Are you looking for the best NVR? Our purchase guide will help you find the equipment suitable for you, help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the equipment, and buy your recorder at the most favorable price.
What is NVR? It is the abbreviation of network video recorder. It is a hub device of IP based security camera system. It is the storage and viewing point of your closed-circuit TV, which means you can store your video without registering for a remote service.
Of course, NVR requires a camera, which is usually connected through an Ethernet power supply (POE) cable and at least one hard drive.
In retail stores, NVR is usually sold in bundles, including different types and numbers of cameras and different drives. These all in one kits are really a good choice. The only disadvantage is that these kits often come from different manufacturers, which brings trouble to our after-sales service.
What to look for the Best Network Video Recorders
The NVR or network video recorder unit only allows you to connect security cameras to it for recording and connect them to the network for remote monitoring. But there are many NVR devices on the market. Which one is the most suitable for you? Based on this, we should have a rough understanding of the parameters and functions of NVR equipment before selection.
Even if you don’t know much about NVR equipment, you can simply view the main functions and setting options in the product description. However, if you want more information, please continue to read this complete online video recorder purchase guide:
Number of Channels
The first thing to mention is the number of channels. Whether you install security cameras at home or in the workplace, you may need more than one camera. Even if you can get multiple network video recorders, you want to be able to connect all cameras to one network video recorder. This is possible only when your NVR device supports a large number of channels, so this is a very important factor.
Look at entry-level network video recorders. Most of them support up to 8 channels, which should be enough for home installation. However, if you install cameras in large offices, you may need more channels. Some network video recorders support up to 32 channels, which can connect 32 cameras at the same time.
In addition to connecting a large number of cameras to your network video recorder, HD resolution is also an important reference factor. You certainly hope it can record or monitor the video source with high quality? So please check its maximum resolution carefully before purchasing the device. As far as we know, the NVR resolution on the market mainly includes up to 5 MP or up to 8 MP.
Of the two, 8 MP resolution is the better choice (we still recommend you to buy it even if it has a higher price), because higher resolution always provides better video quality. If the maximum resolution of the network video recorder is 4K, it is the same as 8 MP, which should be more than enough for most security cameras.
If you record videos at high recording resolution (4K / 8 MP) on a network video recorder, these videos will quickly fill the storage space. Because of this, most NVR devices support external hard drives, which can greatly expand your storage space.
In the market, some entry-level models may only support up to 4 TB hard drives. Fortunately, higher end models can use up to 12 TB of hard drives, making it the perfect choice for use with a large number of hard drives. However, not all retailers will package hard drives, so you may provide additional consumption for hard drives.
Management and Playback
Many people may find it troublesome to manage the time of NVR equipment. Just like the video monitoring room, do you need to look at the screen often? In fact, it’s not so complicated. You just need to install the management program in the mobile phone and set it up.
In addition, most NVRs also provide automation functions such as motion detection, alarm and email notification. Although these functions are very convenient to use, you should also pay attention to video playback from time to time, so that you can easily check all security lenses by connecting the monitor to the network video recorder.
This is also a very important option. Before purchasing, you should also check the connection options provided by the network video recorder. This includes looking for HDMI, VGA, USB and other ports on the back of the network video recorder. In order to connect your camera, monitor and other peripheral devices and possible wireless accessories more conveniently, you should choose an NVR device that provides multiple connection ports. Now, some network video recorders can even connect wirelessly via WiFi.
There is no doubt that electronic equipment may fail at any time, so perfect after-sales service is one of the factors we have to consider. After installing the NVR device, you will want to run stably for as long as possible so that you can monitor your security camera at any time. To ensure this, it is always a good idea to check the warranty provided by the network video recorder. As far as we know, most of the best-selling brands in the market provide a one-year warranty. Some well-known brands may provide a three-year warranty, which solves the worries of users.
Top pick for Best NVR system for 2022:
1. Lorex 4K Ultra HD 16 Channel NVR
There is no doubt that the industry-leading clear 4K recording function is the biggest advantage of Lorex. In addition, it also has active security camera support and intelligent motion detection, which is worthy of users’ expectation in terms of convenience and details.
NVR’s intelligent motion detection can easily monitor people or vehicles. It also includes a security grade hard drive that adds security and privacy to your data and is completely free. In addition, you can easily manage NVR devices through the Lorex home application. For remote viewing operations, please pair the NVR with the Lorex home application.
Even better, this NVR is also compatible with most smart home devices and voice assistants, including Alexa and Google assistant.
2. Reolink 8-Channel PoE NVR
This is probably the best home NVR device you can buy: easy to use and affordable. Reolink 8 supports 8-channel connection, which means you can connect up to 8 cameras at the same time, which is more than enough for home users. You can even install it in a small office. In addition, it has a 2TB hard disk. Even if you connect all 4K resolution cameras, you don’t have to worry about limited storage space.
Reolink 8 has an IP66 certified waterproof and dustproof grade. You don’t have to worry too much even in downpour, snowstorm and dust, which provides convenience for outdoor users. In addition, this security camera system is equipped with POE connection. It requires only one Ethernet cable (preferably CAT5 or CAT6) for power and data transmission. In this way, users no longer have to be frustrated by complex cabling.
At present, motion trigger has become the standard function of all security cameras. Therefore, reolink 8 also has this function built in. When motion is detected, NVR will notify the user of possible security vulnerabilities. In addition, you can customize the motion detection area to ensure the safety around your home. With 2TB of built-in storage, the system can save a large number of video clips. In addition to remote access and control, security cameras can also be used with microphones.
3. Hikvision DS-7608NI-I2/8P
In fact, this kind of embedded camera is more professional than most of the NVR devices, because it not only looks forward-looking, but also can handle many of the NVR products. Compatibility with onvif (S & T) means you can build your camera family from multiple brands over time. In addition, it has two SATA bays, each of which can accept up to 8tb drives with a total capacity of up to 16TB. This means you can store a lot of HD video.
For ordinary home users, we do not recommend this high-end device. Reolink 8 may be a better choice. However, Hikvision HD resolution has intelligent management and search function, which is the best investment choice for large shopping malls or open office areas, even if it has an expensive price.
4. Annke 4K 8CH PoE NVR
Annke H800 is obviously an NVR designed for practical use. Its ease of use is the best NVR device we have tested. By adding additional USB sockets to the mouse at the front and rear, users can easily connect USB drives without repositioning.
Although its built-in operating system is not beautiful, it is actually very intelligent. You can choose to disable motion detection by Region on each camera view, and you can see the real-time view even when optimizing detection. In addition, it provides a separate quota for a single camera to give priority to some record driven vacancies.
Using this system, users can review the event driven through the timeline of recorded video, and allow you to search the video to move in the area you specify. This is a convenient tool to find out if someone enters a specific corner of the lens afterwards.
Android or IOS phone integration will also bring notifications. The only disadvantage is that only one user account can be connected.
5. GW GW-5508NP
Gw-5508np is a high-end 8-channel NVR, which has almost all the advanced functions we talked about before. GW has tried its best to make a powerful machine and is famous for its excellent quality. We recommend that you purchase an online video recorder, especially if you need high bandwidth, advanced motion detection capabilities, and the ability to connect wired alarm inputs from motion sensors.