spend about $1k if needed. 2 to 4 cameras would suffice, but I need relatively high def cameras, night vision and ability to scan remotely. Some systems have e-mail alerts for motion activity. I love the mid-grade Lorex hardware, but their FLIR-Cloud software is totally unreliable. I'm having a hard time finding great hardware supported by great software.

FWIW, I'm finally moving to a place where I can have an art/music studio but the building is far away from the living quarters, so with all of my equipment in there I need to monitor it...just as if I was monitoring a vacation home from afar.

If you've had to do something similar yourself, please advise! Mefites, what has worked for you? Many thanks in advance!
posted by snsranch to Technology (8 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I have been very happy with my amcrest system. Easy app to use with remote control on your phone, monitoring via computer as well. They record directly on motion detection to my NAS but has a cloud storage option (which I haven't used).
posted by Karaage at 7:37 PM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

We've been very happy with our Arlo cameras. Setup is a breeze, they're completely wireless, terribly customizable as far as settings / schedules / etc., and they even interface with IFTTT now (supposedly - we haven't tried). There is a time limit on free online storage, but if you find a clip you want to save, you simply download it to your PC or smartphone within a week and you're good to go. There have been some reviews mentioning poor battery life, but we got 6+ months out of the two we placed outdoors in the harsh MN winter, and the two that remain indoors are still going strong on the original set - albeit they rarely are configured to record on motion. (We mostly use them to spy on the cat. And each other.)
posted by SquidLips at 8:05 PM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Synology NAS DiskStation DS116 which includes a nice Survellience Station with apps for tablets and phones. ($180)

A 4TB Drive (Western Digital Red for $150). If you care more about your data, you can get a multi-drive Synology and run different modes to balance risk vs. durability.

4 Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I Cameras-- 2888x1520 resolution, surprisingly good IR performance for night-vision. $120 each.

A Network switch that can power the cameras via POE This will do for 4 cameras $70.

Camera licenses (Synology comes with two included, it's $50 for each, so I'd get two from Here.

That's a touch over $1000 for a pretty great system, that'll optionally also be a nice backup spot if you have data your studio produces. You'd also need some cable (~$85 for 1000ft of Cat5E from Monoprice) and some RJ45 connectors and crimpers to complete the cables.
posted by Static Vagabond at 8:08 PM on July 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

I second Arlo. Very easy to set-up, good image quality and basic level has no ongoing fees.
posted by zeikka at 12:36 AM on July 27, 2016

Q-see systems are great $400 for a 8 camera system on Amazon
posted by patnok at 7:08 AM on July 27, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions! I can't wait to dig through them after work!
posted by snsranch at 10:33 AM on July 27, 2016

I returned Arlo. It's very cool - but - I think it still needs work. Too many false positives (like say... sunlight creeping across the pavement!) at the degree of sensitivity for motion detection that I think it needs to be usable If I turned down the sensitivity, people would be nearly out of the frame by the time my Arlo cameras started recording.

So I dig the idea, but execution needs tidying. At least it still did 6 months ago or so when I had them.
posted by bitterkitten at 2:33 PM on July 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks again folks!

I hadn't really considered the DIY approach ala Static Vagabond, but that allows a lot of versatility and customization...exactly what I need.

Woo hoo!
posted by snsranch at 7:00 PM on July 28, 2016

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