Crystal-clear footages. Two-way audio. Intelligent video analytics. These are just some of the features you can enjoy when you have the best IP security camera system in your home or business place.
And in this article, we’ve put together some of the things you need to know when looking for this type of CCTV. This includes the main two types of IP cameras, features to consider, as well as some of the top recommendations you can check out when shopping.
What’s the Best IP Security Camera System?
Like anything else, the answer to this question always varies with individual preferences or needs. And when it comes to CCTV, you might be looking for an option with the greatest clarity, storage, field of view, or even budget.
In any case, the Hiseeu 5MP-8CAM is the overall best IP security camera system on the selections we’ll be reviewing. But you can also check out Amcrest IP8M-T2599EW for rich clarity or the YI 1080p Pack if you’re looking for a good security camera deal.
- Our Favorite Pick: Hiseeu 5MP-8CAM IP Security Camera System
Features an 8-channel NVR, 8x 5MP cameras, 3TB hard drive, Face/ human detection, two-way audio, & H.265+ video compression
- Best of Clarity: Amcrest (IP8M-T2599EW) Ultra-HD IP Security Camera
Features a turret dome camera, 4K video recording, one-way audio, manual Pan/ Tilt, 256GB MicroSD support, & PoE configuration
- Best of Deals: YI 1080p WiFi Indoor IP Security Camera Pack
Features 4x indoor cams, 1080p resolution, 940nm (invisible) IR LEDs, sound detection, two-way audio, MicroSD support, & continuous recording mode
Types of IP Security Camera System
First up, an IP camera (short form for an internet-protocol camera) is a type of CCTV that usually sends a video signal over an active network. However, the IP camera is further grouped into two different kinds.
The first type of IP camera falls in the wired category, whereby the camera operates via PoE technology. Then, the second’s the wireless security camera, which, just like the name, transmits the video footage over WiFi or radiofrequency.
While both designs are great, PoE security cameras are usually better than their wireless counterparts in most scenarios. If it’s about security, the PoE setup involves hardwiring the systems, which have less to no chances of network attacks. And for the transmission, a single Cat5 or Cat6 Ethernet cable can push the video signal up to a 330-meter distance.
Speaking of videos, one of the main differences between NVR and DVR is that IP cameras usually have a built-in chipset that encodes the captured video from within itself. Thus, sending it (video signal) over to the viewing device or recorder when already ready for viewing or storage.
Our Favorite Pick: Hiseeu 5MP-8CAM IP Security Camera System
- 【𝟰𝙆 𝟴𝙈𝙋 𝟴 𝙋𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙨 𝙋𝙤𝙀 𝙉𝙑𝙍𝟭𝟲𝘾𝙃...
- 【𝙍𝙚𝙖𝙡-𝙏𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝟮-𝙒𝙖𝙮 𝘼𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙤 & 𝘼𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙤...
As was mentioned earlier, the Hiseeu 5MP-8CAM is the overall best IP security camera system on our list, and for a good reason. It’s an expandable PoE NVR kit, featuring an 8-channel recorder and 5MP Super-HD cameras. Thus, delivering pictures over 2x sharper than the standard 1080p HD.
Each of the provided cameras also has a built-in microphone and speaker. So, you can not only capture the footage you can listen to but also have a two-way conversation with your guests.
Better yet, Hiseeu sends this IP security camera system with a 3TB hard drive. Then, it supports up to H.265+ video compression, which enables you to save recordings for up to 45 days.
- The camera feels sturdy & durable
- Delivers crystal images & videos
- Can work with or without electricity
- Supports continuous video recording
- It also has an intelligent face detection feature
- The cameras have IP67 dust/ water protection
- The instructions are a bit vague
- Remote viewing app tends to crash
Best of Clarity: Amcrest (IP8M-T2599EW) Ultra-HD IP Security Camera
- EXPERIENCE ULTRA HD 4K – Stunning ultra-high quality 4K (8-Megapixel / 3840x2160) resolution...
- SMARTER SECURITY – Receive motion alert notifications and review footage via your smartphone with...
Are you looking for a security camera that can read a car license? Or zoom pictures without distortion? The Amcrest (IP8M-T2599EW) has a 1/2.7” 8MP sensor that captures the moment in true 4K Ultra-HD quality. So, you can even zoom in the distant objects without drastically diminishing the key details.
The security camera also does have two powerful 850nm IR LEDs that bring you a night vision capability of up to 90-feet. Then, there’s also a built-in microphone for one-way audio recording.
Moreover, Amcrest crafted the PoE camera with a MicroSD slot that you can insert a card of up to 256GB. And when configuring your device, you can opt for the HEVC (H.265) video codec to optimize the storage consumption.
- It has a reasonable pricing
- Supports ONVIF compatibility
- Delivers crisp and detailed videos
- Includes manual 360° pan & 78° tilt
- Can work as a standalone or with NVR
- It has a solid & durable metallic housing
- It has no two-way audio feature
- Has low frame rate in 4K recording mode
- The MicroSD slot is at a hard-to-reach spot
Best of Deals: YI 1080p WiFi Indoor IP Security Camera Pack
- 24/7 Full HD Recording - F/2.0 aperture, 112 wide-angle lens, 1080p/15fps to capture moments with...
- Optional 24/7 professional-grade, video alarm system - The smart camera-based security system...
The YI 1080p here’s the overall bestselling device on our list, featuring over 25,000 positive ratings on Amazon (only). It’s also a perfect option if you’re looking for a great deal on IP security camera systems, as eighty bucks give you four devices.
Of course, the included WiFi cams are all for indoor application. But you can set it to look out the window, provided you disable the IR LEDs to prevent reflection and record clearer videos.
In case you decide to stick to using indoors, the IR LEDs that YI used on these cameras are 940nm with invisible light. Thus, you can even use it in the nursery without being invasive or scaring away the baby.
Speaking of babies, the WiFi cameras support sound/ baby crying detection. Then, you could also get a cloud subscription to enable intelligent detection features for people, vehicles, or animals.
- It’s very affordable
- Includes motion & 24/7 recording
- Captures decent videos with audio
- Has a two-way audio function for free
- Supports hands-free control with Alexa
- It has a MicroSD slot for local storage
- It still has pretty many false alerts
- Supports only the standard H.264 video codec
- You must pay to view multiple cameras on the app
Best of Budget: Reolink RLC-520 Super-HD IP Security Camera Pack
- STUNNING 5MP HD DAY AND NIGHT: These PoE IP security cameras boast 5MP super HD videos at 30fps,...
- FREE APP AND REMOTE ACCESS: Explore rich features and functions in free Reolink App and download it...
Indeed, the Reolink RLC-520 is the best IP security camera system if you’re on a tight budget. Of course, it’s five dollars more expensive than the YI kit, but the cameras here have a 5MP sensor. Thus, the videos you get will be more than two times clearer that the 1080p creations.
Each of the security cameras also has a built-in microphone for one-way recording. And a PIR motion sensor that brings you advanced detection with minimal false alerts or when you decide to record only events.
However, the continuous recording mode is always the best if you need more credible evidence for investigation or prosecution. And, luckily, Reolink designed the RLC-520 camera with the function, plus a slot for a MicroSD card.
- It’s budget-friendly and well-made
- Records smooth 2K videos@30fps
- Has an IP66 dust/ water protection
- Can work as a standalone or with NVR
- Supports hands-free control with Google Home
- It has ONVIF protocol for third-party compatibility
- It only supports H.264 video compression
- Has a relatively cheap plastic mounting plate
- The motion detection still has many false alerts
Best of Value: Lorex (N84283T-48AB-E) 4K NVR Security Camera System
- Complete Security Camera System - This system includes a NVR and 4k HD quality security cameras with...
- Active Deterrence - Each camera has a motion-activated LED warning light and a remote-triggered...
Although not the most famous, the Lorex kit is another option worth checking if looking for an expandable IP security camera system. Of course, it’s a bit more expensive than our favorite Hiseeu kit, but it has 4K hardware, including the NVR and cameras.
So, you can get crispier images that you can easily identify key details like license plates or tattoos. And that includes even farther objects since you can zoom without excess pixelation as with the 1080p cameras.
Moreover, each of the provided security cameras has two built-in spotlights. Thus, you can continue recording in full color at night, as well as deter the uninvited guest, even though there’s also a siren for that.
- It delivers crisp & sharp videos
- Supports audio recording & two-way talk
- Has multiple intelligent detection features
- It comes with a preinstalled local storage
- Supports HEVC (H.265) video compression
- The recorder has a panic button for deterrence
- The remote viewing app isn’t the best
- It’s a hassle to adjust motion detection zones
- The smart detection feature isn’t always accurate
Best of Wire-Free: Arlo Pro 4 Rechargeable WiFi IP Security Camera
- See a bigger picture - The security camera has a wide 160° diagonal viewing angle lens for auto...
- Capture clearer details - The wireless outdoor security cameras with advanced video quality that...
The Arlo Pro 4 could also be handy if you’re looking for a wireless IP security camera system. And unlike the YI 1080p, it includes a built-in rechargeable battery. So, you can mount in areas incapable of reaching wired power.
The wireless security camera has a 3.7MP image sensor that should deliver 2K QHD videos- about 1.8x clearer than 1080p. Then, it also has an integrated spotlight to give colored night vision and deter burglars.
Furthermore, Arlo crafted the security camera with multiple intelligent detection features, including for people, vehicles, animals, and sound. But then, you’ll need to pay for the Arlo Secure subscription to access all of them.
- It’s so easy to set up & operate
- Can be mounted almost anywhere
- Has audio recording & two-way talk
- Features a compact, easy to hide design
- Supports both motion & continuous recording
- It’s compatible with Alexa, HomeKit, & Google Home
- The battery life is a bit disappointing
- You’ll need to pay for most features
- Animal & vehicle detection isn’t always accurate
Alternative: ZOSI 8-Channel NVR IP Security Camera System
- 【5MP full HD video】-- 5 Megapixel super high definition video, 2. 5 x better than 1080P Full HD,...
- 【Simplify PoE installation】 power over Ethernet means the IP cameras connect to the NVR with a...
Last on the list is an alternative IP PoE security camera system you can consider for a large property. It’s slightly cheaper than the Hiseeu kit we mentioned earlier but also comes with an 8-channel NVR and also 5MP security cameras.
Nonetheless, the cameras here are bullet (instead of box-like) and also they don’t have the built-in one-way audio or face detection.
- It comes with all hardware & accessories
- Includes a preinstalled 2TB hard drive
- Features four different recording modes
- Has the advanced H.265+ video compression
- It supports remote viewing on mobile phone/ PC
- The mobile app isn’t the best
- Security cameras lack audio
- It’s a hassle to reset the recorder
Quick Guide: 8 Things to Consider When Choosing An IP Security Camera System
Here are the eight key features you need to focus on when shopping for any IP security camera system:
- Image quality: choose the highest possible for crispier images that you can zoom without distortion
- Field of view: consider a field of view that’s not too bigger than the sensor due to distortion issues
- Bandwidth usage: IP security cameras use bandwidth differently, ranging from as little as 5Kbps to 30+Mbps. So, choose the right one that won’t slow down your internet
- Storage options: If you don’t want to pay for the cloud, look for an IP camera with local recording. And for business applications, get a system with a larger hard drive capability
- Video compression: If possible, consider a security camera with up to HEVC (H.265) video codec as it can help cut down the bandwidth and storage consumption
- Intelligent detection: features like face detection and customizable motion zones can help cut down false alerts
- Audio capabilities: this will help records videos you can listen to and also enable two-way communications while even away
- Transmission technology: choose an IP security camera with the right technology for your situation. If it’s a small area, the wireless camera can do the trick, but large properties will be best with PoE IP camera system.
Commonly Asked Questions
Which wireless IP camera is best?
Honestly, we all have varying needs and preferences when it comes to shopping for a CCTV system. However, in our selections, the Arlo Pro 4 is the best wireless IP camera since you can mount it even outdoors without water damage. Also, the camera has a built-in spotlight for clearer night vision and a siren to deter intruders.
Can IP cameras be hacked?
Basically, a WiFi wireless security camera can be easy for third parties to access if it has poor (WPA) encryption. However, the PoE IP cameras are harder to hack, especially if your firewall does cover them in protection.
What is the difference between a PoE camera and an IP camera?
Technically, there’s no difference between a PoE camera and an IP camera. An IP camera is an acronym for internet-protocol camera and that includes even the PoE versions since they operate on a network cable.
Are all IP cameras PoE compatible?
Well, there are actually two types of PoE technologies- the standard POE on 802.3af and the advanced PoE+ on 802.3at. So, the answer to our question is a NO, all IP cameras aren’t PoE compatible as the power consumption does vary. For instance, PTZ cameras usually have a higher power consumption and require a PoE+ switch which has 25.5-watt output.
In reality, an IP security camera system beats analog cameras in many ways. If it’s clarity, the video quality here’s sharper, cameras also have built audio functions, smarter detection analytics, and the installation is a breeze.
As for the question of the best IP security camera system, the Hiseeu 5MP-8CAM has a perfect balance of pricing & features. So, it’s still our favorite pick. However, you can also check out the Amcrest Ultra-HD if you need a standalone camera that records crispier videos or the YI 1080p Pack for a great saving.