IP Camera and Software recommendation

LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
11,518
670
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I'm looking for a couple of IP Cameras to set up around the house that can record directly to a Windows Server over IP. So I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on HD (up to 5MP, I want high quality) and software to record their feeds. The cameras can be either WIFI or ethernet (POE would be nice). I don't want to use a cloud service, but the ability to view the live camera view is a plus, if possible. I'm running pfsense as my firewall, so I can open ports and configure, as needed. This isn't a deal breaker though.

What are people using?
 

rh71

No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
52,853
1,048
126
I'm currently using FoscamVMS because my Foscam IP cam is a picky SOB, but I hear good things about Blue Iris.
 

LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
11,518
670
126
Blue Iris is indeed one of the software packages I'm looking at. The little research I've been able to do, it seems a lot of people like Hikvision and Dahua cameras. There's a bunch of options though and a lot of them seem similar.
 

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
41,885
2,125
126
I went down that path and failed...every self-ran system out there has too many weaknesses: the remote apps are crap, video compression makes files gigantic, cameras lose connection with the NAS, random lockups and crashes...etc.

I finally bit the bullet and went with a Ring system. I have two floodlight cams and a doorbell, and I have to say they work amazingly well. The Floodlight cams are solar powered, and the doorbell is powered by the voltage on the doorbell capacitor. It's $100/year for unlimited cloud storage for unlimited devices at an address, everything is in 1080p, you can download videos if needed, and you get motion alerts on your phones/mobile devices.

I know it's not what you're looking for, but trying to save you from heartbreak :)
 
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LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
11,518
670
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These will not be remotely accessible. They will be on their own network segment (VLAN) without internet access. Cameras are easily hackable, made in china and I have no reason to watch live or want anyone else to :). From what I've seen, using H.246, you can get about 8 days on a 4TB hard drive. I have a 50TB NAS already due to video production, projects and RAW media. So my plan is to use an extra i5 NUC I have with a couple of 8TB drives (Soft RAID 1) and be done with it. Do not want to use cloud storage. I think I've decided to skip wifi and just use POE gigabit.
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
48,414
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I've done a few projects with Blue Iris, it's pretty decent. The search term you're looking for is "VMS" or "Video Management System". If you're looking for a dedicated NVR, I really like the Synology & QNAP surveillance stations.

Are you running Windows Server or Home Server?
 
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LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
11,518
670
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I'm actually just running Windows 10 Pro with DrivePool and Scanner (Software RAID 1). This is going to be an entirely new box that I was going to use as the "NVR". I have a W10 Pro license and I'm just going to attach some storage to it and leave it on it's own independent VLAN. I'm still deciding how I want to do this, but I'll probably just place a Unifi wifi on that same network so we can access it with our surfaces and laptops.

That said, if something like Synology or QNAP is a better idea, I'm open to looking into it. Are they able to run software like Blue Iris and such?

We live in a nice neighborhood and do not have any problems. This is more so for when we are on vacation or the oldest is home alone and likes to sneak friends into the house :) My wife is a stay at home, so it's also nice just to have the entry points of the house covered and maybe a front door camera so she can see who is at the door. Things like that.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
48,414
5,270
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I'm actually just running Windows 10 Pro with DrivePool and Scanner (Software RAID 1). This is going to be an entirely new box that I was going to use as the "NVR". I have a W10 Pro license and I'm just going to attach some storage to it and leave it on it's own independent VLAN. I'm still deciding how I want to do this, but I'll probably just place a Unifi wifi on that same network so we can access it with our surfaces and laptops.

That said, if something like Synology or QNAP is a better idea, I'm open to looking into it. Are they able to run software like Blue Iris and such?

We live in a nice neighborhood and do not have any problems. This is more so for when we are on vacation or the oldest is home alone and likes to sneak friends into the house :) My wife is a stay at home, so it's also nice just to have the entry points of the house covered and maybe a front door camera so she can see who is at the door. Things like that.

You basically have 3 storage options:

1. Edge (like an SD card in the camera itself)
2. Local storage (like an NVR device or VMS server)
3. Cloud storage (online)

As well as 3 basic types of systems:

1. NVR or PC-based recording systems
2. Cloud-based systems
3. Tivo-style systems (basically a digital VCR with a wired or wireless camera bundle)

Foscam cameras are pretty popular, I have a couple & they work surprisingly well for the relatively low cost of the devices. Many of them have a MicroSD slot for edge storage, can record to a VMS like Foscam VMS or Blue Iris or to an NVR like a Synology or QNAP unit, and can also record out to the cloud, like Foscam Cloud.

It also depends on how you want to manage it. There are a lot of great turnkey camera systems out there like Nest (Dropcam) Cam, Amazon Cloud Cam, YI, Ring, and Arlo. There are also Tivo-style kits from places like Zmodo, Swann, Zosi, OOSSXX, Best Vision, etc.
leave it on it's own independent VLAN. I'm still deciding how I want to do this, but I'll probably just place a Unifi wifi on that same network so we can access it with our surfaces and laptops.

...

it's also nice just to have the entry points of the house covered and maybe a front door camera so she can see who is at the door.

It sounds like (1) you have security concerns,and (2) you have a limited number of spaces you want to monitor. Based on this, I'd suggest a Ring or Nest system. Their account security is pretty good & the system is pretty easy to install & effortless to maintain. Up-front cost is a little pricey, but you never really have to worry about it after that. The slim HD doorbell is $250:

https://shop.ring.com/products/video-doorbell-pro?variant=56549588171

They have various outdoor cameras, which you can also get with flood lights or spotlights, and they can be battery-powered, solar-powered, or hardwired:

https://shop.ring.com/collections/security-cams

If you want a system with indoor cameras, Nest is also excellent. You don't have to worry about maintaining a server or the software crashing or opening up ports on your router firewall or putting them on a different VLAN or anything like that, which is nice. On the flip side, since you already have a server ready to go, you can get some cameras like Foscams for significantly less money & feed them into your pooled storage system. Lots of variables to consider! Mostly boils down to budget & goals.
 

db

Lifer
Dec 6, 1999
10,575
292
126
Expect to do occasional maintenance on your system, ie removing spider webs (crawling spiders) from in front of your cameras, reacquiring dropped connections (adding UPS eliminates much of this, but not all drops). If you choose to do the settings in-camera instead of via your storage box s/w, it takes trial and error to get the right settings for trigger sensitivity, zone areas, etc. Also, turning off the in-camera IR and installing a stand alone IR away from the camera keeps flying insects away from the front of the camera, cutting way down on false triggers.
 

LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
11,518
670
126
VMS server is what I want. I have a rack it can go in and I have a couple of APC 2000VA keeping things running. Throwing this into the mix won't be an issue. I'm fine with maintenance as well, but good to note. So now it's just down to selecting the software.

Entry way, rear doors, driveway and the interior garage. Those are the primary areas I'm thinking for coverage. It's really not a necessity, but I like to play with new tech and it gives me an excuse :D

db, thanks for the suggestion on the IR. I've seen people talk about having a supplemental IR, but I haven't really looked in to it. I figured I would order 2 cameras to start with and see how it goes. I've got access to two attic areas (one over main house and other over garage), so it should be easy to run Cat 6 and use POE.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
67,380
12,129
126
www.anyf.ca
I've been wanting to do this too but it's so hard to find POE wired IP cameras. Seems everything is going cloud/wireless now, which is stupid for something meant for security. I hear Hikvision is good but the market is flooded with fakes so it will be hard to get the real ones and know you actually have the real ones. Axis is good too from what I hear. For cheaper there is Dlink/Linksys I think they do make some POE cameras. If I do a system myself I'll probably go for a couple higher end cameras in key areas like my driveway and then cheaper ones for perimeter of house. If you do it, you almost have to do the whole perimeter because a thief is going to see the camera then just find a way to get around such as going a block over and cutting through the neighbour's back yard.


Ideally you at very least want to do all the doors/windows as well as driveway. In my city the biggest issue now is car theft. Unfortunately video evidence does not count in court from what I've been told, but I suppose it would still count for something if there is more evidence. At very least it can be posted on facebook to shame them, for what it's worth. Most of the thieves in my city are actually grown adults so having that go public could potentially get them fired from their job. The kids are too busy doing fentanyl and stabbing each other.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
22,009
4,775
146
I've used ZoneMinder on linux and axis IP cams for more than a decade now. ZM will work with many different IP cams and also hardware capture cards to old school cams. The bigger system I set up has both, and records 200,000 motion events on a 1 TB array.
I have had good performance from Axis, and there is plenty of documentation for them.
 
Nov 20, 2009
10,046
2,573
136
OP, is this for home security, or just the monitoring of the interior? Also, I am surprised no one has come up with a powerline solution in which lighting receptacles are used to both power and network said device while still remaining off-the-Internet. How many places of interest needing a camera doesn't have a light already nearby? It would make it a lot easier for homeowners to setup. While I also appreciated the wireless solutions in video security, the idea of dealing with power for an always-on state was troublesome. Some pseudo-X11 would be nice for electrical and layer-1 network connectivity with encrypted communication to a home computer/server for storage and video replay. Why don't one of you take this idea and run with it? :)
 

LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
11,518
670
126
OP, is this for home security, or just the monitoring of the interior? Also, I am surprised no one has come up with a powerline solution in which lighting receptacles are used to both power and network said device while still remaining off-the-Internet. How many places of interest needing a camera doesn't have a light already nearby? It would make it a lot easier for homeowners to setup. While I also appreciated the wireless solutions in video security, the idea of dealing with power for an always-on state was troublesome. Some pseudo-X11 would be nice for electrical and layer-1 network connectivity with encrypted communication to a home computer/server for storage and video replay. Why don't one of you take this idea and run with it? :)

So I ended up getting this camera: http://fr.dahuasecurity.com/fr/products/ipc-hdw5231r-ze-14251.html

It is highly regarded on the ipcam forums and I should have it by the end of the week. Barking, I'm really going for dual purpose. Home Security and the only the garage interior. I'm starting with the first camera to play with and go from there. While I'm not using powerline, they will be on their own network using POE and no internet access.

Actually there are outdoor light solutions that have a built-in camera and use Wifi. My wife originally saw them and was asking and that's how this got rolling.

My manager talked highly about Ring products. They have some interesting products. This has led me a bit toward the home automation world. I'm now looking to pick up two Ecobee 4 or Nest to control temps and then maybe a lighting solution. It would ideally be awesome to have a couple of smaller tablets around the house that you can turn things on and off and view security cameras / doors. That's a much larger topic though, lol.

I have iRule because at one time I was running completely IP/IR based home theater solution, but I determined long term I just like buttons to push and the tablet didn't work great for what I wanted. But for home automation, it's a bit different because it's not just a single location.
 

rsutoratosu

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2011
2,716
4
81
I use the amcrest stuff, their NVR software is free, supports 32 cam.. IOS /android app free. etc. Fairly cheap to buy off amazon